The weather is still sunny but getting cooler with a North East Wind today. So this is the long Thanksgiving Weekend, was at the grocery store this morning to pick-up a few items, Will is making ice-cream with Irish whiskey, a recipe that never fails to please all.
There is so much to be thankful for in Canada, the economy is doing well, we live in a peaceful and stable country and our life in general is good, no complaints really.
Last night we went for the last time this Season across the street to the Water Prince restaurant and had oysters on the half shell, lobster roll and Halibut Fish and chips. They close at the end of the Lobster Season this Saturday until May 2022. It has been crazy busy all week, lots of last minute tourists. You should hear the questions about the menu. Some do not grasp the concept that we are an Island on the ocean and our seafood comes off the boats just over there. No it is not frozen or sent from a factory in Arkansas. The tourists we get are from Ontario, land of dysfunction and pandemic. Happy to see them go home. The owner Shane has passed the baton to his son Coady who is a school teacher, you cannot improvise yourself a restaurateur, not the same as teaching class to 8 yr olds. It’s too bad really.
Earlier this week we went to Cavendish National Park, it is opposite of French River and New London across the bay from our Summer Cottage. Lots of very big sand dunes and marshes all around. Beautiful and peaceful, nearly deserted at this time of the year. Only one bus with about a dozen American tourists. There was almost no wind and we walked on the wooden elevated pathway across the marsh behind the big sand dunes. In the clear water you see thousand of little Gaspereaux and Blue Back Herring swimming in schools. Lots of small birds, Northern Harrier hawks and bald Eagles, racoons, beavers, muskrats and minks, live in the pine forests growing all around and in the marsh. Parks Canada which manages the area does a wonderful job of managing the park. The buildings are unobtrusive and blend into the scenery. The map of the area shows 3 National parks inter-connected, Cavendish North Rustico, Brackley Dalvay and Greenwich. All those parks were once farmland and owned by families for generations, however with shifting sand and changing currents it progressively became very difficult to farm and the land was either given up or sold to the Federal Government who turned it all into preserved natural areas.
So the plan for Thanksgiving, we have been invited to dinner at friends in Montague, then a catered dinner with 2 other friends on Monday. I was glad this morning not to have to buy a turkey etc.
Well the question here is are we still in Summer with 22C and sunny it’s nice beach weather but wait we are in late September when it should be much cooler like 16C. The weather guy is now talking openly of Climate change and the number of hurricanes that are coming our way in the form usually of tropical storms with very high damaging winds. It has still not sunk in for a lot of people until it falls on their heads.
We also have a lot of hot humid days which is not normal for an island like ours.
So today we have new owners to our building and our old landlord came to say goodbye, they were good people and attentive. We will no doubt see them again for sure.
Today I also bought a new computer to replace my 11 yr old one, which was starting to have problems and a line in the middle of the screen. I bought online from Apple and it will be delivered in a week. I am looking forward to this new computer. It would appear that it is easier to order online than buy in store, both Best Buy and Staples were out of stock and did not know when they would have any in store.
We spoke with the Bank and got pre-approve for a mortgage. I had no idea we were that rich. There is a lot for sale right now, but the prices do not match the quality. Many properties appear over valued and this is the same all over Canada. Is a correction coming to the real estate market, possibly. How can a house appreciate by 80% in 6 months without doing anything to it. There are also a lot of listings where home original price has been dropped by 25%, it says they were overvalued to start with, I think that in some cases they could drop another 15% percent. The pandemic created a rush on Summer Cottages and the prices went up accordingly. The CMHC is the body that governs the market in Canada sounded the alarm for the second time this year, saying that the housing market is overheating and overpriced and a very sharp correction is going to happen, this would leave a lot of people who paid too much out in the cold. We are in no rush at all.
Thursday all will be closed in PEI and in some other provinces but not all, a new Federal Statutory Holiday for natives called the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is being celebrated for the first time. Many private businesses are closing not because they want to but because out of fear of bad publicity if they don’t. Ontario the most populous province in Canada is not observing this holiday. Provinces and territories observing the Holiday are the Yukon, North West Territories, British Columbia, Manitoba, Nova Scotia and PEI.
