Posted in boo, Canada, Community, Daddy, events, family, Happy Boy, Life, Parenting, The Urban Daddy, Toronto, urbandaddyblog

What Has Your Child Said Which Was / Sounded Racist?


Recently, on CFRB1010am, host Jim Richards covered a topic about when children might have been racist – by accident or by innocence.

I would have loved to have called in and told my story, however, I was unable to, so when I arrived at the location of my next client meeting, I took a few minutes to send a tweet to his show, the Showgram, outlining my story.

They replied!

My story was good.

So I figured I would re-tell it here, and here it is:

Back in the day, when my oldest was just a wee little boy – around 3 or 4-years old, I brought him to a Toronto Rock lacrosse game.

After being completely infatuated with the music and lights in the arena, he turned his attention to the game and asked me; “Daddy, which team do we want to win?”

“Toronto”, was my reply.

“Are they in black?”

“No, the Toronto Rock are wearing blue, red and white.  The Rock’s opponents, however, were the Philadelphia Wings, and they were wearing black uniforms. I told him, “Philadelphia is the team wearing the black jerseys. We do NOT like Philadelphia. Boooo, Philadelphia!”

“Okay, Daddy”, was his response.

Then Philadelphia scored and he said, “Boooooo.  Boooooooo.  Booooo… Black guys!”

I spun towards him and said, “pardon me???”

“Booooo black guys!”

“No, no, no, no, no!” was my immediate response. “We don’t boo “black” guys.  We boo the Philadelphia Wings.”

“Booooo Black guys!”, he yelled, now standing up and at a moment where it is really quite in the arena.

I explained to him again, that it’s Philadelphia that we hate… Everything Philly… The Wings, Flyers, 76ers, possibly the Phillies… 

The crowd around us was laughing, hearing the dialogue between us, and knowing that there was nothing untoward intended.

“Booooo Black guys!” he yelled again.

Now being the superior parent that I am, I felt the need to silence him while I educated him, so I stuffed his little face with cotton candy and orange soda (bad daddy!) and I watched the sugar coma overtake his little body while I explained that we are rooting for the Toronto Rock, and rooting against the Philadelphia Wings, and that what he said was not very nice.

He looked at me… like a half-drunk adult, and said, “okay Daddy, I understand”.

And never a word was spoken for the rest of the game.

TRIUMPH!

I’m such a great daddy!

… and then he fell asleep on my lap.

As the game ended, we walked to the subway, little tired, over-sweetened child and I, and we got on a fairly empty car. and he laid down on the seat and had a quick nap.

As the subway car sped northbound, it emptied a little bit at each stop, until the car held maybe 10-15 people in it.

Suddenly a little head popped up and with his eyes wide open, my son asked me this, “Did we win?”

“Yes we did”, I proudly replied. “Do you like lacrosse?”

“I love the cross” was his response.

And then at the top of his little lungs, he blurted out, “BOO BLACK GUYS!!!”

Without noticing the 4 young boys sitting across from us glaring at us, I reminded him that the Toronto Rock wore blue and that we cheered the blue team, and we booed the team wearing the black jerseys, not the black guys.

Then I looked up and saw the boys looking at me for a second until they burst into laughter.

They understood…

He’s not a racist, I promise! He just doesn’t like the team in black at the cross.

 

 

Posted in Canada, Community, Daddy, family, government, Life, money, Recommends, The Urban Daddy, Toronto

Introducing Personal Banker


In effort to provide you, the reader, with the truth about your tax arrears and dealings with the Canada Revenue Agency, it would be a disservice if I did not provide information about companies who can help in addition to companies who can harm.

Companies who can harm you want to be paid a lot of money, right away. They won’t tell you what they’re going to do, or how they are going to do it. They won’t give you a progress update, and they’ll advise you to NOT contact the CRA for fear of “screwing up their work.”

Who operates like that?

Scammers do.

Companies that operate like this are usually fronts for trustees and when you balk at paying, say, $5000.00 for their services, assume that you are broke and send you to their other business, the trustee, so that they can save you by having you file a Consumer Proposal, not a Bankrutcy.

Same shit, different pile.

In both cases, you’re trading a tax debt that you can deal with, for really bad credit.

