Friday 31 October 2008

Broken-legged duckling

We have a YouTube video of a wild duck with a broken leg (see below). I have wondered how s/he fared all summer and into the fall. We can't identify them, as they travelled in families all summer, visited our shore, but their numbers dwindled.

We knew we had several families: there was a family of 10, another of 6 and 5 and one small family of 3. These were born later in the season and in July we could tell how by their size how much younger they were.

I enjoyed watching them all season. They sheltered from predators and irritating tourists alike. We have a couple of human families who would bring young children by in quiet kayak patrols to watch in fascination at our ducklings sleeping on our rock island. (They were so well camouflaged that they looked like rocks!) Our human visitors were respectful and honoured the sleeping souls.

We know that predators visit our lakeshore. They troll along, searching for weak and young prey. The cycle of life is quick and fair. A duck with a broken leg cannot forage as well as others. I believe it would save the duck from pain and suffering. It was obviously in pain as it swam our shore. Poor thing. It would not feed as long as the others; would tire out and tragically swim to a spot to rest. Such is the cycle of life. Shortly they will fly south and brave the fall hunters. I wish them well on their journeys.

Tuesday 28 October 2008

Making room for new trees

Over the years my parents were unable to trim back their frontage; the trees had overgrown the lot. We could not see the shoreline. The trees had taken root in very shallow sand and in a wind they were fragile. My brother thought it made them feel more secure. As they faced radiation, and other chemotherapies, they had to stay out of the sun. The overhead branches and leaves gave us a sense of enclosure. The sun peered through, in dappled dances with the sun.

By June, 2006, I knew it was time to do some pruning. I consulted with Dad in summer. He was in a retirement home at that point. But I knew that his brain tumour had returned and he wasn't 100% cognitively-speaking. I explained that some of the trees were obviously dying, and that neighbours had had trees fall on their house in windstorms. I felt enclosed, too, and needed to see the lakefront, for which we pay dearly in taxes. I phoned a man who would come and do the job.

A couple of family member had gone in and confronted my ailing with this tree-hugger issue. I don't know if they thought I was 'ruining the place' as one aunt accused, or if they were upset faced with their own mortality. Things change. Our cells grow old, sick, contract disease, die, and need to be replaced. At some point replacement is not an option.

As the trees are being cut down, some branches experience collateral damage. Others, torn away by a wind without feelings, sit hanging for a year, dangling like that loose tooth you are afraid to yank out. In subsequent winds they fall randomly, more kindling for the fire.

The tamarack tree had lived a long life. But most branches were no longer producing needles. It stood precariously close to the house. That, ans several of the trees were quite hollow inside, and the bark was chipping off of them. Big stumps of fungus were growing at their roots. We need to model death, growth, rebirth and dying, as much as living. Our children need room to grow. The old trees fall over in the forest and leave space for the younger trees to grow and seek the light; we age and step aside for our young ones. We prepare for it by allowing our children to mature, encourage them to be individuals and to be independent. "Roots & wings!"

And, when it is time, we stand back, let go and
watch them become adults and contributing members of society. It is in the giving that we receive - it is the regeneration that allows a species to survive.

There are some pine cones that will not open and begin reproducing until there has been a high enough temperature, i.e., a fire, to let them release their precious seeds. It takes a crisis for them to be drawn out. I found, giving palliative care to my parents, that it is difficult to be the alternate decision-maker.

In the August of 2006, we has a massive tornado go through central Canada. Many trees fell over, their large, shallow roots exposed to the air. The roots looked like an overturned umbrella unsettled from a young woman's hand by unseen forces. However, the broken, jagged trunks reflected a wicked power in the 2-hour storm. Underneath the trees, animals now gather, and new trees grow in the newly freed space. It is the cycle of life. Some families took weeks to clear up the damage. But the forest continues to grow.

For some property owners - they have been burning the branches, still. The amount of wood to remove was incredible. It was a massive storm. Nature is a powerful thing. The only thing certain is death and taxes.

