Yesterday I had my spring check up on the car, had the summer tires installed, tune-up and safety inspection. All is good, despite the fact that the car now is 5+ years old, I only have 35,050 KM on it. Which is nothing, I am not driving that car, but now with multiple announcement of EV replacing fossil fuel cars by 2030, I am thinking maybe I should look at least at an hybrid, in 7 years my current car won’t be much good. I did get 2 beautiful golf umbrellas from the dealership and they washed the car. I love a clean/spotless car at all times.
The Provincial election was also yesterday and the turn out was very low. Most people did not see the point of this election. Sad thing really, Statistically the current conservative government was re-elected with 38% of the total vote. But gained a big majority of 22 seats, the Opposition has 5 seats.
The leaders of both the Liberal and NDP parties were not elected, this is even worse with no leader in the House except, for the Green Party and the governing Conservative. I can see how this is not going to work, the arrogance of Premier King and his government will lead to little being done for us. Not really democratic, but this is what people voted for, sad.
It was also revealed in the news that despite our rapidly increasing population on the Island, those coming are mostly retirees over 55 and those leaving in droves are the under 35 age group. The Province of Alberta some 3500 km away to the West is attracting a lot of your Islanders with very well paying jobs in the trades and the oil sector. PEI cannot compete or won’t salaries here are pitiful for most people unless you are a professional. PEI taxes are high and the population small, cost of living is also high. So no wonder young people are leaving. The government of the province is oblivious to it all, living off the generosity of the Federal Government since 1873. Personally none of this affects me but still I do not like what I see.
Only one month to go before Coronation Day and I am organizing a party at the Club. Looks like our patrons will be coming and will have something official. More details to come…
So happy the King is going back to the symbol of the Tudor Crown.
In early April more final touches will be made to the rebuilt Imperial Palace in Berlin. The outside is in the baroque style while the inside is in a very modern style to suit the new vocation as the Humboldt Forum dedicated to the age of enlightenment and the Humboldt brothers. The outside matches all the buildings around it, all built at the same period and following a uniform pattern and called the Frederick Forum. Another building a few steps away is the Catholic Cathedral of St-Hedwige on Bebel Platz is going through a transformation which will no doubt bring back its 18th century splendour.
This is portal III of the Imperial Palace in Berlin, a photo taken in 1920, the palace will be destroyed by the communist in 1958. It has now been rebuilt and open as a museum to civilization. The great Coat of Arms was destroyed in 1958 but this week on the 4 April a replica weighing 5 tons made of copper and bronze will be remounted above the great door. It measures 16 feet by 16 feet in diameter. Below is the model ready to be taken from the atelier of artists who recreated it and also the Crown of Prussia which will sit a top, covered in gold leaf, the cost of the Crown alone is 2 Million Euros, all done by public donation, as is the entire reconstruction of the palace at 890 Million Euros.
Well it is now Spring and this picture of Wisteria in bloom in Rome, I remember in our neighbourhood it was everywhere on the street and in gardens, lovely colour. This picture is in central Rome next to the Altar to the Nation.
The weather here in Charlottetown is getting warmer progressively, restaurants are re-opening for the tourist crowd as of 14 April and the first cruise ship arrives a few days later. This month I am taking courses to become a licence tourist guide, well if you cannot beat them join them, I say and the pay is good, it will buy the bubble gum at least. They say 97 ships will come this Summer, the last one is usually on the first Week of October.
Finally today is Election Day in PEI to elect a new Provincial Legislature of 27 members. The Island Province now has a population of 175,000 people a new record. Favoured to win the Conservatives of Premier Dennis King, not happy about that, will know more tonight once the poll close.
Province House under renovation until 2024. Built in 1847.
Colonel Sanders who founded the chicken food chain KFC lived in Canada after 1964 and owned a home until his death in 1980. The house was/is located at 1337 Melton Drive in Mississauga, a suburb of Toronto. He lived there from 1964 to 1980. After his death the house was sold and the new owner found in a closet 2 of the Colonel signature white suits, left behind.
