Posted in news, politics

‘Immense’ pressure on Philippine military in manhunt for terrorists who killed Ridsdel — National Post – Top Stories

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine military came under increased pressure Tuesday to rescue more than 20 foreign hostages after their Muslim extremist captors beheaded a Canadian man, but troops face a dilemma in how to succeed without endangering the remaining captives. Abu Sayyaf gunmen beheaded John Ridsdel on Monday in the southern province of Sulu.…

via ‘Immense’ pressure on Philippine military in manhunt for terrorists who killed Ridsdel — National Post – Top Stories.

This is huge news not only because of the stance that then Liberal leader Justin Trudeau took regarding these terrorists (lets hug them and find out why they’re so pissed off) when he was criticizing then Prime Minister Stephen Harper but also because a Canadian was taken hostage 6-months ago and we’re just learning now that he’s been murdered.

Shame on these murderers for kidnapping innocent people – especially Canadians – and killing them when they don’t get their money.  I think in the same way that these thugs think it’s okay to force people to trade lives for money, the Philippines needs to get their act together and fast to find each and everyone of these criminals, and bring them to justice… alive!  This way the message will be send to anyone who thinks this is okay that it’s really not.

This way the family of the poor Canadian who was killed can look at his murderers in the face and spit in their face if they want knowing they won’t be getting money to buy more weapons, buy influence and continue to live outside the law.

This way PM JT will be able to save face by having taken clear actions to try to save this mans’ life plus the life of the other Canadian held hostage instead of just saying that the bad guys are going to pay for this when nothing can be done.

I think as global citizens, we’re all getting pretty pissed off and annoyed with these thugs and their weapons trying to spread fear and violence wherever and whenever they wanted.  Don’t the governments of these areas realize the drop in tourism and the reputational damage that they suffer from after this lawlessness?!?  Do they even care, or are they being bought off??

Enough already.  These people are not a group, they’re not a gang, I don’t care who they support, what they stand for or what they hope to accomplish.  They’re murderers and they need to be caught and brought to justice… NOW!


Posted in Community, family, Life, Thursday Thirteen

Thursday Thirteen: 13 Things Torontonians (and you) Need To Do Now That The Snow Has Arrived.

Ah, a snowy Thursday in Toronto, our second such day this year, and with winter not officially here until December 21st, I always worry that even in areas where there is a lot of snow people forget to apply common sense in many different areas of their lives when snow stays on the ground.

So today is the perfect day for me, to educate you, on the 13 Things You Need To Do Now That The Snow Has Arrived.

Let’s start with #1 because it’s the most important and the City of Toronto By-Laws and Chapter 719 of the Municipal Code lay it all out there for you.

1.  Make sure that you have cleared the sidewalk in front of your house!  According to City By-laws you have 12 hours from the last snowflake to remove the snow and / or ice from the sidewalk in front, behind or beside your property.

2.  Failure to remove snow and / or ice can result in a fine of up to $5000 under the Provincial Offences Act.

3.  Anyone – strangers, neighbours, government workers, can call 311 to notify them if your snow and / or ice is not removed within 12 hours after a snowfall.

4.  Thinking about clearing your snow onto the street?  DON’T!  Besides the obvious fact that it make driving that much more dangerous, it’s against the by-laws and you can be fined for doing this.  Plus, it’s fairly obvious when your lawn (which loves the water in the spring) is flat the snow in the street in front of your house is densely packed compared to others.

5.  If the City of Toronto has to send someone out to shovel or salt your sidewalk, you will be charged a fee for this “service: and if you do not pay it, it will be added to your property taxes.

6.  Starting this year – 2014 – the City of Toronto is paying special attention to those mounds of snow you pile at the curb in front of your house because as the weather changes they pose a safety concern regarding visibility, and drivers trying to avoid them.  Plus, by the mere fact that they are on the street means you are in violation of Section 719-5 of the Municipal Code.  By-law officers might force you to remove it at your own expense or fine you.

7.  Clean off your car before you  drive it!  All windows, the front and tail lights are essential to ensure you have complete visibility.  The majority of vehicle – pedestrian accidents in the winter occur when drivers cannot fully see out of their windows and bump into people crossing the street.

