Tuesday, May 29, 2007



IT took them 5 days to fix, but the CBC has accomplished what they needed to - Voting for Canada's 7 Wonders is back online.

Now you are not privy to the results of the vote though. You can't have your cake and eat it too.



C.W. Jefferys - Jordan Manners

As we begin to get older and older, so too do we begin to realize how our youth and its innocence have begun to evaporate.

Today, two young men have been charged in the shooting death of their 15 year old schoolmate Jordan Manners.

Why has this event prompted me to think about my youth and its lost innocence? As a kid, I lived in Downsview. 30 Tobermory Drive and 17 Cane Grassway are now "not so nice places" to be found in...nonetheless, I lived their once upon a time.

I attended a couple of Catholic schools, St. Wilfred's and then St. Francis De Sales. Had my First Communion at St. Wilf's Church. I lived there during the famous Canada-Russia series in 1972. I played minor hockey for the Young Canadians. I had my tonsils removed at North York General. Ms. Giovannilla banged her pointer on the desk for the entire grade two school year. The Hustle was the biggest tune on the radio in Grade 5. Sweet City Women by the Canadian band The Stampeders in '73.

For me, Downsview is full of childhood memories that are hard to shake. Why am I sharing this with all of you? Why?

Why? Because for the better part of 4 summers, I walked through a wooded area behind North York Public Library, across a tiny creek, up a hill and over 6 blocks to swim every single day at CW Jefferbys' pool. I obtained my swimming badges in that very pool. Life was good. Downsview was good.

Watching the news today, I couldn't help but recognize the townhomes on Driftwood that I used to play at as a boy as the police scoured the area for witnesses and suspects. All the while, shaking my head. 30 years later it has come to this. We've regressed.

Today a young man lies cold and still. Two of his friends lay in wait for trial.
Our innocence and that of my childhood village has faded.

Lie in peace young Jordan.

Mario Silva has begun a petition to present to Parliament. As soon as I figure out how to put it online I will. I suggest all of us sign it to help put an end to this senseless violence amongst our most vulnerable and underprivileged citizens.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Giant Won't Cave!!!

Vote for Niagara Falls often!!! http://www.cbc.ca/sevenwonders/vote.html

We've taken over the Lead!!!

More faith that when Niagarans band together, they can achieve anything. As of 10:24 this morning Niagara Falls has catapulted itself into first place in CBC's 7 Wonders contest. It didn't take long to overcome that 2400 vote gap that we started off with yesterday morning.

Voting closes tomorrow at Midnight so let's keep up the good work. Vote today at:


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Niagara Falls has to be #1

So we think here anyway.

The CBC is coming to the end of their voting period for the 7 Wonders of Canada contest. Currently, Niagara Falls is sitting in Third Place to the Bay of Fundy and The Sleeping Giant.

I am awed by all three of these wonderful natural beauties. I've been to all of them. I still think...slightly biased...Niagara Falls would be and is the most recognizable of the three world wide. No other place in Canada is home to 14 million tourists a year.

Anyway, we are 120 votes behind the Sleeping Giant right now, but I feel with all of you helping out, we'll be number 1 by morning.

VOTE AT http://www.cbc.ca/sevenwonders/vote.html

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Scott Brison Rocks

A little of Scott's debate on interest deductibility. My question is: Didn't the Leader of the NEW - past its due date - Government attend some kind of Economic school out west?

Excerpt from debate on interest deductibility, 2007/5/10
Hon. Scott Brison (Kings—Hants, Lib.):

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today on this debate, but I am saddened by the nature of this debate. The Conservative government has inherited the best fiscal situation, the best economic environment, of any incoming government in the history of Canada. Even though it was a great economic environment and a great way to start based on the Liberal record of strong economic management, we cannot rest on any laurels. We live in a hyper-competitive, global environment where companies and countries are either moving ahead or they are falling behind. We cannot simply sit still.

