Wednesday 17th October
2018 was a special day in Canadian History... Canada becomes second
country to legalise recreational marijuana.
is legal as of today, but the vision of what a pot-permissive Canada
looks like remains somewhat hazy.
There's still a lot we don't know, including what will happen to the
illicit dispensaries that popped up in cities across the country in
recent years. But here's a look at what we do know as Canadian consumers
buy legal cannabis for the first time.
You can find out some
answers to most questions at:
I have to say that not everything is good
I've recently been reading more about indigenous women being murdered
and going missing and yet the police service seems to have a very poor
track record in solving these cases. Also, I have been reading since
coming to Canada of the problems in the RCMP on sex issues. Far too many
women police officers are being sexually harassed and the RCMP don't
seem to be fixing those issues and that's now some 15 years I've been
reading about this.
Then of course with Canada having the second largest reserves of oil in
the world they can only sell it to America at a major discount at that.
For some reason many First Nations people and the Green lobby are
standing against allowing a pipe line to be built to get it to the coast
so they can sell it to world markets. Canada could be making billions
every year and the Government seem unable to just get a pipe line built.
Then there is the case of the Prime Minister doing a terrible job at
dealing with foreign leaders. Like the last visits by the Prime Minister
to India and China have been a disaster and the continued war with China
is still going on and if anything getting worse. He had said that
getting a free trade deal with China was a top priority but having just
sacked his Ambassador in China things are going backwards.
The debt that Canada has built up since the Liberal Government took
power is now 3 times what the Prime Minster said he would spend if
elected. A lot of that debt could be wiped out if they would only get
that Pipe Line built but the Prime Minister seems incapable of resolving
this very long lasting issue. However, he has still to make up his mind
about financing the armed forces in Canada. No decision yet on
what aircraft to purchase as just one example of many that are being
delayed. There is also a housing crisis in Canada and especially
in the two largest cities of Toronto and Vancouver where rents are sky
high. No wonder that many young people are still living with their
parents. Mind you, if people were willing to locate outside these major
centers they can find quite reasonable prices. Of course the same can be
said of places like London in the UK.
We are due national elections in October 2019 so we'll get an idea what
Canadians think about his tenure in office when the results come in.
Today, Monday 28th January 2019, I got the start of work to get the
house gutters fixed but due to the snowy weather it's going to take
another day to complete the work. He noted I have some wood issues in
the roof so I'm going to have to get that fixed so tomorrow he'll give
me contact details of who to get to fix that. He seem to be a very
capable young man so I'm going to ask him for a quote on getting that
door I have wanted to put in the garage to allow me easier access to the
house from outside. The last rough quote I got was over $2,000.
I might add that I did get the quote in
and it was $5,900 so that's not going to happen at that price.
As it is that time of year again I've just
sent my books of to the accountant in the USA for my tax return for the
company. I have also now prepared my accounts for the Canadian folk but
can't send these in until I receive my audited accounts back from the
USA. However it's mostly done and dusted as they say which is
always a good feeling.
I note the local company
Tek-Savvy is now
offering full telephone, TV and Internet services. Certainly worth
a look if you live in Chatham. I don't know how good their support is
mind you. I use Cogeco and have a business account with them which
means they guarantee a visit within 24 hours. I do know with a
residential account it can be a week before they will come out.
Had an issue with my garage door so I
called in Door-Co in Chatham and they came around within an hour and
fixed the issue.
Today, 12th February, schools were shut
today due to ice on the roads and people in the area have been advised
to stay of the roads if at all possible. My cleaning lady, Liz Watson,
phoned to tell me she had to cancel her 2 weekly visit with me due to
that ice and told me that she thought this was the first time in a lot
of years that they had closed the schools. I did wander out to my porch
and it didn't look that bad. However she told me she had at least
half an inch of ice on her car.
On March 7th, 2019, I got a notification
that my water heater rental was going up from $29.85 to $30.89 a month.
I use Reliance Home Comfort. I was with another company but
Reliance bought them over. It seem each year I am now due to get
an increase in the price of my rental but with my older company I never
got an increase so am not happy about this.
