This post started out as a rant in reaction to a barb from a young gay social justice warrior that I had posted nothing for Gay Pride Month and June was almost over. But there are enough rants, raves, and roars going around these days that there is no need for any more. Instead I thought I’d post not words but a snapshot of PRIDE.
The word for June 29th is: Pride /prīd/: [1.noun2.verb] 1.1 A feeling of deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired. 1.2 The consciousness of one’s own dignity. 1.3 The confidence and self-respect as expressed by members of a group, typically one that has been socially marginalized, on the basis of their shared identity, culture, and experience. 1.4 As…
Today I sent the car in for detailing at Suds on Mount Edward Rd. they do the inside outside cleaning job and the car comes out looking brand new, such a nice feeling.
Otherwise it has been a hot and muggy day around 28C but nowhere near the 47C on the West Coast of Canada and in Alberta. This type of high is very dangerous for human health, apparently this excessive heat will last for 6 days. In a way the message of Climate Change is hitting home now full force. Such high weather temperature are a record never seen in Canada.
In PEI the weather is warm but nothing out of the usual and I hope it stays that way, being on the Atlantic may help us a lot but we are expected to get big rainfalls later in the week.
With the heat I do not feel like cooking, salads are more in keeping and easier to digest.
You probably have heard of the news of the Residential Schools in Canada and the recent finding of graveyards around the schools with remains of indigenous children. The Government of Canada had a policy between 1880 and 1976 of forcibly sending children to those school administered by Religious congregations, against the will of their parents, the police was used to enforce the rule. Some 150,000 indigenous children ended up in such schools and at this time it is believed that 3200 died of mistreatment but the number could be higher. Other survivors bear psychological scars from the experience.
What is remarkable in all of this, is the voice of the Indigenous Elders and Chiefs of the various First Nations. They do not call for shaming non-native people, they simply ask for remembrance and reflection on Canada Day. To acknowledge the wrong and accept that this is the real history of Canada. Many are ready to take this step and the Government of Canada has done much from fresh clean water supply to remote communities, to enshrining into Law the United Nation Declaration on Indigenous Peoples. On 30 June the CBC will broadcast all day special programming on Indigenous people and their story told by them. It is not uncommon now to hear on the air greetings in native languages as part of the regular programming.
Also now enshrine in any public dialogue is the telling that all land in Canada is native and un-ceded. All these measures are not accepted out right but at least the ice is broken on this issue.
The current government of P.M. Justin Trudeau has done much to reform the current relationship between indigenous First Nations and the Gov of Canada. The commission of enquiry into the schools on Truth and Reconciliation has also made several recommendations and the Government is implementing them. But we do have a long way to go to change mentalities and attitudes by non-natives people towards natives in Canada. The Catholic Church which was the principle administrator of such schools is under fire and attack, the attitude of the church currently is not helping at all by refusing to recognize what they did.
It is a retelling of Canadian history but this time without the embellish narrative of the Church and its supporters. Needless to say this story of the residential school is not new but the discovery in the graveyards has taken the nation by surprise and forced many to think and reflect on our past.
For Canada Day this year, people are asked to reflect on this very dark chapter of our history and to wear an orange T-shirt in memory of the children who died or where mistreated.
Another week has zipped by and the days are filled with tasks, from shopping to appointments of all kinds. The coming week on Monday the car goes in for detailing inside and out, giving it that brand new car look. Then I will have to shop for the big bar-b-q for Friday 02 July and a cake in white and red colours. Will is also getting his second shot of Moderna. We will also have to meet with the babysitter for the 2 puppies while we are away. So nothing too onerous all around.
Our Atlantic Bubble starts today with conditions for people wanting to come to PEI from other Atlantic Provinces but still have to prove they are fully vaccinated or have at least one vaccination. The Premier released a nice promotional video of PEI welcoming people back and businesses are all re-opening, though a serious shortage of people is stopping many businesses from fully re-opening, I am not sure where this shortage comes from.
This Saturday morning I was at the Farmer’s Market which is still not as busy at is once was. One thing for sure is that the cost of many if not all food items has increased greatly, which I find hard to understand. The same can be said about sales sometime for a week what was at $7. is suddently at $3. The grocery chains also encourage wastage by offering 2 items for the price of one and if you only buy one well you are paying a very high price. So why not buy two. Same with all paper products, it is completely unexplained with you are paying 90% more for an item after a year of pandemic. It seems that if an item faced a shortage a year ago the prices increased drastically then, but now there is no shortage and the price is still high.
