Opening Statement



Friday, 25 June 2021

Teacher Free Speech Summer 2021 News + Views!

AddITioNs aDDeD In lArGE TypESeT! ReaDeRs gUIdE @ HERE! 

LaTeSt LinKs @ TWITTER!

OH CANADA

The Ontario election clock is ticking! On June 2nd 2022, we can finally kick Premier Doug Ford's Conservative's out at Queen's Park! Send them packing!

Sure! It should be a slam dunk. His government's been criminally negligent throughout the pandemic. We still lack proper contact tracingrapid school and workplace tests. So too, a comprehensive paid sick leave plan, a guaranteed income and an orderly vaccination program for Ontario's frontline workers. 

Meanwhile, the corporate lobbyists are reaping huge profits at Ford's cabinet table.  As the science and medical experts take a backseat to the huge cash drain from our provincial coffers to the business and development sectors.

Ford's prospects look bad but he's a wiley political beast. Plus we have to wonder: Are the opposition parties up to the task? How about our labour unions? Or our political activists, like you and me? As for the fickle Ontario voter? How quick they forget!

Often times in politics, the bottomline is organization. Plus a lot of sheer dumb luck. That's a lot to consider. We best start getting on it now! @ CP24

Reopening Ontario: Taa Daaa! Our Dougie'$ got a three $tage roadmap for return to normal of sort$. Maybe thi$ time he'll get it right?!? Let'$ not kid ourselve$. Beyond the fixed vaccination rate$, he'$ left lot$ of wiggle room, nothing'$ written in $tone. Just like before, he can $till do pretty much whatever he politically like$, whenever he $o pleases, $crew the medical Scientific evidence. With Premier Doug Fraud, $ome thing$ never change @ On.Ca

Bill 254 -Notwithstanding Doug: Ontario's CUPE, ETFO, OECTA OSSTF teacher and education worker unions win a major, provincial supreme court challenge.Yes! They have a constitutional right to voice their educational concerns. Sure the Covid concerns at our schools are horrendous. However, Premier Doug Fraud doesn't want voters talking about that, not with an election in the works. So he evokes the obscure "notwithstanding clause" to override Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Unconstitutionally limiting how long the ads can run. How much the unions can spend. Which companies they can use. Let's face it -Ford's useless at fighting a pandemic. But election rigging? That's more his style! Read the supreme court decision @ GP @ TStar Rest assured -Ford's grandstanding will be challenged! More court dates to follow @ Passage

More BS: The notwithstanding clause wasn't created for settling political issues like campaign finance law. Nor to deny anyone their constitutional rights and freedoms. Just because one can do something, doesn't mean that you should. Let's watch as Douglas learns that lesson the hard way @ CTV

Shuffling The Chairs: Disgraced former Ontario Finance Minister Rod Phillips returns to cabinet from his extended Covid holiday. He's our new Minister of Long Term Care. While Merrilee Fullerton now shifts her ... ummm ... deadly skills to the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services portfolio. Sadly, Minister of Education Stephen Lecce remains Ford's "go to" school boy. Basically, lotsa the same old shit; the same nasty smell @ Now

Unite The Left: Maybe if the Liberal and NDP formed a coalition, we could soundly defeat the Ford government for sure come next June? Sound good? Beware! If you've followed my blogs over the last ten years, you'll know that the Ontario Liberal's weren't that progressive last time they got into office. Remember the tight ass austerity measures and generous corporate tax cuts?!? Basically, we just ended up stuck with a bunch of smiley faced McGuinty-Wynne Neo-libs to replace the big, bad Harris-Eve's Neo Cons. Sigh. Alas. The NDP best be very, very careful with the provincial grits @ Huff

Money Talk$: Toronto's wealthiest neighbourhoods are also our healthiest. Yup! Somehow they've gotten a big head start with second doses of the vaccine being administered by postal code. The goal? To quickly target the Delta Covid variant from spreading more. Go figure. @ CTV

Homeless Inc: Meanwhile Toronto Police Services are very busy dispersing the growing homeless encampment at Bellwoods,Trinity Park. So who's looking out for these poor folks? No, they haven't got a postal code. That's because they lost their homes along with most everything they own, through no fault of their own, during the pandemic. Does Mayor John Tory really care?!? He sure has a strange way of showing it! No justice, no peace! BlogTo

LTC Nightmare: Remember Ford's "iron ring" around Ontario's LTC long term care homes? It was supposed to prevent any more "deaths from neglect" during the pandemic. Well, mum's the word from Ford since that turned into a total horror show. Turns out that the vaccines were his only real line of defence, but he and Hillier screwed that up too! The horrible neglect of our sick and elderly will be a very hard baked election issue for those of us who've lost a loved one, or sat helplessly by as they were being so badly mistreated! Notwithstanding Doug of course! He's hellbent on stopping the doctors, nurses and healthcare workers from speaking out. Certainly doesn't want everyone being reminded of what happened on his watch, as election time approaches. Good time for a recap @ QP

Terrorism Ontario: During an evening stroll, an innocent London, Ontario, muslim family are ruthlessly struck and killed by an angry, young, white male driver. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rightly labels it a "terrorist attack". Canuck far right wingers erupt into a mad, feeding frenzy. Not much surprise! Here's how the PostMedia newspaper chain has been busy sparking up the Islamophobic hate fires across Ontario for years. Think Toronto Sun @ CL @ NPR