A smart country, like a smart company, makes good decisions based on what is best to address the challenges and opportunities of the next 10, 20, 30 years, the next century. We have a government that instead of focusing on the challenges and opportunities of the next century is too focused on this week's polls. It is making decisions based on short terms, based on what is popular right now at the expense of the long term competitiveness of our Canadian economy, Canadian companies, Canadian investors, and ultimately Canadian workers.

We do not have smart decision making coming from the government and the sad thing is that we have Conservative economic incompetence propped up by NDP economic ignorance. This is a toxic combination for the long term competitiveness of Canadians and for the long term job security of Canadian workers.

I would like to refer briefly to the recent commentary by Diane Francis, the National Post columnist. She said:

''Canada's biggest competitive disadvantage is our poor governance model, politically and policy-wise.''

When referring to the Conservative government's handling of some of these issues, she added:

''I dread to imagine what the discussion around the federal cabinet table was last fall concerning measures such as income trusts or interest deductibility restrictions. Did anyone bring up the potential, unintended consequences? Was a huge menu, and range of varied options the topic of lively, heated and lengthy discussion? Were the nuances of capital market reactions, or taxation matters, debated? Was the obvious alternative of cutting taxes on dividends instead of trashing income trust promises a subject of great discussion? Were the studies, commissioned by the previous government, and its many other solutions, reviewed carefully over days and nights by all cabinet members so they could deliberate in an authoritative fashion? Or was talk just about how to finesse the treachery to seniors and Alberta about a promise broken?''

It is clear that the government made the wrong decisions in both cases. Conservatives have imperilled the competitiveness of Canadian companies. They have hurt Canadian economic sovereignty and have exposed Canadian equities to unparalleled levels of foreign takeover activities.

I really do believe and have tremendous faith in the ability for Canadian companies to compete and succeed globally. We have global success stories that are based here in Canada. In fact, there are companies like Onex and Magna that are building and continue to build global success stories based here in Canada. But the fact is that the Government of Canada ought to partner with these success stories and be a partner in progress as these companies move forward.

In today's global environment, economically, a company is either acquiring or is being acquired. A company is either growing or is getting smaller. It cannot sit still. We represent a fairly small percentage of the global economy here in Canada. We represent about 1.5% of global capital markets as an example of that, so because of the challenges and opportunities of globalization and the pressures of it, Canadian companies cannot grow exclusively within Canada. For Canadian companies to grow, it requires acquisitions outside of the country. Other governments in other parts of the world understand this.

The fact is in countries like Japan, the United States, Britain, countries in Europe, basically every country in the industrialized world, if a company invests in another country or purchases a company in another country, the company can write off the interest on that investment against domestic earnings. That is a tax practice that is global. That is a tax practice that is well accepted and is part of the competitiveness of those companies in those countries.

It is unspeakably naive and economically ignorant to believe that we are not hurting Canadian companies by exposing them to the competition from around the globe and at the same time imposing on them a tax measure that companies in other countries do not face.

If we are really interested in owning the economic levers here in Canada, if we are really interested in our economic sovereignty, why would we expose our Canadian companies to the fierce global competition that exists now, and at the same time tie their hands behind their backs by imposing on them a tax that no other industrialized country imposes on their domestic industries? It is wrong-headed.

The fact that the Conservative government has to depend on the support of the economically ignorant NDP on this speaks to this. I knew that the Conservative government was not progressive socially, but with this measure it is not even conservative economically.

The fact is that the Conservatives have talked over the years about reducing corporate taxes. I want to clarify. I really believe in reducing income tax, personal and corporate. The hon. member has mentioned that this is a government that actually cut the GST, a consumption tax, to raise income tax.

The Prime Minister calls himself an economist. If economists were a licensed body, he would have lost his licence over that one, because there is no economic body in the world that would endorse increasing an income tax to help compensate for the decrease of a consumption tax. It was bad economic policy. It was bad for competitiveness. It is consistent, though, with the government on a number of decisions that it is making, including hurting Canadian competitiveness with this latest tax measure, eliminating the interest deductibility on foreign investments.

