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…

 

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Posted in Canada, Community, family, Life, Linus, Sports, urbandaddyblog

The World Series Starts Tonight! Which Jinx Ends?!?


So the World Series begins tonight in Chicago as the Chicago Cubs who last won the World Series in 1908, face the team from Cleveland (team name omitted on purpose) who last won the Fall Classic in 1948.

Contrary to the belief of my children, neither myself nor my pet dinosaur were alive when the Cubs were last named World Champions.

As a diehard Toronto Blue Jays fan, I could vote for Cleveland because they eliminated Toronto, or I could vote for the Cubbies and their poor, suffering fans.  The Cleveland Cavaliers of the National Basketball Association also eliminated the Toronto Raptors from the NBA playoffs so I have reason to hate Cleveland, but then again the poor City finally got one World Champion so another in the same year would be wonderful for them, right?!?

Of note in this series, is which team will have the jinx removed from their franchise.  The Cubs were jinxed because of some goat, while the Cleveland team was really jinxed by a Native American group who disapproved of their use of team name, logo and mascot.

The Cubs curse is known as “The Curse of the Billy Goat” and was put in the team in 1945 by the owner of the Billy Goat Tavern. Apparently he used to bring his goat to the games at Wrigley Field in Chicago and the odor (not Roughned) of his pet goat, Murphy, was bothering other fans so he was asked to leave the park during game 4 of the 1945 World Series.

While leaving, the Tavern owner declared “Them Cubs, they ain’t gonna win no more”, and they didn’t, losing the 1945 World Series to the Detroit Tigers and then never making it back until this season – 46 years after the death of the Tavern’s owner.

Now, the Cleveland curse is quite different.

Some may say the curse on the Cleveland came from trading star players after star player, however, the curse on the team stems from the teams name, “Indians”, which originated from a request by then club owner Charles Somers to baseball writers to choose a new name to replace the current team name, the “Cleveland Naps” following the departure of Nap Lajoie after the 1914 season.

“Indians” was chosen because writers used to call the Cleveland Spiders baseball club, the “Indians” in reference to a Native American player named Louis Sockalexis.

The team is also referred to as the “Tribe” and their “mascot” Chief Wahoo (who is actually a Brave because Chief’s have a many feathers).

The team itself, began playing organized ball in 1894 in Michigan, as the Grand Rapids Rustlers. The team moved to Cleveland in 1900, changing their name to the Lake Shores.

It has been said that until Cleveland change their team name and use of Chief Wahoo, the team will be forever jinxed.

Either way, one of these jinx’s will end at the conclusion of the World Series.

My 11-year-old son was wondering what it was like watching baseball back in 1908.  There was no TV, no way to broadcast the games, certainly no way for someone in another country to learn of the game or the results from so far away.

He was thinking about what it would have been like to have been a young boy in Poland, where his now 100-year-old grandfather grew up and eventually had to flee for his life from the Nazis before making his way to North America, then to Canada.

Baseball, eh?

Hard to think about baseball when Nazi’s chase you from your home, kill everyone in your family, then give your home and your belongings to others.

Life goes on.

A curse will end.

Interesting perspective from an 11-year-old.

 

 

 

 

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

Posted in Life

My Wife Will Be Happy: It’s Not Over For Degrassi. Next Class Debuts January 2016 on Family Channel


IT’S NOT OVER!
DEGRASSI: NEXT CLASS DEBUTS ON FAMILY CHANNEL IN JANUARY 2016

She may not admit it, but my wife loves Degrassi.  I’m not sure of it’s because they filmed it at the high school she attended, or if she knew some of the kids involved, but she is a fan of the show, and myself, while not having seen more than a couple of them, is a huge fan of anything Canadian – giving this show 2 thumbs up!

This press release came to me:

Toronto, June 9, 2015 – Whatever it takes. That’s what Family Channel is willing to do for fans and the network proves it by announcing Degrassi: Next Class, the newest version of the popular global franchise, will debut on Family in January 2016. After Thursday’s news sent shockwaves through the Internet, fans and media showed an outpouring of love for the highly celebrated Canadian teen series. Reassuring fans that Degrassi as they know it is alive and well, DHX Media’s Epitome Pictures will create 20 x 30-minute episodes of the series for Family.

“Both Family Channel and Degrassi have a longstanding place in the Canadian media landscape catering to youth and we look forward to welcoming Degrassi’s dedicated, loyal and vocal fan base as viewers,” said Joe Tedesco, Senior Vice President & General Manager, DHX Television. “By adding this series to our schedule we’ve been able to redefine what constitutes ‘family programming’ while maintaining our mandate to program series that are both relatable and relevant for the entire family. Degrassi explores sensitive issues in a responsible manner and allows us to continue identifying new ways to connect with families.”

