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My Canadian Experience
Chatham Fish n Chip Shop does Haggis Suppers!

And lo and behold I visited Lil Juli's Fish n' Chips at 443 St. Clair St., Chatham which is run by Ron Atkinson from Fife, Scotland.

Cyndi had told me about this the other week and tonight (26th Jan) I decided to give it a go as I would be passing it on my way home. Here is the menu...

And you may note he has Irn-Bru on the menu.  He also does a curry sauce as well BUT what this doesn't show is that he also does haggis and black pudding if you know to ask for it. I tried the haggis pudding and it was excellent. I'll certainly be back :-)

I was up at the Source.. the old Radio Shack... as I needed a new USB hub as my four were all filled so I got a 7 port hub.  While there I spotted a tv2pc box which runs through your USB port and lets you view your TV on your computer monitor.  It was $99.99 but figured it would be worth getting as that way I could do a video capture to my notebook computer. Having got home I discovered that the sets of cables and the output on my TV were both female ends so ended up spending another $44.45 on getting conversion cables <grrr>.

Then having got the cables and got it hooked I was all set to install the software from the CDROM when I found that my cdrom wasn't working <sigh>.  Thankfully I do have extended warranty on my Dell notebook so phoned up technical support and after around 2 hours in trying all kinds of things they eventually agreed that it was probably faulty and so are sending me out a replacement which should arrive on Monday 30th although by Saturday 4th it still hadn't arrived.

When I first got my office organised in Chatham I ensured that I would have plenty of plugs. And I actually do have plenty of them but I find that most accessories seem to have the power adaptor as the plug and so any time you stick that in it covers two or three plug points.  I now do not have a visible plug point left so looks like I'm going to need an extension cord just to get access to some more points.

I got my first book review printed in Per Ardua, the newsletter of the Clan MacIntyre. I have never done a book review in my life so this was a new experience.

I started a wee section on the site this week listing Scottish Bakers and Butchers. It's intended to highlight actual shops and not Internet operations. I got an email in from Robert Stewart about But n Ben in Canada and I phoned them up to get some information.  Well it seems the family business has been in Canada for some 200 years and they are going to send me over some samples of their products as well as an account of their history.  I really enjoy getting things in like this as it adds to our store of knowledge on Scots descendants and of course I get to enjoy some free samples but also when I post up the article it will hopefully help their business as well.  So all in all we all win :-)

I learned today (4th February) that the Chatham Highland Games has found their major sponsor and the games will now go ahead.  I've donated 500 of my Clan Maps to them to help raise the balance of funds that they need so hope that helps.

I also got an email in telling me that while I claim I have 20,000 pages on my site Google is claiming I have 153,000 pages.  Should you go to and type in (note no spaces) they will report "Results 1 - 10 of about 153,000 from". If you then do the same search site: (Note a space between the site: and it reports "Results 1 - 10 of about 166,000 for site:". I'm told that the extra 13,000 are page links to from other web sites.

I've emailed Google support to see if I can get this confirmed as that's a serious underestimation on my part for sure <gulp>  Mind you it's not that easy to get a response from Google and indeed all I got back was an automated response saying to check their help pages.  Having already spent 2 hours on their help pages and not finding an answer was the reason for emailing them in the first place <sigh>.

On 6th February the new prime minister of Canada was sworn in...

Stephen Harper, with the Governor General,
 moments after being sworn in as
Canada's 22nd prime minister.

The entire cabinet looks like this: (courtesy of CBC News)

Stephen Harper - Prime Minister

Rona Ambrose - Minister of Environment
Edmonton-Spruce Grove, Alta.
One of the younger MPs at only 36, she has served in the shadow cabinet. Ambrose was a member of the Finance committee and the legislative committee on Bill C-38 (the same-sex marriage bill). She has also served as a member of the energy caucus and was a critic for Intergovernmental Affairs and International Trade. Ambrose worked for the government of Alberta's international and intergovernmental relations department and was a public policy and communications consultant before being elected in 2004.

John Baird - President of the Treasury Board
Ottawa West-Nepean, Ont.
Baird has provincial cabinet experience, serving as Minister of Community and Social Services, with responsibility for Francophone Affairs, Minister responsible for Children, Associate Minister of Francophone Affairs, Chief Government Whip, Deputy House Leader, Minister of Energy and Government House Leader. He has also served as parliamentary secretary in a number of provincial portfolios. At the federal level he has served as the Finance and Culture Critic, Opposition House Leader, Health Critic and Deputy House Leader while in opposition. In 1985, he was the youngest delegate at the Tory Provincial Leadership Convention.