As I was saying, the Conservatives have spoken over the years about the importance of reducing corporate taxes, but I want to explain to them that what we are supposed to do is reduce corporate tax rates, not to reduce corporate profits and not to reduce the actual base. Their measures will reduce the corporate tax base. In fact, perhaps over time they will not reduce corporate taxes by eliminating corporations from Canada. The Conservatives will, with the support of the NDP, drive those head office jobs out of Canada, drive those Canadian international success stories like Alcan and BCE out of Canada.

They will create the opportunities for firms on Wall Street and international takeover firms to acquire the key components of the Canadian economy. Not only will what they do hurt Canadian economic sovereignty, it will kill jobs and our ability to actually build our economic capacity and to chart an independent direction as a country in the future. If you do not own your economic levers in a country, you really do not control the future destiny of your country.

Since the government's decision on income trusts, we have seen a flurry of takeovers of the energy trust sector. That has hurt our economic sovereignty. A key industry in Canada is energy. We are seeing as a result of the interest deductibility decision an increase in the rate of foreign takeovers and bids here in Canada, the latest discussions around Alcan, and the Bell Canada discussion. That is a government that threatens to take the Canada out of Bell Canada.

On another issue, the industry minister has said on Wall Street recently that he is interested in eliminating the foreign ownership restrictions on Canadian Telco. The government is not only weakening Canadian corporate interests and exposing them to takeover interests, but it is actually putting in place tax and regulatory measures that will lead to the hollowing out of Canadian corporate assets and the end of Canadian economic sovereignty.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Support the Troops. End the War!

If I were a voting American,I'd be supporting this guy. We should be sending the same message over and over again to Stephen Harper about our current position in Afghanistan.

Support the Troops. End the War.
John Edwards in News

Memorial Day Weekend is a time to honor all the brave men and women throughout our history who have served in our armed forces, especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice to safeguard our freedom. I believe it is our duty to use that freedom to stand up for those now serving in the most meaningful way that we can--by thanking them, supporting them, and bringing them home to a hero's welcome.

It's time to support the troops. For far too long, George Bush has abused the rhetoric of patriotism to silence his critics and paper over the devastating cost of his war to the country we love. Our troops have served bravely and sacrificed without hesitation. Yet they are now paying the price for Bush's stubborn pursuit of his failed strategy in Iraq. Our troops deserve far better, and we all have a responsibility to stand up for them.

So this Memorial Day Weekend, I'm asking every one of us to take a stand for the troops and against the war. Let's reclaim patriotism for all of us who love our country, support our troops and fiercely believe in our hearts that this war must end now.

There are many ways we can take action this Memorial Day. We've prepared 10 ideas to get you started, like sending care packages for the troops or holding public gathering to speak out for the troops and against the war. What matters most is that you take action in a way that honors our troops and feels right to you.

To sign up to take action or to see what actions others have planned near you, go to:


Thanks to your support, we were able to rush a full page ad to the Washington Post featuring most of the more than 115,000 names we've collected calling on Congress to end the war. But we have to do more. To stand up for our men and women in uniform and force this President to do the right thing, we must take extraordinary action.

For we are citizens. And as citizens, we must honor and support our troops for their service and sacrifice.

We are Americans. And as Americans, we give thanks for the blessing of their sacrifice and support, which keeps us safe and keeps us strong.

And we are patriots. And as patriots we must use our power and the responsibility that comes with it to push our government to support our troops in the most important way it can--by ending this war and bringing them home.

So this Memorial Day Weekend, let us gather as patriots. Wherever you are--with your family, with your friends, at a barbeque, at a parade--wherever you can be seen and heard, first take a moment of silence to honor the fallen, and then let us raise our voices together and say:

We support our troops. End the war. Bring them home.

Because it is possible to stop a president who believes he can do no wrong--it just takes people with the courage to do what's right.

Happy Victoria Day!

...which, of course, is really on Thursday. Ya think we'll have an Elizabeth Day in years to come? How about a Stephen Harper Day?

Friday, May 18, 2007

Facebook...The Inevitable

Hello everyone!

