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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Thursday's Ride - 1970 Cadillac limo

If Duffy is guilty.... they are all guilty

Senate doesn't want secret housing report used in Mike Duffy trial

The Senate doesn’t want Mike Duffy’s criminal trial to use a secret internal report on how many of his fellow senators had documents showing they lived in Ontario or Quebec.
But, his defence lawyer pointed out Monday, plenty of them claimed living expenses in Ottawa in the same way he did, representing provinces they hadn’t really lived in for many years.
It was a glimpse of the rain-fire-upon-them-all strategy Donald Bayne has suggested is coming as he defends the broadcaster-turned-politician on 31 charges of fraud, breach of trust and bribery related to claims Duffy made for thousands of dollars of reimbursements to which he allegedly wasn’t entitled.
Duffy, who’d lived in Ottawa since 1971, claimed his primary residence was a cottage in Prince Edward Island. That meant he got paid more than $80,000 in reimbursements for food and shelter while he was in Ottawa to do senator things. Monday, Bayne suggested Duffy wasn’t alone, and that the claims extend way beyond other senators who have either been charged or are still the subjects of criminal investigations: Mac Harb, Patrick Brazeau and Pamela Wallin.
Senators who have to travel more than 100 kilometres from their primary residences to get to Parliament are entitled to the allowances Duffy claimed; each has to fill out a declaration every year asserting where his or her primary residence is. That’s how Duffy said his home was in Cavendish, P.E.I., rather than the house in Kanata where he’d lived for years before Prime Minister Stephen Harper made him a senator in 2009.
Only in 2013 did the Senate starting asking for proof: a driver’s licence, a health card, income-tax filings. According to documents filed when the police were investigating Duffy, all senators were asked to produce those in 2012, just as Duffy’s claims for his house in Kanata had been revealed by a story in the Ottawa Citizen. They were supposed to send copies to Jill Anne Joseph, the Senate’s director of internal audit.
Within a couple of months, the Senate was routinely asking senators who claimed they really lived away from Ottawa to prove it.
When Bayne started asking questions Monday of Nicole Proulx, the Senate’s top internal-administration official touching on where the new residency-declaration form came from, he got waved off by Crown prosecutor Mark Holmes.
“It’s my understanding there’s a claim of privilege that is being asserted over the contents of this report,” Holmes said.
The “claim of privilege” is like the secrecy between a lawyer and client, or a doctor and patient. In this case, the claim is that the Senate can’t have its internal business nosed around in by the courts. Parliament and the judiciary are separate parts of the government and they need to stay out of each other’s way.

The conservatives don't know, don;t care and keep their errors secret - Screw the taxpayer

Auditor general report: Child fitness tax credit report kept hidden

Child fitness tax credit report hidden while first-time homebuyers credit, textbook credit go unassessed

The Conservative government doesn't know whether its first-time homebuyers tax credit is working as intended, and kept the evaluation of the child fitness tax credit hidden, Canada's auditor general said today in his spring report.

The tax credit for first-time homebuyers hasn't been evaluated since it was introduced, despite an earlier analysis suggesting there could be some problems with it.

The same criticism applies to a textbook tax credit. Both were introduced by the Conservatives.
Both credits were analyzed before they were introduced, with risks identified. Despite that, "the department does not have complete information to determine if these tax measures are relevant and performing as intended," the report said.

Ferguson also concluded that the children's fitness tax credit was analyzed, with an expert panel pointing to a possible problem with that credit's implementation: not all parents could pay fitness membership fees, programs or camps in order to get the credit when they filed their taxes months later.

The panel requested a review after four years, which the department prepared, but that evaluation "was not made public," the report said.

Other findings by the auditor general include:
  • People living in remote First Nations in Manitoba and Ontario aren't guaranteed to have access to clinical and client care services, with major health and safety problems at the nursing stations, and only one of the 45 nurses evaluated finishing the five mandatory training courses chosen for the audit.
  • The Public Health Agency of Canada and Health Canada aren't doing enough to tackle problems posed by antimicrobial resistance.
  • Department of National Defence "failed to fully investigate" two complaints of values and ethics violations in the ombudsman's office, which also had "inadequate controls for financial, contract, and human resource management."
  • Correctional Service of Canada officials recommended fewer people for early release in 2013-14 than in 2011-12, even if the offender was assessed as a low risk to reoffend, leading to an additional $91-million annual cost.
  • Canada Border Services Agency has had "significant challenges" managing IT projects.


Canadians fubarred by Steve once again

Bell Helicopters to lay off 300 in Quebec after winning coast guard contract

Quebec plant was helping make new choppers for Canadian coast guard

Bell Helicopters is planning about 300 layoffs at its plant in Mirabel, Que., as part of a global downsizing that will see 1,100 jobs lost.

Bell Helicopters recently won a $156-million contract to build helicopters for the Canadian coast guard on top of a $172-million coast guard order placed in 2014.

The federal government promoted the awarding of a sole-source contract to Bell as a way of creating jobs in Canada.


Enjoying the Playoffs?

