Friday, 21 April 2017

Angry Trump and NAFTA-GATE

We knew this was coming for a while now. Selfies, smiles and handshakes aside, we all knew that the time would arrive that saw Donald Trump targeting Canada, for something outrageous and emotionally inspired.

Yesterday was that day, as Donald Trump held a new conference to directly name Canada, as a country that is both unfair and disgraceful regarding our supposed treatment of dairy farmers in Wisconsin. Personally, I am a Green Bay fan, but to hear that farmers in Wisconsin are using Canada as an argument for their woes, is something disgusting in an of itself.

Trump did not stop there though, he went even further to name our energy sector, our lumber and NAFTA in general as being a bad deal, disgraceful and unfair for Americans. Later on in the evening, Trump met with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentilloni, where he further mentioned the importance of a RECIPROCAL relationship, he even went to the trouble of repeating the word and stressing it.

The Political Road Map serves to provide an area to discuss the direction that our country is traveling, while also discussing various topics in politics. The actions of Donald Trump cannot be met with a similar response, but rather the truth created by actual facts.

For many, people do not realize that Canada, currently has a trade deficit with America in the dairy sector. We utilize supply management, which is essentially a system in place that provides a guaranteed income for producers. The Americans on the other hand provide a lot of money to subsidize their dairy sector and as such have found themselves in the current predicament.

If farmers in Wisconsin are currently suffering, it has nothing to do with Canadians, but rather because they have the issue of over production. The American way of business is to squeeze as much profit from their business as possible (Think Walmart), which in the case of the dairy farmers, has left them with a lot of milk and nowhere immediately to sell it.

Back to that trade deficit with America, Canada currently has a deficit with them to the tune of around $500 million. If anything, we receive almost 5 times more American dairy products than they do Canadian. The current issue is where our government is stepping in to halt the flooding of our market with even more American milk. Which is important, because their job is too protect Canadian interests.

Quality vs. Quantity

Another side issue to this, is that American milk is not subject to as much regulation as Canadian milk products. So, as such, many producers increase their output by using medicines and processes that may alter the milk. For example; Higher traces of puss and antibiotics have been found in American milk, which many argue is not only disgusting, but potentially hazardous to humans after long term consumption. Not to mention the issue with powdered milk products being incorporated into cheese and other dairy items.

If you call something dairy, it should at least be made with some part natural milk and not bi-products in my opinion.


It doesn't take much to see beyond the act that Donald Trump is using to over dramatize this issue and NAFTA overall. He will use this as a power play in order to strong arm Justin Trudeau into a better NAFTA deal, if one can even exist.

Trump wants to tear up NAFTA, because he believes that his own negotiations can intimidate both allies and enemies into bowing to his demands. What he does not understand is that by doing so, he also risks establishing a worse deal and also alienating America.

While Trump was bashing Canada, Trudeau was involved in an interview with Bloomberg business, where went out of his way to kiss Trumps ass. Trudeau believes that Trump can be swayed with facts and discussion. I agree that this is the right approach with Trump, but we will have our first chance to see how successful this actually is in two weeks, when Trump's administration releases their NAFTA papers.

Prime Minister Trudeau should take caution regarding this approach, as he does not want to set a precedent with the Americans, where we continue to yield to their demands.  The North American Free Trade Agreement has arguably benefited both American and Canadian business, as trade between our countries remains strong.

What needs to be continually established however, is that Canada is a sovereign country that looks after its own, while working together with other countries regarding common interests. To bend over and allow more American dairy just because they make too much, is not an acceptable and healthy excuse for trade.

Until Next Time!

Thursday, 20 April 2017

A Shivering Premier in a Hot Housing Market

I am watching Premier Kathleen Wynne and Charles Sousa introduce their Fair Housing Plan and I must say I am both impressed and skeptical.

Wynne has mentioned a few times already how she is shivering, while approaching the microphone to answer questions in both English and kindergarten French.

Premier Wynne Praying this plan doesn't further fuck things up! Please elect me again!

It is no surprise that we have the government finally moving in to commit some action as an election is just around the corner. While this is a sad reality, it is cause for celebration, as the measures proposed actually seem sensible and effective.

As mentioned in my previous entries, the measures put forward will impose taxes on both non-residents and domestic speculation. I like how Minister Sousa called the speculation as it is, which is simply paper scalping of residential properties that haven't even been finished.

On the surface, these measures seem like something out of an NDP government, which isn't surprising as the Liberals have stolen many ideas from them.

There are some concerns however, regarding the information currently available for the government to work with. It seems rather odd that it has taken so long for the one entity in our country that should have the most up to date information available to them.

When questioned about the percentage of international speculators on the housing market, the minister couldn't speak without a stutter, which shows you he has no idea, granted the requirement of full disclosure is now being put into effect for all new purchases, this is something that should have happened years ago.

The very fact that Ontario and Vancouver have been put into this situation is signs of a direct lack of government due diligence in my opinion, if trends are emerging that show a need for action, our government should at the very least begin collecting information to make a decision. In the case of our current housing market, we haven't had any action for over a year and a half and until enough people have been priced out of their own cities and an increase of gentrification has caused public outcry.

To break down the important announcements today, I will list the changes coming both immediately and in the near future.

1. 15% non-resident tax on the purchase of a residential property. Subject to a rebate if individual is a full time enrolled student for 2 years and beyond or working within the province for more than a year after the purchase. 

2. Speculation targets that hope to curb paper flipping, which is when people purchase more than one property in a development only to leave them empty or flip them before the property is finished. 

3. Vacant home tax, if someone buys a home to leave it vacant as a potential money grab, they will end up paying a tax in order to balance the playing field a bit. 

4. More money and changes to regulations that prohibit cities from building more affordable housing. This is good, but also dangerous, as some cities are looking to transfer green belt land over to developers, which I would not agree with.

5. A freeze on property tax for apartment owners, which should result in less rent for occupants, but could also backfire if the benefits do not trickle down. Also, rent controls on newer buildings to ensure we no longer see rents doubling at the end of a lease period. 

While no capital gains tax increase was mentioned, I am pleased to see that some action is being taken to assist those in need of securing housing at a reasonable rate.

Our government is here to guide us and the current Wynne administration has been guilty of making many costly mistakes in just doing that. With this plan, there is great hope that some relief will come to the market and as such cool it down a bit. Hopefully, a correction results from this and any potential bubble created will not burst.

With an election on the horizon, the people of Ontario need to continue assessing just how effective the current government has been in their position of power. While these measures do bring hope, we all need to shake our heads as they came very very late into the initial crisis.

