September 10th – Politics

Today I am moving forward into that wee ‘piece of my mind’ that cares about politics.

Canadian go to the polls on September 20th to elect a new or re-elect the old political party that will lead Canada for the next four years (more or less). Just two years ago we elected a minority Liberal government. They are now vying for the power of a majority government but they have some stiff competition and some solid opposition.

For the record, I do not, nor have I ever, stood solidly behind one political party or another. Whether it is a federal, provincial, or municipal election, I vote for the leader that I feel will best represent our country, province, or city. Also, my vote is mine, and mine alone – as it should be. Dan and I seldom discuss politics and we do not always agree when we do, but we do respect each other’s right to vote as we see fit.

In this current election, the Liberals and the Conservatives are neck in neck for first place. The NDP (New Democratic Party) are a distant third. The Green Party, Bloc Quebecois, and The people’s Party of Canada do not have the overall support to seriously affect the election one way or another.

These are my thoughts on politics, this election and the leaders of our top three parties.

First, I do not think it makes a lot of difference who wins or looses any election in Canada. We are a democracy with so many checks and balances that no party in power can make changes that are terribly sweeping or detrimental to our country.

Second, I do not think any of the main party leaders are particularly great or terrible. Justin Trudeau of the Liberal Party has been our Prime Minister for six years. He has his strengths, but his public speaking leaves much to be desired and he does have a history of embarrassing himself and our country with his wardrobe, his questionable connections, and regular public faux pas. He has tried to enact policy that is in the best interest of all Canadians and to help all areas in a manner sensitive to specific challenges.

Erin O’Toole is the leader of the Conservative Party. He is dignified, polished, and seems relatively intelligent and reasonable. I have two issues with Mr. o’Toole. The first and worst is that the Conservative representative in our riding is Andrew Scheer, who I personally have no use for as a person or a politician. The second is that Mr. O’Toole obviously supports the Conservative election campaign. Their campaign rests on questionable and ignorant attacks on Justin Trudeau and the star of their ads is a typical arrogant ‘Karen’ making typical patronizing snotty ‘Karen’ remarks. They have already lost two elections using this tactic, why would any leader support a third round?

Jagmeet Singh is the leader of our federal NDP party. As leaders go, he appeals to me. He is charismatic, dignified, and appears to be genuine. Unfortunately, I cannot get behind his doctrine of wealth and power distribution, unions and the like. I am not against helping those in genuine need – but I am a serious supporter of personal responsibility. I believe that there is a point where empowering gone too far becomes enabling irresponsible behaviours.

I believe that all three men who could become our next Prime Minister went into politics with a genuine desire to lead with integrity. (Which I believe is typical of most people who go into politics). I also think that most people who go into politics are painfully naive. They grow up surrounded by one group of people and share a lot of their beliefs. They think good governing should be relatively easy. Except, they get into politics and realize that there are countless people with countless different, and often opposing, views, beliefs, and desires. Few, if any, who want to change or compromise. We all want everything we want or need, we do not want to pay for anything that anyone else might want or need, and we all object to adequate government to make it all happen. Sounds simple enough. πŸ€”

Fortunately, most Canadians are reasonable and rational. Unfortunately, as elsewhere, there are extreme supporters and detractors of any government policy. Those are the Canadians who drive semis through cities (horns blasting), demonstrate outside of hospitals, throw gravel and scream obscenities at our Prime Minister, drive tractors and combines and tie up traffic from the Prairies to Ottawa. I cannot imagine anyone going into politics, being prepared for such goings on. Nor can I imagine anyone engaging in such goings on and expecting a positive outcome. πŸ₯Ί

That is pretty much my ‘piece of mind’ regarding politics. Although I know who I will be voting for, I wish the best for all who are running in this election and for all Canadians who will live with the results.

Take care and have a good day! See you tomorrow. πŸ’ž

September 2nd – Rights, Responsibilities, and Consequences

In Canada, we have a number of rights established to protect the quality of our life as Canadians. πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦ Today, my ‘Piece of Mind’ focuses on a few of our rights and how we use and/or abuse them and the inevitable consequences we face for having a lack of respect and appreciation for them.

One of the more unique rights we have in Canada is our right to publicly funded healthcare. For those of us who are fortunate enough to live in a country that provides universal healthcare, we should appreciate it and do everything in our power to protect it. We fall far short by making unhealthy lifestyle choices (allowing ourselves to be an unnecessary burden to the system) and by failing to hold those in charge of our health system accountable for how they manage it. Our right to publicly funded healthcare depends on our doing our part to protect it, because there is a breaking point and we are close to it.