Monday 27 October 2008

My Town Monday

It has been a wet weekend here in cottage country.
mouse hole
We've had a mouse or two trying to eat their way into our flooring. This is on our 2nd floor balcony. They have chewed through the walls. Pretty successful, I might add. I have to figure out how to block it. Ms. Handyperson *NOT*.

I can see the leaf nests the squirrels have built in the trees. They dance through the branches, jumping from branch to branch with grace and skill that only a tree rat can posess.

The raccoons are visiting the bird feeders every night, stuffing themselves for the long winter nights. Eventually they will disappear. Meantime, I can see their footprints in the snow. I caught them on the deck in the dark. The cats were most perturbed and my shoe beside raccoon prints in the snowraced upstairs to try and let me know that they needed to get outdoors to defend their property.

I caught them on video one night. Silly things! Two had a fight on the railing. The next day the bird feeder was no where to be seen! I love living in the country! Every day is different.

mouse holeRain, snow, sleet, and hail.

Friday 24 October 2008

Publishing a book

It is difficult getting a book published. The first thing to do is to prepare a book proposal. Surf around and look for dos and don'ts: FAQs.<= There is a guide on this link. Finding a publisher will a difficult task. If you cannot find a literary agent (this site has much helpful advice), as does this post. Ensure that you create a writing proposal (e.g., ) and know your rights as an author. There are many Canadian Author's Federations. Contact them if you need help: Canadian Author's Federations and provincial associations can help you, the Canadian Writer's Guide is good reading. For many budding authors one is hard-pressed to find a publisher. One option is either self-publishing or publishing with a cost-sharing agreement. In this case you either carry, or share, the costs of the editing and printing. One must be careful, however. As there are companies out there with unethical practices. Beware of those advertising on the web, e.g., poetry books, as you risk losing much.

I could not find a publishing company at the time despite sending out many Book Proposals. These are the three options for a writer who thinks she has a story to tell. Margaret Reynolds, Executive Director of the Association of Book Publishers of B.C., says that self-publishing companies are actually 'publishing services companies', and are not covered by the ethics of book publishers. One source of info is Independent Authors & Illustrators of Canada.

My husband, after talking to a book store owner, bought me a book called, The Canadian Writer's Market (17th ed.). This book lists most of the publishers in Canada, their expertise, and whether they accept book proposals. In my case, I ruled out several companies, and presumed that the information would be accurate, e.g., that my books topic (Dying With Dignity: A memoir), would not be interesting to some companies. What a mistake. I should have sent my proposals to all the companies I could (I sent about a dozen out and heard back nothing). I think finding a local publisher, a co-publisher (who will split the publishing costs) and one in your own province, is important as they understand the market for which you are writing. In my case it is a book about Ontario's Senior's and Long-Term Care: Dying With Dignity.

A publishing services company might ask you to pay for a Reader's Report. For these businesses all of the costs are up front. (My first publisher was happy to take my money!) This report should contain enough information on: Plot Summary, Strong Points, Weak Points, the organization, structure, character development, voice and tense if these apply. Finally, the report will either recommend or not recommend that this be published by said company.

In my case, the publishing services company I checked out, Granville Island Publishers Inc.,(GIPL), charged me on a per word basis. It was quite exorbitant, and well beyond what a typical report should cost. Typically publishers should charge you between $250 and 300 for such a report. I was charged $832. My first draft was quite raw, and had too much in it. That said, it was quick reading and would not have taken all that much time to digest it. (My first sign that I was going to be ripped off.) I should have taken my contract and asked around some more. It was a lesson learned. The intimation by the business owner was that my book was terribly flawed, which they could fix.