Strong leadership would have supported the notion of having a roof over ones head long ago and not just when the days count down toward an election.

Until Next Time!

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Bill O'Reilly and Gian Gomeshi: A Comparison

Today, Fox News ended its professional affiliation with Bill O'Reilly over various complaints of sexual harassment from his female colleagues.

For those of you who do not know this man, Bill O'Reilly is famous for his work as being one of the highest paid and also most popular television personalities on Fox News. His views tend to lean toward the right of the political spectrum, however he has also authored a few best selling books and in the past has made appearances on famous political satire shows like the Daily Show and the Colbert Report.

The announcement today has brought forward many parallels to what was witnessed during the Gian Ghomeshi trial in Toronto not too long ago. Ghomeshi was also a popular personality in Canadian media and like O'Reilly faced similar parallels when dropped by CBC.

While this news is a good sign for the movement to bring more justice forward for victims of sexual harassment, it also shows how fragile a media personality can be, when it comes to public image and acts of vice.

No one should have any sympathy for famous individuals who abuse their power and are found in a court of law to have actually committed a crime. While no jury has officially condemned O'Reilly, the very fact that suspicion and cause has been raised was enough to allow Fox to axe him.

Gian Ghomeshi has now begun hosting a new podcast as of late and has naturally witnessed some further backlash from the trial, even though he was acquitted of any criminal wrong doing.

The importance of protecting victims and also anyone deemed vulnerable is nothing new in society and more recently, we are witnessing more attention paid to the individuals who have been wronged by all kinds of violence. Whether justice has been served is based on the eye of the beholder, but one thing is for sure, many individuals in both the media and political sphere, need to ensure they watch their step to avoid a public backlash.

To further the topic of women and sexual harassment in the workplace, one might even further compare O'Reilly to Donald Trump and ask why a similar outcome did not occur with him? If anything, the current president of the United States, was accused by multiple women and also caught on various media formats expressing his lack of respect toward women in general. He not only won the election, but was deemed a savior among his support base, while both Ghomeshi and O'Reilly have experienced the exact opposite.

At the end of the day, the sad reality remains that if you are an individual of social stature and immense wealth, the laws of our society no longer apply to you as they do the common man. We have individuals in government that disrespect the rules and in many cases get away with little to no retribution (Think Mike Duffy), while others who have a following in the media or are considered a part of the 99%,become tarred and feathered simply by word of mouth.

I will be following the O'Reilly case in the coming months to see what actually occurs from the accusations and what results we are left with. I doubt Bill will have much trouble later on, as much of his base is similar to those who supported Donald Trump and as such will eat up any excuse to take attention off of those who have accused him of sexual harassment.

It is important to always remember that questioning authority and our government is the only way to bring any true change to fruition. If we continue to follow blindly and allow others to decipher the information we receive on a daily basis, we as a people essentially open up the possibility of losing more freedom to distraction and overall ignorance.

If the court deems that O'Reilly was in fact in the wrong and committed a crime, he should be held accountable for his actions like any other individual within society. 

Until Next Time!

Donald Trump Having a Cow

When Donald Trump first met with Justin Trudeau, many people felt that our Prime Minister stood his ground, while remaining respectful with the newly elected President.

The time has finally arrived, where that initial meeting and the common ground established will now be tested.
Is the Canadian Milk cow in danger?

Donald Trump has gone on the attack and has directly mentioned Canada, as a source of ill that is undermining American milk producers. Specifically, in Wisconsin, where over production is leading to a reaction in the free market that is affecting the bottom line of producers.

Trump has also mentioned NAFTA once again, which has now introduced various topics including his Buy American plan and the impact of a lack of regulations in Mexico.

Luckily, our ambassador has fired back by using common sense and truth to explain the reality of what is happening in the United States.

What is at stake? 

As we have currently seen, President Trump has a tendency to act on the fly and without much rational thought. What can occur from this incident is a domino effect that can essentially push Trump to get NAFTA talks on the table sooner, which could negatively affect many Canadians and Americans.

While the US has reason to negotiate NAFTA regarding Mexico, it also has to be careful how it steps around Canada, since many Americans rely on Canadian trade to remain employed.

What could also occur, is a destabilization between Canada, the US and Mexico, with Trump playing favorites, while leaving someone out. This might not actually happen right now, but if Trudeau actually left a positive impact on Trump, his administration might reap the benefits of it.

Footage of Trump having learned about the milk issues with Canada
If negotiations lead to lighter regulation regarding American milk, we may be opening up the door to directly dismantle our own dairy producers here at home. Canada has one of the most inefficient dairy sectors in the world, which requires assistance in order for it to compete. If American milk were allowed to flood our market en mass, we could witness the death of Canadian milk and the introduction of more quantity as opposed to quality.

It is time for Trudeau to implement another hard handshake and take a stand against Trump. We cannot sit aside, while this American bully continues to dictate to us, what we should do as a sovereign country!

Manners aside, sometimes it is important to tell an ally or friend when they step out of line, in order to do what is best to assist them.

Trudeau needs to defend Canadian interests, by not giving right in to Trumps demands and ensuring a fair discussion regarding any proposed changes to NAFTA!

Housing Market...Hot, Hot, Hot Update!

Yesterday, Mayor John Tory(Toronto) met with both Charles Sousa(Provincial) and Bill Morneau(Federal), in an emergency meeting over the unsustainable hot real estate market currently in the GTA.

The Three Amigo's to save the day?

While no new promises were made, the respective members of all three levels of government came together to discuss and compare notes on what could be done to cool the market, without plunging it and devastating many Canadians at the same time.

Surprisingly, with great optimism, all three individuals came out of the meeting further stressing the importance to provide relief and as soon as possible. Their intention is to table some kind of legislation within a week and before the next provincial budget, in order to get the ball rolling.

The plan? 

Attack fraudulent activity within the real estate sector, which is directly making the current boom a nightmare for many. Introduce measures that assist home buyers and attempt to level the playing field, while increasing supply to combat the current demand.

How will they achieve this?

 The Ontario government will introduce legislation that will represent a housing plan. This will most likely boost the requirements on developers to build more affordable housing into their projects, but also bring more money in to directly fund affordable housing projects.

Introducing new rent control will also most likely be on the table, as the only properties in Toronto that currently follow any kind of rent control, are those built before 1991. Originally, this was done to assist in a building boom, which in turn, would lower rents as supply became readily available, unfortunately that didn't work out exactly as planned. 

