Mark, Oliver, and I went to the cabin today. Wendy was working so we got up and drove on out there. We brought out the electric oil heater, some clean sheets, the first load of non-perishable foods, and our deck box packed in the back seat.
We unloaded the car and observed the carnage that is my bird houses. Every spring when I go to the cabin, I have bird houses all over the lawn. In the past it looked like the deer had eaten the twine that I had used and that is why they hit the ground. This year I used some wire to hang the birdhouses and it was still on the ground. As Mark and I were picking them up, I realized that the deer had eaten the branches they were hanging on. Well played deer, well played.
Other than that, it looked good. Last spring it looked like teeth marks on the cabin but this year it doesn’t look like any deer chewed on the cabin on at all. I’ll call that a win.
Of course taking Oliver to the cabin for only ten minutes was not my best move. The entire time home I heard him grumbling about not going swimming, not being able to get to the horses, no beach, no ice cream, no badminton, and not seeing any snakes. Apparently I am a horrible father. It was looking better once we got to Pip’s Esso in Watrous and we got a Freezee but his displeasure in my parenting was made really clear.
We should be back for Mother’s Day. I doubt the ice will be off the lake but we should be able to play some badminton. Hopefully he’ll be happier that trip.
Like a lot of you out there, I grew up watching Mike Duffy on television. I thought he was a fair interviewer that held both sides accountable. When he became a senator, he became increasingly partisan which I thought was an odd direction for him to go with but if that is what he thought, that is what he thought.
When the scandal hit over his residency, I was a little shocked by it because I see what he is doing and what Patrick Brazeau being two different things. Let’s look at what Duffy did.
He was named to the Senate from P.E.I. despite living in Ottawa for most of his life. He went out and bought and renovated a small P.E.I. cabin in Cavendish, P.E.I. to establish his residency in. Critics say that he spends most of his time in Ottawa and he shouldn’t get a housing allowance and yet he is expected to keep a second residence in PEI. This is different from other senators in which way? The truth is that he spends most of this time in Ottawa as a senator. They meet for about 88 working days a year. When you include in holidays and weekends is about 6 months of the year which means that he does need two residences. Duffy’s mistake is that he used his housing allowance to pay for his PEI home and not his Ottawa residence. So if he had sold his home and bought a condo in Ottawa, everything would have been okay? Let’s use some common sense on this.
As for why his neighbours haven’t seen a lot of him lately, the senate is in session and therefore he would be living in Ottawa. They had some neighbours complaining that they never see the Duffy’s. First of all there are people who own cabins at Arlington Beach that I have never seen and Cavendish is a lot bigger than Arlington. It also could be that the Duffy’s enjoy their privacy. Even more scandalous is that they even spend some of their social time in both Ottawa and Cavendish.
As for the health card, I love my cabin at Arlington Beach but if I was sick, I want to be at home. For me that is Saskatoon and for Duffy, that appears to be Ottawa. While it looked back when he wanted an expedited card, I don’t have a problem with him having an Ontario health card. If he is going to spending most of his time in Ottawa, it makes sense to me.
There are no Senate rules for residency in your home province and until there are, we should back off Senator’s like Mike Duffy. He’s a part of a weird undefined system. I don’t see fraud or even a scam. If anything it seems that Duffy never realized that once he turned partisan, the attacks would follow. As we have seen now, they have. The difference for Duffy is that he is on the receiving end of them.
Taken from the front step of the cabin yesterday.
Here is the view of the backyard.
As Wendy writes, we headed out to the cabin on Sunday for a couple of hours. What a difference a year makes. No water laying in farmer’s fields, no destroyed highways, no dangerous gravel roads, no there is actually a beach this year. I didn’t stop long in Watrous but I did manage to hear a farmer talk about the dry winter. One season removed from the worst flooding in my lifetime and already it is too dry. I love Saskatchewan.