SEPT 2021

  1. Editorial (3)
  2. Virtual meeting with NY Times Bestselling author: Alka Jaipur (2)
  3. From City Councilors (5)
  4. From the federal election campaign trail (4)
  5. Health calculators: heart attack (optional)
  6. Are you a writer? WAG (Writers Assc. Group) news (3)
  7. 5 distracting things to do online (optional)
  8. Upcoming events calendar (1)


The newsletter header sums it up: an election in the midst of a fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Health issues abound, people are dying, risks of contracting the illness continue with any public gathering but our PM has decided it is the opportune time for Canadians to hold an election.

Sugarplum  fairies

Trudeau believed his strong polls at the start would result in a majority government. Dreams of sugar plum fairies and majorities dance in his head. As we write the newsletter, the poll lead has vaporized like the morning fog in the warming sunshine. But polls are about as dependable and solid as the nebulous morning mist.

The more disappointing aspect of Canadian elections is that voters are handcuffed. They cannot vote for the office of the Prime Minister. Instead, they vote for the candidate running in their local riding, “first past the post.”

The problem is if the local candidate handcuffs your vote. The Prime Minister is determined by the party that wins the most seats in the House of Commons. The difficulty for a voter is they may dislike the local candidate but like a particular leader. So one must vote for the ‘devil’ in order to give their chosen ‘angel’ the victory.

Tough situation

Trudeau has a rather tainted record that makes him questionable as ‘good’

material for the office of PM. Consider these blemishes:

  1. WE ..remember that?
  2. Family members cashing in on WE remuneration
  3. Vaccine contract badly negotiated
  4. Misogynistic treatment of Raybold-Wilson
  5. 25 years of undrinkable water on Indigenous lands
  6. Badly equipping RCMP force in Maritimes
  7. Inept vetting of Julie Payette for the office of GG
  8. Failure to complete missing indigenous women cases in western Canada
  9. Buying oil pipeline project that was rejected by the USA
  10. Failure to implement unified COVID strategy for all Canadians
  11. Continued misogynism in RCMP and Canada’s military
  12. Continued questionable vetting process: Canada’s defence chief Art McDonald for allegations of misconduct.
  13. Vaccine purchases were ongoing purchase confusion
  14. Pharmacare…who cares
  15. Child care…so many strings attached, fuggedaboutit!
  16. $500 ‘gift’ for seniors, promised moons ago, delivered with the election writ !

Rather than a henna brush, Alka Joshi tattoos her readers with verbal designs that leave long lasting impressions.

India born, United States raised almost her whole life, to label Joshi an American or a Californian would be inaccurate. She has retained her love, respect and devotion to the culture of her parental roots, so strongly, she may be better labeled an Indian in America.

The Stanford and the California College of Arts educated author published her debut novel, The Henna Artist, when she was 62.

Her second novel of her planned trilogy, The Secret Keeper of Jaipur, also attained New York Times Bestseller status and was selected by the Reese Witherspoon Bookclub.

The lead characters of her books have been based on real life models, her mother and relatives and friends from Jaipur to where she travels often on research trips. Her current research destination is Paris for her next novel set in the perfume industry.

Alka Joshi
Guest speaker
Writers Advisory Group

Sept 15, 7 pm

Register for ZOOM credentials:


From the City Councilors…

From Councillor Brenner’s desk….

The latest update from the City regarding COVID-19:

City of Pickering Mandates COVID-19 Vaccination for Municipal Employees

To better safeguard the health and safety of staff, residents, and the broader community, the City of Pickering is implementing a mandatory vaccination procedure requiring that all municipal employees receive at least two doses of COVID-19 vaccines by November 1, 2021.

All employees will be required to submit a proof of COVID-19 vaccination. Staff who cannot submit documentation will be required to attend mandatory vaccine education training and subsequently provide proof of first dose. Exemptions will only be made for legitimate Ontario Human Rights Code requests.

The mandatory vaccination procedure follows on the robust and stringent protocols and actions that the City had already put in place at the onset of the pandemic, such as: in house contact tracing; installation of Plexiglas barriers; demarcation systems for physical distancing; hand sanitization stations; enforcing mask protocols and provision of other safety supplies; limiting in-office staffing levels and capacity limits; and daily self-screening using a customized app.

