Your views and values show up everywhere

With increasing pace, I’ve seen more people use their voices online to stand up for what they believe is right and participate in fierce conversation and debate. I’ve also seen a shift in organizations' behaviour in response to the expectations of consumers that companies will interact online, speak up on issues, and make business decisions that are rooted in values that align with those of their customers. These trends have me thinking about the challenges individuals and organizations face in how they participate in the social and political climate of today. One particular challenge is around corporate social media policies that strive to find the right balance of influence over how employees engage online, and individuals who are asserting themselves when they feel those policies go too far. Seeing it…
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A few thoughts on Canadian politics

This past week, various headlines have caught my eye related to Canadian politics. The first was the controversy about Justin Trudeau coming out in support of Quebec sovereignty if Prime Minister Stephen Harper moved Canada backwards in areas such as same-sex marriage and abortion. The second was Vic Toews condemning anyone who opposed the lawful access bill as a supporter of child pornography (then adamantly denying it in the face of video evidence). The third was the long-promised elimination of the long-gun registry.  (more…)
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President Harper

The Liberal Party of Canada had their convention this weekend and out of it came a new party president in Mike Crawley (over the Chretien-era Sheila Copps), support for legalizing marijuana, and opposition to study severing ties with the British Monarchy. The first two decisions I agree with - the party's needed to step forward from the bygone age of Chretien for a while now, and it's good that a major political party has finally recognized the will of our nation's citizens (plus the swing of money spent on enforcing current marijuana legislation and new taxes into the coffers doesn't hurt). But this last decision I disagree with.  (more…)
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[X] Opt-out of CPP [ ] Opt-in to CPP

Whether or not the Canada Pension Plan is in place when I retire, I decided long ago to contribute to my own retirement savings plan. If I can prove to the Government of Canada and my employer that I am actively contributing to a retirement savings plan and that I won't be a draw on the Canada Pension Plan in the future, I should be able to opt-out of CPP altogether. This would allow my employer to save a certain amount of money that it would normally have to spend on me and allow me to redirect what I would be putting towards CPP to my retirement plan. For any who wish to remain a part of the Canada Pension Plan, that's entirely their choice to do so, but the…
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Unions Are So Last Century

For all my liberal leanings, I have absolutely no patience for labour unions. Leading up to the late-20th century, unions undoubtedly advanced health, labour, and safety standards in the workplace. But now, after more than a decade into the 21st century, unions are more concerned with protecting incompetence and demanding higher wages and benefits than they are with advocating for fairness and safety in the workplace for employees. Trying to performance manage (aka discipline), let alone, fire an incompetent union employee is a huge undertaking which begins a long, drawn out process that wastes everyone's time and money. It only gets worse when accusations of unfair labour practices and wrongful termination start getting thrown around. If you're consistently terrible at your job, you're fired. And, honestly, if it takes months upon months…
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Four Years of the Big C

On May 2, over 61% of Canadians went to the polls and 40% of those delivered the Conservative Party of Canada a majority. I have to hand it to the Conservatives - they stayed on message, made fiscally-responsible promises, and managed to avoid any major gaffes (or regrettable wardrobe choices). The Liberals, on the other hand, imploded like a balloon in the freezer after failing to find a message - let alone a party leader - that connected with Canadians. The two biggest surprises of the night though were the magnitude of the NDP's surge to become the Official Opposition and the near-obliteration of the Bloc Quebecois. Despite my dislike of the Conservatives, this is probably the first time in five years that I'm hopeful to see the maneuvering and mud-slinging…
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Oh No, An Election! and Lock Up The Left

Two things that I can't fit into tweets: 1. Oh No, An Election! Stephen Harper claims an election now would destabilize the Canadian economy because of uncertainty in the Middle East, European debt and trade issues, and the disaster in Japan. Umm, what? Not only is that correlation incredibly spurious, there's a history of countries successfully holding elections during tumultuous times: England in 1935 during the Great Depression, the U.S. in 1944 during World War II, and Afghanistan in 2010 during the ongoing conflict.  This is nothing but blatant fear mongering by Stephen Harper and should be cast aside accordingly. 2. Lock Up The Left For godsakes, could the Liberals, NDP, and Greens please come together and form one party? Yes, it moves Canada into an American-style two-party model but look…
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