Children Fall Through the Cracks Because Those Responsible for Their Safety and Care Fail Them


Social work, child phycology, and other tools currently utilised to help children stop being juvenile delinquents and become healthy contributing members of society for the most part do not work, because they do not address the root causes of the pain and suffering of the children in question.  For the most part children who break the law, or resist authority are punished for their offenses first and their reasons for their acting out an after thought, if raised at all. Politicians, judges, lawyers, police, social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, teachers, etc., all are part of a vicious circle of adult authority figures that hurt children.

There has been a lot of talk about the need for change in the way the system deals with all aspects of child abuse, but for the most nothing gets changed, because most adults believe that children:

  • are their property to do with as they please;
  • are born liars and will try to lie their way out of punishment even if it means falsely accusing an authority figure of abuse;
  • have over zealous imaginations making their alleged abuse mere fantasy and not reality;
  • should be seen and not heard;
  • should be forced to obey their elders;
  • will forget and get over in time the abuse they are subjected to;
  • being protected from abuse is not worth the reputation of a politician, priest, teacher, coach, government, church, school, or even sports team.

Until those charged with ensuring the well-being of children start hearing, believing and doing more to make children safe from adults who physically, mentally and sexually abuse them, children will keep falling through the cracks.  It is hard extremely turn a kid around in an hour a week session, who has been abused since they were old enough to remember, punished repeatedly for acting out by authority figures, and feels alone and betrayed by every adult in their life.

Betrayal: Children are often too embarrassed, or too afraid to tell anyone about the mental cruelty, beatings or daily sexual assaults, so when they do come forward and no one believes them, or fails to act, they feel betrayed, go deeper into their protective shell, and become angry.

The vicious cycle of child abuse: Angry children if not turned around become angry, anti social, young adults, most likely to get into trouble with the law and be punished for it. These young adults will rightfully blame society for their problems and become angry adults. Some will become child abusers, some rapists, some drug addicts, some career criminals. The sad truth is that very few will make it to become healthy contributing members of society. Pimps, drug addicts, alcoholics, pedophiles, rapists, homeless people, etc., are not born that way. They are the bi-product of a society that does not care about their children enough to take meaningful steps to protect them from those who would prey on them.

Children are not safe in Canada, because:

  • Teachers, doctors and other such professional continue not to report suspected child abuse;
  • the reluctance of police to arrest suspected child abusers;
  • the almost impossible task of getting prosecutors to charge and aggressively seek conviction and real punishment for cases of suspected child abuse;
  • judges failing to give maximum penalties to those convicted of child abuse.
  • politicians refusing to protect children from child abuse under the law, choosing instead to write laws that see young offenders treated like adults for breaking the law.

If I had a dime for every teacher, parent, etc. told me that they either knew or suspected that children were being abused, by a co-worker, family member, or religious leader, and did nothing about it, I would be a rich man today.

A sitting Canadian Senator was suspected of inappropriate sexual relations with a minor girl and force to resign.  The problem was and still is that he had broken no Canadian law. Apparently, their image and not what did or did not happen.  Young girls will continue to be abused that do not make the front page of the news, because in most provinces girls are considered old enough to be pursued and consent to sexual activity at the age of fourteen.

A comparison: In the USA, former Penn State football coach and serial child molester – Jerry Sandusky, received a 30 to 60-year prison sentence.  In Canada, Graham James, who coached the Swift Current Broncos, has now been convicted of sexually assaulting six boys received a seven-year sentence.

Canadian Cases and sentences:

  • 1982, Clifford Olson, convicted of killing 11 children was eligible for parole.
  • 1988, Maple Leaf Gardens equipment manager Gordon Stuckless admitted to molesting 24 boys he had lured into the storied arena – and was handed a sentence of only two years less a day.
  • 2011, sixty-six-year-old Newfoundlander Cyril Keats received a two-year sentence for a string of child sexual assault cases stretching back to 1979.
  • 2017, Justice Robert Maranger sentenced the father of an elven year-old boy, (his son), to fifteen years in prison for what he called a “horrific” case involving “the worst kind of abuse.” Problem is that after time already served, the 45-year-old faces 13 years and two months in prison. But he could be paroled sooner.

