O Canada

Stepping Up On Bill C-38

The Canadian FlagRead the address by Prime Minister Paul Martin on Bill C-38, the Civil Marriage Act. If you're too lazy to read, play the video while you surf the web. Sometimes I'm unsure about Martin's ability to lead, but on this issue he's stepped up to the plate and hit one out. The following two sentences sum it up nicely.

The people of Canada have worked hard to build a country that opens its doors to include all, regardless of their differences; a country that respects all, regardless of their differences; a country that demands equality for all, regardless of their differences.

If we do not step forward, then we step back. If we do not protect a right, then we deny it. Mr. Speaker, together as a nation, together as Canadians: Let us step forward.

A colleague of mine, aware of my views with regards to this subject, attempted to "enlighten" me this morning. I won't divulge too many details, but the gist of her point was that homosexuality was a violation of God's law and therefore recognizing the rights of a homosexual was a horrid sin. For a little while I tried to reason with her explaining that a literal interpretation of the bible had no place in our law books and that this was question of equal rights and freedoms, but she simply pitied me and condemned me to hell. This colleague of mine is why Bill C-38 absolutely must pass. Hatred cannot be condoned by our laws.

Let us step forward.

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Civil Marriage Act Tabled

The Canadian FlagEarlier today, Justice Minister Irwin Cotler introduced the Liberal government's same-sex marriage bill in the House of Commons. As well as extending the legal capacity to marry for civil purposes to same-sex couples, the package of legislation amends eight other federal acts to extend a variety of marital rights to gay couples, including income tax measures, business and investment benefits and the right to divorce.

A number of church groups will scream and shout that this is a violation of God's law and should be voted down. Hateful conservative groups will rise like sludge in our sewers to campaign against this bill. They'll quote verses in the Bible, call homosexuality unnatural and suggest same-sex marriage will lead our society straight into the depths of hell.

At the end of the day, this is still Canada. Because this is Canada, this bill will pass. The Conservative Party will largely vote against it, but the majority of Liberals as well as just about all those from the Bloc Québécois and New Democrat parties will do the right thing. In Canada, all citizens are equal under the law, regardless of skin colour, religion, culture or sexual preference. In Canada, the church and state are indeed seperate and our social conscience will remain clear.

I will be a proud Canadian when this bill passes. It's long overdue.

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Milk Bags

EdiblesI never realized that how we purchase milk was viewed so peculiarly by those outside of Canada. We've always purchased milk in three bags totalling 4 litres. When one bag is finished it gets recycled and we drop another bag in the pitcher. Here are the steps involved for those unaware of what I'm talking about.

I suppose bagged milk would sound strange to someone who had only ever seen milk sold in cartons or jugs. After three decades of bagging it, I can't imagine buying milk in any other format.

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Free Porn and Candy

Free Porn and CandyI love articles like this one from the San Francisco Chronicle.

It's a great read with a great headline that immediately caught my attention. Canada Goes To Hell: Legal pot? Legal gay marriage? Universal health care? What's next, free porn and candy?

I won't ruin it for you. Set aside a few minutes of your busy day to give it a read.

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Reason Number 32

Reason Number 32Reason number 32 why I live in the most enlightened nation in the world...

The Supreme Court of Canada says today that the federal government can change the definition of marriage, giving gays and lesbians the legal right to marry. The court rejected the argument that the traditional definition of marriage is rooted in history, saying times have changed.

Now these opinions from our Supreme Court are non-binding so this bill will now go to Parliament for a vote by MPs. I'm optimistic this bill will pass and Canada will join Belgium and the Netherlands in making gay marriage legal nationwide.

The proposed change to the definition of marriage is having it read "lawful union of two persons to the exclusion of all others" rather than the "lawful union of one man and one woman." It makes perfect sense to me. It's time we stop excluding people based on race, religion or sexual preference.

O Canada!

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Go Canadian

Go CanadianAre you an American who wants to travel Europe without being harassed about your country's politics? Go Canadian.

For $24.95, a New Mexico T-shirt company is selling a "Go Canadian" package. This package includes a Canadian flag T-shirt, a Canadian flag lapel pin and a Canadian patch for luggage or a backpack. There's also a quick reference guide on answering questions about Canada entitled "How to Speak Canadian, Eh?".

Not fair! It's taken me thirty years to master the art of speaking Canadian and now all our secrets are being sold for $24.95. This is our country, eh? Full of hosers and one helluva beauty.

