Browsing Category: News & Politics

I love the news and sometimes I write it or about it. Who would have a blog and run for Mayor without writing about topics in the realm of political issues. These posts fit that niche.

The banged up emotions, banged up car, and big boom finale

The banged up emotions, banged up car, and big boom finale

As we left off the quest, I was on the back roads of southern Ontario, with the Spotify music pumped. I was taking the back roads partly because it was taking everything to keep myself together, and partly because the 410, 407, and 401 scare the hell out of me.

It was at this point, I decided that seeing Niagara Falls wasn’t going to happen with the gloomy dark cloud of depression. It was also raining and cloudy too. After close to 2 hours, I arrived in Kitchener and the sun came out there. I managed to find a convenient little parking spot and walked down the Festival street. I have written before about Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest but there is something about this festival that in it’s own special way brings it over the top. There seems to even be a much higher percentage of people in traditional dress than you even see in Munich.

The Rogers Hometown hockey was there and there was a beautiful smell in the air that brought nostalgia back. Like most things however the second time is just not the same and the depression came back. I grabbed a sausage and water and then went to the guilt shop to buy a new pin for Oktoberfest hat and Bavarian suspenders. Then got in my car turned on my “Sadness” Spotify playlist and hit the 401.

As I entered Toronto after supper time the only suitable thing to do was to stop and grab some Popeye’s. There was no way after the nerve wrecking of the 401 so far that I wanted to deal with downtown Toronto traffic lights and lanes. I then after eating the meal continued on my way to Oshawa where I was so tired that I pulled over to a Tim Hortons and rested for an hour before proceeding to the ONRoute in Port Hope.

I slept very well that night even for sleeping in my car. The next morning I woke up refreshed and continued towards home. On the way back I detoured a few times the first was to take a photo of the First Railway tunnel. The second was to go to Kingston ON Wal-Mart to buy new shews because my old ones were so far gone my numb feet hurt.

After Brockville, I dove the side road along the waterfront and found a beautiful little stop in Prescott ON where there is a historic site that was the location of the Battle of the Windmill where rebels were stopped by the Royal Navy in 1838. This was my last detour in Ontario before I stopped for lunch at Denny’s. I gas the most incredible pancakes with a Dolce cream to pour over them and soak in them to make a moist wonderful pile of goodness. Which would be the last goodness of the trip.

I gassed up and hit the road. After the panic of Toronto, I was destined to skip Montreal and take the toll bypass road. Or had wished I did. Instead out of nowhere it seemed I entered Montreal. It was a particular sunny but not too sunny day. From Kingston to Montreal it was “mainly sunny”. I entered the tunnel to leave Montreal and thought well that’s it I made it.

This is when Siri started giving weird directions that made no sense, and I decided to follow signs instead. I was in the 2nd of four lanes and couldn’t lane change due to a transport truck and was forced off on exit 90 of the the 20. Well crap… I now had to figure out getting back on the highway and was all frustrated, I was so depressed and just wanted to get home.

I looped back on Boulevard Marie-Victorin and proceeded back to the highway, went to check my blind spot and missed one of two yield signs and the middle on ramp of two on my left and out of nowhere my fender makes contact with the door of another car! I pull over on the ramp from hell and cars keep proceeding by my car was able to move and my airbags didn’t go off, but my anxiety is through the roof. The bigger fear then the accident, how I was getting home, or even talking to the stranger, my mind went to “what if the guy doesn’t speak English?!” I get my insurance and papers and place them in my pocket and get out of the car taking pictures of the damage and the scene.

The guy started saying something in French and I asked him if he spoke English and he did. Not to get into much detail but the guy has a history in HR and was super calm with a “shit happens, let’s move forward” approach asking if I was alright. After taking the obligatory driver’s license and car licence plate photos we agreed to proceed off the highway and to a nearby mall parking lot. In the lot was spent about 20 minutes exchanging information and then proceeded on our way.

