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 Canada, Daddy, disaster, events, family, Food, health, Life, The Urban Daddy, Toronto

Can’t Tell You How Much I Hate Getting Older…


Words cannot describe how much I hate getting older.

The grey hair.

The lack of hair.

The grey arm hairs… Ugh. I’m not even that old. At least I don’t feel that old.

Well, I didn’t feel that old, until this morning. This morning was a big ‘ol dose of reality check for me.

You see, up until a couple of years ago, I played competitive ball hockey in a league, as I had been doing since I was 19-years-old. That makes it around 25-years, give or take a year here and there.

Some years I played on 2 teams, some years 3-teams, and at the time when I met my wife, I was playing 4-nights a week.

Those 4 nights dwindled to 2-times per week, and then to once a week. A torn calf ended my ball hockey play and I haven’t played since. I think about playing again, but at my age, and having gained a “few” pounds paired with the fact that I’m out every evening with the kids at programs, means I just have no time.

Fast forward to November 2018, and I accepted a contact with Intuit Canada, the makers of TurboTax, to be their spokesperson, and blog editor. The job was amazing! The people were amazing. My boss was beyond amazing and the role was so much fun! The only downfall was that I literally sat at my desk for 8-hours a day. I had an hour drive to get there and an hour drive home and there was no time for exercise.

I put on a few more pounds.

I was feeling very uncomfortable.

Walking up the stairs became a chore, and I was winded when I got to the top. I knew it was time to focus back on fitness. When the kids went away to camp, was when I started exercising again. Walking on the treadmill, eventually running on the treadmill and trying to ease my fat ass back into working.

I even agreed to do a fitness class with my wife (something we have never done together) at the fitness studio that she goes to. I did a class called Chiseled. She took a different class.

The class was great, and the instructor was awesome. She was dynamic, engaging, informative and she helped me sort out the exercises and the correct techniques.

Almost 3/4’ers of the way through the circuit, I felt that I was done. Exhausted. Not that I couldn’t lift anymore, but that my heart rate was elevated, and not having had breakfast, I felt nauseous. I just needed a break.

I’ve had this feeling before when I played ball hockey and took time off due to children or injuries. The next game back was usually a tough one.

So I sat down on the chair to catch my breath.

And passed out.

When I awoke, there was a juice box in my mouth, I could hear, but not yet see, the trainer and a participant who happened to be a doctor, checking my pulse, and when I opened my eyes, and started to feel a bit better, I apologized (I’m so Canadian) and said that I over did it.

I finished the juice box, and started to regain my focus when the doctor / participant said, don’t worry, the EMT is here.

My eyes popped wide open.

Umm, you called the ambulance?

Always do, she said.

I was so embarrassed. This has never happened to me before. Ever.  UGH.

The EMT’s checked on me, and we agreed that it would be best if I could, to walk outside so they could run some tests. I walked out on my own power – now feeling almost completely back to normal, and into the ambulance.

The look on my wife’s eyes was something I will never forget. She didn’t say anything, but her eyes spoke volumes. Then she said to me, “When I said to you don’t die in the class, I was joking.”

I explained that I overdid it and having not eaten, my blood sugar must have bottomed out.

In the ambulance, they checked my blood sugar, my heart, my blood pressure, and all we fantastic.

I was totally back to normal.

I signed some papers, agreed to go visit my family doctor soon for a physical, and I ate a whole lot of humble pie.

We got into the car, drove home, and all I kept thinking was that I’m not that 20-year-old kid anymore who could play 4 games a week. I’m older, heavier, and man, do I hate getting old.

So how was your Monday?

 

Posted in Canada, Community, Daddy, events, family, Life, news, Parenting, Recommends, The Urban Daddy

Thomas the Tank Engine is Coming to Uxbridge, Ontario! August 9th to 11th AND 16th to 18th


Upon learning that Thomas the Tank Engine is coming to Uxbridge, Ontario for Day Out With Thomas: The Steam Team Tour 2019, I could not help but get flooded with great memories of a fun event, with lots to do, and not just on the railway, but also in beautiful Uxbridge.

