Affect Or Effect

Affect is usually a verb, and effect is usually a noun. To affect something is to change or influence it, and an effect is something that happens due to a cause. When you affect something, it produces an effect.

Say these sentences out loud:
“What was the ‘ffect of leaving the door open?”
“It is important to take cause and ‘ffect into consideration.”
“An early frost will ‘ffect the garden.”
“How ‘ffected are you by this lesson?”
“The integrity was ‘ffected when the elastic in the strap broke.”
“The man was very ecentric and his ‘ffect on his house was eclectic to say the least.”
“The lightning ‘ffected the electric panel in the basement.”
“How elaborative was his description? But, was it ‘ffective?”
“When the moon has the earth’s shadow cast upon it, the ‘ffect is called lunar eclipse.”
“The number of destroyed ballots obviosly ‘ffected the election.”
“The ‘ffect was to lessen the efficiency of the structure.”
“The contests ‘ffected the results by eliminating last place at various points along the way.”
“The attempt to ‘ffect the flow of effluent and its resulting affluents inland will ‘ffect settlements upstream.”
“Only the elite will be ‘ffected by the elimination of tax ‘ffects on income.”
“You can take an elixer to effuse the ‘ffects of your cold.”
“Queen Elizabeth was not ‘ffected by the elaborate display of egression.”
“Who else was ‘ffected by the elusive oft-times elevated eluviation?”
“How many elements did they take into account and did it ‘ffect the outcome?”
“He was emasculated by the ‘ffect of the eleventh grade ordeal.”
“She was ‘ffected by a feeling of ennui.”

Irregardless of education or job many people, TV hosts especially, pronounce many “e” words incorrectly mostly pronouncing the “e” as “ah” as in “election” many say “alection” or “alectric”, acentric, alaborate, aclipse, afficient, alimination, alixer, Alizabeth, alusive, amasculated, aleventh and the word few get right, “ennui” pronounced “on’wee”, meaning listlessness, boredom. Perhaps she should change her purscripshun – and by the way, “Irregardless” is not a word.

Very few people pronounce “Effect” and “Affect” properly, or for that matter few really knew the difference between the two. -and by the way, I was terrible at english in high school, it ‘ffected my grades.


Climate Change- It’s All Politics

Approximately 80% of the worlds people are witnessing first hand that the weather patterns effecting them are changing. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scientists are more certain than ever of the link between human activities and global warming. More than 197 international scientific organizations agree that global warming is real and has been caused by human action. Ice is melting in both polar ice caps and mountain glaciers. Lakes around the world, including the Great Lakes, are warming rapidly – in some cases faster than the surrounding environment. Animals are changing migration patterns and plants are changing their activity patterns, growing less and seeding earlier.

The average global temperature has increased by about 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit (0.8 degrees Celsius) over the past 100 years. In 2014, 2015 many cities across North America, Europe and Australia had the warmest summers on record. A report by the World Meteorological Organization said that deaths from heat increased by more than 2,000 percent over the previous decade.

“The Government of Canada is committed to the adoption of an effective climate change agreement at COP 21 that promotes increased ambition over time. We will work with international partners to lead the transformation towards a low-carbon, climate resilient global economy.” The agreement is to provide a collective vision to keep global temperature increase to below 2°C over 1990

Prior to COP 21 the government released this statement, “The Government of Canada will provide national leadership and join with the provinces and territories to take action on climate change, put a price on carbon, and reduce carbon pollution. Together, we will attend the Paris climate conference, and within 90 days will formally meet to establish a pan-Canadian framework for combating climate change.”

As we all know by now, establishing a ‘pan-Canadian framework for combating climate change’ has already been shuffled off till later. Prime Minister Trudeau has promised a pipeline to tidewater enabling export of oil sands bitumen, the most carbon intensive form of oil. Obviously hoping to have the cake and take a big bite as well. BC Premier Christy Clark has committed to a massive increase in LNG production of which methane is the main by-product. Yes they are reducing CO2 but methane is 7 times the GHG than CO2. Alberta Premier Rachel Notley is committed to expanding the oil sands developement and begged for an export pipeline despite the NDP’s national commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and leaving bitumen oil in the ground. Newly re-elected Premier Brad Wall says Canada-wide climate initiatives should have to undergo rigorous ‘economic impact assessments’ and refuses to sign on to any National plan. In other words, “do nothing”.

