Friday, September 28, 2012

The many reasons why Canada's national libraries must be saved.

  1. When he was Canada's Minister of National Defence from 1963 to 1967, Paul Hellyer saw files relating to unidentified flying objects. Mr. Hellyer believes that evidence confirming the existence of UFO's is being covered up. Former American Presidents Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter; USSR Leader Mikhail Gorbachev and Professor Stephen Hawking believe in the existence of alien races; and the following American astronauts actually saw UFO's:
 Major Gordon Cooper; Donald Slayton; Major Robert White; Joseph A. Walker; Commander Eugene Cernan; Ed White and James McDivitt; James Lovell and Frank Borman; Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin; and Maurice Chatelain and Scott Carpenter. If the Defence Department throws away its archives, all DND reports about extraterrestrial sightings and alien encounters with human beings will be lost forever. 
The Honourable Paul Hellyer (third from left) with the Rt. Hon. Lester Pearson, 14th Prime Minister of Canada; the Rt. Hon. John Diefenbaker, 13th Prime Minister of Canada, and the Honourable Tommy Douglas, Leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada from 1961 until 1971.(From: The Shaw Family collection of photographs.)

2.  Historical documents could explain why the Diefenbaker government scrapped the Avro Arrow. February 20, 1959 is known as "Black Friday" in Canadian history. The $400 million dollar Avro Arrow became a pile of scrap metal; 14,525 aviation employees lost their jobs, and the Avro Arrow is known as "Canada's Broken Dream". According to legend, parts of the delta-winged interceptor plane were smuggled out of the country, or buried in Toronto; and some of the blueprints may have been rescued from shredding machines.  Dan Aykroyd starred in the four-hour miniseries "The Arrow" (1997) which I have not seen in years, I hope the CBC will rebroadcast the miniseries, it was excellent:
The Avro Arrow, built at Malton, Ontario.
 3.   The Chibougamau military base in Quebec sat on top of the Chibougamau Goldfields; coincidentally, the radar base was decommissioned, and bought by Remax and a metal company.
In 2006, the EnCana Corporation planned to drill 1,275 new shallow gas wells, and install pipelines within the CFB Suffield Alberta National Wildlife Area. I hope the British Columbia government NEVER  gets ownership of the Pacific Rim; Gulf Islands; Mount Revelstoke; Kootenay; Glacier; Yoho and Gwaii Haanas National Parks. However, the Fraser Institute is quite influential, and their recommendations are taken seriously . (Google "Introduction When a Country").

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Malcolm Brighton was an English balloonist who attempted to cross the Atlantic Ocean in a hybrid balloon called "The Free Life" in 1970. His passengers were actress Pamela Brown, the daughter of a Kentucky politician and sister of a future Kentucky governor, and her husband Rodney Anderson.


Canada's Fahrenheit 451 - the destruction of our national libraries.

Fahrenheit 451 is a novel by Ray Bradbury, about a totalitarian society where books are burned, by a government that wants to suppress ideas.
German-Jewish poet Heinrich Heine once said: "Wherever books are burned, human beings are destined to be burned too."
Canada's collective written and photographic history is being gutted---Library and Archives Canada; and the Agriculture Canada, Environment Canada, Transport Canada, Citizenship and Immigration, Industry Canada, National Defence, Public Works and Government Services, National Capital Commission and Public Service Commission of Canada libraries have been told to decentralize, photograph, and get rid of their collections.
The National Capital Commission is the custodian of Canada's official residences, including 24 Sussex Drive, Rideau Hall and 7 Rideau Gate. I know for a fact that Library and Archives Canada has hundreds of historic photographs of NCC buildings in Ottawa.

 Pierre Berton used LAC material for his books about the history of the Canadian Pacific Railway, and the Dionne quintuplets.
According to "Canadian Geographic Contributors-Charlotte Gray" - "Charlotte Gray has been exploring Canada in the 1800s since she began writing biographies of 19th century women eight years ago...She spends months researching her books in the National Archives of Canada..."
The house where Sir John A. Macdonald lived for so many years in Ottawa is owned by the British Consulate. The only way Canadians can see Earnscliffe is through photographs at the National Archives, and in books.
It is considered an act of war, to destroy a country's historic buildings, iconic statues and museums.
The destruction of the greatest library in the world, the Library of Alexandria in Egypt, is still lamented by historians. According to the article "The Burning of the Library of Alexandra" by Preston Chesser:   "The real tragedy of course is not the uncertainty of knowing who to blame for the Library's destruction but that so much ancient history, literature and learning was lost forever."
Between 1996 and 2001, Conrad Black's company Hollinger paid over $9.6 million dollars for American president Roosevelt's  documents.
Every year, thousands of tourists from Japan make a pilgrimage to Lucy Maud Montgomery's farmhouse in Cavendish, Prince Edward Island. I am sure that "Anne of Green Gables" memorabilia could fetch a high price at Sotheby's auction houses.

