If You Don’t Like It, Get Out!

If you were born in Canada, or you immigrated to Canada, remember, if you don’t like it, get out! Get out, and petition for the change you seek. You have a right, to have a say in how the country is run. That is what democracy is about. You may be successful, you may not be, either way, you are welcome to have a voice. You are welcome in Canada.

If you don’t like the change someone else is proposing, get outGet out, and have your say against it. This too is your right.

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Canada, Reach Out in Love to Refugees

So much hate towards refugees online lately.
“Government’s giving refugees too much money, rawr rawr rawr.”
CBC (and others) debunked this rumour about big money for refugees, showing it to be at best a foolish mistake (at worst a purposeful lie).
“Rawr, rawr, rawr, CBC is kissing the Liberal Party’s brains out, defending, other foolishness. I didn’t see them defending Stephen Harper when he did the thing he was accused of doing.”
Here’s the thing, nobody who is correcting the (very) wrong math on what refugees receive (for their first year) in Canada to protect the government. They are trying to curtail the hatefulness being thrown in the direction of the refugees (and there is plenty of it being thrown). Refugees who are screened, rescreened, referred, and then scrutinized further to be able to come to Canada.
Canada is not a Christian country. It is not Buddhist, Muslim, Atheist, Zoroastrian, Judaic, or any other religion. It is free for all religions. Canada is not a whites only country, and it is not a country where the shade of one’s skin should denote the trustworthiness of an individual. It is a country where everyone has equal worth as a human being.
Most of the rhetoric floating around can be sourced back to the idea, “Make me comfortable, or get out.” If you are uncomfortable with the idea of “those foreigners” becoming residents, and eventually Canadian citizens, tough luck. That’s how Canada works. Thankfully popular opinion doesn’t (shouldn’t) dictate how Canada treats people who are different than those in the popular opinion camp. What a hell hole Canada would be if we let the loudest decide how we treat the world’s most vulnerable.
Embrace our new neighbours. Welcome them to Canada. Show them love, warmth, kindness, friendship, caring, and all the other things Canada has in abundance. Bring them (halal if they are muslim) food, help with clothes. Offer help with child care, think of other needs to fill, bring them into the community, and let them know they are a welcome part of it.
Canada, don’t become a nation of bigots who pepper spray our guests (whether literal, or with your online rhetoric). Be everything the hell of war they escaped is not. Be the very best of Canada.

Last Time To The Canadian Ballot Box

in 2014 I moved to China. I have been working there since. I am getting married in China, and we will be staying there until it is time to retire. Recently the courts in Canada have given me, and then taken away my long term ability to vote as a Canadian citizen living abroad. I was inspired by Donald Sutherland’s recent statement (article) regarding the decision. 

The argument is, “It will be an unfair imposition to the Canadians dealing with Canadian policies on a daily basis to have Canadians living abroad have a say in Canada’s politics.” I am choosing to live abroad, this is true. However, I am effected by Canada’s policies as well. What Canada does on the world stage effects me. As a Canadian citizen, I am left to answer for what my government does. It affects visas in foreign countries, as well as dealing with authorities. When Canada makes an ass of itself, I am made to be an ass as well. 

People vote with their own interests in mind. Business owners will likely vote for the candidate who promises lower taxes on businesses, or relaxed regulations. Families will likely vote in favour of the family friendly policy candidates. The elderly will look for the senior friendly policies, and so forth. Expats are the same, expats will vote in favour of friendly, and embracing foreign policies. This is our niche, just as other voters have a niche. We are not looking to destroy Canada with the vote, we are looking for our voice to be heard on the issues which matter to us. There isn’t a voter in Canada who would vote against the issues which effect them.

Someday I will move back to Canada with my wife from China. Then, I will be able to resume voting for the party with the smallest ass at the helm. However, until then, I have one vote left. It is for the election on October 19, 2015. While I have yet to decide the recipient of my vote, I can say this for certain, my vote will be cast against Stephen Harper. My last act for 25 years as a voting Canadian citizen is to try to help remove the Harper government. God speed to us all who will vote in that way. 

Since writing this I have had a brilliant idea. We need an Expat MP. Instead of having all the expats vote for MPs in seperate ridings, have expats vote for the representation, standing for their interests with the Canadian government. One seat, for 1 million expats. 1 seat out of 338 seats. It is about .33% of the power, for 2ish% of Canadian citizens (with estimate of 1 million Canadians living abroad). Seems fair(er), compared to the current system.

Air Canada’s Sales…

I am tired of seeing emails saying, “Seat Sale! Moncton/Vancouver to Beijing.” Because living in China means the seat sale doesn’t apply to me, ever. Now, it did save me $800 because it didn’t apply to me, but still a … Continue reading

Scotiabank Security…

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I called Scotiabank because they flagged my bankcard, the reason is, it is in China. Now, in late January I called Scotiabank, and told them my plans. I said, “I am going to China, I’ll be there for at least a year, if not more. Also, I will be travelling as much as possible, so please put a note on the account.” They told me it was no problem, then I called back the following day to confirm everything had been noted, and once again was told, “No problem, it is all there.” I haven’t used my bank card much here, but I have used it 4, or 5 times in the past 8 months.

Security questions answered, here we go:
Him: “Have you used your bankcard anywhere more than a small radius around the home address on the card?” 
Me: “Yes, I am in China, have been since February.”
Him: “Please answer my question, have you used your bank card at any other location than your home city?”
Me: “Yes, I am in China, and I am using it.”
Him: “Sir, I cannot help you until you answer my question. Has. your. bankcard. been. used. outside. your. home. city.”
Me: “I don’t know what you are asking.”
Him: *Audible sigh*
*skip the Abbot and Costello routine which lasted about 2 minutes*
Me: “Ok. I am in China. I have used my bankcard here. I do not understand what question you are asking when you say, ‘another location,’ if it is not me being in China” (at least my 7th mention of China).
Him: “You are in China? We do not have a record of you being in China.”
Me: “I called in January to tell you I am in China. Then I called back the following day to confirm there was a note on the file, to say I was going to China. I was told yes.”

Long story, less longer, the problem is fixed.

The question I want to ask is this, how slow is their security if I have been using my bankcard in China since February, and they only just flagged it in October… This gives me cause for pause. Seriously, had my card been stolen, what in the world took 8 months to flag it? Had this happened in February, the first time I tried to use it, I would have been annoyed, but I also would have thought, “Oh, hey, they have decent security. Terrible note taking skills, but security is on the ball.” Instead a thief would have had time to clean out all the pennies I keep in the bank (I am not wealthy by any means), and Scotiabank would have just been there sitting on their hands, doing nothing about it.

Below is how I felt about the 3rd time I answered his question with, “China,” and he told me, “Until you answer my question, I cannot help you.”

No Foreign Foods, No Import Prices

My town in China is relatively small. Now, keep in mind it is small by Chinese standards, because there are 1,000,000 people here. Even though there are more people than almost every city in Canada, the 1,000,000 people here has … Continue reading