Sadly: There are still those who believe that the survivors of child abuse are not qualified to advise other victims, unless they have a degree.  A young lady who had read a post about my surviving child abuse, told me about her abuse and her attempt to put it all behind her and try to live a life without the recurring nightmares. The young lady also asked if I had any advice.  When in a discussion with a friend I mentioned the conversation and that I intended to respond to the young lady, the friend said, “You are not qualified to help her.” “The girl might think that you can save her, but you can’t.” “Do not write this post.” “Best leave her to seek help from those trained to save her.”

 In Conclusion: Society seems incapable of protecting children simply because it is the right thing to do, so perhaps looking at the problem in another way, that adults can understand, is what is required? Consider the cost in terms of medical treatment, crime, financial support, legal support, and loss of life, every time a child slips through the cracks and becomes an angry adult: unwilling, or incapable, of conducting themselves as a responsible, contributing member of society. In other words, make it not about helping the child, but helping the adults in society protect what they seem to value the most! Their money!

 

 

 

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Posted in abuse, Authority figures and Parents Who Sexually Abuse children, Child Abuse, Child Abuse, feeling rejected, feelings of hurt and hatred, Government, Juvenile Delinquency, Sexual assault, Uncategorized | Tagged , ,

My Fight To Remain Self-Reliant / My Ongoing Battle With Cervical Stenosis With Myelopathy


Since I have turned fort-years-old, I have had to deal with one serious health issue after another.  Hyperthyroidism, diabetes, prostate cancer, inguinal hernia, and now herniated discs in the lumbar and cervical areas of my spine.   Although the hyperthyroidism (Graves Disease), diabetes, prostate cancer, were life altering, and had the potential to kill me if not taken care of, nothing prepared me or could have prepared me for the fight I am going through now with my spine.  Cervical stenosis is affecting my ability to walk properly and is adversely affecting my motor control. I have always feared being forced to live and be dependent on other people to take care of and assist me with the basic things in life. Having to have someone feed me, wash and dress me, help me on and off the toilette and wipe my butt after.) I have always said that I would rather die than live this way, as the norm.  This fight has become a fight for my life: a fight for the quality of life that makes my life worth living. My fight to remain self-reliant: This is the battle I am fighting with Cervical Stenosis With Myelopathy.

 

My walk has always been characterized as being very self-assured, perhaps a little cocky. I have always loved to walk and run for the pure pleasure of being able to do it.   I would walk ten kilometers along the St. Lawrence River and then turn around and walk the ten kilometers back home, because it relaxed me.  I have earned a living in the moving industry for most of my adult life. It is impossible to move furniture and not experience temporary back pain, muscle aches, torn ligaments and joint hyperextended injuries. Having said that, if anyone would have told me that I would not be able to walk properly, or carry a ten pound bag of potatoes, I would have called them a liar.  Well they would have been right, because this is where I find myself these days and this is my journey, thus far.

Something Is Wrong

I remember one day about five months ago someone saying to me that I was walking funny; not limping, but almost ready to trip myself. I had not noticed anything, or felt anything was wrong with my walk. Although concerned, I kind of laughed it off, until a couple of days later when I almost tripped myself. It was then that I realized that my left foot was landing directly in front of my right foot when I finished my step. This caused my right toe to come very close to hitting my left heel.  My attempts to correct my step set off another chain of involuntary actions.

Within weeks of the miss-stepping, new symptoms began to show up.  I began to develop a slight limp, a little ache in my left hip and across the lower back.  I thought that I had hurt myself working, or working out, so I put on some A535-Rub and tried to exercise it away. Within days, the limp was pronounced. It was time to see my family doctor.  At this point I had no numbness anywhere and I am not in serious pain.