8.  I know it’s a pain in the butt for many of you, but you really do need to come to a full and complete stop at all traffic crossings when there is snow.  Besides being the law, and potentially dangerous if you do not, by rolling through stops, or around corners you also run the risk of having to brake suddenly and sliding or spinning out of control, or worse, stopping only to have the car behind you slam into you, and then for you to hit someone as a result.

9.  Signal.  I prefer to refer to the turn signal as an “indicator” because while it may be law to signal before you turn, it’s nice and kind to indicate to other drivers what you intend to do with your vehicle.  This is especially important if you are one of “those” drivers who do not feel the need to stop at every intersection as indicating your intentions keeps pedestrians safe and the cars around you less likely to want to roll down their windows and throw a snowball at your car.

10.  Be extra courteous to those around you who are walking when you are driving.  They are dealing with un-cleared sidewalks, and cold, or wind, plus heavy clothing and usually something in their hands.  The LAST thing they need to do is wonder whether that car is a) going to stop, b) sees them c) start to proceed before they finish crossing the street.

  1. If you hired a ploughing service to clean your driveway, make sure they are not falling out of favour with your neighbours or with the City by-laws.

  2. Think about others!  If your neighbour shovels your sidewalk when it snows, it might not be a smart idea to only shovel your piece of sidewalk when you are doing yours.  Even if you are in a rush, make an effort to go a little onto their side, they’ll understand.  But to put up that snow barrier while their side is still covered and yours is clean is a message to that neighbour that you are only thinking about yourself.  Is that what you want them thinking?  I’ve always said that it is better to accept the help of your neighbour than criticize them for where they put your snow, that you should have moved!

13.  Put a smile on your face and be nice to others!  Say hello to neighbours, strangers and passers by.

Posted in Life

For the love of G-d, man… Shovel your snow on your lawn, not in the street… It’s against city bylaws.

This is one of me pet peeves.  People who shovel their snow in the street instead of on their lawns.  If you live in the greater Toronto Area, you would know, or should know, that it is against the city bylaws.  If you get caught doing this – the city had bylaw officers out last winter ticketing houses in my area – and if you don’t pay it, they tack it onto your property taxes.

Best choice… Don’t do it.  The fine is somewhere between $150-$300 but cannot exceed $5000.

I’ve actually stopped my car and told residents about the bylaw and had many of them look at me like I was crazy, and also thank me for letting them know.  Most people just don’t know. 

In case you were wondering what section of the municipal code this falls under, I have provided it below, it is 719-5.  Feel free to google it, print it out and hand it to that annoying neighbour who fills the street with their snow making it very difficult to drive or walk around their house.  


Chapter 719 of the Toronto Municipal Code:


§ 719-1. Definitions.

§ 719-2. Time limit for removal of snow and ice from sidewalks.

§ 719-3. Removal from sidewalks by city; recovery of costs.

§ 719-4. Removal from structures.

§ 719-5. Moving snow onto streets.

§ 719-6. Offences.

§ 719-7. Use of the word “highway.”

§ 719-8. Transition

[HISTORY: Adopted by the Council of the City of Toronto 1999-7-29 by By-law No. 530-1999. Amendments noted where applicable.]


Traffic and parking — See Ch. 950.

§ 719-1. Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:

BUILDING — Includes the land and premises appurtenant to the building.

§ 719-2. Time limit for removal of snow and ice from sidewalks.

A. Every owner or occupant of any building must, within 12 hours after any fall of snow, rain or hail has ceased, clear away and completely remove snow and ice from any sidewalk on any highway in front of, alongside or at the rear of the building.

B. After the removal of snow and ice, if any portion of the sidewalk becomes slippery from any cause, the owner or occupant must immediately and as often as necessary apply to the sidewalk ashes, sand, salt or some other suitable material so as to completely cover the slippery surface.

C. Subsection A does not apply to an owner or an occupant of a building where, pursuant to City of Toronto policy, the City of Toronto has undertaken the responsibility to clear away and completely remove snow and ice from the sidewalk on the highway in front of, alongside or at the rear of the building at that location.