Upcoming Holiday will be Thanksgiving on Monday 11 October, so far we have no plans to do anything. Maybe we will just keep it quiet this year. Stay tuned as they say.
Well we have a new Parliament and Prime Minister Trudeau has won a third term, though again a minority Government. At dissolution the Liberals had 155 seats now they have 158 seats. The Official Opposition party the Conservative had 121 seats and are down to 119. Their leader Erin O’Toole wanted to win big or at least improve substantially his party seat count in the House. Will the Conservative party get rid of him now? They did it to Andrew Scheer his predecessor, gone within one month. The problem of the Conservative was to align themselves with fringe groups of anti-vaxxers, the far-right, using language associated closely to Trump and Erin made the supreme mistake of supporting the Premier of Alberta who is an incompetent fool with a terrible record on Covid19 response in Alberta. Erin could not see the writing on the wall. He even played the army card, asking retired senior officers to endorse him. That is a big no no in Canada, it is not done period. We are a Kingdom and army officers owe their loyalty to the Sovereign and no one else. Erin O’Toole also touched the sacred Cow of free Health Care, saying he would privatize part of the system while Trudeau promise to reenforce Health care and possibly provide also Pharma care. Guess what Trudeau won out, you really have to wonder sometimes about strategy and advice politicians get from spin doctors.
The other party leaders like Jagmeet Singh did not lose nor gained anything, but he could be a strong ally of the Liberals in the House with his progressive agenda. The Bloc which only represents Quebec won 29 seats and they too appear ready for now to support the Liberals, if Quebec gets some sweet reward which it is sure to get. As for the Green party they are dead in the water, their Leader lost her bid to win a seat and will probably be dumped by her party. By the way the Green party has 2 seats in the House, which does not give them any status at all.
As for the People’s Party no seats and their leader Maxime Bernier lost again and was unable to win a seat of his own. They are a fringe across the country and their message is copied word for word from speeches by Trump, I hope the Donald is getting royalties.
In PEI all 4 seats went to the Liberals and my MP Sean Casey who is a nice guy and helpful, won his fourth term.
Now Prime Minister Trudeau will have to arrange his Cabinet new portfolio to MPs probably some new faces and some old ones. He will go see the Governor General and ask permission to form a government but the test is to prove he has the confidence of the House in a vote. The vote will come after the Speech from the Throne by the Governor General announcing the new Legislative program. This will probably take place sometime after Thanksgiving in Mid-October. The House will not sit long because by 15 December they will recess for the Holidays.
It is unlikely that the new Government would not win a confidence vote after the Speech from the Throne because this would throw the country back into another Election and this would be a political disaster and no Party Leader wants that. So we most probably have another 2 to 3 years of PM Trudeau. It is also very likely that we will see changes in leadership in the parties, even Trudeau may decide that he wants to retire or he may be pushed out by his own party. For sure Erin O’Toole will face a leadership review. When this happens no election can happen so we will have stability for a while.
A foot note for my American Friends reading this, the Canadian Election cost $600 million dollars to run over 36 days, some people and some in the Media find this to be an outrage. When you think how much it cost to run an election in the USA, I think this is a bargain.
Friday night at the Club we had the launching of our 25th Anniversary year. This party took some months to organize simply for the logistics of it, food, music, guests list, press release and much communications between various Official guests and VIPs.
The food was Lobster rolls which is always a big hit, we had other nice finger food and a beautiful carrot cake made by one of our members. The Mayor of Charlottetown hosted the party as a Patron of the Club and the Lieutenant Governor was also present as our Vice-regal Patron, the Premier sent his personal representative and ministers of the government were also present. Lots and lots of members came to the event. Our small orchestra played and the entertainment Chair composed a Club song to a famous tune by a well know Jazz composer. We had a lot of fun and it was a great success.
It helped that the weather was sunny and warm like a nice late Summer day and this week it will be more of the same.
This week the Coffee and Conversation series is starting up again and I organized for the TESLA dealership in town to bring cars to the Club so members can hear about it and test drive them. I expect a big turnout.
Well tomorrow is VOTING Day in Canada, because we have 6 time zones, to know the results we will have to wait a few hours until people living on the West Coast vote and their Voting Polls close 3 hours later than ours. In the meantime the news media has endless silly chatter and speculation trying to fill in air time until they are authorize by Elections Canada to announce the results.
