Ho-Hum Canadian Stories

– As the 2021 Canadian Election ho-hums along, (ho-hum as in we have to accept that something unpleasant cannot be stopped from happening), Prime Minister Trudeau may have got the hint that some voters think the election was totally unnecessary AND find his messaging unpalatable. He is being met at some campaign stops with boos, heckles, jeers and yes, even small stones lobbed his way! (Mr. Trudeau says he wasn’t hurt and compared it to the time a woman threw pumpkin seeds at him during the Hamilton mayoral race in 2018…)

– Also election related – Elections Canada has branded all their election material with the slogan “It’s Our Vote”.  Strange phrasing – did someone make a mistake and leave out the ‘Y’ from the normal slogan “It’s YOUR Vote!”


– Canadian tourists are still not allowed to drive into the United States. They can fly there, but they can’t drive there. Fortunately we have some Canadian ‘snowbirds’ in the USA (Canada Geese) to protest on behalf of their non-feathered friends.

– Last month, the Board of Governors of Toronto’s Ryerson University announced that the university would be dropping the name Ryerson. The University was named after Egerton Ryerson, who has been vilified in some circles for the role they believe he played in the creation of Residential Schools. Many scholarly publications refute these allegations. An article by Lynn McDonald in the Financial Post outlines who Ryerson was and the positive things he did for Indigenous people. This information matters little, of course, if individuals are only judged through the lens of the group they have been assigned to – white, male, colonist, racist… and so on.

– Alberta’s Municipal Elections are in October. Besides voting for Mayors and such, we get to vote on whether we want to adopt year- round Daylight Saving Time, which means we would keep summer hours all year round. I’ll vote for that.

It would be nice if we could have summer weather all year round too… of course, that would mean we would get to vote on whether we are ‘for’ climate change.

History of Daylight Saving (or Savings?) Time
Disturbingly, daylight savings time did begin in Canada. Thunder Bay, Ontario has the odious distinction of being crowned the first municipality in the world to implement daylight savings time in 1908, and we have never forgiven Ontario. Daylight savings time picked up traction during World War I when it was thought that by adjusting the clocks for the summer months would help preserve coal. It was also thought that it would encourage people to get out and about in the late hours of the summer days. By the end of the war, all of the major participants had adopted daylight savings time, and the collective madness of daylight savings time persists today in countries all the way from Australia to Uruguay.
– Ahlstrom Wright Law Firm –

So, what is ‘Ho-humming’ in your part of the world?

Prime Minister ‘No Intention of Triggering an Election’ Calls an Election

May 2021: There Will Not be a Pandemic Election in Canada: A motion in the House of Commons was supported by all but one of Canada’s parliamentarians. It denounced a pandemic election and agreed that the government should prevent it from happening. Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reinforced that the Liberal government had no intention of triggering an election before the pandemic is over.

June 2021: The moment Prime Minister Justin Trudeau cut his ‘quarantine curls’ and shaved his greying beard, some pundits speculated that he would call an election. Others said Trudeau would uphold the intent of the May motion and that he wouldn’t put the lives of Canadians in danger with an unnecessary pandemic election.

August 2021: There Will be a Pandemic Election: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called a snap election for September 20 in the midst of what Canada’s chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, says is a fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, now being driven by the Delta variant.

Are you a politician or does lying just run in your family?
– Fannie Flagg, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe –

Why would Trudeau call an election? He wants more power. Justin’s Liberals won only a minority government in October 2019. Though they have been supported  by the other left of centre parties (which has allowed them to govern as though they have a majority) he wants a Liberal majority government. The health cost to those who will be involved in this campaign, and the financial cost to the taxpayers, apparently isn’t a concern to him.