But they get paid, and you… Well, you’re a statistic.

That approach does not sit well with me. Never has. Never will.

What works for me is looking at a tax debt / problem from every possible angle, and consider all approaches. Then, having that conversation with you so that we can resolve it together and to your benefit.

An Example

Some debts can be resolved through re-financing. I don’t do that. I do, however, work with a couple of mortgage brokers who take care of that service. They provide low interest rates, and can work with liens on properties. Why can they do this but other firms cannot? It’s because when a group of like-minded businesses work together and share their expertise around the CRA, it is the customer who wins!

Another Example

Other tax debts can be resolved through a filing, or re-filing of tax returns. Again, I do not do that, but I work with a couple of accountants who take care of that for you.

I don’t recommend bankruptcy or consumer proposals right away, however should the situation really warrant one, then I have a couple of firms that I could recommend.

The Truth!

In the process of helping someone with their tax matters, I always look at it in depth so that I can suggest the best plan of action for resolving it, and then let the Taxpayer decide the path they want to take. I don’t tell them what to do. I suggest the options, and provide the steps for them to take in each scenario. If they need my assistance, I’m here to help. If, not, then I’m a shoulder to cry on, or a person who listens.

Personal Banker

Recently, a firm called Personal Banker came onto my radar. I met with the owners and absolutely love what they do and how they do it. They, like myself and my network, put the interests of the Taxpayer first and foremost and provide a service far more valuable that one could imagine.

Again, that’s my opinion.

What I like about Personal Banker is that they perform a function which I strongly recommend in the majority of the tax debt cases, and that is to have their previous 10-years worth of tax returns reviewed to ensure that all the eligible credits have been taken.

This is the best way to reduce a tax debt! If there are missing credits, that you are entitled to and were missed for whatever reason, you have 10-years to apply them and either increase a refund or reduce a balance owing to the CRA. The experts at Personal Banker apply the credits, for a percentage of the findings, and you can either apply them to your tax debt, or take the money and run.

It’s brilliant.

It’s what I recommend to people with tax debts, whether personal, or business. Everyone can use a bit extra money, and especially if it’s available to you, and you just didn’t know.

What’s more brilliant is that this company operates Canada-wide, and are growing on a daily basis.

Don’t believe me? Check it out.

If you think that there might be tax credits that you have not claimed, visit their website, sign up and let them do the rest.

If you have not filed your personal tax returns, they can take care of that for you for a ridiculous low rate (I told them they are way too low, so take advantage now).

If you’ve used them before, I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments.

Posted in Canada, Community, Daddy, family, government, Life, money, news, Parenting, politics, school, Toronto

Ontario Teachers Working to Rule and Strikes. Some Facts: Does this make sense to you?


I’m not going to lie, but I’m on the side of the government in this dispute.

Fact: The Conservative government was elected in the province of Ontario.

Fact: The teachers unions were not elected.

Fact: The government of Ontario makes the laws and policies for the province.

Fact: Teachers unions do NOT make laws or policies. Their mandate is to look after the interests of their membership.

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s look a bit closer at my bias against unions – I don’t hate unions – I just don’t feel that unions have their place in every single field of employment. Considering that unions were created to give workers a collective voice against employers, I’m not sure today’s employees are so hard done by that they need a collective voice. Especially in light of the pattern or wage increase after wage increase.

That being said… Do the teachers unions, and their actions of rotating strikes benefit their members?

Fact: No.

Let me explain.

Many moons ago, I worked for a federal government agency which went on strike 3 times in the 10 plus years that I was there. In each case it was because we did not have a contract. That never concerned me because I had a job, I was being paid, and for the most part, enjoyed my job.

After living through a couple of strikes, I came to realize that striking was more than just walking off the job and forcing the government to give us a raise. I had never walked a picket line, why would I?

That was until the 3rd strike, when I started to do some math.

I realized this:

Our union wanted a 1 1/2 percent wage increase. The government wanted to hold salaries at the same level because times were tough.

We walked off the job for the week. I checked in at the picket line to receive my $50/day “strike pay”. After a week the government and union reached an agreement and we received 1%.

But…

We lost more than 1% while on strike.

So we walked the picket line and lost money.

That doesn’t make sense, now does it…

So let’s look at the Ontario teachers and use some very round figures.

