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Darlene Willingdon
Communities and Collections

where are all my posts ???
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I wrote this letter to the Globe and Mail on January 17 2017. Apparently a restaurant manager could not pronounce his name:

I see the Globe and Mail is catering to the race baters in our society by publishing an op-ed piece by a man with a name that is phonetically unpronounceable in the English language. He is thus implying that Canadians are racist because we can’t pronounce his name.

As a visible minority immigrant woman – also with a name that is unpronounceable in the English language, I chose to respect the culture of my adopted country by changing my name to one that was easily pronounced in both English and French, the official languages of this country.

I notice people from certain cultures, most notably Oriental immigrants, also anglicise their names because they recognise that doing so is a recipe for success, however others, mostly East Indian and African and now Middle Eastern do not.

We see increasing examples of people with unpronounceable names that can’t be remembered on our TV screens and increasingly hear them on our radio dials – oddly enough mostly on the CBC. Hollywood celebrities started changing their names years ago because they knew that their public could not and would not remember names they could not pronounce.

As an immigrant that loves this country, I am insulted by this increasingly common lack of respect for Canadian culture and its people. He even mentions that his friends from other cultures have not bothered to anglicise their names and implies that it is the fault of the restaurant manager for not learning to pronounce their names!

When I encounter people such as Dr. Boluwaji Ogunyemi, I do not hesitate to tell them that it is they, not other Canadians, that are racist.

It is HE that is being culturally insensitive and by writing in a national paper and gaining attention to himself he seems to be claiming that his failure to integrate with the other citizens of this country is the fault of everybody else, not him.

This gentlemen must be a real joy to work with as I imagine his colleagues must tiptoe around him lest they offend him by not being able to pronounce his unpronounceable name.

My advice to Dr. Ogunyemi is to smarten up and embrace the marvelous opportunities and incredibly friendly people in this Country. Stop trying to find “racism” in every corner.

I’m sure that you will enjoy life and prosper in Canada far more if you embrace our culture the in same way millions of peoples without English or French names have already done.

Haven’t you noticed? Canadians are usually polite, and it is simply common courtesy to use a name that we can pronounce. But even “polite” Canadians have their limits. You’re lucky that I was not the employee that you encountered!
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I see that Canada is continuing its descent into third world status.

I was mortified to see that the image on our $10 bill has been changed from “The Father of Confederation” to that of some unknown black woman.

Since I have long ago embraced the cashless society, I actually had to Google the current $10 bill to see who this unknown pillar of society replaced.

Naturally, the intelligencia and the leftist press, let by the National Midnight Post heralds this achievement of putting an unknown woman who claims to be black on our currency that increasingly fewer and fewer people use.

In fact, in honour of this great event, they only posted two pictures of “Trudeau the Younger” in today’s Internet issue in honour of this event – down from the normal five.

Of course, the dead white male that she replaced did not accomplish anything important, we are seemingly being told. He was only our first Prime Minister, and was known as our “Father of Confederation”. He is certainly a prominent part of Canadian history and heritage.

Since millions of immigrants, myself included, chose Canada as our new home – escaping from communist dictatorships that did exactly the same thing to their founding fathers – we came here because Canada was a land of unlimited opportunity for people of colour and even for those who did not speak English or French.

I can’t help but be alarmed by this trend to eliminate anybody White and Male from our heritage.

If these oppressive dead White Males were so onerous and racist, why is our country so great and so admired in today’s world?

It would have been more appropriate to put this unknown person of colour on the $20 bill and replace an irrelevant monarch who is already on our coins. She’s going to have to be replaced in less than 10 years anyway by – wait for it – a White Male – who will be “our” King!
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Reading the National Post during the recent US Election Campaign, and now post campaign - I can't help but be reminded by the 60's tabloid "Midnight" published by Joe Azaria.

Midnight always had lurid stories about celebrities that featured a fantasy story built around a tiny bit of truth - the celebrity of the day was Jackie Onassis. We'd see candid photos of Jackie shopping, Jackie walking, Jackie sunning herself, Jackie driving, Jackie going bra-less, Jackie bending over showing her plumber's crack.

Before the National Post had the election to cover, their Jackie was Justin Trudeau. During the campaign, they added Donald Trump, who we were assured was going to be an absolute joke and did not have a chance of winning.

But, we were also assured that Trudeau-the-younger will be a tremendous success and a credit to his country and make his dead communist father very proud.

We were even told that indeed Justin's mentor was his dad and they used to have spirited discussions of politics around the Pine Avenue mansion's dining room table while a bevy of servants scurried in and out of the room serving only the best in food with only the finest ingredients. I doubt if their personal chef would be seen shopping at Steinberg's or Provigo.

With the election over, the Post is now trying to justify their completely incorrect assessment of Donald Trump as a person, as a candidate for President and now as President-elect by ramping up their criticism of this man.

The Post continues to claim that Canada can say goodbye to any trade deals and cooperation from that "Yahoo" in the White House.

Sheesh. Thank heavens for the so-called alternative media who were telling the truth about Trump.

Thank heavens for the US voters who did not listen to the so-called mainstream media.

Joe Azaria will be proud. All that's missing from today's National Post are the stories about UFO landings and juicy court transcripts containing the doings of the parade of miscreants brought before the night court judge in Montreal. Actually, stories like that might just be an improvement.
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R.I.P. Anthony Henday Drive Speed Trap
I don't know if the City of Edmonton has lined up another source of revenue now that the speed trap at the Manning Drive off ramp has been eliminated by the opening of the last section of the ring road.

I suspect this is why the city has ramped up photo radar using automated boxes disguised as electrical vaults.

