Archive for category News/Current Affairs

Canada Post: Making Itself Obsolete Since 2011

Canada Post has finally started the final few steps to becoming obsolete. They have gone on strike. Well, actually the bosses locked out the workers until they reached a contract agreement but to you and I it is the same thing. We’re not getting any mail.

Or are we?

By going “on strike” Canada Post has effectively sealed its fate as a company. Just the threat of going on strike showed a 16% drop in use of Canada Post so you can imagine what this full blown strike has done.

This is the problem with unions. I understand the need for them but they are not helping the workers any more. All they seem to want is as much money as they can get and they won’t stop until they get it. The whole purpose of the union is to protect the worker from the business owners. They make sure that working conditions are good, wages are paid, people aren’t getting dismissed for unfair reasons, and they negotiate contracts on behalf of the workers. This seems to be too difficult for them to do nowadays.

By going on strike in a business like Canada Post, a business where their are other options to choose from (Email, FedEx, UPS, paying bills online) you aren’t acting in the interest of the workers. Canada Post has probably lost so much business that it might have to cut jobs. Jobs that might not have to have been cut if there hadn’t been a strike.

So, good luck Canada post. We all enjoyed having you around but if you keep up like this, everyone is going to use online bill paying, email, and FedEx. Which is where most of your workers will be too.

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What War Is Worth Fighting

Afghan and Canadian soldiers board CH-147 Chin...

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To keep it simple, one that threatens me. Sounds selfish but if I’m going to put my life on the line to fight for a cause, it has to be one I believe in. One that affects me. It could be a threat on my country or even a direct threat to my safety.

To give examples, lets look at the current Canadian “combat mission” (don’t call it a war, thats politically incorrect) in Afghanistan. If a recruiter asked if I would join the armed forces to defend my country by fighting in Afghanistan I would say no. Last time I checked Afghanistan wasn’t attacking Canada.

It makes me sound anti-…something. War? Canadian? Troops? I don’t think I’m any of those. Actually, I might be a little bit anti-war. Then again, so are lots of people. I’m definitely not anti-Canadian. I love my country almost as much as Americans love theirs. And certainly not anti-troops. I support the troops. I think they are the best Canadians we have and we all should be proud of them. But I wouldn’t join them.

We all have our own talents and skills and it just so happens that mine aren’t armed forces related. Perhaps if one day there is a threat to me or my country then I would consider it but not until then. Its a personal choice. I’m not discouraging people from joining up, if they want to then thats their choice. All of our troops should be applauded for their bravery. If you see a Canadian soldier you should go up to them and say “thank you” for representing your country and keeping peace around the world.

If you ever disagree with their causes just remember that they didn’t have a choice about where they were deployed, but they went and did their best. And for that they should be thanked.

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Update: Moving Taxes To The Ones Who Can’t Afford Them

Toronto Transit Commission #4226

Image by Zolk via Flickr

I mentioned yesterday that in the Toronto budget, it was announced that there would be a TTC fare hike 10 cents. Well today, the TTC chair, Karen Stintz, announced that all the money they needed to avoid the fare hike had been found and so the hike wouldn’t be happening.

It all seems a bit convenient doesn’t it? One day after they said “we won’t be able to freeze property taxes without this fare increase” they suddenly found millions of dollars to avoid it. If they were planning this, you think they would have at least waited a few days instead of just one. That way everyone would start saying “Ford is talking out of his ass when he says he wants to avoid the hike” then BOOM, no fare hike, people are on his side and it makes the media look like they hate him. But this just looks too planned.

This doesn’t mean there won’t be a fare hike. It just won’t be on January 30th.

 

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Moving Taxes To The Ones Who Can’t Afford Them

Rob Ford, Toronto City Councillor and candidat...

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Today, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford revealed his first budget and big shock, the TTC fares are going up 10 cents.

So far in his few months as mayor, Rob Ford has cut the $60 car tax and… well that’s about it. Now he is talking about closing libraries, raising the garbage tax and now he has raised the fares to use Toronto public transit.

The sneakiest thing he has done, and this really got me upset, is raise the price of an adult metropass by $5. Now you’re probably wondering why that in particular makes me mad. Well let me explain. If you buy a metropass, you most likely buy one every month. So do the math, 12 months times $5. What does that equal? Big surprise $60. Its the car tax but other people are paying it. People who don’t drive. People who can afford it even less than people with cars. The whole reason lots of people take public transit is because they can’t afford cars or they have no need for a car. Now they are paying for a tax that other people didn’t want to pay.

Of course the budget has other things in it. Fees for city services going up, cuts to services. The usual bad things that no one wants.

Mayor Ford says that this budget is “in the interest of taxpayer”. If this is what a budget “for the taxpayer” looks like then I want one that isn’t for the taxpayer. Hopefully people will start to see through Ford’s facade before it’s too late.

