Ever since I can remember I've heard the comment that there is "no difference" between Canadians and Americans. I respectfully beg to differ as there is a difference on so many levels! We have unique Canadian culture consisting of Canadianisms, a Canadian perspective on world events, Canadian cuisine as well as products and foods only available in Canada. This blog is dedicated to celebrating all things Canadian from "my perspective" as a Canadian. Please enjoy your visit and be sure to visit often.

Garden Gnome
Americans should never underestimate the constant pressure on Canada which the mere presence of the United States has produced. We're different people from you and we're different people because of you. Living next to you is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast, if I can call it that, one is effected by every twitch and grunt. It should not therefore be expected that this kind of nation, this Canada, should project itself as a mirror image of the United States.
- Pierre Trudeau

Saturday, May 25, 2013

National Missing Children's Day

The National Centre for Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains (NCMPUR) is a Canadian national centre within the RCMP’s Canadian Police Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (CPCMEC).  The centre provides law enforcement, medical examiners and chief coroners with specialized investigative services in support of missing persons and unidentified remains investigations.  Part of their services includes the National Missing Children Operations (formerly the National Missing Children Services) and National Missing Person and Unidentified Remains Operations. Canada's Missing is the national public website for NCMPUR that features on selected cases of missing children, missing persons, and unidentified remains at the request of a police agency.   The site informs the public of these cases as well as provides several methods for the public to report a missing person, report a missing person sighting or submit tips on specific missing persons and unidentified remains cases.  The ultimate goal is of course solving the case.  The cases are searchable on the site but all cases of missing children, missing persons or unidentified remains will appear on the website.  Those that appear have been added at the request of the primary investigator after considering a number of factors including privacy.

Today is National Missing Children's Day. While the focus is on missing children, this is a good site to browse through on a regular basis.  All it takes is one tip that may give investigators the needed clue to finally solve the case.  It is really sad, looking through all the pictures of the missing persons, children and unidentified remains.  They are someone's son, daughter, wife, girlfriend, husband, boyfriend, mother, father -  they are someone who is missed!  Please take a moment to see if you can offer any help...

Friday, May 24, 2013

Thoughts on Canada Post's Campaign Against 'No Flyers' Mailbox Signs

Canada Post has launched a campaign against the 'no flyers' mailbox signs many Canadians have resorted to using.  The campaign consists of more than 900,000 letters being sent to inform customers what they are missing by not accepting flyers.  According to Canada Post, the unaddressed mail consists of municipal notices, flyers, catalogues, product samples and etc.  This unaddressed mail has been paid to be distributed by those wanting it distributed AND some of it is important!  Unaddressed mail aka junk mail is aptly named.  It isn't mail that has been solicited or even from anyone you know, it is the archaic form of spam that we now all deal with.  How Canada Post can claim some of it is important is beyond me.  If the municipality wants to get a message out to residents there are numerous ways of doing so without sending out unaddressed mail.  If anyone wants to get out an 'important' message to anyone they don't do so via unaddressed mail. 

From this Canadian's perspective: 

Canadian residents know exactly what they are doing when they put up a sign stating 'no flyers'.  Flyers and other unaddressed mail constitutes a considerable waste of paper and resources.  Refusing delivery of this type of unaddressed mail is an eco-friendly, waste reduction strategy that all Canadians should be taking.  Of course, Canada Post doesn't want this because it means a loss of revenue.  If they are paid to distribute 100,000 pieces of unaddressed mail to a given area but only 50,000 can actually be delivered, well that isn't a very good return for the person paying Canada Post to distribute their 'information'.  If they don't get the distribution rate they expect from Canada Post, they will move on to other forms of spamming the consumer.  This loss of revenue is not something Canada Post can afford given they are already discussing decreasing door to door delivery service due to low mail volume.  Seriously, there is little need for mail service given the ease of electronic communication.  Even legal documents can be transmitted electronically.  The mail service is going the way of the pony express and Canada Post knows it.

We moved into an urban setting in 2011.  We live in a nice estate subdivision that does not have door to door mail delivery.  Rather it has super mailboxes.  Guess where the unwanted flyers end up?  They are tossed on the ground at the super mailbox, left to be blown around the neighbourhood.  You would think that would reduce flyers to the door but it doesn't.   We get the local paper chuck full of flyers, a flyer chuck full of flyers, and a couple of catalogues along with other junk mail from the previous owner.  I kid you not, I weighed the paper full of flyers that came in at almost three and a half pounds, totally unacceptable in a time where waste reduction is a must.  It is environmentally irresponsible of anyone to be distributing paper flyers and other unaddressed mail.  They should be made to pay into the local recycling program to help fund getting rid of the junk they distribute AND they should pay a clean-up fee to the town for the paper pollution they are causing AND they should be made to pay into reforestation programs to compensate for the paper they are wasting.

How does Canada Post deal with the fact their distribution is decreasing because environmentally conscious folks are refusing to accept unaddressed mail?  It sends out 900,000 pieces of 'dear occupant' letters aka unaddressed mail some of it reaching folks who didn't have 'no flyer' mailbox signs to begin with.  Talk about a major FAIL!