Canada going to pot today

Canada is going to pot, literally.  Personally, I have thought so since our last (2016) federal election, but that’s another story.

Today, October 17th 2018, Canada is legalizing marijuana, much to the chagrin of many citizens.  This was an election promise our prime minister made to win votes from the younger age group.  He’s now making good on that promise with as much thought and preparation (not much) as many other ridiculous and ill-advised things he is responsible for.

pot

AKA pot, weed, or cannabis, marijuana can now be smoked anywhere (with few exceptions) regular cigarettes are allowed.  Users are supposed to act responsibly.  Parks, arenas and recreational centers are pot-free, but this will be very difficult to enforce.  As will driving under the influence of pot if roadside testing is as inefficient and flawed as rumored.   So difficult in fact that the mayor of Ottawa predicts legalizing pot will cost the city (at least) a cool 8 million dollars per year.  The federal government has created (another) the mess, but is leaving the municipalities to deal with the fall out.  Great, just what this country needs, more examples of how to fritter away the tax payers’ hard earned dollars.

Hoping to remove the (still) illegal street sources, the new laws say brick and mortar stores must apply for a licence to sell pot.  These licences will not be available until spring, so these stores currently open for business must close their doors and reopen when they have been granted a licence.  Those that do not close while waiting for their licence will be shut down by authorities and will relinquish their right to ever obtain such a licence. Until then pot is only available (legally) through government run facilities.  Yep, that will eliminate the illegal sources. Not.

So, who wins with this new legislation?  The group of individuals that already (not so covertly) smoke pot recreationally.  Partakers have been asked to “use pot responsibly.” The problem is (or will be) that this group of people are not typically recognized for being responsible or their sensitivity to other people’s concerns, more focused on their own wants and needs.  Who cares if pot has been proven to aversely affect the health of children, pets and anyone else with a set of lungs? Not them.

Who loses?  Anyone that prefers and strives to keep their own and their loved ones’ lungs smoke and drug free.  And the tax payers who are left holding the bag.  This YouTube video by Bryan Cox and Jason Leblanc is one of those funny/not funny things.  You either laugh or cry.

 

 

 

 

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Why the tragedy in Humboldt Saskatchewan has rocked Canadians

Humboldt Broncos

The tragedy in Saskatchewan involving the Humboldt Broncos hockey team has rocked Canadians this week. Regardless of whether you are a fan of hockey, this story cannot help but move you. The accident between a bus loaded with young hockey players and a truck loaded with peat moss was a hockey parent’s worst nightmare. The parents, families and friends of the 15 victims of the accident are all currently living that nightmare. The rest of us can only shudder in horror imagining how unbelievably awful this past week must have (and continues to be) been for them.

Whether you live in a large city or a small town in Canada, hockey cannot help but touch your life. After all, hockey is Canada’s sport. Whether you play, watch, or coach hockey, serve as team trainer or manager, your involvement in hockey means you love the sport and cannot help but get emotionally involved with your team.

The hockey community is very tight across Canada.  Whether we know them personally or not, we all cheer for and keep track of our hometown kids as they grow up and follow their dream to play in the big league.  We celebrate and share their victories and achievements.  This week we mourn the loss of these talented, hard working, ambitious, young athletes and the adults with them as the Humboldt Broncos team travelled together on their final hockey road trip.

As the country watches, listens and mourns, Canadians and others around the world have stepped up to show their support for the Humboldt Broncos team.  A Go Fund Me account has raised over 9 million dollars to date to help the families of the victims.  Professional hockey teams and players have offered their condolences. Families are leaving hockey sticks and lights on at their front doors.  Students and parents alike are wearing jerseys to school and work.

Humboldt Broncos
Nokia Kanata on Jersey Day

 

As difficult as this tragedy has been to watch unfold, the heartfelt response has made me (even more) proud to be Canadian!

 

Have remnants of Hurricane Harvey arrived in Ottawa?

Have remnants of Hurricane Harvey arrived in Ottawa today?  There are a few signs that say he may have…

First off the wind is unreal (of course, not nearly as bad as Texans experienced)  When I left my house this morning it was cool (I needed long sleeves and long pants) and cloudy out, but rather nice for gardening (especially compared to yesterday when the sun was very strong and hot).  Two hours later I was weeding and pruning shrubs in my son’s garden and I could barely stand up and the lawn waste bags were like kites…

 

 

 

On my way home I noticed the price of gas here in Ottawa has gone way up too.  Apparently, that too is a remnant of Hurricane Harvey.  With many refineries on Texas’ gulf coast forced to close due to the storm, the wholesale price of gas has risen.  To Canadian consumers, that has translated to at least 10 cents per litre.

