Monday, 19 December 2011

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanza and a Happy New Year!

If you think this December is like any other, a time where people shop for gifts and go mad with holiday craziness, then you are sadly mistaken.

No, this December is actually very important and this coming New Year will be a significant mark in our history. Why you may ask? Well, as we close the year off and look toward the rising sun of 2012, we end a year that has ushered in countless examples of change going on in our society and more importantly our world.

Let me list a few: Osama Bin Laden's death, the Pakistan surprise, countless natural disasters, 3 consecutive elections in Canada, the death of a sitting MP (Jack Layton),the Arab spring, occupy Wall Street, the end of the Iraqi war, the declaration of the end for the mission in Afghanistan and most recently the death of Kim Jong Il. 

What we have here folks is a significant turning point in our history and this is no insignifcant thing. Be proud that you are alive and well and able to say that you witnessed the world go into crazy mode(2001) and were able to see it begin it's self healing (2011).

Now if only those Mayans are wrong, then we can move forward even more and see where this change will take us. Maybe things will work out for the better and we will continue moving away from the madness. Maybe more madness is headed our way? Who knows!?

How do these monumental events affect you? Did I leave anything out?

Monday, 12 December 2011

Why starting your own business is hard, how the Government won't help you and why we will still be ok!

So, I was cleaning up my basement just now and thought I would partake in some customary vacumming to seal the deal and leave the joint in tip top shape. While I was doing this traditional practice however, I asked myself...I wonder if I could hire someone to do this for me? BAM! Reality set in and I was taken back by the reality of what I had just asked myself! Cleaning my basement, an act that I have done many many many many times before, has now been challenged and pretty much pushed to the edge of extinction by a single mundane question. How could a thought like this even enter my mind!?

The answer...It is 2011, we live in a world of ever changing politics and finance and to top it all off we have become more influenced today by "The Market" then probably ever before!

You might say, oh are just over thinking this, if anything we are freer today then ever and due to a more educated population have the greatest ability to flourish, right? True, our population has become more educated, our financial and political traditions more grounded, but among these important factors within our society, we have allowed "The Market" to flourish as well.

When you put these factors together and rub a little brain grease on it, you will come to realize what my topic for today is....self employment, the market and why our government isn't helping us, but why we are still going to be alright.

The next time you enter a mall or some place of commerce, I want you to look around and really open your eyes. See where the items you can purchase are coming from, talk to the individuals selling it to you and more importantly study the prices you are paying for these items. You may come to realize that great social and economic changes have collided within our generation (Generation being those born between 1980 to present). We now live in a world, where the majority of our consumable items come from Asia and many third world countries. This change has become to grande in fact that searching for a sustainable and good job can be quite the challenge. Which is why many people including myself are looking around for answers and these answers along with the main problems come from one thing..."The Market."

In a world where jobs can be scarce and people are relying more on education, competitiveness among the work force becomes increasingly cut throat, more so then years ago. Which is why many people will probably have to rely upon self employment in order to not only get by, but attempt to flourish.

The market economy is an amazing tool when it comes to the word "self-employment," because it allows a person to take an idea, add in some hard work and see if the consumer will bite thus allowing the creation of income through the trade of a service or item for money. Let's go back to my starting example, I was vacuuming and wondered how if I could hire someone to do it for me. Could this be because I am lazy or because I am thinking along the lines that "The Market" and consumer culture has taught me to do?

There are many people out there who perform cleaning services for money and they are most likely high in demand. When you have a society that has to work tooth and nail just to "try" and make a living at a job or scrape by via self employment, everyday things like cleaning or cooking become a hassle and simply an expense that cannot continue. This is why you see many mega corporations like McDonalds and Wal Mart sweeping the floor of their competition. They market their items and provide a cost effective solution to the modern hard working citizen, who simply cannot keep up with an ever changing financial environment. Don't start clapping for these guys though, because they are the exact reason why our market is failing us horribly, mainly because they enact a race to the bottom in their business practicum and as a result add a lot of pressure to their work force in an attempt to extract more profit. Also, they make it almost impossible for any new businesses to actually compete and maybe one day get to their level of profit.

I understand the market as an arena, where everyone has an equal chance of becoming successful,but also where they have an equal chance of failing. Today, all I see around me are Monopolies by giant organizations that do whatever they can to hook us on their products and make us reliant on their services. So much so that our health is at risk, our income diminished and our future very uncertain compared to those of our grandparents.

The government does not make it any easier either. Aside from small grants available to ideas that can become important contributions to society, the government really does not support the little guy trying to start up a gig like they do the big guys already dominating the place. Sure, tax breaks exist if you start a business, but even larger ones exist and are complimented by tax loopholes for the bigger guys who do the most damage.

Although this may seem doom and gloom though, I have no doubt in my mind that great change will come soon and restructure our current system of life. Show a child in a developing country a picture of a factory city and a picture of a forest and often times they will choose the city over the forest and label it good. Ask a child in the west the same question and they will probably choose the forest. We in the west have been given the ability to partake in education and often take it for granted. On top of this, we abuse the market and the developing world in order to maintain our quality of life, but a day will come when the people there will realize that their own lifestyle and pain is not sustainable for them and something has to change. This, I believe is when our system will reboot itself and some form of equality will enter again into the negative peace we call modern living.

I know it is hard right now to find a job, but I cannot stress more then ever that you stay strong and continue to read between the lines. Right now is the most important time of your life to maintain your education and keep asking questions regarding our government, our companies and where our products are coming from. The world has become more integrated today then ever before and as a result, what happens somewhere else really does affect us here to.

Until next time!

Monday, 21 November 2011

The Media Is Not Your Friend

It's November 21st, 2011 and I thought I would change pace a little bit and talk about something I recently got more exposure of.

Mental health awareness and the utter lack of it that we have in Canada and for the most part the United States of America is the main point in today's blog. You most likely have heard a lot about the Penn State incident on the news, where a staff member finally got caught for years of pedophilia targeting young boys in the showers. What saddened me more then the story itself, is the lack of exposure put on mental health and crimes against children in general. The media was so focused on the employment repercussions against coach Joe Paterno and the uproar from students, that the topic of mental awareness was totally sidelined once again.
Although many of you may not have noticed this, mental health awareness in our country is an often hush hush conversation that does not warrant much attention from the media, people in general and unfortunately our government. This denial is so bad that Canada specifically, a country  that helped birth awareness for suicide and depression, actually lacks an official program/plan to combat it. To make matters worse, other countries who have used our initiative as a push for their own systems actually trump the mechanisms we currently employ when it comes to mental health and suicide awareness/prevention.

I cannot begin to understand why both our country and our media continue to deny the importance of mental health and the need for both treatment and awareness to help those who suffer from it. For to long, people have had to hide their conditions in fear of being cast out like a leper; left alone and denied the basic luxuries "normal people" take for granted.

The problem is so bad politically, that the only party to offer support for mental health initiatives ranked 3rd place in the federal election. That's right, the Liberal Party of Canada proposed measures in their election promises to provide more funding for both medical treatment and overall awareness and got trumped. Now, I don't believe that their proposition was what led to their demise, but it does seem like many people looked at this important proposition and disregarded its importance, which is a very serious problem. We have many citizens who suffer from various mental diseases, yet who lack the proper support to seek help and find remedies.

God forbid you toke up with some marijuana to stop the voices in your head or you might end up in the pen for 6 months! You dont believe me? Ask Mr. Harper how his new billion dollar crime bill will treat people who commit crimes not out of their own will, but due to a disease that is poorly treated. For to long we have put these individuals behind bars in hopes that they will either not survive their terms, end up on drugs in an institution or somehow through a miracle heal themselves!

I have used this photo before, but I felt it really applies to today's conversation as it reflects the current environment we live in when it comes to mental health.

