Post Debate Discussion and Opinions

I had an interesting (and very telling) post debate discussion with my youngest son (22 years old) this morning.  He asked me whether the federal debate changed my opinion of the political leaders we have to choose a prime minister from.

My own post debate opinion?  If you are interested in personality, I thought Singh (NDP) was the “winner” last night. He was charming, funny and an eloquent speaker (no ums or aws), but weak (sometimes even evasive) on the primary issues.  Unfortunately (for Singh) nice and charming does not necessarily make a good leader, at least not a leader of a country as diverse and large as Canada.

Scheer (Conservative) had to repeat himself often as was often talked over by either Trudeau (Liberal and current PM) or May (Green), although he did a fair share of it himself.  Not a good look for any of them.  The other two, Bernier (People’s Party) and Blanchet (Bloc Quebecois), were/are only interested in Quebec.  Their presence was distracting in my opinion for a federal election debate. I don’t think they should be included in these circumstances.

My son’s opinion?  “The debt our country is faced with is not really a problem.”  I believe (with a sick feeling in my stomach) this is a typical response from his age group.  They are more interested in the “perks” that might be promised or taken away.  This opinion was spoken like an uninformed youngster who does not (yet) pay for his own:

  • mortgage
  • taxes
  • car loan
  • groceries
  • insurance (except for his own car)
  • expenses for children
  • education
  • etc, etc, etc

Maybe that’s why I was so impressed with a youngster the same age as this son.  Chris Kitchen’s wrote an article at Queen’s University on why Canada’s oil and gas reserves would and should be beneficial to our economy.

We (my husband and I) have tried, over and over (in many heated discussions) to get this youngest son to acknowledge that living in growing debt is never a good thing, especially a staggering debt like the one our nation is faced with.  We feel like we are banging our heads against a brick wall.  Are we bad parents because he does not understand this concept?  I keep telling him he will understand in ten years (hopefully less), but he refuses to think that far ahead, let alone plan for it.  In our defence, this son does pay for his own cell phone and clothes as well as car insurance, gas and repairs .  Oh, and LCBO and Uber tabs.

Thankfully, our two older sons, both with mortgages, car payments, and children of their own, get it.  There is only five years difference between our second and third son, so it appears (to me) that it’s not a full generation, but just a demographic, that don’t get it.  At least this theory is apparent in my family.  I have heard from many others that their much older children have the same myopic outlook.

Did you watch the debate?  What are your post debate conclusions, thoughts, opinions?

 

 

 

Political battle in Canada

There is yet another political battle going on in Canada.  Four years ago I warned you to be careful what you wish for when Canadians hoping for a change gave Justin Trudeau a Liberal majority.  Many of us were skeptical that the majority of his election promises would/could never happen and those that did would cost us dearly.

One (huge) example is the federal budget.  An election promise in 2015 claimed the budget would be balanced by 2019, with Trudeau assuring voters it would balance itself.  Although many of us saw that simplistic prediction as an enormous red flag,  (the majority of) others were willing to play along, blindly.  Perhaps blinded by the handsome smile and fashionable clothing although they are worn by someone that has never balanced let alone lived on a budget in his life.

Fast forward to the present: not only is the budget nowhere near balanced, our national debt is through the roof by BILLIONS of dollars and growing by the second.  Why that does not scare more Canadians I am not sure.  I worry most about my sons’ and grandchildren’s futures as the cost of living skyrockets out of control.

Let’s not forget about the scandals that have plagued the Liberal party these past four years.  Topping the never ending list is the SNC-Lavalin (an engineering and construction company) fiasco where our Minister of Justice and Attorney General left the Liberal party because she felt bullied and pressured into intervening in an ongoing criminal case against the company. An investigation proved she had reason to feel pressured.

Then there are the recent black and brown-face pictures as well as the outlandish garments Trudeau wore representing Canada abroad. Our incredibly immature, shallow and inappropriate Prime Minister apparently likes to play dress-up, fitting I suppose for a (former) drama teacher craving the spotlight.  Hardly the image we (most I hope) Canadians want to represent us on the global stage.  Trudeau may be a charismatic and friendly man but he has also proven to be foolish, naïve, a liar, a bully and a cheater, not to mention an elitist, without a clue how most of us live.  Any of us “average citizens” with those characteristics would be fired from our jobs!

So, what’s the purpose of this rant? Not to convince you to vote for a specific political party.  To warn you to think long and hard about how you want this wonderful country of ours to move forward.  No one political party will (now or ever) tick off all the right boxes for the issues at stake.  Individual voters have to decide which party ticks off the most and the most important (to us) of these boxes, then vote accordingly.

I have not even touched on the other important issues that divide the political parties.  In addition to the budget and financial deficits, each party has their own stance on climate change, oil pipelines, abortion, gun control, health care, same sex marriage, child care, education, immigration, indigenous rights and more.  The list goes on and on, be sure to read up on these crucial issues before you vote.

