Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Why I am supporting the Conservative Party of Canada on May 2, 2011

Canada is one of the greatest countries in the world, with some of the most remarkable leaders in business, research, culture, sport and politics. We are blessed with bountiful natural resources, which laid the foundation of this country`s development from coast to coast to coast.

No matter what personal beliefs you or I hold about the past political leaders of this country, they have shepparded Canada to this point here in 2011. I honestly cannot imagine this country being in any better shape. Each and every one of us is afforded as much personal, social, philosophical and cultural prosperity and freedom as we can possibly attain.

There are 4 options for you this Monday.
1. Bloc Quebecois - A borderline treasonous party devoted to the break up of this fine country.

2. New Democratic Party - A party that disrespects the extraordinary skills and efforts of most Canadians. Despite being led by a passionate individual with much charisma and experience, the NDP does NOT have a suitable grasp of the importance of the economic base that generates the government`s tax revenues which pay for the services that are almost essential to the Canadian identity. More critically, this party does not have the breadth or depth of candidates to improve that lack of insight.

3. Liberal Party - The "former natural governing party" has lost its identity and relies on metaphors and similes of "the middle ground". Unfortunately the Liberal party does not have a concrete vision for the direction this country should take, instead relying on relentless and baseless attacks of the other parties, attacks which it ironically does not have the moral authority to make.

4. Conservative Party of Canada - The only truly national party, the Conservative Party has a well-rounded understanding of, and respect for, the cultural and social fabric of the different regions of this country and the diverse people living in them. It is a party with the experience of leading this country out of the deepest worldwide economic crisis of our generation. This is a party with the vision and understanding of the importance of providing for those who require assitance and compassion, while still respecting individual rights AND responsibilities.

The Conservative Party of Canada is the ONLY party that has stated that the purpose of government is:
to create a climate wherein individual initiative is rewarded, excellence is pursued, security and privacy of the individual is provided and prosperity is guaranteed by a free competitive market economy.

As young urban voters with our careers before us, these are ideals which speak to our expectations of government.

We expect a government which will only tax us to the extent absolutely necessary. Taxation is an imposition on our daily lives and personal economic abilities; the other parties treat your hard earned salary as their God-given right to have, collect, and spend.

We expect a government that treats the environment as part of our heritage, not a separate external entity. This means the protection of critical and unique ecosystems, and striving to find innovative ways to maintain and grow our economic diversity while minimizing and someday reversing environmental impacts through research, development and implementation. This is the mark of TRUE sustainability.

We expect a government that will safe guard our communities, and ensure that we feel as comfortable out on the sidewalks, in the mall, and on the roads, as we do inside our very own homes.

Our economic recovery is nearly cemented, but our greatest challenges are still ahead of us. Only one party has the required experience, commitment and leadership to maintain, nay, IMPROVE, the services that our government provides - the Conservative Party of Canada.

That is why, on Monday, May 2, 2011, from coast to coast to coast, I urge you to join me and vote for your local Conservative candidate, to ensure that you and your community are well represented in government, and that Canada can continue with a truly national and stable government to drive this country forward to new heights.

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Tax System Explained in Beer

Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing. The fifth would pay $1. The sixth would pay $3. The seventh would pay $7. The eighth would pay $12. The ninth would pay $18. The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

So, that's what they decided to do. The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve ball. "Since you are all such good customers," he said, "I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20." Drinks for the ten men would now cost just $80.

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes. So the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his fair share? They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer.

So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by a higher percentage the poorer he was, to follow the principle of the tax system they had been using, and he proceeded to work out the amounts he suggested that each should now pay.

And so the fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% saving). The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33% saving). The seventh now paid $5 instead of $7 (28% saving). The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% saving). The ninth now
paid $14 instead of $18 (22% saving). The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% saving).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But, once outside the bar, the men began to compare their savings.

"I only got a dollar out of the $20 saving," declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man, "but he got $10!"

"Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man. "I only saved a dollar, too. It's unfair that he got ten times more benefit than me!"

"That's true!" shouted the seventh man. "Why should he get $10 back, when I got only $2? The wealthy get all the breaks!"

"Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison, "we didn't get anything at all. This new tax system exploits the poor!"

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had their beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important! They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

And that, boys and girls, journalists and government ministers, is how our tax system works. The people who already pay the highest taxes will naturally get the
most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas,
where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

Author Unknown

Monday, March 21, 2011

2010-03-21: "Go back to Africa"

On the way out of my building in Vancouver, on the edge of Yaletown, a homeless man at the corner noticed me and shouted a few incoherent things about black people. I hurried across the street to Tim Hortons, partly to get through the morning rain, partly to avoid having to listen to any more of his musings. I could vaguely feel him crossing the street in my general direction as I entered Tim's for my morning cup. And for the record, I am now an abysmal 1 for 13 on "Roll up the Rim".

