Archive | March 2014

Insult to Injury

This is beyond the beyond!  As bad as it can get!  Nothing short of ridiculous!  Bah Humbug!

Woke up this morning to several inches of snow – yes S-N-O-W on the ground and more coming down.

Haven’t we been tested enough this year?  Haven’t we proven our endurance over the past 5 very long, very cold 5 months?  Is there something very wrong we have done to deserve this?  I actually had some grass (lovely green grass) showing yesterday. I have my appointment booked for the removal of my snow tires.  I had PLANS!!

I am NOT happy.




Something Else I Didn’t Know

Thanks to Christina Blizzard I have something else to rant about!!

There is a line on our hydro bills called “debt retirement charge”.  It is calculated at a rate of 0.7 cents per kilowatt hour.   It’s been there for years – 15 years, in fact.  I had no idea it has been that long.  With every hydro rate payer in the province paying off this debt – why isn’t it gone by now?

Did you know that in 2009 “our” government  added $4 billion to this debt – and they borrowed this money for something totally NOT hydro.  Our money, used as a piggy bank!!  IMAGINE!  Even worse, they apparently didn’t tell us about this for two whole years when they retroactively put it in the annual report.  At that time the then auditor general noted that the original amount of the debt was $7.8 billion…..the government had collected $8.7 billion by March 2011 ….and there was still a debt.  The amount collected had grown to $10.6 billion as of 2013….against an original debt of $7.8 billion.

For most of us, we borrow X amount of money and when we have paid back that amount of money, the debt is gone.  Not with this provincial government.  Can you call this anything BUT  a permanent tax?  Hydro rates are high enough – and going higher.  This just adds insult to injury.  Bring on an election!!!

Ontario in Perspective

When I read, the other day, that Ontario was in a far greater and deeper mess than California ever was – and then saw the numbers – that really put things into perspective for me.

Would you believe that California, at its very worst, was nowhere near where Ontario is right now?  ‘Tis true…..and it should be darned frightening for any of us who live here.  Ontario’s debit is nearly twice that of California and yet our population is less.  Each Californian is on the hook for $3,844 of debt.  Each Ontarian???  saddled with a debt of $20,166.

Do you want to calculate what the interest payments on a debt of $272 billion (nearly twice that of California)  are each month?  My calculator won’t even go to that many zeros.  I do know that paying this interest takes up over 9% of revenues (2.8% in California).    From 2012/13 to 2015/16, net interest payments will represent the fastest growing expense for our provincial government – more than twice the projected rate of health care expenditures.

California has managed to turn itself around by making painful decisions to contain their indebtedness.  The  Fraser Institute says that Ontario could back away from the precipice it is in danger of toppling over by simply limiting the rate of increase in spending……not by cuts but by simply not spending wildly.  The report goes on to say that Ontario could start to get its books in order and still allow a small (0.8%) increase in per-capita spending annually.  That sounds pretty reasonable to me.

Could we do this?  Not with the current government with its spending culture and its “need” to live up to union expectations!  Over the past 10 years, spending on health alone grew by 7% each year and education by 10%.  Other program spending increases averaged 6.2% annually.  Ontario Hydro bills are projected to rise 42% in 5 years.

We need to start living within our means.  Isn’t that what each and every one of us has to do with our own lives?  Aside from the nearly perfect weather, California is looking pretty darned good right now!!!


What has happened to MY TEAM??

I am an avid Ottawa Senators fan – but at the moment, I am an angry fan.

What on earth has happened to these guys?  If I’m frustrated, Coach MacLean must be fit to be tied – I have no idea how he keeps his cool standing there behind the bench. I’m surprised he hasn’t had a stroke at this point.

All that skill out there – and they are completely demolished – game after game after game.  They often start out well and then they fall apart.  It is almost embarrassing and it is certainly very disappointing.

It can’t all be attributed to Alfredsson leaving, although I believe he was a much better leader than Spezza will ever be.  It can’t be that they aren’t paid enough money.   With their salaries one would expect 150% effort every time they step onto the ice!  It can’t be the Coach  – he has a proven track record and they worked well together when he took over last year.  It can’t be due to injuries – they have had less time lost to injuries than most of the other NHL teams.

They have been incurring far too many penalties – showing a total lack of discipline when we know they can do better.  Could it be that they simply don’t care …… about their fans?…..about winning?………about the job they are being well paid to do?   It certainly looks that way.

