Sunday, 5 January 2020

Addictions, of body and the mind.

 Addictions, of body and the mind.

Is there anyone free of addictions? Are all addictions negative? Can we be cured of addictions? Would humans be better off if we didn’t get addicted? There is no end to the questions and no one correct answer.

I was sitting in my favourite chair at home enjoying the life which I worked so hard to have. A life long of hardships, constant risk-taking, and sacrifice, many fights, lost and won; and I was looking at a pill container, thinking. If I just swallow those, I will fall to sleep and … nothing. Just a short while before that time I almost died and was revived by some brave paramedics and now I was wondering if saving my life could have been a mistake. I considered the possibility that I am a burden upon my loved ones and that I finished my contribution and became a liability. Those who pay my pension would agree.

On TV a reporter was talking about Fentanyl. A new miracle drug that is by far more addictive than Heroine and causes people to commit suicide. On my back, I had a prescribed Fentanyl patch. The pain clinic specialist told me to get off it calling it an “end-of-life medication”. I was planning to talk to my doctor about it but just about missed the mark. If I swallowed the pills in front of me, I would not have to make difficult choices.

The new opiates that included Fentanyl were marketed as a great new discovery and doctors fell for the well-planned campaign which enriched a few pharmaceutical companies and their shareholders at the expense of the rest of us. Some people lost their lives to gun violence, but many more did and still do to the legal drug crisis. Soon after, the illegal element joined in. Thanks to our good Canadian public health care system which includes mental health components, my and other’s lives have been saved after a long horrible fight. Getting off an addiction is a lot harder than getting on.

My deadly fight against Fentanyl is one example of the fight against addiction behaviour, but there are millions of us at a lethal war with addictions at all levels every day in every walk of life. It affects our families, employment, studies, and the costs are astronomical.

When we think about addictions, many of us zoom in on smoking. Fifty years ago North America identified cigarettes as a main contributor to some illnesses, lung cancer and cardiovascular included. That war has been won but still, people with limited imagination are sticking to it ignoring new and old threats that should be dealt with more seriously. I see us ignoring major new addictions while chasing seniors and hospital patients who smoke, out into cold streets to freeze, while having a cigarette. There is a perspective problem here.

I observed common addiction problems during the recent holiday, on the people around. It wasn’t hard to find. I saw the alcohol addicts telling about losing jobs, driving privileges, families and all that mattered to them. Others live with addictions to harsh substances like Heroin and crystal meth. They all show signs of depression. Somehow life is not offering them what they want or often they envy others who live better, in their opinion. 

Addiction is a behaviour that often harms people, but they can’t quit doing it. My friend who is heavily involved in Alcoholics Anonymous says that it is a disease and must be treated as such. I don’t doubt it. It is not criminal behaviour and the infected person rarely is able to quit using what harms them without the help of others. Those who become addicted ruin their lives and commonly the lives of those around them.

It is easy to go to any major city and find an area where addicts roam. They are recognizable by their erratic behaviour and the willingness to do anything for the next “fix”. Some times they are people whom we knew at better times. We look at them and pray that it will never happen to us, but we don’t know. When someone is in the clutches of dangerous well-known addiction help is very limited, since it is costly. Another related problem is the more acceptable addictions, which are not so easy to see, but ruin lives just the same.

Just a note: In the US in 2018 every 7.5 minutes someone died from an overdose.

Here is a link to my blog:  Feel free to check other articles and comment.

Sunday, 1 December 2019

Mandates from the people.

Mandates from the people.

 I didn’t turn the TV on nor did I sit to watch but it caught my attention. The United Conservative Party of Alberta meeting in Calgary was on. Mr. Scheer stood blaming the Federal Government for what low world oil prices did to our economy. Outside in -20C hundreds or thousands of Albertans were demonstrating obviously not in favour. It reminded me of the hundreds of thousands who were protesting all over Canada a month ago blaming oil for climate catastrophes. Albertans are speaking, and Canadians are speaking, but not the way the Calgary unemployed oil patch workers expect them to. Oil has been a blessing for us and there is still a little to go.

