Canadian Election: Kildonan-St.Paul Riding: Candidate Reviews and Thoughts

Canadian Election 2019

Last night I attended a “town hall” event, to listen to the candidates running for MP in my riding: Kildonan-St.Paul.  I decided to write a brief review of my initial thoughts for those of you who couldn’t make it. Now obviously being just a regular every day guy, I am going to have some biases, and I want to note that this is just my opinion based on a couple of hours spent listening to each candidate and asking a few of them some questions.

Before I get into my rankings and thoughts, I think it’s only fair you know a little bit about me first, to understand any biases I may have – and although this is meant to be a fun exercise, (there might be some bad words) I will try to be as objective as possible.  I don’t belong to any political party.  My voting record, and political positions have changed quite a bit over the years.  Not to brag…but in the last 3 Federal elections, I voted for the winner (Harper, Harper, Trudeau).  I think it is also important to note I am not a religious man, and I’ve always been strongly in support of:

  • Gay Marriage
  • Legalisation of Marijuana
  • Doing whatever we can to ensure the survival of our planet/Climate change
  • Evidence based decision making

Some people will look at the above and say – okay this guy is just another libtard hippy, and although, yes I do drive a Hybrid, I think it’s also important to note, deep down, I still consider myself a capitalist- I just happen to think capitalism has been massively abused and needs to be reigned in and regulated. That said, I am a fan of efficient government, I am a fan of lower taxes for the majority of Canadians, and I believe it’s important we have a government that understands the importance of fiscal responsibility as well as social responsibility.

Now onto the Candidates in Kildonan-St. Paul

There are SIX people running for MP in the riding of Kildonan-St.Paul.  They are listed below:

  • Raquel Dancho – Conservative Party of Canada
  • Martin W. Deck – People’s Party of Canada
  • Spencer Katerynuk – Christian Heritage Party
  • Evan Krosney – New Democratic Party
  • MaryAnn Mihychuk– Liberal Party of Canada*Current MP*
  • Rylan Reed – Green Party of Canada

Going into last night, I wasn’t sure what to expect.  I assumed MaryAnn would be the most prepared as she has been in Politics for a while.  I also assume that she is the front runner, although I haven’t seen any polls to confirm this.  I expect the biggest challenge to come from the Conservative Party candidate Raquel Dancho – Unfortunately she was the only NO SHOW for the event as she claims to have had a prior engagement.  And although she did send a stand in to speak on her behalf(more on that later)…

Now onto the candidates…

Raquel Dancho: Conservative Party Of Canada

Raquel Dancho Conservative Party Of Canada Kildonan St Paul

Thoughts: This one is easy.  She was a no show(prior engagement)  Her stand in, was some older dude who is the head of the CPC in Manitoba or something.  He didn’t have much to say about Raquel – or policy in general. He told a few stories about himself, and his father..something about wanting to buy a Canoe when he was a boy, and his dad told him to earn some money first so it would be a “hand up – not a hand out” blah blah blah.  The best part of the evening was when a question was directed at the stand in, and the moderator announced that he also had to leave for a prior engagement…you can’t make this shit up!  The stand in needed a stand in….Amazeballs.

 

Martin W. DeckPeople’s Party of Canada

Martin Deck People's Party Of Canada

Thoughts: It was pretty obvious from the onset, this guy is in over his head.  When pressed about basically any issue, the response was either “I haven’t looked into that” or “Oh I wasn’t aware of that”.  The funny thing is, the majority of his concerns, actually seemed to line up more with the NDP platform, although I don’t think he realised it.  (Low wages, daycare costs, etc).  At one point in a one on one discussion about taxation and the ultra wealthy, he seemed to be trying to blame immigrants for low wages.  He also mentioned how poor the economy is (he used an example of CN Rail struggling), although when I approached him one on one, and mentioned CN stock is trading near an all time high, they raised their dividend 18% this year and have been doing stock buy backs, he quickly pivoted and said “maybe that was a bad example”.  All that being said, and trying to be as objective as possible, I will say Martin was one of the most approachable people there, he seemed confident and outgoing and was one of the few actually going up to people and trying to engage in conversations with them.  Although I don’t agree with most of what he said, or his Party platform, I honestly get the sense he is just a bit misinformed and to his credit, he did seem willing to debate and admit when he didn’t fully understand an issue/topic.