Colonialism 215 Plus: Canada's colonial lethargy gets shaken to it's historic roots! 215 indigenous children are found buried outside a Catholic residential school in Kamloops, BC. Lots more bodies will be found. This story isn't going away anytime soon. Our Prime Minister calls for a Vatican apology and asks for the church files to be released. Instead Pope Francis and the Canadian archbishops hunker down into damage control mode like never before. But now the whole world's watching @ WP @ Reuters @ Passage Trudeau @ Global The church leaders @ CBC @ NP Residential backgrounder @ IPA 

Tom Collins On The Rocks! How do 215 indigenous children die at a Catholic residential school without record or trace? Unlike the clergy, the Catholic Healthcare Networkers still have a strong social conscience and moral compass to guide them. indeed, hundreds of Catholic doctors, nurses and healthcare workers join together demanding that Toronto Archbishop Tom Collins and the church apologize immediately. Any relevant residential school documents must be released now CBC Meanwhile a very privileged looking if not rather coy Tom Collins seems sadly out of touch, spinning the same old magisterial platitudes, mansplaining the children's death away @ AT

Catholic Pride: Here's a first! Too bad it's so late! For the first time, Toronto's TCDSB, the world's largest publicly funded Catholic school board, is flying the LGBTQ flag during Gay Pride month. Surely, it's in keeping with the board's theme of "inclusion, dignity and respect for all". The Catholic teachers know that! Many Catholic parents too. So what's taken the TCDSB so long? @ CBC @ TCDSB @ OECTA

TCDSB Gay Pride -The Right Wing Watch: Tragically, the Pride Flag meetings have been like a clown show, only a lot scarier. Picture Toronto Archbishop Tom Collins gone Catholic Nationalist, wrapped in the Canadian flag and holding a cross. He's telling the Catholic Register  that these are the only 2 symbols he wants to see in the schools, especially during Gay Pride month CR

Check out the Catholic Life Site News as they gleefully defend an angry parent's thinly veiled threats against the gay community during the pride flag debate. Apparently killing the LGBTQ by drowning them with a a millstone around the neck, comes straight from scripture LS @ CC

Hey! Isn't that TCDSB trustee Mike Del Grande crashing the school board Gay Pride Flag debate? After refusing to apologize and complete an equity training program for his earlier, hateful, homophobic remarks? @ City

Watching the great debate unfold, we see TCDSB Chair Garry Tatum pledge his fealty to the archbishop and board director. He's turning to them for guidance about where to stick the gay pride flag?!? 

Homophobia clearly runs contrary to Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  Aiding and abetting it is wrong too. Seriously, should this type of behaviour be funded on the public dime? In our publicly funded schools of all places? Stay tuned. I doubt we've heard the last of this yet. 

IN THE NEWS

Keystone XL RIP: It's official. TC Energy finally pulls the plug on it's controversial oil pipeline across indigenous lands. But the fight isn't over. Stateside, there's still Line 3 and 5, plus the Dakota Access pipeline to go @ NR

"Weaponized Communion" or "Biden Denied" The US Catholic bishops vote to deny communion to any politician who supports abortion. They were quiet about Trump's bizarre, moral indiscretions. But now they've got pro-choice US President Joe Biden firmly lined up in their sites? It's very shaky moral ground, their absolute moral certitude inviting close scrutiny into a wide range of troubling human right issues. The church and women's rights? Homophobia? Sex abuse? Child abuse? The residential schools? What'll Pope Francis do now? Better act quick, the clock is ticking. The bedrock below St. Peters church is beginning to shift. Can you hear the rumble? @ BG

Columbia Neo Lib: Think we got it bad? Progressives in Columbia are fighting an especially vile and recessive tax reform bill. Meanwhile, the police are busy cracking down on protesters at the urging of Columbia's oligarchical, neo liberal elite. Clearly, it's street fighting time. Columbia's middle class is getting nailed with the Covid relief bill. Can't happen here?!? @ Jacobin 

Canuck Neo Lib: Guess what?!? We're implicit in the brutal repression. Yup! Canada's providing the arms, tactical training and other supports for the oligarchical baddies down Columbia way. Yeah, Justin seems so nice, but ..... Passage

Vaccine Blockade: So far, President Joe Biden is continuing the illegal US economic blockade of Cuba. As a result it's impossible to import vaccine, syringes, PPE's and even the most basic medical supplies. 

Cuba's developing it's own vaccine, will begin immunizations soon, with plans to share it throughout the developing world. But all is not well. I'm still in contact with the teachers at the Cuban schools. They report that sickness, poverty and despair are rampant with little hope in sight. 

The US is playing the same dirty political game in Venezuela. Guess Biden doesn't want to anger the latino vote in the swing state of Florida? 

To beat the coronavirus, everybody needs access to vaccine, even in countries some of us don't like. Otherwise, the new variants will keep on showing up here in the first world, time and again. Gee, thanks Joe @ Intercept 

Canuck Complicity: Unfortunately, Canada is complicit in the US vaccine blockade. We support Big Pharma's monopoly over the patents for the vaccines. Think about it -They're unavailable throughout much of the developing world, because they can't afford the price. For shame!  @ Passage

Cuba Si! For the 29th consecutive year, the UN General Assembly holds a vote on the illegal US economic embargo of Cuba. Once again, only the US and Israel are in favour of it. As for US compliance? No way @ UN

COVID BEAT

The Covid Union Wave: Quite literally, Premier Doug Fraud has nothing but praise for our province's frontline retail workers. As for sick days, a living wage, rapid testing, contact tracing, evidence based restrictions, safety conditions or PPE's? They've been secondary to Ford's political, economic agenda throughout the pandemic. As a result, our unions must earnestly begin organizing the province's forgotten workers now! To stand up for their rights! So they'll be safe at work! And can protect their families! Here in Ontario and across Canada too @ OT

