A Money Coach in Canada

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I grew up in a mining town. When I was a kid, it was gold mining. Now it’s diamond mining. Anyway, back in the day, Yellowknife had two working gold mines, Giant and Con. Any local readers remember the Miner’s Mess and the Rec? Yep, Yellowknife had an element of rough-and-tumble to it.

I was too young to know that the mines would some day run out of gold and they’d close. And like all of us, I would never have dreamed that a strike would become so tense that a union member would plant a bomb in Giant Mine and kill nine scab labourers – one of the largest murder investigations in RCMP history.

And. And. And: It certainly didn’t occur to me that the (US) owner of the mines would OOPS! declare bankruptcy and stick Canadians with the approx HALF-BILLION-DOLLAR clean-up (arsenic) bill.

And that’s just for Giant Mine. There’s also Colomac Mine and Tundra Mine. Oh, and that’s just in the NWT! There’s also Pamour Mine in Ontario, Hope Brook Mine in Newfoundland and Kerness Mine in B.C.

The owner (formerly known as Peggy Witte, now Margaret Kent) of the now-bankrupt mine, I see, is now CEO and President of a new mining company, Century Mining Corp. Interestingly, it looks like Century is up to some shenanigans this year in Quebec. I hear she has a second home in Hawaii.

There’s worse, folks. Much, much worse.

She’s baaaccccck: in addition to Century Mine, she owns Tamerlane Mine and just guess who’s mining in the NWT – Pine Point. They’re re-opening a portion of the Pine Point Zinc deposit. (We’re in good company. Tamerlane is also doing business in Peru.)

Dear us: Who is this Peggy Witte/Margaret Kent that not only does she leave us with nearly a HALF BILLION DOLLAR BILL, but now she’s allowed to have at us again?

Thanks @Paul for finding this!

IKEA Heights from DaveAOK on Vimeo.

Hi all —

I joined the green party several months ago.  I think it’s to everybody’s benefit that their platform – the environment especially, and also social justice – is at least on the formal political radar.

Plus, I’ve always had a thing for the underdog.   They’ve made a LOT of ground in the past few years, but they are also the little-party-that-could and does not have the corporations or labour movement behind them as other parties do (or certainly not to the same extent).   As you can imagine, running campaigns is expensive, and it looks like another campaign is going to be required.

Even if you don’t think you’d ever vote for them (although I hope more of us will!), would you consider donating to the party to ensure at least this nascent party can continue offering an alternative to Canadians? This money coach thanks you!

DONATE: here


Here’s a letter from Elizabeth May which I shamelessly cut and paste from an e-mail:

Dear Supporter,

Do you ever find yourself yearning for a time when Canadian politics was not quite so exciting?  When elections seemed to happen every four years and the two main parties represented a sort of middle ground, not great, but not scary?

Of course, these turbulent times are what is putting the wind in our Green sails, but it cannot be altogether satisfying to see our growth as a party while the country and the planet are in such turmoil.

I have never been so sure as I am today that Canada needs Green MPs in Parliament.  My own view is constantly reaffirmed by strangers who come up to me in train stations, airports, and farmers’ markets across Canada saying “Next time you have got to win a seat.  We all need you in Parliament.”

The party decision makers, the federal council elected by the members and the national campaign committee, realize this as well.  We know that an election could happen as soon as this fall.  We have learned a lot from the last campaign.  One central lesson learned is that we need to target and focus resources so that the Leader will be an MP when the election results are tallied.  But I do not want to be the only Green elected.  We have a campaign plan ready and a strategy for bringing home the results we want.

What we desperately need is to finish paying down the debt from the 2008 campaign, before we find ourselves in a 2009 campaign!  You will be happy to know that of the roughly $2.5 million we borrowed, we have paid back over $1.5 million.  Most of this was made possible through the federal financing rules and rebates from Elections Canada.  But, no surprise, the recession has affected our donors.  We need to reach out to more Canadians and we need our current donors to consider making regular monthly donations.

Would you be willing to take a moment to send this email to friends that you know support our goals and aims but may not already be members?

Even a $25 donation is a big help and, of course current Canadian tax law has important consequences. If the donor pays income tax, 3/4 of any donation up to $400 is rebated. $400 donation only costs $100.  It is an extremely cost-effective way to help make the change you want to see in the world.

Secondly, would you be willing to donate NOW knowing that paying down the debt is essential before the next campaign begins?

You know we won’t spend a penny on attack ads!  You know we will keep a positive message of hope.  You know we will work to engage young people and call for greater civic engagement by all Canadians.