Nowhere have we heard any commitment by any level of government to end Canada’s importation of foreign oil replaced by domestic oil.

It is all politics. Talk a good game but, in the end give in to the lowest common denominator, the easiest path to the next election.

Reduce Global Warming? Never significantly happen – there’s not a politician anywhere, especially in Canada, with enough guts to do right by GHGs and carbon emissions, they know they cannot win an election by doing so. Who is to blame? Bigger question – who is going to pay the final price? Sorry kids.

Assisted Death or Hospice

Yesterday several bombs blasted in Brussels. Today a carillon rang out with the tune to John Lennon’s “Imagine”. Designed to bring hope and peace to a beleaguered city – in reality it serves just the opposite. John Lennon was just as the song says, a dreamer, one who lives apart from reality. No god “no heaven”, “no religion too”, “Nothing to kill or die for”, “no possessions”, “No need for greed or hunger”, by John Lennon’s own words – No Hope.

Over the past several decades this has become society’s mantra; “Imagine all the people Living for today…” Forget tomorrow, it doesn’t get any better. You are right and nobody has the right to tell you differently. They are the ones “wrong” about the way of life, wrong about God. This is your reality. “You have it all”. Except – you don’t and you know it but, there is nothing better, “that’s what the man says”(Paul McCartney), in other words there is “No Hope”.

Over the past several decades suicide rates in Canada have increased by 60% overall, but for some segments of society it is becoming epidemic. Why? There is “No Hope”. Attempted suicides have increased three fold and only by medical intervention has the actual suicide rate not gone higher. Most suicides have “attempted” several times before achieving death, suggesting a cry for help rather than a real wish to die. Has society, then failed these people? Failed to give them hope, something to live for? But society can’t and won’t counsel against its mantra.

Over the next several months Parliament is bound by the Supreme Court to pass a law on doctor assisted suicide. Call it what you prefer, Assisted Death,, Euthanasia, End of Life Law, it all amounts to the patient dying before the natural course of death. It all amounts to bringing on an end where there is no hope. When we consider the man who recently lost his job, his house, his wife and kids and has now drowning his sorrows in booze and thinks of suicide for his relief, is his life’s future all that different than the one who is terminally ill?

Where is the hope among Aboriginal people and communities where there are serious concerns about mental illness and social ills such as substance abuse, addiction, violence and suicide. European culture is an imposition to indigenous culture and imposes the loss of lifestyle and self-determination and is seen as a major cause of health and social problems within the indigenous population. What is the vision for hope among many Aboriginal youth? What is their future?

There is still much hope for the terminally ill – it is called Hospice. Doing all we as society can for the patient to bring a peaceful and comfortable end of life most often at home with family and friends. The problem with hospice, it costs money and therefore seen as an intrusion on society in general. “Can’t afford it” is the budgetary cry of all institutions. Assisted Death is the less expensive option. Most medical institutions and doctors have introduced the “Living Will” to protect themselves and suggested the patient voluntarily restrict ‘heroic’ medical measures in severe cases.

What does it say for our government to condone, to pass a law making legal the nu-natural end of life measures of  Physician-assisted Suicide. Does it not say to members of society in distress, “Society expects you to do the right thing, end it” after all, as we have said all along – there is NO HOPE.

I Am a Feminist

Heard in passing, “I am a feminist. I believe in the equality of men and women. -Sophie, open your own damn door!

To purposely encourage more women to enter into politics is not equality, it is reverse gender discrimination and is probably having the opposite effect than intended. Every EDA meeting I have ever attended has had 3 times as many men in attendance than women. Why? Just as every school parents meeting will be attended by more women than men. There is obviously a family connection taking place. Not that men do not care for their families or women have less regard for politics, it is the reality of gender roles taking precedence and no amount of “feminist” activity is going to change that. Women are exceedingly more likely to choose their families over a temporary political career.