It’s a fun event, even if it’s really hot outside, and the kids are cranky, etc. It’s a train ride! It’s Thomas. There is music, games, food, activities and fun.

All aboard! 

Thomas the Tank Engine invites little engineers to go full steam ahead for a day of engaging activities and fun adventures at Day Out With Thomas: The Steam Team Tour 2019. 

Thomas pulls into York-Durham Railway on August 9th-11th and 16th-18th.

It’s been a few years, mind you, but with 3 children we’ve had more than a few opportunities to come to Uxbridge and spend time with Thomas and friends. It’s always been an enjoyable event with lots to do, plenty of parking and the picture! Yes, the picture of your family in front of Thomas. We have them all over the house and we look back at these cute family photos fondly.

In addition to riding on the famous train, we met Sir Topham Hatt the Controller of the Railway and enjoyed a day of Thomas-themed activities including toy play, photo ops, and more.

What’s amazing is that this tour is now in its 24th year. Man, I feel old! In addition, the tour now makes 37 stops across the Canada and the US and is expected to welcome nearly one million passengers in 2019.

What do you get:

  • 25-minute (approximate) ride with a talking Thomas the Tank Engine
  • Meet & Greet with Sir Topham Hatt, Controller of the Railway
  • Thomas & Friends Imagination Station featuring a variety of activities
  • All-new “Ask an Engineer” booth, where several kids can talk to an engineer and learn about trains and working on the rails
  • A ‘Passport to Adventures’ booklet for children to track their journey at the event and receive a special prize upon completion.
  • Thomas & Friends-themed activities including toy play, photo ops, and more

 

TIME:       9am-3:45pm

WHERE:  York-Durham Heritage Railway

19 Railway Street Uxbridge, ON L9P 1E5

 

Tickets for Day Out With Thomas: The Steam Team Tour 2019 are on sale now and available by calling Ticketweb toll-free at 866-468-7630, or by visiting www.dayoutwiththomas.com. Ticket prices are $28.65 plus tax for ages 2 and up (service charges and fee may apply).

 

For more information and directions, contact the railway here ydhr@ydhr.ca. or visit ydhr.ca/thomas

For more information about the wonderful world of Thomas & Friends please visit: www.thomasandfriends.comwww.facebook.com/thomasandfriends and for bonus material and exclusive content www.youtube.com/user/thomasandfriends.

 

 

Posted in events, family, Parenting, The Urban Daddy, Toronto

Father’s Day: Young Kids vs Teens


Father’s Day!

Every day is father’s day, in my eyes, and this day is just another day for me – thankful for being a father, and thinking of my father who passed away 17-years ago at such a young age and who never got to see my children.

Thank goodness my wife’s father is alive, healthy and have developed such a wonderful relationship with my kids.

So with that being said, and having been at this blogging thing for almost 15-years, I have a great perspective of what it’s like being a father for the first time, when the kid(s) are young, and now that they are approaching and in their early teens (my oldest is 14).

First Father’s Day

The novelty of having children and being a father is finally sinking in, which makes your relationship with your father / father-in-law / father figure / grand father, etc., a bit more enriched.

You are likely to get a card from your wife, from your child, parents, siblings, etc., and a picture or baby hand imprint, or paper with drool on it – something like that which you will keep.

Future Father’s Days

The kid(s) ask what you want, and they usually make stuff at school. Cute stuff, like the hand print, or the paper saying that your dad is 83-years-old, and have no hair, and your favourite colour is blue, and that for a living you yell and them and burp a lot.

This is the age of BBQ’s and “Best Father” mugs, and ties, and stuff like that. Father’s day is still super awesome, if not more awesome because you’ve realized the amount of work your wife has put into the family so you whisk the kids away for the day and take them to the zoo, to a movie, to the park, or to see your mother.