Of course there are the outrageous campaign promises flying around too.  Are reduced cell phone rates really a life necessity or just another calculated attempt to grab votes from the younger, phone-obsessed generation.  Just like legalizing marijuana was last election.  After all, most of the voters thinking cell phones and marijuana are important issues don’t yet pay the exorbitant taxes or hydro and electricity rates the rest of us are mandated to.

There is so much desperate political garbage and yes, fake news, on every form of social media these days.  I am sick of it, yet it’s only going to get worse within the next few weeks, building up to a frenzied pitch until the election is over.  Instead of getting caught up in social media’s mudslinging, do your own research to see where each party stands on the issues. Here are a few sites to peruse, but remember, all of them have the potential to be biased!

The last one compares the platforms for each political party, sorted by specific issues.  I found it very informative.  Do your homework before you vote blindly. Please!

 

Governor General Expenses are How Much?

Here in Canada we have a (some say redundant) Governor General position.  The person to fill this position is chosen by the Queen (or current monarch) of England, with advisement from the prime minister, as their representative of the monarchy in Canada.

Predominantly ceremonial in nature, the necessity of the role has been debated for years.  Tax payers dole out an annual salary of $288K for a current Governor General and an annual pension payment of $140K for former position holders.  That’s pretty lucrative for a short term position.  The issue is even more controversial recently as expense reports (over and above her pension) for former Governor General Adrienne Clarkson were revealed by the National Post as over extravagant.  To the tune of a million dollars overly extravagant.  After her mere six year stint as our Governor General.

Governor General

These expense claims are not currently made available to the public.  In this day and age of promised transparency (at least in an election year) and accessibility to information seeking technology (google), one would think this information would be easy to find.  Doesn’t it make you wonder what other former Governors General are claiming as their expenses?

Our prime minister has promised to “look into it” but that doesn’t give too many people (myself included) a warm fuzzy feeling.  Especially as his priorities do not appear to be focused on the concerns of taxpayers.  I have a feeling Clarkson’s expenses are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

Did we pay a tariff on this heat?

If you haven’t noticed, Ottawa is in the middle of a heat wave, as are many places throughout Canada.  I wonder if we payed a tariff on the heat coming from the US of A.  Perhaps Donald Trump hasn’t thought of that yet.  If he did, we would have to retaliate and charge Americans a tariff on the cold fronts we send you every winter (currently) for free.

Seriously, the heat and humidity are so high that it’s just too hot for me to spend more than a few minutes in anyone’s gardens this week.  So, what else can a gardener do in this heat?  Well, I met a friend for coffee this morning and power washed my front veranda this afternoon.  Even though there was cool water involved, the power washing was a hot and dangerous job. As I was reaching into the back of my van to remove my power washer, I heard a hissing noise just before the back trunk slammed down on my head.  Just what I needed, a concussion to go with the possible heat stroke.

I guess that gives me something to work on tomorrow…getting the struts (that’s what my mechanic told me they are called) on the trunk repaired.  Then I will spend some time with my baby granddaughter.  After that I can continue working on the quilt I am making for my almost five year old granddaughter.  Although quilting is usually a winter passion of mine, this heat wave will give me some time to work on the project that is (still) spread out on my dining room table.

That’s Canada for you.  Heat waves and cold snaps alike tend to make us retreat to the comfort of our air conditioned or heated homes.  Just forget I mentioned the word tariff, I wouldn’t want to put ideas in anyone’s head!

photo from Unsplash

 

 

Mudslinging and grandstanding politicians

The worst part about pending elections is the inevitable mudslinging and grandstanding that goes on.  Don’t we teach our children that bullies are insecure when they pick on others?   The same thing applies to politicians.

Your mudslinging does not make you look intelligent or clever, instead it makes you look insecure and weak. It is not attractive, in fact it is a real turn off. Can you not run your campaign outlining your own values, plans, goals and credentials or experience instead of smearing your opponents?

The other tactic I cannot stand in politicians is grandstanding.  If you are good at something you do not have to tell everyone how good you are.  This is another lesson we try to teach our children; tooting your own horn is not attractive.

Sadly it will only get worse as elections to choose a leader for the Conservative party (to replace ousted Patrick Brown and then a premier here in Ontario are fast approaching.

Anyone else feel this way?

politicians

 

 

 

Please be sure to visit my other blogs:
Laugh out loud (LOL) with me at Your Daily Chuckle
and
Be inspired and motivated by famous words of wisdom at WoW
My gardening website can be viewed at gardens4u.ca

Abortion has no place in politics

Abortion is a personal subject and as such has no place in politics.  There are too many different scenarios in which abortion might be considered to enforce (politically) whether one should or should not be available.

abortion
chart from Google Images

Do I believe the transition from fertilized egg to embryo to fetus to baby is miraculous?  Absolutely.   Should everyone learn and know these steps and stages of a pregnancy?  Again, absolutely. (check out the chart above for a crash course)  Should abortion be used as a method of birth control for sexually (over)active teens?  Absolutely not.   Should it be available to a rape victim?  Yes.   Somewhere in between are a lot of maybes.  I lived through two myself:

Years ago, at 22 weeks into my second pregnancy, I was told my baby would not live to full term due to hydrops fetalis that had already caused a stillbirth in my first pregnancy.  I had no choice but to continue the pregnancy.  Terminating the pregnancy intentionally (abortion) was not an option.  I went through the same thing all over again after two successful pregnancies.  I do not know if I would have intentionally terminated the unsuccessful pregnancies if I was given the option, but this could certainly be a circumstance where I would support the woman’s choice.