Harland Sanders’ suit were made by a tailor Walter Beauchamp at 145 Wellington street West in Toronto. Few know of the Canadian connection of Colonel Sanders who many thought was a Kentuckian. Harland David Sanders was born on September 9, 1890, in Henryville, Indiana. KFC was acquired in October 1986 from RJR Nabisco, Inc. by PepsiCo, Inc., for approximately $840 million. It was Governor Ruby Laffoon who in 1935 made him a Kentucky Colonel due to the popularity of his fried chicken. After he sold his KFC company in 1964, Sanders continued to visit the KFC restaurants around the world as an ambassador spokesman. He died on December 16, 1980, at the age of 90, in Louisville, Kentucky.
This photo of Colonel Sander’s Canadian house in Mississauga was taken in October 2022.
I cannot remember the last time I had KFC but I would venture to say it was in the 1980’s, I am not a fan of fast food. We never had it at home as kids and I may have eaten it at friends or at an office party.
Well yesterday the big storm was not as predicted, the weather on PEI is never quite as predicted. We did have a lot of high winds and the bridge to the mainland was closed, on the bridge the wind reached 105 Km which is dangerous and makes driving over the strait impossible. This means that grocery stores will be short of some essentials for a few days. The rain and the southerly winds melted the snow so we are back to grass. In the meantime, we are told that the world is coming to PEI for the Winter Games, numerous charter flights and more commercial flights to accommodate the traffic. Given that we are in the off season, not sure where people will eat, many restaurants are closed until May. Again our politicians and the PEI Government have not planned accordingly, feels like a fly by night operation all around. With no snow, will they have to move locations elsewhere off Island? The feel of these games is that it is done for attention by the rest of Canada and the population is not wanted or involved.
It looks like Provincial Elections are coming, politicians currently sitting are announcing that they will not be running again. Last night someone told me that they expect the current Conservative government to win all the seats in the Legislature or at least so many that there will not be any opposition. This can happen easily in small population areas like ours and this is not good for democracy. PEI has a Legislature with 27 seats, we are the smallest province in Canada with a total population of 160,000. persons. Compared with Nova Scotia with a population of 995,000 persons and a Legislature of 55 seats or New Brunswick 49 seats and a population of 780,000 persons. PEI has lots of serious social issues and not much as been done but Premier King has a way of talking to people charming the birds off the trees.
Well the skating rink across the street is now officially open, the ice is beautiful kept this way by artificial freezing by generator. Lots of people have come to skate despite the weather not being very cold. No winter yet and people do not seem to mind going into February with no snow. It is starting to enter people’s mind that this is what climate change looks like.
Yesterday I got the Sirius XM system for my car, I was tired of having bad reception and very poor radio choice. Preachy radio hosts and always the same music over and over.
Sirius has a great choice of music and no commercial and no news, I mean at least I can get the news I want like NPR and BBC World service. The sound is also very good.
Today we bought SONOS speakers for the house so we can use them with Sirius, again the sound is very good, it is a big improvement.
I got the car tuned-up for Winter and bought new Winter tires replacing the 11 yrs old ones I had. In the Spring I may get new Summer tires the current ones are 5 yrs old.
So the last cruise ship left us a few days ago and the next day all the tourist restaurants closed, so it makes for a much quieter city now and the evenings really give the city a small town feel.
The municipal election came and went yesterday, it was a dismal affair from the point of view of public involvement. PEI has a national reputation as a place where voter turnout is always very high, around 84% or so about. Well this campaign was super quiet, no lawn signs, only one Q&A with mayoral candidates, no debates.
Of the 57 municipal councils on the Island 16 had no candidates to replace the municipal council leaving office including mayors. So now the Province has to find people to be appointed to serve, not an easy task, no one wants those jobs it seems. So they will be under trusteeship of the Minister of Municipal Affairs until some people can be found to fill those positions. This has never happened before and it is a puzzle, what happened?
The voter turn out is also very low, I voted early and was the only one at the polling station. I went back the day before the election and spoke with the returning officer who confirmed that indeed it was very quiet, abnormally so. The Official count in Charlottetown gives 47% total voter turnout. Some Councillors were acclaimed no opponents, others won with a handful of votes. This does not bode well for our democracy, but it seems people have become cynical and have lost faith in our politicians. In other municipality it is as low as 33% turnout, really not acceptable but there you go.