So the coming week is about getting ready for Canada Day.
I am the Bar-B-Q guy at the Club this year, expecting about 35 people. I ordered the cake today, White and Red Icing is the rigueur.
We do this in the garden and will have live music with a couple of well known musicians. I believe the weather should be nice. If not we have the great room so it will work out.
I know some people who will Bar-B-Q in a snow blizzard, Canadians are resourceful.
Everyone has been asked to wear White and Red at the party.
Tomorrow is 24 June or in French Canada, Saint Jean Baptiste Day, the national holiday of Catholic French Canada. In years past this day was marked in Montreal by a giant parade with marching bands, floats, and participation by thousands of people in this parade and not to forget a cute 12 yr old pale blond curly hair with blue eyes St-John the Baptist, because we all know that Jewish people living in the Promise land 2000 plus years ago were all Aryans. The only other parade of this size would be Santa Claus Parade on Sainte Catherine Street organized by the EATON Company.
Since the mid-70’s the parade made way to open air concerts and music festivals in various parks in Quebec City and Montreal. The parade lost its appeal because it was too closely associated with the Catholic Church and as society became more secular the politicians changed the meaning of the event to a culture and nationalistic message centred on the French people who settled in Canada around 1600.
This song by Conrad Gauthier (1885-1964) a very well known artist, composer and musician who worked with many great names in French Canada at the time and even had at the Monument National in Montréal years of shows and success. The words may be difficult to understand for a non-French speaker with its many allusions to distinctly name place and situations of the time. However a quick translation tells you the story of a man and his wife who live in the country side, they are Habitants, which is difficult to translate because the meaning is a lot more than farmers. They go to Montreal for the procession (parade) he uses that word because this parade had a solemn religious side to it and he is directed to a street Au Pied du Courant, an interesting choice of street given that this is where the old Jail is located in the East end of Montreal by the river where les Patriotes were hanged by the British putting down a rebellion in 1837 about representative government. A sight any French Canadian would know and a symbol of British oppression. The parade goes by and of course he is delighted and happy and scream like a perdu, meaning here that he screams like the damned in hell. He concludes the song by saying that he will never forget this day in Montreal.
This song reminded me of my childhood and of those old traditions. The song is sung to the tune of a children’s song from Old France, Cadet Rousselle. Cadet R. has 3 houses, 3 sons, 3 dogs, 3 suits, he is a good guy.
There is no celebration here in PEI or the Maritimes of St-Jean Baptiste Day because we are in Acadian country and though they are French also, their story is very different from the rest of Canada. The Acadians have other days of commemoration.
Today in the many posts that I read about Canadian Political life, I saw this piece by Professor Dr. Philippe Lagassé, who is a known expert on Canadian Parliamentarism and the Constitution, his work is always interesting to read and clear. Not one to get lost in unnecessary verbiage.
We currently have a minority government in Canada, the last election gave to the Liberals of Justin Trudeau the best chance of holding what is called the confidence of the House of Commons. No other party has enough seats or can form a coalition to govern.
It has now been 2 years + since the last election and this past session ending in two days to recess for the Summer has been marked by endless partisan games on the part of the Conservative party and personal attacks on the family of the Prime Minister. The House has not been able to do much work and many important bills are stuck in endless debates at Committee stage. Just yesterday the UNDRIP bill was passed after 3 tries and 9 years of debates. UNDRIP is the United Nation Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, an important piece of Legislation which will create a more equal footing for all indigenous nations in Canada in dealing with the Federal Government. This is obviously far too much time taken for one piece of legislation. .
This coming Thursday 24 June will be the last day Parliament sits before Summer recess and this is when the Prime Minister may decide to seek to ask for Parliament to be disolved. The problem at the moment is the vacancy of the position of Head of State, since January when the Governor General Julie Payette resigned amidst a scandal involving her harrassing staff and being violent, she decided to quit instead of facing the enquiry. So in our Constitution at the moment it is the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court who is doing the job and he is called the Administrator. His last point #12 is important because Canada is a Monarchy and not a Republic, our system is based on the Westminster Parliamentary tradition.
