New Original - You can count on me - Words & Music by Wil Rosenblath
For Amber <3
New Original - You can count on me - Words & Music by Wil Rosenblath
For Amber <3
How will the outcome of the US Election effect the Canadian Economy? If this isn’t a question you are asking yourself, it should be!
Why should you care ? You ask. I’ll tell you why.
Foreign Investment in Canada is both direct (made to manage and control actual enterprises) and portfolio (made only for the interest or dividends paid, or the possible capital gain to be achieved). The amount of both types is very large, with the consequence that a considerable amount of the Canadian economy is controlled by foreigners.
Canada and the United States share a common trading relationship. The United States is by far Canada’s largest trading partner, with more than $1.7 billion CAD in trade per day in 2005. In 2009, 73% of Canada’s exports went to the United States, and 63% of Canada’s imports were from the United States. Trade with Canada makes up 23% of the United States’ exports and 17% of its imports. By comparison, in 2005 this was more than U.S. trade with all countries in the European Union combined, and well over twice U.S. trade with all the countries of Latin America combined. Just the two-way trade that crosses the Ambassador Bridge between Michigan and Ontario equals all U.S. exports to Japan. Canada’s importance to the United States is not just a border-state phenomenon: Canada is the leading export market for 35 of 50 U.S. states, and is the United States’ largest foreign supplier of energy.
Bilateral trade increased by 52% between 1989, when the U.S.-Canada Free Trade Agreement (FTA) went into effect, and 1994, when the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) superseded it. Trade has since increased by 40%. NAFTA continues the FTA’s moves toward reducing trade barriers and establishing agreed-upon trade rules. It also resolves some long-standing bilateral irritants and liberalizes rules in several areas, including agriculture, services, energy, financial services, investment, and government procurement. NAFTA forms the largest trading area in the world, embracing the 405 million people of the three North American countries.
The largest component of U.S.-Canada trade is in the commodity sector.
The U.S. is Canada’s largest agricultural export market, taking well over half of all Canadian food exports. Similarly, Canada is the largest market for U.S. agricultural goods, with nearly 20% of American food exports going to its northern neighbour. Nearly two-thirds of Canada’s forest products, including pulp and paper, are exported to the United States; 72% of Canada’s total newsprint production also is exported to the U.S.
At $73.6 billion in 2004, U.S.-Canada trade in energy is the largest U.S. energy trading relationship, with the overwhelming majority ($66.7 billion) being exports from Canada. The primary components of U.S. energy trade with Canada are petroleum, natural gas, and electricity. Canada is the United States’ largest oil supplier and the fifth-largest energy producing country in the world. Canada provides about 16% of U.S. oil imports and 14% of total U.S. consumption of natural gas. The United States and Canada’s national electricity grids are linked, and both countries share hydropower facilities on the western borders.
It should be noted that neither Trump nor Clinton were supporters of the TPP and so the fate of the TPP which by all economists estimates would be good for Canada was in the balance regardless of which candidate was successful in the US election.
How will a Trump Presidency effect our economy? The election is over and Trump has been voted in, so now we have to ask, how will this affect us?
“I am going to bring our jobs back to Ohio and Pennsylvania and New York and Michigan and all of America and I am not going to let companies move to other countries, firing their employees along the way, without consequences,” – Trump – July’s acceptance speech.
If Mr. Trump carries through with his promises, shock waves could be sent through the global economy and financial markets and Canada could be the most affected country.
With that in mind, here’s how a Trump presidency might affect Canada’s economy:
“This wave of globalization has wiped out totally, totally our middle class, It doesn’t have to be this way. We can turn it around and we can turn it around fast.” – Trump – June 2016
Mr. Trump plans to axe the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an ambitious trade agreement between 12 countries (including the U.S. and Canada) that account for 40 per cent of global economic output. The deal, which has yet to be ratified, “would be the death blow for American manufacturing,” he says.
Likewise, in a 2015 interview on 60 Minutes, Mr. Trump described the North American free-trade agreement as a “disaster” he would renegotiate or even “break.” He’s reiterated those comments on the campaign trail.
Mr. Trump now has the leeway to further his protectionist platform.
For instance, he could terminate any free-trade deal, though such a decision would likely get dragged through the courts, a trade expert tells Reuters. (Under the NAFTA agreement, any party to the deal can withdraw with six months’ notice.) However, Mr. Trump’s plans for tariffs – he’s proposed steeper taxation on goods imported from China and Mexico – would need congressional approval.
