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Posts Tagged ‘Canada

Canada is usually years behind the US

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Maxime Bernier, Canada's Minister of Foreign A...
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But we are getting faster off the mark thanks to the political talk of former Minister Bernier:

End federal transfers to provinces: Bernier

‘No constitutional legitimacy’ in health and education

Last Updated: Wednesday, October 13, 2010 | 1:22 PM ET

I guess his Conservative Party minder went to sleep on this one. Mr. Bernier who comes from “la Beauce” is considered to be mentally closer to major US trends like Tea Party stuff about returning to the “true meaning” of the US Constitution. So Mr. Bernier who has always shown a reckless streak in public and private is at it again!

Do you agree with this Mr. Harper?

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2010/10/13 at 13:11

June 18, 1940 me and my family were still in France

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and Sir Winston Churchill was giving his “their finest hour” speech in the British Parliament:

This is how this time is described in yesterday’s NY Times:

Seventy years ago, on June 18, 1940,Winston Churchill, barely six weeks in office as Britain’s prime minister and confronted with the threat of invasion from Nazi-occupied France, rose in the House of Commons and, in 36 minutes of soaring oratory, sought to rally his countrymen with what has gone down in history as his “finest hour” speech.

The speech — ending with the words “Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that if the British empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, ‘This was their finest hour’ ” — has resonated ever since. On both sides of the Atlantic and beyond, it has been hailed as the moment when Britain found the resolve to fight on after the fall of France, and ultimately, in alliance with American and Russian military might, to vanquish the German armies that had overrun most of Europe.

Me and my family eventually, around June 25, 1940, well after Churchill’s speech and after the armistice was signed by Petain  with Hitler’s Nazi regime, left the shores of France for Portsmouth, England.  We  got back to shores of Canada, via Halifax NS by July 13, 1940 when I officially landed in Canada as testified by a document from Immigration Canada.

I have no living memory of landing in Canada or of leaving the shores of France, but I take something from my feeble connection by place to Churchill’s famous words.

We made our way back to Canada on the MS Batory, which at that time was carrying the gold bullion holdings of the Government of Poland. Needless to say our convoy,  which left Greenock,  Scotland on July 7 was heavily protected by ships of the Royal Navy.

This is a quote from an earlier post about his convoy:

According to Royal Navy archives on the July 5th, battleship REVENGE met anti-aircraft cruiser BONAVENTURE (Captain H. J. Egerton) and troopships MONARCH OF BERMUDA (22,424grt), SOBIESKI (11,030grt), and BATORY (14,287grt). These five ships, which carried $1,750,000,000 in gold and securities from the Bank of England for safekeeping in Canada, departedGreenock at 0545 on the 5th escorted by destroyer GARTH.

The British ships arrived safely at Halifax on the 12th. Troopship BATORY with engine room defects was detached to St Johns escorted by anti-aircraft cruiser BONAVENTURE which then continued on to Halifax. Troopship BATORY arrived at Halifax on the 13th.

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Why do Canadians persist in buying bottled water

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Clean drinking water...not self-evident for ev...
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In the first place it costs as much or more than gas for the car and now CBC News reports thus:

High bacterial rates found in bottled water

In some Canadian water, results were more than 100 times U.S. limit

Last Updated: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 | 5:29 PM ET Comments85Recommend51

CBC News

Sitting here in China where I drink tap water which has been filtered for chemicals and other undesirable stuff, I chuckle thinking of those Canadians who continue to drink “foul water” from plastic bottles, which foul the Canadian landscape also, and empty their wallets unnecessarily.

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2010/05/25 at 14:46

Why is the Toronto media seemingly ready to praise Harper

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Vancouver Sun Writes About Our Trip to China
Image by kk+ via Flickr

It is no secret that I have little time to praise for our PM. I find his politics self-serving and divisive. He shines dully mostly because his competition is so poor and seemingly ineffective.

