Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Simpsons are going to Gaza!

The Simpsons were enjoying their vacation in Gaza when the Israeli Defense Force decided to impose a total blockade of Gaza.

The people of Gaza were unable to get out.

Secret tunnels from Egypt were being built.

The people of Gaza were becoming destitute.

Finally, the Gazans got mad and started taking action.

When will this ever end? To be continued.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

We love the Leader

"We are Conservative Movementarians. We love the Leader, Harper. He will lead us to Blisstonia."

Monday, December 22, 2008

Duff Man gets appointed to the Senate

I did have high hopes. I only wished it had been this guy:

Friday, December 19, 2008

Perfect showcase bid on the Price is Right...

...and the host, Drew Carey, goes mild.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Toronto Star editorial: Don't reform the Senate

The Toronto Star has an editorial explaining why the Senate should not be elected by Canadians.

This is a very bad idea. Electing the Senate would give it legitimacy. Empowered by the voters, senators would not hesitate to block legislation and even budget bills initiated by the government of the day in the "lower house" (the Commons). Legislative gridlock could ensue.
If Canadians wish to continue having a Senate, I would like to suggest that Canada's Senate should be elected by the voters. Personally, I believe that I am smart enough to make a choice when voting for one or more senators. I do have two university degrees, a community college diploma, and certificate. I earned all of these legally. I didn't pay anyone to make fake or forged credentials. I believe that we Canadian voters are smart enough to decide who our senators should be. We deserve to be enfranchised.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

OPSBA, ETFO, and O Canada

The Ontario Public School Boards' Association (OPSBA) offer to the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO) looks very generous in terms of preparation time. However, what the OPSBA giveth with one hand, it taketh away in the other. It is offering teachers an extra 50 minutes of prep. time every week. However, teachers will be require to be in the classroom supervising students an extra 20 minutes per day or 100 minutes per week. For the teachers, that is a loss of 50 minutes of time per week.

If teachers are required to be in the classroom 15 minutes before class instruction starts in the morning and 5 minutes before afternoon instruction, I'm guessing that the OPSBA wants to put student outwear removal (jackets, boots, etc.), O Canada, and announcements before the formal instructional day. Currently, the school bell rings. Students take off their jackets, stand for O Canada, and listen to the announcements. This whole procedure takes about ten to 15 minutes which takes away from instructional and learning time. The same thing happens in the afternoon for about five minutes, but without O Canada and the announcements. In the morning, instead of students waiting for the bell to ring before they enter the school, they will be invited to come in fifteen minutes before formal instruction starts. T minus five or ten minutes, O Canada and the announcments will occur. Formal instruction will start soon after. The boards gain student instructional time without the financial costs. The 12% pay increase that the boards had offered looked like a bonanza for the teachers. However, with 50 minutes per week extra that teachers need to be with the students, the pay increase seems less substantial.

Another benefit for the boards is that teachers can be moved from early morning to lunchtime supervision. This means that the boards do not have to hire as many lunchtime assistants who come into the school for one hour per day and earn their $10.00. Ten dollars does not seem like much. However, multiply that my thousands of lunch assistants by 190 to 198 days, that is a lot of money saved.

Why would the English Catholic, French Catholic and public, and secondary teachers' unions agree to similar agreements offered by their school boards? Apparently, I have heard that they have clauses in their agreements that if another union gets a better agreement, then they will get the same. Essentially, ETFO is being the surrogate union for all non-public elementary teachers. ETFO will get all the blame if anything goes bad while the all the other teachers' unions and their teachers will get the rewards. I would rather see public elementary teachers work under their existing but expired contract rather than work under the OPSBA's proposal.

Via Toronto Star: the OPBSA proposal to ETFO:

[Section]10. The Parties agree that preparation time for a full-time teacher currently eligible for preparation time shall be increased as follows:

September 1, 2008 200 minutes per cycle of five instructional days
September 1, 2009 210 minutes per cycle of five instructional days
September 1, 2010 220 minutes per cycle of five instructional days
September 1, 2011 230 minutes per cycle of five instructional days
August 31, 2012 250 minutes per cycle of five instructional days

[In section 14.]