My Family Doctor:

I have had my family doctor for over 25 years. Together along with specialists we have diagnosed, treated and fought hyperthyroidism, diabetes, prostate cancer, and everything in between.  I trust his opinion, so it was with a sense of confidence in his diagnostic abilities that I began the journey to discovery what exactly was wrong with me this time around.  He like I thought that I probably hurt myself working or working out. I was ordered to get a MRI of the lumbar area of the spine, told me to ease back on the heavy stuff and lose some weight. I had a bit of a belly and he said that the extra weight probably was not helping. I thanked him for his help booked another appointment for three months from then and limped away.

I was back at my family doctor’s office within a month not having had the MRI: Getting an appointment can take up to three months in Quebec.  I was now walking with a spastic gait, no control of my left foot and my toes on the left foot would not bend when I required them to.  I had numbness to my total left side. Taking a shower was to experience shock until my skin got used to the water touching it. This happened no matter how hot nor cold the water was. My left hand trembled when it got tired and I could no longer count on it to hold even the lightest of things. I was beginning to experience what is referred to as poor rectal tone. My family doctor now knew that something was very wrong and asked me if my family had a history of Parkinson’s Disease. I didn’t think so, but the question scared me, more than being diagnosed with cancer. Now that the problem became a neurology issue I was ordered to take given a referral to a neurologist.

Emotionally everything was getting worse and I was getting nervous.  I am only going to work and back and I am walking with a cane. I am feeling less confident and I am avoiding going out at times when I might meet someone I might know.  I am starting to feel vulnerable. It is time for me to do research on my computer. It was time to Google all of my symptoms and the could be Parkinson’s Disease diagnosis and see what popped up on the screen. After much reading, I decided that the symptoms of the spinal problem Myelomalacia, best described what was happening to me. I was wrong.

Family doctor ordered MRI of Lumbar Spine done June 7th, 2017 and CT  Head done June 9th, 2017. Finally, just before I was due to see the neurologist, I got the call to have the MRI of my lower back done and the CT scan of my head. The MRI of my lower back showed that I had a small bit of arthritis in the left hip and a bit of compression in the L4 and L5 discs. The CT head showed that there was nothing wrong with my brain.

Neurologist Appointment: July 04, 2017.  My neurologist only had to see me walk a short distance to her office to know that the problem was not in my lower spine.  She looked very worried and ordered a MRI of my Thoracic and Cervical spine, STAT.

Neurologist ordered MRI of Thoracic and Cervical spine done on July 5th, 2017. 

July 6th, 2017, I get a call from the neurologist. The results of the Thoracic and Cervical MRI are confusing her.  There is evidence of compression, but not enough in her opinion to be causing my symptoms…she would like me to have a head MRI-gado (MRI with Gadolinium-based contrast agents).

Neurologist ordered head MRI-gado done on July 10th, 2017

While the testing was being done, my neurologist:

  • called me twice on my cellphone to keep me abreast of what she is doing and what she wants me to do;
  • told me that the brain MRI revealed all was okay;
  • informed me that there was some compression of the C3 and C4 discs in the cervical spine;
  • said she did not see enough damage to be causing my symptoms.
  • referred my case to a spinal surgeon.

Appointment for spinal surgeon July 17th, 2017

After three MRIs and an CT scan, every doctor was concerned about the compression in the cervical area of my spine. The spinal surgeon watched very carefully as I walk from the waiting room to his office, a distance of maybe 100 feet.  He closed the door flicked on his computer and brought up the images of my cervical spine.

Spine Surgeons Words

I do not even need to look at the images of your spine to know what is wrong with you, after seeing you walk.”  “You have a narrowing of the spinal canal in the cervical region caused by a bulging disc.  “The compression of the spinal cord, (cervical spinal stenosis) is the cause for your rapidly increasing mobility issues.” “I will give you 2 options.” “Option one, have the surgery I will offer you, or option two, do not take the operation, and be paralyzed.” 

