Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Sunday, October 11, 2009
In 1974, staff at Canada Post's Montreal office were noticing a considerable amount of letters addressed to Santa Claus coming into the postal system, and those letters were being treated as undeliverable. Since those employees did not want the writers, mostly young children, to be disappointed at the lack of response, they started answering the letters themselves. The amount of mail sent to Santa Claus increased every Christmas, up to the point that Canada Post decided to start an official Santa Claus letter-response program in 1983. Approximately one million letters come in to Santa Claus each Christmas, including from outside of Canada, and all of them are answered, in the same languages in which they are written. Canada Post introduced a special address for mail to Santa Claus, complete with its own postal code:
- SANTA CLAUS
- NORTH POLE H0H 0H0
In French, Santa's name translates as "Father Christmas", addressed as:
- PÈRE NOËL
- PÔLE NORD H0H 0H0
As the H0- prefix would normally signify a rural area in Montreal, this portion of the postal code allocation is otherwise relatively empty. H0M, assigned to the Akwesane
Indian reserve, is the only other H0- postal code in active use.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Friday, August 7, 2009
Now that the strike is over we can again hop onto the Island ferries and visit what one could describe as Toronto's Golden Gate or Central Park...the Toronto Islands. They are beautiful and, seemingly, no matter how large the hoards of people get that visit them, the islands are serene and relaxing. And we haven't been able to visit them for, I believe about forty days, because of the city worker union strike. Summer isn't all that long here in Ontario and I am certain many of us are glad to again have the ability to enjoy one of the city's most wonderful places while the warm seasonal temperatures remain. I know I am. Our plan, like many of the other folk-an afternoon picnic and pleasant several kilometer walk with friends. We all look a bit surly in the photos. Not quite sure how I managed to digitally capture such consistently negative facial expressions, but I was assured by one of the gang-the lad directly below-that we all did, indeed, have a good time.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
While the article is written without depth, it is no simpler than the black and white fear based lies that are constantly reported to the U.S. population. It does, however, contain an honest picture of the health care system north of the border. Taken as a whole, the information in all four health care articles listed on my resource page ring true based on my current experience with the Canadian system.
One aspect which I have not yet seen compared is the relaxed ease of use the Canadian population, at least here in Toronto, experience when accessing medical treatment. Patients do not concern themselves with payment and front-line medical workers are overwhelmingly pleasant and friendly. Follow-up calls are not rushed or frustrating and the staff on the other end of the phone are genuinely helpful. These are the interactions my partner and I have had.
Neither system is perfect, but the "facts" regarding Canadian health care being reported to the U.S. population are, for the most part and at best, stilted and misleading. While the Obama administration is attempting to overhaul and improve the U.S. system, (it) they are doing so without solid conviction, allowing the spread of fear that is based on a significant amount of nonsense.
Debunking Canadian Health Care Myths -DenverPost.com