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, disaster, Life, news, politics

Geez, I Miss CNN


It’s been bothering me for a while now, and I was finally able to put my theoretical thumb on it, and it’s that I miss CNN… The old CNN. The CNN that was a news network that we turned to for breaking news, around the world.

The old CNN was voiced by James Earl Jones, and had the star-studded cast of journalists who would tell you the facts, and show you pictures, and speak to experts and from there, we got world news like no one could deliver.

But along the way something happened…

Something terrible.

CNN changed, and not for the better. Now when I tune in to channel 33 (on the Rogers dial here in Toronto), I don’t see the news, and I don’t get reports of whats going on in the world. Instead I get a bunch of hack, wanna be “journalists” on their soap box being the news, rather than telling the news.

It’s a cross between comedy and pathetic.

Each “journalist” gets their opportunity to talk about how bad President Donald Trump is, as if their opinion is why people turn into the station – it’s not. There is no more world news, unless something breaks which is far more interesting that the anti-Trump show they put on daily.

The coverage of the Trump presidency from CNN, as I’ve noticed over the past 4-years, has been pretty “inconsistent” and its’ no wonder Trump started calling them fake news. By inconsistent, I mean downright one-sided, against the President.

Just the other day, I wanted to see how the rest of the world is handling CoronaVirus, and typically, I could count on CNN to have that information. But do they talk about it? Nope. Instead they bash Trump for this, and they bash Trump for that. Then they bring on their “experts” who bash Trump some more. There is no doubt in my mind that this “news network” is really a “vote democrat” station.

India is catching the US in COVID cases. Brazil and Russia not too far behind. How is Africa handling it? What about how Sweden has fared? Or maybe, ahem, your neighbours to the north, in Canada?

Nope. If it’s not anti-Trump, then it just isn’t newsworthy in the new CNN, and its sad to see.

Whether I support Trump, or Biden, or neither – as I’m Canadian – the fact of the matter is that this station is a shell of it’s former self, and I have to remind myself, when I sit down to watch the US “news” that I’m not going to get any on CNN.

I can’t imagine what’s going to happen when, and if, Biden gets elected. I want to see how their reporting is going to change and if they’re going to go off on Biden as they have on Trump. I have my doubts.

I’ve often wondered, since CNN has a “fact” checker to report on Trump’s lies, if they’re going to keep it up when the President is a democrat? Again, I have my doubts.

I can’t imagine being someone who didn’t follow the news, and only followed CNN. They’d believe that Trump ate babies, and had a satanic slogan carved into his forhead.

All this type of biased news reporting does, is make me wonder why the US doesn’t have a government-supported news station like we do in Canada with the CBC, and certainly, if the CBC was all-in for one party over another, you can guarantee that the public funding would have stopped already.

Granted, coverage from the CBC is typically very centre-left, and the current Liberal government did give the CBC a lot of money, and the same CBC really eases up when reporting about how terrible this Prime Minister has been to women, natives, people of colour, and the economy.

When you look at the actual numbers, the COVID response in Canada and the US has been very similar, the US have lost less people than Canada has by percentage of it’s population, and the US closed their border with other countries way faster than Canada, but Trudeau gave out significant amounts of money to keep everyone appeased, while Trump wanted to keep the economy open. In Canada, Canadians are pleased with the Liberal governments response to COVID-19, whereas in the US, CNN would have you believe that Trump killed every single person himself…

I will, however, say this… thankfully the CBC is no CNN, because whomever made the decision and allowed CNN to go from reporting the news to become they joke they are now, should be fired and never allowed to run a TV station again.

Posted in Canada, cars, Coffee, Daddy, news, Parenting, politics, The Urban Daddy, Toronto

Things Discussed With My Kids: Yesterday


The joy of teenagers, and I have 2 of them now, is that they know everything. It’s amazing, it really is.

When they are not telling me how little I know, they’re usually on a device somewhere out of sight, playing games or “talking” to their friends.

Sometimes, however, we talk about stuff.

Here are a few topics of conversation for yesterday.

My middle child – bless him – just realized the irony of the fact that his mother does not like / hates coffee, yet eats Coffee Crisp chocolate bars… (Mind blown). The funny thing here is that she’s never had coffee that he’s ever seen. She’s eaten coffee crisps as long as he’s known… The so-called penny dropped.

If there are speed limits which should / must be adhered to, and there are significant penalties for violating these limits, and getting caught… Why are car manufacturers making cars that can go upwards of 250km/h? If speed limits are 100km/h, and cars exceeding 150km/h are deemed to be “stunt racing”, then shouldn’t cars not be allowed to exceed 150km/h, rather than 250km/h?

