It has been so inspiring to see the Greek people reject austerity and vote in a government committed to radical change. And what is so radical about Syriza? They want to do something pretty much no other government on the planet has committed to: put people first.Given the drastic impacts of the austerity program imposed on Greece, it is not surprising to see people so fervently reject yet more of the same. One quarter are unemployed, and of those still with work, average earnings have plummeted. It is frightening to imagine one’s own household with one lost job and (Read more…)
Here’s an interesting bit of the process the NSA and partners are going about tracking your online activities so they can link everything you do that isn’t encrypted and disassociated from your IP address and social profiles online, to you personally. LEVITATION has been watching you, most certainly.
Every RT of #BellLetsTalk will be tracked by the #NSA & its partners like CSEC while Bell gives some money to assuage its corporate guilt.
— Saskboy K. (@saskboy) January 28, 2015
Even by the standards of the monstrous Stephen Harper, whose many images reflect the many warring voices in his head, it’s an amazing transformation.
For nine years he was the Oily Messiah, the maniacal missionary who once told an audience in Britain that developing the oil sands was akin to building the Great Wall of China or the Pyramids.
The Father of Albertonia, and of course, Big Oil’s favourite pimp…
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Stephen Harper is beginning to catch a bit of flack over the sale of 15-billion dollars worth of Canadian-built light armoured fighting vehicles to Saudi Arabia.
At first blush it’s hard to understand what Saudi Arabia, that already has a significant armoured force but shows no inclination to use it except to suppress pro-democracy dissidents in places like Bahrain, wants with those LAVs. Maybe it’s got something to do with this, the simmering religious conflict between the Sunni House of Saud and Shiite Iran. Could the Saudis be gearing up to crush their own Shiite minority?
Last October, Saudi Arabia’s Special Criminal Court sentenced Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr — a popular Shi’ite cleric and outspoken political dissident — to death.
This was not an ordinary criminal trial, even considering Saudi Arabia’s liberal use of capital punishment. Among other charges, the prosecutor sought to convict al-Nimr of “waging war on God” and “aiding terrorists,” even calling for the cleric to be publicly executed by “crucifixion.” In Saudi Arabia, this rare method of execution entails beheading the individual before publicly displaying his decapitated body.
The widely revered Shi’ite cleric was ultimately convicted of “disobeying” the king, waging violence against the state, inviting “foreign meddling” in the kingdom, inciting vandalism and sectarian violence, and insulting the Prophet Muhammad’s relatives. However, al-Nimr’s family and supportersclaim that the ruling was politically driven and insist that the cleric led a non-violent movement committed to promoting Shi’ite rights, women’s rights, and democratic reform in Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabian Shi’ites have long complained of state-sponsored discrimination and human rights abuses by conservative Sunni authorities.According to Human Rights Watch, Saudi Arabian Shi’ites “face systematic discrimination in religion, education, justice, and employment.”
In early 2011, anti-government protests erupted in the Qatif district of Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province, which is home to nearly all of Saudi Arabia’s 3 million Shi’ite citizens and nearly one-fifth of the world’s oil supply. Throughout 2011 and 2012, al-Nimr was a leader in these protests, in which activists demanded the release of the “forgotten prisoners” — a reference to nine political prisoners who had been detained then for some 16 years.
After Saudi Arabian, Emirati, and Kuwaiti forces entered Bahrain to help quell a non-violent Shi’ite uprising in the tiny island kingdom, Saudi Shi’ites expressed solidarity with their Bahraini counterparts. This prompted officials in Riyadh to fear that growing Shi’ite dissent could trigger a crisis in the strategically vital Eastern Province, which borders several other countries with sizeable Shi’ite populations. So between March 2011 and August 2012, the Saudi government waged a harsh crackdown on Shi’ite protestors, killing over 20, injuring several dozen, and detaining over 1,000 others, including 24 children.
|Birds of a Feather|
When you supply 15-billion dollars worth of armoured fighting vehicles to a gang of double-dealing cutthroats like the House of Saud, you’re complicit in whatever they do with them. Prominent Saudis like Prince Bandar bin Sultan have openly stated that the Saudis are gearing up to exterminate Shia Islam.