But I don’t understand why a well paid journalist for a national newspaper makes a headline that strives to paint a glowing picture of Harper’s long delayed trip to China. Ibbotson in yesterdays G&M ledes:

Scoring in China – without prostituting ourselves

Does Ibbotson mean that former PMs who travelled to China were less than pristine? Or that Harper, the holier than thou PM, is a nice change from his Liberal predecessors?

Whatever his meaning, Ibbotson’s whole story smacks of polishing Harper’s image. Is that news reporting, or just making a dull and unimaginative Harper look more like an effective representative of Canada and its interests in Asia. The tone is demeaning and unworthy!

I would have headed my article with “Too little, too late” or “He didn’t have the imagination to do otherwise”. As Michael Ignatieff has said before Harper found a way to weasel word his way through his China outings to represent “human rights” while not compromising his China-Canada trade objectives. What a sorry spectacle!

I deplore the position taken by Ibbotson and submit that the G&M should practice more objective journalism, or declare that they are into infomercialism!

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2009/12/06 at 09:45

Diabetes 2’s existential reality for me is the insulin needle

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Overview of the most significant possible symp...
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Let me begin by saying that I’m in pretty good health at 74 years done and 2 months into my 75th year of living. I’ve never been really sick, but I have a medical file that doesn’t read well. The last time I used the BP machine at the pharmacy, the BP metric was 152/82. And then there are my blood sugars and hemaglobins which are not good at all, especially as my GP explains the prognostic of this progressive malady, Diabetes 2.

So he said that in my case medication, diet and exercise were no longer enough, because as he reads my test results over the last 6 months or so, the dis-ease has progressed, or simply put gotten worse. But I say I feel ok and realize that diabetes 2 is a silent killer with some messy physical debilities on the way out, like blindness, amputation et al.

So there I was considering how I would deal with a daily or frequent and self-administered insulin injection. Not Good at all. But later on I realized that other outcomes would be worse, especially that blindness one!

Meanwhile my leg muscles have been giving me extra trouble. I seem to have endemic calf muscle spasms in both legs, altho the right leg is worse than the left. The upshot of this situation is that I tend to walk with stiffness in my right leg and seem to hobble. In fact, when I walked out of the doctor’s office on Tues. PM the spasm in my left leg seemed to become acute. This caused me some anguish since I was on Denman St and about 8 transit kms from home, a lot of stairs et all to get home. I must say that it seemed worse and by the time I was walking the last 75 metres home muscle spasms seemed to wear off.

A psych friend posted a Tolle tutorial about re-sentment on Facebook and I guess this is a sign that the universe is offering me some help. The worse thing I can do right now is begin the “why me” litany and give in to the feelings of resenting all those young people who run up stairs and escalators. My reality is mine and it’s up to me to deal with it. I’ve got to get my fasting blood test results down to acceptable levels. I am using a new diabetes 2 med that costs $3.15 a pill. Thank my extended health care plan I pay only .25 a pill, as long as the insurance pays.

Part of writing this is to work through my emotions about this. My wife is more concerned about my chances of making it past the next few years, especially since we are heading back to China. Albeit I will be returning to Canada twice a year for stays of about 60 days or so.

The bottom line is that I can’t take my health for granted any more! What I eat and drink, or how much I do, will have consequences so it’s up to me. Writing this is a form of therapy for my mind.

But there is some slight good news. Yesterdays fasting blood sugar was down to 9.5 from 11 to 13. I’m like Obama taking heart from slight metric improvements, he in jobless figures and me in blood sugar metrics!

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2009/12/05 at 08:44

And it’s about time that Rogers Wireless should be taken down a notch or 2

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Rogers Hi-Speed Internet
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The excerpt from G&M:

Starting Thursday, Rogers Communications Inc. (RCI.B-T33.180.280.85%) has to yank its claim to the “most reliable” mobile phone network from all print, television and radio advertising after a British Columbia appeal court did not make a judgment on Wednesday afternoon in a fight between Telus Corp. (T-T34.69-0.34-0.97%) and Rogers.