Federal Election 2015 elected the highest number of female MPs ever. In total, 88 women were elected – 50 for the Liberals, 18 for the NDP, 17 for the Conservatives, two for the BQ and one for the Green Party but, due to the increase in the number of MPs, still only represent 26 per cent of the total MPs in the House of Commons – almost the exact proportion of female MPs when the election was called on Aug. 2 and 27 per cent of the Liberal caucus even though women comprised 31 per cent of the Liberal candidates.

Justin Trudeau can gender balance the cabinet and gender balance appointments to boards but, what does it prove? Good for optics, he will receive much applause but are many of the majority of men who were elected, who just may be more qualified or deserving, being overlooked? If so it was not the best choice. Just because it’s 2015 is not a valid reason.

Is there really equality between women and men? Women firefighters receive the same pay as their male co-workers, great, so they should. Equal pay for equal work. What then if the majority of male firefighters choose a sexually explicit movie for movie night at the fire house. Should the female firefighters be legitimately offended? If so, are they really equal?

What does it say about Justin’s gender equality stance when the overwhelming majority of ‘selfie’ requests are from women? …and little is done to improve the balance?

Society cannot force gender equality mainly because it is unrealistic and untrue. Women will always choose to enhance their sex appeal through make-up, clothes and demeanor just as men will always attempt to improve their masculinity. That is nature and that is a fight society will lose every time.

Would it not be better for girls to be brought up as ladies and boys to be gentlemen both with respect and honor for each other and the opposite sex?  Vive les différences entre les enfants!

Senate Appointments

Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced that he will recommend the appointment of seven new Senators to the Governor General.

A Senate Seat

A Senate Seat

The new, independent Senators will fill two vacancies in Manitoba, three in Ontario, and two in Quebec.

There is a new process announced by the Trudeau government for appointing senators to the upper house. The process is aimed at restoring the Senate to its intended role as an independent chamber of sober second thought. PM Trudeau has appointed a five-member advisory board which is to recommend to the prime minister a short list of five names for each Senate vacancy. Reforming the Senate has been a campaign promise of every political party since Confederation. Talk on the role and form of the Senate has been recurring periodically ever since. Every party, every politician can see the necessity of Senate reform but none ever introduces any meaningful legislation to do so and hence Senate reform remains a promise only and a continual haggling and waste of Parliament’s time.

What are the problems and complaints about the Senate.  Preston Manning said, “Canada’s Senate is a political science experiment gone wrong”. Perhaps the biggest complaint about the Senate is that, because it is unelected, it is undemocratic. Many Senate appointments are party supporters and cohorts of the Prime Minister of the day. If a prime minister is in power for several terms, the Senate can becomes increasingly partisan.

The Senate has become a source of scandal over expenses and cover-up. It has become obvious that the Senate requires a higher level of accountability, term limits imposed and method to make it less partisan so that it can become the house of Second Sober Thought that it was created to be.

Barring a proper and appropriate make over, many feel that the Senate should just be abolished and save the millions of dollars per year the Senate costs to operate.

Personally, I believe Canada needs the Senate as long as it can be run non-partisan or at least representative. “No nation should be under unchecked, single-chamber government … It must also be remembered that, under our system, the power of the Cabinet tends to grow at the expense of the House of Commons … The Senate is not so much a check on the House of Commons as it is upon the Cabinet, and there can be no doubt that its influence in this respect is salutary.” (Sir Clifford Sifton, “The New Era in Canada”: 1917)

Will the PMs appointment board work to allay peoples doubts? – Remains to be seen. What is your thought?

Dominion of Canada

Back in 1864, when the fathers of confederation met in Charlottetown to draft the papers officially forming our Nation, Sir Samuel Leonard Tilley of Prince Edward Island was the originator of the term “Dominion of Canada”. The Fathers of confederation had been discussing what to prefix Canada with and during morning devotions, Tilley read Psalm 72:8, which states “He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth”. It was the ambition of the founding fathers to stretch the new nation of Canada to the Pacific Ocean and from the St Lawrence River all the way to the North Pole so this Biblical inspiration worked perfectly.