A Healthcare Tsunami: The worst of the pandemic seems over, barring some dangerous, new, unforeseen variant of concern. However, full recovery often involves a lot more than just surviving the initial viral attack. Patients could be suffering the huge, long term, aftershocks to our healthcare system for many years to come! Think cardiovascular problems! Heart and lung disease! The untold mental health effects! On and on the list grows @ CBC 

Brain Fog: The long term loss of brain tissue resulting from the virus can also badly effect the "recovered" Covid patient's memory, sense of wellbeing and overall mental health @ CNBC

An Aniti-Vax Vex: An unvaccinated IT worker infects the other unvaccinated workers at a government office in Florida. Turns out everyone didn't want to get vaccinated. You don't have to wear a mask inside either. So 2 die and many more get sick. Meanwhile, the inoculated employees are fine. No problem.

I don't feel sorry for the anti-vaxers. They were warned. It's quite exasperating after awhile. Seems like just desserts. But unfortunately there isn't a vaccine for children under the age of 12 yet. They can get infected too. No, the pandemic isn't over. Bet we'll be hearing lots more horror stories like this for some time to come @ CNN

Dag Jab It: It's been confusing but it's official now; Health Canada advises that, in fact, you can mix the first and second vaccine shots of Astrazeneca, Moderna, and Pfizer, as follows @ Ca

Make That A Double: Over 70% of Canadians have received their first shot, 20% the second, as summer begins. It's still very confusing! What exactly can we and can't we do as more and more of us get inoculated? As our herd immunity grows? Some early pointers @  CBC @ CBC @ Global Plus more news on international travel @ WKBW

EDUCATION BEAT

Schools Out: The Ford government finally closed our schools early for the year, choosing at home learning rather than risk more in school community spread. Makes sense but how was the decision reached? 

True, our Douglas consulted last minute with the province's teachers and education workers. Quite frankly, they reminded him that it's kinda late, he should of done so long ago. No matter. Seems he was only listening to Arthur, his mystery pal anyway. 

Yep! Arthur somehow knew what to do about at home learning and graduation day. But when it comes to teacher and student vaccines? HVAC repairs? Contact tracing? Rapid testing? Alas! Like his pal Douglas, Arthur doesn't know. 

Too bad the big Ford Fraudster didn't just cut the malarky. Focus instead on getting our Ontario schools ready to safely reopen this fall. Who knows what happens next? Not Ontario's teachers, parents or students! More @ CBC Read the teachers letterOSSTF More on Arthur Narc @ OC

Unsafe Schools: England's unvaccinated students are proving a ready target for the new Delta variant. Think of it as a rather grim warning about the true cost of inschool learning. There could still be another deadly wave of infections, when Ontario's schools re-open this fall. The children will pay the price  @ FT

Student Mental Health: Sure, students belong in school. However, think of all the wars, catastrophes and other such interruptions throughout history. Sometimes kids just can't go to school. Childhood is too short anyway. Why the mad race to get them back? So that they can finish quickly?!? Go to work for the rest of their lives?!? 

Contrary to popular opinion, a recent study suggests that our Canadian students didn't really suffer any "extraordinary mental crisis" from either in class or at home learning, during the pandemic. Well then, let's just relax. Breath deep. It's okay @ PSY

 Lockdown -What We Learned: We were unprepared and ill equipped to deal with the pandemic in a timely, effective and equitable manner. We are very lucky that it wasn't much more virulent than it was. Hopefully we will learn from our mistakes so that we don't get caught off guard again. But don't count on it. Nope. No way @ Vision

KULTURE KULT INK

Cancel Canada Day: Should Canada Day be cancelled this year, in special recognition of the indigenous students whom died at our government and church run residential schools? PM Justin Trudeau, like NDP opposition leader Jagmeet Singh want us to celebrate while also considering it a "time of refection". Meanwhile PC Conster Erin O'Toole plays the cancel culture card, warning it's all a  ... oh oh ... radical leftist plotIdleNoMore @ Global Here's the kids version @ CBC

To Party Or Not To Party? A break from Canada Day might well be in order this year. Like it or not, we need to face the fact that racism, genocide and stolen land helped define the birth of our nation. 

It's time that sinks in. Our inglorious past can no longer be ignored or denied. On a go forward basis, truth and reconciliation are the order of the day. We must address these issues, so that real peace and justice can prevail.

I'll do so quietly in my own way, probably out in my kayak on lake Mississaganon, smoking a joint to celebrate my Canada, the one we live in today. Then paddle back to party with a small, inoculated circle of my family and friends.

As Canadians, we come from all over the world. Most of us are here to stay. Together, we are a work in progress, capable of so much better, than what history has now shown us. If we really try, perhaps even leading the way. 

I hope so. I really do. Happy Canada Day! 

COMMENTS

Wednesday, 16 June 2021

Oh Cannabis Summer 2021 Newz y Viewz!

InHale! hOLd! ExHaLe! sMiLe! AddItIoNs ADDeD iN lArGe TyPe! 

StONerS GuiDe @ HERE! LaTest Links @ TWITTER!