 

Spencer Katerynuk – Christian Heritage Party

Christian Heritage Party

Thoughts:  Okay, I know I said I would try and be objective, but I am going to have to take a quick pause on that for this one…  First of all, is this guy running to be an MP, or is he running to be class President of Grade 8?  Seriously, he is 20 years old, and I have to admit..at some points I actually felt sorry for him, being a 20 year old, speaking in front of a group of people about how he doesn’t think birth control should be covered by pharmacare, and that assisted suicide is a top 3 issue facing our country…it takes balls – I’ll give him that.  I’m not going to spend too much time on this guy, because honestly, if he gets a single vote outside of his Church and family I’d be shocked…but I will say, some of the ideas (and again, keep in mind, these aren’t his ideas…he is just reading the CHP platform sheet) are downright scary and dangerous.  Just a few tidbits…he mentioned something about the CHP pharmacare plan including data collection on all drugs people take so they can datamine your personal medical information. Another beauty was his idea for scrapping CPP and replacing it with an account so that people can manage their own money.  I don’t think he saw the irony in thinking the government shouldn’t be involved in your finances, but should be involved with your bedroom and body choices. I’d like to also point out, I have zero qualms with anyone, practising any religion, I just don’t condone policy that will impact people’s lives based on someones religious beliefs.

 

Evan Krosney – New Democratic Party

NDP Party Winnipeg

Thoughts: First impression was: look at this wiener.  That opinion didn’t change right away, he started off with some corny story about meeting with a senior citizen at a pancake breakfast…he almost lost me completely.  I kept listening, and I’m glad I did.  I have to admit, Evan was by far the most prepared, most professional and was one of only two candidates who laid out actual specifics on what he wanted to get done.  His priorities were clear and concise: Pharmacare, infrastructure and tackling the climate crisis.  I even had to go up to him afterwards to tell him he surprised me.  I’m not sure he will/can win this race, being up against an incumbent, and in a traditionally conservative riding, but I expect even if he loses, we will see him running again for something in the future.

MaryAnn Mihychuk– Liberal Party of Canada & Current MP

Lilberal Party of Canada. Kildonan-St.Paul Riding

Thoughts: In the spirit of transparency I think it’s important to note I voted for her last election. As I mentioned before, I was expecting MaryAnn to be the most polished, and concise.  Although I don’t have anything “bad” to say about her performance, I will say it seemed like a bunch of fluff and pandering without any real specifics.  When asked about her top priorities, her number one priority was “serving the people”.  I mean…yea okay I get that…that’s like the actual job you are applying for – but not a priority.  She also agreed with Evan on a national pharmacare program, but said “Only the Liberals can get this done” without explaining either how they are the only party who CAN get it done, OR why they haven’t got it done.  Overall she was very nice, and seemed to know the majority of the people in attendance.  I have no doubt she is a real nice lady, and genuinely cares about the people in her riding, but I was expecting a little more from an incumbent to be honest.

Rylan Reed- Green Party 

Rylan Reed - Green Party

Thoughts:  Rylan was a candidate that grew on me as the evening progressed.  When he started, he seemed a little unprofessional, and unprepared.  He openly remarked about how the event wasn’t the format he was expecting, and it seemed he may have been a little bit nervous during his opening remarks.  That said, as the evening went on, his confidence grew, and his ideas (which were mostly good) started coming out.  His number one priority is one that I also consider one of my top concerns (The North End Sewage Plant, and subsequently the health of Lake Winnipeg).  I’ll be honest, I don’t know much about Rylan, but by the end of the evening, he got me at least wanting to know a little bit more about himself and the party, and in the end I think that’s what these events are for.  He also has a very powerful sounding voice, and I’m not sure what he does for a living, but he could should be in broadcasting..haha.