The vote is close both main parties have split percentages 32% to 31% and the NDP has a 19% favorable rate. The Bloc Quebecois which only runs candidates in Quebec and only represents Quebec interests or so they say, could play a major role in that province which is vote rich. Ontario and specifically the Greater Toronto Region is also vote rich and very important in terms of the number of seats. Atlantic Canada votes first and the Liberal party has a huge unbeatable lead in the 4 Atlantic provinces.
It very much looks like it will be yet again a minority government Liberal or Conservative not clear yet. However I can see PM Trudeau being forces out by his own party if he cannot give them a majority. Same for the Conservatives who are not supporting the centrist approach in this election of their Leader Erin O’Toole, who looked desperate this weekend. Because the right wing vote is badly split between between right and extreme right and the more extreme fringe controls the conservative party, the possibility of seeing that fringe vote for the Neo-Nazis, ( I use this term because of their ideology), of Maxime Bernier and his People’s Party is very real. A strange coalition of white supremacists (Alberta) and anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, anti-Feminist, anti-abortion, anti-vaxxers, anti-jewish, anti-gay, anti-human rights, and very much PRO-Assault rifles.
This election is unlike any other I have seen in my life time, if I think back to 1968. It was one of violence, assaults on candidates, violent demonstrations, hate mongering and very little substance. PM Trudeau did present his program which is progressive and clear with the costing done. The other parties not so much, Conservatives tell us WE have a Plan, really what is it. That is not clear. How much does it cost? Mystery.
The NDP of Jagmeet Sigh have a program but it is mostly about Provincial jurisdictions where the Federal Government cannot intervene. High fantasy in other words. Jagmeet does not appear to know the difference between Provincial and Federal competence. The public follows him because many are themselves ignorant of those differences. The Green party died during this election, it’s leader was totally unprepared for the job and she by taking a strong Pro-Israel stand destroyed her party and she is already saying that if she does not win a seat in the House she will resign.
The wild card is Bernier and his People’s Party, remains to be seen if he will make gains or not. So we shall see.
Canada being a Kingdom (Dominion of Canada) we do not elect a Prime Minister (Head of Government). The Prime Minister’s position as head of government is an Appointment by the Governor General. However the holder of the position is an elected member of the House of Commons. However because our general television news is abysmal in Canada you will hear on Monday night various talking heads and so called experts talk about our PM elect which is pure nonsense and only serves to confuse a public which is largely ignorant of the most basic facts on how our system of Parliament functions.
You will also hear a lot about a mandate, there is no such thing in Canada as a mandate from an election victory. In the present case if Prime Minister Justin Trudeau government should find themselves with the most seats and can govern then they will just continue with the same program as it was prior to the election period. Any other party would implement their vision of governance but it is not a mandate. This is because again we elect 338 members to the House of Commons and each member represents one group of citizens and it is impossible to have one single mandate. Governing in Canada is based entirely on the will and the confidence of the whole House of Commons not just the government. But reporters get this wrong constantly because they look South and confuse the Republican form of government in the USA with our Westminster system.
It is sad that we still have to explain this in newspaper and other media platform, you would think people would know that, apparently not.
The other silly notion is that an election is not needed or not necessary, this is truly unbelievable, in a democracy election have to happen simply for the legitimacy of any elected Parliament. This election was required because as a minority governing body, the Prime Minister was constantly challenged by the Opposition who would then also invent so called scandals which did not exist. Controversies yes but nothing more and certainly not a reason to stop the work of Parliament. After 9 months of nonsense from certain actors in the House of Commons it was obvious an election had to take place to clear the air.
So late Monday night we should know. Some predict that it may be a majority for the Liberals. The Conservative party under Erin O’Toole are not doing well despite an early gain. His friend and someone Erin supported the Premier of Alberta Jason Kenney, is in big trouble with the Health system collapsing due to Covid 19 fourth wave which could have been averted entirely. O’Toole refuses to denounce his poor policies.
Well our Nicky is feeling better and he is a little tired of the rice and veal diet. But being born in Italy veal is sort of the thing for him. Nicky was happy for your good wishes and says in his native Italian, mille grazie a tutti.