At this point he zooms in on the area around the discs that are compressed and shows me exactly where the blockage of spinal fluid is happening.  Pointing at the line he says, “See that white line?” “That white is spinal fluid.” “See that gap where there is no white?” “That is where there is no spinal fluid.” “This is happening, because your C3 and C4 are compressed.” “This blockage of spinal fluid is the cause of your involuntary nerve action, muscle weakness and spastic gait.”

Your symptoms are getting worse rapidly and in a brief time without the operation you will be paralyzed, and risk the possibility of death when and if, your symptoms begin to interfere with the functioning of your respiratory system.”

Warning:

Mr. Davis, I just want to advise you against building your hopes up that this procedure will be a quick return you to your former self. The progress will be slow and you should see improvement, but there is no guarantee.  This procedure is preventative, not curative.

My Decision

It was not a hard decision to make, because I was not willing to be crippled by my symptoms without a fight, and I mercifully, not given the slightest of hope of recovering without the operation.

Preparation for Operation Began Immediately

My doctor went through all the pros and cons of the operation, using the imaging from the cervical spine MRI to show me not only what was wrong, but what he intended to do.  He also named the surgical procedure for the first time.  I was to have a surgical procedure called, Anterior Cervical Decompression and Fusion.  I signed the paper work giving him permission to operate and all other appropriate paper work and was sent to get more x-rays of my cervical spine.  It was the middle of July, my surgeon was scheduled to go on vacation for three weeks the first week of August, and wanted me operated on before September.

July 17th,2017, The surgeon tells me that if he cannot fit me into his schedule before the end of August he will have a colleague do the operation, but he will try his best to do it himself. I am told to go home, not to do anything strenuous and wait for the call to do my pre-operation testing.

Pre-operation testing done on July 27th.

Includes:

  • receiving of information booklet; contact numbers and things that one should know about operation and follow-up, etc.)
  • blood test;
  • height and weight measurements;
  • blood pressure test;
  • heart Echogram
  • explanation of why the surgery is needed;
  • detailed explanation of procedure I am to have;
  • pros and cons of the operation;
  • how long the operation will take;
  • recovery time in the hospital;
  • cervical collar fitting.
  • receiving of cervical collar to bring on day of operation.

Professionals Report:

Mr. Davis is a 61- year-old gentleman that has been suffering with left arm numbness and loss of fine motor control of his left hand.  In addition, he has problems with gait and equilibrium. This has been rapidly progressive over 3 months.  He suffers with diabetes and graves disease.  He currently takes omeprazole, synthroid, atorvastatin, coversyl, and pregabalin. He has NKDA. (No Known Drug Allergies)

He is hyrreflexic and has slowing in both hands. I identified weakness in his left FA and FF. His gait was unsteady. His MRI revealed a C3-C4 disc herniation resulting in myelopathy.  Due to the rapid onset of his symptoms, I’ve advised for early surgical decompression.   I have conveyed the risks of single level Anterior Cervical Decompression and Fusion(ACDF), which include a rare chance of esophageal perforation or paralyses, 1% chance of infection, 25% 10- year risk of adjacent level degeneration, 2% chance of RLN palsy, 5% chance of dysphagia.

Operation done on July 28th, 2017 at approximately 8:30 in the morning. Out of operating room by 12:30 pm. Out of recovery room and in room on floor by 2:30 pm. First puree food at 6:30 pm.   Released from hospital on July 29, 2017.

I am at home now recovering. For pain I had to take only Tylenol. I do go to work, but do very little. It will take six weeks for the bones to fuse, but I will have to take it easy for three to six months, avoiding heavy lifting.  I can now take a shower without my nerves going crazy. I still have a limp, but my walking is more normal. Rectal tone is back to normal.  Muscle strength is coming back slowly and I can type with both hands again with ease of motion.  I know that I have a long way to go, and that this could be where I will remain, but I will remain self-reliant, and this was my priority. I still feel that this has been success story the extent of which still remains to be seen.