Some time before 9/11, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, once the powerful Saudi ambassador in Washington and head of Saudi intelligence until a few months ago, had a revealing and ominous conversation with the head of the British Secret Intelligence Service, MI6, Sir Richard Dearlove. Prince Bandar told him: “The time is not far off in the Middle East, Richard, when it will be literally ‘God help the Shia’. More than a billion Sunnis have simply had enough of them.”
More here, here and here.
I’ve had cause to think a lot about Our Central Tenets of Parenting lately. I should have a list of Central Tenets written down somewhere, but since I don’t, I will mention two for now: 1) We encourage our children to try new things. 2) We encourage our children to explore their options. Number one is […]
As my regular readers know, I have a real issue with the way homelessness is dealt with in many cities. Instead of doing what needs to be done to alleviate the issues related to homelessness, it seems we are getting … Continue reading →
In Ontario, young women were banned from participating in some prominent high school debate leagues until well into the 1970s. Depriving young women of the opportunity to hone their public speaking and debate schools was a really a good idea on the part of the patriarchy. After all, when people are used to being silent, […]
Still here, still angry. Still too cynical to tell y’all my in depth feelings about recent developments. I am currently reading Olivia Chow’s memoirs and the message I am taking away is the same that permeated Jack Layton’s last letter – hope is better…
So, Utah has been eradicating homelessness by giving people homes. The bonus is that it’s easier and cheaper to provide social services to people when their housing needs are met. From Amsterdam, we see yet another logistical solution for emergency housing while we have a national dialogue on a national housing plan. A rich country … Continue reading Yet Another Logistical Solution to Homelessness →
Manitoba’s Wait List Autism Crisis
One example of the checkerboard pattern of ABA service for autistic children in Canada is Manitoba as reported in the CBC article Autistic children’s families frustrated by therapy wait-list:
History of the Struggle for A REAL National Autism Strategy
The struggle for a REAL National Autism Strategy is summarized following from a commentary on this site on March 29, 2014:
History of the Struggle for a REAL National Autism Strategy in the Maritimes
Andy Scott Fredericton NB MP, Peter Stoffer NS MP, Shawn Murphy PEI MP, Senator Jim Munson NB
Here in the Maritime provinces we took a political approach to developing a national autism strategy with the NB efforts in which I was personally involved beginning in 2001, primarily by many discussions with our Fredericton MP, the late Andy Scott. In 2003 Andy Scott, made a public commitment in 2003 to work toward a National Autism Strategy at a tribute to his 10 years of service as an MP at the Boyce Famers’ Market, an event I attended and reported on to the members of the Family Autism Centre for Education (FACE):
Andy did answer the call on behalf of autistic Canadians and actively pushed for a National Autism Strategy which he ultimately realized with the passage of Motion M-172. However, the motion was essentially a commitment in principle with few obligations being undertaken by our federal government but it did help put autism on our national agenda and it was Andy Scott being Andy … getting done what could get done … with a view to moving forward further in future. One of the specific items that the federal government did commit to in the motion was a national surveillance program, a program that would tell us how many Canadians now suffer from autism disorders. It is a commitment that has still not been honored 8 years later.
Andy Scott himself did continue the fight as demonstrated in his June 5, 2007 statement in the House of Commons:
Hon. Andy Scott (Fredericton, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, it is regrettable that we have seen little action by the government toward implementing a national autism strategy.
It has been more than a year since I introduced Motion No. 172. My private member’s motion called for evidence based standards, innovative funding arrangements for diagnosis, treatment and research, and a national surveillance program.
The motion was adopted in good faith and supported by the government. However, it was very disappointing to see no reference to a national autism strategy in the recent budget or any discussion this spring.
Recently, I joined my colleagues from Charlottetown and Sackville—Eastern Shore and Senator Munson at a rally in Halifax that reinforced that there are families with autistic children across Canada who need the government’s help.
