Saturday, January 21, 2017
Today an estimated 500,000 (including many men) women marched in Washington as did millions of women in 600 "sister marches" worldwide to protest Donald Trump's presidency and to remind him that women have rights (http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/womens-march-on-washington-crowd-streets-1.3946818). They marched for liberty, reproductive rights, wage inequality, and human rights in general. Many wore pink "pussyhats" to mock the president (they were a response to Trump's 2005 Access Hollywood remarks boasting about grabbing women's genitalia) and carried signs that read: "Our Bodies. Our Minds. Our Power," "Don't Grab My P***y," "Make Empathy Great Again," "Reproductive Rights are Human Rights," and "Stop Pretending Your Racism is Patriotism" (http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/10-striking-signs-from-the-women-s-march-in-toronto-1.3946745). I have a friend who was in Washington today, and man, do I wish I could have been there with her. I support my sisters in the South against a sexist and racist bully who will do anything but make America great again over the next four years. He will divide rather than unite. He will build walls rather than bridges. It's sad that women still have to fight for reproductive and other rights in the 21st century as they did hundreds of years ago. It also makes my blood boil. As if any person let alone a man has the right to tell a woman what she and cannot do with her body. Last time, I checked slavery had been abolished a long time again. It's incredible how abortion is "wrong," yet bearing arms is alright. Sure, keep increasing military spending and going into countries that don't want you there. Like that won't bite you in the ass one day. Not. According to a Statistics Canada 2015 survey, women still only earn 82 cents for every dollar earned by men (Statistics Canada, "Table 282-0072: Labour Force Survey Estimates (LFS), Wages of Employees by Type of Work, North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), Sex and Age Group," CANSIM (2016). A sexist like Trump won't be concerned about this. Although neither is our "feminist" prime minister Justin Trudeau. One of my good friends who is black said that she doesn't want to talk about American politics for the next four years. She is sickened. Simply sickened. So am I. Make America Great Again? Oh Donald, Donald, Donald. Go back to Celebrity Apprentice, the world you know best.
Wednesday, January 18, 2017
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's decision to answer English questions in French in Sherbrooke shows major disrespect to the English minority in Sherbrooke (and the whole of Quebec for that matter) as well as major sucking up to the French in Quebec. A province that didn't vote for him to get into power. A province that cares only about its interests and one that is obsessed with and paranoid about the French language. I know as I'm from there. It is very unbefitting for a prime minister to behave like this. I understand bilingualism is important and speak French myself; however, Trudeau blatantly disregarded the English minority in Sherbrooke when he answered all questions in English, including one from Judy Ross who asked about anglophone access to mental health services. Ross said his response was "very insulting. I really felt disrespected" (http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/justin-trudeau-sherbrooke-french-quebec-town-hall-1.3940629). Gerald Cutting, president of the Townshippers' Association, which represents the local English-language community, said he was shocked and appalled by Trudeau's actions. "It was as if someone had just walked up to me and hit me in the stomach. I lost my breath," said Cutting who was at the town hall meeting. "During the whole time that the prime minister was in the meeting, he did not say one word of English, not even in his opening remarks." (http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/justin-trudeau-sherbrooke-french-quebec-town-hall-1.3940629). Cutting added that French-speakers around him also were puzzled by the prime minister's actions. "People afterwards said, 'Would he have ever thought of going into Manitoba and answering a French Manitoban who asked a question in French, and say, well, we're in Manitoba and therefore we should speak in English?''' Trudeau, who was "surprised" by all the English questions in Sherbrooke, now says that in retrospect maybe he should have answered the English questions in English (http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/justin-trudeau-sherbrooke-french-quebec-town-hall-1.3940629). Didn't have the brains to think of that earlier, eh, Justin? Ah, it must be nice to have gotten elected because of your daddy's legacy and name. Three people have filed complaints with the Commissioner of Offical Languages. I think more should do so. Robert Libman, the former leader of the old Equality Party (a defunct English rights group in Quebec), said Pierre Trudeau must be rolling over in his grave because of his son's behaviour. He added that Trudeau’s refusal “is a transparent attempt to curry favour with Quebec nationalists and score cheap political points in the province” (http://montrealgazette.com/news/quebec/justin-trudeau-raked-over-the-coals-for-french-answers-to-english-questions). I agree! Trudeau is sucking up big time and not being discreet about it at all. Libman said it’s the second time in the past month that Trudeau “denigrated” the historical presence of Quebec’s English-speaking population. The same thing happened during the Ottawa-Gatineau bilingualism debate where he said, “Quebec has to be French in order for Canada to be bilingual” (http://montrealgazette.com/news/quebec/justin-trudeau-raked-over-the-coals-for-french-answers-to-english-questions). These are words that a separatist would use not someone who supposedly loves the country that voted him into office for the next four years. Trudeau's comment from the bilingualism debate is a load of BS. Parts of Northern Ontario like Timmins and Kapuskasing are made up of primarily French speakers. New Brunswick prides itself on being the only officially bilingual province in Canada. Ottawa has become extremely bilingual since I moved to Ontario over 12 years ago in August 2004. French is not dying anytime soon. In fact, it's getting harder in Ottawa to find work if you don't speak French. Good luck getting into the government. It's becoming kind of discriminatory towards English speakers who are qualified for jobs other than not being fluent in French. The University of Ottawa is quite militant in its use of French. It is something I was "used" to in Quebec. Jason Kenney, one of Stephen Harper's former cabinet ministers, tweeted that Trudeau's behaviour was an example of the "sort of arrogance that undermines support for bilingualism," (http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/justin-trudeau-sherbrooke-french-quebec-town-hall-1.3940629). Furthermore, if Trudeau is so concerned about bilingualism in Canada would it not be wise to ensure people in Quebec learn English, so they too can expand their minds, horizons, and prospects as well? What a radical thought! That is what a truly bilingual Canada would be: everyone knowing both languages not just one! Mais oui!
