Monday, October 15, 2018

Legalization without answering questions about impairment is setting Canadians up to fail.

As an employer I want to be able to educate those I hire on Cannabis use.  I feel like it is my responsibility to make sure those that drive our company vehicles or use our heavy equipment are not impaired.  As an uncle I want to make sure my nieces and nephews are safe when they drive after they experiment with cannabis which I am sure they will.  As Canadian sharing the roads with other people I want to make sure I am safe to drive should I decide to partake in the green with my buddies instead of enjoying some beers while watching a hockey game.  So when it become apparent legalization was going to happen I expected educational media to be created and presented on the internet, social media, radio and television with information helping people grasp the concept of impairment.  Seems to me that before legalizing cannabis there would be an effort made to educate the public on how long do they wait after using before driving or using heavy equipment.

To me the question “how long to wait after using cannabis products” is the biggest and most important question with legalization.  That affects everyone who drives or operates equipment. Is 4 hours, 8 hours, 12 hours long enough for the THC is the system to be low enough to pass a roadside test with whatever equipment the police use to determine if you are impaired?   It is rather concerning when you think about it in depth.  

  1. Nobody seems to know how long a person has to wait till they blow clean on whatever machine the police use.  In Edmonton the police force isn't even sure which machine they should use.
  2. The Machine the RCMP use Dräger DrugTest 5000 apparently has has issues which lead to false positives when used in freezing temperatures so you could be clean and still test positive. Too bad, so sad, you get a DUI on your license that could take months to clear up.  Here is hoping you don’t drive for a living because by the time you get things sorted you will be broke, moved in with your mother enjoying the basement suite.  

I am not expert on any of this.  I am trying to figure this out like the rest of you. I have tweeted multiple times to the different police departments, radio hosts, politicians hoping to get any sort of information on this and only got silence.  Only people willing to say anything is MADD which had a radio ad saying 4 hours. That seemed low to me but I don’t know for certain. I can easily imagine a scenario where my nephew trying a water bong and gets bombed out of his mind, drives 4 hours later, blows over, ends up losing his license, gets a DUI, can’t get to work, and loses his job.  

I don’t care if weed is legal, what really bothers me is making it legal without answering really important life changing questions about impairment.  Questions our police should be able to provide information on when you contact them asking for help. Sadly our police is stuck with the laws the elected politicians create on the elected politicians time frame.  I can’t get mad at the police for not wanting to give false information. From my perspective they are being asked to do the impossible.

1. Police our roads without reliable equipment that will lead to numerous court challenges.
2. Provide guidance to Canadians on how to safely use cannabis without driving impaired without the Police having the data to provide this information.
It is crazy, it is asinine and it is setting all Canadians up to fail. Education needed to have happened already. Every citizen has to deal with legalization and try to figure out how long to wait before driving. Every business has to come up with some sort of policy to protect that business from impaired workers. The cold hard reality is our elected government did things in a way all of us have to GUESS.  That concerns me greatly because guessing wrong could mean someone gets killed as impaired drivers are dangerous, someone’s career over as a DIU makes a person uninsurable or a business goes under after negative publicity relating to a driver driving with too much THC in their system. Legalization isn’t all fun and games when you really look at it. Our sons, daughters, parents and even grandparents are going to the ones to pay for the sins of our government and their rush to legalization.  

What are your thoughts on legalization? What concerns you?

Master Iceman

Monday, August 27, 2018

Getting hired by Columbia Ice, only local ice company in Edmonton

I wasn't in good shape mentally when Ernie called me for an interview.  It had been two years I had been unemployed.  Sure I was making a little money doing videos on youtube but not enough to really live on or call it employment.  I know the day of the interview I hadn't slept the night before as when you are unemployed for long periods of time you end up doing the stay up late, sleep in late schedule.  When your interview is for 11 am there is really no point to going to bed at least for me because nerves always got the best of me.  It was probably my size, the fact I have done sales in the past and I had a clean abstract as to why Ernie hired me. 

I remember the first day of work.  We didn't have a machine to put the small bags into a bigger bag back then.  We had to do everything by hand.  This required one person on the auger, and two other people quickly stuffing big bags with little bags and palleting the ice.  I remember Ernie saying slow down you are working too hard.  I don't actually thinking I was working too hard just sweating a lot.  I wasn't in shape and I was dying trying to keep up.  First day of anything is like that.  Your body and mind isn't ready for something new, but luckily the human body adjusts very quickly. 

I wish I could say I was a good worker back then.  I had the potential to be a good worker but at the time I was screwed up in the head.  We spend a lot of our youth screwing up and there is a point when you become an adult where the consequences of those screw ups smack you in the face.  It is a struggle learning to forgive yourself for being so stupid when you are young.  That was really the stage in my life I was at when I got the job as an ice delivery driver.  The palleting of the ice I found very difficult because within the repetitive actions of putting small bags into bigs I ended up alone with my thoughts.  When your thoughts towards yourself are not kind you are desperate for distraction.  Driving wasn't much better except I could listen to sports radio.  Sports for me have always been a way to escape giving me peace. 

7 years later I am the manager of the company, running the ice plant, hiring people, training people, taking apart machines and putting them back together.  Never would of guessed it back then.  Back then I spent most times dreaming of something better not understanding that often something better can come from where I was. 

Thanks for listening..

Master Iceman

Friday, August 17, 2018

Feds consider tips a wage but provincial government does not... confusing...

If you are a server in Alberta legally you are suppose to declare your tips as part of your wage so the CRA aka the Canadian Revenue Agency so they can tax you.  This would suggest that tips are indeed part of a wage since you get taxed on wages.  I know most servers only declare a small amount or no amount.  I imagine the kitchen staff which often gets a piece of the tip pie also rarely declares the full amount but in theory if you get tips you are suppose to declare those tips so the federal government can tax them.  

At the provincial level those tips are magic beans and do not exist when it comes to determining an employee's wage.  It doesn't matter that a server could be making an additional $30.00 an hour from tips, the wage that server makes is the amount listed on the pay slip the employer gives the employee every two weeks.  This matters because provincial governments get to set things like minimum wage.  In Alberta minimum wage is going up to 15 an hour.  Restaurant owner doesn't get any credit for creating a mechanism where a server can earn 45.00 an hour with tips.  The provincial government just sees the hourly wage on the play slip blissfully unaware that the server is taking home far more than minimum wage. 

I don't own a restaurant or a pub so this doesn't affect me directly.  I do think it is ridiculous that the federal government through it's taxation is saying tips are indeed part of a servers wage whereas the provincial government by not having tips count as a wage is saying no tips are not a wage.  Lets give these food establishments recognition for creating a way where people can earn far more than minimum wage and stop pretending tips are not part of a wage at the provincial level.  

Thanks for listening...

Master Iceman