Maxime Bernier - Minister of Industry
Beauce, Que.
A newcomer to Parliament Hill, Bernier will still have his father’s experience to draw on. Now a senator, Gilles Bernier was elected for three terms in the 1980s and 1990s as both a Tory and an independent. The younger Bernier is a lawyer and businessman who has worked for financial and banking institutions and was consultant on legislative issues on their behalf. He has expertise in business, economic and constitutional matters. He was also a member of the board of the Montreal Economic Institute. Most recently, he was vice-president for corporate affairs and communications for Standard Life Canada.

Jean-Pierre Blackburn - Minister of Labour and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec
Jonquière-Alma, Que.
First elected in 1984, Blackburn served two terms as an MP in Brian Mulroney’s government and was the parliamentary secretary to the Minister of National Defence in 1993. He has served on parliamentary committees on the Constitution, communications and culture and general budgetary estimates. He was also the chair of the standing committee on labour, employment and immigration and co-chair of the public accounts committee. A well-known and involved businessman in his community, Blackburn has taught marketing, computer science and accounting. He is currently the president of Blackburn Communication Inc., which specializes in business development and public relations.

Lawrence Cannon - Minister of Transport
Pontiac, Que.
He was a provincial minister of communications (1990-1994) and was an adviser to Premier Robert Bourassa in the early 1970s. Cannon has experience in both municipal and provincial politics. He was also appointed by Stephen Harper as Deputy Chief of Staff and associate executive director of the Conservative Party of Canada. Provincially, Cannon was the parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Commerce and Development and the Minister of Tourism and was the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly.

Michael Chong - President of the Queen's Privy Council and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister for Sport

Tony Clement - Health
Parry Sound-Muskoka, Ont.
A lawyer and entrepreneur, Clement also has provincial cabinet experience where he was Minister of Transportation, Minister of Environment, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing and Minister of Health and Long-Term Care. He was also parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Citizenship, Culture and Recreation and to the Premier. He has lost leadership bids for both the provincial and federal Tory leadership.

Stockwell Day - Minister of Public Safety
Okanagan-Coquihalla, B.C.
Day is the party's foreign affairs critic and has served on the standing committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade. He easily won the riding where he has served since 2000. He was once the leader of the then fledgling Canadian Alliance party and also represented Red Deer-North as a provincial politician for four terms starting in 1986. Day served as Leader of the Opposition in Parliament after winning a byelection in Okanagan-Coquitlam in September 2000. In 2002 he was succeeded by Stephen Harper as party leader.

David Emerson - Minister International Trade Vancouver Kingsway, B.C. Elected as a Liberal in 2004 and 2006, Emerson crossed the floor to join the Tory government in time to find himself in the Conservative cabinet. Emerson was the minister of industry in Paul Martin’s Liberal cabinet. He was also the chair of the Cabinet Committee on Sustainable Development. A successful businessman, he has worked as a researcher for the Economic Council of Canada in Ottawa, in provincial politics as B.C.'s deputy minister of finance and as president and CEO of the Western and Pacific Bank of Canada (now the Canadian Western Bank). He also served in B.C. as deputy minister of finance, and was soon named deputy minister to the premier, and then president of the B.C. Trade Development Corporation.

Diane Finley - Minister of Human Resources and Social Development
Haldimand-Norfolk, Ont.
Finlay has served as the party's agriculture critic. First elected in 2004, Finley is a businesswoman who has worked in senior executive roles with major Canadian private and Crown corporations encompassing health care, transportation, agricultural equipment manufacturing, printing and publishing, and aviation.

Jim Flaherty - Minister of Finance
Whitby-Oshawa, Ont.
Flaherty has provincial cabinet experience. In the Ontario cabinet, Flaherty was the Minister of Labour and served as Acting Solicitor-General and Minister of Correctional Service. He was also Attorney-General, the Minister responsible for Native Affairs, Deputy Premier, Minister of Finance and the Minister of Enterprise, Opportunity and Innovation. He served as parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations and to the attorney general. A lawyer since 1975, Flaherty practiced in the private sector and was a deputy judge in small claims court and Counsel General of Ghana in Toronto.

