Daily Grrr - January 1 New Years Day

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Welcome, I am your host Trish Holmes and you are listening to The Daily GRRR! NEW Years Day 2015 edition on 100.3fm, CKMS in Waterloo, Ontario. Soundfm.ca on the web.

Before I break into the depressing headlines, I’m going to start the show with a little more light information. January 1 is the first day of the year but it wasn’t always this way, in fact, it’s a random day to choose. It comes to us from the Julian calendar introduced by Julius Caesar in 46 BC

However, even after local calendars were aligned to the Julian calendar, they started the new year on different dates. While many Eastern European countries began the year on 1 September from about 988, in Western Europe, January 1 was called New Year's Day (or an equivalent name) However, most of those countries began their numbered year on December 25, for reasons of Christ’s birth but also because the winter solstice had marked the start of the year in pagan times. Other dates that started the year were also chosen for religious reasons including March 25 (the Incarnation of Jesus), and Easter. For about seventy years after the Norman Conquest, from 1087 to 1155 the English year began on 1 January, but then was reset from 1155 to 1751 to March 25. The March 25 was called the Civil or Legal Year, which must be why our tax years conform to these dates.

Not until 1752 did the England, Ireland and the British colonies return to Jan 1 to be the official start of the year. And it was in that same year that the Gregorian calendar was introduced throughout Britain and the British colonies.

On the other hand, Scotland changed the start of the Scottish New Year to January 1 in 1600. Lithuanians win the prize though, since 1362 they have used Jan 1 as the official start of the year, Venice in 1522, Germany 1544, Spain and Portugal in 1556 France 1564 it goes on so dear old Blighty really was slow on the pickup. So that’s only 263 years ago, but funny how things catch on isn’t it.

On this Day In western Christianity today is the eighth of the Twelve Days of Christmas, so it’s all about those milking maids today. Get your head out of the gutter.

Now because it’s the beginning of the year quite a lot is said to have happened on this day, it’s the day in the calendar that is useful I suppose to start something, but besides administrative stuff, it’s not a bad old day historically, it’s definitely not boring

Well in 404 AD – Telemachus, a Christian monk, was torn to pieces for trying to stop a gladiators' fight in the public arena held in Rome. He is known as The Monk Who Ended the Coliseum Games and indeed today is his feast day in the Christian church. And on that note there are a disproportionate number of Western Christian feasts today it’s also the feast day of Saint Basil the Great, I thought he was the throat guy but maybe not. Today is also known as the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God and the Feast of the Circumcision of the Lord. Mmm. Not something you think of much is it. So I guess that means Christ was circumcised and if so – who did it and really, why? Don’t you think the threat of infection to a pretty important baby posed by an open wound in a stable is greater than making sure the cover is hacked off? I don’t understand. Anyway again on that note

In 1772 on this day the first traveler's cheques, went on sale in London and they could be used in 90 European cities, how’s that.

On the theme of obsolete cultural artifacts in 1788, the First edition of newspaper The Times of London was published.

In 1801, the act of union came to pass joining Great Britain with Ireland. It took almost 125 years but we all know how that ended and 32 years later, in 1833 the greedy beggars claimed sovereignty over the Falkland Islands

1899 – Spanish rule ends in Cuba. But it was still another 50 years in 1959 when the dictator Batista, was overthrown by Castro and his forces during the Cuban Revolution . And it’s that which is celebrated in Cuba as the Triumph of the Revolution . And I’d suspect it’ll be a very good party this year as the Americans lift Cuba ban I’m not sure what this means for Canadians, other than there is nowhere now we can go and not be either pestered by yanks, or mistaken for them.

1947 – The Canadian Citizenship Act 1946 comes into effect, converting British subjects into Canadian citizens. Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King becomes the first Canadian citizen. Thanks very much King, why couldn’t we have both? Maybe we need to revisit that idea.

In 1954 – NBC makes the first coast-to-coast color broadcast in the US with the Tournament of Roses Parade. That’s only 61 years ago. I was in best buy the other day and I was watching this massive television in ultra HD, it was a clip of an owl playing and I felt like I could touch it, it was really quite something and when you think about h

1962 – Western Samoa achieves independence from New Zealand. Who knew little goody two shoes New Zealand has a colonial past. Try to cover that up with yer early suffragette movement and indigenous rights. Ha

1971 – Cigarette advertisements are banned on American television. You don’t think the early 70s had that kind of awareness, but obviously it does and when you think about there must have been a concerted anti-tobacco movement at that time – that’s 44 years ago, and we’re still fighting the big business tobacco companies.

Now on the smoking note, I hope you made use of the smoking patio last night cos (and this is a quick aside and momentary return to reality) the

Ontario Smoking Laws have Changed As of now, it is illegal to light up in children's playgrounds, publicly owned sports fields, and restaurant and bar patios in Ontario. And tobacco will not be sold on university or college campuses. So I suppose it’s just going to be water bongs from now on.

The CBC reports that The Canadian Cancer Society calls the new regulations "courageous" and says they will "help denormalize tobacco use and provide greater protection from outdoor second-hand smoke for Ontarians." Which in all fairness is true.

Ontario's smoking rate was nearly 25 per cent in 2000, but last year the rate fell to 18.1 per cent last year. British Columbia has the lowest smoking rate in the country, 14.5 per cent Those must be 2014 figures cos in 2013 a nifty map came out that showed the different rates across the country and while BC was the lowest then as well with 15.3%, Nunavut was the highest with an incredible 59.7% of smokers in the population. That’s even well ahead of Quebec for god sakes.

