Posted in Community, family, Life, Parenting, The Urban Daddy, Toronto

Happy International Woman’s Day


Happy International Woman’s Day to all the woman in the entire world, with special thoughts directed at my incredible wife and daughter, and to my mother, sister, mother-in-law and grandmother.

It turns out that in Canada, the theme this year is #InnovateForChange!, and that we, as Canadians are celebrating women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and that makes 2019 the year of my wife!  A Chemical Engineer by education, and a life-long science teacher and early innovator in everything technology, she is teaching high-school math this year and she has been talking STEM back when I thought she was talking about trees.

What is IWD?

Each year, March 8 is an opportunity to celebrate the contributions of women and renew our efforts in achieving gender equality – in Canada and around the world.

The beginnings of International Women’s Day (IWD) trace back to the early twentieth century, emerging from the activities of labour movements in North America and Europe and reflecting a growing movement for women to participate equally in society.

The first International Women’s Day was observed on March 19, 1911 in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. That day, more than one million women and men showed their support by participating in public events. In the years that followed, other countries began to observe and celebrate this day.

The United Nations recognized 1975 as International Women’s Year and began celebrating IWD on March 8, later adopting a resolution designating March 8 as International Women’s Day.

Today, International Women’s Day is celebrated around the world – in many countries, it is a national holiday. It has grown to become a global day of recognition of women’s achievements and a call to action to support women’s rights and advance gender equality.

Globally

International Women’s Day 2019 campaign theme: #BalanceforBetter

The future is exciting. Let’s build a gender-balanced world.

Everyone has a part to play – all the time, everywhere.

From grassroots activism to worldwide action, we are entering an exciting period of history where the world expects balance. We notice its absence and celebrate its presence.

Balance drives a better working world. Let’s all help create a #BalanceforBetter.

Balance is not a women’s issue, it’s a business issue. The race is on for the gender-balanced boardroom, a gender-balanced government, gender-balanced media coverage, a gender-balance of employees, more gender-balance in wealth, gender-balanced sports coverage.

Let’s celebrate IWD in 2019 and get us to a point where we don’t need to set aside a day to respect women… That should be done everyday!

Posted in Baby Boy, Baby girl, Canada, Caregiver, Daddy, family, government, Happy Wife = Happy Life, Life, news, Parenting, politics, The Urban Daddy, urbandaddyblog

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…

 

Posted in Community, Daddy, family, government, Life, news, Parenting, politics, urbandaddyblog

Manchester Tragedy Crossed The Line


What happened last night in Manchester, England crossed the line.

The cowardly killing of innocent children – mainly girls – by a (hate to quote the US President, but I have to) LOSER, has repulsed pretty much every living and breathing person with a heart and a pulse.

The fact that this loser waited until the end of the show…

Ah, forget it.

He’s a loser.  A murderer.  A coward.  He deserves to be dead.  His victims do not.  He’s not going to heaven, he’s not getting any virgins.  He’s going to rot like the worthless piece of trash that he was.

Now the UK needs to do this right and they need to go round up anyone and everyone who knew him, who taught him, who called him a friend, or a family and they need to send the message that friends of losers and family of losers and teachers of losers are losers too.

The UK need to act fast and act swiftly, and go through their list of “suspected” losers and round them up now.  Screw their human rights.  Honestly.  They’re on the government’s watch list not because they’ve been good citizens but because they’re potential criminals, talking to bad evil guys and because they’re going to do something bad.

It’s time to take action for the safety of society.  Reasoning and rationalizing, sympathizing and understanding, banning and stereotyping and not the options that are going to bring a close to this problem.

Speaking up and being a solid contributing member of society will.

To each and every hero who helped the sick, dying, hurt and scared last night, I say thank you a thousand times.  It’s your courage and your kindness and your compassion which keep everyone’s faith in society.

If I believed in hell, I’d say rot in hell, losers.

I just hope and pray that we can continue to keep our kids safe, teach them right from wrong, and that we need to be a kind, supporting, inclusive society so losers don’t feel that they need to cowardly take their own lives and those of little girls and other people.

 

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, news

Helping Support an Alternative to Traditional Left-Wing Media Coverage in Canada: The Rebel


Whether your political views are left-wing, right-wing, mainstream or a mix of all three, it has always puzzled me that Canada’s main news came from left-leaning institutions (and why institutions of higher-learning teach from the left as well – but this is a different issue altogether).

I’m not interested in getting into an argument as to the pro’s and con’s of left vs right, or to have people comment and stereotypically align the right with guns, anti-abortion and anti-immigration policies, much as I would not expect anyone to point fingers at the left for their union-loving, Robin Hood – take from the rich and give to the poor – approach.   There is a lot of every side to appreciate and to admonish.

Heck, in this Canadian election we have a very fiscally conservative approach from the NDP which has many voters confused as to where the parties lie across the political spectrum.

That aside, with the recent embarrassing treatment of SunTV – the CRTC refused to give SunTV a guaranteed spot on basic cable thus denying them the same exposure as provided to news channels operated by the CBC and CTV, and placed the channel very high up in the middle of nowhere making it very difficult to find – Canada is left without an opposing view on news stories of the day.

Heck, the mainstream media has referred to Prime Minister Steven Harper as the “Conservative Leader” and not as the “Prime Minister” regularly though out the Federal Election Campaign.

With the recent successful launch of The Rebel, Ezra Levant has taken the Sun TV staff, added, subtracted and tweaked the group to become an online powerhouse with regular reports posted on YouTube and the Rebel website.  Ezra, whom I know personally, believes in options for Canadians and he is passionate about presenting the news in the same way that folks at the CBC and CTV do on a daily basis.

The Ezra you see on TV is the Ezra who wants to attract viewers, bring attention to the station and do so through controversy.  If The Rebel were allowed to play on the same field as the other media outlets, you would see more of the Ezra who is deeply knowledgeable about all things Canadian, who worries about how Canadians can sustain a healthy, equitable life in Canada and who wants the best Canada possible.

With that, I have chosen to donate to The Rebel crowdfunding campaign to get them set up with a studio so they can begin to compete with stations which receive billions of dollars of Taxpayer money to operate.

I hope that you will share this, or consider supporting regardless of where your political views lie.

After all, its equality that the folks at the Rebel are looking for, for all Canadians, so let’s return the favour and help them get back into the game.

The link to their Crowd Funding page is hyperlinked above and I have included the link below:

http://www.therebel.media/buildthedream?utm_campaign=builddream_rr&utm_medium=email&utm_source=therebel