Sort by:
View:

World without borders


What does it mean to be Canadian when we come from everywhere?

How do we forge a shared national purpose among people who have never shared anything before?

The world is coming to Canada. More and more Canadians are global citizens, exploring the world or staying connected to our countries of origin more instantly, more easily and more inexpensively than ever before.

We are Canadians without borders, looking outward to an exciting future. We have come together from every corner of the globe to continue to build a progressive, vigorous, multi-ethnic democracy that is unique in human history. We want to embrace the national responsibilities that have been thrust upon us because of our unique place in the international community.

Our destiny is to show that Canada can be a model for a troubled world increasingly challenged by religious and sectarian friction, and environmental catastrophes. Our growing diversity as a people, our huge pool of human talent, is our greatest strength from which to forge a clear, national purpose.

We need bold and visionary national leadership to inspire us to confidently take on the world and convey a sense of forward motion.

We need national leadership that inspires Canadians once again to believe that those in public life can translate rhetoric into action. We need a national government that governs for the Canadian people, not the provincial premiers, and that brings forward initiatives with clarity and conviction.

Here are some examples of what such leadership could achieve:

We need a vigorous national commitment to establish the best public education system in the world. Among other things, this should mean:

Child care, including early childhood education, available in the schools (elsewhere as necessary) from the age of 3.

Enhanced parental leave to permit one parent to stay home with children for at least the early years of a child\’s life.

No public funding for faith-based schools and a curriculum that includes serious study of religions of the world.

Funding to ensure that there is a teacher\’s assistant in every classroom.

Schools open in the evening and serving as community hubs.

Assured access to the full range of post-secondary education to all qualified students.

We must once and for all devote the attention and resources necessary to put an end to Third-World conditions among aboriginal Canadians.

We must likewise take all necessary steps to achieve equality of opportunity for all Canadians in practice, not just in theory. We must solve the foreign credentials problem that has deeply hurt so many new Canadians, and provide adequate infrastructure to help new Canadians maximize their potential through language training, settlement services and internship programs that provide work experience.

We must also establish wage security to enhance the employment insurance of those whose jobs are displaced by global forces, and take much more effective steps to eliminate poverty and unemployment.

We should have true national standards for medicare, with a commission at the national level establishing what services should be necessary for all Canadians, from autism therapy to physiotherapy.

As important as it is that we find cures to the diseases affecting Canadians, we must also take much more aggressive national action against environmental causes of ill health and disease, such as by identifying and eliminating the toxic chemicals and pesticides to which Canadians are exposed daily.

The time is long overdue for the national government to:

Put an end to the costly, wasteful barriers to trade among provinces.

Create a single national securities regulator.

Take firm steps to make Canada the greenest country on the planet, with a minister of the environment on a par with the minister of finance.

We can start by putting a price on carbon and introducing a carbon levy on polluting activities, including a levy on gas at the pump. This will provide substantial dedicated funding for a wide range of initiatives designed to increase energy efficiency and conservation, and develop new sources of clean, renewable energy, including a national electricity grid. The additional revenues can contribute to a reduction in personal income taxes and ensure that business and investment taxes remain competitive.

The time is also long overdue for a well-funded national infrastructure program to help establish public transit, new sewers, safe water supplies, and ensure repairs to existing bridges, roads and railways.

Finally, almost every aspect of our daily lives has a global dimension. All the serious challenges we face – whether climate change, dreadful poverty, wars, sicknesses, nuclear proliferation, terrorism – require global co-operation and decisive national leadership.

With clear global vision and bold national leadership, Canadians are uniquely positioned to be in the front ranks of a world without borders.

Take a Houseboat Vacation


A houseboat is a large RV that runs on water instead of the highway. You move in, set up housekeeping and use the houseboat to get around. A houseboat vacation is relaxing, with little to do all day but swim, cruise around exploring lake’s, picnic on a n island, read, play games or take a nap. I’s a nice change of pace if you want to slow down for a while.

