I've been silent because I've been doing a lot of thinking.
Since programming is now out as a career (over 35, problems with my retinas), I'm going to that second-to-last refuge of all useless humanity - politics.
Seriously, I've been thinking about it for some time, and level of corruption of the local government is depressing. Not only that, but they've done some pretty nasty things to me over the years, and I'm tired of it.
What ultimately tipped the scales, though, was that I stopped by the hospital to talk with two women who work there on my way to visit one of my sisters, and we got to talking about how the government is trying to fudge its books by artificially inflating apparent receivables.
The latest scam: Sending out notices of tax re-assessments for the last 25 years to the spouses of people who have died. Totally illegal (there's a 10-year limit here). They recently tried this on one of my relatives. Anywhere else, I wouldn't believe it. Quebec - hey, <a href=http://www2.macleans.ca/2010/09/24/the-most-corrupt-province/
> this is just business as usual for Canadas' most corrupt province</a>.
Under this scam, you can be sure the workers of that department get their bonuses for meeting targets for "enhancing receivables", and if the money never gets collected, that's just another departments problem. Never mind that it's illegal. Forget the human suffering it causes, at a time when people are most vulnerable.
For those just joining in, I had to sue the government a few years ago when they illegally (and wrongly) tried to claim that I owed $70,000 in a separate matter. The judge agreed that I didn't owe a single penny and that the seizure of my salary was totally illegal, but having to spend money to sue the government when they're illegally lopping of 1/3 of my pay before taxes is not for the faint of heart.
Most people would have taken the lawyers advice and taken the deal to pay less than the full amount claimed, rather than firing the useless turdle and arguing the case themselves.
It turns out that one of the two women who works at the hospital is also being hounded by the government. Even though she only works a few days a week, they're seizing her salary, and her attitude was "it's the government - nobody wins against the government." Until I talked to her, she was just resigned to paying it - doesn't matter if she actually owes it or not.
I had just come from my lawyers' (yes, I sometimes let lawyers fight my battles for me) because I have to sue the government again (I must be on some list or other ...), and really, that's the last straw. It's not just me. It's not just a few people. This corrupt government has its' claws into everything and everyone. If I don't speak up, I'm part of the problem.
The feds turning a blind eye in the hope of not alienating French voters makes them just as bad.
We currently have a <a href=http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Corruption+Quebec+Charbonneau+Commission+concerns+arise/6421924/story.html
>corruption commission</a> getting underway (one the government resisted, then tried to severely hamstring). It won't be enough. We've been there before, and the political will, and the ANGER, just isn't there. Except for the student protesters, people are resigned to "business as usual."
I'm not. I've taken all the crap I'm prepared to take. I've got dirt, and I'm going to use it, starting tomorrow. Any ideas and any help are welcome.