It was a difficult time for me, I should have done a lot more sending out of proposals, but I did not. I gave up and thought this was the only place I could go. I received bad advice all around from this company. The publisher, Jo Blackmore, has left me with a bitter taste in my mouth. She seldom responded to my queries, despite my sending her $8400, the first 1/3 of that which my contract demanded. I tried to come to an agreement and get some of my hard-earned money back, but she cited bad debt issues and will not refund a significant amount of money. I was such a fool. With no personal investment she has no motivation to create and sell my book. There were innumerable extras: bookmarks, distribution, storage of said books.

My money has gone to support this business, which appears to be having issues. Other individuals have left this publisher. At least I know I am not alone. There are rumours in the trade that she has a bad rep. I can attest to this as she was unresponsive, and defended her lack of time for me and gave me the impression that I was not important. She contaminates the entire publishing trade in Canada. I felt intrusive after sending inquiries about the progress of my book. She was defensive. Despite offering an apology or five, for her lack of attention, she has not refunded my money as requested. I think the business is suffering as both of us have agreed to terminate the contract, and she said she did not have enough cash to resolve the issue.

The book, No Laughing Matter, for example, has been 'out of stock' for months at Amazon. But there is something fishy about this publishing services company, as the company was selling the book as GIPL, and now is not. I wonder what has happened here. I have deep respect for this author.

A person working for an author's federation said, "It's a shame that so many so-called 'independent publishers' are in fact, vanity presses in the way they operate. They cleverly take advantage of emerging writers and withhold important information on both their websites and in their marketing material. They take advantage of an author's ignorance."

There are employees who have left due to highly unethical publishing practices. This is your fair warning. I have documented Granville Isl. Publ., Ltd. business practices, which leave the writer at a huge disadvantage. There are several issues: appallingly inflated costs to the author as she signs on with a publisher, unethical treatment of authors, lack of time and attention, that must be iterated. Despite protestations of good intentions and immediate action, the author is left high and dry.

Theoretically, the costs of the editing process are absorbed by the author, in self-publishing, with some mark-up for over head for the publisher. Then there is the cost of the printing process, which is similarly absorbed by the writer, and marked up by the publisher. They should be providing you with a good editor, timely responses, good advice, a commitment to your book, people to help you figure out how to market and where to market your book. If you self-publish you risk all, as you are on the hook for all costs, both seen and unseen. If your book does not sell, you take all the risk.

If you use a co-publisher, then costs can be shared by both of you, depending upon your agreement. In this situation they will give you good advice because they have an investment in the process. Otherwise, if you self-publish you are on the hook for delivering the boxes of books to book stores, as well as storage of unsold books. This can add up to costs that will bankrupt you. Boxes are shipped in boxes of 30 or so. They are not cheap to ship. Costs can be cut back if you send several copies to book stores, otherwise you are sending one book to one customer, and this is not cost effective.

The kind of information in my book (intended to help others), must have a reasonable price point. You must be able to sell the book at an affordable price. The price point must be less than the total $26,000/1000 copies that I was expected to outlay according to my GIPL contract. What a mistake to sign such a deal. The final costs to readers would be beyond the reach of those for whom I write: families and caregivers. The exorbitant costs reflect a publisher that is hard-pressed for cash and having difficulties in business. For a firm that demonstrates poor inattention to a writer, untimely responses to e-mail, and lack of respect during our teleconference calls (taking other calls while I was on the line), this was another clue that I was an unimportant person. When I complained, my answers were abrupt, demanded that I have patience, and the explanations included the importance of the company owner's time over mine. My treatment was sadly lacking any respect for my work and my time.

What I was promised would have taken two weeks, took months to do. An assistant promised that the publisher was eager to get started, but nothing happened. My book, in its raw state, was not passed on to the editor for two month. To add to this, my research has found that there are others who are, at the very least, 'disgruntled' with poor treatment by this company. I am not the only person. I have information that supports my claim and can reiterate my experiences. The word is, "Yes, we've had several complaints about this self-publisher and don't recommend the company to our members."

Honest publishers do not appreciate the kind of ethics some demonstrate - it is bad for the industry, for them and for their business. Beware the publisher you choose.