On the Covid front it seems that more and more people are affected, because people in the large part are vaccinated and or boosted, many are sick for 2 to 3 days and it is mild. Nonetheless we are really careful and we are getting our third booster shot, just in case.
The clean up from FIONA is continuing around the Island and it may take more months until Spring probably to complete the job. Nice to know that PEI was totally unprepared for this storm, no emergency plans, no generators at gas stations or pumping stations. Critical infrastructure totally vulnerable, politicians absent from the scene. Why you ask, well the short answer is; That’s the Island Way. Sad but true.
This week is Remembrance Day, Le Jour du Souvenir, it usually speaks more to the First World War 1914-1918, but nowadays the veterans we have are from the war in Afghanistan, the longest war Canada has been involved in, 11 years, with no results to show for it.
Finally I always like to look at paintings of the 16th or 17th century for all the hidden meaning and symbolism. One painting I saw recently was of a girl with a basket of eggs, she dropped it and some eggs are broken. Standing near her is an older women pointing and irate at the girl, the older woman is speaking to a man and is denouncing the girl. But is this about broken eggs? Only 1 broken out of several dozen, why the fuss?
Well the question is what do broken eggs mean in this case? The painting is called Broken Eggs, by Jean-Baptiste Greuze, 1725-1805.
Well the broken eggs mean Lost Virtue, the girl lost her virtue possibly to the young man and the old woman is irate because of this fact. Even the little boy as a side glance as if to say; oh she is so naughty.
Today was the first day of 4 advance voting days before the 7 November date for the Municipal Elections in PEI.
I follow the candidates most of whom I know at a certain level to have spoken to them or met with them since 2018 when I ran for office in Charlottetown. I do remember their stand on various issues and do we ever have lots of urgent and pressing issues in Charlottetown, from housing which is in an acute crisis no matter how much money you have to buy, rent or build. Homelessness in a city of 40K and infrastructure in general in a state of decay or in complete fail mode. A city council that is completely dysfunctional, financial scandals and nepotism on the grand scale.
We also have elections in other towns like Cornwall, Summerside, Stratford and in many small settlements in rural areas. In the smaller settlements, it has been very difficult to find anyone who wishes to run for office, this means the Province has to step in and put those area into trusteeship.
The media in general does not cover much of the election or the candidates, a lot of fluff pieces and roundtables where the candidates make nice statements and every one smiles a lot. You have to appreciate that the media in general in PEI, this includes the National Broadcaster CBC are very gun shy when political topics come to the forefront. The population being so small, you cannot speak of someone without bumping into a relative or an old school chum. People can loose jobs for not voting for a certain candidate, this is why people never want to say who they are going to vote for. The political actors are also pretty much the same gang, related to business or political parties. This year because of FIONA and the tons of debris still laying around, many candidates have no signs. They go door to door instead, but there is a strange apathy amongst the population.
In Charlottetown, we have 3 candidates for Mayor of the Capital ( a big village) one is the incumbent whose own family have been public office holders for several generations, they are also in construction and are well known. The other fellow is someone who is the head of the Landlord and Owners association, a group devoted to defending the privileges of the powerful who are so often maligned. He is also a housing crisis denier. The third fellow is totally unknown and speaks non-stop about abortion which is clearly NOT a municipal issue.
In my Ward which is the old town of Charlottetown of 1779, we have 3 candidates, this is probably the most important Ward in terms of population, tourism, businesses and political power. The population has attracted more and more wealthy people and wide gentrification is underway, tourism yes all the hotels and Air B&B are in Ward one, the cruise ship port is also here and the Legislature and all the government buildings including City Hall. So we have the incumbent who is closely allied and employed by the most powerful business family in PEI. The other candidate is a young women, who made her name by creating a group who organized help in PEI for everyone needing it after FIONA, her efforts have been widely appreciated, the Government being largely absent and totally disorganized or unable to help. The Premier Denny King, a former comedian, thought he would give money to people, a cheque for $250. for anyone asking for it. The Red Cross is handling this charitable endeavour, problem is, the Red Cross has virtually no staff and cannot really do this. The other problem is that a lot of Islanders have no fixed address OR we should say they have 2 addresses, one is formal but they do not live there and the other is informal where they actually live. It makes things complicated when you want to check on the home address of people for official purposes. So the Red Cross has a tough time cross referencing who lives where and who is the the real beneficiary? Ah! the Island way.