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I thought this price was bad, two days later it was up to 131.9 cents per liter….Crazy!

 

I’m pretty sure Canada has its own share of oil refineries so why has the closure of some in Texas affect our gas prices so drastically?  Is it because we must charge an international price for gas to prevent Americans from flooding across our border to fill up if our rates are significantly cheaper?

We wouldn’t mind, after all, we Canadians are the welcoming, friendly sort.

Canada Day weekend

In case you haven’t heard, Canada celebrated its 150th birthday this past weekend.

150th birthday
Happy birthday Canada

Although Mother Nature had to put her two cents in with a few thunderstorms and torrential rain, the party atmosphere was rampant coast to coast as Canadians young and old, rich and poor, lifelong citizens and new immigrants celebrated our wonderful country, together.

The fireworks lit up the skies across the country, although some displays were a bit rain delayed (and in some areas rescheduled)…

This video is just one of the many fireworks displays:

Even royalty showed up to help celebrate our country.  Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall attended the ceremonies on Parliament Hill and were escorted out of the Ottawa area Sunday morning by fighter jets and other military aircraft.  We heard the roar of the engines overhead as we came out of Canadian Tire (appropriately) and I quickly but blindly (into the sun and clouds) snapped a few pictures into the general vicinity of the noise…

150th birthday
leaving royalty
150 birthday
royalty
150th birthday
royalty in flight

150th birthday

Some Canadians started the celebration Friday and had to return to work today, while others have today to recuperate.  Those of us who are self-employed have an extra long weekend! Regardless, I think it’s safe to say everyone had a great weekend!

We are nice, but not that nice

 

Ellen showed this video on her show recently.  The joking video was created based on the rumour circulating that some Americans are considering moving to Canada if Donald Trump becomes their next president.

Her more sensible advice to those worried about Trump winning is to get out and vote..

What scares me about the upcoming election

I do not usually get into discussions about politics as I believe everyone is entitled to their opinions; after all we do live in a free country.  With the upcoming election here in Canada I worry that people have voted and will vote on candidates for the wrong reasons.  It scares me that people are willing to lose everything we, even the unpopular Stephen Harper, have all worked hard for.

I was not raised with a silver spoon in my mouth.  I was taught to work hard for my success, earn my living accordingly and save for my retirement.  I was also taught not to live beyond my means.  In other words, if I can’t afford something, I do without and certainly don’t use credit to buy it.  If I do use credit, it is used sparingly and paid off each month so that no interest is accumulated.  It scares me that people think that the 27 million dollars of tax payers’ money paid daily for interest on the Ontario deficit is acceptable.  It scares me that the Liberal and NDP candidates think a similar approach for Canada is acceptable and necessary to grow the economy.

It scares me that our once envied health care system is going down the tubes.  The ehealth scandal created by the Liberal government has created massive job losses and salary cutbacks to our health professionals and funding cutbacks for the operation of our Ontario hospitals.  These highly trained professionals will not have much choice than to take their expertise elsewhere. I worry that as I get older and need increased healthcare, it will not be available.  This Liberal approach scares me.  Their costly scandals will ruin the country as they are ruining Ontario.

I was taught too that you should be able to afford to raise children if you choose to have them.  I think Canadians should choose and pay for their own children’s daycare, sporting activities etc.  I think welfare should be for those temporarily out of work through no fault of their own.  Welfare was not meant to increase the number of children in a family, increase the social status of a family or stretch over several generations. It was developed to help people in a crisis situation, temporarily.

I was also taught that “good looks will get you the first 5 minutes, after that you are on your own”  What this meant to me is that if you are qualified for a job and good at what you do, it should not matter what you look like.  If your appearance or your last name get you an interview (or party nomination) it’s what you do afterwards that counts.  Who really cares, or who should care that Harper buttons and unbuttons his suit coat over and over?  Who cares, or who should care which politician has the nicest hair?  Who really cares if Trudeau wins he will be one of the youngest to do so?  Who wants the life of the party or a smooth talking, pot-smoking, pretty boy running our country?

This election is not a beauty or popularity contest.  It should be about who can best run this great country we live in so that we continue to prosper.  I want to enjoy my retirement without worrying that Canada is in trouble.  I hope I have taught my children the above lessons I learned from my parents.  I want them to work hard for their achievements, but I want them to have a fighting chance that their hard work will pay off for them.

I have voted for Stephen Harper in the past and will vote for him again.  Is he perfect?  Absolutely not.  Does he come across as arrogant and smug?  Sometimes.  Do I always agree with or like his actions and decisions? No, not always.  Does his resume say he has the necessary experience for the job?  Yes, it does.  Does he make tough decisions based on what is best for Canadians and Canada?  I believe he does; that’s why he gets my vote.