Monday, November 30, 2015

What's With Alberta's Bill 6?

I have yet to meet a farmer or rancher that is not concerned about the safety of their family, employees, visitors, and animals on their properties.  Therefore, I've been very surprised at the Notley Government's heavy handed reaction in creating a Bill, Bill 6, to legislate safety and labour  protocols on the farm.  The Bill will become law in the New Year.

Agriculturalists are concerned over the ramifications of the law which MAY legislate working hours, family jobs, children on the farm and liabilities when neighbours help neighbours.  Nobody is really sure what will be affected or how!  The Alberta Government says "Don't worry, if there's some glitches, we'll fix them, no problem!"  I think the farmers and ranchers are having trouble believing that. 

I married into a farm family.  My wife's family were grain farmers in Southern Alberta.  Every spring they would go almost 24 hours a day getting the crop in after the thaw and between rains  The goal was always to be finished by June 1.  In the fall the work hours skyrocketed again as harvest consumed everyone on the farm.  If someone got behind because of illness or a major breakdown, neighbours would come in and finish for them.  By the time the harvest was in the bins, everyone was very tired but very happy. 

Neighbours with livestock worked 365 days a year.  Dairy farmers have two milkings a day, everyday, which had to done, no choice.   I remember the kids cleaning out bins, running the loaders, driving trucks, hauling bales, doing yard chores while the dads and grandfathers were in the fields.  The kitchen was always busy getting food ready.

How will Bill 6 affect that whole way of life?  Who knows?  The government did little to get input from farmers and ranchers before hammering down this bill.   Now it appears that they are refusing to listen to the concerns of agriculturalists, saying "Trust us, we know what we're doing."

This NDP government seems to be intent on telling us what's good for us, again. 

I say put the whole thing on hold for a year, study the problem, get agriculturalists to give input!  After all, farmers and ranchers know their business and know how to keep it safe.  Premier Notley should trust them!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Misdirected Anger at Canadian Muslims

Across this country and across the world, a few misdirected people are attacking Muslim places of worship and indeed Muslims themselves, blaming them for the atrocities in Paris last Friday.  As I have mentioned before, only a very, very few people claiming to be Muslims are involved in these terrorist attacks.  Almost all Muslims are not a threat to anyone!

Someone scrawled "Muslims Go Home" on an apartment wall in Toronto.  I dare say the folks living in that apartment building WERE home!  Most were probably Canadian citizens.  There are even reports of attacks on Sikh and Hindu temples, the attackers mistaking them for Mosques.  One mosque in Peterborough was the target of arson.

You cannot say, "if one is, then all are."  I say don't punish Canadian Muslims for the atrocities of a few radicals.

During World Wars I and II, Japanese, Chinese, Ukrainian, Romanian, Austrian, Hungarian, and German Canadians were attacked without reason.  The Canadian Government even carried out some of these attacks against Canadians!  Ukrainian, German and Japanese Canadians found themselves persecuted and imprisoned at various times during those two conflicts. 

We now realise that these were loyal Canadians.  Canadians have spent the last sixty years apologizing to, and compensating victims of those events.  I thought we had learned the errors of the ways of our forefathers.  Apparently not!

Now, will we have to do that again?   If you do not study and understand history, you are doomed to repeat it!

Monday, November 16, 2015

What's Good For The Goose!

"What's good for the goose is good for the gander!"  That's an old adage basically saying all must be treated the same.  Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has ordered his Ministers to make up a law banning oil tankers on the West Coast.

Oil producers and pipeline folks are claiming they will still build their Gateway pipeline from Alberta to the B.C. coast.  The Federal Government and the native communities have signed off on it! But what happens when they get the oil to the coast if the Prime Minister outlaws the ships to carry it to foreign markets?

Of course the Prime Minister's law must also apply to other oil tankers, too!  The American ships carrying Alaska oil will have to sail far out to sea to avoid the Canadian coastline.  (I assume the 200 mile limit will apply here.) That will cost them more money.  And what about all that tanker traffic on the East coast?  They will have to be banned too unless the Prime Minister decides the east coast is not as sensitive to oil tanker traffic as the west coast.

The Prime Minister's edict is very short sighted and it could well alienate Alberta from Ottawa again!  Maybe Justin really wasn't ready!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

The Paris Attacks (and - I'm Back!)

I'm back!  I've been unable to access my Blog and my Facebook this last while because of a major computer booboo.  Our main computer was toast.  We now have a new computer and we're gradually getting everything up and running again.

I am most distressed about the weekend terrorist attacks in Paris!  Cowards attempted to kill thousands of innocent Parisians along with many tourists out for a pleasant Friday evening in the "City of Lights".  We now find out they were only partially successful!

Security personnel stopped one terrorist as he tried to enter a soccer stadium with over 50,000 spectators present!  When discovered, the coward blew himself up at the entrance.

Others escaped through the back door of a theatre under siege, saving their lives.  Over 100 others in the theatre were not so fortunate! 

This kind of terrorism is abhorrent!  The world must unite to stop it!  Here's what I think we as Canadians need to do;
  • Convince Prime Minister Trudeau to slow down his plan to bring in 25,000 Syrian refugees into Canada over the next six weeks.  Reports are saying that one of the terrorists in Paris arrived in France disguised as a Syrian refugee. Canada should send temporary relief to the refugee camps now, then bring in the refugees only after they have been thoroughly checked out by our security systems here. 
  • Convince Prime Minister Trudeau to leave our small RCAF contingent in Iraq to continue their fight with ISIS who have now claimed responsibility for the terrorism in Paris.  I think pulling them out now would be seen as a sign of cowardice.
  • Support groups trying to help refugees settle here in Canada.  After all, most of us are descendants of others looking for a better and peaceful life here in Canada.  Now it's time to pass it on!
  • Show our support for the people of France through this horrible time in their history in any way we can.
  • We must realise that these cowards who declared war on France Friday represent only a very, very small percentage of Muslims and/or Syrians.  We must always keep that in mind!