1979 Dodge D300 - El Paso, Texas

1953 Dehavilland DHC-2 MK I (For Sale)

Don't ever park illegally in the UK

Thanks Ralph

Monopoly - I Did Not Know This

 You'll never look at the game the same way again!Starting in 1941, an increasing number of British Airmen found themselves as the involuntary guests of the Third Reich, and the Crown was casting about for ways and means to facilitate their escape...
Now obviously, one of the most helpful aids to that end is a useful and accurate map, one showing not only where stuff was, but also showing the locations of 'safe houses' where a POW on-the-lam could go for food and shelter.

Paper maps had some real drawbacks -- they make a lot of noise when you open and fold them, they wear out rapidly, and if they get wet, they turn into mush. 
Someone in MI-5 (similar to America 's OSS ) got the idea of printing escape maps on silk. It's durable, can be scrunched-up into tiny wads, and unfolded as many times as needed, and makes no noise whatsoever.

At that time, there was only one manufacturer in Great Britain that had perfected the technology of printing on silk, and that was John Waddington, Ltd. Leeds. When approached by the government, the firm was only too happy to do its bit for the war effort.

By pure coincidence, Waddington was also the U.K. Licensee for the popular American board game, Monopoly. As it happened, 'games and pastimes' was a category of item qualified for insertion into 'CARE packages', dispatched by the International Red Cross to prisoners of war.

Under the strictest of secrecy, in a securely guarded and inaccessible old workshop on the grounds of Waddington's, a group of sworn-to-secrecy employees began mass-producing escape maps, keyed to each region of Germany or Italy where Allied POW camps were located. When processed, these maps could be folded into such tiny dots that they would actually fit inside a Monopoly playing piece.

As long as they were at it, the clever workmen at Waddington's also managed to add: 
1. A playing token, containing a small magnetic compass2. A two-part metal file that could easily be screwed together3. Useful amounts of genuine high-denomination German, Italian, and French currency, hidden within the piles of Monopoly money!

British and American air crews were advised, before taking off on their first mission, how to identify a 'rigged' Monopoly set -- by means of a tiny red dot, one cleverly rigged to look like an ordinary printing glitch, located in the corner of the Free Parking square.

Of the estimated 35,000 Allied POWS who successfully escaped, an estimated one-third were aided in their flight by the rigged Monopoly sets. Everyone who did so was sworn to secrecy indefinitely, since the British Government might want to use this highly successful ruse in still another, future war.

The story wasn't declassified until 2007, when the surviving craftsmen from Waddington's, as well as the firm itself, were finally honoured in a public ceremony.
It's always nice when you can play that 'Get Out of Jail' Free' card!
I realize most of you are (probably) too young to have any personal connection to WWII (Sept '39 to Aug. '45), but this is still interesting. 

Thanks Kerry

Louis, Louis Lyrics


Green Omnibus Bill Changes Everything

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Wednesday's Ride - 1969 Citroen DS-21

The Order of Canada is fast becoming comic relief under Stephen Harpers reign of idiocy

Stephen Harper gives the Order of Canada a strange makeover: Mallick

Has the prime minister's status anxiety inspired him to remake the Order of Canada into an anti-elitist honour?

The wrong people are getting the Order of Canada, apparently, and Prime Minister Stephen Harper has snuck $13.4 million into the federal budget to prod for nominations of the “under-represented.”
As the Ottawa Citizen’s wry Glen McGregor has suggested, it appears Harper is upset that the Ordered of Canada are thin on the ground in the West, positively clog up Atlantic Canada … and, yes, there are too many arts types, not just in the Order of Canada presumably, but generally.
The money will be spent over five years (though how can an online form cost so much?) It’s like a new gold rush, but Harper is panning for status.
Well, good luck to him, good luck in what Stephen Colbert used to devote a whole segment to: Who’s Not Honouring Me Now? “I never look for external validation, and for that kind of confidence, I should get an award,” Colbert said tearfully.
From MacArthur Genius grants to Teen Choice Awards, the man was shunned. Colbert made constant fun of our accents and ludicrously free health care, covered our Olympics with relentless sneering, and warped our anthem. Poor man, I thought, we should Order-of-Canada him out of spite.

More of your tax dollars being spent to lie to you

Tories spending $13.5 million on two-month ad blitz to boost their pre-election budget

OTTAWA — New documents reveal the Conservative government has booked $13.5 million for an all-out blitz in April and May to advertise its 2015 pre-election budget.

The Canada Revenue Agency is spending $6 million on a concentrated TV bulk buy this month that includes pricey NHL playoff spots in what internal government documents describe as a continuation of an existing campaign that’s been running all winter.

The tax agency’s $6 million in TV advertising is augmented by a $7.5 million campaign by the Finance department, all designed to promote previously announced and new targeted tax breaks.


Bill C-51 is nothing more than an attempt to oppress the people

What: Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre (Canada's “financial intelligence” unit)

When: Founded in 2000 under the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act

Why: “To facilitate the detection, prevention and deterrence of money laundering and the financing...
of terrorist activities, while ensuring the protection of personal information under our control.”

2013/14 budget: $51,704,183

Employees: 343

Entities reporting to FINTRAC: 300,000+

Files held on Canadians: 165 million+…/another-reason-to-resist-c-…

What will this cost us

Canadian Banks on Hook to Energy Firms That Hedged Oil

Canada’s biggest banks are on the hook for at least $478 million of the $26 billion owed to U.S. oil and gas firms that bought protection against plunging crude prices.