Other items, well we are back to having to wear face masks everywhere indoors now. The big problem is Alberta out West where the hospital system is about to crash due to too many new Covid cases and the very low vaccination rate. Alberta is our West Virginia, very backwards. The Premier Jason Kenney use to be my Minister at the Federal level years ago, a complete incompetent fool, who caused by his inaction the death in his provinces of thousands of people because he deferred to private business over the public good, dollars before lives.
What is worse the Chief Medical Officer in Alberta Dr Heather Hinshaw went along with Kenney’s policy until yesterday after months of lying to the public, admitted that she was wrong, sorry folks she says. That is why we call them murder clowns.
Ontario is not much better, of the $2.5 billion dollars they received from the Federal Gov. for Covid to help the health sector, they instead sat on the money, did nothing with it. Another fool Premier Doug Ford, who created the fourth wave to help out businesses instead of the people of the province. This is the problem with those conservative premiers, they admire Trump and make no bones about it. I do hope people will vote them out of Office when the Provincial election cycle comes around.
Only 3 days to go before the Federal Election. Let’s hope Canadians will not elect a Trump wanna be.
Well Nicky was not feeling well for the last 3 days and he obviously had some stomach issues.
He has a very delicate digestive system and anything can trigger a malaise. Last night he was very sick and I took him to the Animal Veterinary Hospital of the University of PEI. They are always open 24/7, though for a fee. The service is excellent and you get a Vet with experience and a fourth year student who is doing their practicum learning with the professional vet. Nicky got some blood work done and all was fine. He then got a shot to stop the nausea and he came home. This morning he was a little tired but he is bouncing back. For a thirteen year old he is doing fine. We do worry about them.
Earlier in the day I had meeting at the Club to plan the Friday party with lots of VIPs. At the same time the surge in Covid cases on the Island in schools amongst kids under 12 is worrisome. However what we see now is those who are not vaccinated are getting sick. Since 90% of the Island population is fully vaccinated those who get sick, the unvaccinated, really stand out. We have 22 cases which is not much and testing is going full blast in the last two days. So we should get to the bottom of this pretty soon.
Violence on the campaign is on the rise, one candidate was assaulted in his Office yesterday by a women, the PM got rocks thrown at him, his wife was called a whore by some idiot macho guy. Signs have been defaced with swastikas and the rise of the extreme right wing People’s Party (PPC) of white supremacist is difficult to believe, but they are at 7% in the polls right now. We have never seen this in a Canadian Federal Election before. Only 4 days to go before voting day 20 September.
On Saturday I went to vote in anticipation. In Canada you can do that a week before the actual date, which is 20 September 2021. Voting in Canada either at the Federal level, Provincial or Municipal is a fairly easy affair. I am registered to vote by completing on the Elections Canada site the info they need to send me a card. The info is simple, your home address, your full name. Elections Canada is an independent body and is not in any way controlled or subject to politicians or political parties. Anyone working at Elections Canada is and must be fully neutral of political views. Same for all the volunteers at polling stations, in some cases you cannot even wear colours which might suggest support for a party, like red or blue or orange.
The advance polling is open from 9am to 9pm and is in one central location. Whereas on election day polling stations are located in neighbourhoods, in our case one block away from home. So I went to vote and the atmosphere is a happy one, helpful staff and a very simple process. I also have to bring with my voter card a piece of ID with my photo and home address, issued by the Provincial Government or the Federal Government. It is checked by the fellow at the door who then quickly directs you to the next person who registers you, then you are sent to the actual voting area, the fellow there has a big paper list, checked my name and crossed it, gave me a paper bulletin to register my vote with a pencil. I voted then return the folded bulletin and put it into the Urn. It took all of about 3 minutes. I really like the paper and pencil way to vote, simple and efficient.
So I am done now for this Federal Election, you can only vote for the candidate who will be, if elected, your member of Parliament. NO we do not vote for the Prime Minister, no matter what people say, you can only vote for your MP where you live. So this means we have 338 candidates to elect to form the House of Commons. The Prime Minister will be one of them. Currently Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is an MP in the riding of Papineau in Montreal.