Another aim will be to target real estate agents who utilize bidding wars. By dissuading this type of behavior, the government is hoping that it will not only make it easier for a family to make an offer on a house, but will also allow people the time to properly secure the home before jumping at it.

One of the biggest issues right now in the GTA, is that many people are buying before actually looking at the home, since the bidding wars can result in a home being snatched quite quickly. This means that people are forgoing home inspections and not asking important questions regarding the home, such as: Has there ever been asbestos in this home or has the home ever had a flood or even if the home might be haunted? You can never be too safe, especially in some older neighborhoods in Toronto.

Where the government has already missed the point however, is in its lack of motivation to introduce an increased tax on Capital Gains.Currently, only 50% of realized Capital Gains are taxable in this country, which has motivated individuals to take a risk and buy up property, with no intention of even living in it.

One example of this, is the purchase of unfinished units. People have been purchasing unfinished condos very quickly, only to flip them before the official move in date as the price has most likely increased before then. While there is always a risk associated with these kinds of investments, the current market is literally giving a huge green light, due to how crazy the demand has grown for almost all kinds of housing. This is also contributes directly to an increase in prices, as the rampant purchasing alters the original supply for an almost instant profit.It is also money escaping the government, as people are able to do this quite easily with low interest rates and can purchase more than one unit at a time.

It is going to be important to keep an eye on the Ontario government in the coming weeks, as their legislation has the ability to greatly assist many people in Ontario, who just want to own their own residence.

We still have a very long road ahead of us before any meaningful solutions are implemented to greatly help all Canadians, but the biggest aim right now is to stop an overall crash in the market and also avoid the big R(ecession) word, since that is a word no one wants to hear with relation to a correction in the real estate market.

One thing is for sure, expect to see a lot more condo developments in your neighborhood, as the GTA is pretty much full, so the demand begins to spread to the surrounding areas and beyond just to cope.

Until Next Time!

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Housing Market...Hot, Hot, Hot!

This morning Mayor John Tory was interviewed by CBC regarding the current state of Toronto's housing market.

When asked what he could do as the Mayor in order to assist many Toronto natives, who are facing the reality of leaving the city in order to pursue home ownership, Mayor John Tory's short answer was that the problem is very complex and no one has the appropriate information to make a decision.

Depending on who you ask, the reason for such a boost in the housing market can range from greedy speculation to an influx of boomers retiring to a silent invasion of Chinese elites, who target Canadian cities to buy up cheap properties to launder their money.

The reality of the situation however, is that all of these reasons contribute to the overall state of the housing market in Toronto and also Vancouver.

It wouldn't be a stretch to understand that while the double cohort( Remember them?) is currently at the right age to purchase a home, their parents are currently seeking retirement and as a result want to downsize.

Many retirees are currently seeking a bungalow, which will ensure they have all of their necessary amenities on one floor, while they age and their lifestyle needs change. This, naturally, causes friction in the market, because the double cohort was so large, that high schools and universities had issues finding space for them and thus had to expand and adjust entry requirements. The housing market on the other hand is far behind in its capabilities to build fast enough to meet this same demand, which now puts us in the current housing bubble that we are in.

Throw in international entities that wish to purchase investments and or enter the market, then shake a little and throw in some domestic investors, who want to make a bang off of the hot market and we see Canada as a country entering very dangerous territory.

Many Canadians feel that this problem is only present in certain large cities, but with the impact that a housing bubble could have on many in those cities, the results could impact Canada as a country in terms of economic recession or even in a worse case scenario, something as dire as what happened south of the border in 2009.

Think interest rates, our dollar and the fact that many could become homeless if they no longer can afford their huge debt. Presently, 10% of Canada's GDP is currently in housing market, so even though the hottest markets are within two major cities, a domino effect is very possible.

What do we do?

This afternoon, Mayor John Tory will be meeting with Charles Sousa (Provincial Finance) and Bill Morneau (Federal Finance), to discuss what needs to be done moving forward to cool this market. This meeting will most likely return to the implementation of either taxing foreign investment or introducing a vacant land tax to target those who purchase property, with no intention of living in them.Another possible avenue taken would be to introduce a rise in the interest rates for borrowing or at least look into adding more regulation to the purchase of a home.

While these solutions may not provide an overnight solution to cooling the market, they will most likely help to either eliminate or regulate some of the contributing factors to the large increase in housing values in Toronto.

Ideally, the best solution would be to just build more housing and focus on high density living in order to take advantage of the current land available.

To compliment this, many transportation projects need to also be pushed to completion. If the market does not outright crash or correct itself, people will have to get used to the possibility of a commute to work. Utilizing a vehicle to do so would not be wise with the current rate of congestion much of our highways are experiencing, so alternate options are necessary to provided more options to people.

We can only hope that this afternoons meeting will result in a general consensus that more information is needed and as soon as possible. This will ensure that much of the current speculation people are utilizing to come to conclusions can be eliminated, as we target the main sources directly.

Updates to come as more information becomes available.

Until Then! 

Friday, 14 April 2017

Great Canadian Pot

Yesterday, after a much anticipated election promise, Justin Trudeau and his administration officially announced that marijuana will become legal for sale and consumption throughout all of Canada...In July of 2018....

While some may have begun partying and cheering at the announcement, others like myself are still scratching their head a little.

Why has it taken so long to make this a reality!? More importantly, why are people still being charged with possession, something that can greatly impact their working lives and mobility throughout the world?

Read a little further as I discuss my thoughts on the legislative framework put into place yesterday and #ThePoliticalPotMap that the Trudeau government has decided to rely on moving forward.

Legalization Deadline

 As of now, marijuana is slated to become officially legal in July of 2018, with an original date aimed at Canada Day.

While this may seem like an interesting way to integrate marijuana into Canadian cultural celebrations, I feel like the Trudeau government is missing the point on this.

Why would we want to celebrate both Canada and pot on the same day, when in reality, most people who consume marijuana have their own holiday, 4/20!?

Not Canada Day

Specifically, Trudeau's government has announced that the provinces have until July 2018 to implement their own individual distribution systems.

While I understand that it takes time to get legislation moving and put into place proper checks and balances, the government should have been moving much faster on this legislation, mainly because it will provide a much needed cash boost, while also opening up a more lucrative tourism market to the provinces.

Who wouldn't love the convenience of enjoying the beautiful sites of British Colombia or the life altering views of Niagara Falls, while puffing on some freshly cultivated, properly regulated, safe marijuana? Talk about the closest thing to having a green cash cow, almost entirely at your beck and call.