Bank of Montreal, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and Bank of Nova Scotia are among lenders that provided price protection for U.S. shale drillers that bought insurance against declines in energy prices when North American crude oil was above $90 a barrel. The Toronto-based lenders, which have all said they’ve hedged their risk with offsetting trades, must make good on the protection sold to wildcatters now that oil is trading around $56 a barrel.

Those lenders, along with Royal Bank of Canada and Toronto-Dominion Bank, had derivatives liabilities to U.S. energy companies including Energen Corp. and Pioneer Natural Resources Co. at the end of 2014, energy company records show. The amount owed is probably much higher than the $478 million reported in filings, as not all energy companies, including Canadian firms, disclose their hedging counterparties.


Thanks Ivan

1964 Chevrolet Nova - Memphis, Indiana

Age-Activated Attention Deficit Disorder

Thanks Ralph

Poem to Duffy ! repeat

The Ode to Fluffy
Fluffy Duffy, sat in the House
Fluffy Duffy, was a real louse.

Trying to figure, “Where is his home?”;
On taxpayers’ money, he continued to roam.

Wheeling and dealing, like Wallin and Mack
But all of a sudden, he seemed to lose track.

Of how much he took, and where it all went
Said he had no idea, how it got spent.

So back to the trough, to try to get more
Said to his wife, “We’ll never be poor”.

The rules are unclear, and colleagues so dumb
From PEI, I’ll tell them I’m from.

Two principal homes, he claimed to possess
Saying if he gets caught, he’ll never confess.

He feared he might have, a big heart attack
So the money he’ll need, and not give it back.

Then along came that scoundrel, Robert S. Fife
His nosing around, upset Fluffy’s life.

He blabbed to the world, Fluffy’s nothing but dirt
And God only knows, how much that hurt.

He prodded and poked, and gossip he bought
Fluffy had no idea, he’d ever get caught.

“He’s an honest man”, Harper he claimed
Fluffy’s response to them all, was “He had been defamed”.

When it seemed to them all, that Fluffy was done
The mess he was in, was not really fun.

They thought they had brought him, down to his knees
Till Harper sent Nigel, with his 90 gs.

So off he did run, right up to the bank
Still trying to figure, just who to thank.

Taxpayers, or Harper or Nigel his “friend”;
But they all remained silent, right up to the end.

The money he took, has thus been put back
So the auditors now, will cease to attack.

Fluffy’s honesty, integrity, and all he’s stood for
Is now in his cabin, behind a locked door.

They’ll not snoop around, it is plain for to see
As the help he now has, from R-C-M-P.

His Senator friends, may give him a fine
But do as they wish, he’ll never resign.

With an exorbitant salary, which they’ll never freeze
He continues along, and cheats as he please.

Double dipping he’ll show you, can be so easy
When a Senator learns, how to be sleazy.

With taxpayers’ dollars, he’s now off the hook,
And he’ll make some more money, when he publishes a book.

And it’s onward and upward, he’ll never be blue
As he continues his game, and make fools out of you.

You can’t kiss him goodbye, while he’s still alive
Until of course, when he’s seventy-five.

But by then you will see, before he is off,
He’ll continue to feed, till he empties the trough.

It can’t get much better, as he’s still hale and hearty
He got where he is, as a “friend” of the party.

They covered his back, as the truth they can’t tell,
So, unless you’re a Tory, go directly to hell.

Politics as you know, is always so sleazy
And ripping you off, they’ve made all too easy.
So really good people, won’t get in the game
As cheating and lying, will ruin their good name.

It has happened before, and never will change
Attracting those people, who really are strange.

They claim working for you, is not really easy,
As the way they succeed, just has to be sleazy.

Thanks Bernie

Pass The Salt

Amazon <> (AMZN-Q) Closed at $378.49 (US) Friday..............Up 21.96% YTD

............Has 154,100 Full Time employees

Be sure to watch the video at the end...

As the world’s largest online retailer, Amazon needs somewhere to put all of those products.
The solution? Giant warehouses. Eighty to be exact. Strategically located near key shipping hubs around the world.

The warehouses themselves are massive, with some over 1.2 million square feet in size (111,484 sq m).
And at the heart of this global operation are people (over 65,000 of them), and a logistics system known as chaotic storage.

Chaotic storage is like organized confusion. It’s an organic shelving system without permanent areas or sections. That means there is no area just for books, or a place just for televisions (like you might expect in a retail store layout). The product’s characteristics and attributes are irrelevant. What’s important is the unique barcode associated with every product that enters the warehouse.

Every single shelf space inside an Amazon warehouse has a barcode. And every incoming product that requires storage is assigned a specific barcode that matches the shelf space in which it will be stored. This allows free space to be filled quickly and efficiently.

At the heart of the operation is a sophisticated database that tracks and monitors every single product that enters/leaves
the warehouse and keeps a tally on every single shelf space and whether it’s empty or contains a product.