I shook off the rain, and joined the back of the line. I heard the door behind me reopen, and an addle-brained voiced rang out:

"You should go back to Africa and take your American money with you!"

I don't think that I was as shocked as the 20 or so other patrons at Tim's. They all just nervously looked at the man as he retreated back outside. The restaurant fell silent for a few seconds as people looked around. The servers resumed filling orders. There was a noticeable awkwardness in line, as the people ahead of me shuffled forward in line. No one looked up.

When I went to order my coffee, my voice cracked. It wasn't until then that I realized how shaken I had been. I hadn't felt overly threatened by the man following me and his racist outburst. Maybe it was the disturbed non-response from those in the restaurant. I cannot definitively say.

In light of Sunday's March Against Racism in Vancouver (which I did not attend, nor had any interest to), this little event opened my eyes. People still do not know how to react to overt displays of racism. I don't even know how to react, so I cannot blame them.

As a black individual, I've been exposed to prejudices as long as I can remember, at least since grade school. Each instance frustrates and bewilders me. I'm as far from stereotypical as just about any black male could be. I'm often accused of being "not black enough". As a professional, I have strived to make everything about my abilities and accomplishments. The colour of my skin is only that, the colour of my skin.

As I shake off this experience and continue on with my week, the colour of my skin continues to have no other bearing on who I am nor does it limit my capability.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Viaduct Alternatives?

A few more of my scattered thoughts on the potential removal of the Downtown Vancouver Viaducts:

I remember listening to the Meggs radio interview back in 2009, and then reading a few blog posts about the Georgia & Dunsmuir viaducts. My first instincts told me that this would be a popular project for those that have been directing the City of Vancouver's transportation program for the last little bit, once they were finished with the bike lanes.

The City's proclaimed transportation hierarchy is as follows:

1. Walking
2. Cycling
3. Transit
4. Commercial Goods
5. Passenger vehicles

Removal of the viaducts would eventually drive down the number of car trips into downtown by wrecking havoc on all trips coming in from the east. But the alternate routes from the east simply could not handle the added load:

Cambie St. bridge is more of a north/south route, but does not connect well to those coming from 1st Avenue.
Quebec St. is a busy route, and impassable on any event day at BC Place or Rogers Arena (formerly GM Place).
Pender St. does not provide a good connection to East Van, as it ends prior to Clark Drive.
Hastings St. is an unsafe route due to the number of jaywalkers in the DTES.
Powell/Cordova is the last option, but the route is a single lane in either direction for stretches.

Those who use the argument that removing the viaducts would provide for additional park space and development opportunity have obviously missed a pretty big factor: Skytrain. Both Stadium/Chinatown and Main St stations are elevated stations. To realize the benefits of the removal of the viaducts, Translink would be required to put an underground connection between the two stations, which would be extremely cost prohibitive, due to the known contaminated soils in this area.

I am very curious to read the Georgia and Dunsmuir Viaducts Study. Not sure when it will be released either.

Check this out: SFU City. SFU is hosting a forum entitled What's Up with the Viaducts? A Forum of Possibilities on April 7, 2011 at 7pm. Register here to attend.

Wanted to post a link to a blog post by Paul Hillsdon. He's been at it way longer than I have, and here are some of the options he presented in an open letter to Mayor Gregor after his election. It's completely pro-demolition, but I like how he has given much thought to the required alterations to downtown transportation.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Vancouver Viaducts

Interested in the future of the downtown Vancouver viaducts? Check out this upcoming forum by City of Vancouver and SFU, which I will be attending:

For any of you who have ever had to use the viaducts to commute, you know the importance of these routes to the free flow of traffic into and out of the downtown core to the east. City planners have long discussed taking down the viaducts, and one city councillor is actively pursuing this.

I think that it’s important that all options are fully investigated, and other opinions are expressed… imagine the speed with which the City of Vancouver brought in the Hornby bike lanes and the backyard chicken coups. The viaducts could be dropped just as quickly, without any communication of the impact on Vancouverites, and without consultation with those who live, work or travel downtown.

I’ll be posting more comments here in the next few days. Feel free to spread the word to others who live/work downtown.

My twitter:

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Looks like 2011 may be a big year for me, personally, career wise, politically, everything! I think that I could be a busy man...

I haven't been updating this much lately, I have taken the Twitter route really, short 140 character bursts whenever I can.

I have also put that domain I bought to some use, At least now it redirects to my page... which also could use a quick sprucing up. I'll do up my resume at somepoint in Q1, just to have that. I'm not looking! I swear! (For the sake of the corporate bots that I'm sure are spying...)

Minor targets for 2011: (Because the bigger ones have yet to be set)
-Write either the LSAT or the GMAT/GRE
-Join a board or advisory panel
-Continue with my personal health plan
-Continue to define my personal presence

Anyway, all the best at the start in 2011...