Photographs of the Ballroom at Rideau Hall,  and the Royal Suite at Government House in Ottawa:

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Political campaign buttons, collected by my family.

Why government buildings should be owned by the people.

  1. GOC buildings were built by the people of Canada...they are Crown assets.
  2. The C.D. Howe Building in Ottawa houses Industry Canada, the Office of the Auditor General of Canada and the Passport Office. Canadian passports are a hot commodity on the black market; identity theft is a major international problem. Privatizing federal buildings is tantamount to handing criminals the keys to the kingdom, a treasure trove of documents that can be forged.
  3. GOC buildings store and produce classified documents, they own machinery that prints money, and the Royal Canadian Mint stores tonnes of gold. The vaults at the Revenue Canada Building, the Connaught Building, store millions of Canadian tax dollars. I often visit Library and Archives Canada,  LAC is now "divesting" thousands of documents; photographic material, maps, letters---
     Glenn Gould a voluminous amount of material to the Archives, including his hats and fingerless gloves, diaries, letters... An American woman stole Glenn Gould documents from LAC, and tried to sell them on E-Bay, LAC officials flew down to Texas to retrieve the items. Many Canadians donated their archives to LAC, including architect Arthur Erickson, Malak Karsh, Moshe Safdie, Roloff Beny and Douglas Cardinal. Cultural property, donated in good faith, should remain in Canada; not scattered to the wind, or sold on the Internet.
  4. Many federal buildings, in particular post offices and the CNR train stations, were heritage buildings. Once a heritage building is transferred from a federal Crown corporation or agency, the museum, armoury, aircraft hangar, etc.  loses all heritage protection. The Grand Trunk railway station on Montreal Street in Kingston, Ontario is crumbling, and blue tarp covers the roof.  What a shameful way to treat Canada's architectural history. In the United States, federal buildings are called "symbols of democracy".

    1973 photographs of the Grand Trunk Railway Station in Kingston, Ontario.
     People contact Service Canada if they want to apply for, or get information about:  Permanent Resident Cards; Temporary Resident Cards; Work Visas; Social Insurance cards; GST/HST credits; Canadian passports; Employment Insurance; Apprenticeship grants; the Canada Pension Plan; the CPP Disability Plan; Old Age Security; Maternity Benefits; Universal child-care tax benefits; The Guaranteed Income Supplement; the Veteran's Disability Fund; the War Veteran's Allowance...the list goes on. The Joseph Shepard Building is also a Canadian Forces Recruiting Centre.The Americans would never sell their FBI National or Regional Headquarters; the National Archives in Washington D.C.; the Pentagon; the Smithsonian or any other world-renowned American government institution. The reason? National security. In Canada, a former RCMP building in Toronto is a luxury hotel:

The Grand Hotel on Jarvis Street in Toronto, Ontario.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Monday, September 10, 2012

Canada Post is being dismantled.

The Harper government is finishing what the Mulroney government started---the complete dismantling of an important, necessary Crown corporation, Canada Post.
During the early 1980's, Canada Post owned 2,200 buildings with an approximate market value of $1.4 billion dollars. (See the 1984 Report of the Auditor General of Canada - Chapter 13 - 13.6).
A law created by the Mulroney government, The Canada Post Corporation Act (1985) encouraged the privatization of thousands of CP buildings, land, vintage equipment, photographs, stamp collections...
At one time, a National Postal Museum was going to be constructed in Ottawa, but the museum was never built. 
The Canadian government is currently selling four Canada Post properties in Toronto, Ontario; many Torontonians are protesting the decision, because they know exactly what will happen to the properties---they will be bulldozed to make way for condo developments:

50 Charles Street in Rosedale, Toronto.

Postal Station K at 2384 Yonge Street is The Montgomery's Tavern National Historic Site of Canada, an important site at the Rebellion of 1837. The Tavern was the headquarters of William Lyon Mackenzie, leader of the Upper Canada Rebellion.