That is the message of my new book, Losing Confidence: Power, Politics and the Crisis in Canadian Democracy.  For a limited time, if you send the Green Party of Canada a $400 donation, I will personally inscribe the book.  If you can send $500 I will inscribe two books and you can pass one along to friends and relatives.  (Never too early for Christmas shopping!)

If you cannot give more at this time, I totally understand. I hate to even ask again, as I know you have received appeals from the party before.  It is a big help if you can share this message with your email list of friends.

Thanks again, more than I can say for all your support.

Elizabeth May, O.C.
Green Party of Canada

Photo Credit:  Grant Neufeld


Photo Credit: Angie22

I saw Twilight this weekend. Allegedly it’s as popular with the yummy-mummy crowd as its original teenage target market.

I can see why. While the acting was wooden and the dialogue banal, there’s no question that the eye-candy factor was off the scale. More importantly, and I expect this is the real appeal, it had all the themes of a classic high romance. Edward Cullen, a vampire, is entirely smitten with the gorgeous, strong-but-innocent Bella. So smitten is he, that he will wrestle down his most primal blood-lust urges in favour of offering her his love, his protection and his fierce yet tender care. Again and again he comes close, so very close, then with difficulty pulls himself back and practices Restraint of the Highest Order.

What woman wouldn’t respond to a gorgeous man who denies himself so entirely, for her sake and the sake of their love?

I couldn’t help but wonder:  does a woman or man who practices self-restraint with their money (I’m not talking cheaping out here, I mean practicing self-restraint for the greater good) have any sex appeal at all?  Any?


Of my two daschunds, I didn’t anticipate it would be sleek, black, athletic Maggie The Adventuress who would have the back problem and I certainly didn’t think it would occur when she’s only just turned four.

Saturday afternoon she was reluctant to jump up onto the couch, Sunday morning she was increasingly inactive (I attributed it to the rainy day -she hates rain!), Sunday evening I was starting to get quite concerned and Monday at 5am when she woke me up to go outside (unusual) she didn’t return. Or not for a long time by which point I was panicked, convinced she’d crept away to die. Thankfully she came back after about 20 minutes, but she was clearly very bad by that point – she could only just barely walk, and when I picked her up she moaned in pain constantly as well as trembled from head to tail.

Then came the question most dog owners will face at some point: To make an emergency call to the vet, or to hang tight and see what happens? There is only one clinic in Yellowknife, and two vets, one of whom is on holiday. I opted to wait til the clinic opened.

The earliest I could get Maggie in was 2:15. The vet immediately suspected back problems, and two x-rays later showed no other issues (I thought perhaps she’d swallowed a stone – dogs do that sometimes). Maggie is confined to her crate for 3 weeks and medicated with Deramaxx. Odds are high that she has intervertebral disk disease – in short, a disk between her vertebrae burst which very often leads to paralysis of the hind legs. As you can imagine it’s extremely painful.

I broke down and wept last night — cried for this little creature who is traumatized, cried to think of her – her!- to lose her spunkiness, and cried for us all, who are still new to this city and without our community (oh yes, dogs have their own canine communities!) and having to go to a vet we’ve never met in such severe circumstances, and nobody up here knows that she is a downtown eastside daschund who had her own opinions on homelessness and attended many a Stand for Housing and was continually on the lookout for any politician’s heels to nip if he/she didn’t care that people were sleeping outside for goodness sake.

I wept. Thank God for friends and telephones. A trio of friends (thanks A, J, M) walked me through my panic and worst-case-scenario-thinking and reminded me that Maggie, in contrast to her mom, won’t consider herself diminished, as long as the pain is managed. They also gave practical suggestions, like getting ramps, and vitamin supplements. Best of all, they reminded me that being up here was a good decision, this experience notwithstanding.

Thank God too for a nurse who works with me who gave me the name of two women up here who practice Reikki and Acupuncture on pets. I tell you, this place never ceases to amaze me. Women who offer alternative health to pets in Yellowknife? Who would have guessed?

Now never in a thousand years would I — I who only reluctantly dress my dogs and only because it is -30 here in winter — never in a thousand years would I have expected myself to shell out money for alternative health practices on a dog. But anyone with pets or kids will know that something primal happens when a dependent creature needs you: You discover parts of yourself you didn’t know existed. Parts of you that will consider any option that holds possibility for recovery. Including Reikki and Acupuncture.

Thank God too for my ING savings account specifically for Dog Emergencies. It covered my vet visit and will cover initial sessions for the alternative therapies.

I’ll keep you posted. If any readers have used Reikki or Acupuncture on your pets, I’d sure appreciate hearing about it.

ps: many, many thanks to those of you who left comments on my facebook page. It really helped me not feel so alone.


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