13 years ago I talked about how many provinces were scrapping mandatory retirement at age 65. Baby boomers and pre-boomers grew up conditioned to believe that, as of your 65th birthday, you cleaned out your work area, handed back the keys, graciously accepted the gold watch and went home to await the pension cheques. By 2003, a half-dozen provinces and the Territories had scrapped mandatory retirement based on age. In Saskatchewan this came into effect in November, 2007 and all provinces were on board by 2009.
I was watching the opening ceremonies for the Major League Baseball All-Star game Tuesday evening and saw the Tenors sing O Canada. It was surprising, to say the least, to hear one of the group change some words. Instead of, “With glowing hearts we see thee rise, the true north strong and free”, he sang, “We’re all brothers and sisters; all lives matter to the great”. He then pulled out and held up a sign that said, “All Lives Matter”. This in front of a tv audience and a packed baseball stadium in San Diego. Changing the lyrics to a national anthem is considered highly inappropriate.
Governments at all three levels are slammed constantly for things they do or don’t do that the public doesn’t believe makes sense. Sometimes though there is a ray of sunshine in an otherwise cloudy mess of uncertainty. We all watch the insanity of skyrocketing house prices in Vancouver and shake our heads in disbelief at reports of half-century old thousand square foot bungalows selling for $1.5 million on average.
Sometimes in a quiet moment, of which there are too few, I take a look at Coffeetalks I wrote years ago. Back on July 13th, 2003, I was reminiscing about how my baby boom generation grew up in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. According to some of today’s stiff-necked do-gooders most of us shouldn’t have survived. Why? Well, for example, the baby cribs we chewed on while teething were coated with lead-based paint. There were no childproof lids on medicine bottles or latches on cabinet doors.
Anyone who thinks our justice system needs some kind of overhaul will be interested in the latest edict from the Supreme Court of Canada. In a decision that criticizes this country’s legal system for what it calls a culture of complacency, the top court has set new rules for an accused’s right to be tried within a reasonable time frame. Any delays beyond the new times will be considered “presumptively unreasonable” and in violation of the accused’s charter rights.