 The media much like our government is there to tell us about things that go on in our society. Whether these things involve new initiatives, dangers or overall positive progress to make us happy. The reality today however is far from where it should be, we have large corporations who own our media and have more power over our government then we do and this is where I believe the important issues get left out. When you have so many different groups with buying power lobbying for programs and bills that benefit their causes, you have a higher chance that important measures that can greatly impact our society in a positive way get left out since they cost money as opposed to make money.

It seems like our society has taken a much more passive stance when it comes to enacting change that can benefit us. I mean, don't get me wrong, we elect officials and call them politicians. We go so far as to pay these individuals with nice salaries and amazing benefit packages and our hiring practices are the toughest out there. Essentially, the Canadian people are the 1% when it come's to politics, we hire people if they pass our interview (The Election) and we compensate them for their work. It seems however, that as of late we have been to lenient on these individuals when they don't do their jobs. Not to mention, we make media corporations billionaires just by using our eyes and watching their programing.

Does the mental health issue or lack of coverage of it bother you in any way? Does someone in your inner circle or family suffer from a mental disorder? 

Ask yourself this question next time you watch the news: Are the weakest links within our society receiving the proper support they require? If a society is judged by it's weakest links, how does ours fare?

I know these may seem like a lot of questions, but in order to know where we are going and which direction we are heading, we have to open our eyes and see where we stand and what bumps we have to overcome to take the direction we want to be in.

Next blog entry I want to focus on the lack of initiative our government provides to citizens in the topic of self employment and small to medium business creation. In a world that relies so heavily on cheaply made items in China, what happens to the rest of us who need to make a living? 

Until next time!

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

The Positive and Negative Work Environment and You

Today is November 15th, 2011:

Flash Update: The occupy movements are being kicked out or on the verge of being kicked out of public parks by the police, the economy is still faltering and the middle east is still ripe from uprisings.

I was driving today and an interesting thought came to me as I passed a series of small to medium sized businesses. If we can live in negative or positive peace, could it be possible that our work environment can follow the same path and if this occurs, would a union still be effective?

By negative work environment, I am referring to a workplace where all the rules are being followed, however workers are not seen as human beings, but tools or commodities. What this exactly means is that our current workplace and financial environment is arranged in a way that only benefits a certain portion of the population. You may say, alright we have seen this multiple times on the news, its the reason why those hippies are occupying parks in an effort to scream and yell. While that may seem evident, there is a deeper meaning to this that plays an important role in your life as a worker.

Our society seems to alternate between positive and negative financial eras. During positive financial times, we see people following the rules and everyone given an equal chance to make it and become prosperous through their work. For example: The market as an unbiased medium that allows people to sell either a product or service and build a financial base for themselves. During these positive financial times, the market is seen as running accurately because an equality only paralleled by the law that rests upon us. In this positive era however, people can equally fail as they can succeed.

During negative eras on the other hand, the rules and system are still in place and no large conflicts exist, however things have changed in favor of only a few. Now, because these few are given an advantage, corruption is given the chance to grow and thus affect us all. A lack of regulation and rampant corruption during this time can make a lot of money for the few, while the rest of us end up with the consequences.

Today, we do not fall within a positive era as our financial system has been shaken to it's roots. A negative financial era seems fitting for the financial crisis as a lack of regulation and overall corruption in the form of banks and financial institutions gambling with other peoples money has caused massive instability. Working conditions and the rules are still in place, but even as we attempt to remedy the problem, a very few are still taking advantage and continuing their corrupt ways. The occupy wall street movement should essentially be a reminder to us all that things have not been resolved and we are still in the middle of a conflict. This conflict I believe revolves around the question: Should the financial market parallel a democratic system of governance?

An attempt to answer this question would require a complex analysis of not only how the world currently works, but who the players are. For example: We have an industrial powerhouse called China, who through strict governance imposes extreme socialist rule over it's people, but has opened its doors to international investment. As a result, we have western corporations flocking to Chinese factories for contracts over cheap goods that are sold for a premium. In doing so, we see an almost legitimation over putting pressure on workforces around the world to mimic this. Does it seem right that even in a democratic system where one can voice themselves and be free, we must be subject to corporate tyranny in an attempt to keep profits on the rise and costs down?

More importantly, can our society survive if we continue down a path that prefers a system that races to the bottom as opposed to continuing to support innovation and stability?

Again, the answer to this will vary greatly as many people believe that our current profit driven, neoliberal model is the right way to continue. God forbid you request more support for the people or you might be labelled an evil socialist. Even during good times, it is normal to see a financial hierarchy exist where a CEO will be allowed to earn 100 times more then a basic worker. Granted, the hierarchy requires a lot of work to rise through, but this hurts people more when we enter a more negative era. During a negative era as we are seeing now, a CEO can earn 1000 times more then the basic worker and in doing so is perfectly fine if that extra 0 leads to 100 people losing their jobs, their homes and the stability of their future and their children's future. The ripple effect of this will inadvertently hurt our society as the average education and health level of people continue to fall due to poverty and our overall happiness.

In Canada, our government seems to continue supporting this idea that the market should reign above all and as a result we see many policies being put fourth that target unions and I would even say our right to assemble and voice ourselves. We live in a Canada now that disallows you voice yourself if you believe your being mistreated, even more so if your protest causes a small minority in our society to lose money.

It seems our grandparents and parents created social bubble while they fought for a better lifestyle via working conditions and rights for themselves and us. Now, this bubble seems to be bursting and as a result we the people seem to be suffering. Our rights, our stability and our power as people seems to be faltering and will continue to do so if we do not open our eyes and regain our self confidence. 

How do you feel about this? Do you think our current system is at risk of toppling due to our reliance on cheap and undemocratic methods? Can the market return to a more stable and equal realm or have we gone to far to the point where the rich will remain leaders over the poor?

Friday, 14 October 2011

Occupy Canada!

It's currently 11:28PM and I felt it necessary to add an entry about the events that are planned to take place tomorrow. Occupy Canada should begin around 1PM tomorrow and will take place in various cities across Canada, mainly aimed at the financial districts within those cities.

Why is this important for not only you, but the direction of this country?

I wish the answer was a simple one, but in an attempt to break it down for you I will just say one word..corruption.Corruption is a very strong word and is accompanied by many different branches, almost like that pesky garden weed you have been trying all summer to kill.

Anyone with a pair of eyes and a television knows that the world is currently going through a financial crisis and many previously solid financial foundations have become very shaken as a result. There is a lot of uncertainty present and possibly more instability then before 2008, when the crisis reached a peak. Unfortunately, we are about to witness another peak coming soon and this will ultimately affect many aspects of our daily life.

The occupy Canada movement is one that has received mixed support overall. Many people feel our system is on the right track and does not require any intervention, since the media and our government have stated countless times that we are doing much better then the world as a whole.

The truth may scare you, but it is important that you know. Our country does need an Occupy protest and to be honest with you even that isn't enough. Yes, we have done better then most and our country and values are strong, but we are in a state illusion if we think our current system will be sustainable.

There have been many uprisings around the world, most notably the Arab Spring in the Middle East. Our country differs with these uprisings only in that these countries did not have a democracy in place and had nothing else to lose in the pursuit of change. Our country on the other hand claims to have a democracy, but it has become very sick, corrupt and misguided and as a result the direction of our country is rapidly changing. The worst thing about this is that the change is being done without our consent as the people of Canada and is being done in secret, a change that will affect you and make your life a lot more difficult...unless you win the lottery or start up a company that becomes very successful. Winning the lottery is very difficult and with today's consumer base and market irregularity, its going to be one hell of a ride for that new company your starting.

I applaud those who will be attending tomorrows Occupy Canada rallies and will be attempting to join the occupy Bay Street rally tomorrow at 1PM. The corruption seeping into our political system cannot be allowed to continue or else more damage will occur and if left unchecked will be almost impossible to fix in our generation.

Corporations have become more powerful then ever and as a result have been able to successfully lobby government or insert direct supports into government seats. This has created a cycle that has led to corporations literally writing legislation that benefits their own goals and is introduced by government officials who have been sponsored by them. What has come out of this is a system where the average Canadian is promised further change and is used to legitimize member victories, then forgotten about when the time for real work comes.

