31 July 2009


There's considerable outrage in British Columbia over the announcement that the province is instituting a harmonized sales tax effective July 1, 2010. While there has long been a 7% PST on most items, that's now going to be applied across the spectrum. Naturally, people aren't happy. The letters to the editor section at Castanet is rife with anger. The thing that gets me about it is the personalization of the anger that is directed at Premier Campbell, as though the new tax is going directly into his wallet. "Organized crime," liar, thieves, yada yada yada.
I'm just young enough to not remember much of the outrage that occurred when the GST was implemented, replacing the manufacturers tax before it that was "hidden" in pricing. I remember the stand made by Sheila Copps after the Liberals were elected and subsequently didn't abolish it as promised, but little else. I'd imagine people were pretty angry, though.
Nobody likes taxes, this much is true. Me, I really don't like income taxes--more specifically, I really don't like having to deal with Revenue Canada when they screw up my return on an annual basis. Consumption taxes don't really bother me that much - it's all going to a good cause, right? I kid, I kid. Seriously though, when budget deficits are going to be the norm across the land for some years to come due to the brutalization that has occurred at the hands of Messrs. Harper and Flaherty, governments need revenue to continue to develop and deliver programs while keeping the books as close to balanced as possible. In a sense, I wonder if Campbell is taking a preemptive measure here as a guard against possible cuts to federal-provincial transfers that may well be in the offing. That's not the sum total of the reasoning behind the implementation, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's part of it.

All of this said, I'm still hoping to avoid paying the HST on the wedding.

27 July 2009

Coyotes to Play in Canada???

I'm sure that Balsillie is fuming over this notion.

From tsn.ca

According to a report in the Globe and Mail a group that is intending to bid on the Phoenix Coyotes wants to bring five of the team's regular season games to Saskatoon or Halifax.
The Globe is reporting that the group known as Ice Edge Holdings has been in discussion with both Canadian cities so that the Coyotes could play "home games" in either Saskatoons Credit Union Centre or likely the Halifax Metro Centre. The group also stated that should the Coyotes make the playoffs they would hold some of the team's post-season contests in the above-mentioned Canadian cities as well.
"Canada is obviously a tremendous hockey market, yet there are currently 6,000 kilometres of Canadian soil that have no exposure to the NHL in their home market," Ice Edge partner Daryl Jones told the Globe. "Our plan from the outset was to work with a Canadian city that doesn't have NHL territorial rights issues, and also one that wouldn't be considered a threat to the fans in Phoenix."
"It's a great opportunity to bring regular season NHL hockey to a Canadian city that otherwise would never have the opportunity. It is a great way to ensure the team stays in Phoenix for the long run, but partners with a Canadian city in the process."
The proposal, named "grassroots Canadian hockey strategy" will be presented to the NHL's executive board on Wednesday in Chicago. The group reportedly has no plans to relocate the team if their bid is successful and sees the games as an opportunity to generate additional revenue.

The Metro Centre is a dump but they would almost certainly sell more tickets for actual NHL games here and generate more revenue than they would in Phoenix. It would not be very pretty, as the arena here is even older than the Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh and lacks its charm. The QMJHL broadcasts don't look very hot and I can't imagine how they'd possibly be able to whip the place up to NHL standards for broadcasting purposes. Factor in the time zones and the excessive travel for a Western Conference team, and the Saskatoon option gains instant appeal vis-a-vis Halifax.
However, if they really wanted to get people all a-tizzy, book the games against the Habs, Leafs, Bruins, and Penguins. It may be a "home game" for the 'Yotes but I guarantee that the fan support would be like 99%-1% for the so-called visitors. This place is pretty evenly divided when it comes to loyalties, with a lot of the old-time hockey fans divided among the Ooriginal Six and a lot of the new wave latching on to the Penguins due to Sidney Crosby (who, btw, is coming here next Friday with the Stanley Cup!)The 1% for the Pittsburgh game would only cheer for Phoenix because they like Alex Ovechkin more than Crosby. They'd likely also get injured by the mob.

20 July 2009

West Kelowna Fires

Thoughts are with everybody in the affected and evacuated areas. We all remember what 2003 was like but we should also remember how Kelowna came together as a community and supported the brave firefighters. People will need to count upon one another for shelter, food, and supplies. I hope that everybody steps up and does their part and sets an example for people to aspire to meet.

Stay strong Kelowna!

09 July 2009


There is so much to say about Saku Koivu and what he means to true Habs fans and the city of Montreal. He is taken from the mold of Beliveau: pure class, a gentleman, respected by all of his peers and even many of his enemies, somebody who transcends the game and serves as a reminder that there are some very good people out there. He did everything he could to make a winner in Montreal, and has always stood above the criticisms levelled at him by people that could never in their own wildest dreams measure up to his calibre. He will be truly missed. It will be so strange to not see #11 in a Montreal jersey next season, and equally strange to see him wearing a different sweater. Even without the Cups of the legendary leaders who came before him, Saku Koivu deserves to have his name mentioned among the all-time great Canadiens and I would not at all be surprised to see serious consideration regarding the potential retirement of that jersey. Red Fisher aptly described Saku with the nickname "Special K"; the fans of Anaheim will now get the opportunity to see how special this man is. Thank you for the memories, Saku, and good luck.

08 July 2009

The Non-Cookie Eating Monster!

Uhhhh, OK.

'It's a scandal'

On any given day there are few things I find more ridiculous than religion. I find it even more ridiculous when the two co-mingle. And this one takes the wafer.

Look, I'm all for knocking on Harper for any number of reasons. Putting a stupid cookie in his pocket isn't one of them. It's a cookie. He's not not eating Jesus or drinking his blood (he only eats and drinks the blood of kittens, doncha know?) or whatever bizarre ritualistic meaning is affixed by religious types to cookies, he's simply not eating a cookie. Putting on the outrage hats and demanding answers from the PMO over this doesn't change the fact that it's a cookie.

It's stuff like this that honestly makes me wonder how people can take religion seriously. Cripes.