What’s Included

Most houseboats will have a generator and heater. Some have an air conditioner or evaporation cooler. You’ll find taps for hot and cold lake water as well as fresh water. You’ll often find a gas-powered barbecue on deck and deck chairs.

Most houseboats have fully-stocked kitchens with a refrigerator/freezer, gas stove, microwave, oven, blender, coffee maker and toaster, along with dishes, silverware and plenty of pots and pans. They even provide the dish soap. If you need extra storage for cold foods, make sure there\’s a supplementary ice chest.

Sometimes you can find restaurants at marinas around the lake, but it’s more fun to eat on the boat. Plan simple meals that everyone can help prepare, or make them ahead at home and freeze them. Bring ready-to-bake cookies or a cake mix, especially in cooler weather.

Things to Bring on a Houseboat Vacation

Know what’s provided. You probably won’t need to bring your flyswatter or toilet paper, but you will need to bring you own bedding. Don’t make any assumptions. Ask if you have any questions about what the rental company does and does not provide, ask.

Think through what you’ll be doing and what you’ll need to do it and make a list. Check with each person who’s going along to see what they might want to bring. These are some of the things everyone will need:

  • Towels: Bath towels, hand towel for bathroom
  • Bath mat
  • Bathroom air freshener
  • Bath soap
  • Sheets and blankets for the beds or sleeping bags
  • Pillows
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Insect repellent
  • Earplugs (to block noise for a better sleep)
  • Games, cards, books
  • Slippers to wear inside or warm socks (in cooler weather)
  • Paper and pens, so you can leave each other notes
  • Binoculars
  • When you go on shore, you\’ll pick up a lot of mud on your feet that\’s easy to track inside. Bring a doormat or an extra pair of shoes to wear inside.
  • Bring a cell phone, or even better two phones that use different service providers. They’ll come in especially handy if you forget something or get in trouble.
  • If you own them, walkie-talkies can be very handy when trying to maneuver or anchor.
  • The on-board refrigerator runs on propane and has only eight cubic feet of capacity. If you’re taking a lot of food, you’ll need ice for the auxiliary ice chest.
  • Butane match (the kind you might use to light a barbecue), cigarette lighter or kitchen matches
  • Wood for a bonfire.

Clothing you might not think of:

  • Waterproof fanny pack for your wallet
  • Warm clothing for the evening. It can get quite cool on the lake any time of year
  • Water shoes that are also suitable for light hiking. Closed-toed ones are better than sandals.

Orientation

Orientation will take about an hour. Pay close attention, ask questions, take notes. It all sounds easy until you\’re in the middle of the lake and forget how something works.

  • If you have a digital camera along, take pictures to help you remember
  • Don’t stop at listening to instructions about how to drive the boat. Ask if you can back it out, go in a short circle and come back in with your instructors. It’s harder than it seems, and you may be able to avoid what happened to us when we ended up stuck against the dock going the wrong way.
  • Practice tying and untying the boat with your instructor.

Boating Tips

Try to keep track of where you are by matching the landmarks you pass such as marinas and boat ramps to the map.

Before you try tasks that require a lot of coordination like tight maneuvers or anchoring, appoint one person to be the only one who make decisions. Discuss every step in detail before you start, and once started, obey your leader.

You Know You are From Canada When …


1. You only know three spices: salt, pepper and ketchup.
2. You design your Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit.
3. Canadian Tire on any Saturday is busier than the toy stores at Christmas.
4. You\’ve taken your kids trick-or-treating in a blizzard.
5. Driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled in  with snow.
6. You think sexy lingerie is tube-socks and a flannel nightie with  only 8buttons.
7. The local paper covers national and international headlines on 2 pages, but requires 6 pages for hockey.
8. You know which leaves make good toilet paper.
9. You find -40C a little chilly.
10. The trunk of your car doubles as a deep freeze.
11. You attend a formal event in your best clothes, your finest  jewelery and your Sorels.
12. You understand the Labatts Blue commercials.
13. You perk up when you hear the theme from “Hockey Night in Canada”.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Tips on how to use your car in a green society


