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I just sent off a brief note to people in Calgary, just in case they are worried about whether I am surviving the great ice storm. It seems to be in the news all over Canada.

To be quite brief, in my area of Toronto, if we did not read and hear it in the news, or maybe go up to the inner suburbs, we would never have known there was a problem. The street cars stopped for a few hours. It might seem odd that all these disasters, like floods and storms, seem to effect mostly North York, Scarborough, and Etobicoke.

It is quite a disaster; for some people almost as bad as the floods in Calgary. It has affected one fifth of the population of Toronto and some people will be without power for more than a week. Houses have burned down because of electrical shorts caused when power came back on. People have died from carbon monoxide poisoning due to improvised heating.

And Robbo Slobbo refuses to declare an emergency because that will allow his rivals on council to take over organizing relief efforts. Contrary to what he says, this does slow down recovery. As well, it prevents access to disaster relief money. But as I said, the worst hit areas are exactly those which predominantly voted for The Bucket Head.

Down here in the old city, built before the days of uncontrolled development, we have adequate storm sewers. Here where people are more aggressive about demanding proper government services, tree branches get trimmed regularly and the sidewalks get cleared and salted. In the planned St.Lawrence neighborhood the trees are mostly set well away from power lines.

Up in Ford nation, they buy into libertarian ideas that government is in their way and they do not want any help from it and so on; until they discover they are on their own. Then they are screaming for help and complaining that the downtowners are being favored over them.

More on that; I see on the tube that recovery from the Alberta floods is slow. A lot of people are still living in their garages six months on. They are claiming that aid money has not arrived to enable them to rebuild. All these self reliant Alberta people did not have insurance; except they often did and it was inadequate or slow.

Here in St. Lawrence I spent a warm and bright Christmas. It was a cold but white Christmas and we even had feathery snow. I went up to the community center I have gone to every Christmas I have been in Toronto and stayed a few hours, ate some turkey and listened to live music.

It has warmed up and I have been out walking, stretching my legs which are working well again. The park is lit up and beautiful.

As for New Years, I will go to the levee at city hall and see how Miss Pammy is doing, and have some egg nogg.

One of these years I might come back to Alberta for the holidays. I bet the folks will all be glad to see me again. It might be next year if some things I am working on with Pammy go well.

Happy New Years to all.