Frankly the last Engineer that came out to
my home said they had got more reliable and there wasn't much to go
wrong with them. In fact I was told back when I first took out the
contract that it would get cheaper pro rata as the years went on but
clearly Reliance are going to keep increasing the price each year which
is in excess of inflation.
I have talked to them about this and they
are providing me with a 10% discount on the price so that helps.
However I would advise if possible not to rent your water heater and
instead purchase it. I am now going to look at purchasing a new water
heater before the year is out.
North Kent Mutual Insurance
I got in my renewal for my house and car
insurance from my insurance company this March and so thought I might
highlight them in here in the event you are new to the area and are
looking for similar insurance coverage.
I have found them to be quite flexible on
how they deal with insurance matters. For example a couple of
years back I reversed into another car by accident in the Supermarket
car park. My insurance covered this just fine and they didn't
increase my premiums as a result.
Also on another matter a car ran into my
home and partially demolished my porch. They covered the whole
cost and didn't take off any deductable.
As they are a mutual company they do share
any profits with you. Like a couple of years ago I got a cheque in
for some $70.00 as they had made excess profits that year. Of
course you won't get a cheque every year but it's a good benefit when
Below is my own agent so feel free to give
him a call or email him and be sure to let him know I sent you.
I might just add that car insurance here
in Chatham-Kent is around half of what you would pay in Toronto which is
just another benefit of not living in Toronto as the house prices are
also way lower.
My new hosting company, 4GoodHosting in
Vancouver has increased my monthly charge due to my going over my
storage allowance. I complained and they reduced the increase a little
but now I'm going to have to watch this. They've given me another
50 Gbyte so that should last me a while.
Today 2nd April 2019 I learned that I am
getting around $150 a year as a Climate Action Incentive Payment. My
accountants have already claimed this for me through my tax return but
if you are filing yourself without an accountant then you need to
contact the Canada Revenue Agency to claim your amount. I'm told that a
family of 4 will receive $307. See
https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change.html for further
information. This amount will increase each year up to 2022 anyway.
Family of four
Federal fuel charges – Starting in April
2019 and increasing in stringency over time, the federal pollution
pricing system will add a nominal cost to everyday fuels.
In Ontario, for example, the fuel charge on gasoline, in 2019, will be
4.42 cents per litre and the fuel charge for natural gas used in home
heating will be 3.91 cents per cubic metre. These rates will increase
Under the federal system, the estimated
average cost impact for a household in Ontario is $244, in 2019, which
is less than the average for Climate Action Incentive payments ($300).
Households of Ontario can also reduce this cost through many options,
such as better home insulation, switching to a more fuel-efficient
vehicle, using public transit, and lower-cost solutions like LED
12th April 2019
Speedy Glass has been advertising on the
TV for a while now and as it happens I got a crack in my car windshield
so had to have it replaced. I was partly covered by insurance but
my deductible is $500 so I still needed to pay a fair chunk of the cost.
That said it took them 3 hours to complete
the work but that also included cleaning all my windows and vacuming the
car. They also supplied me with new wiper blades and replaced the
cabin air filter. So all in all I was very pleased with the service.
In with the price they included getting me a taxi back to the house and
getting me picked up again when the car was ready.
You can learn about them at:
I take this as a topic as I'm just watching the fire at the Notre-Dame
Cathedral in Paris. 15th April 2019.
I have watched a number of fires and the
one down the road to where I live I noted just how long it took to put
out the fire and the hours of work that it took. I have since felt
that using water to put out fires is simply not working.
I feel we need a chemical option to put
out fires or some other method to extinguish them as water simply takes
far too long to put them out.
I went to Toronto for the Easter Weekend
and had a great time. Nola's daughter and son-in-law have a new
restaurant in Toronto and Nola's grandson Dillon is now the manager and
apparently really enjoys the job and they seem to be happy with him so
that's great news. Michael, another son-in-law was let go by Rogers as
he was a supervisor in their support call centre. He had now got a
similar position with Home Depot in Toronto and seems to be happy with
the move. Always good to get caught up with what everyone is doing and
wow the grand kids and great grand kids are all looking much older now.