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Whats Going on at City Hall

Toronto City Hall from Sheraton hotel room

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Quite a lot has been happening at Toronto city hall. The three main things are the cutting of councilors expenses, the removal of the car tax and the move to make the TTC an essential service.

The first “Victory” of the day for Mayor Ford was the removal of the vehicle tax that added $60 to your fees every time you updated your license plates on your car. The concerns from many councilors was that he reason the tax was brought in was because the city was short of money. This made many citizens happy because they now don’t have to pay a tax. A tax that no one really had to pay anyways.

The next was a the cut of city councilors expenses by $20,000. That’s quite a lot isn’t it. Well it used to be $50,000. That’s more than lots of people make in a year. Just for things they might have to spend money on while doing their jobs. The reason it was cut was because people had been complaining about the over spending going on with expenses because councilors had been claiming things that weren’t business related. The cut could be a good thing because now councilors will be spending less. Or will they? Perhaps more councilors will start spending everything they are allowed to spend instead of what they used to, just to make things awkward.

The final act was to pass a motion to make the TTC an essential service. This is one of Mayor Ford’s big election campaign promises. Of course what he failed to mention was that city council cannot actually decide whether the TTC becomes an essential service but they can make a recommendation to the provincial government that it should become one. If the TTC became an essential service it would mean that they can’t go on strike and must always continue service, even during labour disputes. This doesn’t mean that they can’t go on work-to-rule which means they can slow down service and things like that. Although many transit riders will say they wouldn’t notice anyways.

Those are the main things that have been happening so far with the new council. Lets hope it stays good. All you people outside Toronto. Wish us luck.

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Just Let It Go

The SIU investigates an accident

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I am seriously getting fed up with all the complaints about the G8/20 protests during the summer. Let it go people.

Its been months since this happened and nothing has really been done about it and I really don’t blame the SIU (special investigations unit, they investigate the police) for not finding any police officers in the wrong. You’re complaining about the police arresting you at a protest that was bordering on a riot.

Whats next? People complaining about the government? Because they are really going to listen to you about that.

Now some of the higher ranking officials are saying that some officers took off their name tags that were on their uniforms to hide who they were. That makes perfect sense to me. Remember “Officer Bubbles”? He’s the officer who threatened to arrest a protester because they were blowing bubbles at him. I’m not going to defend his actions or support them. I don’t care. But what happened is because he had his name tag on people found out who he was and started threatening him and his family by phone, mail and going to his house. This is why officers took off their name tags. Because they didn’t want this to happen to them! A badge number is as good as a name tag. You can phone the police and check a badge number and they will tell you the name of the officer (apparently, this is just what I’ve heard). The reason for this is if a police officer shows up at your door and you are unsure if they are a police officer, you can phone and check. Its sort of a thing for older people who have been told by their kids about bad people dressing up like police officers to scam them. This is a bad thing for certain situations. Do you want people knowing who you are and being able to threaten you or your family because you were simply doing your job? I didn’t think so.

I think at the next protest officers should give out the names and addresses of all the people who are in charge. The people who are responsible for all the police presence creating the “police state”. Then maybe they will realize what a stupid idea this is.

I must say that it probably seems like I am taking sides but I don’t fully support either side on this. Both sides of the G8/20 issue could have done better.

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Solving the TSA’s Problems

Scanboy Magazine

Image by wmacphail via Flickr

There are a few simple solutions to solving the whole TSA (Transport Security Administration)/”full body scan” issue.

First. Instead of saying “you need a full body scan or a pat down” the security people should say “we can touch your whole body and your genitals or we can take a picture of your whole body and delete it after seeing you’re not carrying anything dangerous” I think many people would rather have a picture taken then being touched all over by a stranger.

Second. Flying is not a right. It is a lot like driving a car. If you don’t want a body scan or pat down then you can’t fly. Its really simple. The security people should say this. Its like the rules for driving. If you get pulled over by the police because they think you have been drinking before or during driving, you have to take a breathalyzer, if you refuse you have to go to the police station and do a blood test. This is basically what happens when you want to fly. Body scan or pat down. If you don’t like it you can’t fly. If you don’t take a breathalyzer, you can’t drive.

I don’t really care about the body scanners. If they want to take a picture of my genitals then they can go ahead. The person in the other room who is looking at the pictures has probably seen so many pictures that they don’t even notice anything but things that shouldn’t be there. Its like a doctor. They see people naked everyday so after a while its not a big deal.

These things are there for a reason. Like when rules for cars came around, it will take some time to get used to but these are the things you have to do if you want to fly. If you don’t want to follow these rules then take the train or the bus. If you have to go overseas, take a boat. Its what people used to do before there was planes.

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