It does not matter what happens from here. I will always be thankful to those who took care of me. The secretaries, PBAs, technicians nurses, doctors and all the staff in between whose official job titles and job descriptions I do not know made this journey as easy for me as possible. Throughout this entire process they were wonderful. From beginning to end I was treated with professionalism, honesty and compassion.  This allowed me to relax, keep my dignity and feel like I was indeed part of the team that was deciding my future. I will be forever grateful for being allowed to keep my dignity throughout this very difficult process.  My sincere and deepest thanks to all that were involved with my care!

 

 

Posted in cervical spinal stenosis, Cervical Stenosis, Cervical Stenosis With Myelopathy, Health, Medical Problems, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Truth In Truth And Reconciliation Is A Hard Pill To Swallow For Everyone


The definition of truth is a hard one. In ancient Greece truth meant: the bringing out into the light that which was once hidden. The definition of reconciliation is: an act of reconciling, as when former enemies agree to an amicable truce.  With both parties agreeing to put truth and reconciliation together to form the title of a process  tasked with creating a better relationship between the federal government and the indigenous people of Canada, one could mistakenly assume that both the Federal government and indigenous leaders were trying to bring out into the light the hidden history of European contact with this land’s indigenous people, while reaching an amicable truce.  I believe that this was never the case, and this is why.

If the definition of these words are to be taken literally, Truth and Reconciliation was achieved many years ago.  What appears to be happening under the vail of truth and reconciliation this time around, is an attempt to renegotiate the terms of a not so amicable truce.

Indigenous people were never happy with the treaties and agreements that their leaders signed. Ancestors of those chiefs who signed the agreements wish to renegotiate, because the truth is that the treaties and deals were signed to prevent the unnecessary deaths of their people. To stop fighting a war that they had no hope of winning. This accurate accounting of historical facts makes it understandable why the indigenous people, seek to make updated terms to the treaties and agreements that their ancestral chiefs signed.

Indigenous leaders however cling to the fabrication that their ancestral leaders signed treaties and agreements that gave Canada’s forefathers paternalistic power over all indigenous people, without coercion, and of their own free will.  If this is to be taken as truth, then by what reason should the Canadian government even consider renegotiating the terms, other than, on compassionate grounds and to demonstrate moral conscience?

Is it possible for two former enemies, whose ancestors signed treaties and agreements to sit at a negotiation table many years later and expect to agree to new terms, if one or both are saying, “I only want to keep what is good for me from the original treaties and agreements, and replace everything from the original deal that does not sit well with me, with things that suit me better?” This is part of what has been happening between the indigenous people of Canada and the Canadian government, and therefore this fight will go on and on, without the possibility of a negotiated end.

Truth and reconciliation at best, is a way for indigenous leaders to show their people that they are not afraid to shame the Canadian government. This is good politicking and will get indigenous leaders re-elected, but does little to improve the lives of their people. Truth and reconciliation at its worse, allows for the federal government to use money to buy absolution for Canada’s founding fathers.

If Canadians are going to be forced to re-visit this process again and again, can both sides at least try to stick to the facts?

The Facts:

