A TRUE TORY is someone who wasn't fooled by Mr. Harper's pro-American/Alberta First Reform agenda when he engineered the take over of the Conservative party in 2003.A TRUE TORY will not give someone the benefit of the doubt just because they're called Conservative.A TRUE TORY believes in Canada and pushes for a vision that goes beyond short-term election interests.

TRUE TORYs built this county and only TRUE TORYs can save it!

Thursday, June 11, 2020


Previous to this pandemic most companies were reluctant to have even a fraction of their employees work remotely, and it’s probable that more than half of the people who worked in offices and buildings before the pandemic but have been remote working since will eventually return to doing so after the transmission risks of Covid are mitigated (either through vaccine, herd immunity or because this virus becomes endemic).

But what if we took this disrupter and flipped it from a crisis to an opportunity?

Say for example, the Government of Canada were to create a modest Corporate Tax Credit of just $500 per year for every employee a company has that works from home at least 60% of their time (pre-existing telecommuters and new ones would be included but not those whose work qualifies for travel expenses more than 30% of their time).

AND say for example, the Government then provides every employee that meets the above qualification with a $300 per year Personal Tax Credit for working from home at least 60% of their paid hours!

It seems like that might not be enough of an incentive for Companies and Employees, but that’s not quite true, is it?In addition to the corporate credit the company would see corporate expense savings by not needing to “box” an employee, and in addition to the personal credit, each employee would save not needing transportation, clothing and food to get to and from that “box”.

And since 90% of all government infrastructure spending is in support of moving people around, with just 40% fewer people on the roads, highways and transit systems GOVERNMENTS AT ALL LEVELS would see a drastic drop in demand for infrastructure because fewer cars mean less work on roads and less demand for new highways while fewer commuters mean less investment in transit or at least, more concentrated and targeted transit investment.

And cutting any of that would save Cities, Provinces and the Federal Government HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS each year, surely more than enough to off-set the cost of those tax credits.

But more importantly, since one of the most immediate visible effects of the pandemic was pollution reduction in China (where we’ve seen smoggy skies clear for the first time in decades) and suddenly more clear water all around the Mediterranean (there’ve been reports of dolphins swimming up rivers around Rome for the first time in almost a century) the reduction in human activity caused by working remotely has a significant ecological benefit.

Meaning those modest Tax Credits not only benefit corporations and benefit their employees, but could also benefit our biosphere and the animals that live in them (us included).

Suddenly, the shift forced on us by necessity becomes a gateway to not only achieving the Paris Accords but possibly exceeding them.
And when people do need to go somewhere, well, driving is a lot more pleasant when you’re not bumper to bumper for hours on a drive that during the pandemic took only 30 minutes!

Isn’t that a win/win/win?

Think about it.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

WRONGED, RIOT, REPEAT - the definition of INSANITY

I know I see the world differently than most.  I grew up buying into the Star Trek concept of inclusion, where "Infinite Diversity, Infinite Combinations" means that your differences don't have to be mine but they're neat and you should be able to celebrate them, and I celebrate your differences without feeling threatened by them.  Where your love for something I don't like shouldn't invite my scorn, just my acceptance.  Where my love for something you don't get gets the same treatment.  In short, respect because ultimately, if someone is passionate about something then we should celebrate that passion, unless it's harmful to them or others.

And this brings me to my take on BLACK LIVES MATTER.  Yes, of course they do.  And what that group experiences daily is sickening and we shouldn't be bothered about only when an extreme event happens.  I'm as sickened by a store clerk assuming I was first despite a person of colour standing ahead of me in line as much as I am a cop chokes a black man to death without remorse because I don't believe any life is more important than any other and I can put myself in the shoes of that other person.

Unfortunately, the reality is that limiting any call for action to a single group just because we want to highlight the difficulty and threat that group lives with is by its very definition... limiting.

To combat the root causes of Black Lives Matter we need to focus on the overlap, the commonality, they have with everyone.  And while examples outside the black community are more difficult to find in America there isn't a single issue Black Lives face that isn't in some way universal, but that isn't why we need to include everyone in this call to action.  

It's because when you focus on the common overlay you remove the racism from it.

Simply put, I'm not black, and because black lives have it so hard I won't lie, I'm thankful I'm not black.  But I am human, so what happens to black people in America doesn't affect me as it would someone in that community, but it affects me because I'm human.  

And it's because of that commonality that it bothers me that police are killing anyone. PERIOD.  