The Conservatives should move off their default position of jurisdictional excuses, show creativity and compassion and start helping these Canadians.”
Jean Lewis, FEAT-BC, Medicare for Autism Now!
MR. MURPHY (Charlottetown)
1st Session, 39th Parliament,
55 Elizabeth II, 2006
HOUSE OF COMMONS OF CANADA
An Act to provide for the development of a
national strategy for the treatment of
autism and to amend the Canada Health
Her Majesty, by and with the advice and
consent of the Senate and House of Commons
of Canada, enacts as follows:
1. This Act may be cited as the National
Strategy for the Treatment of Autism Act.
2. The Minister of Health shall, before
December 31, 2006, convene a conference of
all provincial and territorial ministers responsible
for health for the purpose of working
together to develop a national strategy for the
treatment of autism. The Minister shall, before
December 31, 2007, table a report in both
Houses of Parliament specifying a plan of action
developed in collaboration with the provincial
and territorial ministers for the purpose of
implementing that strategy.
AMENDMENTS TO THE CANADA
3. Section 2 of the Canada Health Act is
renumbered as subsection 2(1) and is
amended by adding the following:
(2) For the purposes of this Act, services
that are medically necessary or required under
this Act include Applied Behavioural Analysis
(ABA) and Intensive Behavioural Intervention
(IBI) for persons suffering from Autism Spectrum
Well, why would you support something called Science World when it participates in a program to brainwash students into supporting the liquid natural gas industry, despite the science indicating how harmful it is to the world. Climate change deniers deny science. The BC government pretends to care about climate change but is roaring ahead with … Continue reading Science World Ignores Climate Science →
Another thing I learned, or relearned in this case, was how much I enjoy skiing. On Saturday we revisited trail #26 in the Stony Swamp vicinity of Ottawa. I realized that cross-country skiing is not unlike riding a bike. You never really forget. And as soon as my boot clicked into the ski I felt it. […]
My Canadian television dreams have come true. As we all know, I am obsessed with the Levys – OBSESSED. When Dan and Eugene are photographed together I die. When you put the two of them and Catherine O’Hara in a TV show I basically…just…how am I bre…
In our precap of global LGBT stories we expect to follow in…
There’s a real food movement that’s taken hold and I’m okay with it. What does that mean? Well, we all lead busy lives and we’re constantly searching for ways to feed our families the best we can. We’re hearing much […]
Even though it fell a goal short, Russia’s near-miracle comeback at the World Junior Hockey Championship final in Toronto was useful from a Canadian perspective, because it brought some much-needed humility to the process. Humility would h…
That’s right! Resolutions are so last year! Let’s face it, we all have good intentions to change something about ourselves or the way we do things. Most of us often falling flat within a few weeks. Including me. Hey, life […]
Lee Kvern’s “In Search of Lucinda”begins with an off-duty police officer coming home, somewhat intoxicated, on a July afternoon with a couple of buddies and women in tow. It’s a slightly jarring scene to picture these 5 individuals come into a fa…
For years we’ve struggled with the idea of travelling over the holiday season. We’ve had great experiences travelling to tropical paradises, ski getaways and everything in between during this time of year. It was always great to escape with the […]
We live in tumultuous times: Ferguson and other non-indictments of white police who murdered people of colour ISIL and other extremism Stephen Harper’s continued assault on democracy and embrace of soft fascism [has he had CRA audit YOUR favourite progressive group yet?] Accusations against Jian Ghomeshi Accusations against Bill Cosby The epidemic of campus rape, […]
The kids are off of school for a couple of weeks. I came to the realization yesterday that, oh yeah, they’re home with me! My daily routine of sitting at the computer with a bottomless cappuccino is not their idea […]
Dear Readers: Let’s get things back into Perspective here! As you may, or may not know, BlogsCanada.ca has been engaged in an ongoing battle with Google over the issue of censorship. My views on political correctness, the government, cops, Indians, feminists, the far left, the far right, Muslims, Christian fundamentalists, the judicial system, and […]