OH CANNABIS

Covid Stage 1 Reopening: Ontario's legal cannabis dispensaries are finally re-opening for in store sales! They'll start at 15% capacity, as the vaccines kick in and the pandemic eases. Plenty of new stores are opening too! There should be a 1000 across Canada's largest province by the end of this summer. For now, home delivery and curb side pick up are still available. Perhaps we'll reach a saturation point, but for the true north, Canuck toker, can there ever really be enough cannabis stores?!? @ MJB @ MJB

It Can't Happen Here! Oh yeah?!? The new Kensory Dispensary in Toronto's hallowed Kensington Market falls victim to an especially vile, hate attack. As it gets ready to open, cowardly anti-semitic messages are spray painted across it's walls, undercover of the night. It's just the tip of the racist iceberg. Hate crimes are up 51% in Toronto this year; 34% against our jewish citizenry, 23% black, 11% LGBTQ. It's so sad. This is one of the most multicultural cities in the world. Truly, we are so much better than this. For shame @ CP24

Pot Math -The Hazy Economy: More than 2 million Canadians smoke weed. But how much is Canada's weed economy actually worth? Or more specifically, how does one accurately determine the market numbers? We high flying Canadians continue to lead the way @ Walrus

IN THE NEWS

Joints 4 Jabs: Washington leads the charge in offering free pre-rolls as an added incentive for getting a shot of the Covid vaccine @ WP @ GE

Japan-A-No-No: Weed is very, very illegal! How illegal? Get this -Japanese citizens can be arrested for smoking it abroadupon re-entering the country, if the authorities find out. So too for posting positive comments about it on social media, from the comfort of home. Though there's a ray of light yet, in the land of the rising sun! Japan might be warming up to medical cannabis when it comes to CBD's. All this and more @ Cannigma

GREEN MARKETING 

Smoke Mohawk Weed: For me, summertime in south eastern Ontario means pot shopping on Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory again. Think Shannonville, St. Mary's and Desoronto, outside Belleville, just north of the US border, due south of our Land o' Lakes trailer site. My favourites among the 50 plus shops include Legacy 420 [Here!], Peacemaker [Here], Field of Dreams [Here],  Mohawk Medibles [Here], and Medicine Man. There's countless new dispensaries like CannaMeds too. The choice of strains is fantastic. The edibles high powered, well above and beyond the candy ass 1, 2.5, 5 or 10 mg THC licensed wares sold off reserve at our provincially licensed stores. There's still lotsa seedlings, free joints and bargain priced oz's everywhere you go. This year, the Golden Teacher 'shrums are very popular with er .... kayaker's ... but the Mohawk constabulary is warning the shops that's a definite no go. Will continue to keep you up to date about what's up here on my blog and via twitter. More @ SS @ DGTA

E-Cannabis With Delivery: If there's any doubt, the Covid pandemic proved we really love buying weed online and having it delivered to our front door. Hopefully, the government licensed shops will still be allowed to provide these most welcome services, post pandemic too, just like their unlicensed counterparts. But don't count on it, not in Premier Doug Fraud's Ontario, anyway @ ADW

HIGHER LEARNING

A Guide 2 Wake + Bake Meditation: Awaken from yer slumber! Let's git lit! I see mountains. I see gawd. Ommmmmm @ Loud

Dept of Med Pot: Medical cannabis is the aware way to toke and be healthy. It's more than just a recreational buzz, though of course it is that too! Think THC verses CBD's? Smoking, vaping or edibles? The effects? The strains? The storage issues? If you're feeling overwhelmed, then apply for a medical cannabis license. You'll get expert advice on battling stress, anxiety and depression. So too, the aches and pains of everyday life. In Canada, you can call on a doctor or licensed producer to ask questions plus get product delivered directly to your home. More on the issues @ MMC The process @ Canada

Hail Pliny The Elder! Taa daaa! Archeologists have finally discovered the long, lost, ancient Roman's remains, or at least his pot smoking skull. Makes sensi eh? He was among the first, nearly 2000 years ago, to recognize cannabis' curative and psychoactive effects. As for Pliny Junior? Nope! Dunno where he's at anymore, but there's lots more high brow stuff on the eldest @ CN

Parenting High: Today's trez cool moms and dads are finding out that cannabis helps them be better parents than their stressed out, pill popping, wine, beer and spirit imbibing neighbours. Go figure @ ADW

Cannabis Decarboxylation: To cook and bake with the THC/CBD oil in your dried herb, you need to extract and prepare it first. So let's get cooking and make some very potent and mind expanding medibles ourselves. It'll $ave you a lot of money too @  EKN

HIGH TIMES

More Life: Despite all the hype about wellness, discovery and personal growth, Canuck rapper Drake has parted parts ways with licensed producer Canopy Growth. The exact reason is unclear. However, Canopy's joint ventures with Leafs By Snoop and Rogan Houseplant didn't take off either. Basically, I dropped them as a Health Canada medical cannabis patient because they're too slick and manipulative. Customer service was BS, Their weed boring, weak ass crud. But the final straw was the lowered THC count on their once fine oils. Zzzzz. Corporate weed producers suck! More @ Complex @ BNN

Karma Cup 2021: The Karma Cup returns to Toronto September 11 and 12th! All your favourite categories are back: Sativas, Indica, Hybrids, Extracts, Topicals, CBD's etc. etc. etc. Entries are due July 30th. You can register for your judge's kit now @ KarmaCup Bottom line? It can be hard to find out what's going on. The timeline for judging so may products is quite short too. Still, it's a real high, lotsa fun and very educational. Plus you get to personally check all the great weed products out for yourself! Yummy! More info @ Facebook



COMMENTS


Monday, 3 May 2021

More Teacher Free Speech Spring 2021 News + Views!

AddITioNs aDDeD In lArGE TypESeT! ReaDeRs gUIdE @ HERE! 

LaTeSt LinKs @ TWITTER!