It bothers me that police are killing people they already have in custody.  PERIOD.  

It bothers me that police are violent and brutal with someone who is unarmed.  PERIOD.

It bothers me that police are confrontational with someone minding their own business, or targeting anyone, anywhere, without cause.  PERIOD.

None of which, in my opinion has anything to do with the colour of the skin of the victim.  I don't care if they're black, Asian, Muslim or First Nations: they're human, and humans shouldn't be treated like that.  PERIOD.

So if people are saying "ALL LIVES MATTER" because they know a white homeless guy down the street and his life is as important as a black man who was murdered by police, I get it, but you've got it all wrong.  

I want the police to stop murdering PEOPLE.  PERIOD!

And I don't care what colour their skin is.  I want Police to stop violently restraining unarmed people, regardless of the colour of their skin.  PERIOD!

I want police to stop pulling people over or stopping them on the street when they're not actually breaking the law, regardless of their skin.  PERIOD!

Because regardless of that superficial identifier, all lives matter!

And until we broaden the scope of that call we'll never stop this problem, because the more you make it about one group instead of being an ALL problem, the easier it is for people outside that group to sit it out and say, "well, I'm glad that isn't me." or "I don't belong to that group so I don't know if I should speak up".

But it is you, because ALL lives matter!  And the sooner everyone realizes that and calls on the government, the police and the courts to stop violating the rights of ALL humans we're never going to stop the constant assault on any one group of us.

Meanwhile, Muslims are treated like crap in places because of a few idiots in 2001; and Asians are being treated like crap now because of where a virus started, and all of this is wrong because those differences are as superficial as black skin and it's ALL born of the same problem.  None of us get to be outside this problem, any problem!  We're all human.  

And if you still don't get THAT, then be prepared for things remaining exactly as they are, because we've been trying it your way for decades, if not centuries, and you've accomplished nothing and never will so long as you keep focusing on the differences!

Sunday, May 10, 2020


Brit descendants have always complained about immigration, it's in their blood. The earliest cases are when the Celts invaded the Picts some time around 100BC, then came the Belgic tribes, the Romans, the Pelagians, the Saxons, the Norwegians in their viking longboats, the Normans, and on and on it goes without end.
Even in their colonies there continues to rage ire against each latest wave of immigrants: Against the Scots when they arrived, then the French, the Irish, then the Germans, the Jews through to the Italians, right through to the present day when an immigrant could come from any place in the world and be greeted by descendants of earlier immigrants bitching about them.
Each time a new wave of immigration has begun there's been gnashing of teeth about how the latest wave was destroying everything, and each time the sum of the people changed, grew, got stronger. It's been happening in Canada since BEFORE there was a Canada, but each generation repeats the same old gripes. "So and so are ruining things. They should go back where they came from..." Yawn.
Meanwhile there's no evidence any of the original Britons, the Picts remain, except that each wave of British immigrant continues to bitch about the ones that follow them. It's odd that a culture entirely built on integration of other cultures has always complained about it. It's hilarious when people who often have a rather weak command of English themselves (and its their only language) complain that the latest wave of immigrants can't speak it as a second, third or fourth language. It's even funnier that English is a language almost entirely based on words stolen from other cultures.
My neighbourhood is more than 50% Eastern European, a 10 minute drive in any direction takes me into a completely different culture, Portuguese, Iranian, West Indian, East Indian, Chinese, even French. I don't even need to board a plane to taste the world. That's amazing to me!
And while I love Paris, if you want something other than french food you're got slim pickings. It's a world capital and an international city but Halifax has a better selection of international fare than Paris does.
So I'm eager to see what the future brings. Eager to see what the next wave of immigrants will be? Eager to learn how their addition will further enrich the sum that is Canada? 
The future of my nation is an undiscovered country, full of ever changing diversity in a culture whose only saving grace is that its constantly changing. And I love that, it's exciting! But its also going to be funny to listen to the descendants of the most current immigrants gripe about the next wave that arrives. 
At least then we'll know they're one of us.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020


I’m a futurist, a writer and a policy wonk.  This means I look at things and re-look atthem, and then re-look at them, trying to figure out where we’re going, what’sgoing to happen, what’s likely to happen and why.  It’s not based on wish fulfillment so much aspast performance by society in similar instances, my observances andexperiences.  And while I may take anidea toward an extreme to prove a point the writer in me simply doesn’t let meget too far.

In short, the facts rarely conform to our wishes and we needto be open to explore them in order to either work through our acceptance ofthem or determine what we can do to control them.

