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My Canadian Experience
Summary of activities to March through April 2007


I've mostly been working very hard on my web site getting more history up which actually includes a history of Inverness County in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. I'm also working to create a new Scots-Irish section on the site.

I've been getting in lots of emails from Maggie in Sarnia which is an hour up the road from me.  In several of these emails she is copying various newspaper articles and I'd noticed several to do with fire alarms. Seems if your house needs 2 of them and you don't have them when the fire engines arrive you get a $200 fine for each one missing or not operational. I then got another email in this time telling of a person in a trailer that had been woken by his fire alarm and was able to get out in time with his pets.  I think that decided me so off I went to Wal Mart and purchase 3 of them as I have three floors.  Got one special one that also detects other gasses. A couple of days later I got them up and so am now legal and hopefully now protected.  Actually, as I am a smoker this makes good sense.

I also took time to replace the plastic sheet extract from my hot air drier with an aluminum one which I was told would make things a lot more efficient.

Have also taken the first steps toward getting personal arms.  Just got to find out if I can do this in Canada or need to go through the Lord Lyons office in Scotland.

On Monday 9th April there was a ceremony in France to re-commemorate the Canadian monument at Vimy Ridge.

Why it's important to reflect on Vimy Ridge - From Monday's Globe and Mail

The deaths yesterday of six Canadian soldiers from the Royal Canadian Regiment on a dusty road west of Kandahar city represent this country's largest single-day loss in war since May 1953. A solemn Prime Minister Stephen Harper broke the news to veterans gathered in France for commemoration of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, which began on Easter Monday 90 years ago. Said the Prime Minister of the casualties: "Our hearts ache for them and their families." The loss gives Canadians today added cause for reflection on the bravery and sacrifice of their soldiers.

Vimy is important for many reasons. It was the first time that Canadians fought for king and country as a distinct national army, with all four divisions of the Canadian Corps entering the battle together. Their determined walk across no man's land, behind a creeping artillery barrage -- the largest in history up to that point -- called for almost unimaginable courage. The risk of death was extreme, and the losses were horrendous: more than 10,000 casualties, including 3,598 killed. Yet it ended in a monumental victory.

Canadian soldiers captured a strategic high ground, a fortified German position that French and British troops had repeatedly attacked over two years but failed to win. Not only did the victory at Vimy Ridge, along with other great Canadian sacrifices at the Somme and Passchendaele, help to turn the tide against Germany in the First World War, but they also helped to lay the groundwork for Canadian independence, resulting in Canada becoming a separate signatory to the Treaty of Versailles. Vimy Ridge is aptly characterized by historians as representing Canada's "coming of age."

All Canadians need to be aware of that poignant fact and, with the deaths in Afghanistan yesterday, aware also that it is the sacrifice of soldiers that keeps Canada strong and free.

You can read more about Vimy Ridge at http://www.civilization.ca/cwm/vimy/index_e.html

April of course is the month when you need to pay your tax in Canada and confess I got a bit of a shock when I got in my results from my accountant. I was nearly correct on what tax I was due to pay but then I was told that now that my tax has gone over $2,000 I now need to pay tax quarterly as I am self employed. That means in 2007 I am in fact now paying 2 years tax in one <gulp>.

April is also the month that we celebrate Tartan Day in Toronto and this year Jean Watson, the mother of Tartan Day, got the Scot of the Year award.  As it was myself that suggested her I was of course delighted for her. I got to pick her up in a stretch limo :-)

We also got a write up in the Sunday Post and they even pinched my picture!!!


Thanks to Ranald McIntyre for sending this to me.

April also saw me visiting the optician to get my eyes tested. Back in Scotland I got a full eye test every six months as part of me attending the diabetic clinic at the local hospital.  Since being in Canada I haven't had an eye test and so when I mentioned this to my doctor she arranged for me to have a full eye test. 

So... I will be returning in May to pick up two pairs of new reading glasses and I am to have an additional test with another specialist to check on some diabetic spots I have in my eyes and so it will be interesting to see how this plays out.

And so that completes my summary of things over this last couple of months.


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