Predictions, an art form really

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January 28, 2016 11:31 AM

So, how is everyone’s New Year’s resolution coming along?
All those who now have a $1200 coat rack-shaped piece of exercise equipment, raise your hands.
I didn’t burden myself with any resolutions this year and in turn everyone else wasn’t burdened with them either. But a Christmas gift I received prompted me to make predictions for the coming year.
I predict that in 2016 I am going to continue to lean toward clothing which is more comfy and that, therefore, will almost certainly come at the expense of fashion.
I’m leaning toward the category of clothing promoted as “active wear” which I have found are remarkably well suited as “inactive” wear.
Especially those loose fitting elasticized wasted pants made from some silky-smooth, semi-gloss, stretching and breathing fabric that not only repels pet hair but also sheds spilled food and drink like a well-waxed car hood.
And when matched with that stretchy, V-necked short-sleeved shirt, and a pair of comfy athletic shoes, it makes you look like an athlete, even if you’re slouched in an arm chair in front of the TV, covered in nacho dust and balancing a can of beer on your gut.
I jokingly made another prediction for 2016 thinking at the time that it was a no-brainer.
I predicted that my ‘Riders would have a better season this year since it couldn’t get much worse than last year’s.
But if they keep losing guys like Dressler and Chick I’m starting to wonder if my prediction may be wrong.
They’ve picked up some good players like Shawn Lemon and Maurice Price, but their strategy — if they in fact have one — is still eluding me.
With all these changes, I just hope they remember to continue having everyone practice counting to thirteen.
•••
There are all kinds of predictions as to what Mr. Trudeau was going to make as his priorities once Parliament resumed, but I instead chose to predict what would not be a priority: aid for the oil patch.
I chose it for three reasons.
First, because Trudeau inherited many pressing priorities, some with deadlines, like the unconstitutional Right To Die legislation that was ignored by the previous government.
Also, the previously ignored national public inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women, Bll C-51 amendments, and a badly struggling “all eggs in one basket” economy.
Secondly, because the resources normally used to act immediately are not available.
Harper apparently somehow felt entitled to take the $1.8 billion surplus in the Employment Insurance (EI) fund and use it to balance the pre-election budget in a partisan, self-serving effort to get himself re-elected.
These were funds contributed to by the very people who now need them to extend their EI coverage or for re-training, but Harper selfishly squandered them.
The EI situation was further impaired by Harper’s 2014 EI reforms — which made it so difficult for the unemployed to get and maintain EI benefits — that, reportedly, only 40 per cent of out-of-work applicants now qualify. Changes which also served to force the unemployed from other provinces to have to move to Alberta only to now become stranded here and part of Alberta’s unemployed figures.
Harper also apparently felt he was entitled to take the $3-billion contingency fund set aside to help Canadians in case of a crisis and instead also used it to help his re-election ploy of a balanced budget.
Other assistance programs that were casualties of Harper’s pre-election plan to balance the budget at all costs include not spending $97-million tagged for social services in 2015, therefore further adding to our current strains and shortfalls.
And his implementation of only eight per cent of the $10 billion infrastructure fund for 2015.
Had the remaining 92 per cent of that fund been put to use it would have already been creating employment through infrastructure projects, which would lessen the harshness of our present economic difficulties.
Apparently the priority was not a consideration for the future welfare of Canadians but to get re-elected.
And the third reason is, through our voting, we showed all of Canada that we supported all of those previously mention detrimental, short-sighted, self-serving tactics by Harper and therefore oppose social programs.
That we were willing, and in some cases eager, to be sawing away at the branch we were sitting on.
And only now that we find ourselves a bruised, bleeding, crumpled heap at the base of the tree with our previous sawn perch pinning us down; we realize the harsh impact of our anti-safety net choices.
I don’t think Trudeau will go out of his way to actually ignore or punish us, but the empathetic pressure required from the rest of Canada to move our plight up the priority list is presently not strong due to our region’s political partisan support to strip Canadians of our collective safety nets and withhold funding for our collective economic initiatives.

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