The Better Business Bureau provides little information about companies with, for example, unethical practices. They consider this to be a private deal and do not keep track of those who sign a contract. Despite this being a business deal, it may be a case of, and they caution one against, buyer's remorse.

The good news is that I found a co-publisher and we are sharing the costs of my book. It will be published in 2008.

Canadian Author's Federations

Canadian Writer's Guide

Verdict is in - part 7

After much talk and action, Save the Bala Falls has hit a crossroads. Local councillors have weighed in. All of the stakeholders (see image) must begin to pull together to ensure that this provincial project meets the needs of the town, residents, tourists, and business owners.

In reality, the province has control over this project. If we do not build it, they WILL come!This is a Ministry project that is bigger than our small town of 650. (See Water Power Facilities in Ontario )
OWA is working on these issues:
  • environmental assessment
  • dam safety and public safety around dams
  • new waterpower development
  • water resource management
  • energy procurement
Swift River has fought to get fair coverage by local media.

Residents have fought to keep any development out of the town.

My posts, photos and videos have been deleted from the various Facebook and Gallery. My romantic, perhaps overly so, video of the Bala Falls caught 388 hits as of Oct. 24, 08, and has been deleted. I imagine my video was permissible until I began to encourage a dialogue. These are not welcomed! Steve continues to jump off the railway bridge, and tube in the falls.

Business owners will have to mend bridges (excuse the pun) work closely slow drivewith Swift River, and town councillors, in order to ensure that environmental and profit-oriented concerns are met. Ian Baines, CEO of Swift River, has said, "Swift River would offer financial compensation for business disruption and assistance to relocate Purk’s Place boat access." I think this is an offer that ought to be taken up ASAP.

We found, during our infamous Cranfest, that 18,000+ people endured a slow drive through town to visit. The town must make this a desirable place to live and visit.

Environmental assessments needs to be completed. All of the checks and balances will be put in place.Bracebridge Hydro Dam The water will not cease to run, fear-mongering must stop. Reality must set in.
Those who insist on jumping off the bridge into the water must cease and desist. It simply is not safe! Grow up!

The romantic residents who want everything to remain the same need to move into the new millennium. Change is the only thing we can depend upon. The Bracebridge site is a great one. If they work with Swift River, now that the decision has been made, the contracts signed, they will have some input on the project.

Bala Falls Hydro: Post #1,
Dambusters (post #2) & Bala Hydro Project -part 3, Misinformation -part 4, .

Thursday 23 October 2008

Publishing Process

An author, once she has told her story, found a publisher, and the book has been edited, proof-read, and fine-tuned, gets a proof copy that she goes over with a fine-tooth comb. The first third of the payment has been sent to the publisher. A deal has been signed. The author is assigned an editor, publicist, proofreader, book designer, in a cast of 'thousands'.

This proof comes in the form of an unglued book, basically. The printer prints it off and the author and editor gives it a final go-over. This part of the process is very exciting. The book, at first glance, finally looks like a book. Book marks are created, and similarly proofed.

The errors or omissions are noted, she either asks for a new print-off, or signs off the book as corrected, or as is. The book designer then gives the command. It is sent to the printer, along with a check for the 2nd third of the agreed to payment.

In the background, book stores are contacted. Book signings will be arranged, as well as a book launch. The author, if this is non-fiction, can arrange to write articles, seek out local media for reviews, interviews, and present workshops, or present at topic-related conferences. Advertising in magazines with similar topics can be arranged.

The item is placed in a catalogue, with the cost and information to promote the book.

Locally there are many papers in my region: Parry Sound Press, Bracebridge Examiner, Huntsville Forester, for example.

Nepean This Week : published by Osprey, is a paper that might result in some attention. I lived and worked in Nepean and have many former teacher colleagues there, as well as the larger Ottawa Citizen newspaper. Explore your options. Many local papers take an interest in local authors!