What can we do? We need to show our government that this corruption must come to an end. Canada like many other western countries has provided an example to many other nation states and I believe has helped them in their pursuit for freedom. Unfortunately, our very own freedom continues to become corrupted from the inside and we barely notice or act.

The market is the balance of the Capitalist system, but there must be places where it is not allowed to influence, the government being the most important of these places. How can we allow the complete opposite of democracy to have influence on something we call a democratic process. More importantly, how can we continue to label corporations with the status of citizen and hand over to them the basic rights we often take for granted? People complain about illegal immigration and how these individuals take and take without giving back, but these very same people buy items on a daily basis and pay bills, both contributing to their local economy. The true illegal immigrants that exist within this country come in the form of corporations, entities that want rights, but do nothing in order to maintain them, they barely pay tax and if anything spend money in order to circumvent our laws and get away with as much as possible in the pursuit of pure individual profit. A corporation does not buy groceries, it does not visit your neighborhoods annual barbeque and bring a dish for everyone to enjoy. Many of these large corporations simply take what they can and downsize what they can get away with, which at a systemic level leaves them with a wide selection of people to pick and choose from. What is worse now is that these very same large corporations are able to intercept government and continue degrading their contributions to society as tax rates and loopholes continue to be given to them, while you and I worry at night where our next meal might come from.

So tomorrow, when you see these young individuals occupy Bay Street for more transparency and continued regulation for our fragile democracy, do not call them job less Hippies, because even if they weren't protesting, there aren't many jobs available out there for them to be doing anyways and we have to ask why this is when our government continues to feed us information showing us the exact opposite.

Until next time.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Stephen Harper's Canada: History's Newest Empire?

September 11, 2001: Terrorists hijack American civilian planes and crash them into the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon. America is shaken as the realization that they can become vulnerable to attack becomes reality.

2008: After years of fighting on two fronts, the American military is stretched and American coffers are dwindling under extreme debt due to increased borrowing.

2010-2011: Stephen Harper announces to the Canadian people that amid the fear and recessions rampant around the world and within the United States of America, Canada shines as an example of restraint and fiscal responsibility. Our country according to Stephen will weather the recession and economic downturn and come out on top while other countries continue to struggle. As a result, Canadians should not worry about the economy as the Conservative government has everything under control.

After the most recent federal election, less then 60% of eligible voters came out to voice their opinion about how their country should be run and who should run it. Of this 60% around 39% voted for a Conservative majority, while 40% of Canadians stayed home and chose not to voice themselves. The result of this low turnout has led to a guarantee of 4 years of Conservative majority and enough "playtime" to allow Stephen Harper and his government to put into place the changes they have been itching to make. These changes along with "Economic Stimulus" will create a stronger Canada, a more resilient Canada, a Canada that we can all be proud of.... So proud in Harper's eyes that we as a country will become the next great empire for history to witness.

Alright, I get it, I made you read all of the above text to basically reiterate what my title clearly states. Why you must ask have I put your eyes through such work? Well, the answer is literally rising up all around you and is flowing through the news on a daily basis.

What history will tell of the decade of 2001-2011 is that the world witnessed the ultimate rise of a new form of power relations, one that has existed among us for as long as civilization has existed, but until now did not get the proper attention it needed.

In Stephen Harper's Canada, the corporation is the most valuable tool a government vying for supreme power can utilize and in order to ensure this power is allowed to rise, those who oppose it must be kept in check.

We now live in a country where a bank and corporation has more power over the government then the majority of Canadian citizens who allow that same government to exist. So entrenched is this symbiotic power relationship that the very government that promises to work for Canadians, continues to impose policies that do exactly the opposite.

An overused, but sadly true example of this will be the new Crime Omnibus Bill going through right now as we speak. This new bill proposes stricter sentences and rules regarding criminal activity and will cost the Canadian tax payer billions of dollars. Who will profit from this increase in muscle power? Think about it....if billion dollar prisons are to be built alongside the introduction of this bill coupled in with the very expensive jet deal that is coming very soon....yea you guessed right...private corporations that are all friends with Mr. Harper. Cost is not an issue though, since Harper isn't really paying for any of this, neither is his government. You will be paying for these changes, your children will be paying for them and your grandchildren might see the end of all the payments when they hit middle age.

That is right folks, Canada is going to rise up among the ashes of the economic disaster that has already hit and is becoming worse on a daily basis. As many other countries begin to implode due to their economic instability, Canada and it's banks will only increase their power and continue to buy up the necessary assets from other countries that will ensure our control over the world. While history has shown us that many empires have required a heavy military presence to achieve this, Canada will laugh in it's face as we acquire assets that are literally screaming at us to bail them out or buy them due to the economic stress they are facing.

If we allow Stephen Harper to continue down this path we as a people are going to see the extent of the rise of the Canadian Empire, except it will not be the average citizen benefiting from this rise, but the corporations entrenched within the Canadian government.

Although this entry serves to be a distopian view of what the future may hold for our beautiful country, do not take it lightly as many changes that are being given life now have the ability to turn in the ugly reality of a Canada that focuses on profit margins and an increase in power and not the pursuit of life, liberty and good government.

Today October 12, 2011 Stephen Harper made his most recent attempt to undermine the Canadian people for the benefit of one of his corporate buddies. Collective bargaining was undermined when the government made a motion to stop Air Canada flight attendants from striking. It starts small people, stop people from grouping here and then hit them a little harder next time until we get to the point where coming together for anything the government does not like will be seen as criminal and lead to a prison term. "Canada cannot afford democracy is what Stephen Harper says every time he aims at Canadians trying to voice themselves or improve their quality of life." The question we must ask is are we going to let it get that far? 

On a side note, if you get a chance you should check out some alternative Canadian media that is not owned by a monopoly or very wealthy Canadian family.

Operation Maple:

Until next time folks and may that next time come soon and hopefully from freedom and not one of Harper's new mega prisons!

Saturday, 1 October 2011

The Liberal Party of Ontario, The Election and The Voter

Election day is upon us within 5 days, well 4 days since it's past 12AM.

As the polls stand there is no clear winner and like many other polls, these polls prove they are just as inaccurate as the rest. Who knows who will win, only the night of October 6th will finally decide which party will hold the most power within our province.

I have left the Liberal party for last because they coincide with my political prediction for this election. Ontario will either see an NDP or Liberal minority come to power in this election. As much as the NDP stand against the Liberals, they cannot fight the reality that many of their proposed changes coincide nicely with the Liberal agenda. As a result, we are going to see these two parties work together to ensure that the Progressive Conservatives are not allowed a majority.

How does this play out for you, the voter? Well, regardless of what you do your going to have to vote. Unfortunately, the majority of society has either become so I am being to nice here...the majority of society has become so dumbed down, so watered down that they have forgotten why voting is so important, maybe they never learned in the first place. This has to stop and it doesn't matter how many elections we have, if we continue to allow our society to dumb down and care more about what some bimbos on Jersey Shore are doing as opposed to whats going on around them, then we leave not only an uncertain future for ourselves and our children, but also the very weakening of democracy itself.

The Liberal party of Ontario has not been perfect, in fact they have done some things that can only be described as down right discriminatory. However, they have also accomplished a lot with regards to forwarding our province and directing us in toward a greener and more sustainable future. Their implementation could have been a hell of a lot better, but Dalton McGuinty has made it clear with this election that he knows how to play the political game and he is an election oriented politician. This is his time to shine and regardless of the negative things his party has accomplished, they pale in comparison to the positive things that have come out of it. Sometimes you have to get really dirty and piss a lot of people off in order to get the right things done at the right time. Nothing is truer when it comes to Dalton McGuinty's Liberal party and the accomplishments they have achieved.

A lot of your money has been spent and when I say a lot, I mean a ton, more then you could count in a year has either been spent or is about to be spent in order to change the direction Ontario is heading in. I cannot entirely disagree with this change, however I do believe better implementation could have been used to help Ontarians transition much easier.

