Posted in Canada, government, Life, politics

Canadian Election 2021: What you need to know before you vote


As a Public Policy major and as someone who worked in the government, my experience and expertise mean nothing when you compare it to people who work in the field, are running for election or who have their own views and beliefs.

So, that means this is just my perspective as someone who has lived in Canada for half a century and has voted in more than a few Canadian elections.

I think everyone saw this coming except for maybe the Liberal government who have done a terrible job over the past 6-years at following through on promises, They’ve treated Canadians like we’re all stupid, listening to them evade answering questions, answering with their pre-worded message rather than answering questions and all the while smugly thinking they’re doing a great job, while Canadians stewed in frustration at this drama teachers satire.

Black face, ethics violations. SNC Lavalin, running up the debt and deficit, and being the worst “feminist” government in history by treating his female colleagues like crap. We’ve all been shaking our heads. We shook our heads when this government couldn’t get vaccines to Canadians while the rest of the world was putting shots in arms, everyone in the government would say the same thing; “We have the largest selection of vaccinations in the entire world”, which literally translated to mean, we’ve paid 5 companies a lot of money and only really 3 came through for us.

This government tried to get unlimited taxation powers because they knew they would need it to recover the billions and billions of dollars they gave away to Canadians who needed it, but also to Canadians who didn’t need it, were not qualified to get it but did so anyways.

Federal government workers who couldn’t perform their jobs worked the phones answering questions about the benefit payments were rewarded with a 6% pay increase, and a giant slap in the face when the PM told the public that they were not equipped to hand of benefit payments so that was awarded to a charity, the WE Charity, because Trudeau decided it was a smart move. WOW. So that cost the Finance Minister his job… The umms, and ahhhs, just kept coming. After a Green party member took an incorrect and anti-semitic stance against Israel’s right to defend itself, the Liberals happily stepped up to take that candidate, while telling everyone that they stand against anti-semitism. They also stand against sexual misconduct in the military, in theory, certainly not in practice. Yet, while all these issues were rolling through, the Liberals had their plans, their strategy, and they thought they had Canadians fooled.

Having the NDP support pretty much everything that the Liberals did, allowed the government to take on and pass traditional NDP policies, and while the NDP must have felt this was a great move, essentially, the Liberals were slowly making the NDP obsolete, because why vote the NDP if you can get NDP-style policies through the Liberals.

The next move the Liberals did is to promise a ton of stuff. Listen to their campaign promises and you’ll always hear the number. $1 million here, $1 billion there… They’ll promise to anyone, everywhere, and sometimes they’ll make it happen and sometimes they won’t – well, usually they won’t (see electoral reform). The reason the Liberals spend is obvious, because if they don’t get re-elected, they leave the country with a MASSIVE debt, and the Conservatives have to step in and cut spending, and balance the budget. Then the Liberals campaign on the Conservatives being that party that has to cut programs and prevent all that great stuff the Liberals promised and viola… Liberals back in power.

It’s a great policy, because the Liberals think they’re smarter than all of us…

But they made a mistake.

They assumed that they had an opportunity to take advantage of the fact that no one knew Conservative leader Erin O’Toole, so it was the perfect time (COVID, Afghanistan, Military, etc.) to plunge Canadians into an election, and at the time of this posting, it’s not going so well.

O’Toole, is a different type of politician. Former military, a lawyer, worked in the private and public sector, and really smart, I’ve had the opportunity to meet O’Toole twice, and his experiences and expertise blew me away. He knows what people want Conservative governments to do – be fiscally responsible – and what they don’t want Cons to be (see US).

So over a week into the election, we’re seeing something different. Trudeau is stammering to get out his message. He seems egotistical and disingenuous, where as his main competitors, O’Toole and even Singh, seem much smarter, much more articulate and much more prepared.

Singh’s message to tax the “ultra rich” has not been widely embraced because people fear he’s talking about them, and that his message stifles the incentive of people who want to take the risks and earn the big dollars, that extra taxation of their efforts is counter intuitive. His Tik Toks… Still getting a ton of views. Tik Tok, however, still the most used app for kids. Kids can’t vote. But his Tik Toks are… ummm… anyways…

So, as the Conservatives started polling quite poorly, and have now taken a 4-6% lead over the Liberals, its going to be an interesting few weeks as we see what happens to the Liberal party and i they can right the ship. They need less comments like, “the Taliban are my brothers”, and picking at the Conservatives for not forcing all their candidates to be vaccinated, while not all the Liberal candidates are vaccinated. The Canadian public appear to be fed up, and they’re questioning everything because the Trudeau government forced them to. Will this government wind up like the Conservatives in 1993, or like the Liberal government in Ontario after Kathleen Wynne was done destroying the province.

