As you all know, Pete Seeger died Monday night after giving us music for the past 70-odd years (he was 94). Last night CBC Radio’s Ideas with Paul Kennedy rebroadcasted a tribute to him that was originally produced a few years ago. It’s really worth a listen:
There’s a new Rob Ford video! The waiting is the hardest part.
Well, today was a shoveling day for this Haligonian. I chose to clear my own sidewalk, rather than allow the contractors working for the city to do it. These are the reasons:
1) Weather event one: A fairly minor freezing rain event which left a thin sheen of ice on every surface. Nothing like the latest ice storm that hit Ontario-East, but enough to make the sidewalks very slippery. No salt was deployed by these contractors. Anywhere. That was a fun walk to work.
2) Weather event two: A major snowfall (30ish cm) followed by a lot of rain, and then followed by a plunge in temperatures to the land of deep-freeze. The contractors working for the city actually got their equipment out for this one. They either didn’t have the right equipment, or didn’t know how to use it. The wet snow was not cleared to the base of the sidewalks, but was rather compacted down under the equipment, leaving a frozen mass about 2-3 cm thick on all of the sidewalks. This ice, which I referred to as the city-wide luge training facility, was not salted nor sanded, and persisted for about a week. That was a fun series of walks to the bus stop. Which is on a hill, at one of the steepest parts of the luge track. Did I mention no salt or sand was put down?
3) Weather event three: More of the same. This just added to the fun.
Which brings us to today, and weather even four. I cleared my own sidewalk today. Down to the concrete. The snow was easy to move…there was only about 10 cm of it, and it was just a little mushy on the bottom, which suited the plow-style shovel just fine. I was tempted to put a sign up in front of it for the contractors, saying “Don’t you dare! You’ll just ruin it!”, but I had to go to work. I’m glad I cleared my sidewalk, because the on the walk to work, I noticed that the contractors have once again left a 2-3 cm base of compacted wet snow and/or slush on the sidewalks they’ve gotten to, rather than clearing to the base of the sidewalk, as stipulated in their contract. If our temperatures were dipping into the deep freeze again, we would be enjoying the luge training facility for another week or more.
Somebody either fire these jokers or get them trained up on how to do the job correctly. I can’t imagine how much their incompetence is going to cost the city of Halifax, because if I injured myself on a salt- and sand-free luge track sidewalk 3 days after a weather event, I know I’d be looking for someone to sue.
Peter Van Loan worries about the effects of the so-called Reform Act:
Van Loan believes there are “real problems” with the Reform Act. He says the bill may be well-intentioned but it isn’t needed and doesn’t provide for sufficient vetting of potential candidates. Chong has suggested riding associations have the final say over selection of candidates, rather than a party leader.
“I don’t want to be on the same team as people who have been convicted of fraud, charged with influence peddling or are holocaust deniers,” Van Loan said.
All I have to say is that I’m a little surprised Mr. Van Loan holds the same low opinion of the Conservative Base as I do. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, though; this gang does engage in base-whispering on a regular basis. The Conservatives obviously are aware that most racists, fraudsters, and other unsavory types vote for their team.
Just in case we waver and forget how the base Conservative actually views those of us who have eschewed organised religion:
Conservative Leader Brian Pallister says he didn’t mean to offend anyone last week when he wished everyone, including “infidel atheists,” the best of the holiday season…
“I’m always disappointed when people misrepresent the meaning of the words. What I was trying to do there is include everyone in my best wishes over the holidays,” he told a press conference this morning he called to blast the Selinger government over its tardiness in calling a byelection in Morris.
Sure you did, you old dogwhistler, you.
Well, that’s my explanation for this:
While the CBC holds onto “Hockey Night in Canada,” the new deal will limit its control over the broadcast and lead to job losses at the public broadcaster.
In an internal memo, CBC president Hubert Lacroix said that “starting next year, Rogers will assume all editorial control (all editorial decisions with respect to the content, on-air talent and the creative direction of HNIC — we have the right to be consulted and there is a commitment to excellence) under the new agreement.”
He added that it wasn’t “the outcome we had hoped for,” confirming there will be job losses, though not as many as there would have been had they lost the NHL altogether.
Sure it wasn’t, Mr. Lacroix, sure it wasn’t. I’m sure you weren’t seeking to damage the CBC brand when you opted to pass on the Hockey Night in Canada theme, either. Your appointer’s colours are showing.
At worst, he personally ordered it done and chose the people who executed the plan. At the very least, he fostered an attitude within the party […], chose the managers of the people who committed these crimes and completely and utterly failed to exercise any oversight, supervision or leadership. In the end, it doesn’t really matter where [his] actions or lack of them fall on that scale. He is the leader and a leader is responsible for the actions of the people he leads. If he had a right or honourable bone in his body, he’d admit that and resign immediately.”
Stephen Harper during the Gomery Investigation
(h/t to commenter Pickngrin over at Macleans.ca)
(2nd h/t to the Prime Minister of this fair land)