Party politics aside though, I believe we are going to see a Liberal minority regardless of what any poll says or regardless of any smear campaigns the PC party has released.

The HST for example may be harmful on our basic necessities, but it has allowed corporations to flourish because of the simplicity and increase to their competitiveness that it has brought. This has made it easier for a corporation or business to operate in Ontario, even if it pinches the little guy more then he should be. As much as many people wish to remove this tax, no new party elected has any plans on doing anything with it. Why you might ask? Simply put, these parties understand why the HST is useful to our competitiveness and only want to put in efforts to make life easier on Ontarians by removing it from necessities such as gas and hydro.

This election, get out there and seriously look into voting. In the federal election that saw a Conservative was the inability for people to vote that paved the way for Harper to win. Of the 60% of people who voted, 39% voted the Cons into a majority. Had those extra 40% needed to vote actually got off their asses and voted, the result could have been much different.

So to recap, Liberal minority coming our way with a rise in the NDP status. This will ultimately show us some more change as each party will have an increase in their effectiveness. It may also lead to another election in two years if the parties cannot play nice.

What do you think about my verdict? What is your overall impression with the Liberal party and their current 8 year reign? Do you think a minority government is heading our way and if so, would this lead to better change for Ontario?

Actually post something in response and lets discuss this, you might not think politics is important, but your only allowing those who want to control you the power to do so. Think for yourself, see where your standing and put an X on that voting paper come October 6th, your doing a lot more then you think you are.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

The Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario

The days count down quicker as October 6th approaches.

As the campaigns of all three major parties continue to move along, there have been some interesting changes in how the public appears to want to vote.

The Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario appears to be down in many of the updated polls as voters seem discontent with Tim Hudak's most recent attacks on the Liberal's proposed "New Canadian Tax Break." As fishy as this proposed objective may seem, the PC party made the mistake of attacking it with everything they had and as a result have lost some public support for being anti-immigrant/New Canadians.

A few weeks back the party released their "change book" an attempt at showing Ontario families how a PC government will bring visible change to their lives through initiatives that are aimed directly at families. Unfortunately, upon reviewing this change book myself I do not see many changes in the form of creation...most of the changes proposed are cuts aimed at current Liberal programs that the PC party targets as being over budget and corrupt.

Tim Hudak's PC party wish to help Ontario families by cutting back on the HST and other programs that have led to an increase in taxes. One main focus appears to be Hydro consumption and the sharp rise in prices Ontarians have been dealing with as of late.

Green energy and the 7 billion dollar Samsung deal for wind turbines is one main target that is being blamed for an increase in taxes and an overall waste of money. While the PC party gives voters hope that they will save money by lesser taxes, they do not seem to mention exactly what they are going to do aside from dismantle current programs and cancel already negotiated deals. They also fail to properly explain how they will avoid cancellation fees that might be enacted once these already set in motion contracts do get the axe.

One thing is for sure though, Tim Hudak and his party are promising the people of Ontario that his party will make government accountable and that average households will no longer have to front the bill of government negligence and corruption. An outlook that will make people feel a little better knowing that they will not have to pay as much tax and that their budget will get some much needed assistance in an economic time that is hurting everyone (except the rich).

A vote for the PC party on October 6th is a vote for change via Hudak's mouth as expensive programs and mismanaged services will be cut leading to a decrease in costs.

What do you think? The Progressive Conservatives have been on a rampage targeting the Liberals every chance they get and they promise to cut a lot, but make little mention of building anything to help Ontario move forward in this economic downturn. Is the change book something you can rely on in your daily life and do you think it will directly affect you? Are you going to vote PC because of it?

I recommend you take a look at the PC campaign page and take a look at the change book, do you agree with it?

Next post...we look at the Liberals...what they have done and what they plan to do!

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Election Update 2011 -=- The NDP

The NDP continue to ride the Orange "Crush" Wave as numbers show increased support coming their way this election. Right now, these numbers are simply numbers...what happens on October 6th can always be different and this is where the excitement in an election arises, you just never know what the people will decide when the time comes.

The NDP right now seem to offer a package that both inspires change and promises something other than the flip-flop that historically has happened within our provincial and federal elections. Historically, Canada has seen either a Liberal government or a Conservative government (Hence the flip-flop). The most recent polls released however have shown an increase in the NDP's numbers making them second to the Liberals as the PC party drops lower.

The main reason I can see for this recent drop is due to the criticism that Tim Hudak has given against the Liberal promise to provide tax incentives to companies that hire new immigrants. This topic could inspire a blog by itself, however I feel this is an important turning point in this election for many reasons. The very fact that the Liberals have suggested to give tax incentives for hiring immigrants shows what people in politics can describe as a power relation steal. What this means is that the Liberals have taken an idea originally introduced by the NDP and have changed it to potentially benefit their own party.

Let me attempt to explain this in more detail and try and also explain why the NDP are also looking very promising as well. A few months back the NDP put forth a motion to have tax incentives introduced to companies that in general hire an unemployed Canadian. This initiative did not get the chance to see the light of day due to a lack of political power, overall support and criticism that literally shot it down. The NDP hoped to gain some publicity with their overall plans if they get the chance to run the province. As many parties currently promise change via tax hikes and program cutting, the NDP wish to stimulate the economy by giving business incentive to hire. For example, if more people are working, the tax base increases and revenue increases as well that can be used to pay for a wide variety of things from programs to government plans.

Why is this important?

The NDP seem to be sticking with their promise to remain young and bring with them the change this province deeply needs. The youth within the party and supporters has helped the party take the necessary risks in their promises that a lot of the other parties have avoided. One of these large risks involves all day child care for single mothers and families who are required to work and cannot afford private care. This move is HUGE and let me try and explain many families now who are either low income or stretched have huge issues trying to balance their childcare costs and daily bills. By introducing this motion, the NDP plan to spend money in a plan that I believe would give families a much needed boost.

The NDP continue to surprise me  in their attempt to appear more moderate. Sure, they have continued to stick with many of their left leaning plans, but are still riding the orange crush and unfortunate death of their federal leader, which has allowed them to gain support from voters.

I stand by my previous prediction that the NDP party is the ace to look at in this upcoming election. With voter support we may see this party gain control in Ontario in a minority situation on their own or with the help of the Liberal party. Canadians still seem very afraid of what an NDP party might do to Canada, but things have changed in recent years and the party is looking to be the "lesser of evils" at the minimum compared to what the other parties have to offer.

I need to know though, what do you think about the NDP promises so far? Do you have anything to offer in regards to predictions for the election? Let me know and do not be afraid to ask questions or challenge me...its a free country after all!

Stay tuned for my next post that will be dedicated to the Liberals, hopefully completed and ready for release within the next week!

Until then, take care and be proud to be Canadian!

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Anthony's review of the 2011 Provincial Election and Predictions

Good Morning to my readers!!! Today is September 6, 2011 and in exactly 1 month we have ourselves a provincial election!!

October 6th 2011: The provincial election that may decide a new leader to direct and govern the struggling province of Ontario as it battles another potential recession and a diminished manufacturing sector. To think...some of you do not even vote, when in fact your vote will make a very big difference to many serious issues out there!

The contenders remain the same with the NDP -=- Liberals -=- Progressive Conservatives and the Green Party fighting it out for as much power as possible.

So far, many people foresee a duplication of our federal election coming down to the provincial level with the orange crush created by the NDP weakening the Liberals and allowing the Conservatives a better chance at seats.

While this may be a probable possibility, I still want to keep a clear mind about it and break down each party and their chances of success based on what they have to offer.

The Liberals -=- Dalton Mcguinty

Dalton Mcguinty has been in power for 8 years as the Premier of Ontario.

The Cons (Because listing these first makes the pain easier to bear):

-Has managed and governed true to the Liberal legacy of over spending. Dalton Mcguinty has taken many successful projects and gone over budget.
-Contracts out to consultants, who in turn charge millions of dollars of tax payer money and legitimize it as "fees" = Example: E-health scandal: Over budget by millions of dollars due to consultant fees that were also close friends of the party.