Now Happy first anniversary to Latvia who joined the Eurozone one year ago today and congratulations to good old Lithuania, ye of early Jan 1 as the start of the year adoption, joins the Eurozone today.

As for human births on this day, In 1735 – Paul Revere, he of American Revolution fame was born.

E. M. Forster, the British author who wrote Howard’s End, A Room with a View, A passage to India was born in 1879.

In 1895 J. Edgar Hoover, that loveable, benign rascal who lead the FBI for many years in the last century was also born.

And can you believe it Grandmaster Flash was born this day in 1958. 1958, I can’t believe it, rappers aren’t supposed to be born that long ago. But that’s the price to be paid when you’re a pioneer I suppose. So in tribute to Grandmaster Flash, on the occasion of his 57th birthday here is Grandmaster Flash and the furious five with The Message

Fast-track immigration comes to Canada Our fearless leader Steven Harper has completely overhauled the immigration system, with little debate in the House of Commons and very little in the media. John Ibbitson in the Globe and Mail has one of the few analyses of the new program, and even it’s pretty quick. Under the new scheme, Would-be immigrants with a job offer go to the front of the line, as do applicants 20-29 years old with a PhD, language proficiency and past work experience in Canada. So I actually understand people who have job offers, get them processed and going but these qualified applicants will be invited to become permanent residents, and the processing time for that will be about six months, compared to the current wait of about two years.

Critics say the government will now be deciding who the winners and losers will be in a system without "transparency, oversight, or accountability." The Conservatives have made immigration and refugee policy less compassionate and more economically focused. Whether you support or oppose these reforms will depend on how you view immigration policy. But the quota for next year has been raised from 250,000 to 280,000 so the The Conservatives can hardly be called anti-immigrant.

Ibbitson writes that the number of refugees about 12,000 a year is similar to previous governments – but these are either privately sponsored or brought in under the Office of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. In either case, refugees to Canada are now far more carefully screened than in the past to ensure that they can integrate successfully. Family-class immigration has virtually vanished under the Tories. Instead, parents and grandparents can visit for up to 10 years using a new super visa, provided their families are able and willing to pay for health care and other costs.

Higher tariffs on some imports

Stevie H and his cronies are ending the tariff train for 72 countries, including Brazil, China, Indonesia, Mexico, Singapore and South Korea. Those countries had been on a list of less developed countries that were subject to lower tariffs since 1974 but which are now considered "higher-income and trade-competitive." However certain high-profile consumer goods, such as iPods and MP3 players, have been exempted. Which begs the question, why?

And so goods imported from South Korea are going to have a higher tariff although the new Free trade agreement with South Korea begins today.

The government forecasts exports to Korea will increase 32 per cent and will be particularly good news for Canadian agriculture. I’m assuming it’s a case where SK has been reclassified in terms of customs and the trade deal overrides that but try finding that information out either in the media or through Canadian customs and excise. Next week I’ll be back at my day job and fear not listener I will find the answer.

Abortion restrictions end in New Brunswick Effective Jan. 1, New Brunswick is eliminating the restrictive rule that required women seeking a hospital abortion to have two doctors certify the procedure is medically necessary. This change will put reproductive health procedures in the same category as any insured medical procedure.

In most provinces in Canada, abortions at a hospital are covered under provincial government health insurance Abortions are also covered at abortion clinics in Ontario, British Columbia, Newfoundland and Alberta. At abortion clinics in other provinces, you must pay some part of the cost. Women who wish to have an abortion in PEI are required to go outside of the province. Now I know PEI is famous for a nineteenth century female writer but they don’t have to perpetuate her living conditions. Good god.

WORLD CUP OF SOCCER COMING TO CANADA Now on the topic of female marginalisation, hands up who knows the big soccer tournament happening in 2015, huh? Give ya a hint – it’s being held in Canada? Yeah, any ideas? What? No. No ideas? Of course. Yeah I know a world cup was held last year, but that was the men’s world cup, this is the female world cup. The World Cup of Football or Soccer or whatever the hell you want to call it. All the world’s greatest soccer players are playing this summer in Canada. Female soccer players? What? I I don’t know where Sony or Pepsi or coke or Budweiser or I don’t know some big video game maker are, but it’s the best female soccer players in the world from June 6 to July 5, here in our midst, they’re playing in loads of places, Toronto is one of them. What? You’ve got to what? Wash your hair for the whole month. It’ll be really dirty? Oh, okay. Well I’ll be the one in the stands then will I?

SIGH.

A preferable parliament

And finally the parliament we all want but definitely do not deserve. For the second year running Ontario has been overrun by snowy owls smoking in parks selling tobacco on University campuses. No that’s not true but the owls have arrived in big numbers and nobody knows why. Is it some sort of omen? Who knows. But it’s more likely that the birds are venturing this far south due to climate disruptions and dwindling food stocks. So listen up Stevie H. The Owls are speaking.

This was the The Daily GRRR! for January 1, 2015. We are on weekdays from 9-10am on 100.3fm CKMS in Waterloo region, and soundfm.ca on the web. Check out all our past shows and other Grand River Media Collective work on our webpage grandrivermc.ca. The Daily GRRR! is supported by the Community Radio Fund of Canada and CKMS.

Happy New Year listeners, I hope it is safe and prosperous for all of you and here’s hoping we get the government we desperately need this year and that calmer minds and peaceful dispositions dictate our fortunes this year. Thanks for Listening.

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