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July 2017

Hamilton growth needs to be managed, including waterfalls

Jul 25, 2017 5:00 AM
Scott Thompson

Over a decade ago Hamilton started to promote itself as the ‘city of waterfalls’.

During that time the city was looking at anything and everything to climb out of a slump it had been in since the industrial core lost its prominence in the years before, taking with it, jobs and prosperity.

Fast forward to today and Hamilton is rejuvenated and reinventing itself as a vibrant city many are now flocking to for opportunity and growth.

Many of the seeds planted years ago are now taking root.

As a result the city of waterfalls, which no one knew about, is now an attraction for thousands every year.

And the party is growing.

With that influx comes more abuse of the area and the reality of the natural dangers surrounding waterfalls.

However, like with any success, comes the responsibly to manage it effectively.

That’s what is required for Albion Falls and the other area natural attractions.

Gone are the days when you could wonder as you wish without consequences.

What is needed now is a plan to operate these resources for the Hamilton we now live in, not the Hamilton of the past we were trying so desperately to change.

Change is good, but it does not come without consequences that need to be addressed.

The waterfalls are no different.

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We can learn a lot from other countries.

Jul 24, 2017 5:00 AM
Scott Thompson

We have just returned from a glorious vacation touring northern Italy.

We discovered the south a few years back with some friends who have old family there.

That’s a great advantage before ever boarding the plane.

A guide on a food tour said to us, Italy does some things incredibly well, and not so well.

Which, of course, you could say about any country.

Italy is an incredible example of diversity, melding ancient history and culture with a modern technological civilization.

High speed electric rail and LRT are interwoven around ancient ruins.

What they don’t have a handle on is graffiti, again, which you could say about a lot of cities.

What makes it stand out in Italy is, you wonder how such a man-made atrocity could be allowed to mask the beauty of what a civilization worked so painstakingly to build.

As a young country, Canada can learn a lot from the mistakes of our elder neighbours, no matter the issue.

I’m Scott Thompson.

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Khadr payout hard for Canadians to swallow

Jul 5, 2017 5:00 AM
Scott Thompson

We are now hearing the details of a deal reached between Omar Khadr and the Government of Canada.

The Supreme Court ruled the Canadian government did not do enough to protect the then teen from mistreatment at the notorious Guantanamo Bay U.S. military prison camp in Cuba.

He was lead a stray by his radical father to fight for the Taliban in Afghanistan and by 15 was lobbing grenades at U.S. soldiers.

One of them killing US army medic Sgt Christopher Speer.

After 10 years in incarceration, Khadr sued the Canadian government.

The end result is a formal government apology and just over $10 million from the country he calls home.

There are many minds much bigger than mine that say this is fair compensation from a country that prides itself as a leader in human rights.

But with that pride often comes the reality, the criminal is treated better than the victims and their families.

And considering a soldiers risk and reward for fighting these barbarians, and the cost one U.S. soldier paid, Canadians may find this ‘sunny ways’ payout very hard to swallow.

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Canada 150 history, now what???

Jul 4, 2017 5:00 AM
Scott Thompson

The pomp and circumstance came to a head this past weekend when Canada celebrated its 150 birthday.

Are you suffering from a Canada 150 hang over? Do you have the post 150 blues?

What do we do now that the party is over and everyone’s gone home?

What do we look forward to, 151?

It kind of like celebrating your 50th birthday.

There’s lots of hoopla, friends, lots of mile stone memories for a while but then what?

Waiting for 60, and a senior’s discount?

Hardly something to get you out of bed in the morning.

I guess it’s similar to the lull after the Christmas holiday.

At least with 150 there’s no weight gain, or stress from a big Visa bill waiting it the wings.

Although your natural gas bill did go up as per schedule.

I’m Scott Thompson.

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June 2017

Happy 150! Are you seeing red & white?

Jun 30, 2017 10:00 AM
Scott Thompson

This weekend we celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday.

Have you noticed an abundance of red and white popping up in your neighbourhood? I hope so.

Reluctantly, Canadians are slowly raising flags and getting in the mood for a sesqui centennial celebration.

With Canadians being a little more modest it seems we need more coaxing to show our colours and wave our flag.

If this was America acknowledging such an occasion the streets would be lined with red, white and blue.

I am old enough to vaguely remember our 100th birthday back in 1967.

In kindergarten we all received a commemorative pin of the centennial maple leaf.

Thanks to my mother, who never throws out anything, I still have it in the original government packaging.

I showed it to my kids and told them they will remember this Canada Day celebrating 150 years, just like I did, remembering 100.

This is a great opportunity for all generations to acknowledge how blessed we all are to live in Canada.

I’m Scott Thompson.

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Truth is out: Trump is his own "fake news"

Jun 23, 2017 5:00 AM
Scott Thompson

As if we needed any, we have further proof Donald Trump will be responsible for his own demise.

Yesterday the U.S. President admitted there are, in fact, no recordings of the meetings between former F.B.I. director James Comey and himself.

Really? What a surprise!

Then why did Trump bring it up in the first place?