The implications for Canada could be significant.
The TPP would lower trade barriers, allowing Canada to import goods at lower prices. Broadly speaking, the deal would facilitate “higher productivity, higher GDP and higher incomes,” economics professor Trevor Tombe wrote in Maclean’s, though not every industry would benefit.
Moreover, Canada is highly dependent on a healthy trade relationship with its southern neighbour. The vast majority of Canadian exports end up on U.S. soil.
Approximately 78% of all of our exports are to the US.
So what can we do? The relations between Canada & the US have always been of paramount importance to Canada. Now that Donald Trump is president, it is essential that Canada foster these relations and ensure that US investment in Canada is maintained.
If you look at all the Foreign ownership in Canadian Industry (approximately 50%) and then consider 50% of that is American, that means that in just the industrial sector alone, the United States accounts for approximately 25% of all goods produced for export in Canada. Considering they buy approximately 78% of all of our exports, this puts us in a very dangerous position if Trump decides to reduce imports and/or put higher tariffs on imports to the US.
It is of vital importance that Justin Trudeau work to ensure maintained import/export relations with the US as these things alone will influence US presence in the manufacturing sector in Canada.
The success or failure of economic relations between Canada and the US has a trickle down effect on all of us. The less we can export, the less gets manufactured. Lowered manufacturing means fewer people required.
I urge everyone to do your part and speak your voice to send a clear message to the Trudeau government that we must work to ensure maintained economic relations with the US and work together as a North American Society. Our livelihood depends on it!
The Globe & Mail | How much of Canada’s energy resource lies in foreign hands?
Wikipedia | Economy of Canada
The Globe & Mail | How a Trump presidency would affect the Canadian Economy
The Canadian Encyclopedia | Foreign Investment
In bed with an elephant | A gripping retrospective of United States-Canada relationships as personified by successive presidents and prime ministers. Explains the continuing fight for Canadian independence in North America. | Parts 1-5 on Youtube |
The United Games affiliate program is now closed.
Congratulations to all those that Joined the affiliate program
Also , I wanted to say thanks to those that signed up to be players. Now the fun part…Let the games begin!
United Games will be releasing the game soon, stay tuned…
I expect there will be some kind of pre-launch incentive for new subscriptions etc. As soon as I know more, I will post on FB, Twitter, Linkedin
To all my Friends that like watching sports, both the fanatics and the casual watchers…This game looks like it will be a lot of fun!
Here are a couple videos to wet your appetite.
One Minute Game preview here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cyr8JhzwNlA
Comprehensive Game play walk through with Mark Mongie Here: https://youtu.be/tlr5tmch_Qk
Comment below for a player invite or text me @ 416-357-9457
I didn’t know him personally and obviously the loss that fans feel is nothing compared to the loss that his friends and family are feeling. My heart goes out to the family of Prince. When a musician who’s music brought so much joy to your life and inspired you dies it leaves a small hole in your heart. It’s not the same as when a loved one dies, it’s hard to really put a finger on it.
When I was in my early teens I heard when doves cry on the radio and spent all of that summer trying to sing like Prince, learning every word and intonation. I’m sure i drove my parents nuts. I took the few dollars I got for my allowance and I bought purple rain on tape cassette.
I remember opening the plastic wrapped cassette tape and finding out it smelled like grapes. I spent weeks listening and digesting every song. I spent countless hours reading the lyrics and trying to memorize every word of every song from the jacket.
I remember hiding in my grandmothers pantry and listening to Darling Nikki hoping my grandmother wouldn’t hear.
At least 20 years later my brother James sat me down to play Darling Niki on his guitar for me because he understood.
Thank you Prince for the privilege of knowing your music and the influence you had on me and so many others. RIP.
