December 2004
December 14th 2004
December 6th 2004

December 14th 2004
This has been one of those years that have gone past in the blink of an eye.
When I was younger I had heard about them but never really believed in them. Time had the ability to speed up and slow down at will.
Mostly slow down I noted.
Especially during those later months in the year when summer break and Christmas were just around the corner and being inside in a schoolroom was akin to Chinese water torture. Each second passing with an audible click of the clock up on the wall above the blackboard. Seeing as I was one of the “back row boys” it was indeed something to be able to hear that over the nasal somnambulant drone of the master trying to explain the finer points of Latin declension to us.
As an astonishing aside here, my son went to the same boarding school and was taught Latin by the same master! Without the same result though. I was under the impression when he was teaching me that the Old Fogey had learnt it first hand, so heck alone knows how many centuries he had reached by the time my son reminded him of the lineage. Apparently, according to my son at least, with an audible sigh!
KES seemingly being strongly of the belief that the roots of Law and medicine remained firmly within the ambit of Latin and its subsequent breakaway languages. I suppose when you have first hand experience you wish to keep the experience alive.  Zombie teachers of the ancient humanities.
In the present though I am starting to understand how he did it. Time, I believe, becomes relative as you get older and as such hours become minutes, minutes seconds and so on. Which explains the speed with which this year passed.
Suddenly the retail stores were blaring out Jingle Bells and other jolly happy joy-joy songs destined to make us remember that `tis the season to give our money to numerous others, most notably every greedy bastard with his hand out hoping that we will be imbued with the feeling of guilt that requires us to buy inane trinkets for every person within memory who can be classified as friend or family. Sometimes even foe.
Bah bloody Humbug indeed!
“What happened?” I asked myself. “Where in fact had the last 300 days disappeared? What the heck had I done? Hello is there anyone sane out there?”
Which is when I remembered that I came to Canada last century. Doesn't that sound immensely grand? Sometime in the future when they come to write of my exploits someone will put that in. “He arrived in Canada just before the turn of the century” Sounds so posh when you think about it.
I have now been here six years. Six very interesting years. Six extremely interesting-in-the-Chinese-curse way years.
I once made the comment that when I strolled down the street angels would cross over when they saw me coming.
Consider this. I came across to Canada as a single parent with three teenage children, no money and very few contacts and the belief that my qualifications, experience and ability would be an asset to any Canadian company looking for the best.
Reality took a short while to intrude into that little belief.
Over the last few years I have had six different jobs. Most of them being with IT companies that went broke or retail companies. Retail companies being the major employer of immigrants if for no other reason than immigrants will work for less and work harder for the less as well. A lot harder than the other staple low wage worker in retail, the youngster.
So after having used the services of the Non Profit Housing Authorities, and those of the Employment Insurance, I was able last year to get a job with Wally-Market. There is actually a lot more toward mental stability than that simple sentence alludes.
So this year that went past in a flash was spent on establishing myself. Successfully enough to have been promoted twice in under a year. Which means that I now am on salary at Wally-Market and running the Tire Lube Express and Automotive Departments at the new Milton store. Still not time to breathe a sigh of relief but there is some idea forming that I may have a more defined future in this country at last.
At least in the sense that I am able to continue to be a productive member of society. If by productive you mean tax paying anyway.
You see when it comes to so many other facets of my life I am already productive and seemingly highly involved.
President of Mensa Toronto, Chair of the Public relations Committee of the STRIDE Board of Directors, on the MCC Board of Directors, in line for promotion to Acting Captain in the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary, Webmaster for the South Africans in Ontario website, Editor of the same Newsletter (which goes out weekly to thousands of local South Africans) and of course author of these, and other, articles.
I even sponsored my wife, as we were only separated, to come to Canada.
At least I am happy in the knowledge that for the last few years she has seen her children grow up and fit neatly into society here.  I guess the hopes that I had for reconciliation helped in making the decision but that is merely another aspect of my life that I will learn from.
As it is I am racking up learning curve points when it comes to relationships. This is probably one area of my life where I wouldn't mind an angel or two staying in step with me. At least for a little while anyway.
Next year maybe.
I wonder though whether this year and the hectic, frenetic pace that it appears to have passed in, isn't perhaps a turning point in all facets, for my future here.
I hope so.
I have so much left to do and see in Canada in this century still. I would prefer to do it at a leisurely pace though.