My tire was rubbing on the wheel-well a but on bumps but it was not too bad. I pumped up a Spotify playlist and continued home as fast as I could. Around midnight, I was so tired and a bit low on gas and pulled into the Irving in Saint-Antonin. I slept kind of well until about 6:30am, got gas, and headed back to New Brunswick on a beautiful, sunny, Thanksgiving Day morning.

That part of the NB highway looks magical and very beautiful with the yellows, reds, and oranges of the autumn leaves over the many rolling hills and the river valley of the majestic Saint John River. I knew that like the water when I reached the end I would be home.

It has been a really long time since I last seen the world’s longest covered bridge, and Hartland also has a Tim’s so it was time to detour into town. Once I hit Fredericton, I was getting sick of Spotify and turned on CBC. This is when I learned that going home might not be as easy as planned. The news broke into programming that there may have been an explosion at the Irving Oil refinery that is only a short 3km away from my house. I texted my sister and she said she was alright and that they were not evacuating the area. As I was passing Grand Bay, I first seen with my own eyes the column would f Barack smoke rising from the refinery.

The journalist side of me knew that so needed to get a photo of it for the day that I wrote about my trip. I stopped at Wolastoq Park where I took my photos and then headed home. I was so exhausted that I went to my TV room and did nothing all day but work on cleaning out my PVR. Thus ended my Thanksgiving Day epic.

An Election is in the Air

An Election is in the Air

As the fall approaches, it is time for another round of provincial elections. The province is in a tough but still hopeful situation, people throwing around money and making promises that will make them look popular and ruthlessly attacking their opponents.

I’m going to make a list of items that I consider a priority for the next government.

1) Remove the ban from walking down the street with open liquor. There is no real public safety impact here, and littering would be of little impact as the empties will quickly be retrieved.

2) Rename the Saint John River the “Saint John / Wolastoq River”, it would only cost 50ish signs and would make everyone happy. Also, please the indigenous peoples in the area.

3) Within 5 years, eliminate 10 schools. Even if you have to build new modern 20th century buildings.

4) Change legislation to ensure there are no more than 6 levels of management between the minister and the front line staff in every department and agency.

5) Change the way we do municipalities. Naming streets, municipal planning, recreation, transportation, by-laws etc are what makes a community and councils should be limited to those things. Protective services should not be at the municipal level. There should be large regional elected service boards that run protective/regional services.

6) Reduce 10 municipalities. There are too many for the size of the Province.

7) Modernization of the delivery of government services. It is completely ridiculous that you still have to play phone tag with the receptionist to get appointments at the hospital and be called by 3 different departments for the same procedure. Also that your medical information is in silos that don’t allow your doctor to know the whole story, and allow electronic filing of prescriptions so you are not given conflicting drugs, and reduce the addictions.

8) Be ambitious and strive to have Bilingualism as a requirement of Graduation for all students of New Brunswick. “switching between two or more languages gives the brain a dexterousness and improves our attention, planning, memory and problem-solving skills.” (Irish Times, 27 March 2018)

Please Don’t End Me

Please Don’t End Me

Today, I was Googling myself to see what others were writing about me and one of the first things I read was the following tweet.

When I first read it I was a little afraid that my country had enough of me and were all out to get me. Then I read a little more on the issue. It was really shocking to me to learn that my initials are also the acronym for Child, Early and Forced Marriage. According to the Government of Canada the following stats are true:

  • Every year, it is estimated that 15 million girls—some as young as five years old—are forced into marriage.
  • Over 700 million women alive today were married as children.
  • One in every three girls in the developing world is married by the age of 18. One in nine marries before the age of 15.
  • Complications in childbirth are the leading cause of death among girls between the ages of 15 and 19 in the developing world.

I really agree with the 10,000 tweets on the issue that this is something that everyone should know about and work towards putting an immediate end to. If you want to read more on the issue there are good links on the bottom of the government’s webpage on the issue

Fundy Fringe Festival Memory

Fundy Fringe Festival Memory

FFF Sign at SJAC

This year I had the privilege of volunteering at the Fundy Fringe Festival for mine and its second year.

