There's a time to be born, but you can't choose conditions of the time

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The Andrews clan increased by one on June 22. Ezekiel (Zeke) Gordon Andrews was born to Shannon Farrell and Gordon Andrews in Timmins. Zeke weighed seven pounds, twelve ounces, nineteen inches long. Mom, Dad, and baby were in need of a good rest after several hours labour. Zeke looks contented in the photos that arrived by e-mail.

Gordon is son of Michael and the late Justina Andrews, grandson of yours truly.

There is no significance in the coincidence, that on June 22, 1903 James Frederick Bowes was born in Maple Grove, but it provides a link to help me remember the date of Zeke's birth.

Fred Bowes became my foster father when I was just twenty months old. He was brother-in-law to my mother, Vilo Jessie Andrews. I was lucky to fall into the care of a man who loved me as a son. I was not an orphan. I happened to arrive in Chatham, Ontario at the onset of the Great Depression. Don't think my birth caused the catastrophe that lasted for a decade. My mother, Vilo, suffered postpartum depression, and my father, Ken, couldn't afford to keep two little boys on the wages of the time.

My brother was left with a maternal great aunt. I was the lucky one partly due to generational attitudes.

World War II pulled Canada out of financial trouble and set the stage for many years of plenty. Hell of a way to heal an economy. I still hear some old timers say, "We need another war to get the economy going." It scares me to know such a mindset exists.

Zeke may have arrived in time for a recession if the latest news is to be believed. The American economic storm crows say Canada's economy is in trouble. Our minister of finance says they're wrong. I hope he's not just whistling in the dark.

Election fever is rising. Tom Mulcair and Justin Trudeau, grinning widely in Calgary while a quieter stampede parades through the streets, accuse Stephen Harper of failing to create jobs. Well, they would, wouldn't they?

Creating jobs is not the business of government. That's for people, companies and corporations to do. The government's role is to cut the red tape and make it as painless as possible to do business.

Watching local government struggle with meeting regulations shows how far out of touch higher levels are with reality. Add the local failure to read conditions and waste money, yikes!

Corporations are as mindless of the welfare of people as are politicians. Prices are rocketing upward just now, set to reward the shareholders. People on fixed incomes have to rely on food banks or eat cat food.

Food banks! Damn, I hate being shamed into donating food instead of providing it through taxes as it was before the common sense revolution.

The late Jack Petrie nearly suffered apoplexy when he was the local welfare officer. Bureaucrats had decided it was shaming to the needy to be issued vouchers for food. Give them the money so they aren't centred out at the store. It wasn't only for food. Fuel agents were ordered to deliver to customers who would pay with the money doled out to them. It took only one sale to learn that didn't always happen.

Jack was on the phone arguing about a request for money by a citizen known to abuse the system. He said, "I think..."

"You are not paid to think. Issue the check!"

The land line to Toronto smoked that day.



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