The Garden City Refugee

Musings from around the Niagara Region and elsewhere

Blog Home Archive About Curtis

Random Thoughts – WHA Hall of Fame, Vote Tax, Public Toilets and More

March 7, 2021

1. With things behind the scenes threatening to spiral into oblivion, I took it upon myself to resurrect the WHA Hall of Fame website, though at a new domain, I hope that wherever the late Tim Gassen is looking down from, he’s pleased. For those wondering what happened to Tim’s previous domain,, it was abandoned for reasons I will likely never know and is currently on its second domain squatter.

2. Did you know there’s a 50th anniversary WHA reunion being planned for Las Vegas in October 2022? And if you’re like me and asking “Why Las Vegas?,” that opinion will make you curiously unpopular. Don’t get me wrong. I applaud efforts to honor the league and everyone associated with it. I just don’t think a Las Vegas casino is an appropriate venue. I would counter that such an event should be held in a city with at least some connection to the WHA and in a family-friendly setting, the latter point being something Tim readily agreed with me on.

2a. I’m not sure how much I would have to be paid to visit Las Vegas for any reason. I support your right to do whatever you want in Sin City, but I have the same right not to set foot in the place.

3. On another hockey note, despite my passionate interest in the history of the game, I can’t remember how many years it has been since I last watched an NHL game. Furthermore, this former NHL Center Ice subscriber can’t even name more than two players on the current roster of the Leafs, the home team in these parts.

4. Those wondering what it would would be like to live in a communist country are certainly finding out these days.

4a. To that end, for those rightly concerned about Big Brother’s prying eyes, I’ll share some online privacy tips with you:

  • Dump Google and use DuckDuckGo as your search engine as the latter doesn’t track you.
  • Switch from Gmail to Protonmail, the latter being a secure service based in Switzerland. A free Protonmail account also allows you to use their VPN.
  • Use the Tor browser, which is available on many platforms. All your ISP or the sites you visit know is that you’re using Tor.
  • For an extra layer of online defense, consider using Tails, a portable Linux-based operating system that protects against surveillance and censorship by routing all Internet traffic through the Tor network.

5. I never knew until recently that Ontario has a vote tax, much like what Manitoba had. You know, the scheme whereby the mainstream parties force us to fill their coffers from a fund distributed based upon how many votes they got in the most recent election. As if they didn’t get enough by way of an indirect subsidy through the artificially generous income tax rebate. During the election campaign, Doug Ford promised to get rid of the vote tax, but not surprisingly, that has gone by the way of so many of the Great Leader’s other abandoned pledges, most notably “Open for Business.”

5a. Did you know that the Ontario Libertarian Party is the largest privately funded party in the province?

6. Speaking of “Open for Business,” governments are now taking out ads urging us to support the same local businesses they so cruelly shut down and still won’t let us patronize. Only a government could think this makes sense.

7. It’s a topic I’ve been on the fence about and largely still am, but I’m warming up to the idea of being a supporter of term limits. On one hand, I don’t like the idea of taking choices away from the electorate. But given the inevitable corruption that goes with being in a position of power for so long, I also think preventing the number of career politicians can’t be a bad thing.

8. Closer to home, the city wants our opinion on the public toilets they want to put up downtown. They didn’t ask as to whether we should be funding it. No, the councilors already decided that for us without our input. All they want our thoughts on are what kind of toilets should be put up and where they should be located. I have no preference as to the kind of toilet, but if I must be forced to fund them, my first choice of location would be Mayor Sendzik’s front lawn. “Compassion” begins at home, Mr. Mayor.

8a. Loyal readers may recall that, in conversation with me, Sendzik said he wasn’t going to run again. But even if he indeed does not seek a third term as mayor, methinks he’s not done with politics and might be tantalized by prospect of running under the Liberal banner in the next provincial election. That is, assuming the Great Leader so graciously allows us to vote again. Sendzik would surely be able to beat the obnoxious Jennie Stevens and the only other serious competition would come from the New Blue Party or a Libertarian candidate. To say the least, I rather doubt the Doug Ford Party, even if they can find a candidate, will be a factor in St. Catharines or anywhere else in the province.

9. After the proposed tree by-law blew up in their faces, our illustrious council has taken up a new pet project. The naturalization of cul-de-sacs. Seriously. Amid the greatest economic and human-rights crisis of our generation, this is what they’re worried about. Proof indeed that it is high time we started speaking up and telling them what part of government is non-essential instead of having governments dictate to us what is and is not essential.

  Previous post