Canada column for Sunday, Nov. 12/17
THE CANADIAN REPORT
“Along Interstate 75,” an exit-by-exit guide to driving to Florida from Canada and return.
(c) By Jim Fox
Get your motor runnin' and head out on the highway.
That refrain by Steppenwolf is a common one for thousands of Canadians who are doing that en route to their winter playground in the Florida sun.
The annual migration of the so-called “snowbirds” to the warmer environs of the “Sunshine State” is well under way.
Writer Dave Hunter is the authority on the I-75 expressway to the sun with an internet-updated printed guidebook for the 958 miles to Florida from Windsor-Detroit.
Hunter and wife Kathy, who split their time between Mississauga, Ontario and Lakeland, Florida have written the book on travel to Florida.
They have been making this trek for 48 years and writing about it the past 24 years in their “Along I-75” guidebook and companion publication, “Along Florida’s Expressways.”
Each page is packed with helpful information, covering 25 miles or 30 minutes of driving, reporting on road conditions, construction zones and more.
There are 3,000 listings of what is within a mile of each exit including gas stations, restaurants and lodging. Details: i75online.com
An Abbotsford, British Columbia police officer was killed in an exchange of gun fire with an alleged car thief.
Hundreds of people gathered on overpasses along Highway 1 to pay tribute to Constable John Davidson as his funeral motorcade passed.
Davidson, 53, was trying to arrest a suspect who had opened fire in the parking lot of a shopping center.
Oscar Arfmann, 65, is being held for first-degree murder in the death of the 24-year police veteran who had a wife and three children.
News in brief:
- A national debate is underway into how to manage marijuana sales to be legalized by the Canadian government next July 1. Ontario and eastern provinces want control over sales while western provinces might opt for private retailers. So far, Ontario and New Brunswick plan to control access through government-run liquor stores. Manitoba’s liquor board will distribute legal marijuana to private retailers.
- The Canadian government is concerned about a renewed flood of refugees if the U.S. revokes the temporary status of some 1.7-million “Dreamers” next year. Canada has sent two Spanish-speaking politicians to talk to potential migrants in the U.S. about “myths” of what might be offered to refugee claimants. Many of the Dreamers came to the U.S. illegally as children and were allowed to stay.
Facts and figures:
Canada’s dollar is higher at 78.81 cents U.S. while the U.S. dollar returns $1.268 in Canadian funds before exchange fees.
The Bank of Canada’s key interest rate is steady at 1 percent while the prime-lending rate is 3.2 percent.
Stock markets are higher, with the Toronto exchange index at 16,039 points while the TSX Venture index is 796 points.
The average price for gas in Canada is higher at $1.219 a liter or $4.63 (Canadian) for a U.S. gallon.
Lotto 6/49: (Nov. 8) 22, 24, 25, 32, 39 and 42; bonus 45. (Nov. 4) 1, 3, 6, 21, 22 and 33; bonus 19. Lotto Max (Nov. 3) 16, 17, 18, 20, 40, 42 and 43; bonus 15.
- Ontario’s colleges have been ordered to create a fund to assist students experiencing financial hardship as a strike by faculty and staff drags on into its second month. Advanced Education Minister Deb Matthews said the 24 colleges will use money from unpaid wages and other savings for the fund. The Ontario Public Service Employees Union, representing 12,000 strikers, is urging its members to reject the latest offer.
- They’re not exactly men in tights but about 30 bearded, burly guys in Newfoundland have been photographed wearing sparkly mermaid tails. Posing as “merb’ys,” they’re raising money for Spirit Horse NL’s therapeutic riding program to aid mental health and life skills for children and adults. Their photos are appearing among the wharfs, rugged cliffs and sea scenes in a calendar that’s become a global hit.
Jim Fox can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org