There are several key advantages to the chaotic storage system. First is flexibility with chaotic storage, freed-up space can be refilled immediately. Second is simplicity. New employees don’t need to learn where types of products are located. They simply need to find the storage shelf within the warehouse. You don’t need to know what the product is, just where it is. Lastly is optimization.

Amazon must handle millions and millions of orders. That means that at any given moment there is a long list of products
that need to be ‘picked’ from the shelves and prepared for shipment.

Since there is a database that knows every product required for shipment and the location of each product inside the warehouse,
an optimized route can be provided to employees responsible for fulfillment.

Since Amazon deals with such a wide variety of products there are a few exceptions to the rule. Really fast-moving articles do not adhere to the same storage system since they enter and leave the warehouse so quickly. Really bulky and heavy products still require separate storage areas and perishable goods are not ideal for obvious reasons.

In this storage system a wide variety of products can be found located next to each other, a necklace could be located beside a DVD and underneath a set of power tools. This arbitrary placement can even help with accuracy as it makes mix-ups less likely when picking orders for shipment.

Overall it’s a fascinating system that at its core is powered by a complex database yet run by a simple philosophy.
It’s Chaotic Storage. There’s no better way to put it
:o) <>

Thanks Norman

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Tuesday's Ride - C-Cab Fire Truck Street Rod

Oily Joes Fudget Budget

Joe Oliver's Budget Numbers Are Thoroughly Cooked
That, or he's been drinking his own Kool-Aid.

No wonder they're spending $7.5 million in public money to advertise Joe Oliver's budget. Bernie Madoff couldn't have come up with a sneakier sell than this.
Still, no one should be surprised. This misbegotten government's modus operandi is about much more than information control. It's about soaring, jet-propelled skullduggery in a never-ending political campaign. It's a power fantasy. It's Steve's way.

Armed with his narrative of convenience, Harper programs the electorate with fictions of prosperity, compassion and prudence. In the real world, he acts quite differently. There, he underfunds Coast Guard stations, veterans' offices, First Nations tribal councils, railway inspections, scientific research and Employment Insurance processing.

And don't forget health care -- $36 billion in cuts over ten years and still no Health Accord. Next step? Transfer tax credits for health to the provinces (after all, they administer health don't they?) and get the gum of medicare off Ottawa's shoe for good -- just like the founder of the National Citizens Coalition (once led by Steven Harper) advocated.

Numbers have a wonderfully elastic quality to them; like Harper cabinet ministers, they say what they're told to say. Numbers are the favourite tool of fraudsters and politicians alike. One swindles money, the other swindles votes.


750 million taxpaters dollars to advertise their failures;;;; thanks Steve

Liberal ad lampoons taxpayer-funded Harper government ad campaign

OTTAWA — Federal Liberals are dipping into their party war chest to advertise about government advertising.

The party has paid for prime-time NHL playoff real estate to lampoon the Conservative government's ubiquitous "economic action plan" promos that have been saturating the airwaves since 2009.

Opposition parties have long complained that the government ads are thinly disguised partisan propaganda — paid for by taxpayers.

The cheeky Liberal ad purports to be a message from Prime Minister Stephen Harper, thanking Canadians for footing the bill.

It claims taxpayers have forked out $750 million over the past nine years to pay for government commercials — a figure that includes all government of Canada advertising, including standard public service announcements as well as the more debatable ads that burnish the Conservative government agenda.

The Liberal party is paying — it won't say how much — to run its ad during the hockey playoffs and on social media.

Set to jaunty music, the minimalist ad features a series of written lines superimposed over the government's economic action plan logo.


Nearly a 1/2 billion on non-government lawyers squandered by the Harper psychopaths

Harper Government Under Fire Over $482 Million In Outside Legal Fees

OTTAWA – The Conservative government has spent $482 million on outside legal fees since it came to power in 2006. And more than $447,045 to defend the Prime Minister, his staff and ministers, according to documents tabled in the House of Commons.

“It’s just a shocking number,” Liberal MP Sean Casey told The Huffington Post Canada Wednesday.
“They closed Veterans [Affairs]’ district offices and saved $5 million bucks, [but] over the past eight years, they’ve spent half a billion on outside lawyers. It’s pretty stark.”

Casey, the Grits’ justice critic who requested the departmental costs, said the $481,927,263 spent since April 2006, and shared between 27 departments and their agencies, is proof of how many lawsuits and appeals the Conservative government has initiated while in power.
The top spender was the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution, which spent roughly $30 million a year on non-government lawyers to conduct federal prosecutions for a total of $245 million. Other departments that relied heavily on outside legal services include: Foreign Affairs ($80 million), Canada Revenue Agency ($40.6 million), Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development ($25 million), Correctional Service Canada ($17.4 million), Fisheries and Oceans ($12.2 million) and Natural Resources ($9.2 million).

Although the Department of Justice employs approximately 2,500 lawyers who defend the government on all types of matters, it also relies on private-sector law practitioners to carry out its mandate, spokeswoman Carole Saindon said Wednesday.


Money for nothing......... Thanks Steve

Ottawa blasted for lending to Volkswagen

TORONTO - Canada's largest private sector union is condemning a federal agency for lending roughly $526 million to Volkswagen to expand its operations in the U.S. and Mexico.
Unifor issued a statement Friday saying it's "absolutely incredible" that Export Development Canada is helping facilitate the migration of the auto industry to Mexico.
Unifor president Jerry Dias says there is no guarantee that the loan will benefit Canada.

