Ontario’s Challenge

This article in the London Free Press caught my eye.  Alberta sent a small team of people to London recruiting for people to move west.  They were successful enough that they promise to return.

The headline for this?  Alberta poaching London labour’.  Like they don’t have the right to find skilled people wherever they may be?  As a person that left Alberta this fall and is now resident in London, the reasons for people to quit Ontario are many and varied.  Ontarians look with green envious eyes at Alberta’s wealth, yet I suggest that even if they were blessed with oil revenues the situation would be the same, Ontario governments would spend all that wealth on boondoggles and social programs and nothing would permanently improve. 

Ontario is a nanny state, even municipal government is trying to run social programs instead of concentrating on what they actually exist for.  London has Ontario’s highest city taxes, there is crime and graffiti in the streets and too many nonsensical ideas for small businesses to thrive.  Hence there are fewer opportunities for people willing to work – the exact opposite of Alberta.  As an example, the London mayor was recently re-elected for a third term, yet the city is clearly mismanaged to a shocking degree, from garbage collection to the huge municipal debt incurred for a conference/sports arena that only returns $150,000 in revenue per year.

Albertans created for themselves the opportunities that now exist in the boom by consistently supporting a strong conservative provincial government that took the economy and managed it to a debt-free and open for business land of opportunity for the enterprising.  Admittedly this came at a cost, roads there are in poor shape and the health system was hurting for a while too.  However, these are temporary now that the money is pouring into Alberta’s coffers the infrastructure and public services are improving rapidly, still without debt and still with enough left over for its citizens to get ‘Ralph bucks’ in the mail.

The article quotes Jeny Wallace, director of workforce development for the London Economic Development Corp:

"It bothers me because businesses are already struggling and tougher times are coming in terms of labour shortages. Business here needs to understand what is going on — that Alberta is trying to take from our workforce." 

Well cry me a river Jeny, but London makes it so easy for Alberta by being backwards in its management that it must be like taking cansy from a baby for the westerners.  Instead of looking nervously westward I recommend the focus of the LEDC be on why people are willing to leave, indeed are eager for an opportunity.  Whining about the situation is no solution, fixing what is wrong in London, and Ontario more generally, would close the gap to where the positives of a move west become marginal and therefore lessen the net outflow of people.

Ontario is a nice place and I am glad to be here – for one reason the climate is less inclined to try and kill you so early in the year – it is mid November and a pleasant 8C, compared to -27C today in Edmonton.  I can live easily with a 35C difference in my favour.  Yet as a recent resident of Alberta I could wish for a more vibrant London economy so that I could be applying for more than one job a week, and so that I don’t have to suffer the consequences of the fools in municipal power.  But, here I am and so it is – I get my vote and I will use it to try and get change, I can talk to the people I meet here and tell them of how their vote can effect change and maybe I might be a part of the solution. 

London and Ontario would do well to look at how Alberta has achieved its success and learn.  Until they do they have every reason to be nervous of how many skilled people will leave them without so much as a glance back.

Choosing Sides

I recommend you watch this video by Aussie songstress Beccy Cole.

She visited the Australian forces (Diggers) in Iraq and upon her return received some negative fan feedback about supporting the war.  The video is her response to those ‘fans’.  I would think she just made a lot more friends with this strong message of support for the troops than she lost from the bleeding heart no-clue lefties that sent their posters back.

Onya Beccy!

Red Poppies

Today is Remembrance Day when we recall the acts of sacrifice and valour that provide the freedoms we enjoy today.  To all veterans past, present and future – thank you.

To those that would strive to pervert this noble tradition, screw you.  Here is an article about ‘peace’ groups selling white poppies ‘for peace’.  The Legion is taking them on – and my money is with the boys and girls that have served over a bunch of whining hippies.  Note that in the article one activist says that the white poppies are distributed free beacuse "peace is free" while one store owner in Edmonton is selling them at $2 each.  Nice.

Today of all days is when we remember that peace is NOT free, it comes at a terrible cost.  For those that sell, wear and support white poppies this is a lesson you need to learn – your freedom was won at a price by people that you are unfit to share a room with.

Too Close to the Truth?