Fact: The average teacher salary in Ontario is $92,000 per year.

Fact: The average teacher makes $1,769.23 per week before taxes.

Fact: The average teacher makes $353.85 per day, before taxes.

Fact: If the union accepted the 1% pay increase, Ontario teachers would have received a raise of $920 per year.

That means if the Ontario teachers are off the job more than 3 times ($353.85 x 3 = $1,061.55), then they will lose money once the new agreement is signed, even if you add in the $50 strike pay per day.

That’s crazy, right?

Unions forcing their teachers to walk the picket line in order to lose money. The Ontario government should thank them.

But beyond the lack of fiscal responsibility, comes the issues of government funding, special needs funding, class sizes and online courses.

Let’s briefly look at those:

  1. Government funding. Fact: The Ontario Conservative party has spent more money on the public education system than the previous Liberal government. Based on the fact that teacher salaries increase every year, the government would have to cut a lot in order to spend less. But they have not. It’s akin to the Democrats in the US telling media sources that they were going to impeach the President of the US before the President had even taken office, the rhetoric began to fly in Ontario before the government even announced how much the education budget was going to be. Interesting bargaining / foreshadowing
  2. The Conservative government has spent more money on special needs education than any party before them. Listen to the unions and special interest groups and you would be led to believe otherwise. When presented with facts, such as total dollars spent, these groups just state that the information is not accurate. That’s a convenient argument.
  3. Class sizes. So this is a tough one because there are no studies which state a specific class size is the perfect class size. It’s up to the Minister of Education to determine and not the unions. Dare I be skeptical here and say that of course class sizes are too big for unions. That means more work. It would be so much better – possibly – if it were a 1-to-1 ratio, because that means more teachers and more teachers means more union dues, which means a more powerful union. It also means more money that unions can spend on ads attacking the government rather than on education which they claim to care so much about.
  4. Online courses. I understand why the unions are all over this one. It means at the outset, less teachers, which means less dues-paying members, which means less power for the union. It doesn’t have to be that way, but with teachers salaries always increasing, it’s not like they’re going to suddenly give themselves pay cuts, right?The fact here is that Ontario was spent into massive debt and deficit amounts thanks to the Liberal government. Everyone who elected the Conservatives did so knowing that they were going to have to tighten their belts. (This over-spending must be a Liberal strategy to ensure that they get re-elected). Apparently the teachers and unions are exempt from this, and forgetting that these are our tax dollars being spent on their wages. I don’t even have children in the public education system anymore, but I’m paying for their salaries.

With all of that being said, spend some time browsing the Internet for countries and cities who have push for more online courses and you will find educated, high-achieving communities taking advantage of technology and moving ahead of the pack.

Heck, I completed my MBA online, and would have benefited from having prior experience taking online courses. Every organization that I volunteer with requires me to take online courses. Why is this good for the rest of the world, but not good enough for Ontario? Because the teacher’s unions tell us it’s a bad thing???

None of that makes sense to me.

What does make sense is the fact that these unions have decided year-over-year to put their interests over those of the students that they claim to support. If they really felt that it was all about the students, then let them run for election under that platform and see how they do. If they win, great, give them a raise. If they lose, then no more putting self-serving interests over top of the students.

Just my two-cents worth.

Posted in Canada, Community, events, government, politics

Federal Liberal Government LOVES Provincial Politics, and Visa Versa


Remember in 2015, when the Huffington Post wrote about then Ontario Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne sticking her nose into the Federal Election trying to sway votes from the Conservatives towards Justin Trudeau?

Let me first disclose that my political views are closer to the right than they are to the centre, fiscally, and my social views tend to be closer to the middle, but on the left side of the middle.

I do not consider a political decision that I do not agree with to be a scandal.

I respect that parties have platforms which coincide with their political leanings and once elected, that is what will be coming down the pipeline, but I do not agree with the waste of taxpayers money and the continual lies which follow.

When Brian Mulroney needed additional revenue for the country he said he would bring in a Value Added Tax (VAT) and he removed the (what, 26%) manufacturers sales tax and brought in a Goods and Services Tax (GST).

He said it and he did it.

I may not like it but I respect it.

