95th Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge-Lest We Forget

When the question “who is the most important figure in Canadian history?” comes up, very few think of the name Arthur Currie. But he is probably the one name that should come up. Because on this day 95 years ago, April 9th, 1917, the name Canada was barely known. But a scant 24 hours later, the name Canada was on the lips of countless people.

For on April 9th, Canadians fighting as a single unit for the first time in history, utilized Currie’s “Creeping barrage” to take Vimy Ridge from the Germans. It was the first time a nation had taken land back from the Germans and held it in the Great War. Canadian casualties numbered less than 10,000 taking the ridge when British and French troops took tens of thousands each in previous attempts to take the ridge.

Last December, I was lucky enough to visit Vimy Ridge. A few pictures are below. If you are a Canadian who is proud of your country, I highly suggest you make the pilgrimage to this wondrous monument. The battle defined Canada as a nation. It put us on the world map. It is the essence of who we are.

Approach view from backside of the Vimy Memorial
Approach view from backside of the Vimy Memorial

Me at Vimy Ridge
Me at Vimy Ridge

I brought a poppy with me and left it in the name wall at Vimy Ridge
I brought a poppy with me and left it in the name wall at Vimy Ridge

The tomb of the unknown solder at front side of Vimy Ridge
The tomb of the unknown solder at front side of Vimy Ridge

Canada Punches Above Weight Class In Aid to Pakistan

It is clear that Canada truly makes its’ mark on the world in subtle ways.

U.S. Aid to Pakistan – $150 Million (about 50 cents per capita)

27 Member states of European Union Aid to Pakistan – $90 Million (about 18 cents per capita)

China Aid to Pakistan (note China says Pakistan is their closest ally) – $0 ($0 per capita)

Canada Aid to Pakistan – $33 Million (about $1 per capita)

Officially Awesome Military Homecoming Video

Grab a hankee and sit down for 10 minutes.

Request. I would love to make a video like this with Canadian Forces homecomings. If anyone out there has video of a homecoming and the joy that they bring, please feel free to send me the clips via email to mulderATofficiallyscrewedDOTcom and if I get enough sent in, I will put my video hat back on.

Hat tip goes to my friend Cathy in PA.

One 4 The Troops

Just because they are all soldiers, they are patriotic, they are our friends to the south and they sing pretty darn good.

4Troops seems to be getting a lot of play and activity on the American networks these days. FoxNews this morning and Larry King tonight and a whole tour on the website. I say good on ’em and thank you for your service. I am a Canadian but I appreciate all that our Canadian soldiers do but I also really appreciate all that American soldiers do for the world too.

I hope these four go a long way to keeping that support for all the fine young women and men serving for the allies.

Electoral Reform Reminder

This article (thanks Charles Adler for the link) is another reminder for me about how easily our own Canadian electoral system can be manipulated.  I have brought this up several times with friends, family, political allies, MPs, Ministers, etc.  Yet still our system is broken.

You see in Canada you are supposed to be a Canadian Citizen to vote.  Yet our system has so many ways in it that let non Canadians in to vote illegally.

1)  We have a vouching system.  This is when one person has no identification but has a friend who IS on the voter’s list there to vouch for them.  This helps create problem 2.

2)  Once you have been vouched for, you are now on the voting list.  This means the next election, you can then vouch for up to two people who may not be Canadian citizens.  This means that technically one Canadian could vouch for two friends.  One election later, those two non eligible voters could each vouch for two friends. (now we are at 4 ineligble voters).  And then in the third election, we are at potentially 8 ineligible voters.  This reminds me of the old shampoo commercial.  And you’ll tell two friends.  And they’ll tell two friends, and so on.

3)  The glue that binds all these together is the fact that you do not need to show proof of citizenship to vote.  This is simply ridiculous.

The law says you need to be a Canadian citizen yet it offers several ways for non Canadians to sneak in on the system.  In m y opinion,  you should be required to have your citizenship card or passport or a photo ID/Birth Certificate combination to vote.

That’s it.  That’s all.  Anything less to me is unacceptable.

The only way this can really be achieved is to either a) bring back enumeration or b) scrap the voter’s list completely and restart with the current list of provincial birth certificates and federal citizenship and passport lists.  Then EVERYone voting should be required to show proof of citizenship to get a ballot.