So to all of you:
A VERY merry and peaceful Christmas
May you have a happy, prosperous and normal time New Year.

December 6th 2004
It is very interesting how events juxtapose and provide healthy doses of reality sometimes.
My son was recently turned down for the OSAP programme because of an error in his application.
Apparently his application had an error in the online version in which an extra naught was added to his mother's earnings. Given that even the pigs snuffling at the trough in Ottawa don't earn the amount recorded it would have made sense to at least query this.
Sense being the last thing any uncivil servant requires to perform their tasks it was denied.
Interestingly I would like to know why it is that it was necessary to have both parents included on the application. Given that we are separated and technically I am the sole custodian. Canada, of course, finding it extremely difficult to accept a single male parent, as it doesn't fit their neat PC world. You only have to watch the tap dancing taking place when a woman murders her husband, or, as happened this week, her family, to understand the mindset prevalent in the chattering classes on that issue. I digress a bit though.
So, short of a loan from the local bank, the Government of Ontario is currently out of the picture as far as ensuring that my Son becomes a productive and higher tax-paying member of local society.
This is despite a bursary from various Universities and being an Ontario Scholar.
In other words academically he is just the sort of person that one would expect to excel at school and be a future asset to society. Although this may just be a bit prejudiced on my part.
Shortly after that little episode we were treated to the interesting media release that stated that “refugees” would now be allowed to receive OSAP and go to University here in Ontario. In fact they would automatically be allowed to go to University being refugees and all that.
Now before anyone gets all upset over my comments allow me to point out that I believe strongly in the value of education for all and that the cornerstone of a nation is how well they provide the ability to get education.
Please note that I don't believe in education as being a “right”. The only ”right” that anyone has, is the right to access education. In this case in trying to provide rights for a few the Governments have once again failed to see that they are denying rights to others.
The sad, or sick, depending on your viewpoint, aspect to the refugee system in Canada is that the majority of refugees are not refugees at all. They are, to put it basically, liars and crooks intent on defrauding the Canadian system and are fully aware that the Canadian public are a bunch of brainwashed gullible fools when it comes to the whole question of refugees.
Probably not as bad though as the “industries” that rely on the public trough for their handouts. Lawyers, organizations and advocates all standing around with their hands out ready to trot out platitudes as the money pours in.
Try to look into a refugee's claims and you will find a whole horde of charlatans willing to “help” while standing around with their palms out.
SO it isn't really surprising to hear that once again refuges are scoring at the expense of normal Canadian citizens and even the law abiding landed immigrant.
In fact I wish someone had once told me how to circumvent the whole immigration process and get a free pass to this country.
If you think I am being bitter consider how the average Canadian citizen must feel.
In fact the pensioners of this country are treated bloody badly in comparison.
Consider the following:
A Canadian pensioner who may have made major contributions to taxes and the economy for forty or fifty years of their productive life may only get up to $1012 a month in pension and guaranteed income supplement.
By contrast a refugee gets $1890 a month and can claim an additional $580 in social assistance. That's $2470 a month. In income.
Not to mention the housing assistance. And clothing assistance. And now free education.
Perhaps I am failing to see the point here but when a country treats its own citizens worse than uninvited guests there is something wrong with the picture.
When a country allows thieves, rapists, murderers and liars to abuse the same system and get paid for it there is something that stinks.
I am getting used to seeing the claim that the latest drug dealer, murderer or pedophile is here in Canada illegally and under a deportation order or that they arrived here as refugees sometime in the past. Just as I am getting used to seeing the claim that these scum have been deported on numerous occasions and yet always seem able to miraculously find their way back.
However I seem to be one of the few. Apparently all this is not seen by any of the people who supposedly run this country. Or they prefer to point a blind eye.
Mind you one of the big scandals involving Ottawa at the moment is the one regarding the Minister of Immigration and a Romanian stripper who was granted landed status because she worked on the Ministers team during the last election. And.No!..The Minister is one Judy Sgro and not a male.
So it appears that there is a collective stupidity that inhibits the whole of the Government when it comes to a fair refugee or immigration policy.
As it is I notice a tendency among immigrants of all stripes to be very annoyed by the preferential treatment that refugees are shown.
I am one of them.
Given the option I think I may actually choose to take the refugee choice next time. After all why the hell should I be honest? It doesn't put food on the table!