Category Archives: social media

Time to Pay Attention

When people ask me what political party I support, the best answer I can give is, it’s complicated. My views and beliefs are constantly changing and evolving and don’t all fit into one nice and neat political party. I like to listen to a wide variety of opinions before developing my own, so nobody should draw any inference from the fact I follow any particular journalist, author, blogger or media source. I regularly read or follow the Toronto Sun, Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, National Post, Huffington Post, New York Times, CNN, CBC, Macleans, and so many more. So you get the idea – I listen to everyone, mull things over in my head, align what I hear to my own beliefs and values, and come up with my opinions.

I came of age in Toronto reading this new cool little newspaper called The Sun. It was a tabloid format and easier to read on the subway. Many of the journalists came from the defunct Telegram and the newspaper provided a flip side to the news reported by the Toronto Star.  When Sun News Network was launched, I have to admit I never watched it. I don’t watch much television to begin with and this network reminded me of Fox News in the US; high on drama and conspiracy and low on actual facts.

I admit to initially not knowing The Rebel Media and Ezra Levant were from the ashes of that network, and when I found out, it didn’t really matter. I was just listening so I subscribed to their newsletter. It didn’t take long for me to realize that there was absolutely nothing I could learn from these kooks. Besides the constant emails asking for donations, it quickly became clear that they were not about advocating for responsible government or anything like that. At one point I actually started thinking they were a shill for Stephen Harper’s conservative government, with overtones of xenophobia, Islamophobia, and sometimes antisemitic.  Long after I unsubscribed I heard stories of them inciting fear about Romanian immigrants, supporting neo-nazi groups – sorry, I believe they now call themselves white nationalists – and publishing antisemitic videos.

So it wasn’t a huge surprise that The Rebel (and Ezra Levant) are now imploding. And it isn’t a surprise to learn that Joe Oliver – former finance minister with Harper’s government – is listed as one of their contributors. What is a surprise is learning that Andrew Scheer – newly elected head of the Federal Conservative party – and his campaign manager are tightly involved with this circus.  Hamish Marshall, Scheer’s campaign manager, even served on the board of The Rebel Media – well, until it became politically inconvenient for him to do so last week.

After the incident in Charlottesville, VA, groups like this are no longer kooky fringe groups. If allowed to exist and thrive, they are dangerous – dangerous enough to drive their cars into crowds of innocent people. If we can condemn terrorism from Islamic forces, why is domestic terrorism any different?

I despise this brand of politics. It’s the politics of hate and fear. I will always choose hope over fear. I will always feel that every culture and race is as important as mine. I will always vote for inclusion and equality. For those who want to even joke about ethnic cleansing, you have no place in MY Canada. It’s a vile way to think and it sickens me – my father and father in law fought against the Nazis in WWII and it seems there’s a new generation that has grown up without that shadow that now want to espouse Hitler’s values.

We’ll have another election soon enough but be aware of the type of people you’re voting for when you vote for Conservatives. Trump politics in Canada? It can happen if we don’t pay attention.

Pay attention and start listening.

Conservatives won’t say whether they will cut all ties with Rebel media

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This is Me!

Wanted to quickly share somethings, so I guess this is a “quicky” post.

I did one of those stupid Facebook quizzes today – the kind of thing I tell everyone NOT to do because they’re just mining your friends and personal information. I was bored though. It resulted in a word cloud made up of my most often used words on Facebook. I have to admit, I think they got this right, because when I think of the things that matter most to me, this is it.

This is ME!

Don’t click it though, because it won’t take you anywhere. I hate those types of things. Except this one.

Stronger, Freer – A Celebration of Canada

“The work you do while you procrastinate is probably the work you should be doing for the rest of your life.”

That’s a quote from Jessica Hische, but how many of us have the opportunity to turn our passions into our work? Maybe there’s a compromise. Some companies/universities offer their tenured employees the chance to take a sabbatical and what a wonderful opportunity that could be. A year to re-ignite your passion and follow your heart.

Steve Harvey said that in order to achieve great success, sometimes you have to jump. You will never be a huge success by doing the same thing day after day and never taking a chance, never following our passion, never dreaming that we can soar.