Based on the information released, the system moving forward will most likely rely on a regulation system that will consist of permits issued to a set number of providers. While this may seem like a step in favor of pushing more black market pot, it actually allows the government to catch up and ensure regulation can be enforced early on. The last thing anyone wants is to allow for a free for all marijuana spree, that would initially be a logistical nightmare to both tax and also regulate for quality and safety.

While this will still allow for a place for underground pot, it will also slowly degrade the reliance on such sources over time. As the pricing is properly adjusted and the quality is confirmed, the idea is that people will rely more on the legitimately marketed pot as opposed to the shadier black market stuff.

If you want to think of the best comparison between alcohol and marijuana, this would be the point to rely on. While many people search out cheaper alcohol, it is often rare to find people actively seeking underground hooch or moonshine anymore, sure there are a few here and there, but nothing like the days of prohibition, which forced everyone underground and allowed organized crime to flourish.

 Penalties and Enforcement

 Reinforcing our current drug laws and legal limits is the most important aspect of pot legalization, even more so than the taxation of it.

Currently, there is no sure fire way to calculate who is beyond a certain limit and thus impaired to operate a vehicle. While many may argue that pot does not impair you, but rather heighten your senses, I say thank you, but no thank you. I don't trust most people driving while sober, let alone under the influence of something that alters their mind, regardless of the experiences had by some.

It has been almost a decade now that the New Democrats have called for both the decriminalization and legalization of marijuana, followed by the Green party, who have also actively campaigned on this promise.

The question that remains, is how legalization will now affect those who currently either hold records or are serving time for the possession and or distribution of marijuana?

Will the government issue an accelerated pardon system to target these past convictions, which as we see now, were the result of a failed campaign on controlling marijuana? While the regulation and enforcement of other harder drugs is still necessary, much of the time and money put into actively controlling marijuana can begin to ease up and become more of a check-in and fine system, similar to what you might see with municipal by-law.

This is good for job creation, as I imagine a multitude of paralegals and by-law enforcement will employ more Canadians, with work that will most likely not go out of demand any time soon.

Furthermore, the government should look to issue a call for a more specialized enforcement of marijuana. While Canada will stand united in its allowance of legalized pot, the reality is that every province will take their own approach to both distribution and enforcement. Think Quebec, with a corner store pot shop throughout Montreal and other tourist spots or Ontario with an LCBO stocking pot and rum a few feet away. The criminal code will be there for large infractions regarding pot and human life, but when someone is distributing a legal substance to people of the right age, do we still lock them up or just fine them based on the size of the infraction?


To finish off, a very important aspect of legal pot was omitted entirely from yesterday's announcement. The government has not even hinted at confirming both GST/HST on pot sales.

Pricing will be crucial to turn people away from underground pot and help normalize legal pot.

At the moment, the price aim is between $9-$10 per gram. This would most likely either contain tax in it or be before the standard 12% tax rate.

Where timing is also important is regarding the marketing and pricing of legal pot. Had the government moved in a little faster, they could have not only begun reaping the financial benefits of legal pot, but also beat out already established American counterparts in the legal states.

With a lower Canadian dollar and a population that currently is not shy from encountering pot, this could unleash a buying spree from both domestic and international consumption in the form of tourism.

A real concern that all provinces should have is the initial rush on supply and the consequences of not ensuring a steady supply of legal pot upfront. Provinces should be organizing as soon as possible to establish pot zones in public spaces that not only allow for the consumption of legal pot, but also the necessary regulation to find a proper balance between domestic and international consumption.

Certain areas with the right marketing and social amenities, could essentially become tourist hubs within many Canadian cities that not only draw people for the legal pot, but also allow for the development and profiteering from Canadian culture through food and entertainment.

A little pot with your poutine eh?

Beaver tale with a joint?

Butter Tarts that will send you to the moon?

Space Gummies?

Lets do this right and make a lot of money for both the government and for individual Canadians, who may have some great ideas of safely marketing marijuana and further helping everyone just mellow out a bit!

Until July 2018...dude!

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Nuclear Korea and Donald Trump

To begin, if you know someone who is currently working in South Korea, you may want to prepare their return home or at the very least...ensure they renegotiate any contract they are under for a larger sum.

While many South Koreans have become used to the threats posed by the North, the recent military maneuvers ordered by Donald Trump, not only spell the possibility of confrontation, but almost tease it directly.

After witnessing the missile strike ordered on a Syrian air base only last week, we now have an idea of the foreign policy or lack of it, that Donald Trumps administration is currently utilizing.

Much of this will greatly affect any response to North Korea's rising nuclear arsenal and also showcase more of #ThePoliticalRoadMap being utilized by Trump/

In order to make America great again, Donald Trump needs to show that the United States will not back down from international aggression that threatens it directly or any of its allies.

With North Korea, we are experiencing much of the same type of behavior that the country has utilized in the past.

The formula for this behavior can be simplified like this: 

Step 1: Create an aggressive situation: Aim artillery pieces at major cities for example or sink a commercial fishing boat via military attack.

Step 2: Threaten all out war if demands are not met. Usually food supplies and money.

Step 3: Continue aggressive propaganda campaign and stance until demands met.

Step 4: Back off after demands met until next opportunity presents itself.

Step 5: Declare international relevance through your perceived strength.

In many cases, North Korea could easily get away with this type of behavior and the international community would pat itself on the back as having accomplished a job well done.

Where the situation now changes, is that the North Korean leader Kim Jung Un, now possess nuclear weaponry( We think) and also the missile ability to deliver its payload ( Sometimes).

In order for Donald Trump to make America great again, he has to return the country to the status of world police, where it watches over freedom via a strong military order. If the recent command to maneuver an aircraft carrier strike force closer to the country says anything, it says that Trump isn't afraid of war and if North Korea is confident enough to launch a nuclear weapon, its likely target will be South Korea or the waters surrounding it, which spells bad news for a lot of innocent people.

The real question that remains is how will China respond to all of this? For those who do not know, China provides all of the essential support to North Korea in terms of food, money and military hardware. If the Chinese choose to support North Korea, they not only risk direct conflict with the United States, but also an economic response from the Trump administration, that could essentially put a large tariff or outright ban on Chinese goods into the United States.

While it is too early to tell exactly how this will play out, one can only hope that North Korea will take advice from its ally China and stand down its nuclear activities, if not to save its own people and current regime, but to avoid all out war that will inevitably end up destroying North Korea and potentially devaste the Korea peninsula as a whole.

Until Next Time!

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Adult Assembly Required: Fake News

The term Fake News isn't real!

Surprised? Probably not, as we have been bombarded with the term Fake News as an action verb since the election of Donald Trump, in an effort to label news stories that are created in an effort to mislead.

