Why swearing on the bible shouldn’t be the only choice

The news feeds have reported that Senenator Kyrsten Sinema took her Oath of Office swearing on a law-book instead of swearing on the Bible like tradition dictates.

There’s a easy answer to why swearing on the bible shouldn’t be the only choice. For individuals like me who aren’t christian, swearing on the bible is meaningless.

A few years ago, I was called to small court as a witness in case between my ex-boss and a contractor and the judge asked me to swear on the bible. I was honest and told her I would, but that it didn’t really mean anything since I didn’t believe in it. The judge said it was okay and made me swear on a law-book instead. I didn’t know that was an option at the time and was please to find out it was, but only if specifically asked for. The default go to is still the bible.

Personally, I think that religion shouldn’t be part of politics or justice. Anything that touches these subject should not be influence by belief.

What do you think about this? Would you prefer to swear on a bible or a law-book?

Where are the icebreakers?

Last January, after an ice storm, Mayor Valérie Plante announced the acquisition of these rotary icebreakers worth nearly $ 20,000 each. She explained that because of climate change, we will be increasingly confronted with this phenomenon. We must adapt our armada. I fully agree with this decision, but why haven’t we seen them at work yet?

The heavy rain followed by the freezing cold seemed a great opportunity to get out the new artillery. That was not the case. Citizen have been going to their local stores and buying salt to take care of the sidewalk, because the city isn’t doing it.

First instinct may be to think that our tax money went to purchase something that is going to stay permanently in the garage. The explanation given by the city is that the ice isn’t thick enough yet. If they use the icebreakers, it will destroy the sidewalks.

Acknowledging last year’s icebreaking failures, the Plante administration promised in the fall that frozen sidewalks were a thing of the past. Maybe instead of promissing the moon, they should have explained how the icebreakers work. Yes, it’s an improvement, no it doesn’t mean that people won’t be slipping on icy sidewalks anymore.

Vulnerable migrants and refugees have become an easy target

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau campaigned to welcome 25,000 Syrian refugees a few months after taking office. In office in November 2015, the Liberals fulfilled this key promise at the end of February 2016.

If our country export armaments which causes human beings to run for their lives and seek a safer country, than we are in a very bad place to be complaining about them coming to our door.

Vulnerable migrants and refugees have become an easy target. Discrimination, difficulty finding jobs, racism: not everything is rosy for Syrian refugees arriving in Canada.

History of dreadlocksSome women have stopped wearing the hijab because it was the subject of racist comments such as “Go back from where you come from”. This kind of racism isn’t new. I myself, have heard those words. In my case the racist idiot got a history lesson, since I’m first nation. Unfortunately, we are at a time in our nation’s history in which we need to be reminded that this behavior is never to be tolerated.

It’s truly sad to hear that so many Canadians fear diversity. It’s just horrible the way some people no longer have any restraint when it comes to showing their contempt for people of colour. Racism is the most despicable thing that exists on this earth.

It is incredibly heartbreaking and blatantly wrong that we are faced with these harsh realities time and time again.

“To my fellow white people: It takes some fucking nerve to stand on this continent and complain about immigrants.” – Ben Grimes @softreeds

I’m all for diversity. Immigrants are a positive welcomed addition to our country. Most are hard working, generating jobs and commerce, and enriching our culture.

For example, 3 years ago, at the age of 18, Shoushi  fled her native Syrian because of civil war and came to Canada as a refugee. Today, at the age of 21, this aerospace engineering student is designing new airplane parts, working two jobs, completing her studies in aerospace engineering and learning her fourth language.

Obviously, fear wins over actually getting to know people of other cultures to find out that they want the same things…a decent job so they can care for their families, good education opportunities for their kids, and a safe home. We have more in common than not.

BreatheWe can all do something to help by addressing racism in our own family. This holiday, someone said an old expression that was racist. I immediately piped up. My mother said that it was a comment from a “real” Quebecois. Right away, I asked her what she meant. Did she really just say that Quebecois are racist and that it was something to be proud of? She defended her comment by saying that other races also have their racist saying. I argued that just because others are acting badly, doesn’t mean that we have to. She then said that these saying were old as time. I argued that it was the 21st century and we can do better. We can fix what used to be “normal” and build a better more inclusive world. Don’t be afraid to stand up to racism even when it comes out the mouth of our loved ones.

“Sometimes we only see how people are different from us. But if you look hard enough, you can see how much were all alike.” – Jasmine, Aladdin

Let 2019 be a year of resilience and love, working toward a more inclusive Canada. Together we can overcome ignorance, fear, and hatred. Let’s stand with the country’s refugees.

The importance of free press

Our government has been on an ongoing conflict between the its attempts to strengthen and protect itself and the press’s attempts to scrutinize and report on the government. Free press plays a vital role in informing citizens about public affairs and monitoring the actions of governments at all levels.

“No government ought to be free without censors; and where the press is free no one ever will.” – Thomas Jefferson

Dictatorship flourishes when the press is silenced. Freedom of press means that the population reading or watching the news have the information they need to make up their own mind.

“When the speech condemns a free press, you are hearing the words of a tyrant.” -Thomas Jefferson.

An independent press ensures that citizens stay informed about the actions of their government, creating a forum for debate and the open exchange of ideas.

Journalism exists to beat witness, speak truth to power, and challenge inaccuracy. It is not about “positive” or “negative” coverage. Sentiment is irrelevant in the search for truth and accountability. Coverage that is legitimately negative in pursuit of the truth is not biased. – Al Velshi

It’s up to all of us to continue to appreciate this freedom and demand that it remains protected.

 

Purchasing legal “pot” or working for the industry? You might want to know this.