I only managed to see 9 of the 15 performances but was very impressed with the variety and quality of the performances.

The experience was incredible not only to meet the other performers and volunteer but the general community that supported the artists.

On the last day of the festival, there was one experience that really stood out. I went to the Queen’s Square Market to get my Sunday morning croissant with chocolate gnash from Le Boulangerie Français prior to my final shift. There was this elderly woman sitting by herself on the bench and asked me what I thought of different shows.

It turned out that this woman was visiting the city specifically for the festival and has lived in Vancouver before no living outside Toronto. She was not a big fan of the comedy shows and was looking for something darker.  After suggesting William Ellis’ Dirty Work she said that was exactly the type of show she was looking for. We then continued to chat for a good 20 minutes about her travels and the various theatre she has seen over her years which was an impressive amount.

The End of “here”

The End of “here”

I have seen that the weekly local newspaper here magazine is now no more. Here is my little story of that zine.

We go back to March of 2004 the one and only time that I had visited the office of here. I went up all the stairs in the Miller Britain building on Princess Street. I do not recall who I met in the office at the time, but this was the first place that I dropped off my press release to in person after I had filed my papers in my run for Mayor. The guy asked me a few questions, then I left.

A few days after I received a call from one of the reporters. The were going to do a cover story on young candidates in that election for which there was eleven of us. They wanted to have a group picture and we arranged to all meet-up in front of Photography Flewwelling and taken by Tim Pfinder on a ladder. I remember the day was overcast and there was a very cold April wind.

So that is my story/memory of how I ended up on the cover of Here Magazine. Of the group Jay Young-Chang was the only one to get elected that time, and Donnie Snook was also in that photo sou would get elected in the following election.

2014 Academy Award Predictions

2014 Academy Award Predictions

Best Picture (Predicted)
Prediction and Winner: 12 Years a Slave

Best Actor in a Leading Role (Miss)
Prediction: Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave)
Winner: Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)

Best Actress in a Leading Role (Miss)
Prediction: Judi Dench (Philomena)
Winner: Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)

Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Miss)
Prediction: Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall Street)
Winner: Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)

Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Miss)
Prediction: Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine)
Winner: Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave)

Best Animated Feature (Predicted)
Prediction and Winner: Frozen (Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee, Peter Del Vecho)

Best Cinematography (Predicted)
Prediction and Winner: Gravity (Emmanuel Lubezki)

Best Costume Design (Miss)
Prediction: 12 Years a Slave (Patricia Norris)
Winner: The Great Gatsby (Catherine Martin)

Best Directing (Miss)
Prediction: The Wolf of Wall Street (Martin Scorsese)
Winner: Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón)

Best Documentary Feature (Miss)
Prediction: The Square (Jehane Noujaim, Karim Amer)
Winner: 20 Feet from Stardom (Nominees to be determined)

Best Documentary Short (Predicted)
Prediction and Winner: The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life (Malcolm Clarke, Nicholas Reed)

Best Film Editing (Predicted)
Prediction and Winner: Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón, Mark Sanger)

Best Foreign Language Film (Predicted)
Prediction and Winner: The Great Beauty (Italy)

Best Makeup and Hairstyling (Predicted)
Prediction and Winner: Dallas Buyers Club (Adruitha Lee, Robin Mathews)

Best Original Score (Miss)
Prediction: The Book Thief (John Williams)
Winner: Gravity (Steven Price)

Best Original Song (Miss)
Prediction: The Moon Song – Her
Winner: Let It Go – Frozen

Best Production Design (Miss)
Prediction: 12 Years a Slave (Adam Stockhausen, Alice Baker)
Winner: The Great Gatsby (Catherine Martin, Beverley Dunn)

Best Animated Short Film (Miss)
Prediction: Get a Horse! (Lauren MacMullan, Dorothy McKim)
Winner: Mr. Hublot (Laurent Witz, Alexandre Espigares)