The term has garnered so much traction in both regular and social media outlets, that people are even considering it as a tool that was used by the Russian government, in an effort to affect the recent American election.

I recently received a notification on my Facebook, updating me on new tools and initiatives that will identify and remove Fake News from my feed.

When I went to Google to do some searching, I was further updated that even Google is now implementing tools to combat Fake News as well.

While these initiatives may seem to be working in a positive manner to assist the common person, the reality of the situation is that we must be questioning these fact checking tools as much as we do media that we suspect is in fact Fake News.

Why you might ask? 

The simple answer is that by standing by and allowing someone else to fact check and inform us on what is true, we inherently put a lot of power into their hands.

As if it isn't bad enough that we have both Facebook and Google generating profit off of our daily social media and online activities, we are now allowing them to tell us what is true and was is not true.

This is the type of scenario that in the past would have regular media outlets questioned, as it becomes easy for information to be manipulated and thus further misleading.

Furthermore, Fake News isn't an accurate label in my personal opinion. What did we do before all of these people began labeling news as fake?

 It isn't a surprise that information has been made public in the past that was meant to either mislead or scare the general public.

Actual footage of Donald Trump driving to work. (Confirmed Real)

The difference between now and in the past is that people did much of the fact checking themselves or could rely on independent journalism that actually investigated the news stories first hand in order to expose information to the public, not to mention independent research conducted to provide official findings on certain subjects.

In today's modern world, we unfortunately cannot rely on journalism or unbiased research.

With companies becoming acquired by larger conglomerates, we essentially have billionaires owning and sometimes dismantling independent media, in an effort to increase profit and cut costs.

Where fake news becomes an issue now is that it is a response to a problem that was general created by social media.

While independent media may no longer thrive in the traditional sense, many people have gone online to continue conversations about the main topics.

Add in a fast network that reaches the entire world instantly and you can imagine the damage that can be created with false information and an intent to create hysteria.

What is also different however, is that people can not fact check on their own much easier than in the past.

We have search tools and online data available to determine what may be actual news that makes sense and what may be complete bullshit created by some kid in a basement.

The important focus on Fake News, is that we cannot allow this term as an excuse not to be informed. far too many people no longer take the time to pay attention to what happens around them and as a result become reactionary to current affairs.

 If we have someone who wishes to take advantage of people, what better way then to control the very tools that they now trust to tell them what is real and what isn't?

I have posted in the past regarding how social media has changed how we conduct politics.

No longer can a candidate run without some documented history on the internet, which provides transparency for the public and ammunition for adversaries.

The issue once again has been that many people just do not care to do the research, so they either put full trust into the words of others or remain uninformed, which is worse!

I want to leave you today with the advice to always remain vigilant with information and never be afraid to continue questioning anything.

We learn best when we question and with social media and the internet, we have the tools today to do just that. We just need to make the time and have a desire to actually care.

 Failure to do so not only erodes the quality of the information we intake, but also puts out Democracy and individual freedom at risk.

As an example, Many Americans hold the second amendment to heart for their freedom, they don't realize that their access to good information and vigilance in questioning that information does more to protect their freedom than any gun could ever do. 

Until Next Time!

Friday, 31 March 2017

The Middle Class Illusion

Are you middle class?

Do you know where the middle class falls within society? Is it someone who earns up to $120,000 or someone averaging around $50,000 annually? 

Surprisingly, many people do not really know, they believe they fall within the middle class, when in reality they may either be on the fringe of the upper tiers of society or just on the edge of being termed lower class or working poor.

This can be both confusing and very misleading when it comes to how people vote and more importantly, who they follow on the basis of the policies specifically targeted for the middle class.

The Canadian middle class has much like its American counterpart, helped sustain our country and also advance it. As a member of the middle class, an individual should have the ability to balance their finances between essential needs, luxury purchases and also savings.

I have come to the understanding that as a result of this definition, the middle class will naturally change as time progresses. For example, what we define as a wealthy sum of money today, may have once been defined as a lifetime worth 20 or even 30 years ago.

Where does this lead us though? How does a changing middle class affect the direction of our country? 

 If you simply look around at the average level of employment gained by the majority of Canadians and the quality of that employment, it is easy to see that we are approaching a major shift in how we classify our middle class.

Let's look at millennial's for example, they are currently working on average between 2-3 jobs in order to get by or balance their personal budgets. This means that money being put aside for savings is either very low or unavailable, which would also explain why debt levels among many Canadians is also skyrocketing. When you don't have enough funds to pay for the mortgage and keep up with the demands of your personal social life, coupled with the banks offering cheap loans, it is no surprise that many Canadians are biting in an attempt to maintain a certain standard of living.

Take this even further and I believe you can see how south of the border, Americans were able to elect someone like Donald Trump. Let me explain it for you in more detail, when you have individuals who believe they are apart of the middle class, who then either lose their employment or are faced with a reduction in employment, they become desperate. The label of middle class is not only an honour for many, but one with responsibilities to maintain a higher standard of living. Today that means you're buying that smart phone, purchasing a new car and ensuring you have the latest in decor and fashion for both yourself and your family.

Where this is getting us in trouble is regarding how unsustainable it is. We cannot continue to rely on cheap debt in order for us to fund the craze of our current society. How can we as a country guide the development of families and their children, when people cannot simply get by on their own without a reliance on cheap debt?

So, as a result, people will do whatever they can to keep the illusion going. They will vote for those who promise to make everyone middle class and who will fight for them, even if they happen to be a member of the very 1% that is currently supporting one of the largest divides in income known to mankind. They will resort to fear and distance themselves from others, because it is easier than accepting the fact that much of the problems we are currently facing regarding our economy, are problems that did not happen overnight. They are problems that stem from the greed of the few and the apathy of the many, where people accepted something not because they agreed with it, but rather because it came easy and with supposedly little baggage.

Now throw in a global economy and further automation and this problem becomes a much more dire issue for many. Statistics Canada estimates that within the next 10 years, between 1.5 and 8 million Canadians will lose their employment to some form of automation. While these numbers encompass a large range between them, they seem to be advancing the demise of our current way of life.

All is not lost though!!!!

In order to ensure that our economy does not further push itself over the cliff of bankruptcy, people need to do one simple thing...and that is take more accountability over themselves and their government.

Instead of going about their day believing they are the middle class or worse yet that they are rich and famous, people need to understand that it is perfectly fine to not have it all and be number 1.