The term “Dominion” was first used in the Bible in Genesis 1:26, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” KJV

The word dominion means “rule or power over.” God has sovereign power over His creation and has delegated the authority to mankind.
With the authority to rule comes the responsibility to rule well – to properly manage. There is an inherent accountability in the command to “subdue” the earth. Man has a duty to exercise his dominion, be the steward of, only under the authority of the One who delegated it.

It was the Liberal government of Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent who eliminated of the term “dominion” when referring to Canada. On November 8, 1951 he declared: “I can say at once that it is the policy of this government when statutes come up for review or consolidating to replace the word ‘dominion’ with the word ‘Canada.'” The last “Dominion Day” celebrations were held on Canada’s centennial July 1, 1967.

canadian_flag_smallThe prefix “Dominion” fit perfectly for Canada back in 1867. We will be celebrating Canada’s 150 year 2017 and along with the importance of environmental stewardship combined with the phrase every politician uses, “from sea to sea to sea” it seems very fitting to return the moniker “Dominion” even if only for Canada’s sesquicentennial celebration.

Minimum Guaranteed Income

Minimum Guaranteed Income is Back On The Discussion Table.

Both the federal government and the provincial governments of Ontario, Manitoba and Quebec are about to explore the concept of guaranteeing a minimum income to all people.

Basic income: New life for an old idea
A combination of economic uncertainty and political possibility is giving new life to an old policy idea
Ontario will test idea of a guaranteed minimum income to ease poverty, spending on social programs

This conversation needs to back up a whole chapter or two.

Firstly, Why? What would this program hope to accomplish? Canada already has social assistance, pensions, employment insurance etc.  Are all the present systems to be replaced? Would monies be doled out and then taxed back? More and more peoples are becoming entrenched in the idea that they are owed a living, that they have a fundamental right, a ‘Charter Right’ to social assistance, to ‘Free Money‘ SORRY! It is not so.

Under our Canadian Charter of Rights and freedoms the closest the Charter comes to ensuring the rights of citizens is the following clause:

7. “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.”

This clause does not guarantee anyone they will be given a ‘Life’ and ‘security’ and ‘freedom’, just guaranteed that they will not be deprived of a ‘Life’. The more people are guaranteed a living income the more it becomes entrenched that it is Canada’s collective duty to supply that living income.

Would it not be more fundamentally ‘just’ to precede clause seven with:

“Each and every person (citizen of Canada) has the duty and obligation to be a law abiding, productive, peaceful member of society and a defender and protector of the person and rights of all other individuals residing in Canada.”

When persons are living according to their Charter duties, doing their best to be productive, only then would they have claim to a living income, notwithstanding disability, incapacity or old age.

More and more this move toward a guaranteed income has more to do with stimulating the economy than the surety of life. If so, Canadian society is in far deeper trouble than just fiscal management. The terminology the federal government is using reads ‘living income’ which is a step or two higher than minimum wage or social assistance. These monies to be given regardless of whether recipients work or meet a means test.

“Basic income is universal, unconditional and individual. That means every individual in society automatically receives a monthly payment… Whether you’re employed or unemployed, man or woman, rich or poor, you would get this money in your bank account every month,” said Jonathan Brun of Revenu de Base Quebec.

The opening lines of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms reads as follows:
“Whereas Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law:”

Is Canada about to belie forever the Biblical passage, “Don’t you remember the rule we had when we lived with you? “If you don’t work, you don’t eat.” And now we’re getting reports that a bunch of lazy good-for-nothings are taking advantage of you. This must not be tolerated. We command them to get to work immediately—no excuses, no arguments—and earn their own keep. Friends, don’t slack off in doing your duty.” 2 Thessalonians 3: 10-13

Stimulus money is a good and fair use of tax monies but not if unjustly given to individuals or corporations.