In Canada, we have equality rights. That is a good thing, but we need to appreciate them and protect them in order to preserve them. I believe in equal opportunity and equal pay for those in the workforce – but that has got to be based on equal ability and equal effort. If you cannot or will not, do what is necessary to get the job done – leave it for someone who can and will. You cannot, and should not, count on co-workers to pick up for your short comings. Companies cannot thrive and survive with an incompetent workforce. If the company does not survive – there is no need for a workforce. Everyone will be equally unemployed.

In Canada, we have the right to free speech. That is not the right to violence, threats, or physical intimidation. That is not the right to spread lies, innuendos, or harmful exaggeration. That is not the right to deny others of their right to free speech. That is not the right to spew hate towards anyone or any group of people. No one wants to be silenced or censored, but if people keep pushing the boundaries of human decency, that will happen.

As Canadians, we have the right to movement – to live and work in or out of Canada, as we choose. If we are warned to avoid a country or area of the globe, and yet we choose to ignore such warnings, there may well be serious consequences. Obviously, if anyone is sent to a dangerous area for official reasons, it is our responsibility as Canadians, to do everything in our power to bring them home safely if need be. Those who deliberately ignore risks and warnings and move to a dangerous area of the globe out of curiosity, or for an edgy holiday adventure, or to chase a lucrative business opportunity, may discover that our right of movement does not guarantee a right to be rescued from their own bad decisions.

In conclusion to my ‘Piece of Mind’ for the day…. Canadians (and all who live in ‘free’ countries) have a number of valuable rights that others cannot even imagine. We need to do our part to protect them, maintain them – and to keep them. πŸ˜‰

Trust everyone is having a great day! Take care & see you tomorrow. πŸ’ž

PS…. Yay! My CT scan is booked for mid-September and the papers for my blood work should be at our local lab today. Two steps closer to hernia surgery. 😁

Election Day in America

The day has finally arrived! It is election day 2020 in the USA. I have my opinion as to the results I would like to see but as a Canadian, my opinion is pretty much irrelevant today.

I would, however like to take this time to wish all of our neighbours to the south the best of luck today.

I hope that in the midst of this global pandemic, that you were/are able to cast your vote in a safe and confident manner. I definitely hope that election day does not lead to another spike of Covid-19 cases in your country.

Regardless of election results, I pray that cooler heads will prevail. I hope that you will be able to avoid the unrest, violence and turmoil that we have seen far too often in recent years.

Finally, I just hope that whichever way this election goes, that the next four years are good years for you, your families and friends and for your beautiful country.

Take care & stay safe.

With love from Canada πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦

Covid-19 Related Deaths

Covid-19 has been one of the most all encompassing social situations that we have experienced in decades. This challenge has been particularly onerous for government and health officials who have been tasked with creating a mandate to deal with it. There have been life and death decisions to make and limited time to make them.

When the first cases of Covid-19 began to spread globally, people wholeheartedly supported their government’s efforts to control this potentially deadly threat. Certainly that was the case in Canada.

Our federal and provincial governments stepped up with aggressive plans to prevent an onslaught of cases which had been seen in other countries. To date we have been relatively fortunate – especially in provinces like Saskatchewan where our population density is particularly low.

Since we have been spared the catastrophe that other areas have experienced, people are beginning to question whether our governments and health officials overreacted or used this situation to overreach their authority.

I have to admit that I was shocked and concerned to learn that our government had all but shut down health services in Saskatchewan. Since I was suffering from health issues at the time, this was something that immediately caught my attention and it seemed like a really bad idea. I had no reason to believe that my health issues were potentially life threatening but I was concerned none the less. My concern was moreso for those whose health issues were far more serious than mine. People who had, or who would develop, cancer, heart disease, strokes, kidney failure, and the like. These people would require more than a phone consultation with their family physician or urgent care in an emergency room. As I thought it through, I realized that what health services we had could not be compromised and that maintaining regular health services would be a threat in itself for the spread of Covid 19. The whole situation was mind boggling.

Last week, one local family experienced their worst nightmare. Their nineteen year old son died from massive heart failure. It is possible that his death could have been prevented if he had had a routine scheduled cat scan which may have identified the potential problem before it became fatal. My heart goes out to this young man and his family. No parent can imagine the pain of losing a child. No parent could possibly deny this family has been devastated by not only the loss of their son, but a loss that could potentially have been prevented. One has to wonder how many other lives have been lost under similar circumstances.