If you pay for the purchase of cannabis, with your credit card, know that the data of the transaction could be scrutinized by the US government, thanks to the Patriot Act (voted shortly after the attacks of September 11, 2001).

Why would the US government be snooping Canadian legal purchases? Well, the servers of the Visa and MasterCard companies are almost all located in the United States. Since cannabis is a prohibited drug in the United States, the US government could ban you for life if it found you bought pot or derivatives at the Quebec Cannabis Society (or elsewhere in the country), because you paid with your credit card or smartphone using RFID technology.

Purchasing legal marijuana?In other words, the American credit companies like Visa and MasterCard can identify transactions that are considered illegal in the US, and “flag” the people to the customs authorities. This means that when the customs officer takes the passport for the “scanner”, or when we “scan” ourselves at the airport, this is where it will appear on the screen of the customs officer.

The same goes for social media. If you post a photo of yourself on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, SnapChat, etc. with pot or derivatives or say that you consume in a post, the US government will know about it.

Do you work legally for a cannabis company or for the new crown corporation? Under US law, you participate in the illegal trafficking of a banned substance. Ridiculous. Yes. Absolutely. Unfortunately, it true.

If that wasn’t bad enough, the new version of NAFTA provides that it will be prohibited, by law or by contract, to force the centralization of data in servers based in Canada to escape the US authorities!

Do we even care about education?

The CAQ want to make pre-kindergarten free (but not mandatory) for 4-year-olds. It may sound good, but don’t be fooled. We dream of more better schools, but we put in power a party that promises to invest in the construction and renovation of schools less money than its liberal predecessors, while committing to implement new pre-kindergarten classes  in already overcrowded and decrepit schools. Does this make sense to you?

Fleeing violence and environmental disasters

We are living through stressful times. Reading the news feels awful, but turning our backs to the issues isn’t going to help solve them.

The “CAQ” exploited the fear of immigration with tests of values, threats of expulsion and an inability to support his proposals on facts. Their party used fear to manipulate public opinion, in defiance of the facts and unfortunately, it worked.

The “CAQ” promises to reduce number of immigrants by 20 per cent a year, starting in 2019. We complain about a labour shortage in the regions, but we are electing a party that wants to close the door to immigrants who do not ask for anything better than to work.

Negotiate with Ottawa for full control of immigration. The federal government already stated that they have no intention of changing their rules on immigration or of giving the responsibility to provinces and territories. This is a false promise and once again people fell for it.

To treat such a complex issue so irresponsibly, constantly talking about the immigrant as a threat or a problem, regardless of the facts, is not inconsequential. The truth is that most refugees and immigrants are fleeing violence, environmental disasters filled with hopes of safety and happiness for them and their loved ones.

Unfortunately, they are only met with more violence. Do you really want to be part of the reason these human beings can’t find safety? Women fleeing violence in Myanmar are being sexually assaulted by the Army, according to the UN. In the U.S. refugee children were sexually abused after being separated. Stuff like this has gone on for decades.

Anytime I meet someone who says that we should help refugees because we have a lot of local homeless people who need help, I ask them what they have personally done to help poor people and the answer is usually nothing. I ask them if they give money or food to the homeless and the answer is no. So in other words, they really don’t want to help anyone.

The only way to beat the propaganda reducing all refugees to beggars after an easy ride is to publish and share positive stories, such as these:

Tirej Brimo, a Syrian refugee became a medical doctor after studying in 4 different countries. Each time, he had to flee due to war. He finally landed in Britian in 2013 where he was able to complete his studies.

Gina Cody, an immigrant from Iran, found success in Canada and donated $15 million to Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec. She found a better life in Canada and is giving back to the country. She is a positive force.

Your voice matter, but you need to use it

Your voice matter, unfortunately abstaining from voting isn’t sending a message, it silencing your voice. There is literally nothing to win by not voting.

Let’s get real, governments are complacent when it comes to voting participation. As long as those who vote elect them, it doesn’t really matter who didn’t bother to show up.

Many people on social media are claiming that non-voters lose their right to criticize the government. Democracy doesn’t work that way. It is not just about voting, and everyone has the right to complain.

Of course, our democracy is not perfect. All parties disappoint and make false promises to get elected. It can be difficult which one should win in this chaos. It is also impossible for everyone to be perfectly represented in a party. 

The problem with abstaining from voting is that you are being a passive observer and that you are directly responsible when parties that don’t defend inclusion, equality and that are not environmentally responsible win. There are real issues at stake, people’s lives will be affected. Don’t stand by and let racist, sexist, greed lead parties win.

If you didn’t vote in the last provincial election, I hope you do so in the next one. Your voice does matter, even if you are voting for the lesser of evils.

It’s time we worry about the children.

I know that we live in a society in which more and more couple are deciding not to have children and everyone is out for themselves and their loved ones, but let’s make one thing clear, if you care about the human race, then every child born on this planet is our responsibility.  If you cared about the future of the human race, we’ve got to start worrying about and looking out for the children.

We need to put our priorities in the right place. When we invest in education, we’re giving them tools to transform their lives and555555 create prosperity. We need to review our education system, make sure it’s inclusive, that all children have access to a valuable education, that all children get the support to succeed. We need to make sure that no child goes hungry or homeless.

When we underpay the people who take care of children, who work in the educative system and refuse to bring an old system to the modern world, it’s the children who will fall short and these children are the future of the human race.

Even if you don’t have children and we should all be happy to pay for education. How can anyone be against educating our future generations???

I’m not just talking about education. There are currently 1.2 million Canadian children living in low-income housing and 10.7 per cent of families with children under six say they experience food insecurity.

The leading cause of childhood deaths are preventable accidents and suicide, which points to lack of education for parents and lack of mental health support for children as well as adults.

 

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