Saturday, June 30, 2007


Despite loosing our status in the world, despite crumbling infrastructure, increasingly poor governance at all levels of government and despite any number of problems going unaddressed that will cause major problems for us all down the road...

We should still feel very fortunate to live in this country. It provides us with the ability to fix all of our problems even if we choose not to.

This country has done a lot of good and will continue to do so. I am proud to be Canadian, we all should.

This Canada day weekend I would urge all of you to do two things, two things that each and every citizen needs to do to ensure our Country stays a world class place to be 1) learn about your country. 2) work to make your country a better place. it needs the help.



Sunday, June 24, 2007


Really great article from the last edition of the Economist

"Absurd titles


Jun 14th 2007
From The Economist print edition

It is time to let the Russian royal family rest in peace

Peter Schrank

WHEN, a few years ago, word came that British bird lovers anxious about the decline of the house sparrow had appointed a sparrow tsar, it seemed that the tsar vogue must have reached its zenith. France already had a crime tsar, London a traffic tsar, Japan a banking tsar, the European Union a foreign-policy tsar, and America had tsars for adoption, baseball, B-movies, manufacturing, record labels, you name it. No one, however, could outdo the sparrow tsar, or so you might think. Surely he would prove to be not so much the reductio ad absurdum as the dernier cri, the ne plus ultra in the once-rarefied realm of tsardom? But no. The latest newcomer, unless one has been added since you started this paragraph, is President George Bush's war tsar.

In fact, tsar-creation has never even faltered. Newish title-holders include Canada's copyright tsar, New Orleans's recovery tsar, Singapore's baby tsar, Tony Blair's respect tsar, Thailand's condom tsar and America's nipple tsar (Michael Powell, whose job as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission was to prevent a repetition of Janet Jackson's televised bosom exposure). They join an ever-swelling band of AIDS tsars, counter-terrorism tsars, cyber-security tsars, economy tsars, food-safety tsars, learning-disability tsars, piracy tsars, water tsars and even mental-health-service-user tsars.

All of which is a bit odd. One of the few points of agreement for most of the 20th century was that tsars were a Bad Thing, a particularly nasty example of natural selection that started with some brutal caesars, took in some belligerent kaisers and found its most excruciating expression in the Russian variants. Their rehabilitation in almost every quarter must rank as the most sudden, surprising and complete in the history of brand management. Republican Americans cannot get enough tsars. The purist-nationalist French, overseen by the Académie Française, seem ready to embrace them. And the Russians—yes, of all people, the Russians—have succumbed to an advertising tsar. A haemophilia tsar cannot be far away.

Nowhere is the triumph of the tsars more evident than in the wicked world of drugs. This world is divided into countries whose citizens yearn to see a drug tsar appointed and countries that have already got one. Why is a drug tsar so universally necessary? To see off the drug barons, of course. Until quite recently barons were a Good Thing. They brought bad King John to heel at Runnymede. Now they are a Bad Thing. What next? Führers, Caudillos, Duci, Gauleiters and Generalisimos must be due for a comeback.

It is time to put a stop to all this. The English language, borrowing, as so often, from Latin, already has a word for a supreme head. It is supremo. Journalists should try using it (they can fall back on big cheese occasionally). For their part, governments should try using titles that accurately describe the activities of their officials.

Bring on the serfs and kulaks

Once upon a time Britain had a minister for war. Now the same job is done by the secretary of state for defence. It also has a Captain of the Yeomen of the Guard. No one would guess it, but he is a deputy government whip. Minister for delivery and quality sounds plain and straightforward, but no one knows what he delivers, never mind its quality. Does the minister for social exclusion promote social exclusion, just as the minister for education presumably promotes education? Perhaps it does not matter: in Britain obfuscation is all.

Japan, by contrast, has a minister for the privatisation of the postal services. That is explicit. Unfortunately, minister for the rechallenge is not. His job is to give people a second go in life, though that sounds very much like the responsibility of the minister for disaster management. In Japan, however, that title means what it says. Elsewhere it refers to damage limitation, a task for spin doctors.

Now did the tsars have spin doctors? They certainly had lifestyle gurus. Time, surely, to rehabilitate Rasputin"


Friday, June 22, 2007


So this weekend I intend to take in anumber of Ottawa Fringe plays include 'Miss April Day's school for burgeoning young strippers', 'the churchill protocol', 'dee fried curried perogies' and 'who's afraid of tippy seagram'.

More info can be found here. I strongly encourage all of you with a fringe in your town to go out and enjoy!



Wednesday, June 20, 2007


No, not like that. But Liz has decided to take a little trip with her cousin to Europe for the next 30 days. I was more than invited to come but after our honeymoon I just couldn't take that much time off (especially since I don't currently get paid vacation time).

Now I know how she feels when I leave on various trips of natures personal and business. Its a big house when its just you and two cats!

Anyway my friend Hazim met liz at Heathrow and is giving them a place to stay while in London. After that they are on to amsterdam and then... well i'm not really sure if they have anything planned after than but either across germany to berlin then down through poland/czech/austria/italy or down through belgium, france italy.



Monday, June 18, 2007


This is even worse than Vancouver's Olympic logo.

An unusual choice

If the organisers of the 2012 Olympics games had a pound for each bilious word aimed at their new logo, they could stage the greatest event ever. The graffiti-style design, which cost £400,000 ($790,000), was unveiled on June 4th to widespread criticism. Several politicians promptly signed a parliamentary motion demanding that it be scrapped. The graffiti-style logo comes in four colours that apparently symbolise access, participation, stimulation and inspiration. “We don't do bland,” explained Lord Coe, the organising committee’s chairman. “This is not a bland city.” More embarrassment followed when an animated version of the logo was withdrawn after reports of it triggering epileptic seizures."
Go london...

Thursday, June 14, 2007


Yesterday... while walking home from the office.... I walked under a tree and then felt something grabbing my hair, grabbing my scalp and pulling me back.

At first I thougt it was some punk kid, then I thought maybe it was a bee but when I looked around all I could see was a red winged blackbird. The bird attacked me!

There is no food in my hair! I think nature is finally starting to bite back... get ready people... we're through the looking glass.



Monday, June 11, 2007


And now that I am back I urge all of you to read Rick Mercer's most recent blog post (linked below and to the right). It summs up just about everything I think and feel about the current government.



Friday, June 01, 2007


Off to Geneva on Sunday.

I'm looking forward to this trip. Geneva is a very pleasent place, although not very exciting. It does however boast one of the few pubs outside of the UK (and there aren't that many in the UK) that has Bellhaven scottish ale on tap!

I think we can get some good work done for the GEO ministerial this fall Canada has led on the progress report and have already contributed to the ministerial declaration so I'm very hopefully we can continue our well thought of leadership role on this.