WANTED: Canadian Trade Negotiator

The successful candidate will know that:

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is not a sacred cow.

A good trade deal should bolster Canadian business/manufacturing and small-town Canada, not do the opposite.

Canadian cows and poultry are not sacred.

A sound negotiator prevents foreign dumping of products.

You do not sign a sucker of a deal, e.g., Ambassador Bridge/Gordie Howe International Bridge fiasco.

You do not sell the family farm, e.g., the sale Nexen (Canadian oil and gas company) to China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC Group).

A well negotiated trade deal should not need a dispute settlement mechanism.

You must understand the priorities of the leader or potential leader of a country well in advance of trade talks.

Your country’s international negotiating prowess is enhanced when it has fair and balanced national trade.

Fair trade is the goal.

Trade is not free.

 

Posted in Government Behaviour | Leave a comment

Municipal election primer: does your elected official know when to move on?

How many terms have each of your elected officials served?

Unfortunately, elected officials rarely know when its time to move on.  Democracy is best served and protected when an elected office is renewed through new people.

How do we know this?

  1.  Mr. Ben Franklin said:  “In free governments, the rulers are the servants, and the people their superiors . . . . For the former to return among the latter does not degrade, but promote them.”
  2. Mr. Einer Elhauge’s report for the Cato Institute showed that “term limits lessen the influence of seniority. His research demonstrated that long-term lawmakers from both major parties vote for more bureaucracy than do lawmakers who have been in office for shorter times. Term limits lessen the ability of lawmakers to develop cozy deals with either bureaucracies or special interests that seek to get something from government at everyone else’s expense.”1

Until term limits are fully mandated, it’s up to you, the electorate, to act as arbiter of democracy by supporting new people who run for office.

Let’s remember that an elected seat is not the property of the holder.

——–

  1. https://fee.org/articles/why-term-limits/

 

Posted in Government Structure, The Political Class | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Do you have common sense?

If you put your garbage to the curb not more than 24 hours before collection day, you may have common sense.

If you use lawnmowers and other noisy tools, machinery in a residential neighbourhood on any day but Sunday, you may have common sense.

If you keep your unleashed pets on your property, you may have common sense.

 

Posted in Class and Decency, Food for Thought | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rain Man vs. reality, part 2

If “community living” agencies have the best interests of people with developmental disabilities in mind, when was the last time “community living” agencies provided the families/guardians of the people in their care:

  • a physical report, including copies of medical tests
  • a list of medications/supplements
  • a psychiatric report
  • a psychological report
  • a dietary report
  • a GAAP-compliant financial report

 

Posted in Food for Thought, Government Behaviour | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Municipal election primer: how many reps are needed at meeting?

Do your municipal reps like spending your money on out-of-town meetings?

At the Association of Municipalities of Ontario’s 2018 meeting (August 19-22), Brantford, Ontario City Council felt the urge to send eight, count them—8—reps:

  • The Mayor
  • The Mayor’s Chief of Staff
  • Three City Councillors (one of whom retires in two months)
  • The CAO
  • The GM of Community Development
  • The Director of Strategic Planning and Community Partners

Hmm, we wonder if they attempted to reduce the four days, three nights tab by sharing rooms?

——

https://www.brantfordexpositor.ca/news/local-news/greenbelt-among-concerns-for-city-delegation-at-amo

 

Posted in Government Behaviour, Responsible and Accountable Expenditures | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Supply management: better food quality?

We’re told that supply management is suppose to improve the quality of dairy, chicken and turkey products, table eggs, and broiler hatching eggs.  Why then do Canadians still find blood spotted eggs and bloody, antibiotics-laced poultry on their plates?

 

Posted in Business Behaviour, Business Standards, Government Behaviour | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Municipal election primer: do your sewers deliver?

Making sure a municipality’s sewer (a.k.a. wastewater) system delivers, is maintained and is upgraded is pretty basic stuff for those who occupy your local government building(s), wouldn’t you say?  That’s really what government is intended for:

  1. deliver service
  2. maintain service
  3. upgrade service

(Note:  nothing here about social engineering or propagating victimhood)

Back to sewers: does the sewer system handle the current population and projected population?

Citizens of Brantford, Ontario learned recently that two of the city’s nine pumping stations can’t keep up to current demand, let alone future demand.  But the real kicker is Brantford only started monitoring pumping capacity in—May 2017!