Google is very much part of our daily lives. Both a noun and a verb, it’s a way to launch our research into everyday inquiries from how to make those perfect cookies to helping our kids with their homework. It’s […]
Dear Readers: Your oft confused reporter is going to draw a comparison that might not make much sense at first glance, but upon further inspection might just start to ring a few bells! I am going to draw a comparison between cops and Islamic terrorists! Now don’t get too excited about this because I am […]
Boy, oh boy………….! Folks the only real cool class trip I went on was a day trip to Niagara Falls. It sure wasn’t like THIS one! Parents are blaming the teachers; or at least one health official is blaming the parents. But no matter how many fingers are pointed, it doesn’t change the fact that […]
I’m up early on a Saturday morning searching iTunes for Frankie Valli tunes after seeing the musical Jersey Boys the evening before. I didn’t grow up in that era. My mom did and remembers the songs fondly. But they all […]
A recent decision by Justice Nordheimer confirmed that Lawyers can no longer bring claims for non-payment against their clients to the Ontario Small Claims Court. They must now be assessed at the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.An excellent article b…
A woman with a small baby gets on an airplane and sits beside a guy who is very drunk. The drunk looks over and says: “Jesus Christ lady, that’s the ugliest kid I ever saw!” The woman, who is outraged, calls the Stewardess and starts to loudly complain. The Stewardess, attempting to calm the situation, […]
Today’s short story comes from a writer’s group out of Red Deer, Alberta who, exactly four years ago, got together to socialize and spend ten minutes on writing a flash fiction story with the opening prompt, “The noise from above was quite irrita…
Ah, I believe we’re a familiar with this sort of problem with our ReformatoryCons, who are basically now required to think only in verbatim PMO talking points.
Nigel Farage is cracking down on Ukip supporters’ social media activity
after a series …
Here’s something that will make Pam Anderson and her buddies a whole lot happier, folks! Animal-rights advocates seeking “personhood” for chimpanzees want to take their case to the highest court in New York State. Since 2013, an organization called the Nonhuman Rights Project has been seeking a writ of habeas corpus to free a pet […]
As a foodie family we’re often asked where we like to eat out in the city. Since we enjoy eating out A LOT, we have several favourites and are constantly trying out new ones. La Societe (131 Bloor Street West, Toronto) […]
Dear Readers: This might not be of interest to anyone not of a certain age and from Toronto, but since I practically grew up on this street it held a lot of memories for me! Posted by Chris Bateman / December 17, 2014 No neighbourhood in Toronto has undergone a more seismic aesthetic and ideological […]
Dear Readers: So far in this whole mess surrounding Bill Cosby, the man has taken the high road and refused to comment on the allegations ………………, until this weekend, that is! Then, the sit hit the fan, and it all backfired on him! On Friday, Bill Cosby broke his silence to speak to the New […]
My boys are the best travelers, whether traveling by car, train, or plane. We just spent three days in Toronto for a pre-Christmas getaway—to attend my mom’s art show, visit the Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, and to see my best friends—and we had a great time.
Chevrolet Canada gave me a 2015 Traverse to test drive for an entire week, and we were able to take this awesome vehicle to Toronto for our trip. The kids, of course, loved it, and we were thankful for all the room, too—thank you so much for the sweet ride, Chevrolet Canada!
We arrived to our favourite Toronto hotel, the Marriott Bloor Yorkville. This was our third stay (and my fifth) at this hotel in Yorkville, and our third stay in the Presidential, two-level suite. Our first visit was during my 35th birthday and the hotel treated us to not only the suite, but champagne, cake, flowers, treats for the children, and balloons, too.
The kids truly love all the room, and I like that we can invite friends and family to our suite, too, to chill out, have dinner around the table, and run around. The service at this hotel is great, and I love the Yorkville location. The best part is that all the shops are connected underneath the hotel, so we don’t have to wear boots or bring our coats when we want to grab a coffee at Starbucks or go shopping. Truly a great thing in the winter time!