Hearing Hands - Touching Ad By Samsung

Thanks Sylvia

There is little difference between Harper's "Trickle Down Policies and Pissed on Policies"

Fail, Fail, Fail, the Harper Economic Plans have been total failures, Canada's youth unemployment is at its highest level ever while those 55 and over have dropped out of the job search market due to a lack of economic growth across the country.

But despite the outrageous expenditures on outside lawyers and advertising we have a balanced budget. One that came at the expense of veterans, the unemployed and the civil service.

Almost 1.2 billion taxpayer dollars spent on failed advertising and lost appeals

This is the meanest, ugliest government in Canadian history, they feed their base lies and the fools eat it up.

Harper wants to privatize the CPP claiming it would be better run by his favorite corporate supporters. He and his base whine about CPP being a tax.... it is NOT you stupid fools ... it is a paid in pension by the people and corporations.

What is the difference between a private pension fund and a government pension fund?

The rates. A private pension fund is based on the corporation or insurers ability to make a profit from your and your employers contributions. If you have ever worked for a company that offers a pension plan then you know damn well that YOU pay a portion and the COMPANY pays a portion..... doesn't that sound like CPP.... the difference between the two is that the government is unwilling to raise the company portion since their party relies on corporate donations.

Harper wants to shut down Medicare and leave it to the Provinces. What will that mean to smaller Provinces with less populations and industry?

The rates. It becomes very apparent that equality and balance across the country will suffer, the smaller Provinces will not have the resources to hire qualified doctors nor the capacity to take care of all levels of the population.  A National Medicare system provides a balance across the country the Federal government should not be abdicating their duty to the country as a whole.

The smaller Provinces will no longer benefit from balanced transfer payments making it necessary for the Provinces to seek private corporations or raise Provincial taxes. We only have to look at the American system to see how badly its people are treated by the private medical insurers and how their two tier system provides better service and treatment for the rich.

This is an election year and the Harper government has increased the number of ridings across the country, boundaries have changed as well as qualifying rules whatever you do make sure you know your polling station, like the "robocall" fiasco of 2011 the Harper government has done everything in their power to ensure seniors, the youth, and the working class do not vote.

You can check here... to be sure you are registered and to see if you polling station has changed.

"VOTE ABC IN 2015"

1961 Ford Falcon - Charlotte, North Carolina''

Circumcision disqualifies man to run for office

A man walks into the Election office, says  to the receptionist:
"I would like to put my name forward for the forthcoming elections to be an Independent candidate.
The receptionist replied, "Certainly sir Please fill out this form.''
He was filling the form until he came to the question, ''Are you circumcised?''
So he asked the receptionist  "Is that question necessary?"
She replied, "If you are circumcised you are not eligible".
He asked what difference it would make if he was circumcised?
She replied, "To become a politician, you have to be a complete prick" 

Thanks Richard  

Mein Lebenslauf ist Lieb und Lust - Neujahrskonzert / New Year's Concert...

Thanks Kerry

Blond joke: Three Women who went to Mexico...


Three women went down to Mexico to celebrate college graduation.

They got drunk and woke up in jail,
only to find that they are to be executed in the morning,
though none of them can remember what they did the night before.
The first one, a redhead, is strapped in the electric chair
and is asked if she has any last words.
She says,
"I just graduated from Trinity Bible College and believe
in the almighty power of God to intervene on the behalf of the innocent. » 
They throw the switch and NOTHING HAPPENS!
They all immediately fall to the floor on their knees,
beg for forgiveness, and release her.
The second one, a brunette, is strapped in and gives her last words.
"I just graduated from Indiana University School of Law,
and I believe in the power of Justice to intervene on the behalf of the innocent." 
They throw the switch and again, nothing happens AGAIN.
immediately fall to their knees, beg for forgiveness, and release her.
The last one, a blonde (yep, you guessed it), is strapped in and says,
"Well, I'm from the University of West Virginia
and just graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering,
and I'll tell ya right now,
ya'll ain't gonna electrocute nobody if you don't plug that thing in."
Thanks Richard

Monday, April 27, 2015


Not just Harper's granddaughters problem

5 Problems We Need To Wait For Stephen Harper's Granddaughter To Solve

Carpe diem!

We knew Bay Street types can only see one quarter at a time -- but does Finance Minister Joe Oliver even care about the future?

When asked by CBC's Amanda Lang Tuesday night if his budget was saddling future governments without revenues to solve future problems, Oliver said "why don't we leave that to Prime Minister Stephen Harper's granddaughter to solve":

Oliver was responding to a problem raised by two separate reports on Tax Free Savings Accounts recently published by the Broadbent Institute and the Parliamentary Budget Office that both found his budget's doubling of TFSA contributions not only benefit the wealthy -- but will lead to a $15.5 billion annual loss for the next generation of Canadians, 40 or 50 years down the road.
So what other problems do we need to wait for Stephen Harper's as-of-yet unborn granddaughter to fix?

1. The Revenue Problem

Canada doesn't actually have a spending problem -- it has a massive revenue problem.