Your local bookstores should show some interest:

Manticore Books, Orillia
Check your local chamber of commerce website for details.

The Gravenhurst Book Store 120 Muskoka Road South P.O. Box 40 Gravenhurst (705) 687-0555

Reader's World, 52 Manitoba St., Bracebridge, P1L 1S1
Parry Sound Books - in, 26 James St, Parry Sound

I was checking out the books in our Shopper's Drug Mart. The pharmacist explained that The Newsgroup are the ones that decide to put books in a drug store chain or not.
Your publisher would contact that agency to make those arrangements.

Monday 20 October 2008

CBC content

I was shocked to hear an interview on Ontario Today. Rita Celli was speaking with Michael Schmidt, who has been convicted of contempt of court. Why is our CBC giving time to this man? Is CBC advocating that we promote consumption of raw milk?
The next story covered an issue about health care. There was some irony in this.

We risk contracting many diseases by consuming raw milk. A Harvey’s restaurant in North Bay has been accused of giving 159 patients E. coli. A horrible, worse than flu-like symptoms, and we all know how bad THOSE can be...

E. coli exists in the intestines of animals and poultry; it can spread through undercooked meat or raw unpasteurized milk and apple cider or raw fruits and vegetables. It is a huge issue.
Listeriosis, another risk in raw milk, just struck down a number of South Ontarians in a big scare, recall and debacle. Those most at risk are the young and the very old.

What shocked me more was that in the next story Ms. Celli then spoke to a representative from the College of Physicians and Surgeons to speak about family physicians (FP) acting as cosmetic surgeons suing the College for interfering with their right as physicians to do cosmetic surgery without the right credentials.

The CPSO site says,
“Although the term ‘cosmetic surgery’ is widely used, there is no such specialty designation by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada”
This is one of the big holes in our system. This governing body has obligations.
We need preventative medicine, as well as preventive surgery. We need to prevent physicians from flaunting the rules, and going against the College of Physicians conclusions designed to protect all of us. I wrote about second opinions in a different post. It, too, is a big issue. I would rather we get good first opinions. would rather we didn't let incompetent physicians from tarnishing the image of the great doctors out there.

My Town Monday

My town on this Monday is quiet. As someone 'from away' (I've only lived here 2 years, but cottaged here for 45) I have been looking in on the progress of this town a little differently. I happened upon a My Town Monday group of bloggers and thought I would reflect.

The tourists have gone home, since most stores are closed after our BIG Cranberry Festival (2007 photos of the bog), which ran this past weekend (the w/e after Canadian Thanksgiving in October). It draws hundreds of thousands (2008 photos) of tourists in town --population of 650. The history of Muskoka revolves around cottagers who come north from the big city to play in the water.

I worry about our town. There are several shops and a restaurant for sale, including our big parking lot. Other shops are quite successful; General Store, LCBO, and the stores along the main street. We have a library (open Wed/Sat.), and a bank (only open 3 times a week in winter!). With several stores being closed, people speed through and pick up food at Don's Bakery, or the grocery store, but tourism dollars are down by 30%. We have some terrific shops, with specialty products, and they sell well. But it is a limited season and business owners are dependent upon summer dollars. For this reason townspeople are worried about the Hydro Dam Project.

The Kee, which used to be a dance hall in the big band era (Jimmy Dorsey, etc.), draws a different crowd. Nowadays, it is not always open on a Saturday night. When it is, there is a lot of heavy drinking and incidents have occurred. It was not licensed when I was young, and we visited it every Saturday and saw the bands that we listened to on the record player (how I date myself) and radio.

The Bala Bay Inn is another great spot. Formerly known as the Swastika Hotel -- they changed the name after it became politically incorrect and the swastika symbol was adopted by Hitler.

