March 8th, 2018: International Woman’s Day!


IWD logo 2018

Today, March 8th, 2018, is International Woman’s Day, and as I said to my wife this morning, “Happy International Woman’s Day! I wish we didn’t need this day”, to which she responded, “Neither do we!”

International Women’s Day commemorates the movement for women’s rights, and is observed around the world with celebrations, protests, marches, and awareness that woman are people too.

It astounds me to think that in 2018, some women cannot drive, be elected to government, and cannot live their lives without being sexually harassed or assaulted just because they are women.

The “MeToo” movement really brought up a lot of controversial topics which were swept under the rug for way too long, which is why on this day, I support my wife and my daughter and hope that they will one day not be judged in comparison to men but on their own merit.

It still sickens me to think that on a daily basis, women all around the world are concerned about their physical well-being by the actions of men, just because of the fact they are women.

While so much has changed…  As a society, we still have SO far to go!

Remember how we would muse that if women ran the world, there would be no wars, no wasted money, and everyone would get along…

It’s time!

 

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Federal Budget: Paternity Leave, The Urban Daddy on CTV!


Yesterday was the 3rd Federal Liberal budget and if you paid any attention to the news leading up to the budget, you would have heard that this was going to be a “gender” budget, as our Prime Minister and Finance Minister hope to save Canadian “Peoplekind”,

What made it a “gender” budget was the inclusion of policies aimed to equalize pay between men and women and adopting a paternity leave benefit program which was implemented in Quebec just over 10-years-ago.

As a father of 3 children, I was lucky to have the opportunity to take parental leave with 2 of my three kids.  I was working for the Canada Revenue Agency, and the CRA topped up my salary from the 66% which I would have received while on EI, to 93% of my salary.

Who wouldn’t take advantage of this opportunity to support his spouse, bond with his children and help out with everything that comes with children, which is why I took 9-months with our first child, 4-months with our second child, and by the time our third child rolled around, I was in the private sector and took just one day.

So who better to speak on the government’s policy than me, right?

I was on the CTV News Network, live, in the morning with Marcia McMillan, and then in the evening, CTV Alberta Bureau Chief Janet Dirks interviewed my wife and I for a well done piece on what worked and what didn’t with regard to paternity benefits.

Watch the clip here; CTV Parental Leave The Urban Daddy

It was my first foray into TV – I have been on the radio quite a lot to discuss tax-issues – and I really liked it (except for the way I looked in the evening interview – exhausted!)

Here is how I feel about the Liberals intention vs plan of action; They talk a great game but always seem to fall short, with an ultimate cost to the taxpayers, for their plans.

They said that providing fathers to take 5-weeks off would lure more women into the workforce.

???

There were no new day care spots made available, nor any changes to the Live-In Caregiver program, so it left my wife and I puzzled as to how this was going to lure women into the work force.

Is it possible that behind this message was a belief that men don’t do anything around the household and that if, in 5-weeks – with them being home, changing diapers, cooking meals and keeping the house clean – men will realize they can help out at home, thus lessening the burden on women?

I think that’s a stretch, to say the least, but for $1.2 billion dollars – and starting in June 2019 – men will be able to take 5-weeks off with their partners to help, support and bond.  It’s certainly better than nothing.

It doesn’t change the stereotype that men don’t do paternity leave.

It doesn’t change the hesitation of some firms to hire woman who are in their child-bearing years.

It does make the Liberals look hip, and cool.

I just hope the last point wasn’t the motivation behind this initiative…

 

Breaking News: Ontario PC Leader Patrick Brown Resigns!


I almost fell off my chair when I heard a couple beside me telling me that Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown resigned early this morning over allegations of sexual assault dating back many, many years.

I have spoken to some so-called party insiders who felt that Brown would not be able to defeat Kathleen Wynne and her Liberal government in the upcoming election.  I got the feeling that they really wanted him out and that removing him was more important than beating Wynne.

I also know several people who know Brown personally who say that he is absolutely lovely.  Bright, articulate, passionate, and a real family man who speaks of the influence that his sisters had on him, and that these allegations seem very unusual and come at a very “strategic” time.

It’s all really confusing.

Nonetheless, if these allegations are true – and right now there is no reason to believe they are not – I feel bad for the victims.

But this could be a good thing for the Ontario PC’s – not the reasons for Brown resigning – but in the aftermath.  The actions by Brown to step down amid the allegations was swift and should reinforce the PC’s position on sexual assault.  It also provides the PC’s an opportunity to get into the race to replace Wynne by putting a strong candidate to lead the party, and there are many, many strong candidates who I feel would fit the bill.

