The Fountain Pen, Guelph's On-Line News

A Little Bit About a Lot of Things

Web posted on January 27, 2016

A Curmudgeon's View

By Les Enekes

The past few weeks have been relatively quiet on the news front, but things are starting to get interesting again. I am going to get caught up some ongoing issues plus some random thoughts.

The 10,000th refugee arrived in Canada almost two weeks later than promised just before Christmas. Not as bad as expected. Maybe they will get all of the refugees here by the end of February. The next milestone will be to see all of them settled into their new homes. This may take a lot longer than expected, it looks like we are running out of room for refugees in several cities. Interesting news item about how the rules were changed for the new refugees. They don't have to pay the government back for their flights and medical checks. Refugees or their sponsors have always been responsible for most expenses. We cannot afford the new policies. The bills are starting to pile up. This just keeps getting better and better.

The Prime Minister took his family on a Caribbean vacation over the holidays using an RCAF jet. This bit of nonsense comes up with every Prime Minster and should never be an issue. No matter who the Prime Minister is, they are entitled to vacation time just like the rest of us. For security reasons, a sitting Prime Minister is not allowed to travel on a commercial flight. This is understandable. The odds that a potential or former Prime Minister would ever fly economy class, are rather slim. They can afford to fly business class. If I were in that position, I would be traveling in business class. The policy should be that the Prime Minister pay back at the business class rate, rather than the economy rate. Except for the repayment rate this is a non issue. There are far more important things to worry about. End of discussion.

Perhaps it is my imagination, but Young Trudeau does not seem as polished as he did during the campaign. He seems to talk a lot and say very little. He is not quite as quick of wit as his father was. It would be nice if he spent some time in Canada.

Terrorist attacks around the world seem to be increasing at an alarming rate. They are becoming almost as common place as mass shootings down south. It wasn't that long ago that we were worried about a nuclear war, today it is terrorism. We got through the Cold War, and we will get through this, but like ending the Cold War, it will take a lot of work by a lot of people. It might even take as long as the Cold War. Interesting that we were not invited to a meeting of defence ministers about dealing with the Terrorist State last week. Could this possibly have anything to do with our decision to change and review our participation in the coalition?

There have been too many barn fires of late with thousands animals perishing just here in our area. Maybe it is time to make smoke alarms and heat detectors connecting to an alarm in the farm house mandatory in all barns housing livestock. Do companies like Alarm Force offer barn protection? If not, they should be looking at it right now. I don`t know if some type of affordable sprinkler system could be developed. Something needs to be done soon.

We recently lost Alan Rickman, Rest In Peace Professor Snape. I wonder if he was ever considered for the voice of Darth Vader.

It has come to my attention that I did not have all the facts about Billy Bishop when I objected in my late November column to renaming Toronto Island Airport after him. He did make a minor contribution to aviation in Toronto. For a number of years he ran a charter service taking wealthy clients to cottage country on weekends. However, I don't think this is enough to justify the name change. I shall continue to refer to the airport by it's original name. I will always try to correct my comments if new information comes to light.

Mother Nature gave the U.S. east coast a reality check this weekend. For many of those places two inches of snow is a major event. Two feet or more is snowmageddon. To put it into perspective that would be considered a light dusting of snow in Hakuba, Japan.

While on the subject of snow. There are still way too many people who don't completely clean the snow off their vehicles. The police should be doing more enforcement after significant snow events. The penalties should also be increased to the same level as impaired driving. Think about it, if you can't see, you are impaired.

Les Enekes can be reached directly by owl. For those not owl equipped, he can be reached at

The views of columnists in The Fountain Pen do not necessarily represent the views of the principals of the publication.

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