An interesting fact in our Canadian System, Justin Trudeau continues to be Prime Minister until he resigns. So on election night if the Liberal party is not re-elected with enough seats to form a government, Trudeau will still have to decide to resign or not. If he thinks that he could by doing the math, form a coalition with another party and have enough seats to govern, then he will advise the Governor General accordingly and a vote will be held in the House of Commons to see if he has the confidence of the House. As long as a Government has the confidence of the House, he can continue to rule. An example of this, in 2006 the then Prime Minister Paul Martin, lost the election to Stephen Harper. However for several hours until the next day, Martin did the math and looked around if any other party would help in supporting his party. He needed 51 seats. He quickly realized that no other party would support him and he resigned. Harper was called by the Governor General to form a government.
GOLF AND BBQ
Yesterday was our Club’s Annual Golf Tournament at Glen Afton on the cliff at Rocky Point, which has spectacular views of the Strait of Northumberland. Great sunny day with a bit of wind, nice and around 22C perfect for the game. I was at the Club and set up the BBQ on our deck its a 6 burner and from 2pm to 5pm grilled 65, 10 oz steaks. You really have to watch the meat and I had a thermometer with me to check so I was able to give people what they wanted from rare to medium to well done. Got an ovation from the crowd for my work and many compliments. It was great fun being on the deck and talking to everyone.
We had trophies for the best ball and best team, everyone got a small gift for participating, the President thought this was the most successful tournament in years.
There is 22 days left in this National Federal Election and it has been a big bore. Prior to the Governor General accepting the request of the Prime Minister to dismiss Parliament, we had a minority in Government ruled by the Liberal party, meaning that it was a hung Parliament and that no party in the House of Commons had enough seats to command a majority. So in such cases the party in power must at all times keep the confidence of the House and rule by compromise in order to stay in Office. The last election was in 2019 and it has been about 2 years which for a minority government is a long time in Office.
The reason why the Prime Minister thought it was better to have an election now, was because the business of Parliament was becoming bogged down in horrible partisan fights and nothing was being achieved. Many bills were caught up in endless and fruitless debates in Committee, the Opposition would not allow them to get to a vote. Personal attacks on the Prime Minister and his family, including his mother and brother who are not public figures had become the norm. Both the Conservatives of Erin O’Toole and the NDP of Jagmeet Singh did all they could to block the business of government.
Unfortunately the call for this election came on the day Kabul fell to the Taliban and also when the 4th wave of COVID 19 started in earnest in Provinces like Ontario and Alberta where Trump like Conservative Premiers rule, refusing to work with the Federal Government.
As of tonight the Prime Minister despite his best effort to shelter Canadians from the worst economic impact of Covid and the lockdown, has been painted by the Conservatives and the right wing Press as the ennemy. The Conservatives including their Leader Erin O’Toole love to agitate with Q-Anon and other white supremacists against Trudeau. In the last few days Trudeau has received death threats and his campaign bus has been attacked by violent mobs, composed of anti-vaxxers, white supremacist, Q-Anon and neo-nazis. His security detail, members of which are persons of colour and women have also been attacked. It is a miracle that no one has been shot. However the blame for the violence rests entirely with Erin O’Toole and other members of his party who constantly speak of conspiracies. Yes there is some of Donald Trump in Erin O’Toole and he is hungry for power despite the fact that he has no plan or program, though he tells us that he has a plan, what is it? No one knows.
The trouble with Trudeau is his arrogance and his constant virtue signalling, his woke agenda, his so called Feminist views and his constant sympathies for every cause from BLM to Indigenous issues. He seems to forget that millions of Canadians do not necessarily share his views or even care for them. Though he has desperately tried to paint himself as the man for all, he fails at it. Feminists denounce him for not doing enough, same with the Natives who smell a day of reckoning and now want more, but in reality Trudeau or his government cannot deliver on the spot, especially when Premiers do not want to play ball with him.
This is the trouble with our Federation, jurisdictions are divided between the Federal Government and the Provinces and no one wants to give an inch.