Not everyone becomes a doctor, lawyer or wealthy CEO. Which means for the majority of us, we need to find employment that not only gives us some level of enjoyment, but also fits within our current lifestyle. More importantly, we need to begin living again, not like the Kardashians, but like human beings. Go for walks, talk to strangers on the street and demand more from those who lead you, further more, fight to become someone who leads if you believe you have solutions that can help others.

One side effect of believing we are all middle class and our reliance on this illusion of unlimited resources, is that we have also put more reliance on someone else to fix our problems. No longer are you seeing people taking accountability for their own actions or issues and this is a big problem. If you aren't happy, you need to figure out why and do something about it, not an easy task, but life isn't as easy as your credit card might sometimes make you believe.

Also, if you don't like your government, do something about that too. Take Justin Trudeau's Liberals, many people believe their direction for our country is too reliant on debt, while this belief is a blog post in and of itself, these same people rely on complaining about the issue, rather than taking action to contribute towards resolving it.

Keep fighting for what you want in life, but do not let people masquerade their own agenda in order to keep you bright eyed and dazed in an illusion. If we do not take charge of the direction our country is heading, someone else almost always will and that will most likely lead us further down the road of a reduced quality of life and more Canadians wondering what happened to it all.

Until Next Time!

Friday, 24 March 2017

Don Meredith and Another Senate Scandal!

I have been hearing a lot of discussion regarding newly disgraced Senator Don Meredith and his scandal revolving around sexual relations with a teenager. It seems like the Senate in general cannot go too far without some form of scandal either following it or outright being created by it.

Senator Meredith has created a lot of discussion in the media lately, not simply because of the act he has committed, but also because of the colour of his skin. Being a visibly black man in a position of power, many people feel that calls to dismiss the Senator or have him resign are actually a sign of the systemic racism still prevalent in our society.

Senator Don Meredith- Canadian Ally Photo

While I do agree that elements of systemic racism still do exist in many positions of power, I have to disagree with the comparison being used regarding Mr. Meredith. This is mainly because of the nature of the incident and also the character that Don Meredith represents in his position in the Senate.

For those unaware, Don Meredith is not only a member of the Canadian Senate, but also an ordained minister that works with the GTA Faith Alliance, which ironically targets youth crime. This makes the incident regarding the teenage girl a double whammy, as we now have an individual who supposedly uses faith to guide youth, while also holding membership to an appointed position that represents Canadians.

To have used his power over this girl in such a way, truly admits a violation in the ethics that a minister and Senator should adhere too.

To understand this issue without looking at race, one must not only question the actions of the Canadian Senate, but also reflect on what the Senate means to Canada?

We have a body of individuals, who do not become elected in their position, they do not have to campaign or win over the hearts and minds of individuals within their respective riding's. Instead, these individuals are appointed by the government to represent Canadians and ensure a fair process is adhered to regarding the passing of legislation.

Such a position as a result should not be taken lightly, as it requires an individual to responsibly act on behalf of Canadians, while also being a role model to those same Canadians.

In recent years, the Senate has unfortunately had a lot of negative press regarding mishandling of different affairs within it. Up until now, many of those accused have been relinquished of their charges and have either paid back any errors in their dealings or have walked away. Mind you, many of these incidents have revolved around the handling of money ( Cue the Mike Duffy Bill). Where Don Meredith differs is that he has had a sexual relationship with consent from the other partner, who happened to be 16 when it all began.

So, the question remains...Can we sweep this type of activity under the rug and continue business as usual, or does the fact that a female youth was involved make the act unforgivable?

A View of the Canadian Senate

The NDP recently campaigned on the notion of dissolving the Senate, as many Canadians have lost faith in it due to recent scandals. Both the Liberals and Conservatives have dismissed this idea as they have promised reform, but have usually just kept things the same, with little to no changes made.

Regarding Don Meredith's case however, will Canadians sit by idly going forward? Can we truly say that the Senate has lived up to it's end of the bargain and should continue with a business as usual attitude?

That is the million dollar question moving forward, as our current government and any incoming future governments must decide their own #PoliticalRoadMap in order to establish the direction of their governance.

What do you think? Have you heard of this scandal in the news? Do you believe any action regarding a youth should be handled with no prejudice?

Leave a comment below and discuss how this affects your perception of the Canadian Senate.

Until Next Time! 

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Justin Trudeau and Budget Zen

Justin Trudeau isn't worried, in fact he is living in the moment and in the now. His budget for 2017 showcases just how zen he is about the Canadian economy and how positive he is about the future.

While no new major spending was announced today, the budget centers around caution and patience, which is understandable . With Donald Trump next door, Canadian policy makers really have no idea what might be realistic regarding the American economy. So, as a result of this, Trudeau has opted to take a more relaxed and cautious approach to fiscal spending.

So What Exactly Does It Do? 

Today's budget put a positive emphasis on the development and training of tomorrow's workers. This is evident primarily in the spending assigned to the tech industry and R&D alone. What does this mean for the average middle class Canadian now? Not much, but it does provide direction for the country at large, as the government is essentially investing in an area that it believes will surpass in providing good paying and stable employment. I mean, with all of this talk regarding automation in the manufacturing sector coupled with the fluctuation in resource prices, it is no surprise that the government wants to begin investing more in the tech sector, which essentially will feed the creative energy needed in both new and existing startups.

The only downside to this spending is that it spends today for something tomorrow, which isn't even a full guarantee by the way.  While it is good to try and get ahead of the competition in anything, it is also a huge risk. What if the Americans or Chinese or Japanese or Germans or someone else under cuts us and is able to garner enough to attract our talent away? In an ever connecting world via technology, someone working with a focus on the technology sector can essentially work anywhere on the planet. Worrying about this now is as unproductive as investing in coal as a renewable resource, it not only makes sense, but is impossible to predict just yet, so we are left with the positive move of just putting money there and going with it.

What should worry Trudeau more than anything is the political target placed on his back. Actually, the target was already there, it is just growing larger, much like that deficit that is going to be posted for 2017.

$28 billion deficit being posted for 2017, added together with the roughly $29.7 billion from last year equals trouble for Trudeau. In only two years, the Trudeau government has already gone above and beyond the initial prediction of a $10 billion deficit by almost $60 billion!

We as a country need to remember that while the government can easily handle deficit and debt, it is the future generations of Canadians that will be working towards paying off that same debt. While a few good revenue sources can help lessen the burden, we need to ensure that our government is using debt in an effort for something more important and not just wasting it.