Jean Chretien, however, said something to the extent of; “If I am elected the first thing I will do is remove the GST.”

He did not.

The next time he was re-elected, he held up his red book and declared, re-election = no more GST…

It’s still here.

I do not respect the lying and I find the Liberal Party in Ontario and Federally to be smug and arrogant, like they think they are pulling the wool over everyone’s eyes and that nobody knows this…

They think we’re very forgiving or very stupid.

Either way, under Dalton McGuinty and Kathleen Wynne, Ontario went from being a “have” province into a “have-not” province which might have more debt than “Greece”.

Instead of trying to find ways to not raise taxes, Kathleen Wynne is getting involved into the Federal election – taking shots at Prime Minister Stephen Harper and promoting Justin Trudeau.  My question is why?!?

As residents in Ontario, do we not want her focus on the province and the massive debt, or is it better for us if she is pre-occupied with the Federal Election and with making more TV commercials showing us that she can run.  A Premier that runs, is a fast Premier.

In case Premier Wynne reads this post, here is a reminder of the mess her government has created, and while not inclusive, these items alone should have been a reason for the Ontario electorate to no longer vote this government into office.

In no particular order.
1. The McGuinty Ontario Health Premium – The highest tax increase in Ontario’s history, implemented months after Dalton McGuinty was elected in 2003 on a promise to not increase taxes (even after signing a contract with the Canadian Taxpayers Federation to not increase taxes). McGuinty justified his healthcare tax increase on Ontario’s Working Families by saying that he inherited an unknown deficit from the previous Government, yet here we stand today in Ontario with the highest deficit that Ontario has ever had, literally multiplied by the McGuinty Government and Ontario’s Unions. This was the first tax of many new taxes and user fees that Dalton McGuinty has imposed on Ontario’s Working Families in order to support his Union Boss buddies and allow the scandalous corruption to continue. (See: Globe and Mail: The health care premium).

  1. The McGuinty Delisting of OHIP Covered Necessary Health Services – Where after Dalton McGuinty promised not to decrease any health services covered by OHIP, and also not to raise taxes, he did both on the same day by implementing the Ontario Health Premium and delisting coverage of Optometry (Eye), Chiropractic and Physiotherapy Services for Ontarians. (See: Canadian Cancer Care Society: Mixed reaction to McGuinty government’s budget and Toronto Star: Hampton pledges to pay for delisted health services.)

     

  2. The McGuinty eHealth Scandal  – That cost Ontario’s Working Families a Billion dollars in wasted tax dollars (and unprecedented delays in the computerization of Ontario’s health records), and is a true definition of “gravy”, a term that also defines McGuinty’s wasteful mismanagement of the Ontario Government. Here we stand years after this initiative started and Billions of dollars in the hole, and still it is not completed. The eHealth failure was famous not only for its complete lack of progress, but also for its constant usage of sole-sourcing and untendered contracts to Liberal friends, along with scandalous expenses logged by useless consultants, eHealth Executives and Upper Management.  “eHeatlh” has now become a term that is synonymous with scandal, waste and boondoggle.  (See: Toronto Star: EHealth operation bled $1B and Toronto Star – Coverage of eHealth Ontario.)

  3. The McGuinty Slush Fund Scandal – Where Dalton McGuinty’s Government gave $32 Million to Liberal friendly groups (in the form of Government Grants) over a 2 years span with no formal application process and no accountability for how the money would be spent. Just, “here you go, vote Liberal!”  (See: Toronto Star: Insults and accusations fly in Ontario ‘slush fund’ affair and Toronto Star: New charges fuel ‘slush fund’ scandal.)

  4. The McGuinty Ontario Lottery and Gaming (OLG) Scandal – Where on the McGuinty Government’s watch, there were multiple accounts of catastrophic corruption related to Lottery Winnings being stolen from Ontario families by Lottery Retailers, countless OLG insider wins, Ontario family tax dollars being corruptly given out via sole-sourced untendered contracts to Liberal friendly firms, and massive Ontario family tax dollar waste via the horrifying expenses by OLG staff again allowed by the McGuinty Government (in exactly the same way it was allowed in eHealth). (See: CTV: Ont. gov’t scrambles to control OLG scandal damage and CTV: OLG: Billions in profits, but lots of headaches.)

