Monday Morning Musings

Posted on September 17, 2018 under Monday Morning Musings with 2 comments

What would Moses Coady think?

 

For six years, I have been writing about the lighter side of life. If today happens to be your first trip aboard the good ship “Week45”, I want you to know that this is far from a typical post. I normally avoid talking about politics at all costs. People tend to be very polarized on this subject. My views might cost me a few readers but once in a while, one feels compelled to speak up, maybe even scream in despair.

“Where have all the leaders gone, long time passing? Where have all the leaders gone, long time ago”? This is my cheeky paraphrase of the song “Where have all the flowers gone” popularized by Peter, Paul and Mary back in the 1960s.

I will leave it to the experts to tell us how we have arrived at a time where people holding the levers of power in many parts of the world, particularly in democratic countries, seem intent on unravelling decades of progress.

I am not an American. I have never lived in the United States. Tribalism in American politics is nothing new although it seems in recent years, it has been ratcheted up several notches. I have been reluctant to say anything about the behaviour of the current POTUS (President of the United States). Until now.  I have never been to Puerto Rico, an unincorporated territory of the United States. I was not there in the fall of 2017 during Hurricane Maria. I did not go to the morgues to verify the number of people who lost their lives in this devastating hurricane. Apparently, the official number is 2975. Not according to POTUS. More fake news according to him. About people who lost their lives.

Doug Ford seems intent on disrupting the status quo now that he has his hands at the tiller of the Province of Ontario. I am not a resident of Toronto. I don’t understand the complex dynamics of running Canada’s largest city. I have no opinion on the number of elected officials required to efficiently operate the GTA. Most reasonably intelligent people understand due process. Mr.Ford has unilaterally decided to impose his will on the populace, overruling a judge. The judicial system provides checks and balances to protect the people and uphold the spirit and letter of the law. Premier Ford has decided otherwise. In the midst of a municipal election, he has decided to change the rules. He not only wants to change the rules, he also wants to use a sledgehammer to do it invoking the “Notwithstanding clause”.

I ran the Boston Marathon in 2011 and 2012. When I got to the start line, I had trained for months. My expectation was to run from Hopkinton to downtown Boston, a distance of 42 kilometres, plus a few extra steps to use the porta potty. Now imagine, that you have started your run and you have arrived at the halfway point in the race when an announcement is made that the remainder of the route has changed as has the length of the run. It would be chaotic to say the least. This is my impression of what is going on in Ontario.

Our own beloved Coady Institute is in turmoil. I have never worked at the Coady. Change is inevitable and is often painful. We all must adapt to the changing times. But something seems amiss at the Coady with the plethora of staff departures. I am not in a position to judge. However, I have spoken with people who worked there in the past. I have read their stories about the “crisis at Coady”.  They are amongst the most thoughtful, level headed and educated people I know. When they speak, I listen. I have also read articles from other equally thoughtful individuals who have a different assessment of the situation. This is more than change. Something appears to be wrong and needs fixing.

It’s not easy being a leader but it appears that these days, the reins of power, in some quarters, are in the hands of “disruptors.”

What is one to do in the face of seemingly never ending despair?

Sometimes, the thought of running to the nearest cave and hiding sounds like a good option. But we can’t just bury our heads in the sand. Writing letters to those in authority carries weight. I’m not suggesting that you fire off a note to POTUS. When things affect you directly, write to your councillor, Member of the Legislature, Member of Parliament or to any other institution.

I have found that hope trumps despair and volunteering is usually a pretty good antidote. The recent National Special Olympics held in our small town is a shining example about what’s best in us.

“Where you lead, I will follow, anywhere that you tell me to,

If you need, you need me to be with you, I will follow where you lead.”

Where You Lead. Carole King

 

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Antigonight

Posted on September 14, 2018 under News & Updates with no comments yet

Antigonight needs you! Due to unforeseen circumstances, the organizers of Antigonight require 8-10 volunteers for Saturday, September 15th. If you have any time to help out between the hours of 4-10 p.m.,  please contact Sarah O’Toole at 902-863-8570 or 902-863-4276. Generally speaking, the duties include welcoming people and being a “safety” presence. The forecast looks great and this is a fantastic event. PLEASE SHARE THIS. Thanks.

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Thursday Tidbits

Posted on September 13, 2018 under Thursday Tidbits with one comment

6784 kilometres later

 

Some observations at the conclusion of our cross Canada trip:

Best coffee: Oso Negro in Nelson, B.C.

Worst restaurant meal: at a McDonald’s in Burlington, Ontario late at night

Most road construction: the number 20 from Montreal to Riviere du Loup. Construction every 20 kilometres for 423.4 kilometres. This is NOT an exaggeration.

Best restaurant meal: Cantina del Centro in Nelson, B.C. Do you see a pattern emerging?

Worst stretch of highway: for a combination of poor conditions and bleakness: Kenora to Ignace, Ontario. No contest.

Best breakfast: JC’s Hot Bagels in Burlington, Ontario.

Most expensive gas: $1.56 a litre in Northern Ontario.

Best sunset: Swift Current, Saskatchewan. You can’t beat  a prairie sunset.

Best sunrise: Nelson, B.C.

Longest day traveled: Swift Current, Saskatchewan to Ignace, Ontario: 1300 kilometres.

Best hotel: Auberge de la Pointe in Riviere du Loup.

Worst hotel: Swift Current, Saskatchewan. A swift current must have passed through the room before our arrival. The carpet was wet in spots and filthy all over. After 1300 kilometres, you’ll sleep anywhere.

Most scenic part of the drive: anywhere in B.C. and from Thunder Bay to Sault Ste. Marie.

Best road tunes: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

Best surprise: a free round of golf with our room in Nelson. Because we had to stay two nights with car problems, we got two rounds of free golf.

Best hospitality: Friends along the way who fed us and put us up (put up with us!).

Best place to have car problems: Nelson, B.C.

Highlight of the trip: an unscheduled meal with my daughter and granddaughter in Montreal.

Notwithstanding (!) some gruelling hours of driving, traveling across our great country is always an adventure.

Thursday Tidbits is brought to you today by the Chamber of Commerce of Nelson, B.C.!

Have a great week.

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