OH CANADA

On Fire: Canada's unsuccessful Covid strategy, at both the federal and provincial level,  is only serving to extinguish rather than eliminate the Covid virus. Think of the pandemic as a house fire. Whenever the flames die down a bit, we open up the economy, loosening whatever half measures have been put in place. Of course, the pandemic flares up again, because we never completely put it out. 

Meanwhile, countries like Australia, New Zealand and Taiwan went into a complete lockdown long ago. They long ago snuffed the fire out. Now they can return to business as usual, with just the basic safety precautions.

If Canada wants to follow their example, we need to evoke the federal Emergency Management Act. However, that requires a concerted federal and provincial effort. Sadly, at all level of government, we lack the real political leadership that would take Tyee @ Macs Read the act @ Here 

Ontario Aflame: Ontario Premier Doug Ford completely fumbles the ball, as the full force of the pandemic comes crashing down upon us. His latest stay at home order is at best a dog's breakfast of confusing half measures. He closes the children's playgrounds and steps up police checks. The guidelines are unclear at best, the consequences for breaking them a joke. 

Meanwhile, few people are working at home anymore because most everything has been declared an essential service. The school's remained open for far too long. Plus we still lack a comprehensive sick day plan for our lowest paid frontline workers. Out of economic necessity, they continue to go into work sick, further feeling the Covid fire. Read the Ford government's latest stay at home order and weep ON.CA Here's the Ontario Emergency Management Act 1990 upon which it's based @ Here

The Medical Advice: The Ford government has largely ignored the Science Table's medically based recommendations as outlined in "The Way Forward" @ ST @ Macs It's dubious if he and his cabinet often even understand the Covid modelling being presented to them @ QPB 

The Legal Advice: Ontario Police rarely have a falling out with the Conservative party.  However, most quickly decline the new powers Ford grants them to arbitrarily stop and check where everybody's going. It's surprisingly that the lawyers in his cabinet didn't spot trouble right away. Certainly, the dictate is a constitutional fireball, so poorly thought out that it'll easily be challenged in court, as a gross violation of our most basic charter rights. Premier Ford quickly backs down, but the embarrassing news story goes international NYT

Ford MIA: It's not just the police whom are giving Ford a big thumbs down! Ontario's local public health units start closing our Covid infested schools on the own. He finally shuts them down across the province. Angry parents soon have him backtrack on closing the children's playgrounds too. 

So what does Premier Doug Fraud do? He goes into quarantine at his mom's place! Apparently he's been exposed to the virus in his office at Queens Park. He was hiding there at the time, dodging questions in the legislature! 

Ford's press secretary Ivana Yelich probably doesn't mean to be funny as she reports that the fraudster is now busy learning how to use a laptop. That's so he can still carry out his duties while in quarantine. He usually relies on a badly, outdated Blackberry Classic cellphone, but he often can't download files on that.

In a huge dereliction of duty, our Dougie then disappears from sight for the next two weeks! It's the height of the pandemic! Prime Minister Justin Trudeau somehow managed to regularly speak and answer questions while he was in quarantine last year. But not so Premier Doug Fraud!

There's lots more about Ford's hijinks QPB BlogTO @ Vice @ NAL

Timeline 4 Chaos: Here's how the Ford government fumbled it's way into a third wave catastropheChatelaine.

School's Out: Ontario's largest public health units in Peel, Toronto and Ottawa have finally managed to force the government's hand to stop the school spread. Students across the province are learning at home again. There's a lot more to the story below, under "Education Beat" and @ CTV @  GlobeCTV 

Ontario SOS: It's the Mother of All Shit Storms! Hospital ICU's are overflowing with the sick and dieing! Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sends the Canadian Armed Forces into the ICU's to help out. He also offers Red Cross assistance with Ontario's vaccine drive. However, a miffed Doug Ford declines the desperately needed aid @ CBC @ NP @ Global  

Resign Now! The NDP and Liberal opposition call for Ford's resignation. The PC government's huge majority at Queen's Park, makes that unlikely. However, speculation is rife that the PC's either provide adult supervision for him, or better yet, a replacement premier for the province @ CTV Global @ #ResignDougFord Ford is international news again @ WP

Blame Game: Ford tries to deflect attention from Ontario's poorly planned inoculation rollout by blaming Trudeau for not providing us with more vaccine. Meanwhile, he can't distribute the vaccines that we'e got all ready. Sadly, Ontario has the lowest vaccination rate of any province, with 300,000 doses sitting in the freezer unused @ Now

Tru-Anon: Canada's Conservatives lend Ford a hand stateside with his fake news game. CPC Opposition Leader Erin O'Toole courts CNN's Jake Tapper to blame Trudeau for Canada's vaccine woes. Of course, Fox New's Tucker Carlson jumps onboard with the big lie too. TNC @ PM 

To his credit, Trudeau has successfully out sourced plenty of vaccines from abroad. We'll be receiving them soon. Canada's like most other countries that lack the domestic ability to produce their own vaccine. The Bottom Line? The province's knew we'd have to wait. Moreover, it's the result of a decades old problem involving both the Liberal and Conservative parties. See the links to their joint negligence in the Spring 1 edition of my Teacher Free Speech news blog. More @ CTV @ Youtube @ Ipol

Political Hot Spot: Ontario's Auditor General is investigating why Ford didn't fast track the provincial vaccine into all of the postal coded, hot spots identified by his Science Table. Did he choose the ridings that voted for him first? @ CP24

Ford's Trumpian HWY 413 Covid Follies: Check out the rogue gallery of lobbyists and developers with close ties to the Ford government, eagerly waiting to cash in on his greenbelt highway plans

Sure, Ford acts stupid. He's not be too bright, but don't write him off as a fool. He's a fraudster too, but one who knows how to serve his corporate masters well. 

