Temporary Foreign Workers in Canada – Two Questions

17 Apr


McDonalds Fast Food - Even Faster in Beijing?

McDonalds Fast Food – Even Faster in Beijing?

Canada has for a very long time allowed farmers to bring in temporary foreign workers to harvest crops. This is a program I support for two, and ONLY two, reasons:

a) Harvesting of crops is vitally important and it was/is hard to find Canadians willing to do the work.

b) The work is seasonal.

Neither of these two reasons applies to temporary workers being brought in to compete with Canadian bank tellers and people (many of them young students) looking to find work with McDonalds. And foreign companies, such as iGate in the case of Royal Bank’s temporary foreign workers, are making a profit by sourcing cheap labour. Many foreign corps have, sometimes successfully, often frivolously, sued Canada under NAFTA’s Chapter 11 already for laws, such as environmental protection laws, that affect their “sacred treaty right” to make money.

If only the treaties with our First Nations had been made under NAFTA. Hmmmm…

Anyway, here are my questions:

1. Please….PLEASE can someone help explain when unhealthy fast food became so vital to Canadians that it justifies harming our Canuck workers to make it even cheaper?

2. At what point can US corporations like iGate sue Canada for Lost Future Profits Until Kingdom Come if Canada legislates against foreign temps?

Once again I am frustrated and shamed of our spineless government and complacent population.

I am seriously waiting for an answer or two here, folks…

HD – Y?

2 Apr
Dawn in Twillingate, Newfoundland - 2005

Dawn in Twillingate, Newfoundland – 2005


On cusp of waking

Random, sharp memories come

Crisp irrelevance?


26 Mar


Two and one are here

Sanctuary here, and joy

Sun and moon, and more


This photo, as I worked on it and after, sent me into a reflection on life and its symbols. So many aspects. So many important things.

What do you see here?

Tax Time – A Poem

19 Mar

Ode To The Penny-Wise At Tax Time

It’s ten lousy dollars
It’s no good to me
I’ll continue with pencil and paper
That’s free

Next year I’d have tried
Your app for my iPad
But you boys are so cheap
So it’s “Too Bad.” and “So sad.”

This year my taxes are already sent
No refund? You’ll lose in the future; I’m spent.


Doing my taxes is not rocket science.

Above is the approximate text of my third and final email to a tax software company because their ~$10 program won’t run on my Windows XP desktop.Thought I would try again after problems a decade ago with another software maker when trying to buy its software for the following year. I realize the problem this time may be with some glitch in my operating system. But the only reason to use tax software (for me, since my taxes are simple) is to save time. Dealing with software glitches (or billing issues) I will not do.

So my email #1 was asking for my money back and to briefly outline the problem.

My email #2 was to ask again for my $10 back and briefly explain the error message that appeared when I tried to run a special file they told me I had to download to avoid problems.

Their emails were not responsive to my issues – time and a little money.

The second refused to refund my money because it wasn’t their software problem. Not worth my time, but they got me after reading several Dr. Seuss stories to my grandson, so I couldn’t resist this snarky farewell.

South America Trip.10 – Ecuador and Home

17 Mar
On September 1, 1967  I and my four Peace Corps traveling pals, who had finished their 2-year assignments in Uruguay, left Lima by bus. We were headed for the Ecuadoran port of Guayaquil. To backtrack, I met them while traveling by train from Buenos Aires to La Paz. We enjoyed each other’s company and had stayed together journeying through Argentina, Bolivia, sailing Lake Titicaca to Puno, train to Quito, Machu Picchu and Lima. The map of my whole trip follows:

My Trip: July 13 to September 5, 1967

My Trip: July 13 to September 5, 1967

Our bus from Lima took the Pan American Highway north to Equador.  Continue reading

Two Snowy March Breaks

14 Mar


Winter 2014′s been full of snow and there were some flights canceled out of Pearson Airport in Toronto this March Break week. As a winter, this last one kind of takes the cake for persistence and weather-caused drudgery. I cannot remember having to figure out, in sheer desperation, where to put the stuff. I’ve already broken my record for the high snow throw and – because the blessed stuff keeps failing to melt or sublime – each snowfall the record gets higher.

And the cold! The cold!

Our area usually gets some thaws through the winter that cause periodic melting to limit the height of the snow banks beside our short, two car driveway. I think we’ve had close to record total amounts of snow.


But the March Break of 1993 was unforgettable for me. A cyclonic freak that stretched from Central America to Eastern Canada Continue reading

Black Water – A Song from 2007

8 Mar
Photo Credit - photonigeria - flickr creative commons

Photo Credit – photonigeria – flickr creative commons – all rights reserved

I wrote the song, Black Water, immediately upon reading a grippingly sad article by Tom O’Neill with haunting photos by Ed Kashi in National Geographic’s February, 2007 issue. I attempted to contact Mr. O’Neill in 2007 about my song but there was no response. I have recently found photos on flickr from the Niger Delta area which, though not as graphic as those taken by Ed Kashi, compliment the song beautifully. Here is the original NatGeo article. I appeal to you to read it.

In this song I tried to personalize the sadness, suffering, crime, illness and the destruction that 50 years of oil development had inflicted upon a valid, dignified way of life  practiced by the people of the Niger Delta.  Thanks to photonigeria, I’ve been able to present the song in a dramatic, dignified fashion on YouTube.

Comments are very welcome.


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