Season ticket holders must be even more angry and disappointed than I am and the team owner – apoplectic to say the least.

I don’t have any answers – just lots of questions – questions probably shared by all Ottawa fans.  This will hurt the team financially in the long run.


Just The Girls

I am fortunate to live on a street where, of the small number of 50 homes, 14 of us are single women.  Talk about an absolutely fabulous built-in support structure not to mention very handy friends.

In addition to going to the occasional concert, hockey game, movie or just out for fish and chips, we have even travelled together – 8 of us did a Danube River Cruise a few years ago.  The normal routine is to get together every 6 weeks or so at one house or another to solve the myriad of world problems (and to drink several gallons of wine).  As a rule, we are all close to home and could get there on our knees if need be.  If the truth be told, we did hear some rumours at the local Tim Hortons (or was it Starbucks??) about those party-hardy ladies of GC and the racket they can make when heading home late at night en masse from one of our gatherings.  While there are 2 single men on our street – they aren’t invited – no rationale required.

Last night we went “off-court” to the home of an adopted member of our group, one car behind the other….. the blind leading the blind…..two designated drivers…..two trunks full of yummy finger foods …….and the usual plethora (I love that word) of wine bottles.  Had the Ottawa Senators not completely lost it at the end of the 3rd period, blowing a 4-1 lead and ending up losing the game in overtime, the evening would have been a complete success.  Our hostess was kind enough to have the game on TV in the next room allowing a few of us hockey fans to slip out now and then to check progress.

Of course we talked about politics – with several Quebecers in the group, it was very interesting to get their take on the current silly scenario in that province with  Pauline Marois and PKP at the helm.  It seems pretty much everyone is totally fed up with the whole issue.   We covered Hydro rates, the upcoming increase in home heating gas prices, the behaviour of children, teens, and how it became so, bullying, teachers’ authority (or lack thereof), parental authority (or lack thereof), children and grandchildren, travel plans and wish lists (most of us have a wish list much larger than our bank accounts) – and very briefly – men. I’m quite sure there were other topics of conversation but I can’t be expected to remember them all!!

After one of these get-togethers I know I always come away feeling very thankful that I ended up on this perfect street of (almost) perfect neighbours and wonderful friends.  It couldn’t be a better situation for growing into those golden years.  Our single ladies group even ponders the thought of pooling our resources when the time comes to hire a fulltime RN or Home Healthcare Aide to scoot from one house to the other – sounds a lot less expensive than moving to a retirement home.  Some of these after-many-drinks ideas sound far-fetched until you really think about them – not such a bad idea after all.

Our next challenge is to come together with our travel wish lists so that everyone knows what everyone else wants to do over the next 5 years – where people have wish lists in common – it could very well be the makings of another fabulous group trip.


It’s Never Over……Until It’s Over

Just when we had begun to relax as a country with 10 provinces and a few territories…….Just when the newspapers were no longer saying much about Quebec separation……along comes Pauline Marois – and now her sidekick PKP – they are calling an election – maybe an illegal one at that – and we’re right back where we were many many years ago.

Now – I don’t have an issue with Quebec as long as it minds its own business – it’s a beautiful province.  And I certainly don’t have any problem with those who live there – I’m sure they are all lovely people – and to speak more than one language is a good thing for anyone.


As a taxpayer, I am tired of footing the bill to have all things bilingual even in places where nobody speaks french.

As a taxpayer, I am tired of finding more Quebecois folks in my Federal Government than Anglophones – especially in management positions……because they speak french – not because they speak decent english!!

As a person who lives just steps from the Quebec border, I’m tired of hearing about all the new rules that Quebecers and Quebec-based businesses must follow……what schools their children are permitted to attend, how their storefront signs must look, etc.  However – that is their business – and if those who live there are willing to put with these rules, I shouldn’t complain.  They don’t directly affect me.

I am hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst with this current situation. Should the potential she-devil win this upcoming election, fasten your seat-belts, folks – I think we will be in for a rocky ride.

If there is a new and renewed movement for Quebec Separation, I don’t want any sort of  handshake.  If they don’t want to be part of Canada, I think they should LEAVE and take their share of the national debt with them.  They should receive NO MORE hand-outs from OUR Federal Government – unless or until they become one of those 3rd world countries who truly need help – and even then, they will have to get in line with the others.  I’m tired of this.  It is time for us to move on.