Saturday 18 October 2008

Cranfest 2008

IMG_3904.JPGWe visited PeachFest in Niagara-on-the-lake this August, where our son was employed. That was fun. The fall harvest is a great tradition to celebrate. I love the Ontario festivals circuits. What is great about our Muskoka Lakes community is the efforts of local business owners to use local produce, i.e., Marty's Cafe, in Bracebridge. We believe in Muskoka.

Those who know say that this has been the best weather and the best turnout ever for our Cranberry Festival (2008 photos); (2007 photos of the bog).
Our festival's profits go to support charities in the area. I managed to convince a group of barrier-jumpers, who didn't think they needed to buy their buttons! It all goes to the community.

There are cranberries for sale, as well as cranberry bread, muffins, wine, jam, lots of local honey and other arts and craft products. We have two local bogs: Johnson's and the Wahta Reserve. They really put on a fine show with tours of the cranberry bog. Rick Mercer put us on the map last year by visiting. Last week he was in the area tubing behind our steamship.

While some of the trees have lost their leaves, many more are yellow and gold. The peak for colours was definitely a week ago.

There were tons of people, cars, dogs, babies in strollers, busses. Thanks goodness for our police officers who directed traffiOPP monitor trafficc.
The trolley and school busses take people through town. We had compliments on our transporation system! Visitors are advised to park at either end of town and hop on the busses. The price of admission is a $6 button.

Many thanks to the volunteers who give up their time to sit on the Board of Directors, work at the button booths and gates, coordinate volunteers, sit on the arts jury, and facilitate this event.

We sold out of our 18,000 buttons. What a great weekend!

Trouble in Dodge City/ AKA Bala Falls Hydro Project part 6

We have met some great people in Bala. We contribute to its economy, endeavour to shop here and support business owners, and volunteer in the community in many ways. (Cranfest & Meals on Wheels.) It is quite a shock to me that we cannot agree to disagree in this issue of the Hydro Dam Project. Amazing how differences of opinion are not tolerated, are discredited and deleted by those controlling websites. I have shared photos (after being asked for helpful suggestions) with those who are fighting this development, yet I continue to get grief. I have given permission for my intellectual property to be used and my video has been a hit!

"We can still walk hand in had even if we don't see eye to eye."
There are hard feelings in town. I have been accused of a personal attack on particular businesses. My previous posts, perceived as complaints, were not directed to Purk's place but to the people (some call them citiots!) and the "market demand" for such noisy things like inflatable rafts, motor boats, and other pollution-generating toys. I watched one boat owner top up his boat's gas tank at a marina and it totalled $450. I kid you not!

We must balance environmental issues with tourism, our economy, and local and cottager/tourist safety. That said, tourists need to understand our fragile environment and it is up to residents to help them gain an understanding. Some of us live and WORK here and must rise early in the morning for this purpose.

Things like fireworks (you need to read what happened to us and others) have no place in our beautiful land. Fireworks at night, two weeks in a row...We are losing residents and long-time cottagers who cannot stand the noise, smell and irritating vacationer who pollutes land/sea/air. Many neighbours have moved and sold. Others rent their properties out to those who do not respect neighbours, the lakes or the land. They only visit in shoulder seasons when things quiet down. This is criminal. Those renting must educate their renters. They violate our rights to enjoy our Muskoka by violating noise and burning by-laws.

Boaters exceed the 10 km/hr. within 30 m off of shore Marine Law ALL THE TIME (see the video at the bottom!). It is an unenforceable law. Boaters and tubers shriek, swear, scream and turn up radios full blast in the middle of the lake. They have late parties and disturb residents. But I digress...

This has been an interesting situation in our town. Many are rushing to try to prevent the new Hydro Dam Project to rebuild our current dam. Media coverage has been spotty, but biased in favour of the dambusters. Swift River has been hard-pressed to get fair coverage or any coverage! As someone 'from away' (I've only lived here 2 years, but cottaged here for 45) I have been looking in on the progress of this town a little differently.