What is a mandate from the people that politicians are so adamant to follow? I listen to my own Premier loudly declaring that he has the biggest mandate of the people of Alberta ever and I wonder. With the campaign still fresh in my mind, I take into consideration that he ran a well-financed campaign spending twice as much as his main opposing party. Did he receive the money from people like me or did he have some other way of receiving donations? If he did, then the mandate could be from the donors, not the people, but it is what it is.

He says that the mandate is for getting our natural resources to market, which means building pipelines for oil. He never talks about the meteorological coal mine that is held up in the Crowsnest Pass. He also maintains that we voted for fiscal responsibility which leads to cuts to most of our services which, I remember he promised not to do. I worry about our kids who must pay their student loans after becoming nurses and teachers.

Across an invisible line west of us is another premier, in British Columbia, John Horgan, who maintains just as vehemently that he has a mandate from his people not to allow a pipeline to transport Alberta bitumen across their land. BC has a minority government which seems to be concerned about the environment even while factoring in the costs. The province is doing well economically without exporting oil.

I look east and see four pipelines leading to Quebec. I search for a speech by Francois Legault, the Premier of Quebec. He also claims to have a very strong mandate by his people. Being the leader of one of the two nations who formed Confederation, he feels a very strong mandate and responsibility to shaping what Canada is. His first concern is ensuring that Quebecers will never again be subjected to religious rule and second that we will not force them to have an oil pipeline and contribute to environmental disasters. He wants natural gas but not oil. “No social acceptability for a new oil pipeline.” I take it that they could be convinced with proper guaranties. “Forcing” them equates to rape in my opinion.

 One by one, I listen to the premiers of provinces. A few sound convincing. They are concerned about the people of their provinces and the people of Canada. They show care towards humanity as a whole. If there were women premiers, I assume that there would be more show of empathy for future generations, but there are none left.

I respect provinces wanting the best deal for their own. We build our whole social system to compete and win. It is not considered bad to take what you can and disregard those left behind with less or none. If we have power people befriend us and want us to use it for their gain. That is why we have lobbyists and expensive political fundraising dinners. If the money is used to get more power by targeted political campaigns, it is a legitimate way to gain more power and money. Just about everyone I know agrees. Even the judicial system doesn’t operate without money. Thank God we have it, but we could consider more equality for the folks who can’t afford lawyers and bail.

Mandate is a word that we assume indicates that most people voted for a plan which will make their lives better. It describes what a large group of people believe will help their cause. I follow the most recent Federal elections and see a clear mandate forming. As usual, there are differences yet Greens, NDPs, and most Liberals have voted with environmental concerns in their minds. Will the minority government follow the mandate?

I get the impression that our leaders are more interested in winning power and only use the idea of having a mandate to advance their political ambitions. It becomes more obvious after elections. All of the elected officials are walking away from their election promises and begin to work on staying in power. They mostly don’t even try to do what I care about. Yet my Dear Leader is saying “the people of Alberta want,” as if we didn’t see cheating suspected in the way he got voted the leader. I voted for Brian Jean.

I wish to have a simple life maintaining what I have achieved through hard work and long periods of saving. I care about my community, my province, the country, and the world. To my sorrow, I see that I will probably have to fight to keep it until the day I die. Now there is a real threat to my pension fund, to my health care services and the Police force which guarantees my safety. Yes, you may say I am not a happy camper.

Here is a link to my blog:  Feel free to check other articles and comment.

Sunday, 24 November 2019

Another change in a life full of changes.

Another change in a life full of changes.

Being old is not everyone’s favourite thing, but it offers some benefits. As events happen, you have experiences that serve as reference points. Things happen and you don’t get excited. I have seen it before, you say, and you know that you did. When I was a child, for example, people still used horses where I was. Horses for farming, transportation and for sports and racing. At some point, tractors arrived and cars and trucks became common. The new technology changed our lives.

The change was overwhelming and those in favour outnumbered those who wanted to hang on to the past. An easier life with more things has its allure. New developments made a great difference, especially on the farms. One person could do the work of many, more grain was produced, easily transported and prices fell.