In Tuesday's budget speech, Oliver bragged how the Conservatives have "cut taxes to their lowest level in more than half a century." Oliver seems convinced spending billions on tax giveways (that have mainly benefitted the wealthy) is a good thing, but in reality it renders Canada powerless to solve (or even control) many of the nation's most important social and economic problems:


Nothing for a National Transportation initiative

Federal public transit plan more stop than go: Hume

Joe Oliver’s poorly supported transit fund shows the Tories don’t take transit seriously

Except for the fact it’s not funny, Finance Minister Joe Oliver’s Public Transit Fund is a joke. Either that or an insult.
Even as he acknowledged that the federal government has a responsibility to help solve urban Canada’s growing mobility woes, he refused to accept it.
His pledge — $250 million starting in 2017, $500 million in 2018 and $1 billion annually after 2019 — can’t be taken seriously. That $1 billion, which will become available in four years, must be shared by all cities in Canada.
At a time when a single kilometere of subway costs upwards of $300 million, that won’t get us far.
It is a sign of the times that even this paltry gesture caused Toronto Mayor John (Pollyanna) Tory to sing Oliver’s praises.
“I believe this is a major step forward for Canada and for Toronto,” His Worship effused. “Finally, and for the first time in history, Canada has a permanent national fund for transit that will soon add up to $1 billion annually for transit projects.”
Imagine that. In 2015, Ottawa wakes up to one of the country’s most intractable issues, but even then isn’t prepared to make a meaningful commitment.
Perhaps Tory’s right. Perhaps Oliver’s is a government so completely ignorant of city life in 21st-century Canada that we should be thankful even for such a small glimmer of awareness. There must be awareness before there can be action, but as always, that will take time.

The jokes on us

Layoffs, Layoffs, Layoffs ..... Thanks Steve

Why isn’t the free trade era delivering better jobs?

With the 2015 federal election fast approaching, Canadians can expect a lot of loud government messaging about its ‘sound economic management’, including some trumped-up claims about how joining more — and ever more elaborate — trade and investment liberalization agreements will boost Canada’s national prosperity.

And now that the federal NDP seems to be recoiling from criticism of new trade and investment deals, the Harper Conservatives will be free to exaggerate — even fabricate — the benefits of Canada’s quarter century-long experiment with ‘free trade’. The only opposition the government will face on this file are the facts.

Far from spawning higher levels of investment and GDP growth, Canada’s great era of trade and investment liberalization — which began with the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement in 1988 — has been marked by underinvestment and sluggish growth in both employment and GDP.

In the 25 years prior to 1988, the rate of growth of business investment in fixed assets — a key driver of growth — averaged 4.8 per cent per year. Private sector employment grew at 2.4 per cent and GDP per capita at 2.8 per cent. All three growth rates were halved in the 25 years after 1988, falling to 2.4 per cent, 1.3 per cent and 1.2 per cent, respectively. What’s more, the average unemployment rate increased from 7.1 per cent to 8.1 per cent between the two quarter-century periods — a statistic which ignores the rise of more precarious forms of employment.

How do we explain the disconnect between political cheerleading for trade and investment liberalization agreements (like the CETA) and Canada’s poor investment, employment and growth performance in the free trade era? The answer has as much to do with power as it does with markets.
The trade and investment liberalization regime led to rapid and relentless restructuring of North American corporate ownership by opening the door to the two largest merger waves in Canadian history. On the world stage, these merger waves led to higher levels of Canadian corporate ownership abroad. Domestically, heightened amalgamation activity created larger Canadian-based corporations — and the attendant market power that greater size bestows.

open quote 761b1bIncreased corporate concentration — power, in other words — has contributed to both slower GDP growth and heightened income inequality.
Between 1914 and 1988, for every dollar spent on expanding industrial capacity, Canadian business spent an average of just 23 cents on mergers and acquisitions (M&A). Between 1988 and 2013, an average of 93 cents was spent on M&A for every dollar ploughed into industrial capacity — a four-fold increase. Large firms are spending nearly as much acquiring their rivals as they are on new structures and an expanded workforce.

So what are the consequences of this amalgamation-fuelled concentration? The causes are complex, but the facts suggest that increased corporate concentration — power, in other words — has contributed to both slower GDP growth and heightened income inequality.


Dorothy Street

I was in St-Bruno at my daughters place this morning and came across this ad in the local rag for a duplex for sale on Dorothy Street. Win, you rented around  there ,like me. Look at the price. My fathers place on Vercheres I last saw at $200M about 10 years ago. Location, location.

 Kevin my son dosen't like that neighbourhood any more. Says that section of Taschereau is now called the ghetto and a lot businesses want out. 

Ivan R

Thanks Ivan.... It's a shame how neighborhoods change after the good folks move out.

1937 Oldsmobile F-37 - Columbus, Ohio

AMAZING FOOTAGE: Black Swans Surfing at the Gold Coast, Australia

Thanks Kerry

Senior Ladies

Sitting on the side of the highway waiting to catch speeding drivers, a Police Officer sees a car puttering along at 22 KPH.  Says he to himself: "This driver is just as dangerous as a speeder!" So he turns on his lights and pulls the driver over.  Approaching the car, he notices that there are five old ladies - two in the front seat and three in the back - wide eyed and white as ghosts.