Ford's taking a wrecking ball to the province's conservation plans, while distracting us with all his non-stop BS. There's definitely a Trumpian method to Doug Fraud's Covid madness NO @ ED

Drat! Foiled? The federal cavalry arrive to carry out an environmental assessment of Ford's controversial Greenbelt highway plans. A whole whack of frustrated municipalities and environmental groups understandably asked Trudeau to intervene. Now that the project is delayed, it can be properly debated in depth, along with the findings. Bet Ford won't like that! Not with a provincial election looming next spring @ ED 

A Sterling Case In Point: Disgraced, PC hatchet man Norm Sterling of Walkerton fame has been appointed head of the Greenbelt Council. Before retiring as a PC MPP, Norm voted against the greenbelt. Now he's been put in charge of it!?!? More wrecking ball politicsCBC


LilleyGate; Ontario's mainstream media is shamelessly ignoring the blatant conflict of interest between the Ford government and the Toronto Sun. We know for sure that Sun reporter and number uno Ford cheer leader Brian Lilley is living with his press secretary Ivana Yelich. They are quite the threesome, with Ford and Lilley forever kissing each others butt. However, for reasons unknown, the QP press gallery is afraid to say boo. Something must be done soon. Caryma Sa'd explains @ LD @ CarymaRules More @ DB @ Passage

Freedom Convoy:  Anti masker Chris Sky is taking his covidiot clown show on the road to a stop near you. They're stirring up those of us who don't understand that rights come with responsibilities, to spark an insurrection against the government's lockdown. One of the speakers, identified only as "George", regularly makes thinly veiled threats of gun violence. Quite the copy cat eh?!? Think Washington, January 12th! Wonder if CSIS is paying attention @ DB CNBC

Boycott Tim Hortons: A London, Ontario outlet of the self styled, Canadian coffee chain fails to notify it's employees of a Covid outbreak. A part time teen worker infects her family at home. Workplace spread remains a major, unchecked source of Covid spread in Doug Ford's Ontario. It's killing workers, their families and possibly anyone else they come in contact with too. @ CBC @ CBC

#BoycottTimHorton's

Mattamy Homes: The construction workers are caught getting their jollies with a couple of strippers at work, after they post the photos online. So what'll Dougie do now? To show the construction industry that they too must follow the rules too? Perhaps limit his pals to one stripper per site?!? @ BlogTo

Border Closures: Canada's extending the US border closure again. This time, it's our fault, since we pose the greatest threat. Hmmmm. Now Trump's gone. Joe Biden is President. We can't just blame the American's anymore. The buck stops here @ CBC Forbes

IN THE NEWS

Canadian Apology Time: Like a good Canadian boy, I want to apologize profusely. We are in a full blown crisis. Rest assured, more international coverage will follow, as soon as I can get a handle on all the bullshit up our way!

Vaccines 4 Canada: President Joe Biden promises Trudeau that the US will help Canada with our vaccine shortage. As he approaches his 100 day mark in office, over 227 million Americans have been inoculated. Joe's way ahead of schedule and now the US has more vaccines than they need! Hey! That's really nice, but we can't laugh at Joe like we laughed at Donald Trump anymore. Not much fun but we love you anyway! @ Global

Alaska 2 The Rescue: To help reopen the border, Alaska's Governor offers any surplus vaccine to their Canadian neighbours in British Columbia and the Yukon. Ok. Ok. Very nice, but Sarah Palin's now long gone too. Can't laugh at her either! Jeez, you're making this so hard @ CBC

A Joe Biden Fact Check: Canada's Mr. Fact Checker Daniel Dale reports that Joe made 29 false claims during his first 100 days in office. Trump made 214. Turns out Joe 's usually off script, ad-libbing stats when he gets it wrong, whereas his scripts are quite factual, unlike the Donald's. Hmmm. Bet if Dale could fact check the Ontario Ford government for us, Doug would make both Trump and Biden blush! @ CNN

RIP George Floyd: Surprise! Police officer Derek Chauvin is found guilty of all charges. His trial was quite the spectacle. It seemed like George was the one being tried. The defence clearly wanted to create reasonable doubt, using a lot of tired, old stereotypes and racist conspiracy theories. How sad @ SPLC

COVID BEAT

Covid Walks Among Us!

Murder Inclined: Big biz is clearly behind Ford's response to the pandemic. Our small businesses, working families and essential workers are being ruthlessly killed off en masse like never before. It's the perfect opportunity for Ford as a mass social murderer, to ruthlessly target, kill and maim the poor and less fortunate. Plus he doesn't have to fire a shot. Will he get away with it? @ Passage CD

QAnon Canada: Canadian Conservatives are playing copy cat with their GOP buddies south of our border. They've been coming up with lots of really wild and far out Canuck conspiracy theories throughout the pandemic @ Passage

Alt Right Watch: The alt right are trying very hard to mimic and co-opt the left's "civil rights" language at their anti masker rallies @ CD Often the media gives the most vocal extremists a pass on their white suprematist roots @ Passage The alt right's also trying to weaponize irony to spread hate. They aren't really being racist, sexist and homophobic. It's just a joke @ NPR

Sick Daze: The business lobby wants us to think that workers would just abuse a comprehensive, sick day plan. However, that's patently false and very short sightedRankFile

