Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Remembrance protocol

I was observing the ceremonies today and couldn't quite put my finger on something that was bothering me.  Then it occurred to me - it was how the ceremony to remember the sacrifice of our men and women in uniform places more emphasis on our government than on the veterans, seeing members of the military and their families.

According to the Government of Canada (from http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance/get-involved/remembrance-day/guide-to-commemorative-services), the order of precedence for laying wreaths at Remembrance Day ceremonies is as follows:

"Protocol dictates the order in which the wreaths will be laid. According to the Royal Canadian Legion, depending on who is present, the order of precedence is:
  • a representative of the Queen (Governor General, Lieutenant Governor)
  • a representative of the Government of Canada (highest ranking official present)
  • a representative of a provincial government 
  • a representative of a municipal government
  • a Silver Cross Recipient
  • a representative of the Canadian Armed Forces
  • a representative of the Royal Canadian Legion
  • representatives of other organizations and individuals"

This means that the fuckers who send young men and women off to die rank higher in the order of precedence than their parents, surviving comrades and family.  So who is the ceremony really for, then?

Monday, 10 November 2014


According to HuffPost, the Legion hopes that they will set a record with 19 million poppies sold this year.

What I want to know is, who are the 15 million (+/-) Canadians that are NOT buying poppies each year!?!

Sunday, 9 November 2014

CRD Amalgamation

I complained earlier that it was difficult to find information about my local municipal election.  There's a good reason for that - I live in a community of about 16,000 and no one outside really cares, and if they did, they'd still have little ability to affect the outcome.  As a result, media is focused on elections that are newsworthy, and not on who gets to be the glorified community association president mayor for Esquimalt.

However, one issue which is common to all the municipalities in the CRD, and which is present in one form or another for many (but not all) of them, is whether the municipalities should consider amalgamating.  With the lack of coordination that I've learnt is par for the course here, no two municipalities are asking their citizens the same question, but the intent, in general, is to initiate a study on amalgamation.  To me, the benefits of amalgamation are clear, and include (but are not limited to) coordinated planning across the amalgamated municipalities for land use, transportation and servicing, combined services for fire & police, a more significant voice to higher levels of government (both provincial and federal) when seeking policies or funding, the efficiencies that come from a single, larger municipal budget versus several smaller, uncoordinated budgets.  The arguments against amalgamation seem weak to me - there will be no 'loss of identity', and since planning and policies will be made by a single council answerable to the whole of the larger community, there will be no 'bullying' of smaller municipalities, since there won't be smaller municipalities.

If you live in the CRD, please vote to get the conversation on amalgamation started.