So here is the text of Professor Lagassé on the finer points of our Parliamentary system.
In anticipation, here are a few fundamentals and reminders to keep in mind:
First, the Prime Minister has the authority to request a dissolution of Parliament. He does not need to wait for a vote of no confidence.
Second, the Administrator (Chief Justice Wagner) has the authority to exercise the Governor General’s power to dissolve Parliament upon the Prime Minister’s request. The absence of a Governor General does not preclude a dissolution.
Third, the Administrator would not have the discretion to refuse the Prime Minister’s request to dissolve Parliament at this stage. Not only has this Parliament been sitting for a while, but there is no viable alternative government that can hold the confidence of the Commons.
Fourth, the caretaker convention would begin with the dissolution of Parliament and would end after the election, unless the result of the election isn’t clear.
Fifth, the caretaker convention isn’t really a constitution convention, but a practice. This practice holds that the government should act according to a ‘principle of restraint’. The government remains the government and ministers still constitutionally and legally empowered to make decisions. This is particularly important given that we’re still in a pandemic and it may be necessary for the executive to act with despatch and discretion.
Sixth, the Prime Minister’s appointee to the Supreme Court is in no way affected by a dissolution of Parliament, and given the he’s already been named, his appointment would not engage the ‘principle of restraint’ under the caretaker convention.
Seventh, Trudeau remains Prime Minister until he resigns or is dismissed, even if his party wins fewer seats than another party on election day.
Eighth, if the Liberals remain in power following the election, it will still be the same Trudeau government as before. Trudeau will not be Prime Minister elect. Trudeau will not be Prime Minister designate. He simply remains the Prime Minister.
Ninth, if Trudeau resigns on election night or afterwards, his replacement will be the Prime Minister designate until their ministry is formally sworn in.
Tenth, if we do not have a new Governor General by the time the election is held, the Administrator has the authority to do everything a Governor General could do with respect to government formation.
Eleventh, the Governor General’s role in government formation is actually quite constrained by the codified rules of the constitution, except if there an vote of no confidence early in the life of the new Parliament.
Twelveth, Canadian election night coverage is unduly influenced by American concepts and language. This can be problematic when the election produces a minority parliament.
We have been here 5+ year and the way we dress has changed a lot. Recently we gave away a ton of clothes to charity, things we simply no longer wear and do not see ourselves wearing ever again. There is still a lot to give away and a second round is coming in the Fall.
Living here you simply do not wear tie and jacket unless it is a very important occasion. Our Province PEI is an agricultural and touristic spot, we have high tech firms, but overall life is easy and more relaxed and this is reflected in the way people dress everyday, Jeans, sport shirts and athletic wear. Given that the beaches are minutes away, beach wear is very much what you see in the Summer. Many people have cottages in isolated areas, dirt roads are also common as are jeeps and big trucks, so all this affects the way you will dress.
The only time people will dress more formally, are funerals, weddings and special anniversary. So we adjusted our wardrobe to life here. My most recent clothes purchase has been Chino pants and comfortable walking shoes. So we are going into the sporty comfortable look.
So today is the Solstice and it is a hot day, unpleasant for the paws on asphalt for the puppies and all they want to do is sleep or roll in the cool grass.
We had people over for lunch yesterday and Will prepared a cold lunch of 2 Thai dishes with fresh noodles, it was quite nice and I told him that in the Summer we should do this more often as people appreciate such light fare in the heat.
This week we have 2 major holidays in Canada, one on Thursday 24 June is the St-Jean Baptiste day in French Canada. This is the old Gaul Feast of millennia about the Sun and the new day. The other will be July 1 Dominion or Canada Day, celebrating Canadians and Canadian achievements. We will have a bar-b-q at the Club on the Friday 02 July with live music. I offered to man the grill, something I enjoy doing on such occasions.
Today the news was that the Canadian border will re-open in some fashion on 05 July, travel has to be essential, you must be fully vaccinated and must be able to produce a certificate to prove it. After 28 July this may change further. Interesting to note that this new measure only applies to Citizens and no one else. I can see already people trying to get into Canada without the proper paperwork or vaccination and a lot of moaning at the border, count on the media to make a mess of their usual lazy reporting.
