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"Notes" #59

"Will You Tell the Truth, the Whole Truth..."
I think it is time to fess up! In "Notes" #56 I strongly hinted that I was about to retire when I said, "...tomorrow, my first day of retirement". Well, I didn't retire!

After 2 1/2 months off this past summer with much golf being played, reading a lot, barbecuing, long walks, playing with the grandchildren, and starting up my music again, I began to think about those long winter days and changed my mind. Technically I retired, just not all the time!

I am comfortable that I have earned the right to an "ideal" retirement. I have worked since I was 14 (and had a paper route prior to that) but I really love what I do. Working as we have this last year and a half due to the pandemic, has given me the opportunity to do what I love from the comfort and convenience of my home, and this played a part in my decision.

I have talked a great deal in my career about Work-Life Balance and I believe I am now practicing a healthy level of that in my "Golden Years."
Thank you to all who wished me a happy retirement and let's still have the celebration, but let's make it to the fact that I still have a bit left in the tank. Dan


Did you know...
The Canadian Medical Association estimates the total cost to our healthcare system for obesity related diseases is about $3.1 billion and that physical inactivity leads to the premature death of 21,000 Canadians per year. It is expected that this alarming number will continue to soar because of the current epidemic of obese children.


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Did you know...
Some people worry that tea may weaken their bones because of its caffeine, but several studies have actually found that tea drinking is associated with stronger bones and a lower risk of fractures. A recent English study found that tea-drinking women (age 65 to 76) had greater bone density than women who didn't drink tea. Coffee had no effect on bones. Tea contains fluoride and flavonoids, which may be good for bones

Reader Response #57 re: aboriginal issues.

    First of all, by way of background, I believe that I've made three profound discoveries (not really novel!) about social-political issues:  1. most differences of opinion are not based on differences of philosophy but rather on differences in level of knowledge, 2. issues are way more nuanced than most people would like to believe, as opposed to being black & white, and 3. it is important to be critical of other cultures.  I find cultural relativists repugnant and I would go so far as to say evil, as they turn their heads the other way when abuses are committed by people from other cultures. 

   Most of my comments will deal with nuance, i.e. not challenging ones basic assumptions, but pointing out that the issues are more nuanced than they appear at first blush.

1.    According to the TRC report, which I've read, a large minority of aboriginal children attended residential schools.  The others either didn't go to school or went to day schools.  Over time, more and more went to mixed day schools off reserve, as opposed to on-reserve day schools.  I have never read what the basis of the decision by the federal government was as to whether children would go to day schools or to residential schools, but it was geographically based.  There were NO residential schools in NB, PEI or the St. Lawrence valley and the eastern townships of Quebec.

    An interesting issue is whether life outcomes for those in NB, PEI, etc. were better.  If so, then there's a good argument that the residential schools are responsible, at least in part, for poorer life outcomes among native people.

2.    All native people were NOT confined to reserves - only those who chose not to renounce their status.  The same applies to the "starvation" imposed by Sir John A.'s government.  The renunciation possibility was something of which I was unaware until I read Clearing the Plains.  In Windsor, I learned that all the Wyandottes (Hurons) in this neck of the woods renounced their status.  Those who renounced their status assimilated into the "white" society. 

    How many renounced?  I have no idea.  I asked Frances Widdowson, one of Canada's leading experts on native issues, and she didn't know and pointed out that research in this area is taboo.  Nor do I know how well they've done as compared to those who didn't renounce their status.  I assume that they fared better, but don't know.

3.    The residential and day schools were founded at the instance of native leaders, who wanted a better life for their people, and observed the higher standard of living of white people. 

4.    On a related point, there is nothing admirable about continuing "a way of life that had been here for hundreds of years."  Call it the traditional way of life if you like, but I view that as a euphemism as the reality is that it was stone age poverty.  West coast native people were also paleolithic but lived at a higher standard of living, and had large boats, more advanced art and wooden permanent houses.  The Iroquoian peoples had entered the new stone age (agriculture) and so lived at a higher standard of living.   Most - Siouxan, Athabascan, Algonkian - lived in the old stone age in poverty.

    Again, extracting them from this way of life was something sought by native leaders, although, in fairness, I think that they wanted it both ways.

5.    You touched on an important issue - whether we should continue apartheid.  The consensus, sadly, seems to be that we should. 

6.    There is a fair amount of evidence about native leaders with their hands in their people's pockets, as you observed, but I would argue that aspects of native culture are what hold them back the most - opposition to education, adherence to the traditional way of life, not being assertive and opposition to punctuality.  Those who live off reserve have higher standards of living, for example; my point being that there are more employment opportunities where they live and partial assimilation into "white" society.

    I had practised child protection law.  You're probably aware that 85% to 90% of children in care in Manitoba are natives, and that most of them have been apprehended by native agencies.  In other words, it's not "white" agencies imposing their cultural standards.  Why are so many of their parents incompetent?  I don't know, although could surmise.  Certainly, they can at least partly blame white people because white people brought alcohol.  There was alcohol among the Aztecs but not north of there - alcohol is not anyone's friend.     Edward Rice

Wow, thank you Edward for your perspective.


Reader Response #58: Percy Haynes

Great story about Percy Haynes what a small world! I have fond memories as a child my parents taking us to Haynes Chicken Shack for dinner as a special treat. When Ed and I were dating, we went a few times for dinner - they were still in the same house-converted restaurant then. Percy would come out, sit at the upright piano in the corner of the room and play. We have never forgotten those special times!
Thanks so much for sharing and bringing back wonderful memories!     Shauna

I received another email through Facebook from someone who had frequented Haynes Chicken Shack and the bonus was he was also on the trip/train when we went to the "Little Grey Cup" with Percy.


As I left the hardware store the other day, I was fumbling for my car keys and could not find them.  They weren't in my pockets. Suddenly I realized I must have left them in the car.  Frantically, I headed for the parking lot.  My wife has scolded me many times for leaving my keys in the car's ignition.  She's afraid that the car could be stolen.  As I looked around the parking lot, I realized she was right.  The parking lot was empty.  I immediately called the police.  I gave them my location, confessed that I had left my keys in the car and that it had been stolen.
Then I made the most difficult call of all to my wife:  "I left my keys in the car and it's been stolen." There was a moment of silence.  I thought the call had been disconnected, but then I heard her voice.  "Are you kidding me?" she barked, "I dropped you off!"

Now it was my turn to be silent.  Embarrassed, I said, "Well, come and get me then."

She retorted, "I will, as soon as I convince this cop that I didn't steal your car!"

"Welcome to the Golden Years"