Michael Fortier - Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Loyola Hearn - Minister of Fisheries and Oceans
St. John's South-Mount Pearl, N.L.
He has a lot of experience governing, after 11 years in provincial government, including a four-year stint as minister of education. He retired from provincial politics in 1993 before being elected at the federal level for the first time in a May 2000 byelection. He is a former critic for: Canadian Heritage, Public Works and Government Services, and Fisheries and Oceans and was the Conservative Party of Canada House leader. At the committee level, Hearn is a former member of Natural Resources and Government Operations, Public Accounts, subcommittee on international financial reporting guidelines and standards for the public sector of public accounts, Canadian Heritage, Fisheries and Oceans, subcommittee on sports, special committee on the modernization and improvement of the procedures of the House of Commons, subcommittee on children and youth at risk.

Marjory LeBreton - Leader of the Government in the Senate

Gary Lunn - Minister of Natural Resources
Saanich-Gulf Islands, B.C.
A four-time MP, Lunn has been a Reform, Canadian Alliance and now Conservative member. He is the former critic for Social Development, Fisheries and Oceans, National Revenue, International Trade and the Environment. The former vice-chair of the Fisheries and Oceans committee, he has also served committees that include: Fisheries and Oceans, Public Accounts, Environment and Sustainable Development, Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Child Custody and Access, Scrutiny of Regulations, Human Resources, Skills Development, Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities. A lawyer, he was a paramedic with the B.C. Ambulance Service, a mining construction superintendent, a safety and training co-ordinator and industrial relations officer with Crestbrook Forest Industries.

Peter MacKay - Minister of Foreign Affairs
Central Nova, N.S.
MacKay is the former leader of the Progressive Conservative party and is well respected. An MP since 1997, he is also the deputy leader of Harper’s Conservative Party. Federally, he has been involved in a number of committees and sub-committees, including: Justice and Human Rights, Corrections and Conditional Release Act of Justice and Human Rights, Organized Crime of Justice and Human Rights, National Security of Justice and Human Rights, the study of sport in Canada, the modernization and improvement of the procedures of the House of Commons and Justice and Human Rights, Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness. He was also a critic in the following areas: Solicitor General, Justice, Public Security, Prime Minister, Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and Deputy PM. Before entering politics he served as the crown attorney for the N.S. Public Prosecution Service and prosecuted criminal matters at the youth, provincial and Supreme Court levels.

Rob Nicholson - House Leader
Niagara Falls, Ont.
While he has been in federal cabinet before, Nicholson is not considered to be an inner-circle type in a Harper government. Among other roles, he has served as Minister for Science and Minister responsible for Small Business, parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General and was a member of the Cabinet Committee on Economic and Environmental Policy. A lawyer for more than 20 years, he was appointed a Queen's Counsel in 1992.

Gordon O'Connor - Minister of Defence
Carleton-Mississippi Mills, Ont.
O’Connor was first elected as an MP in 2004. He has since acted as the critic for National Defence. O’Connor was also a member of the National Defence and Veterans Affairs committee and the subcommitee on Veterans Affairs. A former member of the Canadian Forces, he retired with the rank of brigadier-general. His military appointments included responsibility for planning the future force structure of the Canadian Forces and co-ordinating resources related to about 300 Canadian Forces equipment and infrastructure projects. He has since worked as a consultant and in a variety of business operations.

Bev Oda - Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women
Durham, Ont.
The incumbent is a former CRTC commissioner and served as the heritage critic in the 38th Parliament. A teacher, Oda has also held various management and production positions with broadcasting companies. She was a member of the national advisory committee to the president of the Treasury Board on employment equity in the federal public service and Crown corporations and has also served as adviser to three different secretaries of state.

Jim Prentice - Minister of Indian Affairs
Calgary Centre-North, Alta.
First elected in 2004, he has been a member of the Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development committee and served as the critic for Indian Affairs and Northern Development. A lawyer who has practised for over 20 years, Prentice specializes in property rights. He has also served as a Commissioner of the Indian Claims Commission of Canada, owned and operated weekly newspapers, been part owner of a retail business and has been involved in real estate.

Carol Skelton - Minister of National Revenue and Minister of Western Economic Diversification
Saskatoon-Rosetown-Biggar, Sask.
An MP since 2000, Skelton was appointed as the critic for Social Economy, Western Economic Diversification, and Public Health and Social Development in 2004. She has also served as the vice-chair on the parliamentary committee for Persons with Disabilities and was appointed Deputy House Leader of the Official Opposition in 2002. Before her election in 2000, Skelton was a farm partner and district co-ordinator for Canadian Blood Services. She and her husband have farmed in Harris, Sask. for 35 years.