The countdown is on…

Posted in Canada, Daddy, family, health, Life, Parenting, The Urban Daddy, Toronto

The Urban Daddy is Back… Sort of.


Well after a fairly long period of inactivity and about 60 more drafts, I felt it was time to bring back some content to The Urban Daddy.

Here are the groundrules;

  1. Since the kids are getting older, they don’t necessarily want me discussing any details about their personal lives, (“I’ll sue!” said one of them), so I’m going to go back to basics and discuss a bunch of random stuff which involve things Daddies do when their kids are getting older, like work, play and everything in between
  2. I’m not an influencer. I appreciate the pitches, and offers, but only on some occasions would I go down that road. I don’t write posts for that reason, and if all I did was give away stuff, why would people come here??
  3. I’m Canadian. Based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I’m not affiliated with Urbandaddy.com in the US, other than the fact that I was here before them, and I sold them my Pinterest account.
  4. I’ve been busy. Some good, more not so good, but I’m still here. I’ve gotten a new career working for a company and filling a role that I absolutely love, so that’s good. COVID is still here, but I’m double vaccinated and I wear a mask where possible so I don’t pass along any germs to anyone. I’ve always wondered why sick people don’t wear masks to prevent spreading their colds. I learned this was a very kind thing when we were in Japan a couple of years ago and asked a local guide why there were people wearing masks outside. I thought it might be due to air pollution, but the guide explained that these people are not feeling well and didn’t want to make others sick… Take that, anti-maskers!
  5. I took an online cooking class through George Brown College and their culinary area. It was an intro to cooking and it was vegan and the whole experience was amazing. I used to have a hang-up about cooking – had convinced myself that I was unable to just pick a recipe and follow it – but this course had me making tons of great stuff, like stocks, risotto, my own pasta, and my own tofu. I’m going to take another… Soon.
  6. I’ve also managed to expand my volunteering and wound up with a board position on a local hockey league as their registrar… Not going to lie, but it’s a huge challenge, because I’ve been busy in my new paid role, and trying to find time for my volunteer role has posed a few challenges.
  7. I had hurt myself quite badly at the beginning of the pandemic (not sure if I wrote about this or not), but I was walking on Yonge Street with my sister, and I stepped off the curb to avoid people, but the street was uneven so I rolled my ankle, and in the process did a crap-load of damage to myself, tearing muscles and ligaments off my right hip, right ankle, and I tore my left groin muscle, resulting in me passing out on Yonge Street, then a few days later in the hospital for a ton of tests and medication when I was unable to move because everything seized up. It took me about a year to be able to get everything moving pain-free and since that time, I’ve been walking about 5km/day where possible. I’d love to be able to lose that COVID weight, then the late-night snacking weight, followed by the baby-weight I gained when our now 16yo son was born.
  8. I have a love/hate relationship with the Olympics, so I’ll hopefully have some more words to say about them shortly, other than to say that they always make me cry, and I’m so happy for all Canadian athletes who have won medals, or tried their best.
  9. So, yeah… I guess we’ll see how long this lasts. 😉

Posted in Canada, Daddy, family, government, Life, Parenting, politics, The Urban Daddy, Toronto

More Kid Kontent: Gross Commercials, Politics and Tik Tok


Today, April 19th, 2021 is the first Canadian Federal budget in over 2-years. It’s been a hot topic of conversation amongst my friends, my colleagues and, yes, my kids.

At work, and among friends, we are concerned that the only way this Liberal government can pay for all the massive spending they’ve done over the past 7-years is through increased taxation. Increased taxation to Liberals tends to mean, calling taxes anything but taxes, so “levies”, “fees” and other cute names get thrown around, while the Liberals continue to push for increased taxes on the “wealthy”. Unfortunately, “wealthy” in Canada now becomes anyone earning over $80,000, or combined income of “$120,000”, which essentially becomes the “middle class”.

But I digress.

Whatever I know about politics in Canada I have earned through a specialized honours degree in Public Policy and Administration at University, plus an additional 10+ years of working for the Canadian government. That, however, still doesn’t make me qualified to educate my children about government-related matters because my kids know more. They have Tik Tok.