Best Live Action Short Film (Predicted)
Prediction and Winner: Helium (Anders Walter, Kim Magnusson)

Best Sound Editing (Miss)
Prediction: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Brent Burge, Chris Ward)
Winner: Gravity (Glenn Freemantle)

Best Sound Mixing (Miss)
Prediction: Captain Phillips (Chris Burdon, Mark Taylor, Mike Prestwood Smith, Chris Munro)
Winner: Gravity (Skip Lievsay, Niv Adiri, Christopher Benstead, Chris Munro)

Best Visual Effects (Miss)
Prediction: Star Trek Into Darkness (Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Ben Grossmann, Burt Dalton)
Winner: Gravity (Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, Dave Shirk, Neil Corbould)

Best Adapted Screenplay (Miss)
Prediction: Philomena (Steve Coogan, Jeff Pope)
Winner: 12 Years a Slave (John Ridley)

Best Original Screenplay (Miss)
Prediction: Blue Jasmine (Woody Allen)
Winner: Her (Spike Jonze)

PPP Water

PPP Water

I went to a public town hall tonight that was very interesting. It very well compared the argument for not going down a public private partnership. Though it was very lacking in facts of how a 3P could be beneficial to the community to make an informed discussion.

My point of the argument is this. Why is Saint John water in the upper quartile range of Canadian Households. Added to the argument the property taxes are in the upper range as well though that can be explained in some fashion by the lower than average property values. The cost of water cannot.

Saint John needs solutions. To dismiss an idea without a solution is long past the point of helpful.

Here are some useful facts:
1. The pipes are too big and designed for the city Saint John hoped to be.
2. Our water quality though not terrible is not the standard it should be.
3. The city is stuck with agreements that do not really expire and are almost impossible to renegotiate.
4. Most of the expenditures of this city are fixed and beyond even councils control.

The only solution I have would be to have the province dissolve the 228 year old Corporation of the City of Saint John and nullify any contract and start over with a new municipality.

Hands-on with Nokia’s PureView 808: “You shot that with a PHONE?!”

Hands-on with Nokia’s PureView 808: “You shot that with a PHONE?!”

I was reading this article about Nokia’s newest phone that has an amazing camera. Beyond that the thing that caught me first was that it was running Symbian OS. Despite being on an iOS device for the last 4 years I still love some of the intricacies of Symbian.

The only real problem I have is that there are too many megapixels for the opening of the camera. Let’s face it a photon of light is only so small, and the pixels are smaller than a photon.  The second issue is the lack of optical zoom. If I am getting that much resolution I am going to want a zoom to replace my point and shoot camera.

Hands-on with Nokia’s PureView 808: “You shot that with a PHONE?!” | MobileSyrup.com.

Preventing Service Cuts, not a priority!

Preventing Service Cuts, not a priority!

This seems to be a big promise by a lot of candidates this election. Let’s face the facts in the past 10 years this city’s spending has ballooned from about 90 million to 135 million.

It is time to reconsider what services that city should offer. To have a reasonable tax rate this city needs to reduce its spending very drastically. In most accounts, the number that results in a reasonable tax rate is about $105 million dollars.

Our fire service is one of the most costly in the country. Our transit services have increased in municipal funding from $250,000 to over $5 million dollars in the past 10 years. In addition, the biggest sources of revenue (the parking commission) and the biggest expenses (major facilities, pension fund, solid waste) are not under the city’s complete control and are hidden behind provincial legislation.

These bodies are also not required to be either open or accountable to the public. Several years ago the spring garbage collection was removed for costing half a million dollars in one week, but was it really required?

A truly responsible new council should take the necessary measures to remove Saint John from the ranks of the highest property taxes and water taxes in the country and instead promote measures to increase the tax base but offering a more advantageous tax rate to attack further development.