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Vimy Ridge

Vimy RidgeCanadian forces played a very significant role in one of the key massive offensives launched by the Allies in WWI. On Easter Monday, April 9, 1917, the Canadian Corps, four divisions strong and fighting together for the first time, attacked the German army posted on the gently rising slope of land that dominated the Douai plains in the Arras sector of northern France. It was known as Vimy Ridge.

This victory was the seedbed of Canadian identity. We were asked to capture Vimy Ridge, and we did. We did it by working together, Canadian heart can never be over estimated. It was this moment that solidified a very young country.

Visit the Veterans Affairs Canada page on the capture of Vimy Ridge and view photos and video footage. Lest we forget.

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O Canada

O CanadaIt's not looking very good for John Kerry, is it? It's too bad this election was left in the hands of American citizens. Had Canadians been permitted to elect the President of the United States of America, Kerry would have won in a landslide. A recent poll showed 61% of Canadians would cast their vote for John Kerry while only 16% would vote for Dubya.

Although it won't be official until things are sorted out in Ohio, it's unlikely those 20 electoral college votes will go blue to push the Democrats over the required 270 votes. Unlikely, but not impossible. There are many provisional votes yet to be counted. There's still hope, but I'm not quite as optimistic today as I was yesterday.

Preparing myself for four more years of Dubya, I find solace in the fact that we Canadians did the right thing. When polls were suggesting Dubya-like Stephen Harper could win our recent federal election, we went out and re-elected the Liberal party and protected our values. Watching the results come in last night was a stern reminder that Canadians and Americans are very different. Our ideologies, beliefs, values and mores have evolved differently from different histories and influences throughout the years. I was very proud of my fellow countrymen on The S-Factor will never cease to amaze me.

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True Patriot Love

Patriot Act IllegalB.C Privacy Commissioner David Loukidelis says the USA Patriot Act violates provincial privacy laws, because it can order American companies to hand over information on British Columbians in secret. He recommends that Ottawa and the provinces pass legislation that will "prohibit personal information from being stored or sent outside Canada."

O Canada! This is one of many reasons why I love this country. It's one thing for Dubya to promote the Patriot Act as a means to restrict the rights and freedoms of those in his jurisdiction, but when it encroaches upon the rights and freedoms of those in the Great White North, there's a serious problem. The Dominion of Canada remains an independent democratic state. Keep yer damn Patriot Act outta our face!

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Happy Canada Day

Happy Canada DayHappy Birthday, Canada, you're 137 years young today.

I just read an interesting article by Matthew Mernagh. Below is an excerpt.

Only in Canada would burlesque dancers from Romania be granted work visas to take it off here. A few hundred no less! Apparently there is a stripper shortage, which means the government is issuing burlesque permits to those who can prove that they are qualified dancers. Most of the girls come from such sexy countries as Romania, Poland, Ukraine, earn a tidy sum and then pack it up when the visa expires. God bless Canada!

It's good to know there's a shortage of dancers here, because this possibly means that Gen X has continued to build and develop a knowledge based economy that has created this vacuum. Granted, the beginning of the knowledge base economy hasn't been the best for some Canadians, which has fueled a new Quiet Revolution that began with Canadians freely talking, accepting and permitting (to some extent) social faux pas that are making Republicans cringe. Gay marriage, recreational/medicinal marijuana, war resisters, no this ain't Haight Ashbury it's C-A-N-A-D-A!

The U.S. Constitution?! Bah! That ratty old thing is falling to pieces. Let's talk Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Still in its infancy this document has been the lightening rod to punching a social conscious into a government that avoided gay marriage, marijuana and the newly arrived war resisters. None of the aforementioned issues came about by mass protest, these battles were fought in the courtroom, not debated in the House of Commons.

With a large schism between the two countries from our objection to War for Oil, War on Drugs and War on Human Rights, Canadians should push to further distance ourselves from U.S.A. A testy minority government is the perfect time to debate and pass social policy laws that everyone can live with. American influence on Canadian policies has taken a hit by so many gaffs. Such as forgetting to thank us for taking in the bulk of the re-directed flights during 9/11, Condoleezza Rice claiming that U.S. does more trade with Mexico and the Drug Czar threatening to some how shut down the largest undisputed border in the world.

Canada must continue to be a guiding light, safe haven and peace-nic so that our wayward friend can find its way home.

Vive le Canada!

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