Summer is half over

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It could just be coincidence, the alignment of the stars or just pure folly but it seems that when governments take those extended summer breaks, logic goes out the window and bureaucrats and politicians alike run amok.  How else could we possibly explain the issues that are leaving egg on the collective faces of our governments, provincial and federal?

Provincially everybody's talking about the eco fees that were snuck into our bills for certain products while we weren't looking.  The problem is the consumer had just been hit by the HST and was in no mood for another "hidden" tax, fee, levy call it what you want this time, it really doesn’t matter.

Retailers didn't know what to do with the eco fee because bureaucrats with Stewardship Ontario obviously weren't used to questions once they put a program in action.

Well surprise, we do have questions and complaints.

Hats off to Canadian Tire for corporately saying they were not going to charge the fee until those who created it got their act together.  Now the provincial government is tap dancing in the summer heat trying to fix something which is hopelessly broken.  They're going to review the situation and consult with business leaders and the general public.

Why wouldn't they have done that in the first place?

Another nail in the coffin for the Ontario Liberals.

But gaffs seem to be an equal opportunity sort of thing.

In Ottawa, the Conservative government is starting to tap dance as well over their gaff of apparently arbitrarily scrubbing the long census form because too many Canadians were complaining.  Problem is we can't find any of those complaining Canadians.

You can tell the feds are tap dancing because they're looking for scapegoats like Statistics Canada or anyone to take the heat off them.  That's why the head of Stats Can quit.

Why would they change something that didn’t appear to be broken?

This has been the darndest summer for political gaffs and the summer is just barely half over.  Scary isn't it.

            Is it just me or is the summer speeding by?

            I guess it depends on whose clock you’re on.  When you are on the “kid’s clock,” as much as we enjoyed the time off school, there wasn’t much to do (at least if you were a city slicker).  It doesn’t matter what the era, the plea is the same, “Ma, I’m bored,” “Ma, I’ve got nothing to do.”  They ring out every year about this time.  It never changes. 

            As of this date, the so-called prime two-weeks of vacation (last week of July, first week of August) are just wrapping up.  The week after will be a busy week as well and then family vacations start to dwindle.  As we get closer to that day after Labour Day, families start thinking about getting kids ready to go back to school—the sales and signs are already sneaking back into our stores.

            Then you get to the “grown-up’s clock,” and everything above is the exact opposite.  There is too much to do in too short a time.  The family vacation is coming to an end and for you it’s back to work to make the coin to get the kids ready for school.  For some, Labour Day can’t come soon enough.  Well hang in there; it will come sooner than you think.

            I don’t know why I keep this year after year but it’s for the youngsters who may want to perform a little magic of there own.  It was published in the Seaway News years ago and in the middle of summer every year I share with moms and dads to wow their kids so they can have fun with it too.  Here it is.

            “Take your house number and double it.  Add five.  Multiply by half a hundred, then add your age (if you’re under 100).  Add the number of days in a year and subtract 615.  The last two figures will be your age; the others will be your house number.”

            You’re going to try it aren’t you?

            I’m John Divinski

Organizations: Canadian Tire, Ontario Liberals, Statistics Canada Seaway News

Geographic location: Ottawa

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