The driver, obviously confused, says to him "Officer, I don't understand, I was doing exactly the speed limit!  What seems to be the problem?"

"Ma'am," the officer replies, "you weren't speeding, but you should know that driving slower than the speed limit can also be a danger to other drivers."
"Slower than the speed limit?  No sir, I was doing the speed limit exactly...Twenty-two kilometres an hour!" the old woman says a bit proudly.

The Police officer, trying to contain a chuckle explains to her that 22 is the highway number, not the speed limit.

A bit embarrassed, the woman grins and thanks the officer for pointing out her error.

"But before I let you go, Ma'am, I have to ask..Is everyone in this car OK?  These women seem awfully shaken, and they haven't made a peep this whole time," the officer asks.

"Oh, they'll be all right in a minute officer.  We just got off Highway 189."       
Thanks Ralph

Unseen Pictures

These are possibly some of the most unique pictures you will ever see.

Thanks Kerry


Pull your droopy pants up.  You look like an idiot.
Turn your cap straight, your head isn't crooked.
Let's get this straight; it's called a 'dirt road.'  I drive a pickup truck because I want to. No matter how slow you drive, you're going to get dust on your Lexus.  Drive it or get the hell out of my way.
They are cattle.  They're live steaks.  That's why they smell funny to you.  But they smell like money to us.  Get over it.  Don't like it? Hwy 1 goes east and west, Hwy 6 goes north and south.  Pick one and leave.
So you have a $60,000 car.  We're impressed.  We have $395,000 combines that are driven only 3 weeks a year.
So every person in rural Saskatchewan waves.  It's called 'being friendly, try to understand the concept.
If that cell phone rings while an 8-point buck and 3 does are coming in, we WILL shoot it out of your hand.  You better hope you don't have it up to your ear at the time.
Yeah, we eat meat and potatoes.  You really want sushi & caviar?  It's available at the corner bait shop.
The 'Opener' refers to the first day of deer hunting season.  It's a religious holiday held the closest Saturday to the first of November.
We open doors for ladies.  That is applied to all ladies, regardless of age.
There's little here for 'vegetarians' on the menu.  Order steak.  Or you can order the Chef's Salad and pick off   the 2 pounds of ham & turkey .
Our meals have three main dishes:   meat, vegetables and potatoes.  We use three spices: salt, pepper and ketchup.
You bring 'coke' into my house, it better be brown, wet and served over ice.
You bring 'Mary Jane' into my house, she better be cute, know how to shoot, drive a truck and have long hair.
15. Saskatchewan
Hockey League and Minor Hockey is as important here as the Calgary Flames and the Edmonton Oilers and more fun to watch.
16. W
e have more golf courses per capita than anywere else in the world.  But don't hit the water hazards -- it spooks the fish.
1 7.
3 inches of snow & ice isn't a blizzard - it's a vacation.  The pickups with snow blades and tractors with snow blowers will have you out the next day. 

A true Saskatchewanian will send this on!!!

Money will buy a fine dog, but only kindness will make him wag his tail.

Thanks Richard

Old Barns and Old People

Thanks Kerry

Sunday, April 26, 2015


When Religion and Libertarians merge

On Saturday the 18th of April, as I stood watching the communion of my grandson, I began to think about how my Canada had changed, going from religious and cultural intolerance in the early part of the 20th century to being the leaders in human rights, compassion and a home to the down trodden by the latter part of the century, only to be thrust back in time some one hundred years in first part of the 21st century. 

You would be hard pressed to find me sitting in a pew on Sunday’s but that does not mean that I don’t believe or have a religion based upbringing, it simply means I am disillusioned with my government and those who claim to be “religious”.

Having grown up in a mixed religious environment, dad and his family were Catholics while mom’s family were Evangelical Protestant, we attended Bethany Presbyterian, what was then the remnants of the French Protestant Evangelical movement in Quebec. My great great grandfather Basile Piche converted to Protestantism in 1850 and was instrumental in the French Protestant movement in Quebec. The Piche family along with Madam Feller established missionary schools in Point aux Tremble and Grande Linge, Quebec.

Both schools were run as boarding schools and catered to Catholic and Protestant children. In the 1919 paper sent home with students of Point aux Trembles Missionary School there is a paragraph that stands out as being inflammatory which explains the eventual failure of the movement. 

That paragraph reads in part…. 

“The Roman Catholic students, over one hundred in number, follow the religious course of the school. At first they may not give their full attention to it, but the teaching is so directed as to show the points common to both Protestants and Catholics. Soon a great interest is manifested, questions are asked, the Bible is studied, verses are committed to memory and Roman Catholics are asking for enlightenment.” 

That was 1919, and as time passed and the population of Canada grew its people became more accepting and more tolerant, laws were enacted to protect and educate the general public. With this new found tolerance came a wave of immigration and new religions many Canadians, those who were second, third and fourth generation, reverted back to the old ways of intolerance to these new Canadians but our government once again stepped up and made it clear that we, as a people, were to work together for the betterment of the whole country. 