On-road vehicles contribute up to 35 per cent of the emissions that are involved in smog formation and up to18.5 percent of Canada’s total greenhouse gas emissions. Between 10 and 15 percent of Canada’s fleet are older, pre-1988, or poorly maintained vehicles that generate

  1. Reduce warm-up idling – start driving after no more than 30 seconds of idling because excessive idling is not good for your engine.
  2. Turn it off after 10 seconds – turn your engine off if you are going to be stopped for more than 10 seconds, except in traffic.
  3. Minimize use of remote car starters – these devices encourage you to start your vehicle before you are ready to leave, which means wasteful idling.
  4. Use a block heater – in temperatures below 0°C, use this device to warm up the engine before starting your vehicle. This will improve fuel efficiency and reduce exhaust emissions.
  5. Spread the word!

Turn it Off

  • Turn your vehicle off when parked or waiting to pick someone up.
  • In winter, avoid using a remote car starter – these devices encourage you to start your vehicle before you’re ready to leave, which increases wasteful idling.
Restarting the engine uses less fuel than 10 seconds of idling and produces less air pollution.

Idling gets you nowhere!

http://ottawa.ca/city_services/environment/city/programs/idling/index_en.html

Did you know that…

An idling vehicle emits nearly 20 times more pollution than one traveling at 50 km/h.

Ten seconds of idling uses more gas than restarting an engine.

$1.3 million of fuel is idled away by Canadians annually.

  • Fast starts and hard braking only reduce travel time by 2.5 minutes for the average hour-long trip. You also use 39% more fuel, and produce as much as 5 times more exhaust emissions.
  • Limit the use of your vehicle’s air conditioner. In stop-and-go traffic, air conditioning can increase fuel consumption by as much as 20%.
  • Use gasoline with 10% ethanol and don’t overfill. When the pump stops the first time, don’t restart it. Spillage is a major source of ozone pollution.
  • Drive your vehicle less. Walk, cycle, carpool or take public transit more often, and reduce your fuel consumption by 10 litres a month. Plan ahead and “chain” your errands so you get everything done in one trip.
  • Drive at the posted speed limit. With most vehicles, increasing your cruising speed from 100 kilometres per hour to 120 kilometres per hour will increase fuel consumption by about 20%. Speeding also reduces the life of your tires. On the highway, use cruise control to maintain a steady speed and reduce fuel consumption.
The number of tonnes of CO2 produced by driving 20,000 km a year:
Mid-sized SUV = 6 tonnes
Mid-sized sedan = 4 tonnes
Gasoline-electric hybrid vehicle = 2 tonnes
  • A poorly maintained vehicle uses up to 50% more fuel and produces up to 50% more GHG emissions than a vehicle that is serviced regularly.
  • Check your tire pressure at least once a month. With under-inflated tires, your vehicle can use up to 3% more fuel.
  • Block heaters reduce air pollution by reducing the amount of fuel required to warm the engine. When it’s below freezing, use a time to turn on your block heater for one to two hours before start-up.
Every litre of gasoline that your car burns produces 2.4 kilograms of CO2
  • A vehicle that’s 25% more fuel efficient will reduce your GHG emissions and save $360 on an average annual gasoline bill of $1440.
  • If you’re shopping for a new vehicle, check the EnerGuide label for its estimated fuel consumption and annual fuel cost. Also, check out the list of the most fuel-efficient vehicles by category and year at http://oee.nrcan.gc.ca/vehicles/home.cfm.
  • If you are buying a used vehicle, check the on-line Fuel Consumption Guide for information about its fuel efficiency at http://oee.nrcan.gc.ca/vehicles/home.cfm.

On-road vehicles contribute up to 35 per cent of the emissions that are involved in smog formation and up to18.5 percent of Canada’s total greenhouse gas emissions. Between 10 and 15 percent of Canada’s fleet are older, pre-1988, or poorly maintained vehicles that generate up to 50 percent of these total emissions.

