Posts tagged ‘Canada’

The Importance of a Technology “Anchor”

Not a long post from me today, but just a link to an article in the Globe and Mail that explains what RIM’s misfortunes could mean for the city of Kitchener-Waterloo.  I doubt that they will become the next Nortel, but hopefully they won’t.

308 seats

Saw this link from a friend on facebook (!)– ThreeHundredEight.com Basically a blog that keeps track of all the polling nationally, as well as in each riding.  I’m not sure how accurate this is, but seems inline with what many expect to happen–another Conservative minority government.

What is interesting is a rise in the NDP numbers.  Could the NDP actually get more seats than the Liberals?  Could make for an interesting night, although the NDP number usually dips when actual election results are tabulated.  I personally think that a Conservative / NDP coalition might be an interesting mix, provided that the controlling Harper is ousted.  I could see Jack Layton putting his stamp on the Conservative government with a mix of fiscal and social responsibility (still want that deficit down!)  It reminds me of the current situation in the UK, where there was a large protest vote against Labour who had been running the show for a while–and the key beneficiaries were a newly revamped Conservative party and the 3rd party the Liberal Democrats.  The Liberal Democrats were being run by a charismatic leader, and did quite well.  I “think” that uneasy coalition between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats has been going “OK” (current lack of knowledge in that area).  It would be interesting to see who Mr. Harper (or replacement) would turn to for help in voting through key legislation.

Meanwhile, in my own riding I plan on voting for neither Conservative or NDP!  Decision soon…

Canada’s Election – Ottawa West-Nepean

I’m back on the old blog page (first time since my second son was born) and need to talk about the upcoming election.

Although this election was heralded as the “same ole same ole” this one is shaping up to be a doozy.  Less than one week away and there seems to be more interest in getting out to vote as the advance poll numbers show.

My own thoughts on who I should vote for are all over the map.  A friend from school, Damian Konstantinakos, is running for the Conservatives in the riding next to mine, and would probably consider voting for him just because I know he is a good guy.  He is from the high tech sector, so would hopefully help get some high tech questions heard on the hill.  But alas I am not in his riding, and I know he faces an uphill battle in that riding.

Meanwhile, despite my well wishes for Damian, I am not impressed with either Stephen Harper, or his bulldog running in our riding, John Baird.  John Baird will not be getting my vote in this election–case closed.  The man’s main job seems to be to shout down any opposition in the house.

Anita Vandenbeld has the best chance to defeat Baird in this traditionally Liberal riding, and there seems to be some good support for her despite waining support for Ignatieff.  How badly do I want to see Baird defeated?  I must admit it might be nice but I have to really think about this.  Ottawa West-Nepean has a very large population of seniors and Anita is definitely pandering her message to them (but in a way all of them are).  Also interesting is that she is a career politician, with a Political Science degree–actually something I don’t like in politicians.  But she has been very active in talking with many people in the community for a while, especially down the road at the Carlingwood Mall.

Marlene Rivier is a public sector union local president, so I don’t believe a good choice for me.  I must admit that Jack Layton is certainly doing the best job of all the leaders in presenting a clear message and with limited amounts of attack ads.  Someday maybe the NDP could entice me, but there is always the fear of a government grown too large.

Mark MacKenzie of the Green Party is actually an intriguing choice for me.  He is a small business owner (Appleseed snow-blowing plus organic farming) which I think is a plus.  He should have a better understanding of small businesses and the importance to the economy.  He is obviously for environmental sustainability with Appleseed using bio-diesel (that includes discarded vegetable oil).  He was part of the group that helped ban commercial pesticides in the city of  Ottawa (a plus), and he has also said some encouraging things about high-tech.  Unfortunately he has no chance of winning the seat.  Would a vote for Green be wasted in this case?  I still maintain that we need to change the first-past-the-post system and get more proportional representation (interesting article here on election reform).  Make every vote count!

So I still have some thinking to do:  Vandenbeld or MacKenzie?  Liberal or Green?

We’ll see on May 2nd!

Canadian Housing Bubble(?)

One of the biggest economic questions we have in this country right now is whether there is housing bubble or not.  House prices are on the rise again, as we seem to be “out” of this most recent recession.  Is this a good thing? 

One thing that I have noted is that the home prices in Canada never really went down the same way as in the US.  It seems like everyone thought that we have more stable banks, better mortgage rules, and unemployment hasn’t hit as hard.  Well true with the stable banks, but we have let our mortgage rules become pretty loose, and unemployment is hitting everywhere that doesn’t produce oil.

I think we might be in for a bit of a fall in home prices–perhaps winter of 2010/2011.  There will be a bit of a correction, but not as severe as in places like Arizona, Nevada, and California.  The fed’s most recent changes will not really affect things too much.

After the protest, what’s next for concerned citizens?

I enjoyed reading the coverage of the No Prorogue rallys around the country. Opposition parties are acting on the public outrage and attempting to draft some legislation to slow down our proroguing Prime Minister (and future PMs).  The question now is, how does the public continue to show support for this initiative?  How do we let the politicians know that the public is still concerned.

News changes, different things come up (Olympics, etc.), and the public’s interest in this issue may wane.  It’s good to have a follow up strategy–the question is, what do we think that strategy should be?

Dismantling of Nortel almost complete

It seems as if more of Nortel has been sold off over the holidays.  It is truly sad to see a Canadian technology giant just disappear.  There is always hope that the engineering know how will stay in Ottawa, but I am personally seeing signs of engineers leaving the city.  And large businesses usually employ many other types of people (for instance head office in Toronto), but that will definitely leave Canada as none of the companies that have eaten chunks of Nortel are Canadian.

They have kept the patents, which is a very good financial move as I know from the industry I work in, but selling and licensing patents is not a way for innovation–innovation that Canada sorely needs.

Just because it made me laugh…

I guess it seems like I’m going to town on Stephen Harper, but gotta love this blog post from Scott Feschuk of MacLeans.