It would be easy to blame our government and health officials for such losses but what decisions would we have made under current circumstances? How does one choose when there is so much at stake?

I am grateful that I was not tasked with making any of the decisions to deal with Covid-19. I am grateful for those who were.

My heart goes out to all who paid the price for the decisions that were made to protect us all.

Taxes Are Filed!

Completed Net Filing our taxes and applications for a government senior drug plan. Whoo Hoo! Just a few thoughts on the subject:

1) I, like millions of others, hate filling out government forms. I also hate, and again I am not alone here, the challenges of using technology to do virtually anything. Having filled out the government forms of the day and receiving confirmation that they went where they need to be, I am feeling quite accomplished. Celebrating with a glass of wine accomplished, but since it is only noon, I settled for a mini cupcake.

2) As bad as it is to complete government forms, some of today’s forms were exceptionally bad. It was not that they were any more incomprehensible than usual. It was just due to the reason for filing them. Being as I am turning 65 this summer, I had to submit an application to be covered by our government senior drug plan, plus I had to submit an application for a my husband for spousal coverage because he is over 60 but under 65. Here is the thing though – neither my husband nor I qualify for this plan. My husband still works – and will work for another 4 years. He makes too much income from his employment for either of us to qualify. We have to submit our applications so that we can receive a denial for coverage from this plan, that we must send to his company’s insurance company so they will continue our health coverage because we do not qualify for government coverage, because his employment income is too high for us to qualify. They have his employment records. They know he works. They know what his wage is and they know his wage would disqualify us. So, why??? Why do we need to do this?

3) I do not hate paying income taxes. πŸ˜›. I am not thrilled that our provincial government squanders a LOT of our tax revenue and that much of it does not go where it should go. I am not thrilled with our provincial government for a LOT of reasons. That is a whole other blog. But, I do not hate paying income taxes. I have been paying taxes since I started working. I have always felt that I was fortunate to have employment that covered providing for my family – as well as allowed me to contribute to our country & province as a whole. Even as a single mother, I contributed to schools, hospitals, highways, law enforcement, social programs and the like through my taxes. I was pretty proud of that actually. Still amπŸ™‚

4). Finally, I am glad that I finished doing and filing our taxes and drug plan applications in a timely fashion. I used to be terrible for procrastinating on things like this. I was scrambling on April 30th for years and years. I have learned to get on it and get it done! Finally! 🀸🀸🀸

πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦ Post Election πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦

Our election is over, and the results are in. These are my opinions, everyone has a right to agree or disagree. I speak only for myself.

First off, we came away with the best possible outcome. The Liberals will lead the country with a minority government, and the Conservatives, Bloc, NDP and Green parties have the power to work with them to bring positive changes for all Canadians.

We came away with the best Prime Minister possible. In the past four years, Justin Trudeau has made some rookie mistakes. That being said, he is a good man and a good leader, a good example for our youth. He treats his Mother with genuine respect and affection. He and his wife are respectful of each other and openly affectionate of each other and their children. When Mr. Trudeau speaks of his late Father, he remembers and admires him for the right reasons – for the way he raised his family and for the way he instilled in his sons a respect for themselves and others. Despite meeting with disrepect and ingratitude from regions of Canada, Mr. Trudeau works hard to serve all Canadians and is our best chance of ever having one united country.

Now for the post election disappointments:

1) Mr. Sheer, leader of the Conservatives couldn’t wait to start throwing dirt and dissention this morning, swearing he will ultimately take down Justin Trudeau at the next election.

2) Our Premier in Saskatchewan started the day by announcing that, with the support of Saskatchewan voters, he was going to Ottawa to demand an end to the carbon tax, more pipelines for Saskatchewan to pump our oil to market, and revised equalization payments favoring Saskatchewan. I for one did not vote for him to run the country and I for one have no idea why he thinks with less than 3 percent of the population of Canada, we should assume to rule the entire country with zero respect for other Canadians.

3) Mr. Blanchet, the leader of the Bloc Quebecois, started the day by announcing that he would work for the good of Quebec and only Quebec. Again, no. We are all Canadians, one country. Our federal politicians should be working for the good of all Canadians.

4) Ralph Goodale has served the people of Canada for twenty-six years as a Liberal MLA from Saskatchewan. His seat was lost last night. He has served us well and deserves a respectful end to his career. Instead public forums, were filled with spiteful, ignorant comments. Just disgusting, in my mind.

That’s my take on the election. I hope we can find a way to work together going forward, to rebuild a strong country with respect and compromise for ourselves, our families and our fellow Canadians. I hope our politicians will get it together and lead the way. πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