We celebrated my dad’s birthday (and my Name Day) at Spuntini’s in Yorkville with the family while the guys went to a Raptors game. This is my favourite restaurant in Toronto, along with Sotto Sotto and Ciao, and the food and service was perfect and delicious.
The next day, we went to The Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, which was truly such an incredible experience—it was the highlight of our getaway, and we all enjoyed seeing all the fish and especially the sharks and stingrays. It was so cool! (You can read my full review here.)
We attended my mom’s art show that evening, at Artworld of Sherway, and my best friends met me at the show. (Thanks, Marcie and Suzanne and Eamon!) The kids hung out together while we connected again, and then we went out for a yummy dinner at Sherway Gardens.
Of course, no trip to Toronto is complete without a walk around Yorkville— it’s especially beautiful this time of year with all the dazzling Christmas lights and window displays. While we split up—two went to the Royal Ontario Museum, and two shopping in Yorkville—it was such a nice time, and a great day to be outside walking around.
My little trooper even held his own shopping bag on our walk back to our hotel!
Lunch on the Danforth for Greek food was the perfect ending to our little weekend getaway and we can’t wait to visit Toronto again. It’s become one of my children’s favourite places to visit that’s close to home.
Thank you, Marriott Bloor Yorkville, for the memories once again!
I love getting away with the family for mini vacations, and this past weekend we took the kids (along with my sister and her family, and my parents) to Toronto for the weekend. We travel to Toronto with the children as often as we can, and this trip was planned so we could attend my mom’s art show, see my best friends, do some shopping in Yorkville for the holidays, and enjoy a nice stay at the Marriott Bloor Yorkville once again. We had a sweet drive up in a Chevy Traverse—thanks again, Chevrolet Canada, for lending me this awesome vehicle for our road trip—the kids, of course, LOVED it, and so did we!
A highlight of our trip was visiitng The Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, right in the heart of Toronto. It was, without a doubt, an amazing experience and everyone loved it. (Thank you to Ripley’s for providing me and my family with media passes for our visit!)
The Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada opened its doors last fall and since then, it has been one of the most visisted and talked about attractions in Toronto for residents and tourists.
There are 16,000 marine animals, 5.7 million litres of water, and 50 live exhibits. It was an oasis of water, and it was so beautiful to experience. It reminded me of the Atlantis in Bahamas.
The Dangerous Lagoon section was our favourite, with the long, walking runway. We were able to get up close and personal with some of the scariest and coolest looking sharks and stingrays and hung out with sea turtles, potatoe cod, venomous fish, and pirhanas.
Another cool section was the Jellyfish section… they are so fascinating and scary!
There were 100 interactive displays and 6 play zones for children, so the fun never stopped. It was a great way to spend our morning. Of course, no visit is complete without a stop at the gift shop, and the kids took home a special souvenir to remember their first visit to the Aqaurium.
If you haven’t had a chance to visit The Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada yet, make sure you make plans to visit soon. Passes would make a great holiday gift, too! It was a wonderful, educational and fun vist for everyone.
Disclaimer: Thank you to the Ripley’s Aqaurium of Canada for providing me and my family media passes for our visit to the Aquarium. We loved every minute and can’t wait to visit again!
Dear Readers: Yes, your faithful reporter knows all about Jian Ghomeshi and Bill Cosby, and I know that sexual assault is not to be treated lightly, and I realize that women need to be treated equally in modern day society! I know all this, and I am also aware that I have to make a […]
Dear Readers: Much as it pains me to admit this …………….., I might owe the ladies an apology! As you well know, your favourite reporter has ranted and raved for years about how women’s libbers, and feminists, have portrayed men as idiots. It even got to the point where a lot of TV ads show […]
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The middle of December, when you are still in the Christmas spirit and not yet wanting to off yourself due to the never ending Christmas carols.I mean, I don’t know how one could ever get sick of Mariah Carey’s…