1999-11-25 by By-law No. 776-1999]




§ 719-3. Removal from sidewalks by city; recovery of costs.

A. Where snow and ice resulting from any fall of snow, rain or hail has not been removed from a sidewalk situated on a highway in front of, alongside or at the rear of any occupied or unoccupied building or vacant lot, within 12 hours after the fall of snow, rain or hail has ceased, the Commissioner of Works and Emergency Services or a person appointed by the Commissioner may, at the expense of the owner of the building or vacant lot, clear away and remove the snow and ice, including the remediation of any slippery sidewalk.

B. The Commissioner of Works and Emergency Services must keep an account of all expenses incurred in doing the work and of the building or vacant lot in respect to which the work was done.

C. The expenses incurred in doing the work may be collected or recovered from the owner of the building or vacant lot in any manner, including the manner provided by section 326 of the Municipal Act.1

§ 719-4. Removal from structures.

A. The owner or occupant of any building which fronts or abuts on or is erected near to a highway, from which snow or ice may fall upon the highway, must, whenever snow or ice accumulates upon any portion of the building to an extent that is dangerous to the public using the highway, sidewalk or lane way, cause the snow or ice to be immediately removed from the building.

B. The owner or occupant must take proper care and precaution for the warning and the safety of the public using the highway, sidewalk and lane way, during the removal of the snow and ice.

§ 719-5. Moving snow onto streets.

No property owner, occupant or other person shall move or permit to be moved snow or ice from private property onto a highway, sidewalk or lane way.

§ 719-6. Offences.

[Amended 1999-11-25 by By-law No. 776-1999]

Every person who contravenes any provision of this chapter is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine as provided for in the Provincial Offences Act.2.  A person convicted of an offence is liable  to a fine of not more than $5,000.




§ 719-7. Use of the word “highway.”

The meaning of the word and expression “highway” where used in this chapter shall have the same meanings attributed to the word and expression by the Highway Traffic Act,

R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, and amendments and successors thereto.

§ 719-8. Transition

A. Despite this chapter, By-law No. 211-74 of the former Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto, being a by-law “To regulate the use of Metropolitan Roads,” Chapter 304,

Snow and Ice Removal and §313-3 of Chapter 313, Streets and Sidewalks, of the Municipal Code of the former City of Toronto, Chapter 223, Snow and Ice, of the Municipal Code of the former City of Etobicoke, By-law No. 701 of the former Borough of East York, being a by-law “For the removal of snow and ice from public

sidewalks,” By-law No. 1381 of the former Borough of East York, Chapter 838,

Snow Clearing – Sidewalk and Chapter 1004, Street, of the Municipal Code of the former City of York, By-law No. 1212-71 of the former Borough of York, By-law No. 3343-79 of the former Borough of York, By-law No. 17117 of the former City of Scarborough, By-law No. 21621 of the former City of North York, being “A Bylaw to prohibit or regulate the obstructing, encumbering, injury or fouling of highways,” and By-law No. 5630 of the former City of North York (collectively referred to as the “other Snow and Ice Removal By-laws”) and any and all provisions therein shall remain in force until expressly repealed.

B. In the event of any conflict between any one or more of the other snow and ice removal by-laws and this chapter, this chapter shall govern.

[Amended 1999-12-16

by By-law No. 891-1999


Editor’s Note: This by-law provided that § 719-8B shall be effective on the earlier of: (a) the date that the City Solicitor files

a notice in the office of the City Clerk that the City of Toronto has received from the Regional Senior Justice of the Court of Ontario approved set fines for the offences set out in City of Toronto By-law No. 530-1999, as amended, being a by-law “To Provide for Snow and Ice Removal;” and (b) February 4, 2000.

Posted in family

When a Blog crashes down, it pays to know how to fix it… But I don’t.

English: Government notice describing the duti...
English: Government notice describing the duties of those granted land on Yonge Street. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I don’t know where to begin.

Maybe this past Thursday July 6th, 2006, after I posted my Thursday Thirteen and somehow managed to screw up my HTML coding – so people have told me – and the layout of my blog went berzerk.  I just wished I knew how to fix it.  I like to write but I’m not so great with the technology-side of blogging.