Trudeau says “Canadians need to choose how we finish the fight against COVID-19.” The election comes as Canada is experiencing a new wave of COVID-19 cases, driven by the delta variant of the coronavirus. Trudeau called it “the fourth wave amongst unvaccinated people.”
– ROB GILLIES, Associated Press –

Lighter Side of Canadian Governments

That Good Looking Bullshitter in a Suit

Justin (Trudeau) looks more and more like a regression to the mean, a nice guy with influential friends but still just another ordinary good-looking bullshitter in a suit.
– Crawford Kilian, The Tyee –


Background to the cartoon: Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has threatened to sue Conservative Party Leader Scheer over Scheer’s statements that Trudeau interfered with the prosecution of Montreal firm SNC-Lavalin and lied to Canadians about it. This  ‘scandal’ has led to two resignations: Trudeau’s Principal Secretary, G. Butts and Michael Wernick, the Clerk of the Privy Council (who is also head of the federal public service). Trudeau also ousted two members of his party because they criticized his behavior.

It’s Just Other People’s Money

As Margaret Thatcher once pointed out, “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”

In 2016, under the left wing NDP government, Alberta’s capital city, Edmonton, lost roughly 15,000 private-sector jobs, but it gained 14,000 provincial public-sector ones. The debt and deficit increased as did government intervention in the form of income redistribution and regulation. Albertans recently said, enough is enough – and elected a more fiscally Conservative government.

Two Ways to Deal with a Coyote

In British Columbia (perhaps):
The Premier is jogging with his or her dog along a nature trail. A coyote jumps out and attacks the Premier’s dog, then bites the Premier.
The Premier starts to intervene, but reflects upon the movie “Bambi” and then realizes he should stop because the coyote is only doing what is natural. He calls animal control. Animal Control captures the coyote and bills the province $200 for testing it for diseases and $500 for relocating it.
The Premier goes to hospital and spends $3,500 getting checked for diseases from the coyote and to get his bite wound bandaged.
The running trail gets shut down for 6 months while Fish and Game conducts a $100,000 survey to make sure the area is now free of dangerous animals.
The Premier spends $50,000 in provincial funds implementing a “coyote awareness program” for residents of the area. The provincial legislature spends $2 million to study how to better treat rabies and how to permanently eradicate the disease throughout the world.
The Premier’s security agent is fired for not stopping the attack. The Province spends $150,000 to hire and train a new agent with additional special training re: the nature of coyotes.
PETA protests the coyote’s relocation and files a $5 million suit against the province.

In Alberta:
The Premier is jogging with his or her dog along a nature trail. A coyote jumps out and attacks the dog.
The Premier’s security agent shoots the coyote, drags it into the bushes and keeps jogging.
The Premier has spent $0.50 on a cartridge.
The crows eat the dead coyote.

Trudeau Goes to India

Justin Trudeau’s India visit has proved one thing. He has more Indian outfits than all the men in my family combined!
– Anu Menon @ExLolaKutty –

Budgets Balance Themselves

Trudeau says that we need to “rethink concepts as basic as space and time.” Intelligent people say “we need to rethink Trudeau.”
– David Jacobs @DrJacobsRad –

The Liberal Party campaigned on a pledge to run short-term deficits in order to stimulate the economy and return to balance before the 2019 federal election. That didn’t happen because what Mr. Trudeau really meant was “the commitment is to grow the economy and the budget will balance itself.” Unfortunately, budgets aren’t self balancing. Finance Canada now predicts the deficit could be erased by 2045.

Not Enough Parachutes

A small plane had 4 passengers on board…
the Russian President Vladimir Putin,
the American President Donald Trump,
the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau,
and a boy scout.

All of a sudden, the engine caught fire.The pilot explained to the passengers that the plane was gliding but losing altitude… it would crash in 6 minutes. Another problem was that there were 5 people on board, but only 4 parachutes.

The Russian president suddenly exclaimed “We are the best country in the world” – he grabbed a parachute and jumped out of the plane.

The American president exclaimed “We are the most powerful country in the world” – he grabbed a parachute and jumped out of the plane.

The Canadian Prime Minister exclaimed “I’m the brains of Canada” and he grabbed a parachute and jumped out of the plane.

The pilot turned to the boy scout and said “Well son, there’s 2 of us left and only 1 parachute.” The boy scout looked at the pilot and said “No worries… the brains of Canada just took my backpack.”

Animal Species and the Language Police

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has taken offense to phrases that they say trivializes cruelty to animals. They call it “Speciesism”. In a recent Twitter post, they wrote “Words matter, and as our understanding of social justice evolves, our language evolves along with it. Here’s how to remove speciesism from your daily conversations.”