Saint John Road Conditions

Saint John Road Conditions

We have all heard or experience the pot hole haven stories about this city. But, do the numbers support the claims that Saint John is too big for its population to support its roads properly. In fact Saint John has 4x the population per km of road than Bathurst. It would however be interesting to see how well Bathurst does at their own road maintenance.

Below is a table sourced from Statistics Canada 2011 census for population and NB Department of Transportation Road Mileage charts (2012) for the kilometres of road.

These numbers also include provincial designated highways that the cities get a grant to maintain.

City Population KM of Roads Population per KM of roads
Bathurst 4979 184 27.1
Miramichi 17811 325 54.8
Grand Bay-Westfield 5117 87 58.8
Rothesay 11947 149 80.2
Edmunston 16032 199 80.6
Ouispamsis 17886 203 88.1
Saint John 70063 718 97.6
Campbellton 7385 73 101.2
Moncton 69074 541 127.7
Fredericton 56224 429 131.1
Dieppe 23310 153 152.4
It’s the most wonderful season of the year…

It’s the most wonderful season of the year…

Election Season! In under 2 months, every municipal, education, and health council in this province will be new. But this is my favourite part is waiting for everyone to announce and I need to pick the people who I will vote for. I need to vote for and choose a Mayor of Saint John, 2 Councillors at Large, 2 Ward 4 councillors, an education councillor for Anglophone District South-5, and Francophone district Sud-9, and Health region B-4.

This Saturday the nominations open up and I will announce more of my thought.

And for theses that are wondering. I will not be running again this year.

My best advise is don’t run for the fame and glory either run to do a committed job, or run to say something. It is much worse to have an idea not considered. Leave it to the people to determine its value. It could be the idea that might inspire those that can do.

Council’s Last Chance at Transit

Council’s Last Chance at Transit

It is now 7pm in the council chambers and the councillors are now arriving. As council begins there is 44 people here.

The meeting has now begun the councillor are doing their opening thanks to different community groups.

Joe Mott is absent tonight. Most of the routine business is quite boring and routine. The first item is 12.1 on the demolition of a dilapidated building on city road no one will miss. Next is a review of the Taxi by-law review and a full presentation with slides.

Council has after an hour approved starting the process of drafting the new Taxi By-Law something that has been talked about for close to 15 years now. Now they are discussing changes to the procurement policies.

Now it is time for transit (11.2). Councillor Higgins has moved to reassess the decision to cuts. Now the motion is a refer to budget deliberations. Councillor Farren sounds hesitant as long as it does not increase taxes. Deputy Mayor Chase does not seem to really support this. He is even denying that Higgins did know that the facts that she is denying and is stern on holding the budget. Councillor Norton is proposing a public review on route changes, but is being cautious. Councillor Snook is supporting transit but is supportive of the public consultation of optimizing routes. The City Manager is trying to educate council that this is not a cut but a limit to the increase to 1% even though Transit has been increasing the city’s subsidy by about 8%. Court was not favourable to the motion. Councillor Sullivan is not wavering on the fact that Transit is not a council priority. They are trying to wash their hands of transit and placing responsibility on the commission and the province for the taxes on the garage.

Some appear on delaying a decision. Councillor Titus, the council representative on the Transit Commission, is placing the blame back on council. He is insisting that the transit commission placed much thought on the routes. The cuts were based on cost effectiveness of service. The pension issue is of great importance and that money has been already been spent on printing of new schedule.

Titus insists that there is not really $5-million dollars extra. Insists that we have really good services, that citizens should be proud of.

Higgins makes a good closing point that perhaps if more than one transit passenger was on the commission it could be more efficient. It could be better promoted, and that the larger percentage of users are renters and renters pay 2x the tax rate of regular residential.

Considering that East Saint John is getting hit the hardest. It is despicable that Councilor Court is taking such a hard line against the prosperity of transit. Councillor Court does not stand up for is own ward and should likely be cut come election time. Voting time it is a referral motion 8-2 in-favour. Titus and Sullivan against.