I asked my wife for her thoughts (she is awesome with computers but HATED that I referred to her as my “cyber geek” –  which I honestly thought was a compliment for someone like her who knows so much about computers – and she basically said, “Yup. Your blog is really messed up”.

Thankfully that consultation was free!  I knew she wouldn’t have the time to fix it for me.  She’s really busy.  Well, she’s always really busy and I think she’s tired of fixing computers that I destroy, so lesson learned indeed.

Then I reached out to a fellow Toronto blogger, and her response was pretty much the same… My blog is really messed and she has no time right now to help either.  Damn.  So for the time being, until I find a way to fix it myself, I will just have to come to grips with the fact that every time I look at my blog, I’m going to worry that my 3 regular readers will think I know nothing about HTML, well that would be right! So there!  I said it first.

Blogging aside, the rest of my Thursday was spent selling our scrapbooking supplies (embellishments mostly) from our online business at a warehouse sale of one of our suppliers. While we did not make that much money over the 4-days of the sale, the networking was GREAT.  Met some potential new customers and  a couple of potential new suppliers.

Always interesting at these types of sales are the number of people who accept cash and do not charge the tax.  I find it interesting because we have always charged the tax – as an employee of the CRA, not doing so could lead to immediate termination – so I always presumed that we would generate less sales than other businesses, however I guess people like the honest folks, and I have yet to see someone walk away when being charged tax.

Friday night’s dinner with my family had some significance this week as Linus had his first taste of a beef burger and at 18 months, ate almost 1/4 of his burger.  I always hoped he would come over to the dark side and eat meat, however he has no taste for it and now that he’s eaten it, I’m okay that we eat a predominately vegetarian diet.  I’m still not so sure about the hormones and stuff they inject into animals these days…

After dinner, once Linus was asleep and the kitchen was spotless, we went upstairs to our bedroom in order to do what ever other couple does on a Friday night – homework!   I have a case study due for one of my graduate school classes, a quiz in another class, an assignment and an essay due on the 10th (today).  Once I send off the last of those tasks, I have to get moving on a major 12000 word essay and begin reviewing for an exam in 2 weeks.  My wife, on the other hand, has 3 papers all due this week.  I feel bad for her because she is also working very hard on completing her Masters degree and her and stress do not mix well. They are quite the volatile pair.  Add to that, she is 6 months pregnant, feeling like she is 16 months pregnant, and you guessed it no time to actually rest and relax.

The rest of the weekend was not so relaxing either, mind you.

Saturday we went to my in-laws cottage for their 40th Anniversary party which they threw together themselves on short notice.  No other family was invited and I think there was an expectation that we would put Linus in a room, with his toys, and that he would be able to stay there and play quietly without disturbing the guests.  See my previous comment about stress and apply it up to my mother-in-law.  I asked if that was true and if so, we would happily stay home – there is no reasonable way an 18-months old would be able to play quietly on his own for 2-3 hours.  Especially our son.  And as for keeping all the toys together in one place… Another non-starter.

So we arrived at the cottage with a very tied and cranky Linus who forgot to nap on the way up, and there were a lot of people who we did not know, which was fine, however my in-laws cottage is for them, not baby-proofed in any way so I always get nervous leaving Linus to walk around in there.  My father-in-law always says to me’; “what’s the worst that can happen?  He breaks something.  It will teach him to not touch something like that again.”  I would always say that I’m not concerned about him breaking stuff, but getting hurt touching something or having something fall on him.  What this ultimately means is that we have to watch him carefully every moment he is inside, and of course being a waterfront cottage, every moment he is outside too.  It becomes a LOT of work.

To top things off, my in-laws like to prepare certain foods for parties which my wife – their daughter – would never touch so while everyone is eating salads with goat-cheese or BBQ chicken, my wife is eating raw veggies and has to make her own salad.  Considering her current state of pregnancy, she needs me to help make something and I’m a pretty terrible cook.

More stress.

So we came back from the cottage Saturday night about 9:30pm, put Linus to sleep in his crib, then came into our bedroom to do more homework.  My wife nodded off at midnight and I turned out the lights at 2am.  Very typical nowadays.