Monte Solberg - Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
Medicine Hat, Alta.
One of the better-known faces of the Conservative party. Solberg was the finance critic from 2003 to 2005, and was generally viewed to be good at it despite the fact that he doesn’t have an economics background. He has been in the House since 1993, first as a Reform member, then an Alliance member and now as a Conservative. That experience makes him a longer-serving member. He is the former vice-chair of the Finance committee, Foreign Affairs and International Trade committee and the Human Resources Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities committee. He was also a member of the Canadian Heritage committee. He has also served as critic for: Finance, Foreign Affairs, Revenue Canada, and Human Resources Development. Before entering politics, Solberg worked as a broadcaster for 17 years.

Chuck Strahl - Minister of Agriculture
Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon, B.C.
Previously the deputy Speaker, Strahl is well-known for his efforts to oust Canadian Alliance Leader Stockwell Day in 2001. He and several Alliance colleagues left the party to sit as the Democratic Representative Caucus. Day was eventually forced out. Strahl has also been diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. An MP since 1993, he was most recently the critic for Democratic Reform and Northern Economic Development and acted as the Deputy House Leader of the Official Opposition. Strahl is also the former deputy caucus co-ordinator, chief whip and former critic for Public Service, Natural Resources, Heritage (Culture/Economics) and Industry. He is a former member of numerous committees including: Procedure and House Affairs, Fisheries and Oceans, Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Natural Resources, Canadian Heritage, Aboriginal Affairs, Natural Resources, and Industry, Science and Technology. He was also the vice-chair of Procedure and House Affairs committee.

Greg Thompson - Minister of Veterans Affairs
New Brunswick Southwest, N.B.
A five-time MP, Thompson was most recently the critic for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. He has also served as a critic for: Health, Human Resources Development, Treasury Board and Regional Development. Thompson has served on numerous committees and subcommittees, including: Health, Human Resources Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities, Public Accounts, subcommittee on children and youth at risk, subcommittee on combating corruption of public accounts, special committee on non-medical use of drugs and the joint committee on scrutiny of regulations. A former teacher, Thompson was most recently the operator of a bed and breakfast and a furniture store.

Vic Toews - Minister of Justice
Provencher, Man.
He served as justice critic both as a member of the Canadian Alliance and as a Tory MP, and also served as critic of the attorney general. An MP since 2000, Toews is one of the most experienced, having also served as the minister of labour, minister of justice and attorney general, as well as the minister responsible for constitutional affairs at the provincial level. He has been a member of various committees, including: Justice and Human Rights, National Security of Justice and Human Rights, and Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness. In his career as a lawyer, he has served as Crown counsel to the department of the attorney general, as well as counsel to the Department of Labour and Employment Services and the Manitoba Labour Board, and was the director of Workplace Safety and Health and the director of Child Welfare.

Josée Verner - Minister of International Co-operation and Minister for La Francophonie and Official Languages
Louis St-Laurent, Que.
Verner lost to the BQ candidate in 2004 by just over seven per cent of the vote. Though she was not an MP, Harper appointed her as critic for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, and critic for the minister responsible for la Francophonie. A communications professional, Verner also worked for former Quebec premier Robert Bourassa.

And so there you have the swearing in ceremony and information on the new cabinet :-)

I got in a communication as a result of my TV interview on the A Channel from a Ralph Ferguson of 4288 Old Walnut Grove outside Petrolia who has offered to let me see a video that was done by the St. Andrews Society on the settlement of the area by Scots. Once the nights get a bit shorter I'll head up there to see it.

Had a problem with my notebook computer in that the CDROM/DVD drive wasn't working.  I won't go into all the details but in short I had my notebook re-registered from the UK to the USA and that worked fine but when I reported my problem on the drive I found they'd cancelled the shipment of the replacement due to me living in Canada.  So I then phoned Dell Canada and they fixed things for me although because on their records I was in the USA it took them a bit longer to sort things out.  They recommended I went to their Customer Care page on and re-register my notebook for Canada.

I confess I couldn't find it on their web site so phoned in and got some excellent help and managed to do the re-registration.  I must say that my experience with Dell Canada was superb and since I've now dealt with Dell in the UK and Dell in the USA I can say my experience with Dell Canada was way better in terms of speed and resolution. 

During February I've had emails from around eight people who having read this journal have contacted me asking questions about settling in Canada.  I always said that for every 1 person that actually emails me probably another 99 have got useful information but don't bother to email and tell you.  On that basis it seems to be helping people with their decision to immigrate to Canada so that's nice to know :-)

I also took the opportunity to do a Storyboard on my home in Chatham as the pictures are mostly spread throughout these  journal entries. And that completes this journal entry up to 12th February 2006.

Return to my Canadian Experience Index Page

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