Sunday, January 8, 2017
It's 2017. A new year. Time to lose weight. Make more "me" time. Volunteer somewhere. Whatever your resolution may be. One of my friends is trying to be more positive and stay away from negativity. Personally, I don't make resolutions. What's the point? I'll break them anyway and then will be mad at myself. Be disappointed in myself. I have enough disappointment as it is. Online dating is a crappy way to meet people but seems to be the way to meet people these days. Good luck. I've been single for about six months now. I'm taking a break from online dating though. I can't handle all the sex fiends or guys who hold money and feel energy from it or who think GMOs will kill us all and that people are dying because other people only care about money. You wonder why some people are still single. Paranoid rants are just so unattractive. Try to find a job? Good luck if you're a millennial. For all the jobs out there, a high percentage of them are part time. There is no stability. There are no benefits or retirement plans. Debt adds up. Good luck saving through an RRSP. Two jobs are becoming the norm. A university degree is a piece of paper with no guarantee. Owning a house? That's a sweet sweet fantasy, isn't it, Mariah? The CBC recently did a segement about millennials and how they face three tough challenges in 2017's economy: precarious work, high home prices, and questions of whether retirement will ever be a reality (http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/under-35-you-face-at-least-3-tough-challenges-in-the-2017-economy-1.3921393). Young people like Samantha Louise Emery who lives in Calgary works a full time and part time job to make ends meet. "I'm just working all the time," she said (http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/under-35-you-face-at-least-3-tough-challenges-in-the-2017-economy-1.3921393). I feel her pain. I'm working two jobs: office contracts through an agency and part time at a call centre. I work with a woman who works three jobs and lives alone with her dog. She still doesn't make a lot especially since most of her jobs are around the minimum wage dollar mark. Home ownership? Good luck with that. If you want it of course. Personally, I'm a minimalist and have never aspired to own a house. What would I put in it? Stuff that that I don't need? For many millennials, one of the most daunting expenses is the down payment. A BMO survey found that "65 per cent said that they would have to rely on parents or other family members for help with as much as 10 per cent of the purchase price"(http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/under-35-you-face-at-least-3-tough-challenges-in-the-2017-economy-1.3921393). Retirement is another major concern. TD Bank found that more than half of millennials surveyed "would like to retire by the time they turn 60, but only a quarter think that's a realistic possibility. Most expect to have to work in their 60s or their 70" (http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/under-35-you-face-at-least-3-tough-challenges-in-the-2017-economy-1.3921393). I definitely see myself working into my 70s. If I don't end up homeless, I consider myself ahead of the game. Of course, the age of retirement is questionable and depends on if millennials can even afford to put money into an RRSP. Emery said, "I was paying into RRSPs before, automatically off my paycheques, but I decided to stop that because I needed the extra money for my bills and everything"(http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/under-35-you-face-at-least-3-tough-challenges-in-the-2017-economy-1.3921393). My Dad helps me out with this area, which I am grateful for. I also had some money saved from a previous job's RRSP, which went into my personal one. Other than that, I'm just struggling to pay my rent, bills, and afford groceries. Some months are better than others. Thank God for the Food Bank and loving friends and family. What do I hope for in 2017? Finding a full time office job and maybe getting back into publishing articles is paramount. Working two jobs is difficult, and I sometimes fear burn out. Meeting a good guy who is not commitment phobic and is emotionally available for a relationship would be awesome as would having strong and healthy relationships with my family and friends. I will try to stay away from negative people who criticize and bring me down. Hopefully I will lose some weight. More importantly, hopefully I will learn to love and forgive myself too. That would be a good thing. P.S. While at a friend's for dinner one day, I noticed an anonymous quote scribbled on her bulletin board that has stuck with me to this day: "Nothing will ruin your 30s more than thinking you should have your life together already." Let's try to remember that, my fellow millennials!