The Travel Edition: PM in Israel, Quebeckers Confused in Morocco, and English Beavers Gone Wild

Fear and Loathing South of the 40 #4

The big story last week was Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s visit to Israel. It was the Prime Minister’s first official state visit and let me tell you he did it in style. CBC reporter Terry Milewski reported the PM’s entourage was 6 cabinet ministers along with 30 business people and community leaders. However, the whole delegation was closer to 250, when we include the RCMP, media, 21 Rabbis, and various business people. Am I getting the ingredients for a bad joke here? The aim of Harper’s visit was multi-fold and takes a bigger brain than mine to try and decipher, but was it a success? Oy Vey, was it ever! Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made an official speech to the Canadian delegation calling Harper “a great friend of Israel and the Jewish people.” If that is not good enough for you, Harper responded in a speech “Through fire and water Canada will stand with you!” Man, I expected James Taylor to take to the stage and start singing You’ve Got a Friend. “When you’re down and troubled and you need a helping hand…” Ok, ok enough said.

Ok I left the Quebec Secular Charter alone last week but this week, Holy Moly!
The Quebec Secular Charter hearings heard testimony last week from Genevieve Caron and Claude Pineault. The couple spoke to the commission about a trip they had taken to Morocco and Turkey. Madame Caron had this to say when speaking about her visit to a mosque: “Praying on all fours on a carpet, what is that all about?” She went on to say that being asked to remove her shoes when entering the mosque, which is customary, left her “marked”. WOW! This is so ignorant I am not even sure how to come at this one. First off, did she get on the wrong plane? Maybe she thought they were going to Disneyland. Secondly what does this have to do with the values of Quebec? Am I just not getting it? Maybe the problem is me here, can someone explain this to me? Regardless now that the video of the testimony has gone viral I am sure that Quebecers are on the top ten list of people you don’t want to have visit your country. Thanks Madame Caron, thanks a lot.

Women’s Hockey player, Hayley Wickenheiser has been named Canada’s flag bearer for the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Wickenheiser has been to the Olympics to represent Canada 4 times, winning a silver medal in 1998, and gold in 2002, 2006, 2010. Holy shit this is impressive cause she can’t be a spring chicken anymore, although she looks awesome. Of course over-shadowing all the great news relating to the Sochi Games is the constant threat of a terrorist attack. Downplaying the rising concerns Wickenheiser said she believes Sochi will be the “safest place on earth” during the Olympics. I have to agree with her. I think the Russians are going to lock that puppy down tighter than a frog’s arsehole on a power dive during the Games. The Sochi Games start February the 7th.

Last week at a glance:

The BBC ran a story about a “Smart Fridge” that had been sending out spam after a web attack that compromised smart gadgets. Looks like the fridge isn’t so fucking smart after all.

spam fridge

Spam fridge

There has been a beaver filmed living in the wild on a farm in Devon, England. So what, you ask? Beavers have been extinct in England for 500 years! Farmer David Lawrence was the first to notice this new English beaver “roaming through the trees and fields of his farm” but did not want to mess with it. He then asked his mate, scientist Tom Buckley to film this English Beaver. I guess the point is that there’s new beaver in England.

Cops with cameras, Montreal police like the idea. They are talking about a device that is about the size of a smart phone and is clipped to the chest of an officer. This way, “people would be able to get both sides of a situation and not just the intervention” says Ian Lafreniere, a spokesman for Montreal police. I can see it now. “Stop in the name of the law!!! That’s it, hold it right there… ok a bit to the left… work it for the camera!” (Actually this is an awesome idea)

Father Joseph LeClair, a popular Ottawa priest, pleaded guilty to gambling away tens of thousands of dollars at the Casino Lac Leamy. CTV news said that “Ottawa Police allege more than $240 thousand was misappropriated from 2006 to 2011 while an additional $160 thousand was unaccounted for.” That boys and girls, is mucho dinero to steal from the collection plate, how much money is the Church making, for Christ sake? I guess this Holy Roller was praying for a full house. (somebody stop me!)

i almost got away with it meme

i almost got away with it meme

Here is the last word of the week. Bixi, Montreal’s bike sharing system has been forced into bankruptcy. It is estimated that Montrealers are going to be left with a debt of approximately 50 million thanks to the two wheeled wonders. Alright if no one else is going to say it, I will be the bad guy. People we live in a province that has winter 5 months of the year! Sure this is a cute idea in the summer, especially for tourists, but what happens when it get to minus 35? For some reason I just can’t see people lining up to get on the old Bixi. I mean, I am no urban planner but did this question not dawn on anyone? Also, have the people who support this ever ridden a bike in the city? When was the last time Mayer Coderre jumped on a Bixi at 6 in the morning to get to work you think? Gimme a break!

Bixi bikes. Creative commons. From flickr user pdbreen

Bixi bikes. Creative commons. From flickr user pdbreen

About Ken Gaucher

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