heart

what a heart there

lying on the kitchen floor,

nearly tripped over it

walking by –

“who’d go and leave their heart laying out like that where it could get all crushed and broken?”

so I picked it up

and left it on the counter

and covered it with a glass bowl

to keep it safe until the owner

could reclaim it and put it back

where it belonged.

empty bits

there comes this time
like the inevitable wave that rolls in,
like the inevitable wave that rolls out;
this absence of a presence,
this presence of an absence;
and we are lost in the crowd,
and the crowd is lost with us.

i cannot accept the undesireable exorcism
that casts out life and lives like scrap,
rolling toward the end of the conveyor belt,
dropping piece by piece to the crucible,
to be forged into nothing;
at least nothing worth while,
just spare parts without me,
without you –

empty bits for the next universe.

she, the power behind it all

my ancient lover
lays slumbering in my breast
too comfortable for my own good;
she resists the images of the day
both memory and the scents
of a world gone mad and yet unchanged;
until like a corpse preserved in the moors
she drifts to the surface of my mind,
leans in close and whispers –

“write”

and i obey

solstice

this pendulum,
winter’s cold, iron arm
has swung into the deeper places
where the light seldom shines
and now it has stopped…
like a heart between beats
and we are caught breathless
in icebourne, crisp anticipation
waiting for the withering end
or the great slow turn
toward a brighter day
toward a warmer day
where we understand the words

“behold, i am making all things new!”

 

Manitoba Throne Speech 2019

A full copy of the throne speech can be found here:

https://www.gov.mb.ca/thronespeech/thronespeech_nov_2019.html

Highlights:

  • Beginning in the 2020 tax year, the Provincial Sales Tax on professional fees related to the preparation of wills and tax returns will be eliminated;
  • The Provincial Sales Tax will also be removed from personal services over $50, including salon services;
  • Probate fees will also be eliminated as of July 1st, 2020; and
  • Vehicle registration fees will be reduced by 10 per cent starting on July 1st, 2020.
  • eliminate the education portion of property taxes over 10 years starting 2020
  • Partners in Economic Growth (PEG) initiative will be launched with regional and sector partners selected to focus on the province’s areas of economic strength, including agriculture, aerospace and technology.
  •  eliminate provincial regulatory barriers that restrict the ability of our farmers to produce food for local markets, and free consumers to connect directly with local producers.
  • eliminate Sunday and holiday shopping restrictions while preserving the right of municipalities to maintain retail hour restrictions in their communities if they so choose
  • A new $20 million Manitoba Mineral Development Fund will be established to encourage resource development in northern Manitoba
  • Funding for tourism promotion will be increased by 25 per cent, with five per cent of tourism related revenue devoted to promoting Manitoba tourism and investments, including a strategy to attract more major events
  • enhanced Manitoba Film and Video Tax Credit
  • highway construction budget will be increased from $350 million to $400 million over the next four years.
  • The Public Sector Construction Projects (Tendering) Act will be re-introduced to level the playing field so that contractors are not forced to hire unionized labour
  • complete the Lake Manitoba Outlet Channel
  • $407 million has been added to the province’s rainy-day fund
  • replace the Civil Service Act with The Public Service Act
  • $2 billion Health Care Guarantee
  • create 200 new nursing positions by 2023
  • $3.4 million women’s health initiative will be launched
  • a new acute medical sobering facility staffed with mental health professionals capable of treating up to 20 patients at a time, supportive recovery and a 24/7 drop-in centre
  • 12 new treatment and waiting spaces for those suffering meth psychosis and other serious addiction and mental health issues
  • 20 New Schools Guarantee will mandate the construction of 13 new schools over the next ten years in addition to the seven schools already committed
  • 1,510 additional school-based child-care spaces will be added as part of the 20 New Schools Guarantee
  • $25 million Teachers’ Idea Fund to support innovative solutions brought forward to streamline operations by teachers, and improve educational outcomes
  • extend leave protections to all survivors of sexual violence, regardless of whether or not they were in a domestic relationship with the perpetrator. Survivors will be able to access 10 ad hoc days, and a continuous period of up to 17 weeks, to obtain victims’ services, seek legal assistance or relocate
  • implement `Clare’s Law’ in Manitoba, ensuring that women can access information about their partner’s past history of domestic violence and empowering women to leave potentially abusive situations.
  • A Municipal Audit and Accountability Program will also be established to provide third party value-for-money audits for municipalities that desire to improve services without raising taxes
  • introduce a $25 million energy efficiency retrofit program for existing homes and commercial buildings
  • The ethanol requirement will be increased to 10 per cent, and the biodiesel requirement to five per cent, of fuels in 2020
  •  allow restaurants to deliver wine directly to customers. Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries will be directed to exempt Manitoba craft distillers, cideries and brewers from product mark-ups for craft products produced and sold on-premises (personal edit – WOOHOO!)