Perhaps clearly posted speed limits would advise people of the correct speed; perhaps properly timed traffic signals would encourage drivers to drive at that speed limit knowing that they will get more greens.

But no, we have to punish the drivers - you know - the people you're supposed to serve?

At what point in our history did our "elected officials" turn against us, the electorate? At what point did we become their slaves - mere subjects to be whipped into submission at every opportunity?
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My contractor friend was visiting me from out of town in late August.

We drove past the “new” construction on Castle Downs Road southbound at 145 Avenue. It appeared that a left turn lane was being constructed into the Griesbach development.

I asked my friend how long a left turn lane should take to be built. “Three to five days depending on weather”, replied my friend.

“But this is Edmonton”, I replied. “I predict it will take four to five weeks”.

He laughed. “You’re full of **it”, he said.
“Just wait”, I replied.

Well, I was wrong. Six weeks later, this project is nowhere near finished. I now predict that if it is open before snowfall, it will be a miracle.

Road construction in Edmonton reminds me of the ordeals I escaped from in East Africa after the communists took power. At least we EXPECTED gross incompetence from the government projects there; the people that were able to leave fled to places like Canada where things used to work properly.

Apparently, Canada has now become a socialist paradise just like East Africa.

Unfortunately, there are no places left in the world that I can flee to. Sad, isn’t it?
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In light of the CBC response, here is a copy of the letter I wrote to the Prime Minister regarding the actions of CBC Edmonton TV:

Dear Prime Minister:
I have attached copies of my correspondence to the CBC regarding the decision of CBC Edmonton TV to drop coverage of the Fort McMurray fire situation AT ITS PEAK in order to show Stanley Cup Hockey Playoffs.

I received a reply from the CBC saying that they had a contractual obligation to Rogers to carry the playoffs.

This is nothing more than an excuse.   I cannot imagine, in my wildest dreams, the President of Rogers suing the CBC for dropping playoff coverage in favour of fire coverage.

There weren’t even any Canadian teams playing, and if Rogers had pursued the matter, the bad press that Rogers would have received from viewers would cause him to reconsider any lawsuits very quickly.

This public broadcaster has violated its terms of service by not covering a major event at its peak.  To protect itself, it will tell us that CBC News Channel is covering the event from Toronto and Vancouver.  Good for them.  If the CBC can do this, why does CBC Edmonton still have a fully functioning and very expensive production facility?  What news do they cover?

If the CBC does not consider this a major enough event to drop hockey, I can’t imagine what they would consider major.

My original comment to the CBC still stands.   If their own news crews can’t be bothered to pre-empt hockey to cover such a major event, then the local TV station should be shut down and the resulting savings should be plowed back into entertainment programming.

I would suggest a full inquiry into this event once this disaster is resolved.
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Here is the response I received from the CBC:

Hi Darlene, 

Thank you for taking the time to contact CBC with your feedback. 

With regards to hockey, we have zero control over that spot. It belongs to Rogers and it would be up to them to interrupt the game to feature updates on the situation. It's really no fault of the Edmonton News team because there's not one thing they could have done to change that outcome. 

We provided continual coverage over all our digital properties as well as on News Network and CBC Radio 1. We had our live blog throughout the night featured on CBC News and we've been the only radio station on air in Fort Mac. 

Again, sincere thanks for taking the time to write.
Kind regards, 
CBC Audience Relations
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Here is a copy of the letter I wrote to the CBC regarding the pathetic coverage of the Fort McMurray fire:

On May 3, 2016 there was a serious fire in Fort McMurray, Alberta.   The largest evacuation in Alberta’s history was undertaken. 

CBC Radio, CHED Radio, Global TV, CTV TV and CBC Edmonton TV provided ongoing coverage from the start.

Except that CBC Edmonton TV stopped covering this major event AT ITS PEAK because of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

I suspect that the CBC chose not to cover this major event because of the shortage of qualified staff available.  To say that the CBC TV news coverage in Edmonton is pathetic is an understatement.

I have pointed out before that this station makes no effort to represent the existing demographic of the local population.   Instead, it pursues “diversity” to the extreme and focuses instead on female personnel from so-called visible minorities and the LGBT community.

While this may be admirable if the quality of journalism was of the highest standard, the efforts of May 3 left viewers with the impression that CBC Edmonton is simply a make work effort for social activists that are unable to attain employment with private broadcasters.

Even the most inexperienced reporters on CTV and Global went above and beyond to provide live, well rounded, commercial free coverage of this major event.  Their coverage was riveting and comprehensive.  This coverage continued on May 4 during the morning news shows.

CBC Edmonton TV provided nothing more than bland studio reports hosted by a very uncharismatic female presenter before cutting away to hockey. 

Considering that the local CBC newsroom probably has a budget that is at least five times greater than all the competing local private broadcasters combined, it is my considered opinion that the local CBC Edmonton TV station should be shut down completely and the resulting monetary savings should be diverted to entertainment programming – something the CBC continues to do well.

There is no excuse for a taxpayer supported public broadcaster to continue wasting resources and money to produce a product that is clearly inferior and employs “talent” that is virtually unwatchable and that has absolutely no visual appeal to the general audience.

I resent having my taxpayer dollars support make-work programs for people that are unable to find employment in the private sector.  

Either improve the product or shut it down.
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I am OUTRAGED! The CBC Edmonton Television abruptly STOPPED its coverage of the wildfire that forced the evacuation of the entire town of Fort Mcmurray. Why? For a hockey game. A hockey game. This is beyond belief. I will be writing to the president of the CBC (again) to voice my extreme disappointment at the lack of professionalism and dedication to local events - the biggest such event in Alberta history - and they are missing it. Unbelievable.
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