The example I give you is Star Trek and to a lesser degreemy Space Oddity Universe stories.  Inboth cases they’re futures predicated on the idea that tough times are aheadbut certain things we’re capable of may allow us to aim more towards a betterfuture rather than the dystopian one of our baser instincts. 

The biggest idea in both series is the idea ofcommunity.  Not the “tend the garden” and“put up a wall to protect” type of community, for that’s often represents theworst part of humanity.  I’m talkingabout the reaching out and looking after each part of community. 

It’s the concept of ‘Stone Soup’, an analogy where oneperson brings a stone to make soup with and then every one else brings one itemthey have, none of which individually can feed even the person who brings it(pot, water, scraps of meat, a carrot, a potato, etc, etc, etc) until thecombination is not only soup but enough to feed everyone.  Another term for this is the “SocialContract” or to paraphrase John F Kennedy, “What you can do for thewhole, not what can be done for you”. 

In short, ‘together we are better’.

And yes, that means all of us.  The son of a Syrian refugee revolutionizedpersonal communication when he created Apple Computers and the grandson of aGerman immigrant who ruined Americawhen he completely mismanaged a pandemic while focusing only on wealth and hisfragile ego.

But I digress.

Just this century – and we’re only in the 20thyear of that – we’ve already had 7 major epidemics that were categorized as“worldwide” events (SARS from 2002-2004; Mumps 2009; H1N1 “Swine Flu”2009-2010; MERS 2012 onward; West Africa Ebola 2013-2016; Zika Virus 2015-2016and Covid19) and this is not including the devastating 2017/2018 InfluenzaSeason in America which killed some 80 thousand people.

Very few of them began in “wet markets” but they all haveone thing in common, they began in and spread through concentrations of humanpopulations.  

This decade the human population will surpass 8BILLION.  Even if Covid-19 kills the samepercentage of humans that the 1918 Influenza did (which is quite wrongly called“Spanish Flu”) then this decade the human population will surpass 8 Billion.

And the more people we have the more likely we’ll be hitwith another and another and another pandemic. Some will be mild (Zika); other’s devastating (Covid-19), but one thingis certain, we haven’t seen the last of these things.

Many politicians have likened this to a war.  Well, we’re sure not thinking of it likethat.  Wars are to be avoided if possiblebut if unavoidable then we need to ensure that our society is geared towardit.  One of the first things that happenswhen war is declared is production of materials needed to fight it.  The second is training of personnel.  The third is mobilization and preparedness.  The economy during war changes, often itgrows, and yes, people die.

If, as is likely, we’re just now becoming aware that we’rein a war, and if we’re smart about our future, then we will pivot to a wareconomy.  Not a sheltering one, whereeverything pauses while the NAZI’s bomb us, but like London one that takescover during each wave of the attack and then rises as soon as it’s over,cleans up, rebuilds, buries our dead and prepares for the next round.  And for the sacrifices needed to end it.

We will have to come to accept that there will becasualties.  But when you know there willbe more deaths you prepare for it.  Wewill need to prepare for mass deaths and we will need to rethink our healthcareand how we will handle future breakouts to treat those afflicted in the hopesof minimizing the death count.  We willneed to build or convert warehouses to store what is needed and then convertquickly to spaces ready to deal with it.

Our soldiers on this front line won’t wear khaki but scrubs,they won’t be drafted but incentivized, they won’t train with bayonets but withventilators and when the next wave comes we won’t shutter up our industries butsoldier on. 

We’ll have to.

Precautions will be taken, but casualties will come.  We cannot pause an entire society for monthsat a time over and over again and expect there to be anything akin to normal soif the new normal is disruptive then we need to be prepared for that.  If you know you’ll be navigating ice flowsduring the thaw then you better figure out how to navigate that!

Security screening at both ends of a trip must include ahealth component and the moment an area becomes infected then all travel fromit must be funnelled to controlled spaces where the returning people areisolated to prevent spread.  Clearly ifno outbreaks have occurred then these measures are not warranted, but themoment there is even a whiff of one we must act decisively and proactively toensure that the monster is contained.

So what does that mean? It could mean a hangar and warehouse are built at several major airportsacross the country, over in the cargo sections with the sole purpose of sittinglargely and thankfully idle, so that the moment the W.H.O. spots an issue everyplane from it is routed to those hangars for secondary health screening.  And that at the first sign of spread thenanyone from those areas isn’t just routed for screening but mandatoryisolation, as though they were already infected.  Sort of like what New Zealand is doing, but not forevery flight all the time, just when there’s a reason – although the bar foractivating this must be lowered considerably.

