Chaos the British Way

Next time you’re cursing the abysmal luggage handling at Pearson, this analysis of the opening of Heathrow’s Terminal 5 may help put things into perspective. It began with baggage handling staff turning up late for their shift because they were unable to find parking places, and got worse from there: Once into the baggage sortingcontinue reading

Fixing Immigration

The next possible trigger for a federal election, buried in Bill C-50, the budget implementation bill, is legislation to amend the Immigration Act. Anyone with half a brain sees the need for changes to our current points-based system, which with agonizingly slow speed selects the cream of the crop from immigration applicants, leading successful immigrantscontinue reading

Anywhere but here

It’s no secret that Canada’s immigration system makes no sense at all. After spending much time and energy selecting highly-skilled, highly-educated immigrants, we leave them to their own devices, with few job placement programs in place and a patchwork of “bridging programs” that range from expensive, sometimes redundant re-training courses at universities to humiliatingly basiccontinue reading

The Urbanist’s Bankruptcy Court

I have finally got around to reading the January issue of Toronto Life. This is somewhat depressing, but nicely put: Amid the biggest development boom in the city’s history, its planning department—more overworked and understaffed than any other—cannot meet its obligations to review developer’s proposals, consult stakeholders, conduct studies and make recommendations to council. Thecontinue reading

The angry vexillologist

Site of the day: someone in New Zealand’s cranky effort to give letter grades to the world’s flags. He doesn’t like busyness, maps, text in living languages, weird colour combinations, Union Jacks or automatic weapons. Start with the F grades – you know you want to. (I kind of like Bhutan’s flag, which he awardscontinue reading

Hubbert’s cliff

I’m a peak oil agnostic, more or less – obviously something of the kind has to happen eventually, but I’ll let people who know more about geology than I do argue about whether it’s in the far future, the near future or (as some maintain) has already happened. Still, I was struck by an essaycontinue reading

Now’s your chance —

I know that sometimes one’s deep thoughts about world politics, the failings of the educational system and global warming are overwhelmed by a need to consider the plight of Ontario’s wild turkeys. Now, you can have your say: ONTARIO MINISTRY OF NATURAL RESOURCES Transmitted by CNW Group on : January 18, 2008 15:20 Public Askedcontinue reading

Your tax dollars at work

Reality shows all have dumb, repetitive premises, but this is one we all paid for, and it’s another depressing indicator of how much of feminism’s progress has been erased in the last twenty years. Episode 1: With a mix of excitement and trepidation, the town of Hardisty, Alberta gets ready for a week without Mom.continue reading