I don’t know about you but 2021 so far has been speeding by, I can hardly believe we are already at July’s door. The pandemic appears to be receiding now, with fewer and fewer cases daily. You can get a vaccine almost anywhere, even at the Grocery store who have full pharmacies on their premises. It is all about convinience and easy, no excuse for not getting it. We are also going to apply for our PEI PASS which allows us to leave the Island and come back without hassle. Maybe we would like to travel to Halifax or Wolfville which would be nice.
Finally as proof that Summer is here, strawberries from the Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia have appeared on the market. In two weeks time we should be getting PEI strawberries, they are truly unlike any other strawberries you can buy, the taste alone is wonderful.
We drove up to Kensington on HWY 2 to go to the groomers for our two puppies, being wirehair Dachshunds their coat needs to be stripped not shaved. Our groomer does a very good job. Since we were in the area we decided to drop by the cottage at French River at the end of Cape Rd. where we are going in about 3 weeks. The place is just as lovely as ever and today being a beautiful sunny warm day, it was just perfect.
We then went for lunch just down the road to SouWest which is a restaurant with a very nice terrace on the water where you can see oysters and mussels being harvested. Nice quiet place and good food, had a nice chat with the staff. The roads in the area are country roads and you rarely see another car, lots of nice farms and homes. Historical old churches mostly protestant and ancient graveyards. There are a lot of good restaurants in the area, given the proximity to water, fish and seafood dominates. You will find some art galleries with local artists, the theme of course is about the sea, beaches and maritime atmosphere.
We also stopped at St-Mary’s Church at Indian River which is a decommissioned church built about 130 years ago by the famous Island architect William Critchlow Harris, who was a musician. His churches are all wood inside and the sonority is wonderful, some say it is like being inside a violin. This year is the 25th anniversary of the Indian River Festival and we will attend the concerts. The church has kept all of its furniture and decoration in a style called Canadian Gothic. It’s steeple has life sized sculptures of the 12 Apostles. It is located in an area surrounded by fields.
We collected the kids from the Groomer, they were happy to see us and get the hell out of there. Any visit to the groomer is always stressful and we gave them liver treats and drove home, upon arrival they had a lot of water and then promptly went to sleep.
They got up to have their dinner and a little walk, only to return to have a cuddle and fall fast to sleep.
We are looking into planning what we will bring to the cottage, liquor and food, there is a nice big bar-b-q and of course we will go to some restaurants. Will made a fresh batch of Colette’s Cocktail and we will call our butcher for some nice cuts of meat.
Also last night Will suddenly remembered that this will be our 14th Wedding Anniversary, we have been toghether 43 years all together. The appropriate gift for 14 years of marriage is Gold, lucky me, I can only wear gold and I have my favourite jeweller BULGARI on speed dial. Though in November for 43 years together would be travel. Gee we have travelled so much in our life time, but then again if some kind hearted friends said, come visit us we are sending you First Class plane tickets to Palm Springs, gee that would be nice.
We finally did a major clean-up of our wardrobe and gave away bags full of shirts and other items. All good and clean but well they all shrank while in the closet and no longer fit. I wonder if some scientist is working on this problem or maybe the Fashion industry is conspiring to prevent any research in order to sell more and more clothing.
On the Health News, now that the population is vaccinated to 70% on PEI and we are in fact approaching the 80% mark, no cases at all of Covid and only a handful of new infections in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, the bubble of Atlantic Provinces is re-forming and travel will be allowed next week for all persons who apply for a PEI Pass to enter PEI by the bridge or by the Ferry service, you will need a certificate to prove vaccination and submit to a test at the border. Other Canadians will be allowed to come from 28 July under similar conditions. As for USA citizens an announcement is expected by Monday. So part of the Summer Season may be salvaged. All good news.
I would like to bring a little perspective into my previous post where I was quite despondent on the situation in Canada. One blogger I follow for some time now and who lives in British Columbia on the other side of this country in the beautiful rocky mountains, https://palliserpass.ca/author/underswansea/ always has wonderful pictures of nature around him and of his wirehair Dachshund Willow. He provided a perspective which I found helpful to understand what is going on today in Canada. Though the author is a younger fellow than me by about 10 years, is comment left me with the feeling of even handedness and with some wisdom. Basically things are getting better bit by bit and we have to look at this in the greater context if you look at the last 60 years, progress is achieved. Also not listening to the media report which have a knack to bring out the most negative outlook without nuance or context, call it lazy journalism. We seem to have a lot of it in Canada.