Just as well I got new wipers as it was heavy rain most of the way from
Chatham to Toronto. Lovely and sunny and dry on the way home.
The man is pretty cool
Jun 19, 2019 in The Voice Newspaper
I’ve lived in Chatham since May of 2001.
In that time, I’ve crossed paths with Rob Myers – the “RM” in RM Auto
Restoration and RM Sotheby’s – a handful of times. Those included
various press events, at Bike Fest when he was out with his cute
granddaughter, or while touring South Kent with his daughter in his 1957
Mercedes coupe – picture Rob trying to get flats of berries into the
trunk of that car.
But until I sat down to interview him about RM’s 40th anniversary
celebrations earlier this spring, I never had a chance to just talk to
For anyone who knows Rob, speaking to a member of the media is not his
favourite thing to do. He feels a columnist burned him in an article in
a business magazine several years ago, so he’s loath to speak to other
But he eventually agreed to chat with me, thanks to a good word from
Fannie Vavoulis, the chair of the committee organizing all the crazy
stuff happening this weekend.
He was pretty much exactly how I expected him: loud, proud and a bit of
a conundrum – at times very humble, and at others, somewhat arrogant.
Let’s face it, with what Rob has done with his business, whom he has met
and done deals with over the years, and what he’s done with a section of
downtown Chatham, he has earned the right to those character traits.
He regularly rubs elbows with the rich and famous, and with the rich and
not so famous.
Rob’s nouveau riche, a compliment in my books. He didn’t inherit his
wealth, but instead busted his butt for years to get where he is today
atop the auto restoration and classic auto auction fields. He has earned
everything; it wasn’t handed to him.
How can you not respect that?
It’s hard to get a feel for Rob’s reach in the automotive world, until
you step into his office/man cave.
When I did that earlier this spring, I was immediately greeted by the
strangest rear ends of three cars that I’d ever seen.
You could tell they were related, as they all had swept rear fenders
that curled around the back of each vehicle.
I walked around to the front to see each was built by the same company,
A chat with Rob revealed they were “bat cars.” I googled “bat cars” and
“Alpha Romeo” when I got back to the office and learned they are B.A.T.
cars – B.A.T. 5, B.A.T. 7 and B.A.T. 9 to be exact.
It turns out, they were prototypes in the quest to create cars with the
lowest possible drag coefficient. B.A.T. stands for Berlinetta
Aerodynamica Tecnica. And in successive years, these cars were showcased
at the Turin Auto Show – in 1953, ’54 and ’55.
And then I realized these are the only such vehicles ever produced.
Three of a kind, yet three one of a kinds; built by an Italian sports
car company more than 60 years ago.
And they are sitting in a man cave in Chatham.
That’s how deep Rob Myers is into the auto world.
As for what Rob is to Chatham-Kent, it was disheartening to hear some
folks on social media complaining, asking why everybody was so
accommodating to one man and why the concerts weren’t free this weekend.
Well, as part of the RM40 weekend, Myers and company want to raise funds
for three charities. It’s hard to do that with free concerts.
As to why the municipality and others want to accommodate RM Sotheby’s
so much, this is an organization that could operate literally anywhere
in the world. It has 180-plus employees, most of who work here in
RM’s many clients are a globally diverse group. When they come here to
check on progress on their vehicle restoration, Rob wanted them to have
a rather unique place to stay, so he opened the Retro Suites boutique
It is an award-winning hotel and is a bit of a tourist destination on
its own as a result.
But it also caters to many local events.
In fact, Rob has fixed up a nice chunk of King Street downtown. The
backs of these buildings have a South Beach (Miami) feel to them as
Very unique, and located here.
Rob Myers does a great deal for Chatham-Kent. He has only a small window
in which his staff are available to partake in the celebrations and this
coming weekend was the best time.
Is he supposed to put on such an event when his people can’t even be
here due to requirements for auctions around the world?
So, yes, the municipality worked to accommodate. But it isn’t for one
man. It’s for his employees, his customers, everyone who utilizes the
Chatham-Kent Health Alliance, has children who need help through the
Children’s Treatment Centre of Chatham-Kent, and who may have a friend
or loved one who will pass through the C-K Hospice.