Rather than spending my time helping Canadians with tax troubles, my kids suggested that I should explore a career far more lucrative, such as owing a Subway franchise, South Street Burger, or a Tim Hortons location. Why? So they can have free stuff, of course…

Why do the parking enforcement officers (parking police) always park illegally when they’re out on their rounds? Because there are no parking spots for them to park in! So why doesn’t the city create more parking so people can park? They’ll make more money from parking, right? (future politician)

If the government wants more people in cars, why don’t they take away cars from people who do things illegal with their cars, thus forcing them to have to take public transit for the rest of their lives. That’s appropriate punishment, isn’t it?

We had an interesting discussion about Donald Trump which was more a conversation about a left-wing media, and the general dislike of right-wing politics. As a result, we’ve discussed that the US needs a third party that falls in the middle of the democrats and republicans and one which allows voters an option that isn’t either pro-or-against-guns, or pro-or-against-abortion, but one that caters to the voters. Unfortunately getting information from typical “left-wing” media, the soundbites that kids get fed these days don’t tell the full story on every political issue in the most transparent way. a lot of media circulated is slanted one way or another and a lot of kids can’t tell apart facts from biases. For example, the kids were surprised that Trump paid on $750 in taxes and while they do understand that its possible to pay that little in taxes by using the tax system to it’s fullest (see, I have taught them something), they just knew it didn’t pass the smell test.

So I asked them if Trump paid $400,000 in taxes would that be better? As Trump was one of only 2 US Presidents according to snopes.com, who have donated their entire Presidential salaries to charity.

Sure, they said, but all Presidents donate their salaries… Not true, but certainly there are a lot of clips stating that to be the case.

All I ask my kids, is if they are going to follow, support, understand, politics, they should take what they hear and read with a grain of salt, make sure they research it, and try not to spread inaccurate facts, if at all possible.

Not a pro-Trump moment, because between Trump and Biden, I think we all feel sorry for the American voters because they’ve been given some pretty sad choices. Not that things are better here in Canada with our questionable leadership from our Liberal government…

Posted in Life

So THIS is How Children Get Interested in Things…


I’ve been trying for what seems like forever to get my children interested in sports, but to no avail.  Even when my middle son, Stewie, went from not being able to stand on ice skates just 2 years ago, to playing houseleague hockey this year, I cannot convince him to watch hockey on TV.

Frustrating!

Plus, I LOVE watching baseball on TV, win-or-lose, Blue Jays or any other team, yet my kids would sit for a minute – declare it boring – then move on.

I did manage to get them to like / love the Toronto Rock Lacrosse team – as a season ticket holder since their inception – I always thought it was because of the in-game activities like the lights, music playing throughout the game and food, more than the fact that the Rock were the team that won the most in a City starved for sports success.

I remember when the Boston Bruins were good, just a couple of seasons ago, and my oldest son Linus declared his love for Tukka Rask and other Bruins over the hometown Maple Leafs.  I was disappointed but it was then that I realized kids what to support a winning team.  How else can you explain all those fans of the Montreal Canadiens?!?

Now that my oldest is 10, I’m noticing he is paying attention to everything baseball, and why not!  The Toronto Blue Jays staved off elimination last night with a 7-1 win over the Kansas City Royals and for the past month instead of playing hockey in the basement, we play baseball.

Winning gets the kids attention!  It is winning that get children interested in sports and other events… Other events like politics.

With the Canadian Federal election a couple of days in the past, I can tell you that my children sure as hell know more about the next Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau than I do.  They know he was “Just Not Ready” and that he walks a lot (up a down escalator in one campaign ad, and in a field in another).  They also know that he dropped out of a lot of courses in University and that he is going to spend Canada into massive debt.

They’re not impressed but they are listening to the TV and radio and they are reading articles about the PM and they are watching Trudeau and the Liberals (both Federally and Provincially here in Ontario) like hawks.

It’s also the age.

My 10-year-old and now 9-year-old know every player on the Blue Jays.  They know the scores, they know the batting averages and as a result of post-season baseball for the first time in their lives, they know about stealing signs, the pop-up slide and catchers framing pitches.

I’m excited.

They’re excited.

This is how kids get interested!  It’s part parental encouragement (which sometimes acts as a detriment) part success and part coming of age.

In the meantime, I cannot get my kids to watch the Toronto Maple Leafs – the main discussion here surrounds the proposed name change to Toronto Maple Leaves and my child’s constant joke about the 1-3-2 Leafs and how they, like the “real” leafs “fall” this time of year… Every year.

Ouch.

Go Jays Go!

#ComeTogether

Posted in Community, government, Life, politics, Toronto

What the Ontario Liberal Party, NBA referees and Toronto Mayor Rob Ford have in common


I have to be honest.