A Memorable Mass Transit Story

A Memorable Mass Transit Story

Remember that one time on the bus, when…? Share your mass transit stories.

One of my best memories on the bus was on an East bus headed to the mall on March 25th, 2004. I happened to run into my friend Tony, we were both heading to the mall. At this point I had my first batch of 25 names on the nomination papers. This was where Tony signed as the witness.

As soon as I got to the mall I instantly went to head back to the north end to file the papers. The first time 8 of my names were rejected as the people who signed were not actually registered to vote. Then the second time 45 minutes later I was 2 names short. Then 25 minutes later, I was officially on the ballot.

When it finally got approved, the first thing I did was to run to every media outlet that I could find and dropped off my Press Release.

Running for Mayor was one of the most interesting times of my life, and all the people and aspects of the community that you get exposed to is unreal.

Then six and a half weeks, and 448 votes later that part of my life was over. Thus leading the way for 2 days later when I left the province on my first vacation and train ride later.

And the travels continue…

“Immoral but not Illegal”

“Immoral but not Illegal”

Apparently my site traffic has dropped a fair bit in the last few months. This past week has been one of the craziest news weeks that I can remember in quite some time. Four elections, a new premier, a shady closed meeting of the public accounts committee in Ottawa. The Europe economy teetering beyond hope. The City of Saint John not having a clue how to fix its self with the pension. Sarah Palin announcing that she won’t run again, and overshadowed by the death of Steve Jobs that no one really head or cared.

But among all that the things that stood out the most happened on Thursday. US President Barack Obama in responding to why the US Wall Street executives that killed the global economy were not jailed for what they done responded with; “what they done was immoral but not illegal.”

It is pretty bad when a few can make over a hundred million people worldwide homeless and unemployed. Then be bailed out by every reserve of money available on this planet then… nothing happens.

Added note: I had received a comment that it was unclear but, the point I was trying to make was that no one cared that Sarah Palin was not going to run again. Many people including myself cared about the passing of the great Steve Jobs.

This is crazy, Unions need to go.

This is crazy, Unions need to go.

This morning I heard the following story on the radio and was practically outraged by what I was hearing. Basically, the Government of Saskatchewan is offering a reasonable 6% pay increase to all the teachers, but the lousy blood-sucking unions are demanding 16%. In addition, who is going to feel bad for these teachers, 6% will make them some of the highest paid in the entire country.

Even if the Government is able to pay this amount they should not give in. The money should go to offer better supplies for learning, libraries, I would even hire actual fitness trainers than give in to the greedy unions.

I think that this country would be much better served banning unions from the public service.

Maybe I was Wrong

Maybe I was Wrong

For the better part of my life I always considered nuclear power to be incredibly clean and efficient way to produce a lot of power. With the recent earthquake to hit Japan and Fukushima, perhaps it is now time to consider something else.

The question is what else? The thought of going back to burning coal, oil, or even worse Orimulsion. Then there is wind power that kills birds, bats, honey bees, and causes hearing damage. Hydro-electric power that kills the eco-system of a river upstream, even if provisions were made not to. Solar? The sun will come out tomorrow but not today and are very inefficient to have reliable energy in short winter days.

I think the most important factor is that although we believe it can be safe, what if nature makes it go wrong. Canadian reactors are supposed to be certified for expected levels of seismic activity. But expected and reality can be different. Like the old expression “Shit Happens”.

The Times They Are A Changin’

The Times They Are A Changin’

A few year’s back I got reconnected to a classic piece of music; Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are A Changin'”. Back then was in March 2005. I was a young political supporter taking by first trip by train to Montréal, for the 1st Conservative Party of Canada policy and constitution convention.

Back then I thought we were doing something new a great. The vision of make a new party from scratch. Also, strengthening up the constitution to make it more fair and accountable.

Fast forward to now six years later, and we are back to the corruption as before but the song is developing new meaning. With recent events that started in Egypt and Tunisia we are seeing once more that The Times They Are A Changin’. In hindsight, it appears that change actually happen quite rapidly.