I am still not sure who I will vote for, and I hope to continue conversations with all the candidates, as well as learning more about their parties platforms.  I’d also like to thank all the Candidates for running, and putting your thoughts and opinions out there, regardless of what I think…besides who cares what I think, I’m just a random guy who writes about stocks, whiskey and personal finance…

My final rankings for the evening are as follows.

  • 1- Evan Krosney – NDP
  • 2- Rylan Reed – Green
  • 3- Mary Ann Mihychuk Liberal
  • 4- Raquel Dancho – Conservative (keep in mind she wasn’t there)
  • 5-Martin Deck – People’s Party of Canada
  • 6- Spencer Katerynuk – Christian Heritage Party

I know I am just one vote, but if any of the candidates want to reach out to discuss their platform in more depth, I’d be happy to sit down with them, and write a more detailed/updated review.  Keep in mind, this whole event was about 2 hours, and I only spoke directly to a few of the candidates, so these opinions are based on a very small sample.

For any other voters in our riding, I hope this was helpful, and if not, I hope you at least got a laugh or two!  I don’t care who you vote for – but just make sure you get out and vote on election day!

 

 

Please think before you share. Public Service Announcement.

I was recently scrolling through my Facebook feed, and came across the following image:

Refugee Critical Thinking

I’ve seen similar images/posts shared in the past.  Typically the general tone is along the lines of “We should take care of our OWN first” or something similar.  Without getting into the ridiculousness of the idea that people who are born on one side of a border are somehow less worthy of food, shelter, or clean drinking water – lets examine this “meme” a little further.

First and foremost – I think it’s safe to say almost everyone would agree that this Ex-Serviceman should be housed.  In fact, if the entire picture said “Share if you think veterans should be housed” – I might actually share it!  (Fun fact: I wouldn’t, because I don’t share memes…but you get the point).  What really annoys me about this meme, is that it isn’t meant to spread awareness of homelessness, or the lack of services available to veterans  — the point of this particular meme, is to make refugees the enemy.  There is literally ZERO need for this, other to spread unnecessary hate.  If you truly care about housing veterans – why not share a meme supporting better social programs for veterans returning from a tour of duty?  Why not share memes about not sending veterans into unnecessary wars?    This soldier is not living in his car because of refugees!

This meme was created to deflect from the actual problems (useless wars, constant military intervention in other countries, lack of PTSD support, etc) and instead distract you with a non existent problem/threat.

Here is the thing, sadly in today’s world, people see something online that says “like and share me” and almost instinctively – without using a single ounce of critical thinking – go ahead and share it.  I genuinely believe the majority of people spreading these memes don’t actually realise what they are sharing, why they are sharing it, or how it impacts other people.  Don’t get me wrong, there are idiots out there – A LOT OF EM – that share things to intentionally spread hate, but fuck those people – this post isn’t about them or for them.

This post is for the everyday person who most likely sees 5-10 of these memes on their feeds each day.  I just want you to take a moment and think – even for 10 seconds, before clicking “Share”.  Perhaps you will still share it, that’s fine and completely up to you – but at least spend the 10 seconds to know what you are sharing, and WHY people want you to share it.

This has been a Public Service Announcement.

 

Concacaf Nations League: Canada vs Cuba Match Review. Also I cut my cable finally.

Well Canada’s unofficial World Cup qualifying got off to a great start tonight!  Canada played their first game in the Nations League tournament against Cuba at BMO field, and ended up leaving with a 6-0 win!

The rematch is Tuesday next week, and although it should be a bit tougher, the expectation is clearly another big win.  Before I give my thoughts on the game, I want to do a quick review of ONESOCCER – a streaming app for Canadian Soccer Mens/Womens games as well as the home of the Canadian Premier League.