  • European colonization was barbaric, cruel and unjust, but there is no turning back the clock. 
  • The present-day situation between Canada’s indigenous people and the government is a horrific mess.
  • Indigenous people believe that Canada has not lived up to what they say are their treaty rights as found in signed treaties and agreements.
  • The Canadian government’s position is that indigenous leaders are misinterpreting and over-stating what was signed and agreed upon. 
  • The Canadian government will never acknowledge nor adopt what First Nations People understand as their right to nation to nation sharing of this land.
  • The Canadian government will not allow itself to be surrounded by 360-364 independent nations, because it would mean the end of Canada, and would be political suicide. 
  • The federal government cannot deal effectively with the province of Quebec. Why would the federal government willingly encourage and help to make 364 volatile, hard to deal with, quasi nations?
  • No indigenous chief walked up to the European colonizers and said, “Welcome to my land, let us not fight.” Let us live together in peace and share this land, nation to nation.” 
  • Indigenous people lost the fight to keep their land, as many an indigenous people have done historically the world over, as other nations sought to carve out empires. 
  • Surrendering to the enemy through treaties and concessions does not negate the fact that a war was fought and one side lost; it is proof of  the war and the loss.
  • That indigenous leaders were not happy to have signed such deals before the ink was dry, is normal. The terms were rarely fair in these types of treaties and agreements, because the victor usually dictated the terms. 
  • History proves, that treaties between indigenous people and colonizers, by design, were not meant to be fair.
  • The purpose of such treaties was to humble the enemy; to subjugate the enemy, and to ensure that the enemy could not become a future threat.  The aim was no different in Canada.
  • Even if it were possible, there is no political will to achieve Truth and Reconciliation on either side.
  • There is still too much money to be made and too much power to be won by the respective leaders.
  • There is not enough time in an eternity, money in the world, or words in the dictionary to make indigenous people forgive and forget and never again mention the horrors of colonization, which include, Residential Schooling.
  • Residential Schooling was a dark place in time where the Canadian government attempted to strip indigenous children of their language, culture, religion and heritage and replace them with the ways of Europeans. It was a time when The Canadian government was guilty of attempted genocide and ethnocide.
  • Canada’s indigenous leaders are partial responsible for the deplorable state their communities are in.
  • Unclean drinking water, substandard housing, child abuse, drug addiction and alcoholism, are in part a direct result of indigenous leader’s mismanagement of monies.  All that is wrong with life on the reserve cannot and should not be blamed on the government of Canada.
  • Indigenous people of Canada must stop letting the horrors of the residential schooling system be used as an excuse for abusing their own, becoming alcoholics, drug addicts and under achieving in school. 
  • The reality for Canada’s indigenous people is that there is no going back to the way things used to be.
  • Indigenous people must never forget, but they must move forward and stop allowing what was to pull them down, like crabs in a bucket.
  • Most non-indigenous Canadians care about indigenous people’s past, present, or future, and want to do the right thing, until what needs to be done affects them.  No non-indigenous Canadian is willing to give up the land they now consider theirs to make things right. 
  • Non- indigenous Canadians who once cared and thought that truth and reconciliation was attainable are now growing desensitized and tired of the ongoing argument.
  • Most non-indigenous Canadians worry more about the financial cost as one case after another, from every individual indigenous group is fought up to the Supreme Court of Canada. This is because unless shown on television the non-indigenous Canadian will never see the suffering up close and personal.
  • Non-indigenous people are denied free and clear access indigenous land.
  • Most non-indigenous Canadians only get to see indigenous leaders on television and band members who work on the perimeter of the reserve.
  • The average non-indigenous person only gets to see and interact with the indigenous drug addicts, alcoholics and homeless, on a daily basis.
  • This is indigenous people denying non-indigenous Canadians access into their communities, and nothing to do with the government of Canada.
  • Non-indigenous people are welcome to spend their money in the smoke shops, casinos and other shops that circle the reserve; march in solidarity with indigenous people, but access to indigenous communities and community life is barred to them. 
  • Indigenous people are guilty of practicing exclusion, while trying to prove how sharing and inclusive they have always been and still are.
  • Causing professional harm to non-indigenous artists like Amanda PL.  Artists who dare to learn and create art using bright colors and bold outlines often associated with an indigenous art style, is so wrong and not worthy of anyone, including indigenous people.
  • This type of action does little to show the sharing people indigenous people claim to have been, and claim to still be.
  • Adopting laws that ban non-natives from living on reserve is not nice. There would be such push back, if the rest of Canada demanded that all indigenous people wanting to live off reserve must first give up any claim to their indigenous heritage.
  • Forcing band members to move off reserve for marrying a non-native, is mean-spirited and does not show a willingness to be inclusive. The policy of, “marry out, move out,” is reverse discrimination, racist and exclusivist. 
  • Everyone knows about the damage done to the indigenous people of Canada by European colonialism.
  • The things that were not taught in school have in recent years been exposed and brought into the homes of every person, who listens to the radio, watches television, or has a digital device. 
  • The international world knows of Canada’s dark past and of its inability or lack of political will to meaningfully change its relationship with its indigenous people. 
  • Racism, reverse discrimination and fear have become the face of the Truth and Reconciliation process, instead of hope, equality, dignity and justice for all.
  • Violence is not an option for indigenous people.
  • Indigenous people will need the support of every non-indigenous person they can muster, if a negotiated settlement is truly what is being sought.
  • Indigenous leaders must present their wishes/demands clearly and succinctly. Too often all that is heard are slogans, talking points and a lot of rhetoric about reaching unattainable goals.
  • Shaming politicians and non-indigenous Canadians is not enough.  This tactic will work to further their cause in the short-term, but it will most assuredly turn non-indigenous people against their cause in the long run.
  • Indigenous people, must decide before sitting down at the negotiating table who represents them and come to the table as a unified force.  
  • It is frustrating and counterproductive for a government to negotiate with an organization made up of Grand chiefs and other indigenous leaders, come to a deal, sign off on it, only to find out that local band members will not accept it, claiming that the leaders at the negotiating table did not represent them.  This renders the entire process moot, a waste of time and effort.
  • Indigenous leaders need to be at the negotiation table and every other table where politicians gather and discuss the rights and freedoms of indigenous people.
  • Boycotting First Ministers conferences that they are invited to should never be a part of their strategy, because it is counterproductive. First Ministers who invited them to attend, can now say without lying, “We reached out and tried to consult with indigenous leaders, but the indigenous leaders were too busy trying to look good and prove a point, to even listen to what we had to say.”
  • If indigenous people decide that a financial compensation package is what they want, then they must take money from the government with the understanding that they cannot seek any further recompense from the Canadian government for the historical wrong doings of Canada’s forefathers. 
  • Indigenous people suffering under third world conditions on the reserve never knew that their chiefs were making salaries in some cases higher than parliamentarians.  While water filtration broke down, housing began to crumble and children started to commit suicide because they lost all sense of hope, some indigenous leaders continued and still continue to draw huge salaries, instead of using what monies were and are available to fix what was and is still wrong.