And while such measures are invasive, and expensive, as itwould be in war, there’s an economy in that and we must embrace the newnormal. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2020


For week's now Conservatives have been attacking the Government, in Parliament and through their supporters and bots - online - demanding we close the borders, get a stimulus going, help Canadians, protect our country, act faster.

They've been claiming the Prime Minister was ineffective and that Canada should've done what nations like China did.  Lock down the country, force everyone to stay home, limit supplies, declare martial law, blah, blah, blah.

And then, when the Government recalled Parliament so they could pass a stimulus bill, so they could get the authority needed to act faster to this rapidly changing crisis, what did these same Conservatives do?

They blocked it!

Seriously??  These bozos spent a month demanding the Government be more dictatorial, pointing to an actual dictatorship as the example to follow, and then when the Government tried to use the democratic system to increase their powers so they can actually do a measured fraction of what these idiots have been demanding the Harpercrits of this land accused the Government of being Dictators!


And Mr. Andrew Scheer, acting interim leader of the Official Obstructionist Party of Canada, to you sir I say, STOP PLAYING POLITICS WITH CANADIAN'S LIVES!

Your sickening habit of saying one thing on your twitter and facebook feeds and then voting entirely the opposite is dis-genuine at best and treasonous at a time of crisis like this.  I'd say you should be ashamed, if I didn't feel that a good horse-whipping wasn't more appropriate!

And while we're at it, Andy, YANKEE GO HOME!  Seriously, your voting record since going to Parliament really reads like you'd be much more comfortable in America.  Come to think of your fecklessness would fit right in at the White House right now.  Maybe you could join a Trump Taskforce on Social Distancing.  It's the sort of feckless thing you're good at.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019


There’s a book on my mind that Idon’t want to write.  For decades I’venoted and socked away research relating to trends in message control, what somecall “spin”, specifically as its being used by the Right in Canada and theUS.  But getting into that mindset is painful.  It's like method acting, it doesn't turn off easily, so I really don't want to write about it despite feeling doing so is a public service.

And before Defenders of the Right try tochime in, let me stop you right there.  As I'll show in this post Conservative message control is intentionally evil and insane.  And I have decades of examples and evidenceto prove it.

Yes, all political movements areguilty of spin, framing and trying to stage or control their message, but its use by other political parties is largely limited to their ideal vision ofthings.  Where it gets co-opted is when thecompromises necessary in a democracy often subvert the ideal as a matter of practicalityin order to get the support they need to make any progress at all. 

For example: Obama’s AffordableCare Act was compromised when the Democrats agreed to some conditions certainRepublicans wanted put in.  Even thoughthe Democrats knew those provisions were being put in so those same Republicanscould then attack the ACA as flawed.  The Democrats agreed because ‘somethingwas better than nothing’.  The idea onthe Left was to compromise in order to move the goal post forward.  Society is a living thing so once the bar moved a bit then fixes could be put in later.  

The idea on the Right was to forcecompromise so they could later prove it didn’t work.  The very idea that because one version didn’twork no version could work is at the heart of Conservative attacks.  Liberals and Democrats lose support because supporters on the Left expect perfection first time and Conservatives know that.  This by the way is the real reason we end up with Conservative governments.

Where normal ideas by non-Conservative parties arecorrupted is when those compromises lead to people who force decisions that benefit them in exchange for their support.  Moreoften it’s third party benefits, delivering on promises to Lobby groups in exchange for support of a Bill or entitlement style kick-backs to those third-party supporters (ie: I’ll vote for this Bill if Component X  of this other Program is put in my State.  Knowing the only party that can win the bid is my biggest donor, Company Y). 

This was how the US Space Program got to the Moon.  They put an entitlementproject in nearly every State they needed Senate support for so that thoseelected officials wouldn’t cut the program for fear of causing job losses amongtheir electorate – even though that increased program costs by more than12%.   That's compromise.

And in case you’ve spotted the similarity,these examples are 'quid pro quo', this for that or something for something.  And such compromises are actually the foundation ofhow democracies are supposed to work. The current issue with Darth Cheetoh in the White House isn’t that therewas a ‘quid pro quo’, it’s what the ‘this for that’ was about – election manipulationwith the assistance of a foreign government.

