Thursday, June 18, 2009

Bell Mobility screws it up again!

If this isn’t the worst company I’ve ever had to deal with, it certainly comes close. Unfortunately out here in Canada’s wasteland (all of 50 km from Ottawa) I have no choice in cellular providers so I’m stuck with these idiots.

Suddenly our cell phone stopped working – outbound calls “could not be completed as dialled” and incoming calls received a busy signal.

A trip to the Phone Store confirmed that there was nothing wrong with the phone itself and the ever-helpful(!) clerk provided a couple of numbers we could call at Bell Mobility to get some technical assistance. 

Enter auto-attendant hell until some combination of buttons pressed in frustration result in a real live person, Jose Garcia, taking the call.

After the requisite identity check, Jose Garcia allowed as how our account was out of funds and that’s why the phone stopped working.

Me: “How can that be? We’re on an automatic payment plan.”

Him: “Yes, but we had a computer problem a while back and the automatic payments didn’t work. Do you want me to top you up now?”

Me: “Did it ever occur to anyone at Bell to advise their customers?”

Him: “No. They all have to call in.”

Me: “Gawd I hate having to deal with you guys.”

Him: “Yes sir. Do you want me to top you up now?”

I can hardly wait for Flaherty to come calling to use more of my tax dollars to prop up this sorry excuse for a business.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

What the hell is going on?

Let’s just summarize the last few weeks:

Stephen Harper’s Conservatives and Dalton McGuinty’s provincial Liberals tag-team a $10+ billion bailout of GM and Chrysler. A significant portion of those dollars will be taken from the majority of Canadian taxpayers to top up the pensions of the few – the GM retirees. This in spite of vociferous denials by both levels of government that that would not be the case. Predictably all the other auto manufactures are now crying foul because they are now at a competitive cost disadvantage (a legitimate complaint).

A testy John Baird responds in Question Period to opposition claims that infrastructure funding is slow to get out by saying “It is moving 10 times faster than under any other Liberal government". This is undoubtedly the Freudian slip of the month and confirms what many neo-Cons have suspected for months now.

Lisa Raitt (Jasmine MacDonnell) leave commercially and politically sensitive ministerial briefing papers at CTV and apparently don’t notice them missing for weeks. Good thing they’re both on top of the portfolio.

John Baird tells Toronto to “fuck off”, gaining another 500,000 Conservative votes in Western Canada. Oh wait, he’s from Ottawa, isn’t he? 100,000 votes then.

Lisa Raitt (Jasmine MacDonnell) makes what could charitably be called injudicious remarks on tape, which then gets left in a washroom, delivered to the media, and subsequently published after a failed attempt by MacDonnell (really??) to get an injunction against their release. Deep Trough is on it and we’ll soon know who really paid the legal costs. The tinfoil-hat-wearing Tory bloggers are crying Liberal conspiracy. Ho-hum.

Michael Ignatieff and the Liberals decide to support the Cons tough on crime Bill C-15. This in spite of significant push-back from the Liberal grass roots and ample evidence that mandatory minimums never have, and never will work to reduce crime. But I guess when the alternative is more Cons “Liberals soft on crime” Howling_Wolfattack ads, policy adjustments must be made.

Alberta’s Stelmach Tories are musing publically that Ignatieff is more sensitive to many Alberta issues than Harper is. Jim prentice is not amused.

And then to top it all off, Molson retirees will no longer get their entitlement of 864 bottles of free beer a year and current employees will be limited to 624 free bottles a year (12 per week – that’s two a day except Sundays when they’re allowed to drink real beer).

It’s been like a month of full moons.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Now that I own GM, here are my demands.

GOVERNMENT MOTORSAs a forced and reluctant shareholder in GM (I’ll never buy their product, why would I want their stock?) here are my demands:

1. Stephen Harper and Dalton McGuinty must explain in detail (use pictures and one-syllable words if necessary) why the ongoing demand for cars wouldn’t/couldn’t be met by other more successful manufacturers. People are still going to buy new vehicles, whether supplied by GM or others.

2. I want a letter of appreciation from GM pensioners thanking me and all other pension-less Canadians for the taxes paid on our depleted savings to top up their incomes so they don’t have to suffer the effects of the global recession like their fellow citizens. That’s the least they owe us.

3. A formal letter of apology to all taxpayers by the various levels of government which failed in their fiduciary duty to ensure that GM (and other corporations like it) adequately funded their pension plans, resulting in item 2 above. The letter is to be read out in the House of Commons by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and in the Ontario Legislature by Premier Dalton McGuinty. Name names.

That’s all. Three demands. Satisfy those and I’ll quit bitching about this egregious waste of taxpayer dollars to selectively support one industry sector that just happens to be centered in a vote-rich area of the country.

Sadly, I expect I’ll be complaining for a while yet.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Any “other” Liberal government?

Did John Baird really compare the Harpercrites to “any other Liberal government” as reported in The Hill Times today?

baird 5"More infrastructure spending will have been completed this year than in any year in our history. It is moving 10 times faster than under any other Liberal government," Transport Minister John Baird (Ottawa West-Nepean, Ont.) said last week in Question Period, who is overseeing the rollout for much of the money promised in the budget, as a large part of it is going to "shovel ready" infrastructure projects.

If the quote is accurate, it would certainly confirm what many neo-Cons have long suspected about the Harper government.


I contacted the Hill Times for confirmation of the quote but received no reply, so I went looking in Hansard. On Monday May 25, Hansard records the following reply to a question from John McCallum about the delays in getting infrastructure funds out the door. “More infrastructure spending will have been completed this year than in any year in our history. It is moving 10 times faster than under any other Liberal government.” So it looks like John “Freudian Slip” Baird was reported correctly.