Macleans magazine recently published an excerpt from Mark Steyn’s new book ‘America Alone: The End of the Wold As We Know It’ under the cover headline of ‘The Future Belongs to Islam’

Steyn has been a long time proponent of demographics being the best indicator of the future shape of the world, and his Macleans article focuses on the fallout of declining European birth rates combined with a population boom amongst Europe’s Islamic immigrants.  It is a serious read – even with Steyn’s trademark wit and style.

In fact, it is so serious a read that CAIR-CAN (the Council on American-Islamic Relations Canada) wants their supporters to mount a letter writing campaign to Macleans in protest against what they see as a ‘fear-mongering’ article. 

So, if I understand this correctly Mark Steyn points out some demographic facts and postulates about the likely outcomes and CAIR-CAN calls it ‘fear-mongering’.  Are they acknowledging that there is in fact something we should be afraid of?  Has Steyn’s article prompted a ‘gotcha’ moment?

Although the demographics are quite easy to understand, Steyn has been almost alone for the past number of years in pointing out the consequences for Europe of running out of Europeans.  While his commentary is bread and butter for many right of centre blogs, it seems not to be taken up often in the mainstream.  This suits the types of folks at CAIR-CAN because the longer the threat goes unacknowledged, the harder any measures to turn around the effects of the many small (but part of a greater and darker whole) concessions to Islam will be for western nations.  Here are some examples from the US of ‘small’ concessions recently won in the name of Islam:

(Source: FrontPage Magazine, Paul Sperry )

* In North Seattle, Wash., a public pool agreed to set up a swim time for Muslim women in which men, even male lifeguards, are banned.

* In Hamtramck, Mich., officials amended a noise ordinance to let mosques broadcast calls to prayer over loudspeakers — despite complaints that the Arabic chants, repeated five times a day, are a nuisance.

* In Irvington, N.J., public schools agreed to close for Muslim holidays, joining schools in Paterson and Trenton, as well as ones in Dearborn, Mich., that have recognized Islamic holy days.

* In Fairfax, Va., public schools agreed to produce local TV announcements in Arabic and Farsi.

* In San Francisco, a federal appeals court gave its blessing to Muslim role-playing exercises in California public schools, even though the pro-Islamic lessons — written by Saudi-backed consultants — appear designed to promote the religion rather than simply teach its history.

* In Kansas City, airport officials agreed to install special wash basins in restrooms for Muslim taxi drivers who complained they couldn’t easily wash their feet before praying.

Hence the CAIR-CAN reaction when one of Canada’s top selling magazines puts the topic on its cover along with a pithy article from Steyn.  If Canadians read Steyn’s warning they may not be so malleable the next time a muslim group asks for Sharia law to be recognized, and that is unacceptable to the PR wing of the Islamists.

Here is what the CAIR-CAN people are asking ‘people of conscience’ to do, along with 4 handy-dandy talking points in case reasons don’t immediately come to mind:

ACTION REQUESTED

1. Write a 150 word letter to Maclean’s Magazine for print.
2. Or submit a two to three paragraph letter to the Maclean’s editorial board.
When writing it is critical to keep Maclean’s readership in mind and maintain a style that is calm and convincing, but firm.

TALKING POINTS
1. The article entitled “The Future belongs to Islam” is inflammatory and offensive. It does little to build bridges, it simply divides people.
2. It would be appreciated if such provocative articles are not given space and if Maclean’s maintains a balanced editorial policy.
3. Maclean’s in the past was an authoritative and respectable voice for Canadians; however, today’s Maclean’s is clearly breaking away from this tradition.
4. If Maclean’s Magazine continues to publish such articles, I will consider not renewing my subscription.

The best recommendation I have for any readers here that feel like a little counter-counter-intelligence work is to write your own letter to Maclean’s in support of their publishing the article.  CAIR-CAN needs to understand that suppression of debate, however much they do not care for the argument is un-Canadian and will not be tolerated. 

Maclean’s can be contacted via:

E-mail: letters@macleans.ca

Fax: 416.764.1332

Maclean’s Letters
One Mount Pleasant Road
11th floor
Toronto, ON
M4Y 2Y5

If CAIR-CAN have counter points to what Steyn has written, let’s see them.  Tell Canadians why the article is wrong, and why – if you can.  Simply trying to bully a magazine into submission and denying Canadian readers of a voice is the kind of tactic that gets you labeled Islamo-fascist.