People had to change their way of life and many were not happy about it. The changes are too many to name, but each time fear for the future had a great effect and there were significant alterations to the economy. The problem with change is that too many happen at the same time and the reaction to change can cause more problems than the change itself. I must admit that even while enjoying the fruits of change, like the computer I am typing on, I feel like having some rest.

I was here in Alberta when it became an oil province instead of a farming center. I remember the City of Calgary before the oil boom and I see it now. I thank the Lord that I existed here mostly when times were good and witnessed the growth. It was exciting. Just when it looked as if we would enjoy prosperity forever, oil prices dropped due to new technology. Regardless of the political games, our period of rest is finished. While we are playing with new ideas about how to transport our oil another reality dawned.

Some of our brightest intellectuals have been predicting major trouble that would arise from the new lifestyle but failed to realize the catastrophic effects until it became almost too late. Humanity became addicted to the use of fossil fuels faster and in increasing numbers, more rapidly than we dreamed it could. The problems of polluting the atmosphere dwarfed the pollution from overproduction. Now I am facing another major change in my lifetime.

Being in a province that uses oil as its currency, I fear a slowdown in the economy that I learned to depend on. I look at other places that sustain and even grow economies without oil and I envy their ingenuity and creativity. I recently heard a well-known author columnist say, “the hydrocarbon economy is finished.” As much as I wish him to be wrong, he is not.

The question that remains unanswered is, will we be fighting it and suffering the consequences of war, or will we find peaceful ways to solve our problem. Judging by my experience, we will fight. People don’t solve problems by negotiating and giving in to reason. First, they ignore the problem, wishing it to go away, and later they resort to violence.

Most admit that there is a problem and we all know that there will be a transition period. Those who wish to save humanity from the catastrophic disaster awaiting us from inaction are trying hard to speed the transition while those heavily invested in the hydrocarbon economy wish us to take our time. The fossils industry people want to keep growing it while saying, calm down, we are working on it. The weapons industries don’t care who will win as long as there will be conflict.

Personally, I am most concerned with the wellbeing of those who will come after my time is done. I was born right after a great war and know well what fighting causes. I lived through some wars and I thank the Lord for where I am and for the opportunity that oil provided for me and so many others. We will never go back and the new world will be a better place than it was in my youth.

I watch the news and see the pro-oil and gas people buy political elections and press for fewer regulations and I cringe. Opposite from them there are young people and always first nation folks (not the leaders) who have a real concern over the health of the planet. My mind goes over the possible solutions. I witnessed great changes and I have the benefit of knowing how things turned out. There were always winners and losers and people had to make changes.

This time is no different. The world goes in some direction and then it is overdone and corrective action takes place. Empires grow and revolutions take them down. Plagues kill and new medications are invented. What we can hope for is that the damage caused by the change will be minimized. That is the job of a good government.

From where I see it now, with the benefit of many experiences, we should embrace the change and guide it to go with the stream, while educating people about reality unobstructed by political affiliations and business interests. Our aim should be to make the transition quick and painless. Our elected representatives should set up a course and then apply themselves to the wellbeing of the people.

The biggest problem these days is employment which provides an acceptable level of living and rewarding people for extra efforts. It is not hard to do. The older folks still remember the time after the second world war when all the soldiers came home. I and my generation are the outcomes.

I have faith in people and I know that when there is a will there is a way. We need hope and we must use our best people to run the show. There is no need for a war to teach us how.

Sunday, 17 November 2019

Immigrants, the most valuable commodity on Earth.

Immigrants, the most valuable commodity on Earth.

What do we value and why? I have been asking that question for a long time trying to figure it out thinking that the answer could make me rich. I am surely not the only one. The bible gives us some hints and history provides others. The one sure bet is that we value that which is limited. Why are gold and diamonds precious?