The third candidate in Ward 1 is a fellow who believes that the first priority is to build nuclear silos on the docks to prevent an attack by Russia. Yes we always have kooks in every election it provides entertainment.
So I voted and I was the only one there with 6 employees of Election PEI, they were not very busy this morning. In all it took me 3 minutes, in and out. It is all paper ballots with a pencil. I always preferred paper ballots so simple and old fashion and no fuss. There is also a register where you sign your name to indicate that you did come in to vote. All very civilized.
Today I also gave a bath to Nicky and Nora, they don’t like it and Nora knowns something is wrong when she sees us get their towels and soap and run the water. She gets this look in her eyes, too funny. Both needed it and they feel better afterwards. All their blankets were also washed.
Tonight is home made pizza night, fresh made pizza dough, toppings, Fontina and Parmesan cheese, sliced tomatoes, sauté mushrooms and a green pesto sauce. I always prefer a white sauce or a pesto sauce, I am not big on tomato sauce on pizza. In Italy, the variety of pizzas is interesting and ever changing and tomato sauce is not common. Again it looks like it is an Italian immigrant cuisine invention. The pizza is cooked in the oven in a black cast iron skillet pan at 500 F. for a few minutes.
Pizza ready to be cooked toping is arugula Pesto, Mushrooms, slice fresh tomatoes, red onion, Fontina cheese and Parmesan.
Yesterday was Canada Day and we had a BBQ at the Club. I volunteered to be the Grill Master on our 8 burner BBQ. I cooked 50 Burgers, 24 hotdogs and 16 Bratwurst. The burgers were good sirloin beef type. The Bratwurst were also very good, the hotdogs, I am not crazy about but they were popular nonetheless. I served everyone, they assembled their own toppings, we had great cheese selections and all the usual condiments. After I was done I cooked my own. I got help from one other member who moved things along with the serving. We also featured Canada’s Official Cocktail the Bloody Cesar, Yes Julius Caesar was Canadian from Banff or was it Lake Louise, Alberta. Makes sense really he defeated Hannibal and his elephants in the Rockies as they were marching down to Rome or was it Publius Cornelius Scipio? No matter, it’s a good story.
I wish I could do Clamato juice the old way, when you added to a tomato juice bottle a cup of crushed clams. You crushed them with your bare hands, wash your hands before doing this.
The weather was beautiful, sunny and a very pleasant 22 C. Just a perfect day for all. I did not take any photos and it was only afterwards that I thought about it, too late.
Today I went shopping at M.R. Seafoods which is my favourite shop for very fresh seafood or fish in Charlottetown. They sell the best Seafood Chowder mix, varied and generous. So Will is making it for our dinner. He also like to make the broth with 2 bottles of Clam juice and whole tomatoes, but I would not call it Manhattan style because it is not the same recipe.
Will also made bread today, it smells soooo good, it is also cheaper than buying at the bakery where the loaf is now $6.00
At the Grocery store I ran into at the Cashier station on one of my old nemesis in PEI, a very prominent developer who in my last campaign for Municipal Office in 2018 had been a constant opposition pain to me and was very unpleasant during the whole campaign. He of course knows a lot of people and there was a constant harassment campaign. Today we had a very nice chat and he invited me to visit his new resort on the North Coast and the new restaurant. Then he asked if I was going to run again this November, I said no I am not, I have other priorities now. He went on to say that I should run again, someone like me would be needed to replace the gang we now have, including the Mayor. Remembering what happened in 2018, I was very surprised by his invitation to run now. I take it all with a grain of salt. I prefer to write opinion pieces, they have more punch and bring a response.
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.
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.
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