Last week I decided to finally join all my “millenial” friends..fuck I hate that word….anyways, I decided to join them and cut my cable.  I was paying about 150/month for TV and I haven’t actually watched anything live on television since the Winnipeg Jets last playoff game…I replaced my television package with the following:

  • Dazn Subscription (access to all English Premier League/Champions League games, NFL & more
  • Crave/HBO subscription
  • Netflix
  • OneSoccer Subscription

I already had Netflix & Crave/HBO, and I’ve had DAZN for a few weeks now, tonight was the first time I used the ONESOCCER app, and for the most part I was impressed. I had one small issue, but it actually seemed to be a chromecast issue, which I resolved by restarting my phone.  All in all, I’ll pay about a quarter of what I used to be paying, and won’t really miss anything..so it seems like a no brainer.

Now onto the game…

The entire game was under control from the start, and aside from the one or two typical Canadian lapses at the back, Cuba had no business being in this game.  That said, the one major lapse (a Doneil Henry whiff) that left a Cuban player alone in front resulted in the save of the game by Milan Borjan.  Although I’d obviously prefer these lapses to be non existent, it’s nice to know we have a world class keeper at the back.

The standouts for me in this game were:

Junior Hoilett: Three goals, an assist and multiple class through balls.  This was the best game I’ve seen him play for Canada.  In the last 10 games for Canada he now has 9 goals and 8 assists. Those are some insane numbers!

Mark-Anthony Kaye: Although he wasn’t all over the scoresheet, he was all over the field. Played well defensively, created a ton offensively.  I haven’t got to see him play much, but I was super impressed.

Johnathan David:  God damn. I’ll just leave this here…

I just want to reiterate how ridiculous Johnathan David has been.  I know most people in Canada only hear about Alphonso Davies(and rightly so..he’s a superstar), but I cannot say enough good things about David.  In 9 games for Canada he now has 11 goals.  He is 19 years old.  The all time record for a Canadian is 22 goals.  He is HALF WAY to the ALL TIME RECORD in 9 friggin games.  It’s not a matter of if he will become Canada’s all time leading scorer…it’s a question of if he will do it before he is legally allowed to drink in all 50 states!

I was chatting with some friends after the first half about how I thought Alphonso Davies needed to be better. He seemed to be trying too hard to do it all himself.  Of course, he goes out and has a great second half after being moved to LB, draws a penalty, and makes multiple dazzling runs.  He picked up a little knock at the end of the game, so hopefully he is okay for Tuesday’s game in Cuba.

Anyways, In case you can’t tell- I am excited to be a Canadian soccer fan.  Something I haven’t been able to say most of my life (at least referring to the mens team)!  Off the bench Millar looked great, Piette was his usual solid self in the midfield and Osorio scored one at home.  All in all, a great game.

Next game is Tuesday vs Cuba…and after that things get serious with 2 games against the USA!

Canadian Soccer Fans: June 2019 Will Be Amazing!

2019 Women’s World Cup & 2019 Men’s Concacaf Gold Cup

If you are a Canadian Sports fan, a soccer fan, or just love this beautiful country, next month is going to be awesome!  I haven’t been THIS excited for a month of soccer since my trip to Brazil for the World cup in 2014.

Next month there will be 2 major tournaments (one for the Women, one for the Men):

The Women’s World Cup and the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

The Women’s World Cup probably doesn’t need an introduction, but it is a showcase of the best Women’s teams on the planet, facing off to be World Champions.  The US are the current champions, and currently ranked # 1 in the world, so they are clearly the favourites going into the tournament.  That said, there are a few teams that could give them a run for their money – and yes – Canada IS one of them!

France (who will be hosting the tournament) have a great team, as do Germany, Japan, England, Sweden, Canada and the Netherlands.  Australia also has arguably the current World’s best player in Sam Kerr.

I’ll be wearing my Christine Sinclair jersey & obviously be rooting for the Canadians to win it all (which they have a realistic shot of doing).

Canada Women’s World Cup Preview

Reasons for Optimism:

  • Canada is currently ranked 5th in the world
  • Currently on an 8 game unbeaten streak
  • Coming off back to back Olympic Bronze Medals
  • First major tournament under new(ish) coach Kenneth Heiner-Møller
  • Arguably the best defence (and goalkeeper) in the tournament. Canada have only allowed 4 goals in their last 14 games!
  • Captain Canada’s Swan Song?: Sinclair will be playing in her FIFTH World Cup, and only needs a few goals to break the all time goal scoring record.  This will most likely be her last world Cup, and she will be want to go out on top.

Players to Watch:

Forwards:

Christine Sinclair Canada Soccer

Christine Sinclair:  This is a no-brainer. The best player to ever play for Canada, and still our biggest goal threat! The only knock against her is her age – but even at the age of 35, she continues to lead her club and country (while picking up a lot of points along the way).  She has 3 goals in her last 3 club games, and has scored 12 times in the last 19 games for Canada.  Add to the fact she only needs 3 goals to tie the all time record – I think she will be PLENTY motivated to break the record in this tournament.

Janine Becky & Jordyn Huitema.  Luckily for Canada, Sinclair isn’t the only threat to score.  Becky (who plays for Man City) has already scored 25 goals for Canada in 56 games, and the 18 year old Huitema (who recently signed with PSG) already has 6 goals for Canada.  I don’t expect Huitema to start most games, but she should be an impact player off the bench for sure.  In the past, if teams could shut down Sinclair, they could beat us – now they have a lot more to worry about.

Midfield:

Jessie Fleming:  I cannot believe she is 21 years old already.  I’ve been watching her play for the National team since she was 15, and I absolutely LOVE the way she plays.  Her style reminds me of my favourite player of all time (Bergkamp).  She can control the whole flow of the offence with the ball at her feet, she will draw players to her and then send an amazing thru ball, but she can also score. Here is a little taste of her skillset:  Jessie Fleming Highlights

Defence:

Ashley Lawrence Canada Soccer

Ashley Lawrence: Going into the last Women’s World Cup I didn’t know much about Ashley Lawrence, but she quickly became one of my favourite players to watch.  I’ve since been able to watch a bunch of other games, and she continues to impress.  She is able to get up the field, and has insanely good offensive instincts, and an amazing cross – but what impresses me most, is her ability to track back.  She will be all the way up the field creating offence, and somehow, if the other team counters – she is the first one back.  She also plays her club football for PSG.

Those are my players to watch (and I didn’t even mention Kadeisha Buchanan, Deanne Rose or Nichelle Prince, or our hometown hero Desiree Scott).  There are so many other great players on this team – I think this team has more depth than any other I’ve seen (much like the Men’s team).  I cannot wait!  Canada was drawn into a group with: New Zealand, Cameroon & The Netherlands.  In a tournament like this, all the games are important, and all the games will be exciting, but if you can only watch one – you wont want to miss Canada/Netherlands.

Canada’s Schedule:

June 10 VS Cameroon

June 15 VS New Zealand

June 20 VS Netherlands (They are my dark horse team to win the whole thing – they have 3 of the Worlds Best players).

For those who aren’t too familiar with the Women’s game, or just like good soccer, here are a few other players to keep an eye on from other countries(you won’t be disappointed).

  • Sam Kerr – Australia
  • Alex Morgan – USA
  • Lindsay Horan – USA
  • Marta – Brazil
  • Danielle Van De Donk – Netherlands
  • Vivianne Miedema  – Netherlands
  • Dzsenifer Marozsan – Germany
  • Amandine Henry – France

I’m hoping to get my Canada Men’s team preview for the Gold Cup posted soon too!  In the meantime you can check out my earlier post about the Mens team HERE