Degrassi Gallery – June 24 2014

degrassiDegrassi: Next Class debuts on Family Channel in January 2016 featuring familiar faces.
For a snapshot of Degrassi over the years, click https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PgcExzKuHw.

“Following an unprecedented and incredibly supportive 14-year relationship with Bell Media on Degrassi: The Next Generation, we are looking forward to reaching a fresh new audience with Degrassi: Next Class,” said Degrassi Executive Producer Linda Schuyler. “We are energized and excited to work with Family Channel as we tell stories for the new post-millennial teen cohort known as Generation Z, most of whom weren’t even born when Degrassi returned in 2001.”

Degrassi: Next Class is a pull-no-punches dramatic series that tackles the real-life issues of high school students. Telling the stories of “Generation Z,” the series focuses on a group of teens as they begin their journey into adulthood. Pushing their own limits and testing the bonds of family and friends, the students each find their own way to deal with a range of issues: from homophobia, racism, substance abuse and violence to burgeoning sexuality, body issues, heartbreak and the complications of dating in the social media age. The series strives to entertain its post-millennial audience while always reinforcing its core principle: You are not alone.

Keeping true to the spirit of Degrassi that generations have known and loved since 1980, Degrassi: Next Class takes the 485 episode franchise into its next iteration and remains the longest running dramatic television series in Canadian history.

The new installment will see popular cast members reprise their roles including:

  • Amanda Arcuri as Lola Pacini;
  • Reiya Downs as Shay Powers;
  • Ana Golja as Zoe Rivas;
  • Nikki Gould as Grace Cardinal;
  • Ricardo Hoyos as Zig Novak;
  • Ehren Kassam as Jonah Haak;
  • Andre Kim as Winston Chu;
  • Lyle Lettau as Tristan Milligan;
  • Spencer Macpherson as Hunter Hollingsworth;
  • Eric Osborne as Miles Hollingsworth III;
  • Olivia Scriven as Maya Matlin;
  • Sara Waisglass as Frankie Hollingsworth; and
  • Richard Walters as Deon “Tiny” Bell.

The Degrassi franchise is currently celebrating the 35th anniversary. Degrassi: Next Class is produced by DHX Media’s Epitome Pictures, in association with Family Channel and Netflix. The series was co-created by Linda Schuyler who is also Executive Producer with Stephen Stohn, Sarah Glinski and Matt Huether.

About Family Channel
Family Channel offers the best in family television entertainment in a premium, commercial-free environment. Dedicated to celebrating family life and providing a daily vacation for children and their families, Family airs a unique mix of top-rated Canadian and Disney series, movies and specials.

Family Channel subscribers also have access to Family OnDemand and Family OnLine at no additional cost, to see hit movies and series when they want them, where they want them.

Visit us at Family.ca. Family Channel is a part of DHX Television, a subsidiary of DHX Media.

About DHX Media
DHX Media Ltd. (www.dhxmedia.com), a key player internationally in the creation of content for families and children, is recognized globally for such brands as Yo Gabba Gabba!, Caillou, Teletubbies, In the Night Garden, Inspector Gadget, Johnny Test, Slugterra and the multi-award winning Degrassi franchise.

DHX Media Ltd. is the owner of Family Channel, the most-viewed children’s television channel in Canada, as well as the channels Disney Junior (English & French) and Disney XD in Canada.

The Company markets and distributes its library of more than 11,000 half-hours of entertainment programming worldwide, and licenses its owned properties through its dedicated consumer products business.

DHX Media Ltd.’s full-service international licensing agency, Copyright Promotions Licensing Group Ltd. (CPLG), represents numerous entertainment, sport and design brands.

DHX Media Ltd. has offices in Toronto, Vancouver, Halifax, Los Angeles, London, Paris, Barcelona, Milan, Munich and Amsterdam, and is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the ticker symbols DHX.A and DHX.B.

 

Posted in Life

The Moral Decline of Society


There is a reason we do not let our children have access to electronics during the week, and limit no only the amount of time they spend on it on the weekends but also what they have access to.

The Internet is nasty.

TV is nasty.

Even some music is nasty.

Yes, we cannot shield our children from these forever, but I feel that a responsible parent doesn’t just let their kid(s) have access to the remote or a web browser and let them loose.

Deep down inside, I can’t help but worry for future generations when there is way too many shows like “Dating Naked”, “Sex Sent Me To The ER”, and “I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant”, and not enough shows like “Growing Pains”, “Brady Bunch” and “Full House”.

Honestly, is there anything worse than “TMZ”?  Yes.  “TMZ Live”.

I think a good balance of TV shows for kids include the original reality TV, sports, cooking shows, pretty much anything on TVO or to do with animals, history or the planet.

Cartoons are okay too, but like sweets, should be taken in moderation and never before bed time.

Now excuse me while I click through Kardashians, Honey Boo Boo’s and Millionaire Matchmaker looking for something to watch.