Now that it spreads fast people can compare this turning point in history to the storming Bastille. Where people’s choice takes forefront to prolonged oppression. But of greater concern is that at this point in History the current super-power the United States turns out to be broke, and not exactly globally well liked. Compare them to the Hapsburg Dynasty of Austria that controlled much of Europe at the time of the Bastille.

The French king at that time was completely unaware of the state of his people like leaders today in Egypt, Bahrain, and Libya. One only has to visit Luzern in Switzerland to see the most moving pieces of artwork in all Europe to see this was true. The only protection of a ruler be it King, Sultan, President; is who the Armed Forces supports, in France and now Egypt to military supported to people.

As history goes the Bastille event results in Napoleon, where the Hapsburgs end up dead and everything changes. In the 2010’s can the United States survive or will we see that nothing is safe as The Times They Are A Changin’.

CBC News – NB – Review Anglo Society flag motion: language chief

CBC News – NB – Review Anglo Society flag motion: language chief

CBC News – New Brunswick – Review Anglo Society flag motion: language chief.

This has to be one of the most overhyped stories of the month. It would be common practice for the City of Bathurst to fly this flag. I firmly believe that every group or person has the freedom to speak their thoughts. Just as much as it is everybody elses to consider to merits, then decide if it should be accepted or driven out-of-town with pitch-forks. In this case I think the City of Bathurst is committing censorship but the few deciding without the Anglo-Society having a chance to give the Anglo-Society their moment on the soap box.

Personally from the time I was in Fredericton I think the Anglo-Society should be driven out with pitch-forks but everyone should be given a chance to hear their points.

Does council not care about protocol

Does council not care about protocol

This week I went to the council to see the debate and decision on Peel Plaza/North of Union project. That particular topic is so revolting in so many ways that it needs not mention here.

But what is even more inexcusable is the state of the decorations in the Council chamber. I have attached a photo that demonstrates the three worst violations.

1. The Queen’s Photo

This item really bugged me most of the night it is not noticeable on TV or the web feed but the photos are crooked. In the chamber, it was the Philip photo that looked wrong but upon review in PhotoShop , it is actually the Queen’s photo that is eleven degrees clockwise crooked.

2. The New Brunswick Flag

This one is not as noticeable as the others but the flag is a good decimeter down the shaft from the top making it lower than the other flags.

3. The Acadian Banner/Flag

In this case , you don’t even see it because it has no base and is leaning against the Canadian flag.

Bonus: Flag Order

The flags are positioned incorrectly. They are positioned left to right: Union Jack, New Brunswick, Canada, Acadian. By official precedence with 4 flags the Canadian flag should be on the left, followed by the flag of a sovereign state (Union Jack), Provincial Flag in order of confederation (NB), then historical flags (Acadian). Then an optional second Canadian flag could be on the right.

Saint John 225, but how?

Saint John 225, but how?

Once again the City of Saint John is celebrating and making an attempt and rekindling of the community in Saint John. The big problem is that Saint John is in a place that makes it next to impossible to revive itself. Saint John is so backed in debt that there is a very little hope. There is the dynamic that Saint John is too big is size to support its population. It also requires large infrastructure funding to support its re-birth. Saint John has a plan that will rejuvenate the water system that only about 2/3 of the population base can take advantage of. The tax rate is also incredibly high, in fact too high to attract new money. It is also too high to keep those here. In addition, the situation where many jobs that the city attracts are that of less than $30,000/year. Let’s figure this out people, this works out to less than $2,500/month. That alongside the incredibly large amounts of single-parent families. It is almost an entire months pay for just the property taxes, alone.

Another, month for insurance and water taxes. Another for 2 for car payments, 1 for electricity, 1 for food. Now we are down to 6 months left. Now with the amount of pollution and poor air quality, there are more people in this city with asthma and other breathing issues and then the higher than average cancer rates that result in high medical expenses, add a month. You can’t tell me that it is not much easier to breathe once you leave the city for a period. We can continue but, this should be enough to prove that Saint John is not the place to be if you can at this time. But without people and much more new people, there is just no way to get out of the rut.