Flight From Hell: Faced with bankruptcy, the big airlines are flying through the pandemic by the seat of their pants. They want us to feel safe flying. However, feeling safe isn't the same as being safe. This passenger found out the scary truth, when an infected lady got on her plane @ Forbes  

EDUCATION BEAT

Schools Out: International studies show that it's very dangerous reopening our schools before the staff and students are vaccinated. Proper testing, distancing and ventilation are absolutely necessary too, for everyone to be safe and stop the community spread @ Lancet @ Nature

Strike While It's Hot: Ontario's teachers, education workers and school staff have faced very dangerous workplace conditions, throughout the pandemic. Sadly, vaccinating them still isn't a priority for the Ford government. If he dares to re-open our schools this spring, it's time for a province wide walkout

The floundering Ford government would be cornered, if AEFO, CUPE, ETFO, OECTA and OSSTF took him to task and held his feet to the fire. But don't count on it happening. So far, the Ontario teacher union leadership hasn't shown the political will needed to really stand up for their members, students or the school communities, since the pandemic began. 

Can they still walk the union talk? Or will they be content to let Ford walk all over them again, as the virus spreads through our schools? To act decisively, the Ontario teacher unions need to organize now! 

NeoLib 101: Sadly, academia's response to the Covid pandemic continues to propagate the same old tired themes of commodification, competitive individualism and inequitable hierarchical structures. University faculty should be very wary. The times require that they push back hard and show some intellectual integrityOCUFA

KULTURE KULT INK

Ultimate John Lennon Plastic Ono Band: John Lennon's first studio solo album gets the deluxe 50th anniversary treatment. There's a new remix, along with some really powerful raw versions of the album that rock out like never before. A disc full of impromptu jams is included. Others feature lots of very cool demos and studio outtakes. They're spread over 5 cds, repeated on the 2 Blu-ray discs, with some new 5.1 remixes thrown in for good measure. John also entertains us with some very experimental, guitar work, on the previously unreleased session tapes, from Yoko Ono's Plastic Ono Band album. All in all, it's one of the best Beatle reissues to date. It actually gives the bootleggers a run for their money. John Lennon's POB's is a very powerful yet minimalist album. This re-issue is absolutely essential listening for every rock fan @ Audio1 @ Audio2 @ Audio3

Siri I'm Getting Pulled Over: Here's how to set your iPhone to record and stream a police check, just in case you encounter any problems @ Verge

"Dollar Beers Leave The Worst Hangovers" 

-Ontario Proverb

COMMENTS

Sunday, 11 April 2021

Toronto Covid Diary: Third Wave Bluez!


Minister Elliott's Daily Numbers Hardly Tell The Whole Story ...

April 28 Update: 37 residents at our high rise in north west Toronto have now been infected by the Covid virus. That's just the cases we know about. Still it's a very serious outbreak. 

Unfortunately, Toronto Public Health doesn't release how many infections there are in each condo, apartment or workplace across the city. So unless somebody says something, we don't know much about what's actually happening here in our own building. 

That makes it very hard to "spot clean" or to get everybody to take this seriously. It seems like the pandemic is happening somewhere else, but really, it's just outside our door. 

We'll have to post a new notice. The original has been changed numerous times now. 


Welcome back to Toronto high rise hell! Since I posted this blog last week, the Covid cases in our condo building have more than doubled! The first jump was from 14 to 19. A few days later, 31 residents had caught the coronavirus. Now, there's also been another death, bringing the total to 5.

A year ago, during the first wave of the pandemic, our underground parking garage was always full. During the third wave, almost every one has been designated an essential worker. Now most days, it's nearly empty. Tragically, few of us are actually working from home, despite the latest, provincial "stay at home" order. 

Basically, most of the families in our building are middle or working class. They are desperately struggling to get by. They don't have enough time to get vaccinated. Plus, the two nearest inoculation clinics are booked solid until mid May. 

Few could afford missing work to line up over night either, in hopes of getting inoculated at the new, emergency, pop up station the next day. 

Meanwhile, very few of the local pharmacies have got the vaccine. I went across town for my shot. But that takes time, which they don't have, as they scramble to pay the bills. The options are definitely limited! 

I did not intend to get pedantic with this instalment of my Toronto Covid Diary. However, I'm very tempted to rant and rave about the lack of paid sick days, time off for inoculations and our bizarre vaccine roll out. It's a huge disaster in the making but I won't labour the details here.

Time will show that Premier Ford restarted the economy far too early. His insufficient half measures and the resulting confusion, are all ready documented in my Teacher Free Speech Spring 2021 News and Views blog. More links will continue to be added as the catastrophe unfolds.

Sadly, every day now just brings more and more bad news. Probably, our case numbers will continue to increase exponentially for the foreseeable future. If so, I'll post them here.

Meanwhile, the ambulance sirens rise and fall outside our window. Janet and I cuddle close together, all alone in Toronto and the deep, dark Covid night .....

And so, back to my original blog ....

It's so frustrating! We've faithfully followed all the lockdown, stay at home orders. We've self isolated for over year now since the pandemic began. 

Spring finds us still alive and well. However, the coronavirus is now spreading like wildfire through our building, the infection rate climbing floor by floor

This week, a new warning was posted at the elevators in our north west end Toronto condominium building;

" ... at least 14 residents have contracted Covid-19 in this building resulting in at least 4 deaths that we are aware of ..."

It's so sad! We usually love it here! Our building is very Toronto-ish. There's folks of all ages, backgrounds and nationalities. Nothing too rich or fancy, nor down and out, it's just a good place to live. 