As required under Regulation 298, unless otherwise assigned by the Principal, teachers shall be in their classroom or other location where their students congregate for purposes of instruction 15 minutes before the beginning of morning classes and 5 minutes before the beginning of afternoon classes. During this time the teacher shall be engaged in teacher-related duties and shall be readily accessible to students. This time shall not count as scheduled supervision time for the purposes of calculating the 80-minute cap."

Your Harper Senate appointment predictions

Apparently, Stephen Harper may go to the Governor-General and ask her to appoint 18 people to the Senate. Who do you think will be on Harper's list? Make your predictions. I'm starting off with David Emmerson, Michael Fortier, Mike Duffy, Craig Oliver, and the Wrath of Khan. I'll also add Lorna Dueck who sometimes writes a guest column for the Globe and Mail and is against abortion. If not her, Harper may choose a couple of other right-wing Christians to please some of his supporters.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Ottawa Citizen: Time for forming coalition has passed, lawyer argues

What? The Governor-General only gets one chance to choose a government?

Glen McGregor, The Ottawa Citizen
Published: Saturday, December 06, 2008

The lawyer who crafted a proposal for the Canadian Alliance and Bloc Québécois to work together in Parliament in 2000 said the Governor General would break constitutional convention if she allowed a Liberal-NDP coalition supported by the Bloc to replace the Harper government. The argument by Gerry Chipeur foreshadows a possible response from the Tories should the government fall after a confidence vote on its budget in January.

It also suggests that Conservatives may not readily accept a decision from Governor General Michaëlle Jean should she ask the coalition to govern and refuse Mr. Harper's request for an election.


The Alberta lawyer says his proposal had to be prepared because the only time the Governor General can choose a government comes after an election. She should not consider a proposal made after a government falls, as the Liberal-NDP coalition apparently intends to make, he said.

"It doesn't work in constitutional theory and convention because they are coming to the Governor General at the wrong time," he said.

"The only time the Governor General can look at one of these kinds of coalition agreements is when she is considering who she will appoint to make decisions for the country. The only time she can do this is immediately after the return of the writs."

Read more.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Is Canada a democracy or dictatorship? Vote now.

Look to the right side of your my blog and take the poll which asks this question:
Is Canada a democracy or dictatorship?

  • Democracy
  • Dictatorship
Vote now. You may vote until January 26, 2009, 11:59 p.m.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Harper complains that Canadian flags were on the sides

When Stephen Harper answered a question from Ralph Goodale during Question Period, he complained that the Canadian flags were placed on the sides. He is correct. However, there are etiquette rules when displaying the Canadian flag with provincial and territorial flags.

Here is a photo from Maclean's of the three opposition leaders at their accord signing with the flags displayed behind them. Sorry, it is the best photo I could find.

With flags of the Canadian provinces and territories

When provincial and territorial flags are flown with the National Flag of Canada, the order is based on the date of entry into Confederation of the provinces followed by the territories. In a grouping of flags that includes the National Flag of Canada and all of the flags of the provinces and territories, the order of precedence is:

1. National Flag of Canada
2. Ontario (1867)
3. Quebec (1867)
4. Nova Scotia (1867)
5. New Brunswick (1867)
6. Manitoba (1870)
7. British Columbia (1871)
8. Prince Edward Island (1873)
9. Saskatchewan (1905)
10. Alberta (1905)
11. Newfoundland (1949)
12. Northwest Territories (1870)
13. Yukon (1898)
14. Nunavut (1999)

When there are more than three flagpoles/masts, the National Flag of Canada should be flown on the left of the observer facing the flags, followed by the flags of the provinces and territories. An additional National Flag of Canada may be displayed at the end of the line if desired.

Display along a wall :

The National Flag of Canada is supposed to be displayed at the front and end (left and right #1's from our view).

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Conservative Television Network (CTV) in cahoots with a former separatist MP

I just watched the end of Mike Duffy Live on the Conservative Television Network (CTV). His last guests were Greg Weston of the Toronto Sun/Sun Media, Margaret Wente of the Globe and Mail, and Jean Lapierre who was once a Member of Parliament for the separatist Bloc Québécois. I can't believe it! The Conservative Television Network associates itself with a former MP was belonged to a separatist party. C'est terrible!