So, Justin Trudeau (and other politicians), leave abortion out of politics.  Screening job applicants to select only those supporting pro choice (abortion) is ridiculous.  Your own belief and support of the pro choice movement is just that; your own belief.  Whether or not a woman has an abortion should be a private matter between her, the baby’s father and her doctor.

27866996_299140940609625_741242083464953226_n

Please be sure to visit my other blogs:
Laugh out loud (LOL) with me at Your Daily Chuckle
and
Be inspired and motivated by famous words of wisdom at WoW
My gardening website can be viewed at gardens4u.ca

Mooooove over greenhouse gas emissions and carbon tax!

Can changing our cows’ diet really lower greenhouse gas emissions?  What would it hurt?  Wouldn’t that be a better way to deal with greenhouse gas emissions than creating a carbon tax?   Watch this video, courtesy of The National on CBC News, and tell me what you think.

 

 

It has been a well-known fact for years that cows produce methane gas from both ends. It is also a fact that methane gas is responsible for a large chunk of greenhouse gas emissions. Cows and their methane gas are contributing to greenhouse gas emissions around the world.

Granted, carbon dioxide from our cars and our industries is another undeniable source of greenhouse gases.  Research, however, shows that Canada is not anywhere near the biggest culprit.  Especially in the industrial sector.

 

 

 

Although greenhouse gas emissions are much lower in Canada than many other countries, we do have our share of beef.  In fact, we probably have more cows than cars in Canada.  So why is our current Canadian government gouging its citizens with a carbon tax?  That’s another beef, pun intended.  Perhaps the major contributors around the world should be more concerned about their share of greenhouse gas emissions.   Canada’s government should be less concerned about how we appear to the world since we are not the problem.  Solutions to decrease the gas emissions from cows, cars, and industries that pollute should be a priority. Then maybe the citizens of the non-complying countries should be hit with a carbon tax.  What a concept!

 

I call a carbon tax to reduce greenhouse gas emissions a band-aid fix, not a proactive solution.  I believe in fixing the root or cause of the problem instead of creating a diversion from it.  Instead  of covering up the root with a carbon tax, why not help fix the problem at one of the main sources?  In other words, rather than apply a band-aid on a bleeding limb, first fix the bleed.  A band-aid is only effective at helping the victim emotionally. In this case, our Liberal government likes to make everyone, especially the rest of the world, feel that Canada is doing the right thing.  A bigger band-aid will be soon be required if the bleed is not first fixed at the source.

Let’s start feeding our Canadian cows seaweed to see if they produce less methane.  Less methane will mean lowering our greenhouse gas emissions.  And, while we are at it, scrap the carbon tax, it solves nothing!

Las Vegas tragedy makes gun control seem like a no brainer

I was going to write a post about this sickening tragedy in Las Vegas, but Jimmy Kimmel says it all right here…

well said Jimmy! I only hope the powers that be are motivated enough to do something about it.

Las Vegas
Jimmy Kimmel

Increased taxes for small business owners

Our Canadian Liberal government wants to increase income taxes for small businesses.  As a small business owner of GARDENS4U I cringe at the significance this has for me.

 

taxes

 

Like myself, many small business owners have risked starting a business based on a particular passion.  We have taken many years to build clientele and show a profit.  Tax breaks are few and far between making it possible to follow a dream and succeed, but rarely get rich.  Some years are good, others great, yet some not so good.  Proceeds from the good and great years must be used to subsidize the not so good years. You know the saying “save for a rainy day.”  Increased taxes mean less savings.

 

Most owners and employees of small businesses are dedicated and passionate individuals that do not get benefits, pensions or severance packages if the business goes under.  The absence of these “perks” creates a great risk for both the owner and the employees.  New taxes will squash the dream of entrepreneurs with a passion whether the business is already up and running or still in the planning stage.

Does the Liberal government really believe increasing the income tax levels of small business owners will significantly build their coffers?  The money gained will be a drop in the bucket compared to the massive national debt owed. They might want to look elsewhere for bigger fish and leave us little guys alone.

taxes

pictures from Pexels

What does Russia really have on Trump?

Russia has reported that they have documentation showing US president-elect Donald Trump engaging in sexual shenanigans with Russian prostitutes and the media is running with it.   What is it about sex that creates such a scandal?   Continue reading