Monthly Archives: July 2011

A Canadian blast from the past

“In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes a Canadian and assimilates himself to us, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin.

“But this is predicated upon the person’s becoming in every facet a Canadian, and nothing but a Canadian. There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is a Canadian, but something else also, isn’t a Canadian at all.

“We have room for one flag, the Canadian flag…and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is loyalty to the Canadian people.”

Wilfrid Laurier, Canada’s prime minister, 1907

The irony is the wave of multiculturalism that has engulfed Canada since the Second World War, was the product of Liberal party governments. Wilfrid Laurier, a Liberal, had it right then and it’s still right today.

Our country should not be a convenience stop for those seeking our benefits but who still cling to their homelands. Our public schools should not be used for religious services other than those institutions dedicated to a particular religion.

Canada needs immigrants but on our terms.

The energy, ideas, and expertise qualified immigrants bring to our Country strengthens our Canadianism.  It should be clear to those applying to come to Canada as immigrants that they must adhere to a single loyalty – to Canada.

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Have the Yokels taken over America?

Despite the efforts of the informed in the U.S., the elected yokel element is determined to bring the country …  and us down.

The 87 rookie tea-party members of the House of Representatives along with weak-kneed fellow Republican moderates, are promising to defeat any effort to increase the country’s debt limit.

This misguided bunch of political illiterates, devoid of common sense or, for that matter, any sense of what havoc they are creating with their jaded view of how America works. They are unrepentant in denying tax increases for the richest one per cent of American taxpayers and closing tax loopholes enjoyed by major corporations.

They are so dumb that they fail to understand that you cannot just gut government  services, its citizens, and not replace it with revenue.

This is not only a made-in-America struggle, it is a global problem that will affect most countries. Bottom line: America is our biggest trading partner and we are theirs.

If the U.S. debt ceiling is not raised before August 2, there will be massive losses of services, jobs, money and probably an economic depression as America will not be able to pay its bills.

This group has split the Republican party rendering House Speaker John Boehner helpless to manage his recalcitrant caucus.

All of this brought to courtesy of the tea party ideologues and their ignorant right wing supporters.

Canada will feel the fall-out, make no mistake.

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The great Guelph brick bollix

Paving bricks to complete reopening Carden Street were ordered from a company in New York State. Someone in City Hall placed this order, but whom? The supplier has consistently missed delivery deadlines. The result is delays and more delays.

It now appears that the street, promised to reopen July 15, will remain closed for at least another two weeks.

The cynics among us figure it will open about the same time as the new Civic Museum.

Sometime in the fall, maybe.

One of the questions being asked is why were bricks ordered from a U.S. supplier? Also, was there a non-delivery penalty as part of the contract? Who signed the order? How was the decision reached? Did council or ward representatives have any say in the decision?

The continuing sad saga of a horribly mismanaged Carden Street rejuvenation, now in its sixth year, has business owners seething and frustrated as deadlines are not kept.

But no one in the administration owns up to who did what, when, take responsibility or even be accountable.

The simple truth is few in City Hall care about this. The leadership suffers from a lack of understanding the effect of their actions have on downtown business operators.

The arrogance is palpable.

French elitist Marie Antoinette commenting on the revolution by the peasants said: “Let them eat cake.”

It’s an attitude shared by the city leadership and bureaucrats.

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Shoveling more money toward the Guelph Civic Museum

For casual passersby on Norfolk Street, the Guelph civic museum, formerly known as the Loretto Convent, rises like the fortress on the hill.

Four years ago, city staff told council the conversion of the pre-Confederation convent, empty for more than ten years, would cost $12,700,000. Even with senior government grants, the cost to taxpayers would be $6,700,000.

It was the brainchild of Coun. Leanne Piper, former chair of the Guelph Heritage group, to move the civic museum to the convent serving two purposes: Restoring a heritage icon and creating a new home for the overcrowded museum on Dublin Street.