The Mayor and Members of Council have each received two doses of COVID-19 vaccines and fully support the mandatory vaccination procedure for staff.

Maurice Brenner
Durham Regional Councillor Alternate
City Councillor Ward 1
City of Pickering



From Councillor Butt’s desk….

The legacy of the 2020 Olympics: a civics lesson for the world

The Olympics are over, but the lesson they have tried to teach should never end.

The Olympic Games were born in ancient Greece, where democracy was also born. The athletic competitions were held quadrennially until around 400 AD, when they were stopped until the modern Olympics were resurrected and only stopped during the World Wars of the 20th century. During the first competitions, Greece was in a state of constant war, but the Greeks demonstrated a spirit of diplomacy when they recognized an Olympic Truce during the festival times permitting athletes safe travel between warring cities.

Olympics are more than athletics

The ancient democracy respected all freeborn Greeks as equals. Ironically, women were excluded. The modern games Olympics try to broaden that philosophy of equality beyond the imagination of any ancient Greek. Racial, religious, social, economic, and national barriers are set aside during the games. Today’s Olympics have soared even higher with the philosophy of including all genders and sexes.

There is a civics lesson to be learned: universal equality where every competitor is equal to every other. Nationalism is strong in every competing country as nationalities cheer their own athletes loudest. But the real spirit of equality wins as the athletes themselves demonstrate. Inevitably the athletes disregard nationalities embracing and congratulating each other regardless of their country of origin. Human achievement wins the gold and stands on the podium of victory.

This is the civics lesson is the legacy of the Olympics. Not competition between races, religions or social groups but rather competition of equals. The competitors demonstrate this after each event. When a match concludes, inevitably the competitors embrace one another, not just their own teammates but their opponents as well.

The Olympics games in their purest form represent a union of all humanity, a union of every nation, every region, every city, and every human. We are all equal, brothers and sisters, on the same planet.

Though we are each unique individuals, we are united in habitat. The common thread weaving us together is global humanity, no differences, racial, religious, economic, social, gender or otherwise. The Olympics lesson is fundamental and universal. It should be practiced and exercised throughout the world. We may be individuals but we are one humanity. One people, one humankind, one community, living together, sharing this planet as one family.

The 2020 Olympics were a resounding success despite the pandemic. Every athlete was a winner. Every nation reached the podium. The Olympic lesson should be remembered here in our City of Pickering every day.

Shaheen Butt
Durham Regional Councillor Alternate
City Councillor Ward 3
City of Pickering


From the campaign trail…

A request asking for a comment or a description of their campaign position was sent to each candidate with many days’ notice about the publication deadline.

Only two candidates responded The Liberals, Jennifer O’Connell and the People’s Party of Canada, Corneliu Chisu. The Conservative Party candidate, Jacob Mantle, had not submitted any response before the publishing deadline.

You can vote in person or you can vote by mail.

Voters who want to vote by mail should contact Elections Canada very early in September as a mail voting kit is sent to individuals via Canada Post.

Click to access ELECTIONS CANADA

Connecting with the Conservative Pickering-Uxbridge candidate was near impossible. Hence, the strikethrough text below:

Jacob____ Mantle is the current Conservative Party of Canada candidate. We have tried connecting with him in numerous ways: email, numerous        phone calls and even reaching out through O’Toole’s office.

All attempts were to no avail.

Voters_ who may be considering voting for the Conservatives, should give the consideration serious review. If a candidate is difficult to reach___ in the heat of a campaign, imagine trying to connect with him outside of one.

Perhaps the Conservative Party of Canada is simply having questionable luck with their candidates in the Pickering-Uxbridge constituency. Their previous candidate in the riding was also unreachable in any way, The election results reinforced her value to the party. She came last in the election results. Just desserts.

The same situation is happening in this election.

We recommend very serious reconsideration in voting for this candidate.

JACOB MANTLE: 905 904 2627
289 207 5255
Conservative central:___ 1-866-808-8407
O’Toole  Durham office_____ 1-866-436-1141

From Jennifer O’Connell…

Pickering is where I have had the good fortune to grow up and where I am proud to live today. I have served my community since 2006 as a City Councillor, Regional Councillor, Deputy Mayor and Member of Parliament for Pickering-Uxbridge.