News reports have put forward the names, Caroline Mulroney, and Lisa MacLeoud, and while I respect these women, I feel there are a few others who would do what the PC’s and Ontarians need.

First off, Christine Elliott, the wife of the late Jim Flaherty (former Federal Finance Minister), who has served as an Ontario legislator for nine years and who lost the PC leadership to Brown, would be a great Premier, as would Rona Ambrose, who led the Federal Conservative party up until she stepped down so that the new leader Andrew Shneer could assume the role.

I think right away these 2 candidates give the PC’s a known commodity, with strong leadership and vision and could re-energize the election race and stop the Liberals from continuing to ruin our province.

I felt Brown’s platform was fantastic and that if it got more press, Ontarians would see how badly we need a change of government in Ontario.

Hopefully going forward all of the issues can be resolved and we can begin the process to move forward.

 

Apple Slowing Down Old iPhones! Learn Why…


Have you wondered why your older iPhone seems to be slower than the newer models?  Does it seem that your phone has a harder time downloading apps, connecting to the Internet or performing simple tasks?

I’ve always suspected it was a gentle nudge, or reminder from Apple to upgrade to the newer phone.  I never liked it, but thought it was a possibility.

Well, Apple have now admitted that they slow down some models as they age, but they do so only because the phones’ battery performance diminishes over time and they want to preserve the battery for you, the customer.

Well, isn’t that nice to know.

Apple is trying to prolong the life of iPhones.  Shouldn’t they have told this to us?  At any point in time?

Turns out this practice was confirmed after a customer shared performance tests on the social media site, Reddit.  They tests were performed after noticing that their iPhone 6S had slowed down considerably as it had aged but when a new battery was installed, the phone sped back up again.

Apple has now confirmed that it made changes to iOS to manage ageing lithium-ion batteries in some devices, as these batteries become less capable of supplying peak current demands when in cold conditions, when they have a low battery charge or as they age over time.

As a result, Apple released a feature for the iPhone 6, 6S and SE to “smooth out the instantaneous peaks only when needed to prevent the device from unexpectedly shutting down during these conditions.”

They have recently extended that feature to the iPhone 7 with iOS 11.2.

 

What’s the deal with the Lithium batteries?

Well, they degrade over time because of what happens to the battery during the charging and discharging cycle.  They very slowly erode, meaning they are able to hold less of a charge.  High voltages and high temperatures expedite this erosion.

 

Here is where the message was really poorly managed, however.  By taking away performance that somebody has paid for, you might have communicated that much, much better at any point in time.  Otherwise, you get a combination of urban myth and conspiracy theory – the idea that Apple builds planned obsolescence into their iPhones –  slowing down older models to make you run out to purchase the next model or version.

But why wait until the rumour has been proven to be true before coming out with the facts.

As customers, we deserve better!

 

Tuesday Newsday: The End of the World is Near…


The end of the world is near, and I’m not referring to the threats coming from North Korea and their “Rocketman”.

Okay, I am referring to this… somewhat.

I couldn’t help but notice today as I sat down to write about doctors declaring that sports drinks and energy drinks are bad for kids, or to vent about the weather, that the top 2 trending topics WORLDWIDE were these;

  1. Donald Trump
  2. Kylie Jenner

Seriously.

Trump I get…. He’s taunted North Korea, told the NFL owners that their players should be fired for bowing during the national anthem, and tells lots of stories daily, which may or may not be true.

But Kylie Jenner?

WTF!

All of this because she may, or may not be pregnant.

I mean, who cares.

Every time I turn on my computer and the news comes up there are pictures of this girl with a bump, without a bump… Have we not always been told that you cannot be half pregnant?!?

I just don’t see the fascination in these people and their lives.  What started with a sex tape and a naturally large / maybe surgically enhanced ass has become the daily obsession of millions of people.

Kylie might be pregnant.

Kim has 2 kids and bought them ice cream.

Bruce is no longer Bruce.

The other one… the tall one is married to a NBA player, then he flips out, then he almost dies, then they’re back together, then she loses weight, then he almost dies, then they’re back together.  Wait, she’s out clubbing again…

Doesn’t even get me started about the other sister who has 3 kids, but divorced her husband because he’s an adulterer – oops, sorry – addicted to sex.  Now he’s with a girl who could be his daughter…. UGH.

Breaking news!  Kim farted!!!

Maybe the Kardashians and Donald Trump were sent to us as a test.  A test of our patience, our morals and our compassion for others.

If we can survive them, we can do ANYTHING!

 

PS Saudi Arabia is going to allow woman to drive… in 2017.  How ass-backwards is that!