Wednesday, April 30, 2008

US Elections are a joke

During the primary the Press and Americans are talking about Flag Lapel Pins and Loud Mouthed Ministers.

They are debating everything but the Iraq War, Healthcare, Increased Poverty, Housing Market Crash, Job Loss, Corporate Bailouts, War Profiteering and Graft, New Orleans still being a mess...........etc.

The same people who control the press and the debate keep asking why people different than them do not love America.

My answer. Straight white Christian Conservatives make it nearly impossible for anyone unlike them to love the country.

I am embarrassed to use my US passport next week and will be hiding it as quickly as I can get it out of sight. 2.5 years until I can proudly travel with a Canadian one.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Unpopular Position on Unions

The TTC Union strike was a topic of conversation all weekend long. My opinion is the Union was abusive after promising 48 hours notice to commuters if they were to strike. They literally left people stuck all over the city on Friday. From what I am reading the immediate strike was caused by false rumours. For weeks now people in my office have been the pawns in this game between Union and Management.

"The rumour mill killed the deal that the TTC hammered out with the union last Sunday, says TTC chief general manager Gary Webster.
"Some of our employees genuinely believed that our intentions were to contract out the main work on our buses. Nothing could be further from the truth," he said yesterday."

Now I realize as a leftist I am supposed to defend every move a union makes. Sorry, I don't. I witnessed enough abuse working at the Port of Newark as a non union employee that not all union actions are noble.

Do I think employees deserve fair wages and benefits...of course I do. I know the TTC Union employees when injured on the job already get 75% salary (Short term) and 85% (Long Term) without having to pay taxes on the income, which looks about 100% or more of their salary to me. They want more because others get more. That's not a valid justification for getting over 100% of your salary.

"However, Kinnear has said it's unlikely the mediator will be able to resolve the issue of injury compensation. Workers who take short-term leave following a job-related injury lose 25 per cent of their pay. If they qualify for workers' compensation, they still lose 15 per cent. Kinnear said that's an injustice when city workers and TTC management get 100 per cent of their pay if they're sick or injured."

If a false rumour triggers a strike, then I suggest the Union had better take their positions and communication more seriously.

I also should add I avoid the TTC to the point even on -30 degree days I walk to work because the rush hour service is horrible.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

See this post over at WMTC about Canada Immigration Reform

Get those application in folks! The Tories and their power grabs make me nervous.

From Laura WMTC:

"The Toronto Star's Carol Goar had a good piece about it last month, and it's still relevant. Emphasis mine.

It is possible that Immigration Minister Diane Finley wants more power to do exactly what she says: clean up her department's enormous backlog of unprocessed applications.It is also possible that she is equipping herself to transform Canada's overloaded immigration system into a lean, business-friendly recruitment tool.Both interpretations fit the available facts. The determining factor will be how the minister uses her expanded mandate.Legal experts are still parsing the changes to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, introduced on March 14. But the preliminary consensus is that they are much more significant than Canadians have been told.

Under the new legislation, the immigration minister would have the authority to:

Limit the number of immigration applications Canada accepts.

Deny admission to applicants already approved by immigration officers.

Block the entry of would-be immigrants "by category or otherwise."........

The clock ticks on

Yesterday I turned 41. I am not big on Birthdays so I spent it quietly with Emi.
I've been under the weather since last weekend and my voice still sounds like I smoke 10 packs of Marlboros a day. Emilio laughs when I imitate the gravelly CTV voice over guy.,"Viewer discretion is strongly advised"

I have to say I am glad to be here in Toronto for this one. Last year was such a confusing and stressful era of our lives. It's amazing for me to go back and read my posts in the archives. It's reminds me why I am here and to appreciate that here exists.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

We're going to Rome

Emilio and I are taking our first "real" vacation together. We booked one week in Rome for early May. We're both so excited and happy we can now finally travel after 6 years.
Thanks Canada for giving us the ability to do something we both love. Screw you U.S. for taking it away from us! LOL

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Life is Good

Finally spring has sprung. It was a long winter here in Toronto and as so many Torontonians remind me this was the worst one in a long time.

I love spring, I get excited seeing Tulips, Daffodils and Crocus popping out of the ground. It's warm today and we are going with Robin and Mike to Riverdale Farm to see the new animal babies.

Our Katie is on Puppy Prozac and it's wonderful, she's calm and for the first time in her 10 years I can take her to the dog park, we go to Allen Gardens and she's has fun rather than trying to bite other dogs. I think Allen Gardens is my favorite place in Toronto. I just love it and luckily I get to walk through it on my walk to and from work.

Last night we went to see Margaret Cho at Massey Hall with Robin, Mike, Alberto and Andrew. She was so much fun to see in person. Emilio and I are still laughing today. On the walk home from the show Emilio and I talked about how great it is to live in a city and be able to walk to see shows. We have tickets to see Cirque du Soleil and the "True Colors" concert this summer. I can't wait to see the B52s!
I hope everyone enjoys the re-birth of spring and gets enerrgized from it while waiting to come home to Canada.