Caution: The Teen / Tween Years

I’m still relatively new to this, but thus far, Father’s day goes something like this;

  1. Remind the kids father’s day is coming up
  2. Remind the kids that you really like a homemade card or craft but a hug and kiss will suffice
  3. Ask them halfway through the day is they know what day today is…
  4. When the kids fight or disagree with each other, try making peace between them by saying, “Hey! It’s Father’s Day!!”
  5. Try not to laugh when told, “You’re as useful as a screen door on a submarine”, or “You’re not the stupidest person on the planet… But you’d better hope that person doesn’t die.”

 

(If you laugh they think it’s acceptable – or really funny – and they’ll want to quit school and go on tour as a comedian… OY!)

So you end up wishing yourself a Happy Father’s Day, and you think about how great it’s been thus far as a father, and then you try to figure out where on earth it all went so wrong.

 

 

Posted in Canada, Community, Daddy, events, family, hockey, Life, Parenting, school, The Urban Daddy, Toronto

Laine + FortNite = Fewer Goals + Late For Work


For those of you familiar with Patrik Laine, the NHL superstar in the making who is playing with the Winnipeg Jets, you will know that his bread-and-butter goal-scoring has gone someone AWOL this season.

The forward who was chosen second overall in the 2016 NHL entry draft behind the Toronto Maple Leafs superstar Auston Matthews, has seen his production drop from 44 goals last season to just 29, so far, this season which is still fantastic, but for a player of his skills, there was expectations that he was going to score close to 60-goals this season.

His play has looked somewhat uninspired, and his plus/minus has taken a beating this season on a very, very good, Jets team.

Through Laine’s struggles media reports circle back to comments he made about FortNite, the uber-popular video game, which the Vancouver Canucks has tried to ban in order to prevent their players from playing too much and not being prepared for games.

Maybe Laine is not playing well because he’s playing too much FortNite…

Or maybe not.

The purpose of bring up the addictive nature of this game is to loop in a personal story about being late for work.

Earlier in the school year, and on more than one occasion, I had sent of my wife and 2/3rds of our children to school, and was going to drop the 3rd one off on my way to office, when suddenly, I noticed that he was no-where to be found.

As the clock continued to click, and time slowly went by, it became quite obvious that he was going to be late for school, I was going to be late for work, and the very real possibility that he was not feeling well started to creep into my head.

After spending a few minutes yelling instructions throughout the house – “I’m leaving!”, “If you want a lift to school, you had better get to the front door right away!” and “Hurry up, you’re going to be late”, I decided the better parenting technique would be to see if he’s really okay (at least that is what I imagined my wife asking me as I relayed this story to her).

I walked upstairs to his bedroom, and it was empty.

Maybe he left on his own, took transit to school, and I’ve been standing in the front hall yelling to myself…

So I called his name, and received a muffled, downtrodden response, “I’m in the bathroom… I don’t feel well.”

Ugh.  Poor thing.

So I started to notify my clients, my network and my wife that this was the case and that I would contact his school to let them know he was sick.

Every couple of minutes I would check on his, asking him through the door how he was doing, if he needed to stay home, and what hurt.

It was his tummy.

He would not need to stay home.

He just needed a few more minutes…

I gave him 20-minutes, and kept checking on him to see if there was anything that I could do to help him feel better.

He re-assured me that he was good to go, and just needed a few more minutes.

Then I heard it…

The noise.

It made me stop in my tracks…

I might even have stopped breathing for a few seconds…

He said; “YES!  Victory Royale!  Okay, Dad… Let’s go to school.”

He was playing FortNite.

Locked in the bathroom.

Feigning illness, making himself late for school, me late for work, and for what?  A Victory Royale?!?

I shook my head, told him he can’t do this, and restricted his morning access to video games (it’s never been an issue before) and on the ride to school I got to hear the details of his win.

Then I started thinking about Laine… the Vancouver Canucks, other parents, that I need to change the password on my iPad, and that someday this FortNite craze will be over.  All the kids will suffer withdrawal symptoms and then life will go back to normal.

That was the expectation until I was informed today by my son that “Apex Legends” already has 50-million players, or about 1/4 of the number of players that FortNite has, but Apex has only been out for one month…

Oh my.

So much for this being the exception and not the norm…

 

 

This is a NJN Blog Post (No Judgement Necessary)