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Hope for the Best, Plan for the Worst.



The Scout motto has been “BE PREPARED”. That means that a Scout is to be in a state of readiness in mind and body to do their duty. Simple but so very profound indeed. A fictional character created by Lee Child also has a message of importance that we all need to hear today. That is simply “Hope for the best, but plan for the worst”. The wisdom offered to us by bright minds.

If we apply these two gifts of advice to politics, whether in the past, present or future, and we look at how our elected officials have performed, we can see none of them have been Scouts, Girl Guides, or readers of the author Lee Child.

For example, let’s look at how they responded to the pandemic, shall we? Warnings of such a pandemic have been historically recorded for many decades. The proof was in the pudding in fact. There was talk of a mass death event caused by influenza-like illnesses over a hundred years ago. It is not like these politicians did not have historical examples to base their preparation upon. The Spanish Death killed over a hundred million globally. Historical fact. Influenza itself kills millions across the globe annually. America, Russia, China, and other military establishments have been experimenting with making such illnesses into weapons for decades. What did our elected officials do? Not much.

Did they…

1. Make sure there were enough skilled staff trained and available at all times?
2. Make sure healthcare equipment was functional and not outdated.
3. Continue Public scientific studies into how to fight such illnesses?
4. Make sure senior homes do not become prison cells for seniors should a breakout happen. Make these homes climate controlled, with up to dated equipment and masks.
5. Education Centers are self-regulating and controlled, with no need to keep students home.
6. Not rely upon private concerns to provide lifesaving vaccines and antidotes.

In the region I live, politicians have been realizing these needs, but passing them onto the next administration with excuses like solving these problems costs too much money, the science is not here yet, and there is no need to prepare for something that most likely will not happen. Don’t they look the fools?
Millions have died and suffered because of the politician’s lack of interest, preparedness, and investment in community safety. Even when the pandemic came upon us, these politicians often denied the illness’s destructiveness like it was not important, an after though. Politicians lack what young Scouts and Guides have plenty of, namely imagination and courage. A Politician does not want to rock the boat and make their electorate concerned over things that probably won’t happen. Most of all politician lacks the understanding of why they are in the jobs they hold, which is “To Serve the Community”. Instead of hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst, they do not act upon the needs of what can happen. Politicians are like Police lazy individuals. They lack imagination and foresight, seeing what is happening elsewhere, and preparing for its possible arrival upon their homeland’s shores. Politicians, like police, see usually a duck, hear the duck Qwak, and therefore assume it is a duck. It looks like suicide, there for it is a suicide, with no further investigation.

Politicians have known for many years about the missing Aboriginal Women, and the stories of abuse in government-managed schools., and yet they did nothing, hoping that the horrors of the past will not come to light. Politicians knew that Putin’s Russia would probably invade Ukraine. Did they prepare for such an event? Nope. Politicians react, and never knowingly respond. There are in most government vaults studies upon studies regarding all the possible things that could happen, and how to improve the community’s lot, and yet most studies remain hidden.

I live in a region where housing is essentially in dire need. Did the politicians know about this issue or about climate change? Of course, they did, and they did nothing of value to the community until the public pressured them to act. The officials spend our money Willy Nilly, making decisions that affect us behind closed doors. Responsibility, transparency, and most importantly accountability is truly lacking when one speaks about a politician. Elected or appointed for years, they become dictators, until election time reappears.

We need to be prepared for what’s coming folks. Weak economies, huge national debts, and an aging population reliant upon their unprepared national authorities to care for them. Poverty and racial and social struggles continue unabated while politicians make a good dough, fail to solve our national problems, and then off to the private sector they go. Who do these men and women really work for? They have a plan, and they’re not sharing it with us. If those in power are “not prepared”, who will suffer the wrath of our world? Like the person living on a flood plain, reality tells them one day the land will flood, and yet they do nothing, only to ask for our help when needed. A Crazy World.

Steven Kaszab
Bradford, Ontario


Jade Eagleson, MacKenzie Porter, the Reklaws among leading CCMA nominees



Jade Eagleson and MacKenzie Porter are the leading nominees at this year’s Canadian Country Music Association Awards.

The singer-songwriters each received six CCMA nods, including for entertainer of the year and album of the year.