-Mismanagement of government affairs and spending: Overall party has had issues listening to Ontarians and as a result has brought in many new taxes that have not only increased the cost of living, but has also increased the burden on the provinces poor and newly unemployed. For this reason, you will hear a lot of attack ads calling Dalton the "Taxman."

-Taxes introduced: Health tax, Eco Fee tax on electronic goods, HST on hydro and heating, HST on sale goods (excluding a certain few items), An increase to property taxes on the municipal level, all the while decreasing many economic taxes for corporations.

-Cuts to many social assistance programs have led to an increase in strain added to the low income sector of our province. Example: Recent cuts to welfare have removed the special diet allowance: An allowance given to families on assistance who have medical conditions that require wholesome and fresh foods.

The Pros:

-Dalton's Liberals have spent a lot of money, however many programs have been created that have brought with them many benefits. For example, wait times at hospitals have decreased in many sectors due to an increase of doctors/reorganization within the system.

-Deal with Samsung has given 7 Billion dollars to a foreign corporation, but promises to create full time jobs even if the realistic numbers might not be very close to the current projected numbers.

-Eco incentives on green goods have made Ontario recognized by the world as a successful attempt to not only introduce the idea of green power, but realistically and sustainably implement it.

-Early education: Dalton Mcguinty has put a lot of money and focus into providing better education for young children in an attempt to ensure a more educated future workforce. Improvements to this sector have allowed for better direction and funding to focus on more education and full day kindergarten classes.

The Progressive Conservative Party -=- Tim Hudak

The Cons:

-Tim Hudak has been identified as a Blue very to the right Conservative, however this has not stopped him from gaining support from moderates across the spectrum. The downside to this however is that his policies are very right wing.

-Serving under Mike Harris, Tim carries with him many beliefs and policies that shadow the common sense revolution Harris implemented when in control. Many of these policies did exactly what they said they did and resulted in tax and program cuts as well as the sale of different public goods to the private sector, one of the most famous being the 407 Highway (built with tax dollars and sold for "pennies" to the now fee for use private company that controls it).

-Tim is married to Deb Hutton (Was a strategist under Mike Harris). Searching for Deb Hutton on the internet will bring you to a series of deleted pages, but her political career resulted in some devastating consequences especially when you research The Ipperwash Crisis in Ontario. I respectfully wish to end this point here, but strongly suggest you look into this issue further and as a result understand why her name is a negative political issue for Tim's attempt to maintain a clean image.

-The Progressive Conservative Party is planning to do away with many of the eco incentive programs that the Liberals have made Ontario recognized for. The legitimacy behind this decision is in support of lowering taxes and cutting programs seen as financially wasteful regardless of the economic and environmental benefits it may have.

The Pros:

-So far the Conservatives can be given credit for doing their job as the main opposition to the government. They have often disregarded the low income and poor within the province as they focus on bringing relief to Ontario families. However, they have done their research and focused on issues the Liberal party allowed to continue, for example: Expense Fraud within the Ontario Lottery Corporation and the financial effects the HST has been having on Ontario families. These two topics along with the e health scandal have made media headlines and support the notion that the opposition was well....doing what the opposition is supposed to do. Aside from that Tim Hudak has individually worked to raise money for various community initiatives and even worked to raise millions for the tourist sector after the 9/11 attacks shook consumers.

The NDP -=- Andrea Horwath

The NDP have remained in third place when it comes to the division of power we call our government. Now, I was strained with the idea of adding the pros and cons of this party in being that they do hold a minority position within the opposition, but considering how much success they have received federally, I have decided to dedicate some thoughts with regards to their structure, ideals and chances in the upcoming election.

The NDP has spent the past couple of years under the guidance of Jack Layton trying to tune their image and apply ideas that will make them appear more moderate. As their party still remains one leaning farther to the left then the Liberals, the current state of affairs within the party has been catering toward younger voters and their opinions on the current problems Ontario and Canada as a whole are facing.

You may be wondering why I mentioned under the guidance of Jack Layton, the answer to this is quite simple. The NDP believe that regardless of provincial support or federal, party members will stand in solidarity on both levels and thus support each other. This has often scared many moderates and undecided voters as the party likes to ask for a commitment upfront.

The success of the NDP in the upcoming election is special because the party now stands at a fork in the road. Rely on the image and legacy of Jack Layton and hope for a sympathy vote to continue the Orange Tide or redefine further and push important issues that affect the average person. Either way the party is going to have trouble finding a spot in the leadership chair.

Much like the Green party who might gain a seat, the NDP most likely will not win the election on their own, but with some crafty political moves could find themselves in a minority position with the help of the Liberals.

I predict that Tim Hudak is going to sweep in many reformed areas that believe the Liberals have been here to long, in other areas however there will be a sweep for the NDP as many families in the manufacturing sector have continued to be affected by changing policies, taxes and an overall lack of sustainable work. Not to mention that if the NDP do gain seats, this can only aid the PC party in their overall attempt for power, much like it helped Harper federally.

I know I have been talking for quite some time now, but I know this information can hopefully give you some guidance on which party will support you and which might still require some time to think about it.

Overall, the Liberals have been in power for quite some time and that is always something to be worried about as power corrupts anything that wields it long enough. The PC party has a history of defunct policies that did more long term damage than good and their shadow seems present in current party members also. The NDP are still quite young compared to the other parties, but their fiscal policies will include more spending for programs and family support, something the province could use to lighten the burden of working people, but overall will not help with the current deficit. The green party still exists and will still exist after the election, but poses no real bid for the top.

Just remember my key philosophy when it comes to politics: "If you put your full trust in a politician, then that is your first problem. "

The provincial election will affect your daily life more than the federal one has and this is why it is very important you stay active, educated and organized to respond to what happens. The winds of change are coming, but with your support they can be directed to aid the party that will do the most good or at least choose the party that is the "lesser of evils."

Tell me who your voting for and why? Also, remember as time counts down where to look for when you need an outside look at parties that many people might not know much about.

Stay informed, stay strong and don't fear the government...they are here to work for you not the other way around.

PS: Sorry for the lack of photos...more to come as I continue my election coverage.

Best Regards!


Saturday, 13 August 2011

Where are we heading?Entry 2 -=- The Political RoadMap

Where are we heading 2.0: The economy, our political state and you on a daily basis.

Some people may say...politics does not affect me, they talk and talk, but nothing they ever do will change my daily routine, how I think or more importantly how I choose to live my life. While much of this may seem generally true, the reality is not so.

Our current state of political affairs is revolving around the capitalist market and what role our political institutions play with in it, as well as outside of it.

As I have mentioned in previous blogs, our government is vital to society as it both relies on our society as well as allows it to exist. I understand this may seem very confusing and rightly so, but when you understand how a society forms and for what reasons, the answer becomes more clear. Humans come together because we are social beings and evolution has shown that in a group we stand a higher chance of survival as opposed to going it alone. This mind you, only covers the general aspects of what we know as society. There are other examples where going it alone can prove beneficial, but that is best left for another discussion.

Our current row of issues consist of  the deficit our country and many others are accruing and the major problems that are springing up as a result. The Canadian government is currently telling the world that our financial foundation is firm and we are going to come out of this with little trouble. Our government says this confidently while other global giants such as China and The United States of America struggle to maintain their status quo, let alone envision further profit. I see this and the tension that rightly so becomes a reality as a result and I think of how these Mega-Conflicts (Mega-Conflicts are defined as conflicts that occur between civilization and countries) affect and stem from the everyday life we live and our actions.

Could it be that the push we see coming from all angles to buy, buy, buy coupled in with the decreasing amount of good stable jobs has put us in this position? Times have become so bad and the banking corporations have become so imbedded with the governments of the world that when we find ourselves without any physical money in our hands, our bank smiles and offers us a piece of plastic with credit to help us spend more! Does anyone see the hypocrisy and irony in this aside from me? I know many of you understand this and probably feel something is really wrong, but what I see here is a micro issue that affects our daily living, which has grown so large that even governments feel intense pressure because of it. Somehow, the mentality to spend and rely on credit has gone up throughout the ranks to even the highest and more important parts of our existence and social and political structure.

