On 10th June I visited the
MDS facility to get my ECG and found the folk there pleasant to deal with.
I just handed over my form along with my OHIP health card and waited for
about 20 minutes and then was called in. I got around 20 wee sticky
things stuck all over me and then wires were attached, They took the
ECG and said that's it you can get dressed now. So.. I was left to
remove all the wee sticky things and out I went.. only to find as I sat in
the car that I'd missed one of the sticky things :-)
On the way back I headed
into Canadian Tire to get a cooler box so I can bring back all the food
from the Scottish Company in Toronto. While there I got myself one
of these wee two step stools so I can reach the higher cupboards in the
Kitchen. Also got myself an alarm clock and a couple of soap dishes.
Heading for home I thought
I may as well go by that Dutch supermarket in Chatham and was pleased to
find a mixed blood and tongue sausage. They gave me a wee taste of it and
it was very like lunch tongue so I think this will work as a substitute.
I also found they did smoked back bacon so also tried that and when I got
back I had a bacon sandwich which was excellent.
They also had what they
called a sugar loaf (bread) and I was able to get a half loaf to try and
with all the currents in it I found it very tasty. So looks like
I'll be visiting this store on at least a semi regular basis :-)
It is quite warm today so
have the air conditioning working and the ceiling fan and it's now quite
comfortable although you really do fee the heat when you go outside.
On 14th June I went into
Toronto to attend the monthly board meeting of the Scottish Studies
Foundation and Society which went well. But today (15th) was the big
day because it was time to see if Canadian Customs would allow my home
contents from Scotland into Canada.
So down I went in the late
morning to do the deed and I have to say it went very well and very fast.
When I walked into the building I probably looked like a drowned rat as
the heavens opened and down the rain came so I was soaked when I got into
the building. I got a grin from the chaps on reception and they
pointed me in the right direction.
When I got there there was
no-one in the room so I just went up to the window where I found a very
nice customs lady who took my manifest. She checked it over and then
handed me a one page questionnaire to fill in. Mainly it just wanted
to know the usual things like were you bringing in alcohol, cigarettes,
firearms, were there any business items or stuff for re-sale.. stuff like
that. After I completed it she checked it through and then stamped my
manifest to say it was allowed in!!! Yeah!!!
Then she asked if I had to
do anything with the form and I said I was just told to fax it to the
carrier and then they would arrange delivery. And then to my
surprise she offered to fax it for me which I was happy to agree to and
off she went to do that. She also gave me a fax receipt that proved
that Customs has indeed sent them the fax. Now wasn't that helpful?
And the form on the left is the one with the
official stamp and the one on the right is my fax receipt from Canadian
I did phone the carrier but
the women wasn't in that day and so I'll phone tomorrow to arrange
delivery to Chatham.
I did one other visit while
in Toronto and that was to the Scottish Company to pick up my Scottish
food stuffs. I was rather disappointed that they hadn't managed to
get me my Scottish Plain Bread or the Haggis but they got me the other
things I had asked for.
On the left you'll see the grocery products
and on the right the Square sausage, black pudding, Scotch pies and steak
and kidney pies. And on the extreme right the potato scones.
Here is the English Bacon I'm also trying
although I must say I found a Dutch Supermarket in Chatham that does some
very good smoked back bacon.
On a business note I got in
an email from the local Economic dept. of Chatham Kent trying to push an
advert in their online directory. While I admire their enterprise I will
say that their sales push was a reply to an email I sent them suggesting
that they include a web site address, email address and at least a short
description within their free advert. They didn't see fit to respond
or even acknowledge my comments.
On a general note I will
say that in my mind all Economic departments across the world all seem to
have the same short sited view. As a new resident in Chatham I was
naturally trying to find companies that could help with various items.
Like was there a company that might help with grass cutting, helping me do
something with my back garden which is a mess. I am also looking to
get a sign made for Electric Scotland to hang at the side of my door.
Small things I agree but
simply listing a company and giving their address does not in any way give
you any indication as to what that company does. I don't want a big
highway sign so which company could do a small sign? Did I really
need to phone every company to find out what they could do? A short
description would at least have helped me sort out which companies might
be relevant to my needs.
I maintain that Economic
Development is there to help promote the businesses in the area and thus
increase employment opportunities and help to increase sales so that in
turn they will also raise more in tax revenue. They also need to
showcase companies so that others that are doing research on perhaps
bringing business to the area can ascertain what support services are
available. I can't for the life of me understand why they should charge
for such basic information.
It is also quite common for
Economic Development departments not to address issues raised in emails
which to my mind is inexcusable. Note that I am not getting at Chatham
Kent in particular but I was disappointed that they seemed to be much the
same as everywhere else in the world.
I remember well when I went
to the web site of the local Chamber of Commerce back in Scotland you had
to be a member to even view the list of companies that were members.
Just plain stupid in my view.
Anyway... I am going to try
and see someone in the Economic Development department to see what
they can tell me about the area. I do certainly commend them for
their welcome pack but it just seems to me that like most organisations
they seem to treat their online communication in an entirely different way
from traditional methods and at a much lower standard.
PS I had a coffee with Barry Fraser of Chatham
on Thursday 16th. Neil Fraser had told him I was in the area and so we met
at Tim Horton's for a coffee and a wee blether. Hopefully as a
result of this meeting I might get some tales of more Scottish pioneers