Real estate is precious since there are always more people wanting land which doesn’t grow. Humans always fought over land and we still do. In the old days, empires came and went conquering each other. The Americans came to prominence when they raised and sold cotton. Canada did well by selling beaver pelts for Top Hats and the British empire built itself upon tea merchandising. The Dutch became rich in spices, mostly pepper and some areas did very well on salt. Saltsburg and Wieliczka in Europe are good examples.

Salt has been a major player in human history for a long time. You may remember that Roman soldiers often were paid with salt. The substance was used for preserving food and for water purification. When the Mahatma Gandhi chose a way to rebel against the British domination of India, he chose salt.

 Oil was a precious commodity in the bible used for healing and even anointing new kings. Humankind needed a lubricant and a relatively clean source of energy. Streetlights of London were powered by whale oil for some time. Oil squeezed from plants, rendered from animals, eventually was mined from oil wells and lately purified from oil sands.

Over time, people discover ways to make precious commodities common and consequently there is a transfer of wealth. Old empires fall and new are born. What will be the next valuable commodity? I would place my bet on freshwater and electricity, but we are already making strides towards making it cheap. The middle east desalinates water and new technology is going to make electric energy abundant and plentiful by the looks of things. The most valuable item in the not so far future is something that no-one today dares to guess.

I like to direct your attention to a new book by two Canadian authors, Darrell Bricker and John Ibbitson called The Empty Planet. The authors challenge the centuries-old theory that the Earth will be overpopulated and run out of resources. New calculations based on existing facts indicate that far from becoming overpopulated the world has already reversed its course. At the centre of the new theory is the popular belief that migration is a curse that could be avoided. It is based on a faulty outdated model and it is failing. If we use an economy based on consumerism, which we currently do, the resource that makes us rich is not salt, tea, spices, gems or precious metals, it is people. We simply need people to produce things, sell them and buy them. We are short on consumers.

The Western, affluent countries, all bar none have dropped their birthrates to below replacement rate. Canada is at 1.6 children per woman and the rest are not far behind. This phenomenon is repeating itself not only in the advanced world but also in poorer areas. Brazil, for example, is suffering a natural loss of population. Religions that used to be a main driving force behind population growth are losing ground. The real change is from urbanization and women’s education, nothing else.

Almost 40% of humanity exists in two centres at our time, that is India and China. Both have below replacement rate births. China is losing people and India barely managing to maintain its current level. The so-called affluent or advanced nations have been struggling against reduced birth rates since before the second world war and mostly exist on immigration, but it is changing. All the hype about losing our culture and being replaced by poor migrants taking our jobs is just that. A popular political talking point which in the long run will spell the death of our culture and advanced economic standing.

Modern countries do not perform well without infusion of people. The same goes for cities. There is a very good reason why most affluent countries allow immigration and also a good reason to assume that countries like Japan or some eastern European will not do so well in the future. Politicians find it easier to sing the national song and oppose immigration even when the facts indicate the opposite.

Alberta and Saskatchewan would not be what they are today if it wasn’t for the progressive vision of Clifford Sifton at the turn of the century. He predicted the value of people and thanks to his policies Canada may yet be an international powerhouse in the future. We know how to use immigration to the benefit of newcomers and the improvement of the country, regardless of what Quebeckers say.

Now I arrive at a new question. If the world’s population is decreasing, will we be lonely? If we are motivated by greed and selfishness, I assume it will be. The answer to all my questions is the same. Regardless of the economy, science, politics and natural happenings, the solution is love, sharing, and caring. You give it and it comes back.

If we don’t destroy our world intentionally or by neglecting the signs, there is still a power greater than us guiding us towards “the promised land.” It is smarter than the smartest amongst us and it has one goal. Let love triumph over selfishness. When it does, we move forward.

Sunday, 10 November 2019

Strikes: Tough Love.

Strikes: Tough Love.

Somebody pushed me very hard from behind and we both fell onto the side of the road. A huge shiny blade of a grader passed inches above my face tearing my sign which said: “legal Strike, Union local #” off the stick I still held in my hand and a rough voice shouted above the diesel motor noise. You guys stay out of the way or someone will get killed. The big tire came pretty close to my foot.