And what do the economists suggest we do to resolve the problem? Spend our way out of it with government bail outs!!!!!

So...lets add up the facts and see where we stand. We have Capitalism, which has heavily relied on Democracy since it's creation to prosper and remain free, all the while Socialism and other forms of social welfare have been lamented as evil. Now, we have highly privatized institutions that in 2008 failed and received government funding to survive, once again having issues of the same caliber and relying on more government stimulus to continue on. What we have come to now is not the end of Capitalism per say, but the evolution that so greatly needed to happen. Our system and our way of life has finally hit that big wall and unfortunately we do not seem equipped to scale it and continue on. We need some kind of change that will not only allow Capitalism to occur, but also ensure that it's survival is not at the expense of millions of people who have now become displaced from the middle class and rest among the lower classes of our society.

In an effort to avoid becoming "that guy" who always talks about change, but does nothing to inspire it...I have come up with a solution to our current problems this coming change has.

What will we call the evolution that occurs with Capitalism? In response, I can only say that we are entering the new age of Social Capitalist Democracy. Social Capitalist Democracy will be one where the state will step in ensure that jobs remain when these big companies have problems, however with added measures to ensure proper regulations are kept up with and penalties are issued for actions that put the stability of our system into jeopardy. Socialized institutions are no longer needed as regulations and empowerment to the worker will allow business to continue on in a more conscious and sustainable manner.

Gone are the days where we spend without truly knowing how much our actions are going to cost and where our money is going to come from. The average consumer needs to become more conscious with their purchases and have more confidence in not only themselves, but the system they live within. You cannot say that spending less will equate better living, when the path that leads to cheaper products disregards the safety and well being of other people and disrupts the balance we have with out planet. Not to mention, our society has got to let go of this mentality where cheaper products that are disposable are better, when in reality they are not and only leave us in a position where people now rely on cheaper paying jobs because of the demand of cheap items.

The circle of Social Capitalist Democracy relies on conscious well constructed items that can be purchased by a conscious and well placed middle class/society. If people are paid a decent wage that allows them to have a house, go to school and have spending money, then they will buy items also made by others who have similar jobs and will pay more for them if they understand that the item will last and give them an enjoyable experience.

More so, corporations can ease up on this dangerous game they play to increase profits by the largest amount possible. If a CEO starts focusing their attention on the consumer, worker and government as opposed to the board of directors, this change might be allowed to occur. A good work force and an educated and well placed consumer will always spell success for a company's product. In order to achieve this though we need the proper political reinforcement as well as the right business mentality that avoids treating the worker as an object and puts more emphasis on allowing the worker to become apart of the company as an educated member.

I could go on forever with more examples, but I would more importantly like to know what you think about this. How is our system doing and does our direction seem right? Where do you see society going and why?

Capitalism and You: Riots and Public Unrest

Its Saturday August 13th and the world is burning up in the FLAMES OF UNREST!!!! ....or so the media made us think with the market tumbling and a flurry of rioting going on in London.

After watching the coverage provided by various news agencies over the past few days, I was able to get a glimpse at how these people make their money and sell their papers, I mean we all have to put food on the table and catching your attention does just that when it comes to the world, you and the potential paper your going to pick up to read about it.

I was also given the chance to see how one sided our news coverage can really be. I mean, do not get me wrong, there is always two sides to each story, but what I often referred to as news was becoming pictures on the television showing groups of young white men and visible minorities tagged as Anarchists and thugs vandalizing the streets. I understand that of the many riots that occurred there were individuals out for the chance to cause some major damage, but I found myself lacking in answers as to why the riots had begun or why they had grown so large.

Watching the CBC, I was able to get a few points that attempted to explain this. Upon hearing that the government gave the army and about 16,000 police officers the chance to walk the streets, I just thought in my head...okay, that seems like a good solution to the effects of the rioting and the symptoms of the problem, but how will that fix the root cause to all of this public unrest. There were even examples made referring the Vancouver riots that occurred following the Canucks loss and some attempt was made to try and understand the mob mentality for both examples.

I look at the riots and the uncertainty in the world with the markets and I see many connections that could very well link both issues. People are struggling at the moment, income is down and falling in many cases for the middle class and lower class, while the cost of living continues to grow with the gap between the rich and the poor. The CBC characterized this as the gap between the have and have nots, but I find this title offensive. Why should someone who does not possess a large sum of money in their bank be considered a have not, especially in a system where the rich are given many advantages over the poor.

Capitalism requires you to spend in order for it to survive, we are taught since birth to spend and work for money, to treat money as the most all and foundation of our lives. It comes as no surprise to me when I see youth causing trouble in response to the greatest Capitalist a country has....the government.

What made this rioting even more special was the method of communication that was utilized...facebook, twitter and bbm. What we have witnessed here people is the further evolution of our society and the lack of modernity of our governments. Maybe it is time that our government embraces the internet in a fashion more catered to the youth and younger class of people. We see the internet as a free range zone where ideas and beliefs (both good and bad) can exist free of censorship, why can we not see our governments taking advantage of this amazing source to reach out to us in a more friendlier manner? All I saw on the news was an attempt to censor the use of social networking as a solution to the riots, when this A) defies natural human rights and B) would only incite more violence.

How do you feel about our current state of affairs? I know the world has always had rough patches and on a daily basis appears near the brink of disaster, but I feel there is always hope and guidance with proper direction and education. Do you feel our government has some catching up to do in order to not only better serve us, but conduct it's business?

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

A Summary of July--Politics and History

Hello Everyone,

Again, it has been a while since I have last made a posting, but summer has taken my attention to the outdoors and the local community. I have still kept my eye on important political events though and am amazed by the recent events over the month of July.

Where to begin? The Americans have made headlines with the end of their shuttle program and the looming default crisis that almost became a reality. It seemed like usual with American media that the world sat on the brink of destruction, while the majority of people stood helpless to watch as the government argued over a decision that could change the country forever.

One quote that stood out from President Obama: "Our country has a AAA credit rating, but what our country and the American people need is a AAA political system."

It seems like the entire world has rapidly changed over the past few months. Among this change we have witnessed a revolution in the middle east, something I do not believe anyone saw coming, but nevertheless has made the Americans happy. The market has fluctuated more and more among job losses and regime changes within major corporations and unfortunately we have seen what can happen when an organization with to much power abuses it as the Murdoch coverage and News of the World have shown us.

I am happy to be alive to witness this change and history making occur, but I feel as if we are all missing something very important that is standing right in front of us screaming for our attention. Among all of this change and self liberation I thought that I would see people becoming more united and happy with life, but all I seem to witness is anger and resentment being shown by many. Granted the recession is long from over and everyone is suffering, but it is important that we all work together to weather the effects of a recession as best that we can.

Anyways, I promise to have more exciting news for my next post and I hope this has sparked some excitement in you...we live in exciting times and are witnessing history being made everyday.

Stay well!

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

You, Me and the Tax Man! Why paying taxes shouldn't be a problem in Canada!

Hello all!

I have been absent from posting over the past few weeks, but fear not, for my political watch has remained stronger then ever.

So lets see...we have a provincial election in Ontario on October 6th, which is around 3 months away!!!!

You most likely have seen the commercial by the PC party labeling Dalton McGuinty as the "Tax Man"

Although this label is not far off, it is an attempt by the PC party of Ontario to get the lead on the election smearing and plant a seed of support in your head. The provincial election right now is being viewed as regular business, where a PC party will replace a defunct and fat with power opponent or the Liberals.

It is true that the provincial Liberals have become fat and bloated with power and have made some big mistakes over the past few years, but calling Dalton the tax man? I can assure you that if and when the PC party attains power in Ontario, Dalton's tax increases will seem small compared to what the PC's have planned.