As a Member of Parliament, I have served as a member of the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians (NSICOP,) as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, and most recently as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health.

Throughout my time in office, I have had the privilege of working on the issues that matter most to our community. The sidewalks I walked on to get to school are the same ones I worked to improve during my time on council. Every day, I work hard to maintain and improve the rich natural environments in Pickering, the parks and the green spaces where I played as a child.

I have always believed that politics can serve as a force for good, a means of improving life for everyone. As our community recovers and rebuilds from the impacts of the pandemic, I continue that belief now, more than ever. Nonetheless, as we move forward, we need to reflect on the issues that COVID-19 has brought to light. Having one of the hardest-hit long-term care homes in the country, I recognize that we have more work to do.

Socially, my colleagues and I have begun advocating for the creation and enforcement of national standards for Long Term Care Homes. Our Government has announced that we will be partnering with the provinces and territories to establish new standards for Long-Term Care, ones which will improve care for the aged residents living there. We are also working to amend the Criminal Code to penalize those responsible for neglecting our seniors in care. With these initiatives, we are confident of addressing and filling the gaps that need improvement in the social system of our country.

As residents of Pickering-Uxbridge transitioned to working from home to help stop the spread of COVID-19, we are dedicated to improving and ensuring access to affordable high-speed Internet as a needed priority for everyone.

I heard your concerns and I am proud that we will be delivering additional investments into the areas of concern which we have described.

Economically, I am very pleased with our response which has bridged Canadians through this pandemic crisis.

I am asking for your vote this September in order to continue the progress we have started. Vital issues and concerns remain in our community. I am asking you to stand with me and vote for real ambitious leadership with bold policies that will move Canada forward – for everyone.

Jennifer O’Connell
Federal Liberal candidate for Pickering-Uxbridge

I am Corneliu Chisu a Professional Engineer and a retired Major from the Canadian Armed Forces Engineers with service in Bosnia Herzegovina and Afghanistan (Kandahar 2007). I also served as a Conservative Member of Parliament for Pickering Scarborough East (2011-2015). I joined the People’s Party of Canada in 2019 primarily because the Conservative Party has abandoned basic conservative principles in regard to society and the economy, and has become a party bent solely on buying votes and with the leaders only promoting themselves. I continue to stand for freedom, fairness, respect and personal responsibility, the fundamental principles of the People’s Party of Canada. I will continue fighting for freedom of speech and democracy for Canada at all costs. As a person who lived his early life under the yoke of communism and a totalitarian regime, my duty is to warn my fellow Canadians of the dangerous path our main political parties are taking our society. Woke culture, denial of history, taking control over your body by threatening your livelihood are not in my plans. I will fight for the democratic values for which Canada was known before. The only party that has the courage to act for the people of Canada, despite being ignored by the corrupt mainstream media is the People’s Party of Canada under the leadership of Maxime Bernier. I invite you, the voter, to vote for the Great Canadian Awakening. Vote PPC! Vote Corneliu Chisu in Pickering-Uxbridge!

Corneliu Chisu
Federal People’s Party of Canada candidate for Pickering-Uxbridge


Health Calculators



Are you a writer?

Writers Advisory Group (WAG) is a not-for-profit association of aspiring and established writers with the mission of being ‘Writers Helping Writers.’ It is a group of published and experienced writers who facilitate the exchange of their writing experience to help authors in their literary endeavours.

If you’re a writer, novice or experienced, published or not, and are passionate about it, consider joining WAG. It is a group of writers dedicated to helping each other and other writers at becoming better writers. The group shares experienced advice and valuable ideas relating to the business of writing.

Membership is free and WAG meetings are held monthly. For more information about WAG, contact


5 distracting things to do online

  1. Google yourself

Google your own name. View the results.

  1. Listen to a Radio program

National Public Radio and Public Radio International have programs

available online.

  1. Play some online games,, and

  1. Visit an art museum – Some favorites:

Louvre in Paris, Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, Metropolitan Museum of

Art in New York, and Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam

  1. Laugh: GoComics


Upcoming events

Sept 15 Bestselling author, Alka Joshi, WAG guest speaker By Registration only

Sept 20 Federal Election Day

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