It’s his office, wouldn’t he know?

The Trump camp alluded he was just trying to convince Comey to tell the truth at the congressional investigation into Russian collusion.

However, it was quite obvious, Comey said nothing flattering about Trump during his testimony.

Trump’s creation of a narrative suggesting there was a recording, is another example of Trump shooting from the hip, leaving his staff and the rest of the world trying to figure out if he is telling the truth or not.

For a person who constantly complains about “fake news” he certainly seems to be creating a lot of it himself.

After all, he was the one that started the thread.

Forget investigations, Russia, China, and North Korea, The Donald is a self-inflicted wound that can’t stop harming himself.

Here’s hoping the rest of the world isn’t collateral damage, as he shoots himself in the foot yet again.




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Canadian charged in U.S. terror attack, how will Trump react?

Jun 22, 2017 5:00 AM
Scott Thompson

A retired police lieutenant, now airport officer, has been stabbed in the neck in a terrorist attack at a Flint Michigan airport.

The person in custody charged with terrorism offenses is a 50 year old Canadian living with his family in Montreal.

Amor Ftouhi exited a washroom, where he dropped his bags, came out with a knife and yelled, “Allah is greater” in Arabic before stabbing the officer in the neck.

By sheer luck, the officer will recover.

Soon after, the RCMP raided the attacker’s family home in Montreal in cooperation with the FBI who is leading the investigation.

They feel it is an isolated incident and not part of a greater plan.

We have seen after the attack at a London mosque terrorism comes in every shape, size, colour, race and religion.

Canada welcomes all, but you know this will be fodder for those who think we are too politically correct when it comes to people’s ideology.

Proving we have still not found the balance between religious freedom and national security.

Many feared the day this may happen, when someone enters the U.S. from Canada and commits such a crime.

How long before Donald Trump’s version of the war on terror affects us here in Canada.

We are about to find out.

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Dog owners should be trained

Jun 21, 2017 5:00 AM
Scott Thompson

Why is it dog owners feel it is okay to let their dog do their business on your lawn?

Yes, most do stoop and scoop, but that’s not the point.

The urine, especially from female dogs, kills the grass and leave dead spots.

You just have to look at my neighbour’s yard to realize that.

Dog walkers in my hood have those extendable leashes which let the dog walk almost right up to your front door.

Since when is that okay?

Just because you’re standing on the street doesn’t mean your dog has a right to my lawn or garden.

When I was a kid walking my dog, we were taught to keep our animal off people’s property, unless invited.

It’s not as if there isn’t plenty for room for your dog to walk without using someone else’s lawn as your pet toilet.

Use your own lawn!

Would you like me to pee on your lawn?

This isn’t the fault of the pet, but owners who haven’t been trained properly in the responsibilities of dog ownership.

Perhaps the license, leash and mussel, should be on the owner, not the dog.

I’m Scott Thompson.

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Now that terrorism has crossed all walks of life, who do we blame

Jun 20, 2017 5:00 AM
Scott Thompson

The latest terror attack in London where a man ran his rental van into a crowd of Muslim worshipers as they exited their mosque has an odd twist of irony.

Proving the fight on terror has to evolve as the type of terrorist does.

At one time this was all about those who came from a faraway land with a different ideology and under appreciation of the world we live in.

It was about extremists who were using religion as a vehicle for their hate and destruction.

Then it was those traveling freely from one part of the world to the other recruiting and spreading the hate, while penetrating borders.

Followed by the home grown or domestic terrorist.

Someone who was raised in the western world but has been radicalized with the same extreme religious ideology to exploit their struggles in life.

And now we have the latest attack on the worshipers exiting the London mosque.

There doesn’t appear to be any religious ideology involved.

It doesn’t look like the attacker traveled to another part of the world as an ISIS sympathizer to gain knowledge and support.

There are no signs he studied to build a bomb and certainly didn’t appear to be willing to take his own life in the name of his God.

His background appears to be nothing more than a locally born and raised uneducated white guy who thinks all Muslims are terrorists.

How ironic is it he himself is now considered to be that terrorist, and those who he attacked actually protected him from an understandably angry crowd, who held him for police.

So now that terrorism seems to have crossed every walk of life, who do we blame?

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Thanks Aunt Shirley and Uncle John!

Jun 19, 2017 5:00 AM
Scott Thompson

This past weekend my cousins laid to rest their mother, my Aunt Shirley.

My Aunt Shirley was one of nicest, most generous people I’ve ever met.

She and her husband, Uncle John, were very inspirational and supportive of me choosing the unconventional career path I did.

As kids there was no better call to get on a hot weekend morning then from my Aunt Shirley.

It meant three words, pool party BBQ!

When we gathered to celebrate her life the room was filled with family, friends, and pictures of all I have described.

Something that plays out with families every day around the world.

It was said, funerals are not for the dead, but the living.

To teach us to stop and take stock of what is truly important in life.

So to the Aunt Shirley’s and Uncle John’s of world, from those of us who’ve lost you:

Thanks, message heard loud and clear!

I’m Scot Thompson.

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