I was a new employee and didn’t even fully understand why we were on strike, but we were and I just about became a victim of it. It was my first and last strike. Not long after that, I became a low-level supervisor, and we were being trained on how to treat workers as a part of the organization and our services and industries flourished. I was able to work and complete a University degree paying $100 per semester. We had a good government in Edmonton. The province was booming and saving money for later.

The first time that I have heard about “The Crowsnest Pass” was In a history lecture at U of C where they played a little film about miners' strikes. Much later I viewed a similar film at “The Interpretive Centre” and recognized that here was a place with a history of people fighting for their rights. The years went by and lately, I see a rise in strikes and demonstrations. From my knowledge, I deduct that the world is on fire for many reasons.

Anti-government demonstrations in many places are happening and people are being killed. Hong Kong, Chile, England, France, and the Middle East are only a few. Now and then the strikes and demonstrations are turning into full-blown civil wars and strikes are vicious and long. GM strike last month was seven weeks.

Not long ago we had our postal workers' strike and lately, unrest in Ontario was alarming. The provincial government did a complete turnabout and is trying to rebrand itself. Student unrest is spreading all over the place mostly around ecological issues this far. I watch around and see the potential for the unrest to spread into economic issues. There is nothing new here. We travelled this road before many times.

Here in Alberta, the young people’s rights to minimum wages were rolled back. Next, the freeze on tuition fees was taken off coupled with a reduction of learning facilities budgets and then the big crunch. A reduction through attrition of all social services, hospitals, schools, and civic services. Today’s students will graduate with high student loans debts into an economy that is being rolled back and slowed down. The graduates will have to be underemployed or move back with their parents. Combine this with a shortage of affordable housing, and the fact that a lot of students expected jobs related to the diminishing oil industry, (25% of our local economy) and you got trouble. A waitress told me, “they created thousands of jobs and I got three of them. I still can’t afford the rent.”

I predict a much-heightened level of civil unrest in the near future. We live in a land of plenty but all of our efforts are being channeled towards supporting a single industry which is doomed, not immediately but soon. Every forest fire or hundred-year flood hastens its end. While our leaders are using political pressure in an attempt to resolve the fight against the oil industry, they ignore the people who demanded the action. Already millions of people are out in the streets pressuring us to change. They are environmentalists, first nations and lately our own kids. They don’t want to be consulted, they want action.

We will find out that foreigners are financing anti-pollution movements, but the environmentalists will discover that foreigners are owning our oil and are protecting their investments. We wouldn’t care but now we are being forced to pay for the shortfall in their revenues and protests and strikes will happen. We are being conscripted to fight against our fellow Canadians but in a short while when we hurt we will discover a mystery. People take a lot of abuse before they fight but eventually resentment finds its way to the surface.

The real problem always, historically, now and in the future is that all humans, like water, strive to be equal with all others. First comes safety, we all want to live, eat, drink, reproduce, and after that we demand equality. We demand to have our space on earth and equal rights with others. We like competition but only if we have a chance to win.

In the last half a century the gap between rich and poor, be it individuals or nations, has grown wide. Modern communication exposed the fact to almost all human beings and there is a sentiment to rebel. It will not go away unless addressed by the leaders. We don’t mind rewarding hard work and detest laziness as a rule. We hate slave owners and abusers.

Governments, industry leaders, bankers and all other people in a position of power please understand. The job became more complicated. Every time you win may hasten your demise. Today its demonstrations and strikes, tomorrow it may be worst. Humans are born with a preconditioned drive to selfishly dominate and equally a need to love and be on par with each other. It is important to keep the two in balance or we will destroy all that we achieved and face extinction. That is my opinion anyway.

Here is a link to my blog:  Feel free to check other articles and comment.

Sunday, 3 November 2019

Now I am a mad Albertan.

Now I am a mad Albertan.

“Quit crying and start thinking,” said Dad and I took a deep breath, wiped my tears and sobered up. Now sixty-six years later Dad’s advice is still good. Allow me to share it with my fellow Albertans. It works every time.