There are wonderfully romantic stories in the news media, on on the website about families swimming in the falls over the years. What Ian Baines, CEO, points out, is that is has been a dam for a number of years and people have always swum in it! The Bracebridge Hydro Dam looks great to me. Great tourist attraction, nicely treed!

The movement has gained momentum. There was a rocky start on Facebook, with some messages deleted, and people told in no uncertain terms that they were either "for us or agin' us". I asked questions to better understand their issues. Others did the same. We were told to post elsewhere if we didn't agree that the Bala Falls would be 'ruined'. Some of us have done so. Still there are complaints!

My critical reflections are directed at those who fight environmental initiatives and progress, not at a store in particular. For those fighting to save Mr. Purk's store, which sits on MNR land, is an honourable thing. His children have risen to the occasion and garner great media interviews. It is great seeing people band together! Mr. Purkis has a right to pursue his business, and earn profits. This is the reason he is in business, as are the sons and daughters of our founding families. Many work hard, especially on a volunteer basis (i.e., Cranfest), to respect our town and its visitors.

The bottom line is that we have to react to climate change, gas emissions, and take into account the ecological footprint on our fragile Muskoka environment. It takes all of us. It takes a new mindset for us to move into the future. Whereas tourists once visited by coal-fired steam boat and train, we now can use cleaner means. This is true, too, of our leisure activities.

We can manage without growth and ignore important objectives: to shift policy in public debate from pursuit of economic growth to respect for earning a living in a sound, financial and ecological manner. We must pay attention to more pressing objectives than increasing profits*, working living, working and playing more mindfully. I am shocked and saddened when the lake is saturated with the smell of PWC engines. The black smoke from the steamships shocked me as I rode it in August, 2008 (see photo).

This issue is bigger than just one or two or six businesses. It involves visitors, residents, wildlife; our town, our regional governments, our province, nation and our impact on the world. But it starts here, at home, with us. I only ask the questions:

Does this project respect the goals of landowners, business owners, and visitors, alike?

Does this project constitute what is best for all stakeholders(see web), not just locals?

Have we not elected representatives locally, provincially and federally? (See Craig Marlatt's page for more information on gov't structures.)
on a mandate of reduced dependence upon coal-fired power?

*Peter Victor: Ecological Economics, Managing without growth: slower by design, not disasterFor previous posts (and subsequent comments) see: Savethebalafalls (post #1), Dambusters (post #2) & Bala Hydro Project (post #3) and Misinformation (post 4)

Friday 17 October 2008

Carbon Tax Propaganda

There is no question that carbon pollution in a world-wide issue. What is the worst part of this crisis is the exponential increase in larger developing/developed countries (billions of people in China and India) who are becoming more affluent and adding to pollution by buying cars.

Jim Taylor's blog on Runaway Carbon, totally surprised me. I must admit that I have deep concerns about the 'green shift'.

Imagine my amazement when I heard David Suzuki hosting a show, a week before the election, and talking about M. Dion's Carbon Tax. On CBC, my tax dollars going to pay for propaganda to convince me to vote for a particular candidate and his plank. I was shocked.

On The Current, 10/10/08 Battle of the Ecos
I heard Dr. Suzuki hosting and interviewing guests who are in favour of a carbon tax. During the election I heard a lot about this topic. I am worried.
There are those who say it is doing well in Norway. I went to my Pocket World in Figures, 2008 (The Economist) and created a comparison chart. I had heard someone say that there is no way to be able to compare these two countries as they are so disparate.

Norway has a vastly different geopolitical, and human framework than our country.

Dr. Suzuki played a comment by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. They cite concerns that the impact on taxpayers will be onerous. I agree, but Peter Victor*, teacher at York U. , author of Managing by said that the Canadian Taxpayers Federation 'has more credence than we should be giving them'. WHAT? Who else will stand up for us?