From Tik Tok, they learn a ton. A lot of it is really helpful, and useful, and informative. The facts that these kids pepper me with are factually correct, and legitimate. Considering the chaos around schooling during a pandemic, it’s nice to see the kids are learning important facts, however, some of these facts are a bit, shall we say, too far to the left, and blur the lines between what’s going on the in the US, and what political life is like in Canada.

The extra scrutiny of the Trump Republicans in the US has caused kids to not only tie together Conservativism in the US with Conservatism in Canada, but it also brought along the stereotypes and misinformation from the US, up to Canada. I can’t say how many times, I’ve mentioned that the Canadian conservatives won’t allow guns, won’t discuss abortion and that conservatives are not Neanderthals who treat people different by race, age, sex, religion or nationality. It’s not a thing.

With all of that being said, I do welcome the attention that they now pay to politics, and enjoy the dialogues that we can have around what’s best for Canada and what’s best for Canadians. If my kids know anything, it’s how to spend only the money they have, and not the money they hope to have or hope to borrow, thus making themselves fiscally responsible. They also know that this government in particular is fiscally irresponsible and they do not like the concept that their taxes will be higher as they start to earn money.

When prompted what they would do if they strived to be a high income earner, to start a business, employ and support others and earn as much as they could, they were quite frank in their replies. They would take less money to offer their employees a higher wage/salary. I commend them for that. Unfortunately, when prompted about what they would do if the government took 60% of their income or more, they simply replied, that they would move to a country which took less.

This is my biggest fear with the way this government has gone about their business.

When an election comes, they spend, spend, spend, because they know 3 things. First, that ordinary Canadians appreciate the spending and think the government is doing something for them. Second, they know that if either of the governments are critical of the spending, they would in turn be criticized by Canadians, and third, they know that when a new government takes over and has to balance the budget, by spending less or cutting costs, that narrative doesn’t go over well at all, and can be used as a re-election strategy (re-elect us, because we don’t cut everything like they do).

With all that being said, I expect this will be an election budget, not a pandemic budget, meaning, spending a LOT of money on everything and not making any controversial decisions. No taxes. No cuts. Just spend, spend, spend, without any regard for who is going to pay and when.

Can’t wait to discuss this with the kids, at a more appropriate time.

We started to have this conversation but then one of 2 dreadful commercials came on the TV. It’s a commercial with Heinz Ketchup (a brand we love), in which a potato with a face gets cut up and eaten. It’s enough to not want us to eat potatoes anymore, and just barely exceeds that horrible Pepsi commercial with ice cubes with faces are plummeted into a glass where they melt to death.

As the kids pointed out, we don’t eat as much mean because of the efforts associating the food with a living being that has feelings. After watching those commercials, the kids want to establish a charity to save the potatoes and save the ice cubes.

UGH.

Posted in Canada, Community, family, health, Life, Parenting, Recommends, school, Toronto

Where is the CoronaVirus Common Sense? Cover up with great local masks!


To all my American friends… You have a choice. You have the same choice that we had in Canada and the same choice that our friends around the world had. Use some common sense, or run the risk of getting COVID-19.

It’s not a difficult choice to make, as far as I can see, it’s about your health, the health of your family, friends, neighbours and strangers. It’s not a hoax, it’s not a scam, and the virus doesn’t care who is running your country.

COVID in Canada doesn’t want Biden over Trump, and protecting yourself from getting sick is a smart idea, not a breach of your constitutional rights.

Enough with the posturing, and let’s get to reality.

I wear a mask. I was apprehensive at first, but less so after seeing how common they are in Asia – where we have traveled as a family, over the past 2 summers. People in Asia wear masks because they don’t want to pass along germs to others. Possibly they have weak immune systems, or maybe they just care about others, and don’t want to be the reason for someone else getting sick.

I wear a mask when I’m in close enough proximity to anyone who isn’t wearing one. These same people who don’t wear one clearly don’t care about their health, and they’re certainly not concerned about mine. They don’t care if they pass along the virus to me, and if I get sick, then I can’t see my kids, and well, that would just suck.

That is why I protect myself… and you.

In fact, I’ve been lucky to find a company that makes masks that fit me, feel good to wear, and don’t pull my ears forward so I look even more like Dumbo.