We are gathered here today
2 get through this thing called life
Electric word life
It means forever and that’s a mighty long time
But I’m here 2 tell u
There’s something else
A world of never ending happiness
U can always see the sun, day or night
So when u call up that shrink in Beverly Hills
U know the one – Dr Everything’ll Be Alright
Instead of asking him how much of your time is left
Ask him how much of your mind, baby
‘Cuz in this life
Things are much harder than in the afterworld
In this life
You’re on your own…
Ever since Justin Trudeau won the election Canada has seen an amazing amount of U.S. exposure compared to the usual disregard for Canada as a whole. I remember when I studied political science as an option at the University of Waterloo, one of the Films we watched and analyzed was entitled “Canada, In bed with an Elephant”. This was part of the Canadian foreign politics section of the course. The U.S is the elephant and the film is a gripping retrospective on United States-Canada relationships as personified by successive presidents and prime ministers. It explains the continuing fight for Canadian independence in North America. At the very beginning of the Film, Brian Mulroney is meeting with Ronald Reagan. The commentary states that in the US, this meeting between two leaders will only make the backpages of some newspapers and maybe get a 20 second spot on the evening news if it isn’t preempted by a natural disaster. Yet in Canada this is the day’s top story. Fast forward to 2015 and According to Daniel Dale the Toronto Star’s Washington correspondent.
“Americans’ first reaction to Canada getting its first new prime minister in 10 years: Googling and ogling shirtless photos of the new prime minister.
On a slow U.S. news day, the victory of a handsome and liberal political heir with a history of sporadic half-nakedness generated a rare wave of media coverage that ranged from sober policy analysis to fawning fluff. Even mainstream outlets could not resist a little beefcake.
Under the headline, “Meet Justin Trudeau: Canada’s Liberal, Boxing, Strip-Teasing New PM,” NBCNews.com posted a photo of Trudeau flexing his biceps. The attached article: a light-on-policy explainer that included four sentences on Trudeau’s biceps tattoo.
E! Online, unburdened by the pretense of providing news, was somehow more breathless: “Canada’s New Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, Is a Smoking-Hot Syrupy Fox.”
Justin Trudeau and Patrick Brazeau in fighting form for charity boxing match (Torstar News Service)
The New York Times put an analytical story at the top of its Tuesday front page and then all day at the top of its website. The Washington Post ran a profile of Trudeau in its own primo web location.
Other outlets focused on the Keystone XL pipeline debate that is the only Canada-U.S. issue on the radar of most Americans. “Canadians oust Keystone champion,” read the headline on Politico. Mother Jones, the left-wing magazine, took the opposite approach, emphasizing Trudeau’s “close ties to Keystone.”
“Justin Trudeau is better on climate than Stephen Harper. But he’s no Barack Obama,” the subhead went.
Secretary of State John Kerry and a spokesman for President Barack Obama, Josh Earnest, said Trudeau’s win would have no impact on Obama’s final decision on Keystone.
Obama planned to phone both Trudeau and Harper, Earnest said, a show of appreciation for Harper’s efforts to strengthen the bilateral relationship. And he said he hoped Trudeau maintains two of Harper’s policies: support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and involvement in the fight against the Islamic State.
On climate change, though, Earnest said, “We believe it’s possible there’s more that Canada can do.”
Two experts on Canada-U.S. relations, consultant Paul Frazer and Scotty Greenwood, a senior adviser to the Canadian American Business Council, said in interviews that it is too soon to tell how the relationship will change.
“Sure, there will be changes. But we’re in a let’s-see-what-happens mode,” said Greenwood.
Former vice-president Al Gore welcomed Trudeau on Twitter, saying he hoped the election “will put Canada back in a leadership position” heading into the fall climate conference in Paris.
The harshest official words for Trudeau were from U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican and a backer of the problem-plagued F-35 fighter jet program the Liberals have vowed to abandon.
“They have the right to do whatever they want to, but it’s stupid,” Hatch told Defense News.
The election was watched closely by U.S. progressives. Neera Tanden, the president of the Center for American Progress think tank and a longtime adviser to Hillary Clinton, noted on Twitter that Trudeau, like Obama, had won “after rejecting austerity.”
Neil Sroka, a spokesman for Democracy for America, said his colleagues were “really cheered” by the Canadian result, which he sees as evidence of a global leftward shift also apparent in the Democratic primary.
“Our neighbours to the north: not only did they successfully end the reign of Canada’s equivalent of George W. Bush,” he said, “Trudeau won largely by pulling the Liberal party to the left. And I think that’s a reflection of a dynamic that’s happening all across the world.”
Another happy man: the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. “From an American Muslim: God bless Canada. Tonight, you’re giving us hope again in tolerance,” Nihad Awad wrote on Twitter. “Thank you!”