The big issues for a lot of Canadians is the cost of housing which is now for a single house or condo in the $ 700,000 and up and often over $1 million dollars. The vast majority of Canadians cannot afford such prices and rents on average now are in the $2000 per month and up. Again this has become an impossible situation for far too many people. Canadians are heavily in debt, for the average person on every $1 earned they owe $1.64 in credit card debts. They are simply choking on debt, if you have no debts now you are amongst the privileged. Trudeau made the classic mistake of thinking that with generous programs to help out people during the pandemic, he would be rewarded with a majority government. But humanity is not necessarily grateful to those who help out. An example of Winston Churchill who in May 1945 as the war ended in Europe, thought that Britons would return him to power given his leadership. The Election of 1945 was a disaster for him and he was swept out of office, people wanted changed, despite it all, showing no gratitude.
Trudeau also forgot that if change is good in general, too much change all at once is not a good thing with a population pampered with social programs of all kinds. Life is and remains pretty easy in Canada, despite difficulties. The pandemic also exposed how whiners Canadians are in general, social responsibility is not a thing, the Me first attitude rules.
Trudeau also believed that the under 40 would support his change agenda, but that is not the case. Not everyone is on the Woke agenda, not everyone accepts feminists precepts, not everyone likes BLM or the more contentious Truth and Reconciliation agenda with the Natives. In fact with the Pandemic its the opposite people are often heard expressing how sick and tired they are to hear about those groups and their demands.
The Conservative love to present themselves as the voice of the little guy. Pandering to the lowest common denominator.
What is truly difficult to understand is the amount of hate against Trudeau. In some demonstrations its pathological and sickening. It could very well be that people simply do not connect with Trudeau and he is seen as someone belonging to the elite. But then people like O’Toole is also a member fo the elite and Jagmeet Singh with his 10K rolex and his big luxury BMW is far from the little guy, but hey, he plays the populist card, it seems to work for him despite the fact that his speeches are a jumble of nothing.
So who is going to win this election, I really do not know, however I am pretty sure that it will be another minority government simply because the country is so deeply divided. So far the Liberals hold on to the big provinces like Ontario, Quebec and the Atlantic which can guarantee the most seats in Parliament. Because in Canada % of votes means nothing, our system is based on the number of seats you win to give you the prize. We also no not elect our Prime Minister, we elect only our Member of Parliament in the area where we live, so we are having 338 seat election and they all count on election night. Trudeau needs 170 seats to get the majority he wants.
The fear with a Conservative government is that history of the last 43 parliament going back to 1867 shows that when they are in power we go backwards on all levels.
Canada is in election mode and only 3 weeks are left before the vote. This election takes place as the crisis in Afghanistan is getting worse by the day. Canada had promised to take 20,000 Afghans but now it looks like we will take only a few thousands. Canada was totally unprepared and it looks now like the Government really does not care. PM Justin Trudeau is focused in trying to win a majority and the rest is not on his mind.
The election is not going well for him and I have the impression that we will have another minority government. What is coming out is the insufferable arrogance of Trudeau and his constant virtue signalling. The media is quite tired of it and the public is losing faith. We are also entering a 4th wave of COVID and many appear unable to face more lockdowns. In PEI with 80% + fully vaccinated things are good and quiet.
This is harvest time and the choice of vegetables, herbs and salads of all kind is wonderful, the Farmer’s Market is lively. The weather in August is very nice so far and I only wish we could have a few more months of it, but that is not going to be.
I am also looking forward to our Club’s Golf Tournament, I volunteered to drive a Golf Cart so that we can distribute sandwiches to the golfers and a drink called Rum Matcha, which I am told is pretty stiff. After 3pm I will be grilling the steaks at the Club for the dinner. I expect to grill about 60 steaks. I am told they are around 10oz.
This week I also have to get serious and look for a new Apple Computer, mine is developing problems and I now have a line in the middle of the screen. A new one will be around $1500.
Now for those of you who have an eye for art and painting, can anyone tell me the name of this painting and who is the artist? It is French and probably from the 18th century. Is it Fragonard or Watteau? It is a baroque painting. The Goddess Ceres because of the sheaf of wheat (abundance) and Aphrodite with representing Peace, fertility her colour is pink. Ceres colour is green which symbolize agriculture. The Swan could very well be Zeus, lots of symbolism in this painting. But what is it?
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