Happy Birthday To Me!

Turning the big milestone in a pandemic. Second birthday in lockdown too! I just re-read what I wrote for my last birthday in lockdown.

Wow how young and idealistic I was. So naive and optimistic. Here’s the thing I still am. Don’t get me wrong I am frustrated with where we are. I was hoping that at 40 I wouldn’t be looking at the exact same situation as I did when I turned 39. I am even more frustrated with the anti-masker, conspiracy theorists and anti vaxxers that still parade around. Causing more harm than good.

However, that doesn’t detract from my optimism for us all. As many readers know, I co-host a news and issues podcast called The 905er. Our most compelling episodes in my opinion are with our younger guests. Teens and young adults working to make our world a better and more fairer place. I must admit that I am in awe of their passion and commitment to justice. It reminds me that there are somethings worth fighting for.

Vaccines are being rolled out. Clumsily and chaotically sometimes, but they are getting in people arms. And the majority of people want them. We are going to get through this. I am hopeful that we will become something better on the other side. Perseverance is key, and it will be rewarded.

And then this time next year, when we are all vaccinated and able to socialise like normal again, you can all be invited to celebrate my 39th birthday…again.

There is no PRIDE in the cowardice of the Halton Catholic School Board

Last night was supposed to be the vote on whether or not the Halton Catholic School Board would raise the PRIDE flag at their schools. The motion put forward by Trustee Brenda Agnew based on a delegation by HCDSB student Nicole Hotchkiss, was front and centre on the agenda. Five delegations were scheduled to speak. Included in the agenda package for the night were over 200 letters from ratepayers addressing the policy. To say this least a lot of attention was going to be paid to the board meeting tonight.

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The weekend that changed Ontario

In one weekend rarely as the political landscape shifted so drastically for a government. For weeks, in Ontario, the third wave has rampaged through the population. In an effort to redeem it’s credibility the Ford government announced stricter measures to curb the spread. These included, closing of parks and playgrounds and allowing widespread carding of anyone ‘suspected’ of violating COVID-19 protocols. You could feel the a collective sigh as the majority of us came to realise this government is out of ideas.

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A scarier and more private Cold War

In case you’ve been cooped up raging against the news over COVID-19. Here’s something that you might have missed. The Guardian published a fantastic whistleblower account of Facebook’s inability to properly police it’s own policies.

You can read it here. Sophie Zhang was a low level employee who’s job it was to police fake engagement on the site. Essentially when someone tries to boost their own profile through getting fake likes to game the algorithm. She was let go under less than auspicious circumstances as outlined in the article.

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And to top it all off…the LCBO is broken…

Protip to the powers that be. If you’re going to declare a crown corporation an essential service during a pandemic, make sure it’s equipped to handled the pandemic!

This week, we all got the surprise (not a surprise) announcement that Ontario schools would be shut down indefinitely post our current April Break. This in the midst of a shutdown or lockdown or whatever it’s called now. We’re told to shop curbside primarily, most retail stores are closed to indoor browsing. Restaurants are limited now to only curbside pick up. Only essential businesses are allowed to remain open. Amongst those essential businesses is the LCBO.

Now I’m sure you’re thinking “Hey, great, I’ll just stock up on some of my favourite wines or craft beers and just hunker down and entertain myself and my family for the time being.” How am I supposed to order from the LCBO in these times of uncertainty? Well online of course. Just like every one else is told they are to pivot to now. You can order from the LCBO online, except for one caveat. If you’re sitting on gift cards from a birthday or from Christmas, you can’t use them.

Yep, that’s right. Every other retailer in the world enables you to cash in gift cards online for purchases. Not the LCBO though. That is too advanced for the government’s monopoly run liquor retailer. Don’t believe me? Visit the website here and try to use your own gift cards to purchase something:

Normally, this would just be a sign of a policy that would cost a company money. However, it’s a government run business. In the middle of a government mandated lockdown. This has been going on for a year now. There has been plenty of time to ensure your payment system is on par with the 21st century economy.

This has just been another inconsistent messaging mistake in a long line of mistakes from this government. How can you tell people to stay at home and use curbside for essential services like the LCBO, but not provide them with the tools to do so? This may seem inconsequential, but it’s just another example of the left hand not knowing what the right is doing. Which at this point, really shouldn’t be surprising to any of us.

This is what a Canadian Rebellion looks like

The news of the day is of course, the Peel medical officer of health, Dr. Lawrence Loh invoking his authority to close schools for the next two weeks.

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The signs are there, the Ontario government is grasping at straws

I have said many many times on here, that the province’s communications on COVID-19 is just as vital as the vaccine. We need to know what to do and how to do it to keep ourselves save. Its a lesson our provincial government is still struggling to learn.

A few months ago, we were coming out of the second wave. Lockdown restrictions were being lifted and the hope was we’d be getting vaccinations soon to help prevent another situation from arising like we’d just experienced. I had hoped that lessons had been learned, that plans would’ve been adjusted to encourage behaviour that would prevent the need for a third lockdown.

It appears that is not to be the case.

In today’s episode of The 905er, we go off on the status quo in Ontario. Listen to it here:

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