It’s Budget Time

In 2000 in Canada the Federal Corporate tax rate was 29.1%
In 2006 the then Liberal government reduced the rate to 21.6%
In 2008 the new Conservative government slashed the Federal Corporate tax rate to 15%, They said, “to stimulate the economy”, “Create jobs”.
Why hasn’t corporate investment flooded into Canada?
The Statutory Federal Corporate tax rate in the United States is presently 34–35% yet their economic growth is more than double that of Canada’s.

Business investment as a share of the economy declined since 2008 while corporations made ever-higher profits and amassed over $600 billion in surpluses and excess cash. This excess cash surplus further exacerbated the 2008–09 financial crisis. Lower corporate tax rates have also resulted in “tax leakage”, as those with the means to do so channeled their income through corporate entities rather than through the personal income tax base. These monies were intended by the Federal Government to stimulate the economy by increasing investment in Canada and therefore increase jobs and employment. Slashing the corporate tax rate did neither. Instead, corporations said thank you very much, increased executive compensation, took much of their monies to outside tax havens and left Canada with lost revenues of $330 billion over the last 6 years and a further $160 billion increase in Federal debt.

This is equivalent to almost 17% of annual GDP, and near half of total federal debt. Of the total revenue loss from Conservative tax measures, $72 billion has gone to corporate income tax cuts. If federal revenue as a proportion of the economy reached the same level today as it did in the year 2000, an extra $50 billion in annual revenues would be available today. The cuts supposedly needed to balance the budget would not have been necessary. Instead of maintaining adequate funding the former government’s commitment was to reduce transfer payments to the provinces. E.g.: slash the Canada Health Transfer from 6% to the rate of GDP growth (with a minimum 3% commitment), amounting to as much as a $36 billion cut from health care leaving the provinces and municipalities to make up the shortfalls. Couple that with cuts to education, municipal developement improvements promises, Indigenous Peoples, environment and the list goes on, there is no wonder that budgets for 2016 need deficit financing.

Regardless of which political party controls the government, the results would be basically the same. The bills need paying and there is only one payer – the Canadian taxpayer. It is either that or reduce middle class living standards further and leave the lesser classes, lower income families, pensioners and indigenous peoples basically out in the cold.

Yes the former federal government did cut federal taxes for most Canadians but their regressive measures required provinces and municipalities to compensate by increasing their share of each Canadians tax burden. When most Canadians added up their total taxes paid for years 2014-2015 and 2015-2016, they discovered that under the former administration their taxes had increased overall.

When we look at the taxation pie knowing that there is a $50 billion shortfall in annual revenues, what now needs to be done to make up for that shortfall. There are basically five choices:

1. Deficit financing. Which cannot be continued forever or sooner or later the payments and interest on the Canadian debt will exceed GDP and Canada will be essentially broke.
2. Increase taxes. Which can make up some of the shortfall in year 2 and 3 hoping for an increase in Canada’s economy but in rough economic times when quality employment has gone down there is less income monies to tax.
3. Invest in Corporations hoping they will expand operations and hire more employees. Hasn’t worked over the past 8 years …? Requires further deficit financing and that is the dilemma. Will Canada end up further in the hole with nothing to show for it?
4. Invest in infrastructure projects. Again, requires further deficit financing and can only continue for a limited number of years. The hope is that improved infrastructure will attract and encourage investment and in turn create permanent employment and tax revenue. Improved infrastructure projects are desperately needed throughout Canada and therefore monies borrowed at this time while interest rates are low may be a wise use of deficit financing but again, cannot be continued forever.
5. Do nothing. Invest in nothing. Cut spending. Use what tax monies that the government has coming in to lower the deficit. Hope for the economies of the world to improve enough that Canada’s economy will improve by the osmosis principal. Has never worked for any country in the past. Has not worked for Canada even bordering the largest and fastest growing economy – the USA.