And there will be ‘quid pro quo’in Canada’s new Parliament because in order for Justin Trudeau to maintain the 'confidenceof the House' he will have to ‘this for that’ with another party or block in order for his government tosurvive.  Whether he does a formalcoalition with the NDP that will see the tiny party of 24 members effectivelycontrol the legislative agenda this Parliament, or whether he seeks support ona Bill-by-Bill basis as Stephen Harper did when he had the longest lastingminority government in Canadian history, only time will tell.  The risk of a the Harper option is while it avoids the pitfalls and overspending that trying to satisfy two partybases require in a formal coalition it can also see the mood of the House turn on you like a bitch.

But getting back to the reason I'm reluctant to write one particular book: Eversince Mike Harris won as Premier of Ontario, and I suspect even a bit earlierwhen Preston Manning began the Reform Party of Canada, there’s only one partyopenly and actively lying.  Deliberatelysaying what they believe their base and voters want to hear in order to get andmaintain power and then doing what they really want to, often in opposition towhat they said, and mostly to satisfy their big donors.

And Republicans, Reformers, andConservatives do this by using two ideas that either originated in or were refined in the 1940’s.  Gaslighting and Propaganda.

The psychological term gaslighting describes a form of psychological abuse in which the victim is gradually manipulated into doubting his or her own reality, or more commonly in this era being fed an alternate reality (“alt+facts”).  Although it’s more commonly attributed to thesecond film adaptation from 1944, it originated from the 1938 play “Gas Light” writtenby Patrick Hamilton.  

Gaslighting means emotionally manipulating others by underminingtheir confidence and calling their credibility into question.  In a relationship this is mostly a form of attack but the techniques are used by the Right to both frame theirmessage and attack their opposition. 

The second part of that, theattack, turns gaslighting into an art by incorporating an additional paradigm:The teachings of NAZI Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels.  Goebbels taught, “Always accuse your opponentof that which you are guilty of.”  Andsadly, when you look at the facts, the history of Debt spending in Canada, theParliamentary record, the Bank of Canada reports and nearly every independentstudy of Government both in Canada and the US for the last 30 years clearlyshow that if a Conservative says "only they can unite" something it’s only because they’re principally the ones sowing the seeds of division.  In fact, nearly everything a Conservative or Republican tells you is upon investigation actually the opposite of what they're doing.

So, as Steven Harper did for 9 years,they’ll say they’re balancing the budget even while they blow the $100 Billionthat was paid on the debt by the previous government over 12 years, and thenborrow another $70 Billion while they hack away at minor support services thatthe most vulnerable in society rely upon, leaving government with the greatestnon-war time spending increase in Canadian history.

Or as the Republican’s haveshown, the 2 terms of George W Bush and Trump’s so far have tripled the US Debtthree fold increasing military spending under the guise of 'Defending America' while decreasing revenue through tax breaks that benefit only a tinypercentage of Americans, yet they continue to attack Healthcare as the thingthat will bankrupt America despite it costing a fraction of what the tax cutsdid while helping nearly half the US population.  And Obama’s debt went up at the slowest rateof any President in the last 40 years.

But if those last 2 paragraphsare a surprise to you its because you’ve been emotionally manipulated by otherswho have repeatedly and systemically called into question the credibility ofindependent facts.  Or as the man most guilty of gas lighting calls it, “Fake news.”

Tuesday, November 12, 2019


"You people" is one of many dogwhistle phrases which in most cases are specifically used by racists to put non-whites in the "them" category.  It's too often followed by "go back where you came from" which is difficult for many Canadians of colour since they were born here.

Quebec has: "pure laine" for original wool, which is like Harper's "Old School Canadians".

The current Conservative movement likes "416 Elites" which, since the majority of voters in the 416 vote Liberal is an easy "us vs them" phrase.  It's a double whammy because not only do most of the elites that work in the 416 actually live in the 905 area around Toronto, a majority of the voters in the 416 are people of colour, so it isn't JUST another dogwhistle "us vs them" partisan phrase, it's also another example of hidden racist code.

Personally I would've accepted a heartfelt apology from Don Cherry even though he ought to know better being a public figure. And I would've used this as a teachable moment for everyone else, seeing as a majority of people who say "you people" don't even realize they're being racist.

But mostly because I fundamentally believe in people's right to say stupid things in a free society so long as everyone else also have a right to gang up on them, rip apart their argument and call them stupid in large groups. 

That's not censorship, it's shaming and we don't have enough of that in our society anymore.