You’ll remember that the city is in throes of rolling out the great Brantford-Brant Boundary Adjustment.  The deal was approved in January 2016.  Do you think knowing the city’s sewage capacity and specifically what is needed for more capacity would be engrained, then and now, in engineers at city hall?  During the final public sessions before the approval from the province, we found out that along with actual sewage, the thorough knowledge of current sewage capacity and future needs were murky.  Now we know both still are.

Mr. Tony Araujo, president of the Chamber of Commerce Brantford-Brant had this to say:

“This is troubling. It is difficult to reconcile that the city was not routinely monitoring and measuring the capacity of the pumping stations in order to determine the future capacity needs of any new development. This would be an essential piece of any business plan undertaken in the private sector where business needs to have a clear understanding of existing resources and what resources would be required to expand their businesses.”1

—–

  1. https://www.brantfordexpositor.ca/news/local-news/brantfords-sewage-woes-troubling

 

Posted in Intelligent Development | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Has Google asked your permission?

Have you noticed that your uploaded photographs often show up on search engines, such as Google?

Has a search engine ever cleared the appearance of your photo(s) on their site with you?

 

Posted in Business Behaviour, Business Standards | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Municipal election primer: is that hire necessary?

Does your city, town, village or hamlet love to hire, hire and hire some more?

The city council of Brantford, Ontario seems to think it needs a Director of Downtown Infrastructure Revitalization and Renewal Program.

The annual cost to taxpayers:  $175,000.

Funding for the position will come from the city’s capital budget.

The Brantford “City Hall” Expositor reported the following words emanating from the hallowed halls of city hall:  “When you look at the scope of the work that needs to be done in the downtown, we really do need to have a project manager, who is in contact with all of those who will be impacted by what’s being done.  We want to make sure people are aware well before the fact so that nothing comes as a surprise.”1

Therefore, you’d be stupid to think that the city can’t cope one more day without said director, right?

Hmm.  Wait, there’s more:  a reference was made to 1994 “when a lot of work was being done (downtown)” and “people and businesses didn’t know what was going on (City Hall included, if you ask us).”

That may have been the case in 1994, but who has overseen the work done downtown from 1995 to now? Perhaps it was the:

  1. Manager of Continuous Improvement (part of Public Works Department lambrinth2)
  2. Administrative Coordinator, Continuous Improvement Office
  3. Asset Management Specialist, Continuous Improvement Office
  4. Administrative Assistant #1, Continuous Improvement Office
  5. Administrative Assistant #2, Continuous Improvement Office
  6. Administrative Assistant #3, Continuous Improvement Office.

Perhaps it was someone form Facilities & Asset Management, such as:

  1. Director Facilities & Asset Management
  2. Capital Planning Coordinator #1, Facilities & Asset Management
  3. Capital Planning Coordinator #2, Facilities & Asset Management.

On the “make-sure-people-are-aware” front, it may have been one or more of the following people who kept the masses informed:

  1. Director of Communications & Community Engagement, Corporate Communications
  2. Senior Designer/Creative Director, Corporate Communications
  3. Web Technical Coodinator, Corporate Communications
  4. Communications Specialist #1, Corporate Communications
  5. Website Coordinator, Corporate Communications.
  6. Communications Specialist #2, Corporate Communications

Bottom line:  stuff happen in Downtown Brantford for the last twenty-three years without a Director of Downtown Infrastructure Revitalization and Renewal Program.  There are more than enough capable people within city hall’s bureaucratic bloat to oversee, for the next twenty-three years, what are basic jobs of a city hall.

One more thing, a capital budget is defined as “a budget allocating money for the acquisition or maintenance of fixed assets such as land, buildings, and equipment.”  Is Brantford’s intent to fund this new employee out of the capital budget consistent with the definition of a capital budget?  That’s right, it’s not!

A Brantfordian wonders if city hall understands basic accounting:  “You do know how a balance sheet works, right? So much money comes in, so much goes out, the difference is either profit or debt.”3

The new broom at Ontario’s Queen’s Park will start a long over due house cleaning, which includes an independent audit.  In October Ontarians need to make sure municipalities follow suit.  A new broom AND a house cleaning, that is!

——–

  1. http://www.brantfordexpositor.ca/2018/05/30/city-hiring-for-core-job
  2. http://brantford.ca/govt/CorporateStructure/Pages/default.aspx
  3. http://www.brantfordexpositor.ca/2018/06/05/downtown-director

 

Posted in Government Behaviour, Responsible and Accountable Expenditures | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Truth

You will get the unvarnished truth from entrenched instructors at liberal institutions of higher learning, especially those institutions that are hostile to the free thinkers in their midst.

Er … won’t … you?

 

Posted in Food for Thought | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment