Friday miscellany…

Encyclopaedia Britannica edition…

Bye-bye to that venerable institution.

I remember when my parents bought a set from a door-to-door salesman. I went through every single page! But the truth is that research tools have come a long way and we shouldn’t mourn the death of the candle because of the invention of the light bulb… as Ayn Rand might say.

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The National Capital Commission – abolish it. Soon. It’s an antiquated, short-sighted and undemocratic body that is in charge of BILLIONS of dollars worth of properties in the NCR. Its time has passed. Disperse the lands to the City.

OTTAWA — Nicholas Hoare, owner of the independent Canadian bookstore chain of the same name, said he was forced to close his Ottawa store when the National Capital Commission tried to hike his yearly rent to nearly $145,000.

The NCC sent Hoare a notice in mid-December stating his new lease agreement would increase the $84,000 rent of his Sussex Dr. store by 72 per cent. The letter also said the rent would continue to increase incrementally each year for the duration of the five-year lease agreement.

“We got this registered letter out of the blue from these clowns telling us in no uncertain terms that this was final and not negotiable,” he said.

Hoare said Matthew Mitchell, the manager of the Ottawa store, tried to contact the NCC and negotiate the lease but he received no response.

“Nobody would phone him back. It’s like dealing with a brick wall,” he said. “There was no discussion, no argument, no negotiation.”

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Hmmmm… RoboGate seems to be unfolding a bit more clearly now. I wonder how the Cons are going to spin this? Again, I’m not going to jump to conclusions until the investigations have concluded.

But still…

An investigation by CBC News has turned up voters all over Canada who say the reason they got robocalls sending them to fictitious polling stations was that they’d revealed they would not vote Conservative.

Although the Conservative Party has denied any involvement in the calls, these new details suggest that the misleading calls relied on data gathered by, and carefully guarded by, the Conservative Party.

Chief Electoral Officer Marc Mayrand announced Thursday that he now has “over 700 Canadians from across the country” who allege “specific circumstances” of fraudulent or improper calls. CBC News examined 31 ridings where such calls have been reported and found a pattern: those receiving those calls also had previous calls from the Conservative Party to find out which way they would vote.

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For St. Patrick’s Day:

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Still amazed that, even though my Leafs are struggling right now, Sens fans are still obsessed more with the Blue and White rather than their own damned team! I will NEVER understand these people! They are in dire need of therapy!

RT @redscarfunion: Who’s jacked up for a big weekend? #FirstPlaceFriday #Sens #Sens20 #ottawa #ottcity #habssuck #leafssuck #suckitphaneuf

I’ve noted this before… I guess some things never change.

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There’s a group here in Ottawa that is trying to get the municipal ban on backyard hen-raising lifted. Specifically:

Objective: To influence revision of City of Ottawa bylaw #2003-77, to allow hens in urban and rural residential back yards.

I personally don’t have a problem with the idea of hens (no roosters) in the backyard. Other cities have done it and there seems to be an answer to every question posed about health (human and chicken), noise, vermin, etc. Plus, I think it important that we, as a society, begin to re-assess how our properties are used; food gardens and small-scale poultry operations, or, as a colleague has put it, non-productive domestic crops (i.e., lawns).

I have converted a nice proportion of what little backyard I have into plots for my tomatoes, beans, raspberries, horseradishes, beets and cucumbers. The food is GREAT and fresh as can be, plus, my youngest daughter has taken a keen interest in our wee little “farm”. And this is good as it is teaching her the value of work plus teaches her that food doesn’t just magically appear on store shelves.

So I say, hell, why not! The City might at least direct staff to take a closer look at this issue rather than dismiss it off the cuff like this:

“First and foremost, sincere apologies for our slow response to your message. By-law and Regulatory Services does not support the introduction of urban chickens for many reasons you refuted in your communication (noise, odour, attraction of predatory animals such as coyotes, potential for the spread of zoonotic diseases). The City is not presently resourced to issue permits nor respond to complaints concerning chickens – including chickens at large – and the Ottawa Humane Society (who provides sheltering services for the City) would have to be consulted on whether or not they have capacity to expand to shelter stray chickens and at what cost. We further question what becomes of chickens who grow too old to continue to produce eggs.

You speak of “responsible” hen ownership. Our concern would be the residents who do not take this responsibility seriously.

I appreciate and respect your submission and will retain it for future reference.

Linda Anderson
Chief
By-law and Regulatory Services”

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