Political parties will often harp on the weak points of their opponents without much consideration for their own weak points, but hey...when your in opposition that's your job.

Back to taxes though...I pay taxes on everything and I often hear many people complain about how much we are taxed and how awful it is. However, I never hear them complain when an elderly family member of theirs is in the hospital or when fire fighters come to their house in the event of an emergency. Essentially, TAXES are good people, especially in a Social Democratic country like Canada! Where the problem lies in our system however, is HOW our tax dollars are spent. For example, Dalton McGuinty spending double his budget on E-Health only to put millions into the hands of his friendly consultant buddies, regardless of the fact that many qualified individuals who we currently pay to work at Queens Park were left out.

This is when you should start to complain and moan and groan, because your tax dollars went towards making someone specifically rich, as opposed to helping the most people possible.

Your taxes are what keep our country running, they put food on the tables of the needy and keep holes in our roads (although terribly slow at it) filled so our cars don't crash into a blaze of infamy. They also keep you protected from Fire and Crime, not to mention pay for services that you or someone you know may rely on.

It is important that you and those around you keep your eyes open, research, ask many questions and demand answers from your political representation because your tax dollars keep your country alive!

Also, with regards to the election...if we see anything like the federal election we just had, the NDP are going to have some fun boosting their numbers against a very unpopular and bloated Liberal party. Anything goes right now folks and really it's anyone's game! Let's just hope for the least damaging party in the end.

Until next time!

Monday, 20 June 2011

Canada, Jobs and Morality

As some of you might have seen on your facebook feeds, there are two main sites going around talking about Stephen Harper's mistakes and another speaking about Canada and Asbestos.

I thought I would dedicate this blog entry to both of these sites and their valiant effort to bring public awareness to topics that might otherwise be "swept under the rug," away from public enlightenment and scrutiny.

So, I give my applaud to and, both sites attempt to portray an opinion and facts to people in ways that grab more of the average reader's attention.

I will be honest, I decided to write this blog because I feel that a really important question comes from this issue. We often hear about environmentalists debating with business about the Progress vs. Nature debate. Should we cut down all of our forest to allow more housing and business to grow or leave it and hold our economy back? However, with the asbestos issue we get a similar question with a very identical structure, but with different actors. We now see our country banning and removing all forms of asbestos, but still mining it for the use of exporting it to developing countries.

Does anyone see any hypocrisy in this?

Lets way in the Pros and Cons for Asbestos:

White Asbestos

Reasons why Asbestos mining should be allowed:
-Quebec has a few mines within it that primarily provide the Asbestos that Canada exports
-Stephen Harper promised Quebecers that he would stand behind them and ensure white Asbestos could continue to be mined
-Around 350 jobs are saved by allowing the mining of Asbestos to continue
-Developing countries often apply White Asbestos to building contracts, often mixing it with other materials to supplement a lack of wood products. Example: Building walls and interiors with products combined with white asbestos.

Reasons against Asbestos use:
-Scientifically proven to significantly increase the chances of developing a few serious forms of cancer
-Although importers of Asbestos guarantee it will be used responsibly, that does not guarantee anything since exposure to anything with Asbestos still increases your chances of developing cancer.
-Over 100,000 people a year die from Asbestos related diseases, these are the numbers reported, overall cancer is killing off many more people.

Apparently, developed nations have come to the reasoning to understand the dangers of Asbestos use in general, yet we are fine when it comes to selling it to other nations who may not have as much understanding surrounding the toxicity of the substance. It is almost as if we are showing our egotism through capitalism, we are supposed to be enlightened, so we will protect OUR people, but if they are barbaric enough to buy the stuff, then we will sell it to THEIR people!

An old product that capitalized on the fire resistant traits of Asbestos

Check out this informative CBC article for more information on the Asbestos issue in Canada:

I look at the facts surrounding this debate and understand that in a time where our economy is suffering, people need to continue putting food on their family's table. Yet, when I see a government that has gone to so many lengths to remove Asbestos from our country, yet continue to sell it abroad...something does not sit right with me. Sure, people rely on this substance to bring in a wage, but is the money truly worth cutting back your life span and potentially your family's life span as a result? How can we even trust that the uses of Asbestos are properly enforced, when our own government does one thing, yet endorses a completely opposite thing?

I want to hear from you(The Readers) and see what your opinion on this is. I know the majority of our buildings and products no longer use Asbestos, but if we are exporting this material to developing countries and a lot of our products are also being manufactured in these countries...does it worry you that Asbestos might somehow make a full circle and return to us?

Not in my country, better dispose of it quick, the Chinese said they will buy it!

Monday, 13 June 2011

Deficit Theory and our Transparency Woes

It is 2011 and our Majority Conservative Government continues on with power. With this power, cliche aside, there comes a lot of responsibility with regards to a deficit our country currently possesses and our standing in the world theater.

As I have mentioned in previous posts, Canada is an amazing country to live in. We show the world that multiculturalism can exist and with the proper maintenance can flourish. Everyday our media shows us the woes of other countries with regards to war, racism and structural deficits within their societies. As many Conservative supporters say with truth that our country is at it's best right now. Yes, we are currently weathering the economic crisis much better than some, but I must warn that this is no indication that we are as stable as the government seems to imply.

This is why I must stress the fragile balance that must be maintained in this country with regards to our economic situation and the current budget/deficit. Unfortunately, the Harper Conservatives have not put much effort into maintaining transparency with regards to how they intend to defeat our deficit and continue Canada on a path of progress. On top of this and to make matters worse, much of the speculation of the cost cutting measures are just that...speculation. We have no idea what will be cut and or replaced in an effort to save money and nothing really has come forth to give us an idea except for many tax cuts/breaks imposed by the latest budget. How is this good for Canada and more importantly the people of Canada if our government continues to work behind the scenes and frankly with smoke and mirrors? Granted, Harper won a majority via our political system, which should give him a lot of respect and clout since it is not a task that can be accomplished easy. The problem I have with this however is that I fail to see Harper understanding the true role of his position now.

I mean, as a Canadian citizen born here and raised, is it not appropriate for myself and others to raise concern about such issues? I understand that many Canadians do not really partake in the political system or find other distractions more easy to take up their time. However, I know for a fact that may Canadians moan and groan about their taxes. I for one do not moan about taxes and think you should not either and I will tell you why. We pay our taxes in support of a beautiful and imperfect system we and many others depend on. Under this system, WE have entrusted our money to public servants elected by US to serve US. However, I find it more and more common to see individuals not truly look into the important topics that directly affect our investments. The budget and deficit are examples of issues we should look carefully at. Mainly, how are our tax dollars being stretched to the limit and how are they helping the most people possible?

You may say something in response like: I work hard for my money and I am successful, why should I care about others who look like lazy bums out there doing nothing, my money belongs in my bank account!

Realistically, these people are not wrong in their assumptions about their money, but I would ask them to consider how our country's system has indirectly and directly aided in them reaching the point they are at today. The reality of life is that not everyone becomes a famous CEO or a celebrity or wealthy in general. Some of us get their easy and others spend their entire life sweating it out to reach just 10% of it. All of this aside though, we are equal citizens who are entitled to fair treatment and transparency from our government. This is one of the main reasons that our country is a shining example to the world, why people of other countries risk life and limb to reach our borders and give their offspring a better life.

You may now ask, how do we get this transparency, the government is big, while I am just one man/woman?

My answer....

Yes, I have mentioned this young girl before in a previous post, but her name is not important right now. What is important is that she voiced herself and made it clear to both our standing government and elected officials that people are watching and assessing their performance. The problem however is that not enough people are doing this, which is giving our elected officials of all parties the flexibility to bend their obligations and choose their own speed of performance. If we are to make any question of the illegal actions our government is doing, we need to know about them first, not 10 years down the line and after spending extreme legal fees to access the freedom of information act. In order to bring this kind of action to life, WE the people need to perform the greatest of checks and balances, WE need to address these concerns and make sure the government sees it.

