Friday, February 19, 2010

The Last but not forgotten

The last living Canadian World War I veteran, John Babcock, has passed away at the age of 109.

From Prime Minister Stephen Harper:

"On behalf of all Canadians, I would like to extend my sincere condolences to Mr. Babcock's family and friends. As a nation, we honour his service and mourn his passing," Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in a statement. "John Babcock was Canada's last living link to the Great War, which in so many ways marked our coming of age as a nation. In honouring his service and mourning his passing, we honour the proud history of our country and pay tribute to all those who fought and died for Canada."
Here here!
There's no doubt that the heroics of our soliders fighting in WWI put Canada on the global map as a strong, fearless nation.  And there's equally no doubt that years later in WWII, that same resilience, courage, and pride continued as our troops stormed Normandy on D-Day and helped liberate millions from the clutches of Nazi rule.
As a young 17 year old Ukrainian man, my grandfather (whom I'm named after) was forced to fight in WWI for the Austrio-Hungrian army on the Italian front.  Prior to his return to his villiage in Southwestern Ukraine, his father had been taken prisoner by the Polish Army where he later died in prison from typhous.  My grandfather then enlisted in the Ukrainian Army, marking the beginning of a period which he never really spoke much about, if at all, to anyone.  Perhaps it is what prompted him to leave his family behind, make the trek to port, and cross the Atlantic to seek a better life in a place called Canada.  And so here I am.
I am forever grateful to this day of the great sacrifice he made.
Although their bodies may not remain on this earth, for a long-lived veteran like John Babcock and my grandfather, their spirit shall live on. 
Never forget, my friends.  NEVER forget.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Thank you to the baby boomer. Thanks a lot.

Parliamentary budget officer Kevin Page says taxes are eventually going to have to go up, coupled with cuts because them baby boomers are a retirin' and gonna be fewer folks workin' too, so someone needs ta pay fer it.  Well thank ya very much.

I'd like to officially thank the baby boomers for screwing over my generation (X) by leaving us with a massive government that we cannot possibly pay for in the future.  Way to create a pension plan that probably won't exist when I retire because they'll be no money left, despite me paying into it all these years.  Meanwhile, the important things will probably continue to hang by a thread. I'm talking about infrastructure, parks, and the military.

While bank CEOs and economists are calling for tax increases, the little guy and the middle class continually gets ignored.  Tax increases are the absolute LAST thing we need.  With the average household debt being just under $100,000, yeah, let's TAX them some more.  That'll really spur economic growth.  Leave it to a bureaucrat to come up with the brilliant idea that a new tax or tax increase will solve problems.  Friggin' geniuses they are!  Let's give 'em big raises and pensions for their smarts.

Hey, dipstick bureaucrat, instead of asking regular Canadians to tighten their belts, why aren't you and these "experts" calling for gov't to do the same?  (Wait, don't answer. It's too obvious.) 

As far as spending cuts, I don't mean just little cuts here and there, but to go through the entire bureaucracy, beyond what the Auditor General does, sell off crap the feds don't need, oh I dunno, like entire empty buildings and unused equipment, cut useless programs, departments, employees, and grants (oh there's plenty), and GET BACK TO BASICS.

I mean, how far do we take it the other way?  Does gov't just keep growing and expect the taxpayer to continually fund it?  It's really got to stop. It should have stopped a long time ago actually.  Oh but those boomers sure got a hold of government and made it grow, leaving a legacy of waste and mismanagement, didn't they?

I hope Harper, Flaherty, and Day stick to their conservative roots and find those areas I mentioned, get rid of them, while modestly and carefully cutting taxes at the same time.

Allow Canadians to pay off their debts, invest, and spend. That's how an economy grows and jobs are created.  Taxing them will diminish that from happening.

Now, you might be asking, "Hey, where's the Iggy jab, Hatrock?"  Well, if he were in power, we all know what he'd do.  And he's a boomer who didn't even live here for 35 years.

Yeah, thanks. Thanks a lot.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Former Oiler/Hab Laraque running for the Green Party?

When I watched Georges Laraque play for the Edmonton Oilers not too many years ago, his hard hitting, fights, and enthusiasm sometimes cleared the path for the other players on the team to shine.. for a little while anyway. He was there for Edmonton's 2006 Stanley Cup run but wasn't a major factor.  Georges was entrenched, and still is, in the Edmonton community.

Upon being traded to the Montreal Canadiens, he just didn't click with the team and had poor results.  So it came as no surprise when he was released by the team.

Now to hear him stepping into politics, is certainly a twist.   But running for the Greens?  With global warming being refuted by its own scandals, one wonders if the Green Party has much to run on.

And hopefully, he doesn't take advice on where to run from its leader, Elizabeth May, who had the genius to run against popular gov't minister, Peter Mackay, and now another minister and long-time BC MP, Gary Lunn.

Or maybe Georges is just used to losing.

If so, he picked the right team.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Canadians support Senate reform

A new poll was released showing that the majority of Canadians support Senate reform.  What type of reform? It isn't clear, but something better than the massively skewed representation there has been in place, but it also appears Canadians are in line with the Conservative view.

With the Liberals, you'll get the status quo, which only 20% support, or the NDP view where only 10% agree to have it abolished altogether.

What's interesting are those folks who support the Liberals also want to elect senators more than Conservatives (66% to 58%).

So here we have the Prime Minister making appointments recently to stack the Senate eventually to make some reforms to it.  So again, he's obviously drawing attention to the need for reform.  He's been doing that since he came into power.

Currently, I'm having interesting discussion with folks on Blogging Tories on the idea of having provincial legislatures making the choice on the people who should represent them in the Senate.  Apparently, in the past, U.S. senators were appointed by state legislatures.  A couple of conservative Americans I discussed this with online have said they should go back to state appointments because senators are now more privy and influenced by federal politics rather than truly representing their state.  Very interesting concept and something I could support.

What's also interesting is that Prime Minister Harper did leave the door open for provinces to fill their respective senate vacancies, but only Alberta had elected any.  I also believe it also included having premiers or provincial legislatures making the decision and recommending to the prime minister who they wanted. But no province took him up on the offer.

Regardless, with the Conservatives having a plurality in the Senate and the majority of Canadians supporting reform of some sort, I hope we can get something in place to make the Upper House a true and equal representation of each province in our country.