Dad’s first wife died shortly after giving birth to a girl and not long after he met mom fell in love and asked her to marry him. Because of their religious differences they decided to elope. They married, however neither had the courage to tell their families so after the wedding they each went to their own home. This was 1942 and there was little religious tolerance between Catholic and Protestant let alone an Evangelical Protestant family hell bent “to give to the youth of Quebec a knowledge of the pure gospel of Jesus Christ”. 

To compound matters dad was a single father so when they decided to tell their families they were in love and wanted to marry, yes they left out the part of already being married, so when both families accepted their love for each other wedding plans were quickly made, a date was set, on that auspicious day the family gathered for the grand union, but not all would go smoothly, as they stood at the altar the minister asked “does anyone know why these two should not be joined in holy matrimony” a woman in back, who had also been in church February 14th 1942, the date of their first marriage, spoke up saying “they are already married”. 

Dad, being the dutiful husband decided to bring his daughter up in the Protestant faith despite her having been baptized Catholic. He sang in the choir at Bethany and played Santa at Christmas becoming an integral part of church life. 

As I am typing this I am reminded of the time he told me that the Catholic Church has a saying “Give me a child until they are eight, and they will be mine forever”. I believe that to this day. It didn’t dawn on me at the time but he was nearing the end of his life and shortly after he passed away my mother told me a family friend had quietly taken him to confession, this was 1987 and he had not been to confession since marrying mom in 1942, he was a good man but not without fault they likely had to change priests several times during his confession of living forty-five years as a guilt free Protestant. 

His daughter, my sister, was raised in the Presbyterian Church alongside me, when she married she returned to the Catholic faith and at one point she decided to join the Pentecostal church latter returning to the Catholic Church. 

Our entire family, dad’s eight brothers and sisters and mom’s family were all tolerant and accepting of others, it was a family trait rather than a religious based belief and I am thankful for that. My wife and I have tried to instill that belief in our four children.  

The thing people of differing religions must realized is that whether they are Sikh, Hindu, Muslim Catholic, Hebrew or Protestant is that we all believe in a higher being and have hopes of one day meeting in the afterlife. 

Compassion, tolerance and respect for others should not require legislation however when they become a subliminal message from ones government and the electorate fails to protect society from these acts it is inevitable that there is a loss or respect for one another and a distrust of the government.

Elevator Ride From One World Trade Center Shows Time Lapse Of New York S...

Thanks Sylvia



    You will chuckle as you read this ..... Because as stupid as it may sound, this is exactly what we do!
 ,  You know all about gardens and nature. What in the world is going on down there on the planet?  What happened to the dandelions, violets, milkweeds and stuff I started eons ago? I had a perfect no-maintenance garden plan. Those plants grow in any type of soil, withstand drought and multiply with abandon. The nectar from the long-lasting blossoms attracts butterflies, honey bees and flocks of songbirds. I expected to see a vast garden of colors by now. But, all I see are these green rectangles.
It's the tribes that settled there, Lord. The Suburbanites.
They started calling your flowers 'weeds' and went to
great lengths to kill them and replace them with grass.
Grass? But, it's so boring. It's not colorful. It doesn't attract butterflies, birds and bees; only grubs and sod worms. It's sensitive to temperatures. Do these Suburbanites really want all that grass growing there?
Apparently so, Lord. They go to great pains to grow it and keep it green. They begin each spring by fertilizing grass and poisoning any other plant that crops up in the lawn.
The spring rains and warm weather probably make grass grow really fast. That must make the Suburbanites happy.
Apparently not, Lord. As soon as it grows a little, they cut it-sometimes twice a week.
They cut it? Do they then bale it like hay?
Not exactly, Lord. Most of them rake it up and put it in bags.
They bag it? Why? Is it a cash crop? Do they sell it?
No, Sir, just the opposite. They pay to throw it away.
Now, let me get this straight. They fertilize grass so it will grow. And, when it does grow, they cut it off and pay to throw it away?
Yes, Sir.
These Suburbanites must be relieved in the summer when we cut back on the rain and turn up the heat. That surely slows the growth and saves them a lot of work.
You aren't going to believe this, Lord. When the grass stops growing so fast, they drag out hoses and pay more money to water it, so they can continue to mow it and pay to get rid of it.
What nonsense. At least they kept some of the trees. That was a sheer stroke of genius, if I do say so myself. The trees grow leaves in the spring to provide beauty and shade in the summer. In the autumn, they fall to the ground and form a natural blanket to keep moisture in the soil and protect the trees and bushes. It's a natural cycle of life. 
You better sit down, Lord. The Suburbanites have drawn a new circle. As soon as the leaves fall, they rake them into great piles and pay to have them hauled away.
No!? What do they do to protect the shrub and tree roots in the winter to keep the soil moist and loose?
After throwing away the leaves, they go out and buy something which they call mulch. They haul it home and spread it around in place of the leaves.
And where do they get this mulch?
They cut down trees and grind them up to make the mulch.
Enough! I don't want to think about this anymore. St. Catherine, you're in charge of the arts. What movie have you scheduled for us tonight?
'Dumb and Dumber', Lord. It's a story about.... 
Never mind, I think I just heard the whole story from St. Francis.

Thanks Marc