Thursday, April 28, 2005

Allie to Tories: I Don't Want An Election!

Compromise. That is the natural essence of a minority government. It should be self evident that a minority government needs to communicate and work with the other parties to ensure that there will be enough votes for legislation (or budgets) to pass.

AND... This compromise is exactly what Canadians voted for!

The proposed changes to the budget mean more money for the social programs most Canadians want and are happy to see added. Canadians DO want tax cuts for small businesses, lower tuition fees, investment in the environment, a plan for Kyoto, and a commitment to affordable housing.

I am almost entirely sure that Canadians DON’T want an election.

The more Stephen Harper complains the more it seems to me inappropriate conduct for someone who is trying to convince me that he's Prime Minister material. Harper’s continual threats to bring down the government at his first possible chance aggravate me like fingernails on a chalk board. I find his attitude to be more than a little arrogant - Canadian voters did have a recent chance to make him PM and yet we didn’t. I am beginning to doubt there’s significant reason or interest to launch him into power now.

Our government should demonstrate its ability to work together and make this Parliament work before we are forced into dealing with another one. An election might be necessary sooner than most of us would want but it is certainly not necessary "at the earliest possible opportunity."

When Harper does succeed in winning a non confidence vote he will effectively begin his campaign looking like the champion of corporate tax breaks and enemy of the ordinary Canadian (who would have benefited from the budget additions).

How many Canadians will want to vote for that?

Polls show the Conservatives with only a narrow lead over the Liberals. I suspect, if forced to election too soon, the Canadian vote will register its protest. As a voter, and ordinary Canadian myself, I would simply like to see the government govern. Get on with it, all of you.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Allie's latest cause - Traffic Safety and School Zones in Edmonton

My regular readers will recognize that it was specific events of this past year that made Traffic Safety the newest cause I have been working on. When I discovered that there were no school speed zones in Edmonton I decided right then and there to take it to the Mayor, because out of the little and big things wrong in our city, surely keeping kids safe and raising awareness of speed issues past schools was worth bringing up.

Remember I met April 9th with Mayor Mandel? We had a nice Saturday morning meeting to discuss the lack of school zones in Edmonton and issues related to that. He agreed with me, said he was going to make it a priority, said he would get back to me on his progress, thanked me and sent me on my way with some delicious baked goods. I felt good about the meeting, but remained humbly reserved given the nature of politics and rhetoric.

Duncan just called me a couple of minutes ago to point me to this news brief on 630 CHED

School Zones May Make a Come Back
Apr, 27 2005 - 8:19 AM

EDMONTON/630 CHED - We haven't seen school zones in Edmonton since the '70s.
They were done away with because the thinking at the time was specific marked crosswalks would do a better job.

But now the city is realizing, they're going to great expense puting in lighting mechanisms, yet our safety rate is about the same as any other city.

The city will talk to the two school boards, and police to see if the school zone question needs another look.

They'll report back in September.

It's nice to see this in motion. I feel it's the least I could do, as much for my brother as for my kids.

The price of politics

And I am not currently very fond of our liberal government either... But this is why I am always so conflicted when it comes to my vote federally. Provincially I am conservative, but I keep a wary eye on the federal "Conservative" party for evidence of the old ways (Reform) that did so much damage in my youth. They insist it’s not there, but every once in a while vigilance discovers it.

Conservative leader Stephen Harper says there's no way he can support the newly offered budget, now that "it's been turned into an NDP budget."

The newly ammended budget is the same budget Harper was previously willing to support, except it now includes an additional $4.6 billion investment in Canadians. The money, only part of our projected surplus, will now be allotted for the environment, affordable housing, foreign aid, training programs, and post-secondary education.

So, the question is, what is it exactly that Harper is opposed to?

  • He is opposing helping lower income Canadian families find affordable housing.
  • He is opposing helping unemployed Canadians attain job training and better jobs.
  • He is opposing helping Canadian students begin and finish their education.
  • He is opposing helping fund measures that will heal our Canadian environment.

I realize the politics behind a move like this are opportunistic, Harper is thinking he can be Prime Minister if he opposes this budget, and likely he is right. But at what cost? What is really bad about the amendments to this budget? There will be an election soon enough, but if he is so willing to hurt Canadians in the mad rush to claim his trophy, I’m not sure I want him to be my PM.

I for one will be watching how he governs his party in this next little while very carefully.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005


Monday, April 25, 2005

Bone Marrow. It's in me to give...

Almost 5 years ago I added my name to the Canadian (Blood Services) Unrelated Bone Marrow Donor Registry. I never really gave it much more thought than that until they called last week and said I had been identified as a potential donor. Today I had a telephone "health assesment" interview and early next week I go for blood tests to determine just how close a match I am.

I have no idea who the intended recipient is, or where they might live, or even what's wrong with them - and there's a good chance I never will know. For now I can only hope that when all the testing is finished that my DNA is a close enough match for them to use my bone marrow. That could take a month, maybe a bit more, before we know.

In the meantime I feel oddly aware of every choice I make that impacts on my bodily health, almost like when I was pregnant and a life depended on those choices. I sopose such a heightened level of awareness can only benefit me in the long run regardless of what happens. There were actually very few restrictions I had to agree to for the next 6 months, most of them easy to make, like no tatoos/peircings, no new sex partners, no IV Drug usage, etc etc. But I felt bad when I told Duncan that I had to agree not to get pregnant for six months (or until this is over). We've been talking about it alot lately, talking leads to planning and planning leads to dreaming... and he looked so sad when I told him.

But 6 months isn't really that long in the grand scheme of a lifetime. Or, in this case, two lifetimes.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Dogged Determination

Pssst... Luna! Look at me... making a hole...