So what does this mean for Canada. IMHO it means Canada is finally getting some long deserved focus in the press. It means people in the US of A are actually talking about Canada in a context other than igloo’s, hockey players and strange accented down easterners saying “aboot” for everyone’s amusement. You may ask yourself, is it good press? is it a good thing that people are posting male model like pictures of Justin lounging in a comfy chair? I believe the answer to this is a resounding yes. What this does is put the focus on Canada. The initial reason may not be the greatest, but it will still bring people to read about our Prime Minister and maybe some of those people will actually take the time to learn more about our tiny (in comparison to the U.S.A) population to the north. Canadian PM’s have a longstanding history of beginning their tenures by making overatures to their American counterparts. It will be interesting to see how this goes with Trudeau and the Obama or the soon to be New POTUS. Lets just hope Trudeau has better luck than Diefenbaker did with Kennedy. Let’s also hope that Trudeau can help in setting Canada apart from the U.S and ensure that our distinctly Canadian attitudes are well represented in all aspects of the relationship between our countries.
For those that haven’t read a lot of Detective Fiction. As a genre, detective fiction generally speaks about the corruption in society and the unending depravity of humankind. Usually the hero (sometimes but not always the main character) is the light that works to overcome the forces of darkness. In most novels there are standard architypes of good and evil with all the shades in between. Dashiell hammit (1894-1961)(The Maltese Falcon – 1930, The thin Man 1934) is attributed to creating the genre while writing short stories in the 1920’s. He was writing about his experiences with the Pinkerton Detective agency. Of Dashiell Hammett, Biography.com says “Despite only having published five novels, Hammett remains one of the most influential writers of his time. He created an entire subgenre of fiction as well as some of the most compelling leading men in literature, and his “hard-boiled” world has had a lasting effect on television, film and a wide array of writers.”
Raymond Chandler (The Big Sleep – 1939) and Mickey Spillaine (Mike Hammer Series) are two other well know detective fiction authors of modern times.
The Elvis Cole Detective Series by Robert Crais chronicles the work lives of Elvis Cole the self titled “Worlds greatest detective” and his partner Joe Pike.
Elvis isn’t your typical PI, he has a Mickey Mouse phone, Jimminy Cricket figurines on his desk and a Pinnochio clock with eyes that move side to side along with the seconds on the wall his office.
Now before you write Elvis off as a flake, he made it through the vietnam war as a Ranger (The group known for finding and infiltrating enemy encampments and freeing hostages), he also dabbles in several of the Marshall arts and packs a .38 Smith and Wesson. Besides being a bit of a smartass and thinking he’s funnier than other people usually do, he’s also pretty good at pondering the hypocricies and moral ambiguities of our time. The more you get to know him through the books, the deeper he gets. Throughout the series he valiantly strives to do the right thing. Many of his clients are battered and abused children and women and/or those that are looking for missing loved ones.
Joe Pike is Elvis’ business partner and (somewhat sociopathic) sidekick. Pike is also an ex-Marine (Ranger), part-time Mercenary and gunshop owner. He’s a bit bigger, tougher and tends to be more at home with violence than Elvis. He’s also not troubled as much by attacks of conscience. Pike is a quiet person. According to Joe, Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry talks to much. As the series develops Pike is the feature character in some of the books and Crais works on his character development and helps the reader to understand why Pike is like he is, what his childhood was like etc.
The books develop both Elvis’ and Pike’s characters quite a bit from the initial offering in “The Monkey’s Raincoat – 1987” through to the most recent offering “The Promise” slated for release in November this year. (I’ve already pre-ordered this one). The series has shown steady improvement and unlike many main PI characters like Marlowe in the Chandler novels, Elvis has evolved and Crais has started to show the reader more of the man underneath the wise-cracking exterior.
The first four books in the series are written in the first person; Standard detective fiction style. After these Crais moved away from First person perspective for the first time with “The Sunset Express”. In “LA Requiem” Crais really experimented with several perspectives including first person, and wove in several underlying storylines as well. Since L.A Requiem Crais has used a similar approach to produce a string of best-selling and critically acclaimed novels and stand alone thrillers and books featuring Elvis and Pike.