After launching a new network in November, Telus took Rogers to court over its long-advertised claim about the reliability of the Rogers Wireless network. Last Friday, Telus won at the B.C. Supreme Court, which ruled that Rogers must remove the claims of “most” reliable as of Dec. 3.

On Wednesday morning and afternoon, three justices at the B.C. Court of Appeal listened to arguments from both sides and the case ran past the usual 4 p.m. end-of-day mark. After about 15 minutes of deliberation as the sky darkened outside the downtown Vancouver courthouse, the justices returned to say they would not have an immediate decision.

Rogers began complying with the initial court order earlier this week when it removed the reliability claim from its website.

To my mind they have always been second class in customer service, while stridently declaring they were the best in their ad campaigns. Well they and their telecom competitors give us Canajuns a very low class and very costly telecom service as evidenced by the world wide review of telecom services done by Harvard’s Berkman Institute recently.

Bell Canada
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It is ironic that the courts were asked by Telus to do it to Rogers and that a few days after the negative decision evidenced above, Rogers undertook a suit against such claims by Bell Canada. Does this mean that the telecom companies in Canada know that they are all second class, like the Berkman report clearly proved!

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2009/12/03 at 09:26

Does the New Yorker know something about Stephen Harper that we Canadians should know!

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Happy Canada Day
Image by ecstaticist via Flickr

The collection of photos is titled “Portraits of Power” and features most of todays national leaders, but Harper ain’t there, nor is Canada included??????

Does that mean that Canada is powerless, leaderless, uninteresting? Take your pick but this is no complement to our country, whatever Harper or his staff say!


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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2009/11/30 at 07:34

My low opinion of Rogers apparently confirmed by Canadian court

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Telus Workers Rally: Local support
Image by Grant Neufeld via Flickr

Rogers told to ditch ‘most reliable network’ claim

A Telus store in Toronto's Eaton's Centre


A Telus store in Toronto’s Eaton’s Centre JENNIFER ROBERTS/THE GLOBE AND M


Wireless rival Telus ‘pleased’ after winning injunction on Rogers advertising claims in B.C. court


For me this news feels like “the pot calling the kettle black”. I’ve been told by Bell sales people that Bell and Telus share a new network in Canada, while Rogers uses much older technology, like GSM et al. But I’ve always had a low opinion of Telus after dumping their DSL service 4 years ago in Vancouver. So I don’t feel so impressed that Telus sued to get an injunction to stop Rogers’ claims about its network “being the best”.

Since the Berkman Institute recently published a report about worldwide national telecom systems in which Canada ranked 37th re cost, bandwidth offerings et al, I feel that Telus, Bell et al need to make major revisions to pricing and bandwidth offerings. That goes in spades for my current phone and ISP, Shaw.

Guys, get your own act together before attacking your nearest competitor!

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2009/11/25 at 06:21

Taking Maple Leaf Spirits to San Francisco Jan 17-19

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International Terminal of San Francisco Intern...
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After speaking with the nice lady at Food Beverage Canada, it seems possible that I will be going to the Fancy Food Show in SFO and 45% of my travel costs will be reimbursed. I love the idea of a trip to SFO, whatever the reason, but to go there and learn more about getting Maple Leaf Spirits into the US market will be just fine, thx much!


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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2009/11/22 at 06:20

It smacks of the usual Canadian smugness!

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Peggys Cove
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Canada least corrupt in the Americas: Report


Canada is viewed as the least corrupt country in the Americas and is an “inspiration” for the U.S. and other neighbours in the hemisphere, Transparency International said in its annual report published Tuesday.

The Berlin-based watchdog ranked Canada eighth globally, in a tie with Australia and the Netherlands, in its index that assesses internal perceptions of corruption in 180 countries.In first place was New Zealand while in second last place, just ahead of the failed state of Somalia, was Afghanistan, the largest recipient of Canadian development aid.


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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2009/11/17 at 08:45