Category Archives: Camping

Time for Southern New Brunswick to build one central airport #nbpoli

Posted on January 7, 2011 by

WestJet just announced it is cancelling its summer service to Saint John, NB because it was not profitable. This should be a wake up call to everyone that the time has come for one large, centralized international airport for the province, and I suggest Sussex.

It will be a hard sell. There are too many egos involved and not enough cooperation, particularly within the municipalities, but it is a necessary step. Our entire province barely qualifies as a mid-sized metropolitan city elsewhere. We don’t need an airport in every hamlet. Southern NB only has about 500,000 people between the 3 major cities and surrounding areas, yet we have three competing airports??? That’s absurd.

Sussex is accessible from all three major Southern NB metro area in less than an hour, which is more than reasonable for access to a decent-sized airport with international travel capabilities. Most of us already drive to Halifax or Bangor to take advantage of cheap flights because the Saint John airport is less than useful in many cases. Why would a 45 minute jaunt to Sussex bother us?

Take a look at the outlying areas of Toronto. Most of them are larger than the entire Southern NB area, but they don’t each have their own airports. They travel, sometimes several hours, to Pearson Airport in Toronto without question.

Building one large airport in the Sussex area would build business opportunities in the Sussex area, as well as foster spin-off enterprises such as shuttle and parking services elsewhere, not to mention the added incentive of larger companies having better access to the area. New Brunswick must begin to acknowledge we are a very small fish in a very big pond, and to survive we must streamline how we do business and change the way we think or we will die off fast in the modern, global economy.

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Twain classics to drop racial slur is purely #censorship

Posted on January 5, 2011 by

According to this article, “NewSouth Books in Alabama is to publish a combined volume of the books in February that will make the alteration.”

According to their blog post

“In a bold move compassionately advocated by Twain scholar Dr. Alan Gribben and embraced by NewSouth, Mark Twain’s Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn also replaces two hurtful epithets that appear hundreds of times in the texts with less offensive words, this intended to counter the “preemptive censorship” that Dr. Gribben observes has caused these important works of literature to fall off curriculum lists nationwide.”

“Bold move”??? Hogwash. Censorship by any other name remains the same. While I understand the desire to "not offend", Twain’s writings are more than just works of literary genius, they are a representation of a period in time. During his time, this was how the people spoke and wrote. We should not try to hide this, we should educate people so that it never happens again! To change his work is to attempt to change history. Stalin was a master of this practice. I don’t suggest anyone follow him as a role model…

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Buy Local? Not at Irving / Circle K Stores! #buylocal

Posted on September 9, 2010 by

Yesterday, while on a work trip to Fredericton, I made a quick stop at an Irving / Circle K store in Welsford, New Brunswick. Pretty straight forward stop. I wanted a drink and a snack and rather than roll on over to the junk food aisles, I decided to step smartly up to the “fresh” produce area and help myself to an apple. It is Fall in New Brunswick, that’s apple season, and I love a good, fresh apple! Imagine my surprise when I started to peel the ubiquitous PLU code sticker and noticed it said “Chile”…

So after an initial angry Tweet and a Facebook status rant, a little birdie sent me some very interesting info (I love social media)… Let’s use it to put the pressure on for “Buy Local”! The items in ( italics ) are my additions!

Circle K is an international chain of convenience stores. It is owned and operated by the Canadian-based Alimentation Couche-Tard (here’s the Wikipedia link) – Not Irving. (I knew that part, Irving leased their sites to them in the summer of 2008. But Irving has the power to influence them – I hope!)

All purchasing decisions have to be approved by head office – and since local produce isn’t available year-round, they only allow produce contracts with suppliers who can provide year-round availability. (Lazy Jerks…)

It’s EXTREMELY hard to get approval for a purchasing contract through head office. Apparently the big stop in Miramichi sells local, but he is an anomaly because head office doesn’t like it! (Good to see some of them are doing it the right way)

Their website purports to putting 1% of net earnings to the support of youth, health, welfare, and humanitarian causes. That all sounds great, but by buying our apples from Chile and shipping them thousands of miles to Eastern Canada – particularly when there are magnificent local apples hanging on the trees all around New Brunswick – they are destroying the environment, damaging our health with under-nourished imported fruits and vegetables, and negatively impacting the future for these same youth. My “fresh” apple from Irving / Circle K has made a journey of many thousands of miles to get to me…

From their Operations Team page, it appears Michel Bernard is their Eastern Canada Operations VP, so he might be a great one to send your complaints to!

I am sure if Mr. Bernard was truly interested in helping create a sustainable food supply for the people his company says it helps with 1% of net earnings, he could find a very high-quality supply of local apples simply by contacting the following people:

APPLE GROWERS OF NEW BRUNSWICK
168 Cyr Street
Dieppe, NB
E1A 7Z1
Euclide Bourgeois, Chairman
Paul LeBlanc, Secretary-Manager
Tel: (506) 386-8100
Fax: (506) 461-1627

What does this mean??? Well, it looks like it is time to get a grassroots campaign started! I haven’t pissed off a multinational company in weeks…

Here’s some contact information, let’s get started!

Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc.
4204 Industriel Blvd.
Laval, Quebec, Canada
H7L 0E3
Tel : (450) 662-6632 or (800) 361-2612
Fax : (450) 662-6648

info@couche-tard.com

investor.relations@couche-tard.com

Footnote: Once we are done with Irving / Circle K, we need to start working on Sobeys for the same practices, but that’s a rant for another day!

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The Happy Camper

Posted on April 10, 2006 by

OK, so I am not sure of the protocol behind camping vehicles. Maybe it doesn't qualify as an “official RV”, but, after getting over the sticker price of new ones at the RV show, getting a used tent trailer seemed a much better idea!

Aidan had a ball bouncing around in it, checking out all the little nooks and crannies. It had a bunch of “add-on” features that are really useful – the kind of thing you need to buy after-market and just keep spending money on as you go. They decided to get out of camping, so it was easier for them to give it to us than figure out what to do with it all!

It actually has more room than a travel trailer we looked at (the pop-up trailers have the ends that expand out for sleeping quarters that give you more room inside). Plus, Nadine was a little nervous about hauling a large trailer behind our van. She figures she would be OK to drive pulling this one.

If we really get into the camping thing, we may look at a new, larger one in a few years, but this one should serve us well until then!>

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