Fortunately, our board of directors are pro-active, perhaps moreso than most. We post updates so that everyone's in the know about what's going on. We hope that they'll continue taking the pandemic seriously, despite the inevitable fatigue.

By law, we can't include any names, addresses or personal details, that might identify anyone. Even in a state of emergency, it's not allowed.

It's certainly been scary living here in Toronto during the pandemic, bobbing along like a cork in the seething sea of VOC and Covid-19 outside our building doors.

However, most of us were careful. It felt like the pandemic was happening somewhere else, not here in our home. 

Now, with the third wave, it's spreading throughout the building. Our biggest spike was just this week. 

What can I say? As the pandemic dragged on and on, some of the residents got negligent in following the safety rules. There were less masks and social distancing in the common areas! There were more and more large family gatherings and parties! 

Pretty soon a lot of us got sick! Then there was another death. Now each day or so brings more and more cases and a lot of grief.

There's been some real gut wrenching mental health problems too. Usually they're just everyday folk, maybe seniors, who've reached the breaking point. Angry and confused from living alone in isolation for over a year, they might take to wandering the halls, desperately seeking attention in all the wrong ways. During a contagionwithout the proper public supports, there's often very little that one can do.

I swear, it's so sad, it could make me cry.

However, there's little time for that now. The virus has reached our floor. We need to focus and think quick. Who knows if that's it knocking at the door?!?

I am so glad that we took the first vaccine available when we became eligible as a part of the 60's cohort, a few weeks ago. 

It was the AstraZeneca vaccine, so the conflicting news stories made us hesitant at first.

We're retired, just staying at home anyway. Why not wait for a shot of Pfizer? Moderna?Something else? 

Well, we both got a sore arm. I even had a slight fever for a day or two. Bottomline? Covid is far more dangerous. Plus there's a greater risk of getting hit by lightening than suffering a blood clot, from AstraZeneca or any of the vaccines. If in doubt, consult with your doctor first.

AstraZeneca isn't 100% effective. Still, we're very lucky to have gotten vaccinated when we did. Sure, we need a second shot. However, we're very grateful for the added safety and peace of mind that it brings! It could save our butt!

Meanwhile, the new warning notice seems to be helping too!

When I stepped out to take down the garbage today, nobody was crowding aboard the elevator anymore. Everyone was also wearing masks again.

So far, the third wave of the pandemic is the worst. It's pretty hard not to feel blue. This isn't over yet! Who knows what happens next ...?

We're in a real leadership vacuum these daze. We can't count on our politicos for much direction or help. It's also hard finding information about what's really happening in other apartments and condos, let alone practical ideas about what to do.

Is anything being done where you live? In Toronto? Across Ontario? In Canada or wherever you are? Are your case numbers being posted in the building? Did you take the first available vaccine too? Or are you still shopping around?

As always, there's a space for Comments below ....

Be well!

David

Ummm. Hand me my air guitar ..... 

Ah 1 ... 2 ... 3 ... 

Well, I got dem ol' Toronto third wave blues! 

Strum ... strum ... strum ... 

Ooooh ya ... 2021 style! 

A shot o' AstraZeneca too!SOME LINKS

Good Toronto Boy: Yup, this goes back a few years, but it still rings true @ HERE!

Teacher Free Speech Spring 2021 News + Views: I've left out most of the political stuff in this blog. The links to what's been happening with the pandemic here in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and around the world are @ HERE!

Oh Cannabis Spring 2021 News + Views: Here's what I've been toking on to chill out. Remember, weeds beats booze. No fighting, hangovers, blackouts or shakes etc. etc. etc. @ HERE!

My Toronto Covid Diaries 

Canuck Pandemic @ #1

Toronto Daze @ #2

Spring Fever @ #3

Costco + The Zombie Apocalypse @  #4

Toronto Trippin' @ #5

Escape From Toronto @ #6

Trippin' With Doug Ford @ #7

COMMENTS:

Communist Girls ARE More Fun!

Communist Girls ARE More Fun!
See below ...

Communist Girls Are More Fun #1

Communist Girls Are More Fun #1

Communist Grrrls are More Fun #2

Communist Grrrls are More Fun #2

Communist Grrrls Are More Fun #3

Communist Grrrls Are More Fun #3

Communist Girls Are More Fun #4

Communist Girls Are More Fun #4

Art at the Paris Louvre: What does it mean?!?

Art at the Paris Louvre: What does it mean?!?
A careful analytical study!

Help! I Have No Arms!

Help! I Have No Arms!
Please scratch my back.

I can't find my underwear!.

I can't find my underwear!.
Have you seen them!

Weee! I can fly!

Weee! I can fly!
Look! I can crawl thru walls!

I have a headache!

I have a headache!
And a broken nose.

I have a square hole in my bum!

I have a square hole in my bum!

Here try this, it's very good!

Here try this, it's very good!
No. You have a bird face.

I have an ugly baby!

I have an ugly baby!
No I'm not!

Let's save all our money + buy pants!

Let's save all our money + buy pants!
OK but I need a new hand too!

Oh no! I got something in my eye!

Oh no! I got something in my eye!

You don't look well.

You don't look well.
No. My head hurts +I have a sore chest.

Would you like a bun?

Would you like a bun?

Chichen-Itza: Lost Maya City of Ruins!

Chichen-Itza: Lost Maya City of Ruins!
The Temple of Kukulkan!

Gotta love it!

Gotta love it!
Truly amazing!

Under Reconstruction!

Under Reconstruction!

Temples + Snakes!

Temples + Snakes!

The Snake!

The Snake!
It runs the length of the ball field!