Agree or Disagree: Restaurants should get exemptions from minimum wages.


We have had many discussions about this.

Some of you love the idea of raising the minimum wage.

Some of you do not.

The current minimum wage is $10.20, which is one of the lowest in Canada. However, the restaurant industry is anticipating some concerns with the coming raises. As such, they want an exemption from the minimum wage.

In the story below, this is a quote from Mark von Schellwitz, who is a Restaurants Canada  spokesman, is quoted as saying this;

We have certainly heard from a number of our members over the last few weeks who are extremely concerned about surviving this increase, especially in an economic climate where they are already seeing their sales decline because of the downturn,” he said Wednesday.

“We are asking them (the NDP government) to adjust that promise and let’s take this one step at a time, one year at a time.

You can read the story here.

What the restaurants industry is looking for is the option to pay a servers who earn tips and young people who are in their first jobs less.

As a little fun fact here is the minimum wage across Canada.

Do you Agree or Disagree that the restaurant industry should get an exemption from minimum wages?

Agree or Disagree: It’s time to remove the Catholic School System.


If you missed it Friday, Luke Fevin and I were on the Ryan Jespersen Show in Edmonton. It was Faith vs Atheism.

You can listen to it 

Now, some of you might have been expecting more of a battle…..and you would have been a bit disappointed. Because we didn’t “fight”. We had more of a discussion. Part of the reason for that is this was a unique opportunity. It’s very rare that a radio show goes into something like this. So, there was some unpacking to do. There still is.

However, there was a debate.Specifically around the issue of Catholic Schools. And the question around if there is a need for a Catholic School System. Here is where I see benefit for a Catholic School System.

-There are still over 800,000 Catholics in Alberta. There would be many families that do benefit from this. There is a sense of community and connection and shared values. It is an opportunity for families to have additional education and exposure to their religion other than the home.

That being said, there are some concerns. First, how they handled the GSA issue. Many Catholic parents and families were rightly angry on how this was handled. Which, quite frankly, was poorly. Second, the idea of a specific religious school for a religion for many seems outdated. They see religion as damaging to people.

So, while Luke and I did not unpack this as much, the topic is very important to many.  I would imagine and expect Luke and I will be involved in other dialogues like this.

But do you Agree or Disagree that it is time to remove the Catholic School System?

Please be respectful in your dialogue.

Agree or Disagree: This Edmonton bus driver should be punished.


You may have saw this video.

It’s a video of an Edmonton Bus Driver tossing a kid out and pulled away.

Many were angered by this.

Then, this story came out.

It turned out that the Edmonton Bus Driver had a pretty good reason. There is a video of the kid hitting him and reports of threats. He felt he had no choice.

The Edmonton Catholic School Board apologized for asking him to be fired. However, the Bus Driver, along with the two children involved, have been suspended.

You and I may remember being on a school bus. You and I also remember some of the stuff your bus driver out up with. Fights. Yelling. Food being thrown. It is not easy to be a bus driver. There is a lot of abuse. This is not an excuse, but perhaps something to think about.

However, the other side might argue, and is mentioned in the news story, that the primary role of the bus driver is the safety of all of the kids. And although the children involved crossed the line, the bus driver is the adult here. He is expected to act like an adult. (I’ll let you interpret that.)

So, if you were in charge here, what would you want to have happen? Would you punish him with a suspension? Or, even worse, would you actually fire him?

Do you Agree or Disagree he should be punished?

Agree or Disagree: Non Smoking Condos.


resizedimage300200-nosmokingbuilding

After a condo fires in both Edmonton AND Calgary within the last week, there are people suggesting that Condos go Non-Smoking. In both cases, a cigarette in the condo caused the fire. In Edmonton, a Cigarette in a Diaper caused the fire. In Calgary, smoking material was put in a planter pot.

Robert Noce is a corporate commercial lawyer in Edmonton. He was on the Ryan Jespersen Show yesterday suggesting it’s time for the governments to step in. You can listen to the interview here https://soundcloud.com/630ched/may-26-hr-2-deputy-fire-chief-russell-croome-robert-noce-condo-fire?in=630ched/sets/the-ryan-jespersen-show

For an apartment or condo perspective, we will go to Palo Alto California. They balk at the idea of restricting smoking. You can read their perspective here.

What do you think? Do you Agree or Disagree with Non-Smoking Condos?

Agree or Disagree: It’s time to get rid of photo radar.


apr3camera

You have seen them. You have probably been caught by them.

The Photo Radar.

In Edmonton as an example, they have collected over $40 million dollars in fines in 2014. That is over $9.9 million dollars more than projected.

The Edmonton Journal reports that the fines turned into a $10.9 million dollar deficit into a forecast of a $14.1 million surplus.

Now the idea is that photo radars is to prevent speeding. But, the fact is it hasn’t. There is still concerns. I’m going to let you read some thoughts from Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson. He is for photo radars. You can read his thoughts here.

However, let’s be fair and look at both sides. This is a perspective from a Calgary man who is fighting against photo radars. You can read that http://www.calgarysun.com/2014/11/09/calgary-man-wages-one-man-war-against-cash-generating-photo-radar-trap-in-citadel

What do you think? Time to get of photo radars?

Agree or Disagree: Being homeless is a choice


We have had some small conversations about this before.

I’ve interviewed a homeless man named Tim Barber on Agree or Disagree: The Podcast. He talked about his experiences being homeless in Calgary.

You might also remember we talked to Cory Chapdelaine and Kali Readwin about this topic as well. We spent some time discussing the different social implications being homeless.

Now, we have a challenge for a debate.

Robyn Moser has challenged Kathleen Smith to a debate on this topic. So, like a good Podcast, we will record it.

Some of the topics we will cover.
There will be someone who has a homeless experience. They will share it.
Current overall trends of homelessness in Calgary and Edmonton.
Current trends and concerns on LGBT homeless in Calgary and Edmonton. As well as support options for LGBT,
And of course, the question if homelessness is a choice.

For clarity, and this will be expanded on more, Robyn thinks homelessness is a choice. Kathleen does not.

To prepare us, what do you think? Is homelessness a choice? Why or why not?

Agree or Disagree: Alberta is handling the “H1N1 scare” well.


http://globalnews.ca/news/1066804/alberta-saskatchewan-severely-hit-by-h1n1-flu-so-far-canadian-doctors-say/

You probably have heard that there is a H1N1 scare in Alberta. Actually, the scare is going across Canada.

As of now, Alberta Health confirmed 10 deaths between the ages of 18-64. 40 others are in intensive care and another 300 being treated in hospital.

So far, it has been estimated that 21% of Albertans have got a Flu Shot. However, the reports are there has been some long lineups and places with a limited supply. These reports seem to be causing some anger from some.

I posted a link to the story on top.

What do you think of how Alberta has handled this recent H1N1 issue? When I say Alberta, I’m talking about not only government, but people as well? Are you impressed with the response of Albertans to this situation?