Sunday, February 28, 2010

Canada - Hockey - Gold

Nuff said.

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Go Canada!

Canada always hits way over it's "weight class" when it comes to Winter Games. In comparing with the USA, we have 10 times less population. They should be getting almost 10x as many medals.

We win. Regardless of the men's hockey results...

More on the "take-aways" from these games in a later post. Let's just say that having them in Vancouver, and being the most mass-transit-friendly, and greenest (with a strong focus on both these topics) was a huge part of the "fan-success" of these games. The record crowds in downtown Van didn't just "appear" - they came from across the Lower Mainland, and from around the world - and they used the efficient green transportation set out in Vancouver to get most, all, or part of the way. This is truly a legacy of the games. We need to push for more rail transit, more mass transit, and more high speed rail - as well as a focus on more pedestrian streets.

Go Canada!

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Friday, February 26, 2010

Leave The Canadian Women's Hockey Team Alone!

Their celebration is no worse than any other celebration by any other winning hockey team. And it was part of a tradition since Salt Lake.

Sometimes we North Americans tend to be a little too damned anal (conservative for lack of a better description). In Europe there would nary be a whimper about a young lady only a year or so under the "drinking age" for having a beer.

We should all lighten up a little - and enjoy a great victory by our most dominant Olympic athletes ever!

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Another Conservative Trashes Atlantic Canada

They really don't like the Atlantic Canadian provinces, do they? "Culture of defeatism", now this...

Acting very Conservative, Ms. Helena "of Troy" decides to be as juvenile as her hubby. Figures. Wonder if she had a little share of her hubby's meds?

While many in the media point out her absolutely despicable behaviour... Her lack of judgement, and her tirade against people doing a job that the "law and order" (bullshit) Conservatives so vehemently claim needs to be done (and done even more vigorously according to their recent tax hike for added security), I think the focus needs to be on the Conservative's attack - once again - on a region East of Manitoba.

What will it be next time? Ontario again? Quebec - the Reform-a-Tory's favorite bashing subject? Newfoundland? All these regions have been bashed by the Reform-a-tories in recent months/years.

Growing up out West, on the Prairies, I recall the hatred about "The East" spewed by the Reform crowd. I should have known it was part of their ingrained philosophy, and not going anywhere anytime soon.

Time for a change. The recent swell of patriotism during the games just shows Canadians want a government that loves Canada back. A day after a young lady from PEI becomes a Canadian hero for her bobsleigh run, trashing the island is not what Canadians want from their elected representatives...

... Come to think of it, "Canadians" did elect a true majority from the other parties in the house...

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Monday, February 22, 2010

Goodale Weekly Report: Senior Pension Crisis

This Grit is back from European vacation... to find life pretty much the same around here... (we can learn a thing - or three - from the Europeans)...

Well... I guess there are the Olympics... That's new.

Ralph's Weekly Report makes some good points about pensions and the potential crisis facing us (unless some more progressive policy comes to the forefront - and soon):


Did you know that one-third of Canadians have no retirement savings, beyond the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), Old Age Security (OAS) and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS)?

Another one-third don’t have sufficient savings to maintain their standard of living.

Over half of Canadian families do not belong to any employer-sponsored pension plan, and for those with a company plan, what happens if your employer goes bankrupt?

These are serious concerns. Liberals have called for three remedial steps to be taken immediately.

First, if your employer goes bankrupt, your pension is “stranded” and must be “locked in” to annuities. But annuities are not managed for growth and the “locking in” often takes place at the bottom of the market (when bankruptcies typically occur).

Liberals propose to bolster the value of stranded pensions by giving Canadians the option of transferring their assets to the CPP (with its impressive security and growth record).

Secondly, we need to help the most vulnerable pensioners – those on long-term disability. If your employer is paying you these benefits directly, but goes bankrupt, you’ll be left with nothing. Liberals propose that long-term disability benefits be given “preferred” status over other claims in bankruptcy proceedings.

Third, we need to help Canadians save more, by offering safe, reliable and hassle-free ways to invest for retirement. Some of this can be achieved through tax and administrative changes to promote greater up-take on RRSPs and other private savings vehicles.

But that’s not all.

Supported by several provincial governments (including Saskatchewan), Liberals are calling for a “Supplementary Canada Pension Plan”, to allow all Canadians to voluntarily contribute more of their own money to the CPP, and thus benefit more from the CPP’s high-grade investment performance.

Stephen Harper’s government promised to make fixing pensions a leading priority, but to date they’ve accomplished nothing at all.

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Friday, February 12, 2010

Welcome To Vancouver

It is true Canadian fashion to extend a warm welcome to all our guests. We would like to encourage everyone to embrace our international guests this month.

Flying back from Paris this Tuesday, we had an opportunity to meet athletes from many countries. There were members of the French Olympic Team, Hungarian skiers, Bulgarians, Croatians, Czechs, Slovakians, Polish, etc. Our flight from Paris to Toronto was about 1/4 athletes, and from Toronto to Vancouver was mostly athletes... Amazing...

We made sure to extend a friendly handshake to whoever we had the opportunity to share a smile with, and a hearty "welcome to Canada/Vancouver".

Regardless of the protests against the games, it certainly makes you feel warm inside to host the world.

Enjoy the show (or don't), but let's ensure we make a warm Canadian effort to welcome everyone to our home and native land.

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