  5. The McGuinty CancerCare Ontario Scandal – Yet another eHealth-style scandal costing Ontario Working Families millions of dollars. (See: CBC: Cancer Care Ontario broke rules: audit and Toronto Sun: A ‘scandal behind another scandal’.)

  6. The McGuinty Municipal Property Assessment Corp. (MPAC) Scandal – Where on the McGuinty Government’s watch, Ontario Families had their homes either significantly undervalued or significantly overvalued by the MPAC, resulting in either a huge loss of their home’s value, or them being significantly overcharged for property taxes. When provided the auditor’s report, the MPAC rejected investigating into the issue. In addition to their failures in providing the basic service for which they are employed, they also were caught in yet another eHealth-type expense scandal. (See: The Ottawa Citizen: Ontario auditor-general says MPAC shortchanges homeowners, hospital wait times not improving and National Post: Ontario’s Audit.)

  7. The McGuinty Children’s Aid Society (CAS) Scandal – Where on the McGuinty Government’s watch, Ontario working family tax dollars that were supposed to go towards vulnerable children in Ontario, were instead squandered on Luxury Vehicles, All-Inclusive Luxury Resort Vacations to the Caribbean and other vacation destinations, Gym Memberships and Executive Allowances for CAS Management. (See: CBC: Ontario children’s aid societies misspent money, auditors allege, National Post / The Ottawa Citizen: Children’s Aid funds misused, auditor says and Toronto Star: Opposition slams Ont. Liberals over CAS.)

  8. The McGuinty / Wynne Gas Plant Scandal – In order to earn a majority government in the upcoming election, McGuinty cancelled 2 gas plants costing Ontarians billions of dollars in cancelled contract fees.  Then came the lies: Having stated that as a senior cabinet minister she had “No idea” about this, Wynne then had all the emails deleted.

9.  Debt, Debt and More Debt.  As of September 2014, Ontario’s debt is $304.4 billion, an amount that has more than doubled in the 12 years the McGuinty-Wynne Liberals have been in office. That’ll be $22,382 from each Ontarian, please. We pay $10.56 billion every year just to carry that debt, which remains the third-largest budget item, behind only health care and education. And the Liberals plan to add another $26.7 billion to the debt with another three years of deficit spending.

10.  Jobs and the Economy – Ontario’s economy continues to struggle. We’ve seen job losses some months and modest job gains others. But despite huge tax increases and a struggling economy, we are still apparently affluent enough to pay for a newly-announced Liberal carbon tax, because, uh, Quebec is doing it too. Don’t worry about the details — Wynne will move very quickly to make you poorer before you even know it. And if you don’t recall the Liberals ever campaigning last year on implementing a carbon tax, you’re right.

11.  Sex education scandal. What is being implemented now is basically the same curriculum that was introduced in 2010. In that year, massive public outcry from thousands of Ontarians caused the Liberals to relent. But now the curriculum has been re-introduced and appears ready to be implemented with pleasure by the Liberals; they have a majority, and you must be homophobic or Conservative if you disagree with their sex agenda.  Ignore, for a moment, the actual curriculum, which is publicly available for anyone to review. The fact that it is being implemented without any consultation with parents is appalling. And then there is that small inconvenient matter of the former Deputy Education Minister Ben Levin (who served under then-Education Minister Kathleen Wynne) recently pled guilty to child abuse crimes, including making and possessing child pornography and counselling a person to commit a sexual assault. The agreed-upon statement of facts demonstrates Levin’s sick fascination with sexually abusing children.

Parents are owed every opportunity to give input into how their children are taught at school. That is especially important when the man formerly in charge of the education department has since been convicted of pedophilia. Rather than pledging to review whether a convicted child sex offender had his fingerprints on the Liberals’ sex education agenda, Kathleen Wynne has outrageously dismissed all her critics as “homophobic” or Conservatives. (The Toronto Star reported that “the Liberal government adamantly insists not, specifically in no way involved with the new sex education syllabus rolled out last week.”

The Liberals have rampantly abused the parliamentary process. Kathleen Wynne sued two Conservatives for questioning her role in the gas plants scandal.