So, our biggest oil consumer became our biggest energy competitor and we are hurting, or at least a quarter of us do. Let’s assess our situation without tantrums, name-calling, empty threats and “nobody loves me” pouting. Oil prices will remain low, public pressure against oil is growing, transporting oil will remain a problem and while investments in clean energy are growing, financial institutions and politicians are divesting. It is the reality if we believe it or not. It will change back in the US also after the next elections. No crying folks, we have more than one basket of eggs here. We have our long-neglected farmers, ranchers, tourism, industries, educated workforce, great attractive infrastructure, other natural resources, you name it. Alberta is great.

Albertans still on average have the highest income per family in Canada, that is why we pay higher Transfer Payments, and if we don’t force our economy to slow down, we are on a road to recovery. It's all in what we choose to believe. When your car goes into a skid you “look and steer in the direction you want your vehicle to go.” Don’t lock the breaks.

Albertans all around me want to blame Trudeau, forgetting that our Premier could be competing with him on a personal level. He would like Trudeau to be out of the way when he may run for PM job someday. If you were the PM and two-thirds of Canadians voted for parties fighting to reduce Climate Change would you openly reduce regulations and advocate increasing the oil production? Justin Trudeau wants the money and is doing all he can regardless of his personal beliefs. He can’t change the minds of all Canadians aside from us by waving a magic wand. Global warming is happening and only the blind are not seeing it. What we hope for is to have a fair share of the market for the transition period.

My political hero is the first Conservative Premier of Alberta. He set us up towards a bright future that we are still benefiting from. Thanks to his planning we should have had a large base of technology trained Albertans and could have been competing with Silicon Valley. We should have had modern cities and towns advanced and comfortable for workers to live and work in. Above all, he set up the Heritage Fund which properly maintained could have been enough to build a brand new economy by itself. No other province or State could compete with us.

Peter Lougheed knew that oil was “a temporary boon” based on non-renewable resources. It turned out that we have more oil and gas than we can use, but we must not use it if we wish to go on living. The results are the same. We and our neighbours may fight to keep Hydro Carbon going but will lose.

We can’t reasonably demand that the Federal government will commit political suicide and send the army to force millions of people to agree to take a chance on their future when they are already suffering from the changing climate. It is time for Plan B. The temporary irresponsible behaviour of Mr. Trump isn’t going to last.

I hope that a wise Prime Minister will find a way to stop Canada from importing oil and use our own. This will not materialize unless we work together forgetting politics for a while. All parties concerned must figure out a strategy, plan implementation and a lot of public education is needed.

So far in the last six months, a significant reduction in corporate taxes has made no change. A pipeline is being built and the statistics are the same. I think now we can understand all the Canadian fishing industry people who lost their livelihood a while back. We have to make changes and we may need the help of the rest of Canada someday, but I hope not.  

If I had a say I would recommend that we get help to build a robust, clean energy sector. I would make higher education free for all who can prove proper aptitude, scrap student debts and properly reward graduates. I would make our health care and tourism industries the best in the world so people will see what we have and wish to live and work here. If Alberta is open for business, I would make it the best place to open and operate small businesses and sing the glory of those who do it right so others will see.

We should have the money to do it all in our savings account, the Heritage Fund. If the money is not there, instead of hating the rest of Canada enough to separate, we should investigate who got rid of it and why. We had a workable plan, and if we didn’t follow it I, an Albertan, want to know what replaced it and how it will be fixed now. If I sound upset, I am. It is time to quit crying and start thinking.

Every week head offices are moving out and our suicide rates are growing. BC without oil is surpassing us in growth and others soon will. What we need is not more political heroes but smart hard-working Albertans in a leadership capacity. Is there someone like Lougheed and if you know him or her, bring them forward.


Calgary Sun

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Sunday, 27 October 2019

Canada 2019 version.

Canada 2019 version.