I’m pissed off.  I am fired up and I have not felt this way in a LONG time.

What has me all fired up, you ask?  Well it is the common bond that ties together Ontario Liberal Party leader Kathleen Wynne, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and the referees of the National Basketball Association (NBA) who “officiated” the Toronto Raptors series against the Brooklyn Nets.

Any guesses?

Let me throw out a couple of terms which come to mind;

Stupidity.
Incompetence.
untrustworthy.

… and with all of these terms there is the one thing that binds them – that they are all completely inadequate at doing their jobs – and the frustration that they will not be punished for their inadequacies.

I’m at a loss.

Let’s start with the Premier of Ontario who took over from the former Premier but won this leadership role without a) knowing of any wrongdoing by the party before and b) took part in any decisions which were wrong (ie/shredding documents).  She thinks the people of Ontario are not aware that she is the exact same as Dalton McGuinty.

Really, Kathleen Wynne should not Wynne (err, win) the upcoming Ontario election, right?  She’s lied, played dumb, and is suing anyone who talks shit about her. She has proven to be a clone of Dalton McGuinty – spend first, then delist services and tax later. Then blame the Conservatives… Or the NDP.

Now that the campaign is on, I listen to her talk and no matter what she says, I cannot hear her.  I want to hear her – her message, her thoughts on the Province, on the city I live in, and on the hot button issues, but I cannot.  She talks and talks and I hear, “blah, blah, blah” and that noise is the past 9-years of Liberal rule and the lies, and waste that they have created all the while running the Province without any public scorn that has come the way of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford (more on him coming up).

I’m angry because I feel like no matter what she says there are a whole lot of Ontarians who are going to vote for her anyways because the Liberals are the middle of the road party so a vote for them is a “safe” vote. But it’s an expensive vote!

I’m even more frustrated because I do not feel that the PC’s leader is fit for the job – he’s not warm and fuzzy like Dalton was – and no one wants to see a NDP government in power (thank you Bob Rae), I’m afraid for Ontario…

Now on to Toronto and Mayor Rob Ford, who continues to show even his most ardent supporters that he’s somewhere between a moron and a giant moron when he tells the public he’s not drinking anymore, that his drug use was a one time affair (drunken stupor, anyone?), and then he continues to get caught doing the things he’s been stating he was not doing.  On video yet!

So here is what I know now about him.

He’s a liar.
He’s a thug.
He has addiction problems.
He is in denial, and he thinks that the public will continue to forgive him time and time again.

That was until this latest video emerged of him getting high, talking rudely about fellow colleague Karen Stintz and in doing so, flushing away his chances at re-election.

So he pulls the rehab card.

And while everyone knows he should have been in rehab a long time ago, he has “checked into” the world’s most effective treatment facility where after one week he is able to make outgoing calls and report that he feels “incredible”.

This time no one buys it, and trust me… in the same way the Toronto Star refuses to touch the George Smitherman story, they will find Ford and expose him again.  Even toying with the idea of Doug Ford running for mayor was thrown out, the bottom line is that Rob Ford will not and can not be Mayor come the next election.  Politics is about trust and he’s blown it time and time again.  I don’t trust him, the people of Toronto don’t trust him and those who were out to get him from election day (hello Joe Mihevc) are laughing and laughing.

The final piece of this puzzle of stupidity have the names and faces of the referring crew who handled the Toronto Raptors series against the New Jersey (err, Brooklyn) Nets.  Foul after foul called on the Raps and you started to understand that the whispers surrounding this series might be true – that no Canadian team was going to beat the Nets.

Even after acknowledging that the Nets tanked their last 2 games of the season to set up a playoff series with the Raps, the league said and did nothing, and while fouled after foul were committed against the team from Toronto, they said little more.  It got to be so obvious that even in the game 7 loss, the refs called a foul on Kevin Garnett of the Nets instead of Deron Williams because Williams would have received his 6th foul and fouled out of the game, whereas KG could take another.  On this specific play, it was 100% clear that Williams bear hugged and took down the Raptors player and sat on the floor hands together as if praying not to be called.

Clearly guilty.

Until determined to be innocent by the referees.

It was awful.  Embarrassing.  A black eye for a league which already had to deal with a referee who was cooking games for betting purposes.  The league would have been wise to comment at any point in time to suggest there was nothing happening – even suggest there would be a review – but the league was silent and the Raptors lost.

 

So here I sit, frustrated that Wynne, Ford and these referees continue on today as if they have legitimacy in their roles but they do not.

They lie, cheat and steal and until we, the public, have our say and force them to find a different job, we will continue to be frustrated, and shake our heads in bewilderment.