722 Dovercourt Road...The silver Canadian Coat of Arms plaque will be removed from the building when CB Richard Ellis sells it.
The 1992 Directory of Federal Real Property includes the three Canada Post properties that are currently on the market---772 Dovercourt Road; 50 Charles Street and 2384 Yonge Street. CP is also selling 1780 Avenue Road. The 1992 Directory of Federal Real Property can be found at Library and Archives Canada on Wellington Street in Ottawa:

For over 20 years, Canadians have bitterly complained about the removal of postal services from government buildings--- to pharmacies, gas stations and 7-11 stores:
                                        COMMONS DEBATES  February 1, 1988
                                            CANADA POST CORPORATION
                                      Complaint regarding parcel service in Kenora

Mr. John Parry (Kenora---Rainy River):  Mr. Speaker, Canadians are not being fooled by Canada Post's efforts instigated, aided and abetted by the Conservative Government to convince them that the removal of postal services from post offices across the country and placing them in private businesses is in their best interests.
     A growing percentage of our mail is now being handled in places where people do not give their undivided attention to it, as they are committed to running their business, and where the mail is placed in areas which are not secure. In many cases the locations of these outlets have changed with little notice, as exasperated operators give up this time consuming customer service.     
Back in 1981, I had to swear an Allegiance to Her Majesty the Queen, before I was allowed to work at the Conference Centre in Ottawa. I also wore a uniform, and  had a name tag. I cannot tell you how honoured, how proud I felt to be working in a federal government building.
I wonder if federal employees are still required to swear an Allegiance to the Queen...
" swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Canada, Her Heirs and Successors So help me God." 
My mother used to say "You cannot serve two masters". All Canada Post employees should wear uniforms and name tags, and they should never leave their stations-the Canada Post counter-to ring up items on the store cash register, or take out the trash, or clean and stock the shelves. And I'd like to see a few Canadian Maple Leaf Flags at Canada Post outlets.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The train doesn't stop here anymore...

The Canadian National Railway survived the Great Depression and two World Wars. The Mulroney government started the derailment of CN Rail, with the privatization of subsidiaries (CN hotels, CN Marine, Terra Nova) and the sale of train stations:
Augiust 16, 1991 - Order-in-Council - 1480 - Authority for the sale of the CNR Railway Station in Aurora, Ontario to GO Transit.

January 18, 1991 - Canadian National Railways Act - Approval of the entry into a sales agreement between Via Rail Canada Inc., Canadian National Railway and Canadian Pacific Limited of the Ottawa Station Building.
The CN Commercialization Act of 1995 led to the demise of Canada's first Crown corporation, a major industry that throughout its history employed thousands of Canadians.
 The mega-corporation is constantly removing railway lines, and train stations have been re purposed, abandoned or demolished...The other day, I saw a photograph in the newspaper of a train station being hauled away on a flatbed truck to a new location. At least the building was not vandalized, set on fire or left to rot (CN offered to give the Grand Trunk Railway Station in Kingston, Ontario to the City of Kingston, but the offer was turned down.)
Via Rail recently built a new station in Smiths Falls.
A Via Rail "stationette" in Smiths Falls, Ontario.
I'll show you what a REAL train station looks like:
Via is selling four acres of land surrounding the Halifax station.

The Thunder Bay, Ontario train station.

During the early 1970's I bought a  CNR  railway pass for only $120 dollars. The trip was unforgettable; my fellow travelers and I sang; knitted; talked endlessly; ate cheese sandwiches, granola (horse food) and potato chips; wrote letters and marveled at the scenery. I find it difficult to accept the fact that Bill Gates is a major CN Rail shareholder. Bill Gates even has the gall to appear on television programs and boast about how much he has profited from his investment. Our ancestors built the railway, physically and with their tax dollars. He, and Prince al Waleed bin Talal and Carl Icahn must think that Canadians are fools, to let a treasure like the CNR fall into their greedy hands.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Thursday, September 6, 2012

HRH The Duke of Edinburgh greeting dignitaries at an Ottawa airport in 1967.