That’s pretty much everyone in Chatham-Kent. Yeah, we can bend over
backwards to help accommodate him. In fact, it’s the least we can do.
The busiest weekend ever in Chatham-Kent
is now one for the history books, and what a weekend it was.
From the RM 40th anniversary parade with Kid Rock sitting with RM’s Rob
Myers as parade marshals, to the classic car cruise of hundreds of
amazing vehicles, to the Thamesville Threshing Festival, to RM
festivities, to the Erieau Parade of Dreams car show – the weekend was
packed with people.
Thankfully, the weather co-operated with mostly sunny skies and no rain.
Chatham-Kent has never looked more vibrant and alive than it did this
weekend. Pictures galore are turning up on social media from all the
different venues, including Rob Myers playing the tambourine while Kid
Rock and Sam Roberts looked on.
We have photo pages in this week’s edition, and posted dozens more
online. Be sure to check them out at www.chathamvoice.com
Community pride is at an all-time high, and not just because
Chatham-Kent hosted one heck of a party, but because the people behind
it worked hard to make the weekend successful for locals and visitors
Myers and his team outdid themselves in pulling off an incredible
weekend full of fun activities for everyone, and local charities won big
thanks to the extra special events.
Not only does Myers have a big wallet, he has a big heart to go with it,
and has given more to this community and its citizens than can be
He was everywhere this weekend; his pride in his company, his team and
his community evident for all to see.
RetroFest 2019 won’t be forgotten for a very long time, and the success
of the weekend – for all of Chatham-Kent – is something not even the
naysayers will find much to complain about.
Too many people, too much noise, too much fun – bring it on, because
Festival of Nations and our Canada Day celebration are next and
hopefully people riding the high of RetroFest will come out and make
this weekend a success as well.
Thank you, RM Sotheby’s, the Historic
Downtown BIA, the organizers of the Threshing Festival, and everything
else that took place.
Yes, downtown Chatham was in the spotlight, and with good reason. It all
began at 5 p.m. with the RM parade to kick off the RM 40th/RetroFest
Mechanical elephants from 80 years ago? Check.
Kid Rock riding with Rob Myers? Check.
By the way, that was Kid Rock’s ride they were in.
And did you notice Sam Roberts behind the wheel of a 1966 Mustang? Yep,
the Canadian rocker who played in Tecumseh Park that night was in the
Nice work, Fannie Vavoulis! Fannie was the chair of the organizing
committee. She set up the media interviews with Sam. Those took place on
June 17, just four days before the festivities.
When I interviewed Sam, as classic cars came up in conversation, he
mentioned when he signed his first record deal, the first thing he did
was purchase a 1966 Mustang GT. He loved the car, but since sold it off
as he has three kids now.
I mentioned the fact to Fannie in a quick e-mail. She thought it would
be cool to offer him a chance to drive one again.
Fannie got to work with her RM contacts. In no time, she’d found a
Mustang. After reaching out to Sam’s PR folks, the car had a driver.
And anyone who saw Sam Friday in the parade could not help but see a
huge smile on his face.
Then again, there were smiles all around this past weekend. The weather
was perfect. The parades and displays were amazing.
We caught the RM parade near the Capitol Theatre/Frendz area and headed
to Indian Creek Road to catch the Classic Car Cruise.
The RM parade delivered some wild rides, including a chicken truck, Kid
Rock’s Pontiac Bonneville, which was tricked out by the late Nudie Cohn,
a huge Oscar the Grouch float, the mechanical elephants, a giant
shopping cart, three Batmobiles and even a jet engine.
Friends Pete and Arlene were with us to enjoy the spectacle.
When that parade ended, we accepted an invite from other friends
Charlene and Eggless Chad to catch the Classic Car Cruise as it went
along Indian Creek Road near their house.
Great choice as we relaxed in the shade and watched as hundreds of
vehicles went by.
I loved the parade and the cruise, which featured two Deloreans, at
least one Ferrari, tons of vintage Camaros, Mustangs, Firebirds,
Triumphs, and some beautiful 1950s iron, as well as some cars and trucks
that were much older than that. There were also custom-made rides.
Just a great selection and showcase.