As we are now in Mid-June, we spoke to day with the lady who owns the cottage where we are going in a month to spend 2 weeks at French River, so looking forward to it.
Will is making another batch of his cocktail that takes a month to cure, a recipe by the French Author Colette. He made a batch with lemons, with orange and now he is doing mandarins and another one with Strawberries. These cocktails are potent but so refreshing in the Summer, served very cold. The base is fruit and white wine, in the second phase you add brandy. We are also looking at what to bring in terms of food, there is a nice gas bar-b-q on the deck.
There are also lots of nice little restaurants in the area, all serving seafood, oysters, mussels, lobster. The most popular is the lobster roll, everyone appears to have a recipe for it. Basically its 4oz of lobster mixed in with other ingredients.
The beach at French River is very nice and this year I will try to get across to the big sand dunes which are part of Cavendish beach. You need a boat to get there, cannot swim it, the current is far too strong. At low tide it looks like you could walk across but no, the channel in the middle is too deep.
We hope that the nice couple who live by the Cousins Cemetery will be there, they live in Nova Scotia but with the closures they have not been able to come so far this year. They have a lovely house and a great view of the water and the New London rear Lighthouse which is about 100 feet from their front door.
Almost everyone now on PEI has been vaccinated what is left is mostly small children under 12. On 27 June we are suppose to enter a new phase with even less restrictions and this will make a big difference. What everyone is waiting for is the Atlantic bubble which would allow all to travel from one province to the other in our region.
This week has been strange in some ways and worrisome. On one hand we have the media in Canada going into overdrive with negativity and what is presented as fact then becomes muddled and is no longer clear.
A story that made headlines around the world that of the discovery of the remains (bones) of what is believed to be 215 indigenous children who died at a Residential School run by the Catholic Church. At first it was reported as small bones, then as bodies, then as remains and no one appears to know if it is 215 or 250. However this was enough for activists to turn this matter into a highly emotional question.
Politicians in the House of Commons made some very controversial statements all trying to look more concerned than the next guy or girl. The gist of it, Canada as we know it today and all non-native people are squatters and they stole everything from the Indigenous people. Some Cities in Canada have cancelled National Day 1 July celebrations because nothing good has come from this project called Canada and 38 million people living here today should just pack up and go back where they came from. Victoria the Capital of British Columbia has announced such plans.
If you go to any show which receives funding from the Canadian Government you will hear the message that whatever building you are in and the land on which it stands belongs to Native groups and you must atone for your past wrongs. A silly message given that no one has any intentions of giving anything back to indigenous groups.
So this message you hear each day has a corrosive effect, and it is not about to stop. The idea of the Prime Minister is to force change upon society through a social engineering. The belief is that we will achieve reconciliation. The problem is after 500 years of European building a country and 45 Canadian Parliaments and 8 Sovereigns, it is not going to happen.
So statues of people long dead have been attacked and defaced as if they and they alone are responsible for what happened while society at large appears to suffer from amnesia.
Now we are finally getting to the short list of who will be the next Governor General and the Government and the Prime Minister are making noises that it will be an Indigenous person. I wonder how that will work out if that rumour proves true.
What is interesting is the push back by people who immigrated to Canada and who are non-white. The attack on Canada, a country they chose for their future life is not acceptable to them. They found acceptance here and prosperity something they did not have in the country of their birth.
Not all indigenous groups accept the current approach, many prefer a pragmatic approach of teaching history correctly and fully and let’s all move along. Unfortunately our Prime Minister is Mr WOKE but it remains to be seen if he can be re-elected serving that line to Canadians daily.
I am a tad tired of Justin T. and his attitude, he lacks judgement and he is dividing the country dangerously. He truly opened the Box of Pandora and this is not going to end well.
Telling the stories of the history of the port of Charlottetown and the marine heritage of Northumberland Strait on Canada's East Coast. Winner of the Heritage Award from the PEI Museum and Heritage Foundation and a Heritage Preservation Award from the City of Charlottetown