On the right, Conservatives will argue that Trudeau is not in touch with Canadians and that his spending is helping anyone besides Canadians. On the left, the NDP will point out that much needed social spending is not even present and anything proposed doesn't come close to supporting Canadians in need of health care and child care. Not to mention that emergency funding is not targeted towards the Indigenous communities that desperately need it.

In closing. the budget was very underwhelming and safe. Granted that the government and much of the world is still awaiting what Donald Trump has planned next door, I was still hoping that money would be put into programs that could make everlasting change for all Canadians. Only time will tell how drastic our policies will have to be made in order to address any changes that the Americans propose for their own country. Until then, lets hope Trudeau has a few aces up his sleeve that will bring in some more money. If his attitude today says anything, he seems to be living in the now and with a lot of zen, lets hope he doesn't forget that many Canadians are not currently living with the same attitude.

Until Next Time!

Thursday, 16 February 2017

The Religious Left - Mathew 22:21

It is the evening of Thursday February 16th and at midnight I will begin the celebration of my 3rd decade on this planet. While I look to the future with caution, I cannot help but look toward the past and see how much I have changed along with my surroundings.

The Religious Right is a term you have most likely heard many times via the media and other social media platforms. Specifically, this term has been used to label and identify the supporters of the political right or in the case of the United States, the Republican Party. Don't worry though, we have the religious right in Canada as well and while this term has been around for some time, it has recently undergone a transformation.

Now known as the Alt-Right, many people who once may have teetered toward the right of the political spectrum, have either been lumped in altogether with those of the extreme right or through pressure of the media and their peers, now cannot escape the self identification of a supporter of the right, also known as the religious right.

While I personally do not associate with the political or religious right, I do feel that it is unfair to automatically assume that anyone who associates with religion, specifically as a Catholic, should be lumped with someone who shares extreme views such as white supremacy.

As the years have passed, I have noticed that the Catholic church has resisted as much change as possible, even though the world around it changes drastically. While this has resulted in much of the same in terms of the practices of the church, it has also resulted in dwindling followers and more recently, the advent of fewer devotees who take up the calling.

While I agree that religion and politics must be separated, I do question if it is appropriate that we remove community from society? I question this because many Catholics who wish to continue the beauty of Catholic community, may find themselves in a conflict position when they no longer share all of the viewpoints of that community.

For example: The church still does not believe in the importance of equality in love( Gay Marriage) or the utility of family planning through contraception.

With dwindling followers and churches teetering on the brink of becoming abandoned and derelict, the church has now opened up a vacuum that can lead to one of a few possibilities.

We as Canadians, as Catholics, can continue on the same path we are now and ignore the fall of the organized church as we know it. Or, we can adopt a new outlook that takes empty churches and torn followers who want the aspect of community and create a paradigm shift.

Imagine a church of the religious left, people who wish to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, but also remain sensitive to the cultural transformations occurring around them.

Mathew 22:21 Jesus said: Render to Caesar the things that are Caesars, and to God the things that are God's.

 While this passage was to imply that the church should be left on its own separate from the political affairs of the time, it does still leave some wiggle room. As Jesus also taught, it is utility in treating others the way you wish to be treated and furthermore it is established that all people on earth are essentially children of God. When the church begins to turn away from some of its children and become political in their own affairs, can we not take Mathew 22:21 and turn it around? Can we not imply that the church needs to be adjusted in order to continue true to its general principles? In this case, the religious left should rise up and take back the church that it wishes to follow, but has become disenfranchised from.

Finally, if you are from a Catholic family and have decided that you question the very existence of God, I leave you with this. If you look at Jesus as a human male who was not of religious influence, treat him like a revolutionary. He did after all walk along Roman highways and through established temples from other religions in order to spread his word. He took an idea born within the tyranny of a dominant political entity and through love and education was able to overcome.

Hopefully this post influences others to begin a discussion on the aspect of the religious left and on the great advantage that exists for a paradigm shift. Plus, it provides an opportunity to break down the barriers that only creates fear, hate and division and brings about the possibility for more community and love.

Until Next Time! 

Monday, 13 February 2017

When Trudeau Met Trump

The saying and woman cannot be friends, they are bound to become lovers or fall apart. 

While it may seem like this has nothing directly to do with today's meeting between Prime Minister Trudeau and President Donald Trump, the relationship between the countries they represent does relate to it greatly.

Both Canada and the United States share one of the longest unguarded and friendly borders in the entire world, but you already know that. What makes this marvel so amazing is that it not only provides an example to the rest of the world on how countries should coexist, but also requires each country to have some sort of connection with the affairs of the other.

It is no surprise that today's meeting went off with roses and smiles, I mean we are only a day away from Valentines day and up until now, Canada hasn't done much to piss off Donald Trump.

The best way to explain the first meeting between Trudeau and Trump, is almost like a first date. You meet someone, maybe you talk on the phone a few times, which gives you an idea of how they may act. You finally come together for the first time and while things may not be exactly as you initially pictured it, you stick around and smile until the date is officially over. Except, when it comes to being a world leader next to a superpower, you smile a lot longer, as the date doesn't seem to really end until the term does. Which is excellent for Justin Trudeau, since all he seems to do as of late is smile, in various selfies, with various leaders, around the world (Woot Diplomacy!).

In reality, Justin Trudeau does not have much to smile about regarding Donald Trump. Both politicians share almost exactly the opposite viewpoints when it comes to governing and immigration. Their relationship right now is too early to tell, because they haven't really gotten into any of the nitty gritty just yet. Sure, they both want to create jobs and they want the relationship between Canada and the United States to be strong, but every politician says that.

The real test will be when Trump most likely makes a move that affects Canadians and Canada. As of now, there isn't much that has been done by Trump that will affect us just yet.He did sign into approval the Keystone XL pipeline and believes that resource development is important for prosperity,which means Western Canada will love him, but he also has a very short fuse and relies too heavily on social media and television. Kick up some "fake news" about Canada feeding illegals into the United States or undermining his political intentions and just wait for the various tweets denouncing Trudeau and his fabulous hair.

Take it one step further and reopen the can of worms that is the Softwood Lumber dispute and add in a pinch of NAFTA to the discussion and just wait for all hell to break loose.

It was nice seeing Trump make an effort to display the achievements of women and also mention how women will lead to prosperity for both countries, something unsurprising given his approval rating among women lately and the fact that hundreds of thousands of women marched against him recently. While this public move may seem to be positive, it actually undermined the entire meeting as it didn't seem genuine, see the photo below for more.

Talk about a perfect photo op! I mean, it lets both leaders really showcase how much they care about women in business. Surround yourself with a bunch of female CEO's and make sure you smile in order to give the cameras some juicy eye candy!