Exerpt from thrillingdetective.com
“Crais had already begun to experiment with shifting points-of-view. Still, there wasn’t much in those early books that prepared readers for L.A. Requiem’s sprawling, multiple storylines and muscularity. Crais dropped most of the glib wisecracks and quirkiness and headed straight for the jugular, straddling genre boundaries, merging the private detective novel, the police procedural and the action thriller in a dark, engrossing tale of murder, betrayal, corruption, child abuse and the painful secrets that lie buried in the human heart. It was no longer the Elvis Cole show — in fact, much of the action focused on his partner: taciturn Pike, he of the 24/7 shades and the always forward-pointing arrow tattoos.”
Besides the main characters, Crais has also introduced a cast of re-appearing supporting characters such as Carol Starkey, the tough female police detective that was blown up in “Demolition Angel” and returns with a major crush on Cole in “The forgotten Man”. Cole has a girlfriend in a few of the novels too, Enter Ms Lucy Chenier from New Orleans, A divorced southern belle attorney. Both Lucy and her little boy Ben become very close to Elvis and Lucy decides to move them to LA at one point. Then there is the Girl Crazy, “all about the tang” (meaning Puntang not the juice) LA Coroner John Chen. Chen’s sole purpose in life is to try and sleep with women. He doesn’t have a lot of success but provides great comic relief at various points in the novels.
After all is said and done I wholeheartedly recommend you checkout the writings of Robert Crais. They don’t have to be read in sequence, but I found it does help with some of the background stories that leave you to concentrate on the particular storyline in each novel without having to learn as much about the main characters to feel you know them.
I’ll leave you with a couple quotes to give you an idea of the value and depth of the writing as I see and feel it.
“Some of us find our way with a single light to guide us; others lose themselves even when the star field is as sharp as a neon ceiling. Ethics may not be situational, but feelings are. We learn to adjust, and, over time, the stars we use to guide ourselves come to reside within rather than without.” – Elvis Cole – LA Requiem
“Moths swarmed around the parking lot lamps, banging into the glass with a steady tap-tap-tap, and I wondered if they welcomed the dawn. At dawn, they could stop slamming their heads into the thing that forever kept them from the light. People don’t have a dawn. We just keep slamming away until it kills us.” – Elvis Cole
A little background on Robert Crais and a book synopsis.
Robert Crais wrote for tv shows before writing novels and wrote most notably for Hill Street Blues, Cagney & Lacey, Miami Vice, Quincy M.E. and The Equalizer. So far he has received and Edgar awared, and Anthony Award a Macavity, a Shamus and the 2006 Ross Macdonald Award which is bestowed upon the California writer whos work raises the standard of Literary excellence.
The most recent Crais book I re-listened too was “The Watchman”
Here’s a brief synopsis from robertcrais.com
ROBERT CRAIS: THE WATCHMAN: A Joe Pike Novel
RUNNING TIME 8HRS UNABRIDGED.
AUDIO BOOK BY BRILLIANCE AUDIO.
The city was hers for a single hour, just the one magic hour, only hers.
Larkin Conner Barkley lives like the City of Angels is hers for the taking. Young and staggeringly rich, she speeds through the city during its loneliest hours, blowing through red after red in her Aston Martin as if running for her life. Until out of nowhere a car appears, and with it the metal-on-metal explosion of a terrible accident. Dazed, Larkin attempts to help the other victims. And finds herself the sole witness in a secret federal investigation.
For maybe the first time in her life, Larkin wants to do the right thing. But by agreeing to cooperate with the authorities, she becomes the target for a relentless team of killers. And when the U.S. Marshals and the finest security money can buy can’t protect her, Larkin’s wealthy family turns to the one man money can’t buy — Joe Pike.
Pike lives a world away from the palaces of Beverly Hills. He’s an ex-cop, ex-Marine, ex-mercenary who owes a bad man a favor, and that favor is to keep Larkin alive. The one upside of the job is reuniting with Bud Flynn, Pike’s LAPD training officer, and a man Pike reveres as a father. The downside is Larkin Barkley, who is the uncontrollable cover girl for self-destruction — and as deeply alone as Pike.
Pike commits himself to protecting the girl, but when they immediately come under fire, he realizes someone is selling them out. In defiance of Bud and the authorities, Pike drops off the grid with the girl and follows his own rules of survival: strike fast, hit hard, hunt down the hunters. With the help of private investigator Elvis Cole, Pike uncovers a web of lies and betrayals, and the stunning revelation that even the cops are not who they seem. As the body count rises, Pike’s biggest threat might come from the girl herself, a lost soul in the City of Angels, determined to destroy herself unless Joe Pike can teach her the value of life…and love.