Monthly Archive: August 2017

Hidden figures

When the most recent Statscan census declared that the Anglophone population in Quebec had increased by 57,325 during the last five years, Quebec politicians were apoplectic. There was talk about the need for a quick legislative response because this news somehow indicated that the French language would soon disappear from daily life. English-speakers were making a comeback, even outside Montreal. Mon dieu! When experts checked the numbers, they found that the Anglophone population had not ballooned to 8.1 percent of the population. It was a more reasonable 7.5 percent, a drop of 0.2 percent over the five-year period. The number of Anglophones in Quebec City was not 6,400...

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Just wait and see

This morning, in a neighbour’s garden, there was a flurry of Monarch butterflies. I tried to count them, was it four, or five? Hard to tell, they were having so much fun flitting among the flowers – roses, zinnias, coneflower, snapdragons and a tall purple item I couldn’t identify. Not so long ago, Monarchs had all but vanished. If there are this many nearby, they must be making a comeback. So, too, with birds. Earlier in this decade, West Nile virus meant there were neither crows nor blue jays in Toronto. Robins, chickadees and others songsters were also reduced in number. For...

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No winners here

The fact that the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) is about to privatize some of its operations does not sit well with me. First of all, look how well Ontario’s previous privatization effort worked with Hydro. In the case of the OLG, the negative impact on individuals could be even more serious. Let me explain. The first tortured reason OLG casinos came into existence was to attract tourists. That may have worked for a while in Niagara Falls and Windsor, but the nearby states – New York and Michigan – now have their own fleecing houses. As for the...

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The last round-up

According to my morning newspaper, BlackBerry is no longer the only smartphone secure enough for federal government employees. Samsung has now met all necessary standards. The article also said that it was easy to figure out who in Ottawa was a government bureaucrat. They’re the only ones in parks, stadiums or streets using a BlackBerry. That somehow seems unlikely. First of all, I thought I was the last person in North America still using a BlackBerry. Second, I would wager that a lot of bureaucrats long ago bought iPhones or some other smartphone, even if it didn’t meet security standards. That’s how...

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