Eagleson is also nominated for male artist of the year and songwriter of the year, while Porter will be vying for female artist of the year and video of the year trophies.

Porter is also co-hosting the CCMAs with U.S. country music star Thomas Rhett in Edmonton on Sept. 14, with the bash set to air on CTV.

Sibling duo the Reklaws and last year’s leading nominee Josh Ross are each nominated in five categories, including entertainer of the year.

Rounding out the list of top nominees are Owen Riegling, Dallas Smith and the High Valley band, with four nods each.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 18, 2024.

The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.

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Bissell Recalls 3.3 Million Steam Cleaners Due to Burn Hazard



NEW YORK — Bissell is recalling approximately 3.3 million “Steam Shot Handheld Steam Cleaners” across North America due to a burn hazard. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Health Canada issued notices on Thursday detailing the risk, which has led to over 150 reported injuries.

The recall affects select models of the Bissell-branded steam cleaners, which can spew hot water or steam while in use or heating up. This malfunction poses a burn risk to users. Bissell has received 183 reports of hot water or steam expelling from the devices, including 157 minor burn injuries. Of these, 145 injuries occurred in the U.S. and 12 in Canada as of June 4, according to Health Canada.

Consumers are advised to immediately stop using the recalled steam cleaners. They should contact Bissell for either a refund or store credit. Impacted customers can choose between $60 (CA$82) in store credit or a $40 (CA$55) refund for each affected unit. Detailed instructions for identifying the recalled models, cutting the product cord, and uploading photos are available on Bissell’s website.

Bissell emphasized that “safety is our top priority,” and the company opted for a voluntary recall “out of an abundance of caution.”

The affected steam cleaners, manufactured in China, were sold at major retailers such as Target and Walmart, as well as online platforms including Bissell’s website and Amazon, from August 2008 through May 2024. About 3.2 million units were purchased in the U.S. and nearly 355,000 in Canada.

For more information on the recall and to register for a refund or store credit, consumers can visit Bissell’s website.

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Court Ruling on CRA Audit Condones Government Overreach, Says Leading Muslim Charity



The Muslim Association of Canada (MAC) has expressed strong disapproval of a recent Ontario Court of Appeal decision, claiming it allows the federal government to violate Charter rights with impunity. The court’s decision upheld a ruling that permits the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to continue its audit of MAC, a process the charity alleges is tainted by systemic bias and Islamophobia.

MAC, an organization that promotes community service, education, and youth empowerment, serves over 150,000 Canadians through its mosques, schools, and community centers. The association argues that the CRA’s audit infringes on their Charter rights, specifically the guarantees of equality, freedom of religion, expression, and association.

The association initially sought to halt the audit through the Ontario Superior Court, arguing that the audit process was fundamentally biased. However, Superior Court Justice Markus Koehnen rejected their request last year, stating it was premature to intervene in the ongoing federal review. Koehnen acknowledged the validity of many of MAC’s arguments but emphasized that court involvement was inappropriate while the audit process was still active.

The Ontario Court of Appeal recently upheld Justice Koehnen’s decision, agreeing that the challenge was premature. The panel of judges found no error in the previous ruling, emphasizing the necessity of allowing the CRA’s internal processes to conclude before judicial intervention.

MAC’s representative, Sharaf Sharafeldin, criticized the decision, stating that the “prematurity principle” imposes significant legal and administrative burdens on charities. These costs, according to Sharafeldin, lead to financial hardship, reduced programs, and compromised charitable work, preventing effective challenges to Charter violations by the time the audit is completed.

In a statement, MAC highlighted that the decision disproportionately harms visible minorities and disadvantaged communities, who already suffer from systemic discrimination by government agencies.

The federal government has argued that the CRA’s selection of MAC for audit and subsequent review did not infringe upon Charter rights. The audit process includes potential internal appeals within the CRA, appeals to the Tax Court of Canada in the event of financial penalties, and to the Federal Court of Appeal if charitable status is revoked.

This ruling underscores the tension between government oversight and the protection of Charter rights, particularly for minority and disadvantaged communities. The outcome of this case could set a significant precedent for how charitable organizations can challenge perceived systemic bias and government overreach in Canada.

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