Some say NO to a carbon tax. I do, too. We must change the way we think about the environment. I think it is clear that we HAVE rejected the carbon tax plan. I cannot see that it will work.
Those who can least afford to pay more for food, shelter, clothing will be the most affected in Canada. M. Dion says they will get taxes back, but those living in poverty, and the working poor, do not PAY taxes. Instead, these increased business costs will trickle down. Big business will continue to pollute and we will pay for it through the nose.

I was shocked to hear Dr. Suzuki in the fray. Until we stop giving ourselves permission to pollute (carbon credits - more like earth debits) we must lobby and convince friends, neighbours, regional politicians, provincial, federal governments and other countries. We must get together and reduce this massive goal of profits at any cost.

Those with lots of cash will continue to run their heated pools, hot tubs, and resorts will run as they always have, charging a bit more to those that have, while the have-nots will not benefits from any reduction. We cannot force people to respect the environment by taxing their fuel-related expenditures. We can take responsibility for watching what business do and monitor their energy use, pollution levels and convince the public not to buy overpackaged goods, leave their cars at home, and turn down the thermostat.
education Muskoka
Here in Muskoka many earn a living in the services sectors. Most only old a certificate, trade or diploma. Salaries are not high, $15,000 lower than the provincial average. Contractors, who depend on being available to drive to jobs (which could be 35 km apart), will be hard-pressed to earn a living.

Heating costs are more expensive here in the north, as in many locations. We retirees will pay more to simply shop in town. We are on a fixed income. I retired early to help my parents in their passing. This just doesn't feel right to those who can least afford to pay it. The costs of setting up this infrastructure will be huge. Think of the hand gun registry!

*Peter Victor: Ecological Economics, Managing without growth: slower by design, not disaster

I very much enjoyed Roy MacGregor's election deconstruction. The election results and the economic crisis requires much thought and discourse.


This post hit home with me, Judy. We moved to give palliative care to my parents. After they died we moved into my parent's house. The neighbours enabled them to remain here longer than they should have. They are particularly old-fashioned in this community. I tried to attend their church, but I couldn't fit in. They insisted the Bible says 'brothers', and would not include women by adding 'sisters. (They set the women's movement back 40 years.)

Currently, the town is fighting a dam redevelopment , with which I agree. (There has been a dam there since the late 1880s) The dam is already there, and everyone is up in arms about it. I think it just might be progress and certainly is good for the environment. I feel pretty much alone. I am posting a My Town Monday with more info, but there is a picture bigger than our little town. I am trying to model "Even if you don't see eye to eye, you can still walk arm in arm." It is difficult.

I just watched an Oprah show on women who changed the world.
You cannot change some minds. You can only life your life as you see fit. When there is a time to speak, you will be so moved. I just heard Maria Schriver speak about her Minerva Award.

"Every single person is capable of being an architect of change, even if it's just speaking up at your own dinner table," she says. "Even if it's speaking up for your child in school, fighting for the right education plan for your child, doing something in your community…every single person, I believe, is capable of that."

points of view Bala Falls hydro part 5

This has been an interesting situation in our town. Many are rushing to try to prevent the new Hydro Dam Project to rebuild our current dam. Swift River has been hard-pressed to get fair coverage and any coverage!

Our town's economy is in trouble, with tourism dollars down by 30%. One's point of view as tourist, resident, or cottager is different, depending on your situation.

The movement has gained momentum. There was a rocky start on Facebook, with some messages deleted - not the ones I posted here, however, and people were told in no uncertain terms that they were either "for us or agin' us". I asked questions to better understand their issues. Others did the same. We were told to post elsewhere if we didn't agree that the Bala Falls would be 'ruined'. Some of us have done so. Still we get complaints via third parties!

Some are posting threats:

I am allowed a point of view. Interesting that one of my YouTube videos generated an ignorant comment about how I helped lose a Liberal in our riding by voting Green.

There are those who do not understand the freedoms Canadians have in free speech! There is a difference between observing and being for or against a cause. I have posted some videos about the Bala Hydro Dam Project, and they were used by the Dambusters. I like to watch what is going on!
From My Muskoka