One of our cherished freedoms is free speech. The ability to speak our minds short of provable hate mongering or slander is one of the reasons Canada is such a great country. One can’t be charged with blasphemy either, defined as speaking sacrilegiously about God or sacred things. Unfortunately, it is not so in some countries. A recent example is Indonesia where a court has sentenced the minority Christian Governor of Jakarta to two years in prison. Apparently he told voters they were being deceived if they believed a specific verse in the Qur’an prohibited Muslims from voting for a non-Muslim leader which led to an accusation and charge of blasphemy.
If you think provincial politics in Saskatchewan can be interesting, it’s a REALLY interesting game in BC; always has been. I phoned my dad in Victoria yesterday and congratulated him for accurately predicting the results of Tuesday’s provincial election. He may be 95 but his mind is sharp and he is a news hound who watches and follows the political scene at home, across the country and the world. I won’t tell you what he thinks of Donald Trump but you can guess.
Yesterday’s Sasknow.ca News Poll question was about the problems we have with rail lines inside Saskatoon city limits. As of this writing, 41% of respondents said the best solution is to build bridges or underpasses. 37 % said to relocate the lines outside the city after coming to agreements with the reticent railroads, CN and CP. The remaining 22% said to just leave things the way they are. This was a tough one for me to vote on. The cheapest solution is obviously to just leave things as they are and put up with waiting at a crossing when trying to get somewhere.
It’s Canada’s 150th birthday this year. Any old excuse to throw a party, right? Many might remember the 100th celebrations in 1967 which was an interesting year in this country. The most successful world’s fair up to that time, Expo 67, opened in Montreal in April. The Toronto Maple Leafs won their 13th, and last, Stanley Cup. Ross Thatcher was the Premier of Saskatchewan and won his second straight majority in October. Universal Medicare, which had begun in this province 20 years earlier, was being implemented right across the country, as was the Canada Pension Plan.
I see that U.S. regulators are using the recent United Airlines fiasco to ask some pointed questions of airline CEO’s during hearings on what it’s like nowadays to fly the unfriendly skies, everything from hidden fees to long waits and security procedures. I’ve talked before about how flying used to be fun, at least in my memory bank. The major airlines, in their quest to make money, have turned air travel into something to be endured rather than enjoyed. And some things are getting worse. One U.S. airline says it is going to reduce the distance between you and the seat in front of you by another inch as they continue to look for ways to cram more passengers onto an airplane.