Women Able to Vote for Almost 100 Years

I wrote the following genealogy column in 2013. Since a federal election is taking place in Canada today, I thought this was fitting. Did you know that many–but not all–women won the right to vote in Canada in 1918. That’s less than 100 years ago.

Could Your Ancestor Vote?

If someone had asked me, “Was your great-grandfather able to vote?” I would have said, “Yes.” As a Canadian citizen in the 1800s, there was no reason he’d be disqualified. He was a white male, and I assumed all white Canadian males—unless they were in prison—could vote. I was wrong.

It turns out my ancestors first had to own land or possess assets of a certain value to vote in municipal and provincial elections. If they didn’t, they could pay a poll tax and vote, but if they were too poor to own land, then they might not have been able to afford this tax.

My ancestors were more likely to have voted if they were Protestant. If they were Catholic or Jacobite, they couldn’t vote until 1829, and then they had to swear an allegiance to the King and his Protestant heirs. If they refused, they gave up their right to vote.

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Update on Canada Tax Information with the United States

FREE KINDLE READ:
Shadows in the Stone

Something amazing happened during my seven-month hiatus away from writing: the tax worries and hassles that plagued writing entrepreneurs in Canada had eased. In fact, it’s so darn easy now that no one—absolutely no one—has an excuse for not completing the tax form to prevent the IRS from claiming 30% of your royalties from your books.

More than a month ago, CreateSpace sent a message to update my tax information. I meant to take care of it, but like many things since March, it got lost in the chaos of life. The deadline came and went, but fortunately CreateSpace—who really wants my business—extended the deadline.

If I didn’t update my tax information, I would no longer be able to sell through CreateSpace. They certainly didn’t want that to happen, so a grace period of thirty days was awarded. This time I took advantage of the notice and stayed up late one night to see what the fuss was all about.

The questions were straight forward and easy to answer: Was I a US citizen? Did I have a business in the US? Etc.

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National Stompin’ Tom Connors Day

Square BannerSeventy-eight years ago today, a Canadian legend was born in Saint John, New Brunswick. For decades he criss-crossed our beautiful country, gathering stories, writing songs, sharing our history, singing and reminding Canadians, “We’ve got something special here.”

Charles Thomas Connors, better known to all as Stompin’ Tom, was our most prolific and well-known country and folk singer-songwriter.

And today, February 9th, is his day: National Stompin’ Tom Connors Day

It’s a day to remember him and the songs he gave to our country. A day to sit back and listen to familiar old tunes like “Bud the Spud”, “Margo’s Got the Cargo” and “Sudbury Saturday Night”.

Tom passed away last year on March 6th, and still nothing has appeared on the horizon to immortalise this Canadian icon, so I have declared this day his.

Long live his music, and let the legend play on.

While browsing YouTube, I discovered several wonder videos I’ve never seen before.

The first is a true story about a horse named Farmer who swam the channel from Grosse Île to Île d’entrée (Entry Island) in the Magdalen Islands in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. I have several of Tom’s albums, but I’ve never heard of this song or the story before.

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Death Can Not Silence the Voice of Canada

Stompin Tom 5x5Earlier this week a Canadian like no other died. The news surprised me; I hadn’t considered his final curtain, simply continued to listen to his music and sing along. I always thought Tom Connors, affectionately known at Stompin’ Tom, would be around forever, making Canadian music for all to enjoy.

I was wrong.

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Getting the Numbers: ISBN & CIP

When an author is published in the traditional manner by a publisher separate from themselves, all the business part of a book is taken care of for them. This includes getting an ISBN and CIP.

When you’re a freelance novelist—one who self-publishes—you get to do all this yourself…for good or bad.

ISBN

The acronym stands for International Standard Book Number. This number is exclusive to a book and book format. You’ll find this in the front matter (the pages between the front cover and the first word of the text) of a book, fiction or nonfiction. It’s a 13-digit number which can often appear on the back cover of a book as well.

Here’s what mine looks like for Shadows in the Stone, Book One…The Castle Keepers (bold text added to emphasise point below)

978-0-9868089-7-5     Shadows in the Stone – Electronic Kindle

978-0-9868089-8-2     Shadows in the Stone – Electronic Smashwords

978-0-9868089-6-8     Shadows in the Stone – Book (soft cover)

978-0-9868089-9-9     Shadows in the Stone – Book (hard cover)

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We Grow Great Libraries in Canada

Last year I had read somewhere that in the United Kingdom, public libraries were taking a beating. With access to the Internet and ebooks, apparently the number of people using libraries was down. The government began to rethink the need for libraries and many were slated to close.

When I read this, I couldn’t believe my eyes. I had to search the webpage to see if this indeed was current news. It was. Not only were libraries being reduced in number, the government defended the closures by saying the public wasn’t interested in the old system any longer and preferred to learn and find information from the Internet. On top of that, fewer libraries meant tax payers would save millions.

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