Sunday morning began with my wife’s suggestion to finally unpack the rest of the boxes from our move 6 months ago.  That kept us all busy until the Yonge Street festival began – living so close to Yonge street sure has it’s benefits.  We took Linus for a walk and he got to go on some rides, see the performers and eat.   We stayed cool with Chocolate Chillers from the Second Cup, and we bumped into our neighbour and her always happy son, and the 5 of us made our way up the street to various parts of the festival.

Linus kept asking to go down to walk, until he realized how hot it was, then he wanted back up into the stroller so he could lay down and have a nap.  It was too hot and really who wouldn’t want to be pushed around in a stroller in the heat!

After the festival, we walked home, Linus and his mummy took a nap, and I went back to pick up the rest of our goods from the scrapbooking sale.  When I came home, my mother came by to Linus-sit so we could grocery shop and upon walking into our neighbourhood Dominion – 3 houses over from us – I immediately realized that the person right inside the door shopping looked VERY familiar.  It was Haley-O from The Cheaty Monkey.  I pulled my wife aside to confirm with her this was in fact the much sought-after Haley before I said something (which I was going to anyways) but with super-hero like hearing, Haley came over to us instead. I immediately realized that she is much cuter in person than the pictures on her blog, and she is REALLY nice. Her daughter, if you have seen some of the many pics on Haley’s blog is adorable too, and at just 6 months younger than my boy… Hmmmm.

I like friendly local bloggers. Now I know 3 of them.

So we left Haley, finished shopping then came home to cook dinner for my wife’s friend and her son when we blinked and it was 9pm.  Linus’ bedtime is 7pm, so we ran upstairs for a super-fast bath, book and bed for him, then back to homework for us.  Tonight was better for me and not so great for my wife as we both packed away our books at 1am.

This week is going to be the week from hell with all the assignment and both of us down quit a few hours of sleep.  At least I had some time to blog this insane weekend and the fact that I managed to fix my blog HTML problem all by myself and it only took me 2-hours.

Off to do some more homework!  Thanks for dropping by!

Posted in family, government, news, politics

Bill C-38 Becomes Law. Canada takes another step closer to ending discrimination.

Bill C-38, THE CIVIL MARRIAGE ACT received first reading in the House of Commons on February 1st, 2005.  The bill codifies a definition of marriage for the first time in Canadian law, expanding on the traditional common-law understanding of civil marriage as an exclusively heterosexual institution.

Bill C-38 defines civil marriage as “the lawful union of two persons to the exclusion of all others,” thus extending civil marriage to conjugal couples of the same-sex.

Second reading debate on Bill C-38 occurred between February 16th and May 4th 2005, followed by Legislative Committee hearings from May 11th through June 14th. The Committee heard fundamentally divided testimony on the merits of the legislation from witnesses representing various religious institutions and affiliated organizations or groups, advocacy groups for lesbians and gay men, spokespersons for traditional marriage, academics and legal experts.

The bill was reported back to the House of Commons on June 16th, with one substantive government amendment and one opposition amendment to the bill’s preamble. Bill C-38 was adopted at report stage on June 27th with one additional substantive opposition amendment, and passed the House of Commons on June 28th by a vote of 158-133, with 32 government Members opposing.

Introduced in the Senate on June 29th, Bill C-38 underwent second reading debate from July 4th through July 6th. In hearings before the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs from July 11th through July 14th, supportive and opposing witness testimony essentially echoed that given before the House Committee. Bill C-38 was reported back to the Senate July 18th with no further amendments, and passed the Senate on July 19th by a vote of 47-21.

The Civil Marriage Act came into effect with Royal Assent on July 20th as Chapter 33 of the Statutes of Canada for 2005.     With its enactment, Canada became the fourth country to legislate same-sex marriage, the others being the Netherlands (2001), Belgium (2003) and Spain (2005).

And thus Canada takes one step further to recognizing that the world is changing and people should no longer need to hide their sexual preferences and if they decided to get “married” then any couple should be entitled to the same benefits under the laws of Canada.

Well done, Canada!