Back to the Future?

Given the reminders that 2015 represents the year when Back to  the Future II takes place, we should look at a few more upcoming movie temporal placements:

2015: Back to the Future II

2018: Rollerball

2019: Blade Runner

2022: Soylent Green

2027: Children of Men

2029: The Terminator

Most of these aren’t really good to think of, given that most don’t speak well of the future to come. However, don’t panic. After all, look which movie settings have passed:

Early 1950s: War of the Worlds

c. 1960: Fahrenheit 451

1977: The Omega Man

1984: 1984

1997: 12 Monkeys

1997: Escape from New York

2001: 2001: A Space Odyssey

2010: District 9

How much of this has happened? Oh wait. Some of it has…

It’s time to look at the costs

Today, the Yukon Government announced that they will appeal the decision of the Yukon Supreme Court’s Decision to overturn the amended land use plan for the Peel River drainage. The timing is interesting, in that the announcement comes shortly after the legislative session has ended and the house will not sit again for several months.

This was the result of a suit filed to deal with the government’s implementation of their own land use plan for the Peel, overturning the process and decision of the Peel Watershed Planning Commission after five years of consultation and $1.6 million in costs.

The original plan called for protection of 80% of the region. The government, however, unilaterally rejected the plan and presented their own calling for protection of less than 30% of the region.

The Na-Cho Nyak Dun and the Tr’ondek Hwech’in First Nations, along with the Yukon Conservation Society and the Yukon chapter of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, filed a suit arguing the government’s new plan unilaterally ignored the planning process, part of the Yukon First Nations’ Umbrella Final Agreement, and hence, is constitutionally protected.

This is not the Yukon Government’s first foray into clashing with Yukon First Nations over traditional lands. The Ross River Dena Council successfully sued the territorial government in 2012 over requiring consultation for granting staking on traditional lands. The government appealed the Yukon Supreme Court decision to the Supreme Court of Canada, which refused to hear the appeal.

The Kaska Dena Council have also filed similar suit in May of 2014. Ross River also filed another suit over failure to consult over the issue of big game hunting permits in August 2014.

All of these issues seem to stem from the complete failure of the Yukon Government to understand their role vis–à–vis first nation governments in the territory and the proven in law rights and responsibilities of governments on first nations’ traditional territories.

Under the Umbrella Final Agreement, a constitutionally protected agreement, first nations have the right in Yukon to devolve any territorial government power and have that funded from Yukon Government revenue. What this basically means is that a first nations government in Yukon is the constitutional equivalent of the territorial government.

Perhaps, for perspective’s sake, the Yukon Government should look at this from the other side, namely, that the government is the equivalent of a first nation and the premier is the equivalent of a first nation chief.

Until the government governs the territory in this manner, they will continue to throw away taxpayer’s money on suits they have no hope of winning, and for no other logical purpose than to save face. Unfortunately, when it comes to relations with Yukon First Nations, the government has no more face to save.

These trials have cost a substantial amount of tax money, wasted because the government does not understand or want to understand their position in the constitutional milieu. What would be quite fair is for the government to publicly announce how much has be spent since 2011 on law suits filed by first nations. These number should be made public before the appeal is filed…

 

2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,100 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 18 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

That time of year

Dove imageOnce again that time of year has come. Quickly, as you can guess. I’ve had no time to even get around sending my Christmas cards. Fortunately, there are 12 days of Christmas so I can still send them off in the season.

Tomorrow, I’ll get a chance to make a few phone calls and talk to family and friends. Until then, I wish you the best of the season: peace on earth and goodwill towards all.

Analog to digital

In May 2013, I posted that I had started using an electronic cigarette on occasion. The brand I use is Canadian, from a company out of Edmonton, and do not contain nicotine. As such, they are completely legal for sale and use in Canada.

I used both for a considerable period of time, and then, several months ago, moved on to just the e-cigarette. I like to think that I’ve moved from analog to digital.

This is a combination of a lithium ion battery and atomizer, which connects to a cartridge containing the liquid that is used. The liquid is water, glycerin and flavouring. My latest favourite is apple, although I also am quite fond of coffee and chocolate.

I am, frankly, a little confused over Health Canada’s somewhat odd approach to these. While their comments tend to deal with those that do contain nicotine, they seem somewhat against the idea of them. I find it odd that Health Canada would be against a tool that reduces smoking.

Yes, there are studies that indicate just that. A recent one, out of University of Massachusetts Boston, revealed over a three-year long study that people using the nicotine type e-cigarettes for at least one month are six times more likely to quit than those who do not. The recommendations of the authors following the study were:

“Policy makers need to think carefully before enacting any laws that make adult smokers less likely to try these products, such as taxing e-cigarettes as heavily as tobacco or eliminating flavors.”

Given the success rates, it would seem that there would be a reasonable amount of support for these. After all, nicotine really is a stimulant that functions much the same as caffeine. Nicotine replacement products, such as the nicotine replacement patch or Nicorette inhaler (called that in Canada, but the Nicorette E-Cigarette in European marketing), are completely legal when licensed.

Health Canada, however, must also be remembered to be a government body and, as such, answers to the federal minister of health. The minister has the ability to overrule any Health Canada decision (including the results of drug testing, by the way).

Depending on whose figures you use, there are either five or six million smokers in Canada. If you average one pack a day and use the lower number, with approximately $12 of federal and provinces excise taxes and sales taxes on each pack, you can see a probably $60 million per day influx of cash into federal and provincial coffers.

Two month ago, I emailed Health Canada and asked if their lack of support for e-cigarettes are a department policy or at the instruction of the minister. I haven’t gotten an answer…

Another playwriting competition

Another year has come and gone and another playwriting competition is over.  There’s nothing quite like the joys of writing, caffeine, adrenalin, and insomnia that accrue in such a short period of time.

I thought about spending it working on two plays I’ve been trying to finish over the last while. However, I thought I would write something new for a number of reasons.

A friend passed away recently. We had worked together for 22 years and, as it turned out after half of that time, our grandparents had both emigrated from the same town outside Belfast in the 1920s. I figured it was time to write a play that takes place in Ulster, namely Derry in January and February of 1972.

If you think you can write a play from scratch in 24 hours, you will be disappointed. I`m content with the first draft I managed in that time. It`s a bit ragged at the edges, but that`s how first drafts are supposed to be.

So, there`s another one on my plate. One of these days, I going to have to retire, if for no other reason than to finish a few plays…

A new horse or a new cart?

Well, my parts request just took a funny turn today. I got an email from Rapala this morning. The email was forwarded including a previous mail from someone else in Rapala to send a parts diagram. The part of the email directed to me asked for my mailing address, including a full address if I had a PO box.

I responded with my address and then thought for a minute. Couldn’t they just have emailed me a PDF? I thought about emailing back suggesting that after work.

I actually got off work early. A water main was broken and they had to shut off the water at work. We all got sent home and the college was closed. I checked my email to send a request that they just email me a PDF if possible. What I got was this:

Hi Doug,
Mailed out one MGII reel. Final warranty/replacement.
Kind regards,

Mary

I was a wee bit surprised. I would have been quite content with repairing it. Suffice to say, I’ve repaired enough reels in my time. The reel was less than a year old, but I never even mentioned warranty.in my emails.

So, I may not give Rapala huge marks for ongoing maintenance help, but they do score well in the customer service area…

 

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