Allergies: Suffer the Sneezing Worker


Ah May: the leaves are opening, flowers blooming, your eyes are a watery haze and your nose is running like a faucet. Allergy season is here!

In its Spring edition, Allergic Living magazine looks at the hidden toll of spring allergies and finds a lot more than cases of the sniffles. In fact, there is widespread “presenteeism” on the job – in which allergic employees show up but are too irritable, congested and sleep-deprived to do a proper day’s work. And the costs? One study puts it at a staggering $593 per employee a year – ahead of high stress.

Speaking of stress, Allergic Living for Spring also reveals the growing level of anxiety among children with food allergies. The problem, according to experts, starts with well-meaning parents who talk too openly with young children about the risk of death from anaphylaxis. Rather than preparing their children to manage the condition, the kids become scared, and by school age are mistrustful and anxious.

For excerpts from the issue, see www.allergicliving.com

What are you ready to abstain from to stop climate changes?


If all people around the world consume as we do in the west, we would need 5 earths to support it.

So we are domed, as our market economy is based on use consuming more. Our business and government is not going to change this, it comes down to us the individuals to do something about it.

Are you ready to something to stop the climate changes?

What can you do?

For instance, you could change your light bulbs to fluorescent lights, drive your car less, lower the temperature in your house, use public transportation, bike and walk, take the train instead of the air plan.

I like to here from you, what are you willing to stop climate changes?

ALZHEIMERS’ EYE TEST


Count every “F” in the following text:

FINISHED FILES ARE THE RE
SULT OF YEARS OF SCIENTI
FIC STUDY COMBINED WITH
THE EXPERIENCE OF YEARS…

(SEE BELOW)

HOW MANY ?

WRONG, THERE ARE 6 — no joke.

READ IT AGAIN !

Really, go Back and Try to find the 6 F’s before you scroll down.

The reasoning behind is further down.

The brain cannot process “OF”.

Incredible or what? Go back and look again!!

Anyone who counts all 6 “F’s” on the first go is a genius.

Three is normal, four is quite rare.

Send this to your friends.
It will drive them crazy.!
And keep them occupied
For several minutes..!

More Brain Stuff . . From Cambridge University.

Olny srmat poelpe can raed tihs.

cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn\’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm.

Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt! if
you can raed tihs psas it on !!

Are our politicians bullies?


Being bullied or being a bully is not only a part of the growing up, in my view, a bully tends to continue being one throughout life; only his tactics change. What is bullying? I visited http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bully and their definition of bullying is “Bullying involves the tormenting of others through verbal harassment, physical assault, or other more subtle methods of coercion such as manipulation. There is currently no legal definition of bullying.”

A bully when entering adult life, is likely select a profession in which they can find ways to assert power; finding suitable jobs in policing, the military, prisons, perhaps even law or politics. It is through politics that one can achieve the highest levels of power in our society today.

Historically the world’s leaders have been politicians and many of them have been dictators who have ruled through bullying. In Canada, we have democracy and an elected government, many of the politicians have law degrees, and so our preferred form of bullying comes out in the handling of our rights, changing or creating new laws.

The true nature of our politicians is revealed in election years, they create an election platform to manipulate our opinion to get our votes, and they verbally assault other party leaders through advertising. In parliament they stand up and verbally harass opposing politicians to discredit them. How can we allow this to happen?

We discuss ways of handling bullying in schools as we find it very upsetting when we hear about our kids engaging in such behavior, but we are not saying much when the political parties goes at each other. This week, the Harper government has launched TV advertisement to discredit Stephan Dion as a leader, somewhat ineptly using out of context clips to cast doubts on his environmental platform. Harper, as the face of the conservative party has allowed his party to show their true face, they are worried about loosing their power so they act as bully to keep it.

Canadian must stand up against such childish schoolyard antics and vote for a party that is concerned about our welfare, our environment, and our health. We cannot allow this to happen over and over again; we need to grow up and stand up for issues that affect our society. We need to see through the negative bullying and through our vote, support the party that is genuine, open to change and actually deal with real issues.

Menu