Wynne is also happy to bribe an election candidate with government positions to step aside so her preferred candidate could run and ultimately win in Sudbury (another current OPP investigation).

When NDP Leader Andrea Horwath asked why the Premier wasn’t showing up to Question Period, she was thrown out of the House by the Liberal Speaker. Yes, really; you can do all of these things in McGuinty-Wynne Ontario when you have a majority government and not a care for what anyone else thinks or says.

12.  Teacher, Teacher, Why Won’t You Teach Me?!?

The Ontario Liberal government and labour issues ran rampant throughout the Liberals term in office, with the icing on the cake being a settlement and then the Liberals paying the union $1,000,000 – described by the government as money for pizza”.

 

So fast forward to the Federal election, and here is Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau referencing Conservative leaders Doug Ford and Jason Kenney, as if to say that these leaders are bad for their provinces and thus Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer would be bad for Canada.

Ummmmmm…

Has JT forgotten about how horrible and how corrupt the Ontario Liberals are, actually, were, as they no longer have official party status in Ontario. 

But Trudeau expects Canadians to buy into his rhetoric and believe that Scheer is dangerous, much like Ford – who accepted a near-bankrupt province and has been fighting to turn around the fortune without raising taxes as the Liberals do.

I think JT needs to campaign on his own record – damn – he cant do that because aside from his ill thought out cases of blackface and brown face, his only other claim to fame, legalizing marijuana, means his re-election hopes will go up in smoke.

 

Posted in cars, Community, Daddy, disaster, family, Life, Parenting, school, The Urban Daddy, Toronto

At What Age Will Parents Finally Get It? Re: School drop off


At what age / grade do parents finally have their “a-ha” moment when it comes to dropping off  their kids at school?

I’d like to know, because I’m shocked at the number of parents who just don’t get it.

I see you – every morning – doing the exact same thing, and I’m cursing you. So are all the other cars waiting in line that you have inconvenienced.

What are these parent not getting?

Common Courtesy!

Consideration for others.

Rules of the road.

Traffic laws.

Just to name a few off the top of my head.

You see, most schools have a very limited drop-off window for children and that window is at it’s busiest 15-30 minutes before school starts, and most often, the location for drop off is limited, thus, for drop-off to work effectively and efficiently, it has to be seamless.

The proper drop-off works like this;

  1. Car pulls up to drop off location – not exceeding the speed limit.
  2. Car stops.
  3. Parent says “get out!” or “goodbye”, or “I’ll pick you up”.
  4. Child opens the car door
  5. Child takes backpack.
  6. Child shuts door.
  7. Parent then looks both ways and slowly pulls away from the drop-off area and heads off to do their thing, or if the routine is really organized, then the car pulls forward and away, closely following the car right in front..

This method is so efficient. and so quick, but it never happens…

What really happens:

  1. Giant SUV driven by a very tiny woman zips up to the parking area and stops vehicle where ever she want. In a spot, diagonal facing the curb, on the curb, on the grass… blocking a driveway, or blocking oncoming traffic… Doesn’t matter.
  2. Driver opens the trunk by pressing a button
  3. Driver slowly exits the car in lululemon / workout clothes
  4. Driver then strolls around to the other side of the car and opens the door for the child.
  5. The driver then goes and gets the child’s backpack from the trunk.
  6. Driver helps child out of car
  7. Driver helps child get backpack on
  8. Driver looks child in the face and begins a seemingly long discussion with the child which likely could have occurred in the car.
  9. Driver kisses and hugs the child
  10. Driver points the child in the direction of the door.
  11. Driver waits for the child to enter the school
  12. Driver slowly walks back to the car hoping other lululemon mummy’s will see her outfit.
  13. Driver enters car
  14. Drive pulls away without looking, signalling or waiting, phone in hand, exceeding the speed limit and seemingly unaware that other children are walking on the road trying to get to school.

This is not a joke, nor meant to be a satire. It’s what happens daily.

Cars get frustrated, children are late, and there is a lot of honking.

 

Why can’t parents drop their kids of quickly and let the kids be responsible for getting out on their own?

These are likely the same parents who carry their kids backpacks and don’t get me started on that!

So please, parents… Teach your kids to be considerate of others around them even though you clearly have no hope.

Hopefully, you’ll get it…

One day…