That was then and this is now. The cost has escalated to more than $16 million with the announcement that an additional $1 million was needed to landscape the project. Those are the admitted estimates. Funds spent in the past four years to meet contract changes and more importantly, to rebuild the foundation of the aged structure, have not been revealed.

The resulting heritage thrill on the hill has a multistory glass fascia making the building about as authentic as the Magic Kingdom Castle at Disney World.

The raison d’etre for this multi-million dollar enterprise was to save and preserve a pre-Confederation building.

On top of that, displays cannot be put on the second floor because of structural deterioration.

Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time. Like many city projects, bad planning, cost overruns and disregard for the unintended circumstances, projects are delayed interminably. There are examples of this all over the city as stimulus sponsored projects remain incomplete and unfinished.

Having said that, why hasn’t the city announced an opening date for the new museum? Because they can’t?

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Salamanders 1 – Guelph 0

Two summers ago, the Hanlon Business Park was occupied by a group of anarchists determined to stop development of the city-owned property.

The result was to delay completion of the park infrastructure for another year. The focus was on preserving the Jefferson Salamander, a rare and protected reptile. Subsequent investigation by the provincial natural resources people turned up no evidence to support that claim.

As part of its efforts to increase its industrial/commercial assessment, the city commissioned a task force “Prosperity 2020”, to redevelop strategies over the long term to attract business and industrial companies to Guelph.

An independent study by a Markham-based consulting firm revealed that potential growth candidates viewed the municipality as being not friendly toward business. It described the city has being “highly fractious with a number of narrow interests competing for attention.”

With some 43 per cent of jobs employed by the manufacturing base and the university, the consultant stated the ratio was twice the job reliance experienced by the average Ontario community.

The report also reaffirmed the experience of the past 42 months that the property owner segment is unfairly responsible for 84 per cent of Guelph’s property tax revenues.

It remains an unsustainable position for taxpayers. The consultant said the city must reposition itself as a premiere business location for business investment by diversifying its employment base.

Until elected representatives eschew their personal issues and serve all the people of Guelph, nothing will change. It takes political will to attract those high quality businesses engaged in information technology, advanced manufacturing systems and biotechnology. It will require knowledge and courage to rebuild the city’s hobbled economic development reputation and its disproportionate property tax allocation.

Today, the Hanlon Park sits empty of business development, a year after the site was ready.

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Will and Kate: An anachronism of faded power

What a nice couple, charming, friendly and the best public relations tool the House of Windsor can produce. They remain a reminder of a tattered, dysfunctional family that is only there by birthright. Also with tons of money that perpetuates the myth that kings and queens are supreme.

What is the benefit to Canadians? Bragging rights to Americans? Yay, Ya we have a monarch, you don’t.

No offense Will and Kate, you are the new royal superstars. You alone will bring the common touch to the job with your open and friendly style. But is it too late for Canadians to accept the British royal family?

What makes one gag is the homage the Royal Tour media dispels with sappy coverage and superficial commentary including the constant and monotonous fashion reference to what Kate is wearing. A stunning young woman, Kate will eclipse her deceased mother-in-law as the people’s princess.

Canadians wish the couple well, including the majority of Quebecers.

But when you look back on the previous generation of Windsors you can only sigh and wish they would go away. Take Will’s father, the incoming King and philanderer, plus his brother and sister both divorced and arrogant in the process.

A trail of sibling sexcapades over which the Queen has had to deal with along with the glowering Duke of Edinborough, has made the House of Windsor a long running Brit soap opera.

Here’s a suggestion: Appoint William Governor General of Canada when David Johnson’s term expires. Will and Kate would fit right in with us. They are young and vibrant and would bring an excitement to our country further uniting our multicultural mosaic.

Will has lots of time. His route to becoming king is well down the road … he has two ahead of him.

If we have to have a monarchy, better to have it with Will and Kate. At least for a while.

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