“… I think it is time we all learned how to say it, the neoliberalism experiment in tax cuts to deliver wealth has been tried and is a monumental failure. Growth is stagnant. The economy is suffering, not just in Canada but everywhere. In Canada particularly more than some of our OECD colleagues, we have had stagnant growth for a while now. We are not seeing investment, and I want to touch on what our corporate sector has been doing or not doing.” Elizabeth May, MP Speech on Bill C-2

Credit Cards – User Pay

Back in October Justin Trudeau pronounced high debt levels as one of the biggest risks to our economy. After mortgage, credit card debt is the average Canadians highest debt load. Household debt sits at 96% of GDP, which is far higher than the debt of any other sector in the Canadian economy. The most unfair part about the use of credit cards in Canada is that use them or not to pay for purchases each customer is paying the hidden, non-disclosed merchant fee added on to the retail price of each consumer article.

Near every purchase consumers make contains a hidden charge called a Merchant Fee which benefit only the credit card companies and banks. Retailers are prohibited from disclosing their rates by the credit card companies with the penalty of cancelling their credit privileges.

An even higher consumer gouge is the charges added to premium credit cards, reward cards. The cost of using the credit cards should be borne by those who use them and the charges the credit card companies demand be added to the total not included in the shelf price. Most countries add the charge fee to the credit card total. Canadian processing fees are among the highest in the world and it’s costing both merchants and customers billions of dollars a year. A cost that is being passed on to all consumers.

The Canadian Retailers Association admits that all Canadians are paying more for goods and services because of the high processing fees. Why does this practice continue? Retailers realize that when customers charge purchases to a credit card there is a tendency to spend more. That’s good for business. That’s good for the banks. Governments also know that consumer spending is good for the economy, but only if that spending does not negatively effect Canadians.

Hidden fees negatively effect many Canadians. Credit card services should be user pay.

Those who can least afford higher costs, low income earners, low income families, the unemployed and seniors most often pay cash for their purchases and are also paying these hidden charges even tough they don’t use them. This is totally wrong! Cash customers should not be forced to pay for credit card services or air miles or loyalty points they will never use.

Not paying for these hidden charges would save low income families, the unemployed and seniors, and all who pay cash between 3% and 8% depending on the store or restaurant or service. A 5% overall saving in purchases is a big deal for those on a low income. Also, disclosing the fee for credit card use could deter many people from using their cards. On way to lower Canada’s personal debt load.

News Today 08-03-16

Today is International Women’s Day. I will let others do the talking on this subject.
Sophie Gregoire Trudeau on what women’s empowerment means to her.
Canada Celebrating Women
Canada’s stalled progress on gender pay gap: Women have ‘hit a brick wall’

Canada plans to welcome 300,000 newcomers this year: McCallum
“Immigration Minister John McCallum announced a “significant shift” in the federal government’s immigration policy, aimed at reuniting more families.”

Canada Revenue offered amnesty to wealthy KPMG clients in offshore tax ‘sham’
Federal authorities demanded secrecy in no-penalty, no-prosecution deal to high net worth Canadians.

Obviously, there is a law for the wealthy and a law for the common citizen.

I can understand Revenue Canada not wanting to prosecute. Prosecution would mean possibly years in litigation and a chance of losing their case. That said, a ‘no-penalty, no-prosecution deal’ amounts to a two tier system, one for the wealthy and one for the rest besides setting a precedent fror future tax evasion cases.

This present uncovered ‘tax sham’ involves at least 26 wealthy clients each investing a minimum of $5 million approx $130m total with the cover-up deal signed on May 1, 2015.

“This doesn’t pass the smell test,” Toronto tax lawyer Duane Milot said. “This is exactly the type of government behaviour that erodes the public’s confidence in the system, these type of secret deals. Everybody should be treated equally.”

The next questions:
1. Should KPMG, this large accounting firm with close ties to the federal government, not be prosecuted?
2. If prosecuted would their files showing the names of their clients involved have to be presented as evidence?
3. Should the names of those involved be published? After all defrauding Revenue Canada is an indictable offense.
4. Was this deal with KPMG clients made to protect officials working within the Government?