Pay Up and Lace Up, Canada

Proud to be Canadian! A slogan we’ve been passing down for generations. We hold our heads quite high here in Canada, in hopes that our various cornball stereotypes will hide darker mistakes from our past. As well as the on-going decisions made in poor judgement, by those in charge of our home and native land. 

Don’t get me wrong; I’m thankful to have been born in a small rural Ontario town. And it’s true, many of those cheesy stereotypical traits you hear about us are accurate. My hometown is a quiet place, full of truck-driving, toque-wearing folk. Simple country bumpkins who make daily trips to the Tim Horton’s drive-thru (yikes, sorry to the people of Napanee). Truest of all, we love our various ice sports. But, does our love of ice really warrant a multi-million dollar temporary outdoor ice rink on Parliament Hill?  

 Photo by  Filip Mroz  on  Unsplash

Photo by Filip Mroz on Unsplash

Here we are–It’s the year 2017–Canada’s 150th Birthday. A year of coast-to-coast celebrations which have already cost taxpayers over 500 million dollars. But wait, 500 million dollars seems low, no? On December 7th, Parliament Hill opened their outdoor skating rink to the public. It had been in construction for a few weeks and is the big wigs’ way of capping off Canada’s 150th Birthday celebrations. This temporary outdoor skating rink is expected to cost taxpayers 5.6 million dollars. And get this; you’ll have less than a month to skate on it. 

The tickets are FREE!? But, how could that be? Before you go getting your mittens in a twist, yes, the tickets themselves are free, and can be reserved online here. However, this isn’t a Christmas present from our government. You are paying for this. 

The outdoor rink will be open for public skating from 10am until 10pm Monday-Friday, and from 8am until 10pm Saturday-Sunday. You can expect various light shows and musical performances, as well as a Peewee level hockey tournament involving 32 teams from across Canada. There will be a tepee set up on the hill, and Officials claim that Canada’s Aboriginal Peoples will be centre stage throughout the festivities. 

Yet, something just doesn’t feel right to me. Why couldn’t we have made Canada’s Aboriginal Peoples centre stage throughout our entire 150th year?

 Photo by  Kacper Szczechla  on  Unsplash

I have a hard time understanding how our government can justify spending 5.6 million dollars in taxpayer money on yet another over-the-top celebration when there are so many Canadians living in poverty. 

We have First Nation communities in Northwestern Canada where there are people experiencing a severe health crisis. These people are living in third-world conditions in our own backyard. They don’t have access to clean water or food, and their homes are without heat and barely standing. Many young Aboriginal children are turning to drugs and crime because there are no jobs, and education isn’t an option. Public Safety Canada states that Aboriginal youth are more vulnerable to gang recruitment than non-Aboriginal youth because they come from great inequality and social disadvantage. There are over 4,000 unsolved cases of missing or murdered Aboriginal women in Canada, which have been neglected by the authorities. Taxpayer dollars could have gone towards improving the lives of so many of Canada’s Aboriginal Peoples, who’ve been marginalized in our society for–you guessed it–150 years. 

What about Canada’s opioid crisis? Yesterday, the Ottawa Citizen released an article stating that Canada’s health minister has declared an opioid emergency, as death rates spiked this past summer. Canadians are dying.

Our government has chosen to spend another 5.6 million dollars on a temporary outdoor rink on Parliament Hill, when we have Canada’s longest skating rink, the Rideau Canal, a block down the street. There’s another public outdoor skating rink that returns every year at City Hall. Not to mention, bigger fish to fry here people. 

I don’t know about you, but I’m not entirely proud of the decisions our government chose to make with our money in 2017. We can only hope that in 2018, our tax dollars go towards righting our wrongs. The leaders of this country need to focus their attention, as well as taxpayer dollars on our many current issues of social injustice.  

Face palm, Canada. 


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Alexa Scott is a Carleton University Graduate currently in second year of the Professional Writing program at Algonquin College. When she's not in class, she can be found watching Law & Order and perfecting her guacamole recipe. She also loves to spend time at the park with her best friend, a mini Goldendoodle named Maple. 

 

Pickup Truck Skyrockets Trudeau’s Approval Rating

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hit his all time highest approval rating of 92% after purchasing a Ford pickup truck to seem more relatable to conservative voters. After reaching his lowest approval rating of 48% in late January 2017 Trudeau decided to try a new approach. “The policies just weren’t cutting it anymore.” Trudeau said to a Funyun correspondent in an exclusive interview last week, “I knew I needed to connect with conservative voters, and I couldn’t figure out what change was needed.” Trudeau’s left-leaning administration has had a hard time reaching supporters of their right wing counterpart since Trudeau took office in late 2015.