The QMJHL finals come to Saint John & Moncton

The QMJHL finals come to Saint John & Moncton

Last night I was at Harbour Station for the game 6 of the QMJHL semi-finals which the Sea Dogs took a 7-1 victory to end the series 4-2.

Despite this, I really think this could cost them dearly. They should have done it in 4. Taking so long well proves that they may not have the steam left that Moncton clearly has in them. This next series will be much more than interesting as the Sea Dogs will give it everything they have left and will not go quietly in the dark.

My prediction is that the Moncton Wildcats take the finals in Game 7.

QMJHL Semi-finals Game 2

QMJHL Semi-finals Game 2

Tonight I decided to go see a Sea Dogs game at Harbour Station. If it goes poorly this could be the last game of the year at Harbour Station. Perhaps with all the hockey I’ve done recently on Rogers TV, this is rehab. Even Christina Rogers was here.

The game is starting out very tense, there should be some penalties soon. Although there are slot of people here there are many empty seats. Yeap, there was a tripping penalty and the Tigres have a power play heading into the 2nd Half of the first period. Now the Tigre have a penalty and the Sea Dogs will get a power play in a minute.

Tethering on McGuinty TTC Cuts NB Power Deal Dead

Tethering on McGuinty TTC Cuts NB Power Deal Dead

Since I am in Toronto for WordCamp Toronto 2010 this weekend, I thought I would take this time to update my posts more often. I’m still deciding on my plans of what I’m going to do, but I started the day with some news. First, lets start with some amazing news from my cell phone provider Rogers Wireless. They are announcing something totally new for a phone company, that they actually listen to their customers.

This must be only the second time that they done something like this. Remember back to July 2008 a revolutionary (changes the way people think of phones) device came to Canada and Rogers after public protest created the $30 6GB data plan. While todays news is better according to the Rogers Blog all (non-roaming, non-shared, 1GB or greater or non-bundled with voice) smartphone data plans will include tethering in their usage as a permanent feature and not a promotion until May.

The second thing I wanted to talk about was not so much about that when the budget was released yesterday that the new TransitCity project to increase the LRT routes, and station renovations. But that it was hidden in the budget and not even mentioned. Come on people, with Toronto being the centre of the Canadian media universe, did they not know that it escalates the fact that you’re a sleaze ball for not helping progress Toronto like a modern city, but that you a bigger sleaze ball for not having the back bone to stand up in Ontario parliament and tell the people why. In addition, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty is the biggest sleaze ball for taking publicity in all the public funding announcements that you are going to do this TransitCity project.

In the end, McGuinty is not as bad New Brunswick Premier Shawn Graham that mis-managed the proposed sale of NB Power. The original deal was one that was of a huge mutual benefit to both New Brunswick and Quebec, then made changes to make the deal one that took away the benefits from both parties. Now the only thing left is the benefit of popularity gains to the Progressive Conservatives for going against a bad revised deal. However, they should not be forgiven for their opposition to the original deal.

Haven’t we learned how to settle our differences?

Haven’t we learned how to settle our differences?

This morning I was reading the Political Blogger Charles LeBlanc’s site when I came across the following little gem.

Worker was confronted by a nut with a Machete because he was making too much noise while shoveling snow on Regent Street in Fredericton.

Doesn’t that just make you want to say OMG! The sad thing is that this is not the only recent event like this. Last week there was the 15-year-old Hampton NB native charged with 2nd degree murder for bringing a kitchen knife over to an alleged sexual assulting drug dealer and killing him in the back or side.

Then about a year ago the guy chasing after another down the streets of uptown Saint John with a freaking broad sword.

I once heard that you are more likely to get stabbed than shot in Canada, does that really make you feel any better?