PETA suggestions for replacements of what they consider ‘Anti-Animal’ Language.

The response to this tweet was not particularly supportive of the concept. For the most part, the internet laughed.

“So you’re saying that there’s more than one way to skin a cat.”
“You’re flogging a dead horse.”
“So you’re advocating violence against flowers now.”
“PETA probably has bigger fish to fry…oops.”
“So, Curiosity thrilled the cat (not killed).”
“Hey peta! You forgot to let the weather know it has to stop raining cats and dogs.”
“I don’t want to let the cat out of the bag, sound too pig headed, but want to address the elephant in the room, there is more than one way to skin a cat.”
“We should also address the 800-pound gorilla in the room who is the perfect weight because we don’t body shame here.”

There are hundreds of phrases that are inspired by animals. Do they trivialize cruelty to animals or are they simply a reflection of our interesting and complex language? How is our language being shaped by the growing influence of Pressure Group Language Police?

‘Hop like a bunny’ over to The Phrase Finder for an excellent compilation of Animal Inspired Phrases. If you don’t follow this link then all I can say is “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.”
For more Animal Idioms, with some fun photographs, ‘train your eagle eyes’ onto 25 Amazing Animal Idioms. I’m not ‘sending you on a wild goose chase’, really!

What is your favourite animal idiom?

Increase Your Chances of Being Right (Video)

In “post-fact culture”, where rationality seems to vanish in the storms of lies and conspiracy theories, beliefs about the future are crucial.
– Gapminder Data System –

Are you smarter than a chimp? Watch this funny, entertaining and encouraging video to see how your knowledge compares to the chimps at the zoo.

How much do you know about the world? Hans Rosling, with his famous charts of global population, health and income data (and an extra-extra-long pointer), demonstrates that you have a high statistical chance of being quite wrong about what you think you know. Play along with his audience quiz — then, from Hans’ son Ola, learn 4 ways to quickly get less ignorant.
– TED Talk by the Gapminder Founders

What facts surprised you or made you think more positively about the future of the world?

When All the Presidential Candidates Stink – Call Canada!

What could be worse for a creaky, cancerous political system than what the Democratic and Republican parties are brewing up? Nothing really. This is as bad as it gets…
First: Do I even bother to vote?
For those who do cast a ballot, there is the even sadder choice: Which candidate do I loathe the least?
– Ron Fournier, The Atlantic –

The QuipperyThe ‘Any One But’ vote – in a recent Reuters/Ipsos poll on American voter preferences, nearly half (47 percent) of those who said they’d support Trump said it was because they don’t want Hillary Clinton to win. Nearly half (46 percent) of those who said they’d vote for Clinton said it was because they don’t want Trump to win.

Maybe this will be the year that the American people decide neither of these candidates is fit to be President. There are several alternatives such as Third Party, Unaffiliated, Write-In and Independent Candidates (in addition to Republican and Democratic Party Candidates other than Clinton and Trump.)

There are hundreds Americans who think they would be a viable  alternative to a simple anti-vote. Of course, SKYWALKER, ANAKIN; GOAT, ANUS THE or THE CLOWN, BIPPY are also on alternative lists, but really, could any of them be worse than the current front runners?

Another option – you can look to Canada for a new alternative for good government! We offer you – The Canada Party!

Why is The Canada Party such a great choice?

Consider this: “Canadians often point out that while the American constitution promises “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” the constitution of Canada–written in the 1860s in England–sets a more modest goal: “Peace, order, and good government.” – Robert Fulford –

If you doubt our abilities to govern, consider the fact that we’ve already moved massive numbers of vocal, though unqualified, candidates into your country. You thought our Canada Goose contingents were just seasonal visitors, but you are now starting to realize they have no plans to leave and they are the masters of ‘friendly fire’ when they have a convention in one of your local parks. If we can be so effective with geese, think what we could do with people!

So, what’s it going to be, America? Are you going to stand up for your country and say “Enough is enough” – or will you just bitch your way through another four years with a President who is either the master of reality television or a woman who displays a determined adherence to political deception?

