Posts Tagged ‘Canada’

Amid the soft rolling foothills

February 11, 2015

Neil wrote this about an evening at the Laurentian Lodge Club.

It was my birthday, New Year’s Eve 1994, about six months after my depression had lifted for good and the happiest summer of my life. Catharine and I had spent the afternoon cross-country skiing and were relaxed before supper in the lounge of the Laurentian Lodge Club at Prévost, amid the soft rolling foothills.


The Laurentian Lodge Club in Prévost/Shawbridge. Click on the picture for more information about this venerable club.

Outside the frosted windows, the moonlight was glittering on the fresh snowfall; inside, a roaring fire flamed up the chimney of the large stone fireplace. A splendid dinner was prepared by our talented chef, André. I was presented with a birthday cake and a rousing chorus of three score years and ten. I don’t remember feeling happier. I felt connected in a way I had never felt connected before to these people who were my friends. I laughed, and it was a genuine laugh. In some measure I had become real. I was comfortable in my own skin. As I sat there in the dancing light of the fireplace and happy sounds of singing, I thought of all the people including my family and the Jesuits and my friends who had helped me on this journey. I thought of how God does indeed write straight with crooked lines. And then I thought, with Catharine smiling beside me, the best is yet to be.


The above is an extract from McKenty Live! The Lines Are Still Blazing – click on the cover below to find out more about this newly-published book.


Ay or Nae?

September 18, 2014

Today is the day the Scots vote on staying or leaving the United Kingdom. From a sluggish start the Yes side has had a late surge in support. Now the polls are neck-in-neck with a very real chance this ancient union will break apart.

Unusually for the British media, Canada has been oft-discussed with much reference to the 1995 Quebec referendum. Michael Ignatieff has been on BBC Radio 4’s flagship news programme Today discussing the tactics used to prevent votes in favour of Quebec separation.

For Canadians, it hits home not only with our own separatist movement but also in our history with the major role that Scots played in the construction of Canada, starting with John A. MacDonald. There are over 4 million Canadians with Scottish ancestry.

Do you think Scotland will separate? Do you think there will be an impact on us here in Canada?

Work sharing

February 28, 2013

Work sharing discussed on Exchange.


April 26, 2012

Today the House of Commons is debating a private member’s bill about whether a fetus is a human being.

NDP leader Thomas Mulcair charges this is the Conservative’s way of smuggling the abortion issue back onto the public agenda.

Canada is one of the few western countries that has no law whatsoever governing abortion.

Should Canada have a law governing abortion?

What do you think?


April 23, 2012

Today is election day in Alberta – two women leaders vying for office.  It looks very much like the Wildrose party will defeat the sitting government. But what caught my attention is the fact that Albertans will elect three federal “senators-in-waiting”.  Alberta is the only province with legislation to complement Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s scheme to “elect’ the entire Senate by appointing individuals chosen in this back-room way.  Three more provinces are considering joining this game.  This is the most harmful and radical item on Harper’s agenda.

But do Canadians want an elected Senate?

An elected Senate would bring the worst of America’s  dysfunctional system to Canada, eviscerating Canada’s advantage in making tough, timely decisions with transparency and accountability in the parliamentary system.

Should the Senate be abolished?

Should Canada have an elected Senate?

What do you think?


April 16, 2012

To my astonishment a recent survey reveals that 61 per cent of Canadians favour restoring capital punishment. Thirty-four per cent are opposed.

These figures are hard to believe.  Canada abolished capital punishment in 1976.

The main argument for the death penalty is that it is a deterrent.  If that were true it would make sense to televise executions in living colour.  But it is not true.

Also it costs millions of dollars to keep an inmate in jail without parole.

Should Canada restore capital punishment.

What do you think?


April 11, 2012

The Harper government has contracted to 65 F-35 military jets for nine billion dollars.  But that ‘s not the whole story. Factor in maintenance costs over a 20 year period and that adds another  5.7 billion.  According to the Auditor-General the Harper gvernment is budgeting $26 billion over a period of 33 years. And that figure could go as high as $40 billion.

Now in all the ink that has been spilled on this subject, I have seen very little on why we need these expensive jets in the first place. One writer says we need them to protect our sovereignty .  This is rubbish.  Our sovereignty is guaranteed by our membership in alliances such as NATO and NORAD.  To think that these 65 new jets could repulse a serious military challenge is fantasy.

So why are we buying these jets at all?

Imagine if we invested these billions in education and health care.  That would make a lot of sense.

Does Canada need to pay billions for new fighter jets?

What do you think?


February 9, 2012

I thought Canada had put capital punishment behind us by a parliamentary vote in 1976.

Apparently not.  A new poll, just out, reveals that 61 per cent of Canadians support reinstating capital punishment.  Thirty-four per cent are opposed.  The poll found opponents of the death penalty were mostly in Quebec (45 per cent),  another sign of the enlightenment of this province.

That a solid majority of Canadians would want to bring back the rope after an absence of nearly 35 years is mind-boggling.  Are we that savage a nation?  Capital punishment is an act of barbarity perpetrated in cold blood by the civil arm.

I would consider bringing capital punishment back with one condition.  All executions must be open to the public in large venues like the Roger Stadium in Toronto or the Olympic stadium in Montreal.

Then we could see with our own eyes what our savagery had wrought.

Can you see any reason why a majority of Canadians would want to bring back the rope?

Should Canada restore capital punishment?

What do you think?


February 8, 2012

Every night there on the news, you can see the slaughter on the streets of Syria – its roads sloshed in blood.  And you can hear the pitiful cries for help to stop the carnage.  Yet by and large the West does nothing.

Oh some little things. The United States closed its embassy in Damascus.  Britian also recalled its envoy to Syria.  Canada?  Canada is standing pat amid the bloodshed.  Our ambassador is staying put.

The NDP says its time to recall our ambassador from Syria.

The Liberals say we should keep our embassy open because it plays a role in protecting Canadian lives.

Should the world, including Canada, stand idly by while Syria goes up in death and smoke?

Should the West consider military intervention to stop the slaughter?

Should Canada break diplomatic relations with Syria?

What do you think?


January 27, 2012

A new study shows that visible minorities are not getting their fair share of Canada’s economic pie.  The report shows non-whites in Canada earned 81 cents for every dollar made by Caucasians.

Visible minorites were also found to have a higher unemployment rate, of 8.6 per cent in 2006 compated with 6.2 per cent for white Canadians.

The figures show that equal access to opportunity eludes many racialized Canadians.

From 2000 to 2006 the income of white Canadians grew 2.7 per cent while racial minorities experienced a 0.2 per cent slide in average pay.

Sheila Block, an economist, says the prosperity gap betweeen white and non-whites in Canada is largely the result of racial disrimination.

Block says, “It’s an issue that’s in someways is inconsistent with how we perceive our society.  But it’s there, and it’s something that we have to address and have a public discussion.”

Is this Canada’s dirty little secret?  That we have a racism problem just like Americans have one?

Should we have a public debate about racism in Canada?

Is there  racial discrimination in Canada?

What do you think?



This morning Catharine and I are leaving for an 11-day cruise in the Carribean. I  am not sure how regularly I will be able to blog but I  will do my best.

Best wishes to all  our bloggers.  Neil