Posted: 11/04/2018 9:57:52 AM

In fifteen years this show has covered a lot of territory; a lot of hours in the van; a lot of hours in the sky. We have visited over 500 different locations in Canada. Every province, every territory. Someone did the math, turns out I have walked 42 kilometres in this alley since we began. I’ve loved every minute of it.

It’s embarrassing how much I love my job.  And the best part? Other than rolling the car, plunging into freezing water or being bit by Mike Duffy’s dog? Hands down it’s the travel. I don’t know if we are the greatest country on Earth, but I know this—we’re the best looking.

And I also know in my heart of hearts, we would be better, stronger, and more unified if more Canadians could make it their business to see more of Canada. And I know it’s not easy. Not everyone has the resources to travel to see the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia or the foothills of Alberta; or to go up the Saguenay River in Quebec.  And if you don’t, if you can’t make the big trips, make the small trips in your own backyard. I guarantee you, it is awesome.

And if you do have the means, either now or in the future, skip the trip to Florida, explore a part of Canada you’ve never seen or better yet, promise yourself that you will stand above the tree line before you die. You will not regret it.

We all know we’re a great country. But it’s not enough to just know it. Do yourself, your family, Canada a favour. Go out there and see it.


Net Positivity

Posted: 04/04/2018 10:00:51 AM

Visiting the schools in the Spread the Net Student Challenge is always the highlight of my year. Trust me, if you are remotely pessimistic about anything at all, that is the cure. Just try to remain a glass half empty guy when you roll into a town like Peterborough, Ontario; you meet a young woman in grade eleven who donated her entire pay cheque from Red Lobster to Spread the Net.

Or if you want to feel good about the future or the next generation consider this: last year, the school that raised more money than any other school in Canada was in Fort McMurray, Alberta. You could still smell the smoke from the wildfires in the air. Less than one year after every kid in that school was evacuated from their town, their homes, their beds, they were back, they were raising money so kids on the other side of the planet could sleep safely at night.  

I look forward to these back to school visits the same way some people look forward to a vacation down south. A great place to visit but I wouldn’t want to live there. Because lets face it, school is hard. I don’t mean math class hard. I mean figuring out the world hard. And students today they’ve got to deal with stuff we didn’t even imagine possible. And yet they not only survive, they thrive. And they do it with compassion and they do it with tolerance.

Look I can only speak about my generation, but this crowd, compared to us, they’re not only smarter than we were, they’re nicer too. The media will always tells us, that kids today are entitled. On that point, I will agree. They are entitled to a better country and a better world. And from what I’ve seen, this generation, they’re going to make that happen.


Social Manipulation Media

Posted: 28/03/2018 8:26:44 AM

Recently I decided I wanted to buy a curling rock; I’m not a curler, it was a passing fancy. So I went on Kijjji and checked. There were no used curling rocks in my area. So I did a Google search: “For Sale, curling rocks, Canada.” And sure enough, there they were. But they cost between 700 and 800 bucks. I had no idea they were so expensive, I remember thinking, well, why’s that? Then I closed that window, I forgot all about it.

The very next day on my Facebook feed, a friend, who turned out to be fake, had posted an article entitled, “Why are curling rocks so expensive?”  I never even said those words out loud, I just thought them in my head. And then Instagram started telling me to follow all of these curlers. Then I was in Gmail, I got a pop up ad saying I should go join a gay curling league. The truth is I have no real interest in curling. I was gonna use the rock as a doorstop on my balcony. Cause, you know, it’s got a handle.

Why is it we’re surprised that the forces of evil will use Facebook and social media to manipulate elections when a simple Google search will do everything but show up at your house and personally drag you off to the gay curling league? All the big internet players—Facebook, Amazon, Google, Satan—they all say the same thing: they will self-police; they will protect our privacy; they will try not to disrupt democracy. Not gonna happen. Unless they are regulated, they will run rampant. And when that happens all we can do is unplug everything.

Sadly, these companies know that for most of us, no matter what the stakes, unplugging is far too high a price to pay. Now if you will excuse me I have to go talk to a man named Brad about what to wear to the bonspiel.



Money Pit

Posted: 21/03/2018 9:30:32 AM

24 Sussex Drive is the official residence of Canada’s prime minister. It is also a rundown, drafty barn. Eleven prime ministers refused to maintain the place. It is a barely standing testament to the fact that prime ministers will allow something we own to crumble and fall apart around them in order to make themselves look good.

It took Justin Trudeau to come along and say okay, the place is filled with mold and lead. I’m not raising my children there. Typical Liberal. When Stephen Harper lived there he claimed his daily mold and lead intake made him stronger.

Now we find out there’s more asbestos in that pile than anticipated. Way more. It was supposed to cost ten million to renovate. Now it might cost thirty million. Then there’s the problems no amount of money could possibly fix. From a security point of view, the place is a disaster. The front door of the residence is literally a stone’s throw away from a public street. A drunk on the sidewalk could hit a visiting dignitary in the head with a can of soup. That’s no good.

When the decision was made to make it the official residence it was a friendlier, nicer time. Back then the biggest nightmare the RCMP had was that someone would put a flaming bag of poo on the front step, ring the doorbell and run away. A prank that Diefenbaker and Pearson fell for many times and, my, how the children laughed.

Times have changed and so must we. It’s time to tear the place down, build a brand new secure structure. The coolest, greenest, funkiest residence we can. It’s our house, we’re a grown up country, we can have nice things.


Predatory Practice

Posted: 14/03/2018 9:36:08 AM

Well you gotta hand it to them; they certainly seem like nice people. The payday loan people. They advertise non-stop. Their commercials are constantly on the radio and the television. They’ve got those catchy jingles that were written by Satan himself so they enter your head and they just stay there forever. You need cash? You need money? They’ve got cash and money. The business model is very simple. If you show up and you’re upright and you’ve got air in one lung they’ll give you money.

The terms are incredibly reasonable or at least they seem generous. Like, say you’re in Ontario, say you want a thousand bucks, they’ll give you a thousand bucks. But they’ll charge you 15 bucks for every hundred bucks. Now, math is not my high suit but even I can figure this out. 15 bucks on a hundred bucks, that’s 15 percent. That sounds pretty good. Except it’s not. Because it’s 15 percent every two weeks. Thanks to the miracle of compound interest that's an annual interest rate of 390 percent.

They are giving cash advances to the poorest, most vulnerable people in society and charging an annual interest rate of 390 percent. Loansharking is 60 percent. I would call them weasels except weasels have a moral compass. Every province has tried to regulate this industry and still they manage to find a ways to operate. Kind of the way that poison gas will fit under the crack of any door. It's time for the federal government to get serious here; forget the regulations, seal their doors, shut them down.