Now, I am not saying go and be violent like the bubs in the G20, no no no...that will only get you a smoke bomb to the face. I am saying be peaceful, for being peaceful is not being cowardly, it is showing you have the balls to get stuff done and cause a disruption through a harder and more organized rally. We need to talk to each other, because Capitalism is a merciless beast that will strike the rich as easily as the poor, unfortunately though with little transparency one can only see it aiming at the middle class and poor since our current stats show the guessed it...getting richer!

Just remember next time you hear something about the budget and deficit that our tax dollars pay for his kittens and their maintenance. 
If Stephen Harper isn't going to be transparent on where he is going to begin the cuts, maybe he should start at home by not adopting a million kittens and raising his own costs associated to their care. Someone should just buy him one of those virtual pet games, he could have a million kittens at a bargain price of $29.99 without all the maintenance fees!

I am quite biased in my posts about Harper, I mean he is a fellow Beatles fan like myself and I should give him more credit since his job isn't to easy, but when I hear everyone say how good our current position is and than also hear Harper say it as he spews out more support for increased military spending. I wonder, there are still many families still finding it difficult to put food on the table let alone pay their mortgage, not to mention many others still out of work with a long list of newly created minimum wage jobs replacing the older and more sustainable ones. Yet, all I see from Harper's budget is more support for the rich and tax breaks that really do nothing to help the middle class or poor, since they further aid the wealthiest in our society. Sure, having more kids play sports is a good way to keep them active and out of trouble, but $70 bucks back from an active tax break really is chump change compared to that, oh what was it again....6 billion going to the corporations?

Be vigilant my readers and understand that I appreciate your interest in viewing my blog and thank you for taking the time to read it all. Once again I will say it, the government is here to serve us and fear us, not to walk all over us and direct our lives. We must utilize the benefits of our social welfare system, but are also tasked with the responsibility to keep it transparent, clean and with a purpose.

Life, Liberty and Good Government...This is the Canadian way!


Friday, 10 June 2011

Rise Up and Abolish the Chains of Ignorance!

PM Harper delivered a speech to a crowd of Conservative party delegates. 2,300 individuals gathered to hear what the Prime Minister had to say about our country, our progress and on the direction his party will be heading.

I am hoping that as many of you out there as possible can have a chance to study and view the wording and supposed aim Harper took in his speech.

If history has shown us one thing, it is that certain individuals can accumulate tremendous power by utilizing the power of fear. Fear of, fear over and fear to look at the changes currently happening in our world.

Something that really stood out from this speech however is the politically driven literature spewed from Harper's mouth with regards to dictators and military spending. Many very charged words such as : Resist, Power Shifting and Change of Force among others were used many times throughout his speech and this causes me a lot of worry and should cause you some discomfort to.

Our country has retained a reputation that I admire and am proud of, a reputation that shows the world we are not war-mongers and that peace is something attainable.

To change the format up a little bit here,  I am going to end my blog entry with a rant/ultimatum to Prime Minister Harper and other politicians who share his fear-mongering backwardness.

DISCLAIMER: DO NOT continue reading if you are categorized as politically faint of heart or are under the age of 6. What you read may incite anger inside of you and or change your entire perspective on the country/world you live in and how it works. Take everything you read here and try to apply it to better yourself and those around you.

To: Stephen Harper: Prime Minister of Canada, I extend to you with the most respect a solemn FUCK YOU!

I do not understand what has happened to you over the course of your life, but I really wish I had the chance to see what you have seen to think that right now Canada as a country needs to beef up it's military and that families are dying for tax breaks. Not to mention, that your actions are legitimate when all they do is laugh at our respected system of Democracy. People bash Depape for ruining a traditional ceremony, she is a young Canadian citizen with a freedom to express herself, what is your excuse Harper? You ass, you think it is right that you can limit and or deface our political systems, our foundations to freedom by thinking that you are some supreme commander now that you have won a majority via the most recent election.

Keep dreaming bub, you like many other politicians who think they can spit in the face of democracy for their own gain and ignore the plight of their people have something coming. You will witness the change that is approaching not only our country, but the entire world.

We have people who cannot afford to live in their homes, feed their children and save for retirement and you think a fucking tax break is what they want!? They do not want, but NEED jobs, Canadian jobs that stay in this country and produce products that are sustainable and can be relied upon. Yet you continue to turn a blind eye as your corporation buddies rake in the big cheques.

You think our country needs to spend money on the military!? No, we need to spend money on the areas we are falling behind on. China for example, the biggest example of a country that can copy everything and stomp on the freedoms of it's people, is leading in many renewable energy markets, this may seem like nothing right now, but in the future it will impact greatly. All the while, we have Canada lagging behind in an area we should be shining in as an example to the world!

If you get a chance to read this Stephen, I hope you will understand that your party has nothing to do with my ultimatum, you could be Liberal, NDP or Bloc and I would still rally against what you are doing. Many people may blindly follow now without regard to your actions, but push them far enough and a change will be coming, one that will see your seat spin. Canadians are not just the corporate leaders or individuals being paid to advise your party, they are the foundation to this country and the foundation to your government.

It is 2011 Harper, wake up and realize the issues right in front of us, because your direction is showing many signs of ignorance and egotism, both of which this country does not need right now!

Friday, 3 June 2011

The Throne Speech 2011

Today was the official Throne Speech of Parliament and the ushering in of an active Conservative Majority and NDP opposition. Although this symbolic ceremony is a highlight of our political system, it was the actions of 21 year old Bridgette DePape that made me extremely happy and overjoyed with emotion!

If you have not heard, Bridgette WAS a page working for the house (someone who assists individuals with photocopying, fetching water, etc). She went onto the floor today and in a bold statement held up a stop Harper sign in front of everyone including the media while the Governor General made his important ceremonial speech.

All I can say is....WELL DONE BRIDGETTE!!!! WELL DONE! This girl has just shown us what a true Democracy is! This is what I have been talking about people, you need to understand that the government should fear its people and not the other way around. I look around and see so many people either not caring about what our government does or to afraid to question it. This young and politically motivated girl has provided us with an example of a liberty we have in this country that we take for granted! While other people die after even opening their mouth about their governments(dictatorships), we sit back and forget about how lucky we are!!!!!

This stunt took a lot of courage and motivation...hell it took a lot of plain old fashioned balls to stand up in front of all of those people and voice her protest to our government. I mean sure, there has been a lot of discussion on the ethics imposed by the Harper government and people have begun questioning it, but nothing close to the amount of questioning as many other countries do.

As a result, I would like to extend an award to Bridgette for having the right mind to uphold her civic duty as a citizen of this country and utilize her freedom of speech. She could have gone to her local MP, but there would be a little to no chance that any protest she made would get to the top, this was an effective and excellent show of ones opinion and I hope Harper got a good look!

If you want to read the entire story, check out the CBC link:

How do you feel about today's simply awesome protest and the strength this girl has shown us?

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Social Trends: Partisan Politics and the People

Question: What makes you follow a certain party or group of people (Politically or Socially)?

Example: We are a member of our family because the family unit is one of the most fundamental building blocks to society, we are born into a family and thus live among our family as a member, reaping and sowing during the good times and hard times. We usually have no choice with regards to following our family because they are the most commonly recognized example of a group in our life.

The question I pose however is what makes certain people gravitate towards certain types of political party's?

The main answers I can accumulate at the top of my head are:

1. You were brought up in a family that followed a specific party (If so, what made your family follow it?)

2. You base your political decision via social aspects/values that a party has in relation to you (Can also be used in cohesion with option 1).

3. You like the people running in the party and truly believe they are legit, which wins your vote.

4. You do not like the rest, so you pick someone who seems different in hopes that they do something better ( Seems like the majority of votes now a days are based on this one)

The reality seems that any of these listed reasons could apply, or a few combined, or all of them combined in some circumstances.

Tell me why you align yourself to a specific party in the political system. If you want to take it further, tell me why you align yourself with any kind of party in general; be it political, social or financial.