While it is obvious that Donald Trump was catering to Trudeau, it doesn't mean all is lost. It is true that opposites do attract and while each leader stands on different ends of the political spectrum, this is nothing new regarding the relationship between Canada and the United States. In fact, much of the history between the two countries has been exactly like this, we vote Liberal, they vote Republican and vice versa. Plus, Canada does everything in its power to reinforce Canadian values,whatever those are, while living in the shadow of American Imperialism and culture. This is because we cannot escape it and as a result do what we can to reinforce our opposite to it, politely.

Donald Trump has already established that his America will do things differently and as a result will demand more from its allies, while instituting more accountability towards its direct and indirect enemies. This position by the President will most likely lead to more discussion in the future regarding military support, either in the form of renewed development contracts or essentially Trump telling Trudeau to pony up more money towards their alliance.

Either way, it will be interesting to see what connections and developments will spring forward from today's meeting in the near future and how each side of the table decides to treat the other. Trudeau may very well think that Trump is a racist, orange snob, but he cannot deny that he also is the leader of the most powerful country in the world and the largest market of potential consumers of Canadian goods.

The way I see it, if China can gain a lot of attention from our leader regarding trade and development, regardless of how poorly its own record is regarding human rights and the environment, Trudeau should have no trouble putting aside his conscious to strike a deal with Donald Trump.

In the end, regardless of how much work they both put into improving their relationship, it will never come close to the natural love and connection felt here:

Until Next Time!

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

3 Reasons to Not Punch a Nazi

Lately, I have kept my distance from the American election and much of the ongoing affairs in Canadian politics as well. With work being busy and life equally as busy, it has been hard to follow every aspect of current political affairs, while dedicating the sufficient time needed to complete my personal goals, so let me begin by apologizing for my absence in this blog.

What I have been observing however, is the rampant division and activism shown by both Americans and Canadians pertaining to the recent election of Donald Trump. Specifically, comparisons of Trump to the (In)famous Nazi leader Adolf Hitler. So much so, that many people have come to the conclusion that they would indeed punch a Nazi, or in this case a Trump supporter, for various reasons that I even truly do not fully understand outside of the fact that Nazi's are bad.

Here are 3 reasons why punching a modern day Nazi is a bad idea and some suggestions on approaches that would not only net a better result, but essentially enact effective change.

Reason 1: Freedom of Speech

While Nazi supporters and really any group of people who publicly denounce others based on religion, political belief or the colour of their skin are annoying and uneducated, their personal beliefs are a right they hold in a Democracy. What is important to understand is that regardless of the current leader in power, the rule of law and the rights afforded to all citizens are still in place and for good reason. We have a right to voice our opinions, regardless of how stupid or hurtful they may appear. Equally as important however, is our right to counter such beliefs and enact discussion.

Over the past 3 decades, left leaning groups in both the United States and Canada have accomplished major feats in order to ensure the voice of the vulnerable and unheard has received more attention. Sadly, I would argue that what has also come from this is a total shut down of proper discussion between different parties along the political spectrum. It has become much easier for each side of the spectrum to simply apply labels to the opposing side in an effort to shut down their opinion or silence their public beliefs. This in turn, I would argue, has led to the mass protest vote witnessed in the United States with Donald Trump, while also giving rise to the far right in Europe.

Restarting the necessary discussion to allow a Democracy to thrive, is the answer to combat the ignorant and misguided support that has allowed the far-right to gain momentum. This is not achieved by fighting fire with fire, but rather with the education of those that support in this example white supremacist groups or Nazi copy cats.

Reason 2: The Truth

To compliment the first reason, it is important to remember that at the end of the day, the truth will prevail. This is where education becomes crucial, as it allows the truth to spread and also regulates the narrative of the day.

One key element of the recent American election is the rise of "Fake News." While I disagree that news can be fake, I do believe it is true to have news articles with fictitious sources or with a more personal narrative made to resemble an informed and researched argument.

If you believe that Donald Trump resembles a Nazi and that his party is not fit to lead your country, then now more than ever is the time for you to stand up and support the truth. How you do this can be reflected in your own style, but has to be a legitimate form of protest in order to allow the general public to support you. If you decide in a more embarrassing feat that you must now "Move to Canada," then I am sorry, but you have already failed.

When I hear people saying that they would move to Canada if Trump was elected, I just stop and think, why? This isn't the first time an unpopular choice was able to squeeze into power, after all in politics, the person with the most merit for leadership and change, is often times not the one who is selected, since the entire process is a gamble for power.

If you are going to move to Canada, make sure you have a good reason to do so, such as: Getting kicked out of America for protest that supports the truth or by embarrassing the current government through efforts that showcase their inability to lead. Don't just get up and run when the going gets tough, get tough and fight for the truth!

Reason 3: If you're going to throw a punch, be prepared to receive one too!

Violence in any form is something that should only be reserved for the purpose of self defense and as a last resort. No other explanation needed other than this, if for example a Nazi is choking you or is about to kill a bunch of people, then sure, punch the fucker in the face!

However, if someone is voicing their opinion, while maintaining the rule of law by not posing a direct threat to anyone, than saying you would like to punch them is far from the appropriate response to enact real change. Once that punch is landed and you have put yourself in the position to endanger that individual based on their own personal beliefs, you place yourself in a position where the state now has the authority to rain down on you. You not only lose all credibility, but also become an easy target that will be destroyed. Governments are prepared for violence, since they hold the sole authority to use it. If you rely on violence to enact change or alter the beliefs of others, you either did so impulsively or were never serious about true change. If anything, you just make a martyr out of the Nazi, who is playing by the systems rules.

Based on which generation you fall within, you do not have an obligation to fight Nazi's, most likely your grandfather or great grandfather did and that was because at the time the Nazi's posed a legitimate military threat on the world.

Your obligation today is to reinforce the value of a Democratic system and ensure that your country is inviting to all regardless of their beliefs. For it is through discussion and education that we will get anything done. If you rely on nonviolence to enact change, you are proven to be more effective in achieving it.
So, I will leave you with this, please do not stand voiceless in the face of authoritarianism. Right now, the most important thing a person can do to counter their governments choices is to ensure that the right information is being displayed to the general public and by winning hearts and minds. If the other guy is using fear and division to introduce their agenda, do not rely on their tactics to get results, utilize what is proven as a way to dismantle their attempts and ensure that people are educated enough to know where their support needs to be.

Canada and Canadians survived 10 years of Stephen Harper, America can survive Trump or if fortunate, impeach him!

Until Next Time!