Apparently Facebook has started SELLING user information to third parties. They call it the "Facebook Development Platform."

To restrict use of your information, do the following:

1. Click "Privacy" on top right.

2. Under the "Facebook Platform" section click"Edit Settings".

3. Scroll down to the bottom and UNCHECK ALL of the items under facebook platform.

Most creepy is the inclusion of photographs!



Thursday, May 17, 2007

Harper Sneaking Around?

I have no idea what this is all about or who runs the sight. I'll bite though and spread the word.

Subject: Stephen Harper at Perimeter Institute in Waterloo on May 17
From: harpers_nightmare@hush.com

Stephen Harper and several Ministers will be at the Perimeter
Institute in Waterloo, Ontario at 10:30 AM on May 17 for private
meetings and will be briefing with members of the press and invited
guests. The media briefing will be in the theatre at 11:40 AM and
dignitaries will leave at 12:30 AM. Guests will be welcomed to a
stand-up reception in the Atrium. At 1:30 PM, the activities will
be over.

The briefing is expected to be about Canada's role in research and
development, however since this was supposed to be quiet until
revealed, there might be something more. Or maybe not. Either
way, you are all now informed, something this government is doing
less of as time goes on.

This e-mail is anonymous, however, if you have any more sensitive
information about Stephen Harper and the Conservatives, do not
hesitate to e-mail them here (you can also register an account at
hushmail.com to be perfectly anonymous) and the message will be
broadcast to relevant people. For this one, it was sent to many
progressive bloggers in Ontario as well as party representatives
and Waterloo student media.

Let the information be freed.

Your friend, but not Stephen Harper's,
Harper's Nightmare.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


When will it stop? It's insanity I tell you!

Yessiree. That's how much it is today to buy milk for the kids' cereal. $1.12 per litre. Craziness. Those MPEC countries have to give us a break man. The war in the gulf is just driving up the price of the white stuff. It's UDDERly rediculous. I might have to MOOOOve.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

John Edwards

I've had a few inquiries of late asking, "What's with the Edwards button on your blog?"

Here's a few of the reasons I'm going to suggest about why I support Edwards (at least in blogland)

First there was this.

That was 1988 - 1992.

Then there was this.

That was 1992 - 2000.

Now there is this.

That is 2000 to possibly 2008 if the man doesn't get impeached by then.

And, possibly, next year there may be this.

Given recent history, Hillary, if elected, would more than likely be the president from 2008 - 2016.

Now, I'm all for dynasties -albeit usually in the sports world - but this would seem rediculous to me. Two families controlling the White House for 28 years is proposterous. Isn't the old adage, "Familiarity breeds contempt." We're talking an entire generation raised on two families.

Dynasties I enjoyed the most:

The New York Yankees
The Atlanta Braves
The Pittsburgh Steelers
The New England Patriots
The Lakers
The UCLA Bruins
The Montreal Canadians
The Edmonton Oilers
The Ming

The Clintons and the Bushes? Not so much!

Wednesday, May 9, 2007


Listen. I wish no ill will on a country I've travelled to in the past, but when do we have to come to the realization that it is too unstable to travel to a certain destination.

You always think "It'll never happen to me!"

My prayers are with the Toews family as they go through this horrendous ordeal.

As concerned Canadians who have heard horror story after horror story stemming out of Mexico, we otta think twice about encouraging anyone we know to visit that country.

From Insignificant Microbe

to Slithering Reptile and back again. I am once again on the road less travelled. Maybe rightfully so. Who knows. I do love the TTLB Ranking system though. Everyone should have one.

For those of you who couldn't find me, the URL I'm now at is http://whatdoiknowgrit.blogspot.com or here

Higher Beings
Mortal Humans
Playful Primates
Large Mammals
Marauding Marsupials
Adorable Rodents
Flappy Birds
Slithering Reptiles
Crawly Amphibians
Flippery Fish
Slimy Molluscs
Lowly Insects
Crunchy Crustaceans
Wiggly Worms
Multicellular Microorganisms
Insignificant Microbes