I have an internet friend in Norway and he is always curious about Canada and specifically Alberta. We have a lot of similarities. Now he is puzzled by our election results. “We drove a hard bargain with our oil companies,” he says, and we have a Heritage fund of $1.3 trillion while you guys don’t even have one representative in your country’s government. Your provincial government is going to increase your taxes, cut services and make you all upset, he predicts. Fewer people will afford education, Health care and infrastructure will be reduced and people will run away to other provinces. I had no idea the Bloc Quebecois has so many members in Parliament. It’s bigger than the NDP! That’s very interesting!

I try to defend my country by describing our political history.


Canadians often vote by region. The feeling is that Ontario is taking advantage of other areas as colonial powers used to do. Quebec is always afraid that the English will force them to assimilate and disappear as a distinctive society. After all, we did it to First Nations. Very often people will vote a party to Ottawa that is opposite to the Provincial Party, to balance each other. Regions are worried that the “others” will take more than they give. They are suspicious that the others will share what “we have” but will keep what they have. Overall, most Canadians are the same on the lower levels. The more affluent, often from outside are competing with each other for domination and the poor are lead by envy and protectionism. That is why it is rare for most Canadians to vote for any single aspect that should be important to all of them.


This time it’s a little different. The greatest number of Canadians voted to prevent Global Warming, leaving the centre-west who has oil alienated. That oil is produced now with less pollution than it used to be, but oil from other countries is giving it a bad reputation. The West is alienated and by voting ourselves out of the halls of power has no-one to argue our case where it counts. I would much prefer if the Federal Government would cut oil imports to Canada and leave Canadians to use our own oil for as long as we still use oil. It will provide the means to build clean energy infrastructure.


It will be easy to keep Quebecers in since most of them want the same as the rest of us plus guarantees that we will not anglicize them. Their other major concern is to remain secular. At one time they were oppressed by the rich and powerful including the church and they fear religion. We must show them that we can have religious people living happily with secular people and not pressuring anyone to join them. It’s difficult when most religions have a mission to evangelize. Perhaps instead of going after religious symbols, we should legislate a stop to evangelization efforts. Live your life within the law but believe in the God of your own choice.

In the seventies, I purchased a book about Federalism by a little-known professor named Pier Trudeau. It is on the shelf, there… If you break the country up into ever small components you are doomed, he said. You must work from the inside and he did. The West hated Pierre Trudeau first for bilingualism and later for forcing us to share our oil revenues with the rest of Canada. That hate was transferred to his son, our present Prime Minister.


What the world is short of are good leaders. Canada is no exception. The good leaders are tempted to work for themselves. Those who enter politics often do so expecting power to benefit them and their friends in high places.

I don’t care about oil going through Quebec only about Quebec and Ontario using our oil for as long as we need oil. We should use what we need while aggressively tapering it down. Alberta will still be a very good place even without oil.

Also, l don’t buy secularism being a good excuse to discriminate against minorities.

The arguments for separatism by Quebec and the West are lame. We would gain nothing from separation. Our best bet for the future is to develop all of Canada and make it as self-sufficient as we can. The world needs to see that working together is possible and beneficial.

Our predecessors built a good base. We have a much better system than our neighbours and our people are miles ahead in terms of living together peacefully. We may not be the best place to invest or make fortunes, but we have all that we need to keep our population healthy, well-fed and warm.

Our problem is that we are convinced that we need smart and rich people from business to organize since governments will not do the smartest or most efficient job. I don’t even know if we have any money left in our Heritage Fund. I would venture that where we should expand efforts is to investigate corruption and legislate ways to control it.

We could learn from countries like India what not to do and from countries like Norway what we should do. If I was a leader, I would set up a task force to study that problem. India is not all corrupt, Norway is not perfect but Canada can learn from both.

The first step is to convince enough people that the market is not always right, that extreme socialism doesn’t work, that dictatorships and absolute monarchies fail people, and that there should be a Canadian way that can and would. As separated as we look outwards now, we have never been more united.

It doesn’t matter how we slice the pie, the last elections clearly show that we have a united goal with large support from every region of this huge country. Canadians at large are less concerned about immediate comfort and more about the future of our children.

Addictions, of body and the mind.

  Addictions, of body and the mind. Is there anyone free of addictions? Are all addictions negative? Can we be cured of addictions? W...