...almost.. through...

Princess, the little dog that lives next door, obviously decided this morning that no mere fence was going to stand in between her and Luna anymore. That's a lot of digging for a dog with such little paws, I must admit she tried so hard, and had almost suceeded when her owner's found her (half in their yard, half in mine) and moved her over to the other side of their yard. Where she sits, pining.

Don't worry, Princess. The real difference between the impossible and the possible lies within your determination. With determination such as yours, I am almost certain you will find a way!

Friday, April 22, 2005

Never doubt that one person can change the world

... or make a difference in it.

Once upon a time I saved a baby's life. I was in the right place, at the right time and just happened to notice (with a stroke of providence I'm sure) a baby crouching between two parked cars as we drove by. It was minus 25 without the windchill, and in a blur of frenzied reaction I yelled for my friend to stop and had already jumped out before I realized the car had stopped, my jacket off to wrap around his tiny, impossibly cold, body. He was dressed only in his diaper, PJ top and winter boots. I brought him back into the car, where I held him, heat full on, and waited for the adult we expected to be out desperately searching, to come along.

After a while, when no adult appeared, we phoned the police, who came and got the little tyke (who had finally become warm enough to start crying). They told us if we hadn't had stopped when we did it would have been too late for him, but they didn't have to tell us that. We already knew.

It's a feeling I can't begin to describe, full of love, opportunity, compassion and satisfaction. It's a feeling I have been thinking about since I got a mystery call from the Unrelated Bone and Marrow Transplant Office yesterday. I have been part of the program for years, but they tell you it's rare to get a call (it's hard to match unrelated donors with patients). They are going to call me back today at work, and its hard to put it out of my mind.

An old Hebrew saying says that by saving one life, you save the world. I'm not sure about the world, but one life is good enough.

Two is better.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

I am a bomb technician...

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

I feel a disturbance in the force...

Pope "the Hammer" Benedict XVI

Supreme Chancellor "the Emperor" Palpatine

Mmmmm. Disturbing this is.

I wonder if I can go to hell for this...

Spring Fling and more Bling Bling

Here are some things we have been doing these past couple of days: lunching outside, reading and basking in the sun, primping and preening the yard, planting some bulbs, walking with Duncan, tanning, spending lazy evenings at the park, readying the barbecue, peeling off the clothes, living longer days... Sun.

Kiss my butt, winter. Spring is here.

It makes it VERY hard to stay in my office and do work...

And... Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Monday, April 18, 2005

Wesley is a Great Kid!

Great Kids Award 2005
Honourable Mention  Posted by Hello

Congratulations Wesley on being one of only 188 Albertan children nominated for the prestigious Premier's Great Kids Award 2005! Congratulations on your award! With the amount of character and compassion you have shown your different communities this year, your earnest fundraising for those less fortunate, countless volunteer hours, your outstanding leadership successes, academic achievements and wonderful friendships you have maintained, even in the face of so many large personal loses this past year, it's no wonder your school thought you should be nominated for this recognition!

Can you tell I am a proud parent? I can't stop smiling!

Sunday, April 17, 2005

When Pigs Fly...

The Pig Olympics  Posted by Hello

Believe it or not, thousands of people are flocking to city park in Shanghai, China to witness an event where pigs run over hurdles, jump through hoops, dive into water and swim.

Yes, I said Pigs. They call it the Pig Olympics, and the pigs apparently start training soon after birth in order for a chance to compete for a gold medal.

I guess it beats being bacon.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Dispensing with the platitudes…

Signs I maybe should have gone shopping:

* I'm drinking wine just because I am thirsty
* There isn’t any toilet paper in the house
* There is nothing resembling fresh produce in the fridge (not even in the left overs)
* My son went to school today with a "butter sandwich" for lunch
* I found the dish soap in the bathroom (being used as hand soap)
* I owe my daughter’s girl guides group an increasing amount for the cookies we pilfer
* I'm saving the last egg because I could bake something if push comes to shove

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Thought to self

Maybe I need a cheering squad...

Look at the Lonely People

"All the lonely people, where do they all come from?
All the lonely people, where do they all belong?"

These lyrics going over and over in my head today... Why are people so disconnected?

Been in an odd sort of self reflection (refraction?) period since the most recent family death, which has led to a non-compulsion to blog. Or perhaps it is better defined as lack of inspiration. Regardless, my apologies. It will not continue, as there is so much to blog about (new job, meeting the Mayor, upcoming trips to Banff, Cochrane, Toronto and Vancouver Island, politics and much Star Wars). I will find something to say. I just need to focus and centre on the living force, mindful of the present.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Running out of money...

Guess it is time to seriously start looking for a job. Thats really the story of life isn't it? Maybe I should just open a coffee shop - it's something I have always thought of doing, a little trendy spot that people would like to go, with local art on the walls and maybe a small bookstore attached...

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Vacancy of the Apostolic See

The Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, has died.

Friday, April 01, 2005

The Pope is passing

Pope John Paul II  Posted by Hello

"A Man of Peace"

Born Karol Wojtyla on May 18, 1920, in Wadowice, Poland. In 1938, he began studying philosophy and literature at the university in Krakow which the Nazis closed when they invaded in 1939. To escape death or deportation, Wojtyla worked in a quarry and later took an office job. After deciding to become a priest, Wojtyla studied secretly in the evenings with the Krakow cardinal. Wojtyla was ordained in 1946 and became Poland's youngest bishop at 38, was promoted to Archbishop of Krakow in 1964 and made cardinal three years later by Pope Paul VI. On October 16, 1978, Wojtyla was elected the first non-Italian Pope in 455 years. He was the 264th successor of St. Peter and, at 58, the youngest Pope for more than a century.