Monday, July 3

Journey's End

After leaving Halifax I spent a few days in Sheet Harbor, a small village on the east coast of Nova Scotia. It was mostly to see family, as my mother was raised there. Unfortunately, there are almost no buses going to the smaller towns anymore, and so although I was able to find one going there, there weren't any going out for another two days.

I tried to hitch hike, but didn't get anywhere. My plan was to go to the ferry terminal and to sail to P.E.I., but in the end I couldn't even get to the next village. In the end I had to wait till the next morning for the bus back to Halifax, and afterwards take another to New Brunswick.

My first stop was Fredericton, where my father's cousin Sandy and her family own a farm. It was nice to rest up for a little while, away from the pace of city life. I also went to Saint John, to the south, to see my uncle Patrick and his wife Patricia.

Last Wednesday I finally arrived back in Montreal. Unfortunately, the buses to Montreal from the east also run on a horrible schedule. There's a choice of either arriving at 1 am or 6:30 am. So for the first day here, I was pretty out of it.

I've been staying with my friend Simon in Laval since I got back, while I come in to Montreal in the day to look for an apartment. So far I haven't settled on anything, but it's only been a few days since I started searching.

Although I'm still planning on updating this every two weeks, I doubt that it will be about myself so much anymore, for the simple reason that my life probably won't be very interesting. My plans are to find a place to live, find a full time job, and live a quiet life for at least the next year. So I'll probably use it mostly to vent about things other...

The first is all of the hoopla around the one percent cut to the GST. It's a silly thing to do, as it amounts to little more than a tax cut for the rich. Those that will see more than a few dollars of savings have large enough disposable incomes to buy new cars and other such high priced goods. But with such salaries, a few hundred dollars in savings isn't likely to make a very big impact on their lives. Most of the necessities in daily life are exempt from the tax anyway, and the prices of the smaller things that aren't exempt [which also make up the largest chunk of the revenues from the tax] will likely be rounded up to compensate, as retailers like to have the final price as a round number, say $1.50, instead of the $1.485 that it would now be with a 1% reduction. So the real winners here might be the owners of the convenient stores more than anything else. As for the losers, it will probably be the majority of the country, as the lost revenue will probably be made up in income tax hikes once the budget surpluses disappear.

One interesting thing that's come out of this is that the war of attrition between [Canadian Prime Minister] Stephen Harper and the media is in full swing. Harper told the media, in slightly different words, to go fuck themselves earlier this year, accusing them of having a grudge against his government. This is completely ridiculous, as the media has been tearing down governments, both Liberal and Conservative, for about as long as Canada has been having elections. Without the media blowing the sponsorship scandal up to the proportions they did, Harper wouldn't have become prime minister in the first place. Yet he now thinks that he can beat them into submission by brushing them off every chance he gets. It's obvious that the media has been at this a hell of a lot longer than he has, and aren't going to be out done by such tactics. They're going to bide their time, and get in their shots when it will count the most. In the current situation with the GST, they immediately jumped on how horribly thought out the idea was, and pasted it on their front page. They might have done so regardless of what Harper said earlier this year, but now they're going to be all the more rabid.

Also, Israel has stormed into Gaza, giving the reason that they need to free a captured soldier. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems to me that Israel is in the middle of a very long war with Palestine. I'm not trying to say who is the good guy or bad in this situation, and civilians are never, under any circumstances, legitimate targets. But soldiers are. War is horrible, yet when people insist on waging it, this is a simple fact. As such, the soldier is entitled to be treated in a human way until his release. If he is killed, Israel is justified in retaliating against strict military targets, avoiding killing any bystanders at any cost. But it's not a justification for the dozens (hundreds?) of Palestinian civilians that will be killed, either directly or otherwise, in Israel's military aggression. If Israel has another reason for invading, they should state it, and not use this.

To end on a more positive note, the rain cloud that's been following me for the last month seems to have finally gone away. I hadn't seen sunshine for more than a couple of days in all of last month, so it's a welcome change to see some sunny weather...

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I could definitely see that 1% spent on Montreal's roads or in its crowded emergencies. Cutting taxes like this is stupid.

(cr)Dave

9:01 PM  
Blogger ian said...

yep, they govern like they have a majority, too...

3:42 PM  

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