“Twilight Zone” revisited

I have no proof, but I think the name of the Registrar-General for Ontario is Rod Serling because I seem to have been thrown into an episode of “Twilight Zone”. Here’s the situation:

As I have written previously, I want to change my name. I originally changed it when I began my transition to give my family some privacy. That was twenty years ago. My ex-wife has gone back to her maiden name and I’ve decided to take back my family surname and adopt the name my mother had in mind had I been born female and as middle name I chose “Ann”, which is the common middle name of my new family.

With this in mind, I sent an application for a name change, with the appropriate fee, to the Registrar-General’s office in Thunder Bay. Three months later I received my application back, with a request to provide a criminal background check. Now, according to the form, because I answered all the questions related to criminal background “no”, it was not necessary to provide this additional document. Because it had taken so long – the R-G’s office said six to eight weeks – I had contacted my MPP’s office to find out what was going on. (The Member of Provincial Parliament in Ontario is the equivalent of a State congressman in the US.) Upon receiving the form and request, I contacted the MPP’s office again and explained the situation.

You can cue the “Twilight Zone” theme now. While they didn’t indicate as much on the sheet attached to my application, what they want is a criminal background check on my chosen name, not my current name. This seems like a very odd request. How am I supposed to get a criminal background check on a name I don’t use yet except on Facebook and WordPress? Next step was a phone call to Durham Regional Police. The young lady I spoke with was quite blunt after I explained the situation to her. She simply said “You can’t.” Fortunately, she did have a solution. I have to apply for a background check under my current name and apparently there is a space on the form for “other names” and in that space I should put the name I want. That means both names will be run through the system.

This is where it gets a little more strange. The lady at the Ministry under which the Registrar-General operates told the lady at the MPP’s office this additional background check is required to make certain the name I’ve chosen is “clean”. In this context that means there is no other person with that name in the CPIC records who may have a record or otherwise may have attracted the attention of the authorities. If there is, I may have to change the spelling of my name. Not much of a problem other than I refuse to change the spelling of my surname. We’ve been here since at least 1850 and my surname honours that.

So, at the end of the month, once my pension check arrives, I’m off to the local police station to try to explain this to whoever is working the desk. That should be fun. Oh yes, I must also have $55 to pay for this.

I’ll keep you informed. I have the feeling this won’t be the end of this episode.

Cat.

What’s going on?

What is happening with politicians in and around Toronto the past two days?

There is a report, confirmed by the person themself, that a Toronto City Councillor was charged with impaired driving last night.  She won’t make any further comment on advice of her lawyer.  Mayor Rob Ford has said that these things happen.  Of course this is the same Rob Fordwho, years ago in Florida was stopped and found to have a joint in the car.  And, being Robbie, he denied it until a reporter produced the police report, then he suddenly “remembered” it.

In Whitby, east of Toronto, a man reported to be a former city councillor from Oshawa, has barricaded himself in a building in an industrial area and has threatened to “blow his head off”. This has been going on since about 1:45 this morning (it is 6:20 pm as I write this).  There are several odd twists to this other than a man barricading himself inside a building.  According to reports, this ex-councillor abducted the current Oshawa solicitor as he arrived at his home following a meeting of Oshawa City Council.  The solicitor managed to escape while being driven around Oshawa and advised police.  Somehow the police tracked the ex-councillor to an autobody shop in an industrial area of Whitby and that is where the situation stands.  From the news footage from a helicopter, there are cruisers from Durham Region surrounding the shop, an ambulance and fire vehicle on standby, and York Region Police sent their “war wagon” down to Whitby as well.  I’ll update this when it ends and we learn why it happened in the first place.

And finally, yesterday Dalton McGuinty, the Premier of Ontario, stepped down.  This was totally unexpected by most people, including the reporters who cover Queen’s Park.  Not only is he stepping down, he has taken the unusual step of proroguing the legislature.  That act has probably caused more upset than his resigning.  That act means that nothing will get done until Dalton’s replacement has been chosen and sworn in. Proroguing the legislature doesn’t dissolve the session, it merely puts it on hold.  Considering the number of problems Dalton and the boys were having, naturally the opposition wants the legislature to keep on working.  As a resident of Ontario, I too want the business of the province to continue to be dealt with, rather than wait six months for the new Premier to take office.

Is all this political nonsense the result of something in the air?  I’d suggest the water, but Oshawa and Toronto have separate water supplies.  Unless of course someone put something in Lake Ontario.  If that’s the case, I’ll expect more weirdness from cities and towns downstream.

Enjoy your day and remember to hug an artist – we need love too.  And please say a prayer for the Canadian Border Services Agency guard shot at Peace Arch in B C this afternoon.  **Update: 6:55 pm. A female border guard was shot in the neck on the Canadian side of the border.  The suspect then shot himself in the head.**

Cat.