Two Friends with a Hook, was founded by high-school friends of my sister, and they’ve been producing and selling masks for the better part of 5 months. What started as a way to keep Canadians safe, has turned into a business, because the masks they make are easy to wear, look good and wash well.

Between my sister, my family and myself, we must have bought at least 20 masks thus far, and I’ve used them, and abused them, and they keep coming back for more. I’ve exercised wearing them – long walks, runs, or taken them into busy stores, and have had zero issues. When I’m not wearing the mask, like when I’m outdoors by myself, I can let the mask safely hang around my neck.

I’m not going to lie, I’ve tried plenty of masks, and these are by far the best. If you’re going to have to wear a mask, why not choose a comfortable one, a Canadian one, and keep everyone safe from your germs until we can kick CoronaVirus to the curb.

 

Posted in Canada, Community, family, Food, Life, The Urban Daddy, Toronto

Returning This Summer: PC Insiders Report (YAY!)


I opened my email this morning and saw a teaser from Loblaws CEO Galen Weston, that an old favourite was returning.

My mind immediately began to race to PC products which I loved, that have gone by the wayside, and couldn’t wait to see what was coming back – hoping that it was something that we could actually use.

The email read like this:
“I hope you’re keeping well as we hold the course with our physical distancing measures. Most of my updates over these past months have been focused on logistics – the work we’ve done to help keep our colleagues and communities safe. But as the urgency has eased somewhat and I take a wider view of the situation, I have some thoughts I’d like to share.

Billions of people have been asked to stop, to stay inside. And as our worlds have gotten smaller, interesting things are happening out there. You may have seen pictures of mountain goats and monkeys roaming empty streets. Or images of cleaner waterways and side-by-side comparisons of skies over Los Angeles, New Delhi and Barcelona – grey and smoggy pre-pandemic, crisp blue today. Experts say this quieting of human activity has resulted in less seismic noise – that is, the planet is not vibrating as much as usual. Some have joked the birds must be singing much louder. But it may just be that we can hear them better now.

This large-scale slowdown can give us new perspective. We can imagine what we might do differently or better once this all passes. Many of us have become more focused on what we’re eating – what’s essential, what we could do without, or do with a little less of. In my case, I’m a bit of a carnivore, and I’m trying to eat less meat and more vegetables. I know many of you are too.

This movement toward flexitarianism – eating mainly vegetables, fruit, beans and grains, meat only occasionally – is growing. People are curious about the benefits, they want more information and options.

And it’s gotten me thinking: how can our team at President’s Choice do what it does best, keep Canadians up-to-date on the latest product innovations and inspirational meal ideas, while also going deeper on big food issues, like flexitarianism and sustainability? The team reminded me that the PC Insiders Report publication used to do all that.

So, this summer, we’re bringing it back.

For those of you who remember it, in the ‘80s, the Insider’s Report booklet was the kickoff to the big seasons, the highlight of summer and holiday grocery shopping. For those who don’t remember: it really was. This new, fully digital version will give you a taste of the latest trends, fresh recipes for BBQ season, and dozens of new and amazing PC products. And it will have more: I’m going to work with our team on thoughtful stories about larger food issues that Canadians are curious about.

Our team has worked hard to help you get the most out of summer. Every product and every story has been crafted with care, passion and ultimately the love of food in mind. The idea is that we can have both: joy in the food we want, and the information we need to help us eat better and live better. For me these days, that means more big salads. And several PC® Ice Cream Shop Banana Split Mini Ice Cream Bars.”

Let’s have a good summer.

Galen Weston

 
Loblaws, Real Canadian Superstore, Shoppers Drug Mart, PC Optimum™

Can I tell you, if you do not remember the Insider Report, just how amazing it was… It provide a snapshot of new PC products that were coming down the pipeline, soon to be in stores. It was always a big hit in my family, and I have such fond memories of looking at all the different food options and choices, which we wanted to purchase.

The Blue Menu was one of the game changers that I remember seeing because there were many foods which we wanted to try but were traditionally too high in fat or salt, but the blue menu took a lot of those, cleaned them up, and made them available and affordable.

Around the holidays, I remember the fancy ice creams and desserts which we used to drool over, but never buy.

Rather than walk into a grocery store and search aisle by aisle, this report highlights the newest products and cuts down the wander time in stores, which make a ton of sense in this day and age.

Thank you, Galen!

Can’t wait!!!