“It hit me when I was in a Timmies drive-thru a few weeks ago,” Trudeau continued, “My car was the only vehicle without a lift kit!” Right wing media was quick to call attention to the administration's spur-of-the-moment $3,000,000 CAD ($28.50 USD) “Ministerial Motor Management” task force, but quickly changed their tone once it was revealed that the Prime Minister’s new vehicle would be a Ford F-150 Raptor. Within 24 hours Trudeau’s approval rating had broken 60% and only continued climbing.

Conservative voters seem to be especially thrilled with the particular setup the task force recommended. The appointed leader of the task force, Johnny Chinook, commented on the particular style. “Oh fuck ya bud, she’s a beaut! Jacked up 8 inches and wastes more fuel than she uses! It’s a shame we couldn’t put a mini in the back to keep a few Labatts cold!”

Not all feedback has been positive, however. James Ariss, a prominent conservative voice has discussed concerns about the amount of time it took for this change to come. “It’s just too little too late eh? I mean I’ve been ripping mud in a 4x4 since I could hold a double-double. It took him over a year in office to stop driving Barbie’s fuckin’ dream car don’tcha know?” Much of the remaining 8% seems to be avid Chevy lovers. Social media outcry on the official Canadian Chevy facebook page “Chevy Truck Canucks” has been extremely negative, one user going as far as to say Trudeau has “worse judgement than a road-killed beaver.” Even with this opposition, approval ratings of this magnitude are unprecedented. It’s safe to say that if this keeps up Canadians should expect to hear the purr of Trudeau’s pickup in Ottawa for years to come.

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The Benefits of Living with Roommates

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Where do I begin? Roommates are great. I don’t think I’ve once regretted my decision to move into a house with three complete strangers. The company is certainly a nice addition to an otherwise secluded existence. The first day I arrived I felt a little homesick lying in bed trying to fall asleep, when I heard a welcoming moan through the wall; It was as if my dog were whining for attention in the next room over. The moaning continued for some time, just as the dog’s when my parents left home. I certainly warmed up to the new place quickly.

 I found that my roommates really looked out for me. In the mornings they would signal to me that they were leaving for work by making as much noise as possible; I’d like to consider it their way of saying goodbye for the day. When I eventually made my way out of bed, I would occasionally find they hadn’t flushed the toilet, leaving the seat up to make sure I noticed. It was the occasional health update, that way I knew whether or not they were maintaining a healthy diet. I also knew they kept up with their hygiene, my rapidly decreasing soap and toilet paper stocks attesting to it.

 My roommates were always up for a chat if you ever needed to talk. I would sometimes wake up in the middle of the night and refill my water. I was always glad when my roommate was cooking dinner when I needed a refill. Over the course of the next hour of speaking he would provide me with all the updates on healthy eating, and why my food wasn’t good for me. He’d also discuss how my guardian spirits were upset with my habits, and all the tragic events the government had a hand in over the years, 9/11 seemed to be his favourite. He also reminded me to clean the bathroom and kitchen every week, in case I forgot. He never did much cleaning himself, but he probably just wanted to leave it for me, to keep me busy, he’s really considerate that way. My other roommate loved to tell me where to put all my stuff, now that his girlfriend was moving in, most of it was moved to the upstairs fridge and bathroom. He obviously knew I needed the additional exercise of climbing upstairs every time I needed food or the bathroom. 

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 My roommates loved to keep things interesting, by making sure it was impossible to schedule anything around them. Dinner could be anytime between 6-10pm, laundry might not happen for weeks, as there always seemed to be clothes in the dryer. I was constantly on my toes, some days I’d have to skip showers, I took it as a compliment to how good I smelt.

 I few times I got to meet some of the old roommates. One of them even came to the door with a bat, I think he must have really wanted to play baseball with one of my roommates, unfortunately the one he was looking for was away that day. Before the gentleman left, he made sure to inform me that he’d have to play with me instead, if my roommate didn’t return. On another occasion I returned from Christmas break with a message spray painted in black across the garage door. It was hard to read, but I managed to catch my landlords name and a few sixes in the mix; I could only assume it was a Christmas greeting. It’s great that the old roommates still keep in touch, my landlord even called the police once, to make sure they were alright.

 Overall, I think roommates are a great addition to anyone’s life. I certainly enjoy every new day I have with my roommates. It’s been a great learning experience, and I hope others can share in it as well. If you are on the fence between living on your own or with roommates, I’d definitely recommend roommates; there’s no way you’ll regret it, your wallet will thank you too.  


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Shawn Bosnjak is a student in the Professional Writing program at Algonquin College. He is an avid writer, reader, gamer, and drummer, with a passion for anything fantasy or rock.