Politics – The Lighter Side

Canadians and Americans are gearing up for Federal Elections. Canadians will go to the polls on October 19th, 2015 to select the ruling party, and by extension the Prime Minister. Americans will not select their President until a year later – November 8, 2016.

…this (American) presidential campaign is about twice the average gestation period of an orangutan. The 2016 Canadian federal election will have a gestation period between that of a wolf (64 days) and a leopard (94 days). A mere nothing.
– David Shribman, Globe and Mail, August 4, 2015 –

The QuipperyMy take on politics and elections? Get out and vote, but don’t be a gullible voter. For every promise a politician makes, ask:
– How realistic is it that this person/party will actually be able to deliver this outcome?
– How is this person/party going to pay for this?
– What is the opposing person/party really saying about this issue? (Go to their website in addition to reading what the media thinks.)

I said there was a Lighter Side to Politics and Government. I’ve rounded up some famous, and not so famous quotations – some I’m sure will make you laugh!

Democracy is an interesting, even laudable, notion and there is no question but that when compared to communism, which is too dull, or Facism, which is too exciting, it emerges as the most palatable form of government. This is not to say that it is without its drawbacks – chief among them being its regrettable tendency to encourage people in the belief that all men are created equal. And although the vast majority need only take a quick look around the room to see that this is hardly the case, a great many remain utterly convinced.
– Fran Lebowitz –

The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.
– Winston Churchill –

The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.
– Ronald Reagan –

Message from the Queen – Revoking American Independence

My email inbox contains much garbage and a few gems from that prolific author – Unknown. I thought the following was egg-sellently written, but maybe you have to be a member of the Commonwealth to think so.

“To the citizens of the United States of America from Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

In light of your immediate failure to financially manage yourselves and also in recent years your tendency to elect incompetent Presidents of the USA and therefore not able to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately.

Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories (except Kansas, which she does not fancy).

Your new Prime Minister, David Cameron, will appoint a Governor for America without the need for further elections.  Congress and the Senate will be disbanded.

A questionnaire may be circulated sometime next year to determine whether any of you noticed.

To aid in the transition to a British Crown dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:

1. The letter ‘U’ will be reinstated in words such as ‘colour,’ ‘favour,’ ‘labour’ and ‘neighbour.’  Likewise, you will learn to spell ‘doughnut’ without skipping half the letters,  and the suffix ‘-ize’ will be replaced by the suffix ‘-ise.’

Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels.

2. Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises such as ”like’ and ‘you know’ is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication. There is no such thing as U.S. English. We will let Microsoft know on your behalf.  The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take into account the reinstated letter ‘u” and the elimination of  ‘-ize.’

3. July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday.

4. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers, or therapists.  The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you’re not quite ready to be independent.  Guns should only be used for shooting grouse.  If you can’t sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist, then you’re not ready to shoot grouse.

5. You will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous than a vegetable peeler – although a permit will be required if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.

6. All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will start driving on the left side with immediate effect.  At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables.   Both roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.

7. The former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been calling gasoline) of roughly $10/US gallon.  Get used to it.

8. You will learn to make real chips.  Those things you call French fries are not real chips, and those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called crisps.  Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal fat, and dressed not with catsup but with vinegar.

9. The cold, tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all.  Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be referred to as beer, and European brews of  known and accepted provenance will be referred to as Lager.

10. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as good guys.  Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors to play English characters.  Watching Andie Macdowell attempt English dialogue in ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’ was an experience akin to having one’s ears removed with a cheese grater.

11. You will cease playing American football.  There are only three kinds of proper football; one you call soccer, rugby (dominated by the Kiwis), and rugby league (dominated by the Aussies). Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby league (which has some similarities to American football, but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like a bunch of nancies).

12. You will stop playing baseball.  It is not reasonable to host an event called the World Series for a game which is not played outside of America.  Since only 2.1% of you are aware there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable.  You will learn cricket.

13. You must tell us who killed JFK.  It’s been driving us mad.

14. An internal revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her Majesty’s Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all monies due (backdated to 1776).

15. Daily Tea Time begins promptly at 4 p.m. with proper cups, with saucers, and never mugs, with high quality biscuits (cookies) and cakes; plus strawberries (with cream)  when in season.

God Save the Queen!”