It’s All My Fault!


canadian iglooIt’s all my fault.

Not the fault of the many who removed their snow tires, or put away their shovels, but my fault that it’s snowing in Toronto on April 4th.

And for that, I’m sorry.

You see we have family just south of the border in The United States of Donald Trump, and for what seems like the past couple of weeks, that area has been pounded by snow.

Snow.

I know, crazy, eh?

Since it is my long-lasting belief that most Americans believe that north of the boarder Canada is always covered in snow, I mockingly sent a Facebook message to said relatives telling them that they needed to move to Toronto, not the Southern US because it was plus 8 here and we hadn’t seen snow in quite a while.

I mean really…

Spring weather in Toronto.

Snow in the US…

In April.

 

Clearly Trump saw my message and commended Mother Nature to sick light snow flakes on the City along with 90 km/h winds.

 

Heck… I’ll take the little bit of snow and I’m okay that Americans generally think we live in igloos in exchange for not having to arm our school teachers with guns, and not electing incompetent leaders…

Wait.

Disregard the leader comment, and let’s stick with no guns!

Brrrrrr.

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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…

 

Fun Video Shoot with Pediatric Nutritionist Danielle Binns


Danielle BinnsThis past weekend, we had the wonderful opportunity to take part in a video shoot with Danielle Binns a Pediatric Nutritionist and Health Coach for parents.

Danielle needed the assistance of our youngest child – Boo – who helped to prepare some delicious green pancakes – inspired through the Green Eggs and Ham book – and some super healthy and easy to make cookies.

Danielle’s story is absolutely incredible.  Reading her story on her website after having met her brought tears to my eyes.  I’m not going to re-tell her story.  You just need to go read it yourself.  You will be emotional, then inspired, and then understand why the services that Danielle offers are so incredibly valuable.

As the parent in our family who cooks breakfast and makes lunches for our kids – one child who has become very picky with food – I found immense value in just learning 2 simple food options from Danielle which we are going to cook at home.  Sorry, which Boo is going to cook at home!

Danielle is more than a mother who is incredibly passionate about providing the BEST natural and holistic solutions for other moms (and dads) and babies.  She has obtained credentials/certification in the following:

  • Certified Nutritional Practitioner (CNP)
  • “Naturally Designed Pregnancy and Postnatal Nutrition”
  • “SOS (Sequential Oral Sensory) Approach to Feeding”
  • “Feeding Matters”

Danielle can be found on Facebook through her Facebook Group: Holistic Solutions for Moms & Little Ones.

Her Facebook page is @ daniellebinnsnutrition

On Twitter and Instagram @daniellebinns4

Her Website is http://www.daniellebinns.com and her email is info@daniellebinns.com

 

 

Who is this Urban Daddy character? Thursday Thirteen: 13 facts about this Canadian Blogger


Today is Thursday, which means it’s a very good time to create a Thursday Thirteen post – and the topic this week is 13 facts about The Urban Daddy.

  1. I’ve been writing this blog since 2004.  That makes for a very old blog, eh?

  2. I have written 1,434 Blog posts for The Urban Daddy

  3. I have a tax blog -for my real job – called inTAXicating, which I started in early 2008 and I have written 369 Canadian Tax posts for that site.

10.  I used to work in the Federal Government, in the Canada Revenue Agency, for almost 11-years before resigning to take a managerial position in the private sector.  The change was long overdue.

9.   In the CRA, I collected taxes, trained employees, took 3-years of my accounting designation and then completed my MBA.

8.   I don’t play many online games – after my wife freed me from my Cityville addition – I only play Tap Baseball, Clash of Clans and Tiny Tower Vegas.

7.   I live near one of the most affluent neighbourhoods, in the largest city in Canada – the 5th largest in North America, Toronto

6.   I ran for student council president of my university only to lose to some guy named Jian Ghomeshi  It was a half-assed attempt, but fun nonetheless.  I vaguely remember meeting him and his campaign manager in the main hall and one, or both of them, telling me that they were going to tear down my campaign posters and threatened me about something.  I was wearing my cowboy boots (don’t judge me) at the time, and with them stood about 6 foot 2.  I was NOT intimidated.

5.  I’m fiscally conservative but hate guns, racism and drugs.  I love common sense, saving money, and being upfront and honest.

  1. I’m a rule follower.  Clear your sidewalks.  Don’t throw snow in the street.  Don’t disrupt others.  Live and let live.

3.  I’m learning as I get older things I should have learned much younger.  Foods, anxiety, ADD, how to treat those you love…

2.  I love being a Dad.  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE.  Love attending events and being there for the kids.  Something I either didn’t have or don’t remember.  It was a different time back then, but still.

1.  I ran a left-handed students association at my university – the school gave us an office, and money to find areas where lefties were being discriminated against.  Our main beef was that some of the largest lecture halls had no left-handed desks, or if they did, the desks were on the far-left side of the lecture hall.  Not cool if you’re vision sucks like mine does.

 

 

Now it’s your turn.

What are 13 facts about you that make you who you are?

 

Urban Twin Mummy… You have a week.  Get started.  🙂