A couple I worked with for several years are doing just that. They’ve jumped and they’re taking a break from their professional careers to follow a passion of theirs. That passion led to the creation of Stronger, Freer. In honour of Canada’s 150th birthday, our sesquicentennial, Stronger Freer tells the story of a struggling Canadian family over the course of 150 years from Confederation through to present day, in a series of vignettes. It’s going to be playing June 15, 17, 18 at Nineteen on the Park in Stouffville, Ontario – even though it’s not on the calendar yet, the venue is booked and I predict it will sell out fast, so keep an eye on their calendar.

Two ordinary people taking a leap of faith to use their gifts and share their passion for Canada and for theatre with everyone else. I’m envious. And honoured to know them. They are setting an example for all of us and giving all of us this fabulous gift. You won’t want to miss it.





#Canada150 #CrazyPassionateCanadians #Stouffville #Sesquicentennial #StrongerFreer

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How Reliable are Employer Reviews? the beginning of time, people have passed judgement – on their neighbours, on their country and leaders, on their merchants, on their family, and of course, on their employers. It’s never been easier though than it is right now, in this technological age.

Are you upset with how you were treated in a restaurant or store? Post it on Facebook for all your friends to see. But, as Phil Ochs, a folk singer in the 60’s, once wrote “it wouldn’t interest anyone outside of a small circle of friends”.

You may take it to a larger stage with websites like or  For the most part, the reviews on these site are more balanced. People review both positive and negative and where there are negative reviews, companies can reach out and respond to you. It might just be an apology, or it might be an offer to get in touch with them so they can send you a gift certificate or some other means of making amends.

Even the Better Business Bureau has space for you to review a business and allows businesses to add their perspective, so that consumers have a chance to see both sides of any review.

There’s a certain amount of anonymity associated with many online reviews, and people are more likely to speak about their experiences, good or bad, when they don’t have to identify themselves. There are basically three types of people who post reviews:

  • People who are unhappy or upset.
  • People who are friends of the owners of the business and want to do something nice.
  • People who are paid to post positive reviews (or negative reviews of competitors).

There’s another kind of review trend that’s a bit disturbing – where people can rate their doctor, rate their teacher/professor or rate their employer. I find this trend disturbing because the people who post usually have a vendetta or an agenda, and the party being judged is often denied the opportunity of rebuttal. Even in a legal situation an accused is afforded the opportunity to face their accuser. Not so on these sites.

Maybe you are the patient from hell and your doctor won’t give you a prescription for antibiotics for your cold (don’t laugh, I’ve seen it). Let’s face it – not all doctors have a great bedside manner but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re not going to give you the best treatment. You can ruin a doctor’s reputation though by going to one of the myriad of sites and telling the world how terrible they are. Maybe your little Mary-Lou is the class bully and the teacher suspended her. You can go online and tell the world what a terrible teacher she is and that is going to last online forever. You can negatively impact someone’s ability to make a living, and there’s nothing they can do about it because you’re anonymous.

The same is true of sites that facilitate employer reviews. How can an employer respond to a disgruntled employee who might have been let go for just cause, who has posted online about what a crappy employer they were? Imagine if a company is going through a restructuring phase and lets a number of people go. That could mean a lot of negative reviews.

In addition to the negative comments, misinformation or outdated information may be posted. Some sites allow you to outline benefits and bonuses. If any of those things change, you can’t tell by reading these inaccurate or outdated reviews.

A recent article in mentioned that some of these online rating sites are negatively impacting companies’ ability to attract good talent. Here’s my advice: potential employees need to take any online rating site that is clearly one-sided and biased with a grain of salt. Never, ever let that stop you from interviewing with a company. You can even use LinkedIn to see what contacts you can find in the company and reach out to them for their opinions. Absolutely mention what you have read in the ratings if it causes you concern, and hear what they have to say. That’s called being fair.

If a company has 200 employees, and 2 employees a year give the company a negative review, that’s 1%. Are you really going to made a career decision based on the opinions of that 1%? If you’re going to let unfair and biased reviews affect whether or not to even accept an interview at the company, then the company is better off without you. Only small-minded people make decisions without having all of the information. Intelligent and analytical people know the importance of including all variables and relevant data in their decision-making process.