Truth can be a very hard thing to practice and even harder to accept when you are trying to explain the history of one’s ancestors. Both sides of this debate have proved not to be any good at it, or even willing to try.

Note: As a Black person, I know what it is to lose my language, culture, heritage, religion and homeland. My ancestors were taken by force and sold into slavery.  The reality for us and Canada’s indigenous people is that there is no going back to the way things used to be. 

My ancestors had to deal with racial discrimination and public segregation in some parts of the USA until 1964. In 1964 The Civil Rights Act, officially ended this sort of practice.  I would and could not continue to support any government, or people who adopted such racist, segregationist policies and laws.

Posted in abuse, abuse of power, Canada, Canandian Politicians, Cultural appropriation, cultural genocide, ethnoside, genocide, Government, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , ,

What Exactly Were Canadians Celebrating And Was It Worth The Cost?


Canada’s 150th birthday bash is over.  The estimated cost for this birthday bash not including security costs are 500 million dollars.  The 150th birthday party was something the Harper Government put into play and the Trudeau government could have and should have nixed right away, using its majority status, in the House of Commons.  There were two good reasons why Canada should not have thrown this party:

  • The government has maintained that it cannot afford to provide much-needed services to all Canadians.
  • It was wrong to celebrate Canada’s historical and continued abuse of its indigenous people.

While the government claims that Canada’s indigenous peoples must wait patiently for fresh drinking water, the healthcare program is unsustainable and Canadians must work longer before they retire, the government spent a half a billion tax payer dollars on a nationwide party.

I could not celebrate knowing that:

  • What was being celebrated was a history of genocide, theft of land and resources, discriminatory laws, policies, and the exclusion of Canada’s indigenous people from their territories.
  • While Canadians partied, as many as 200,000 Canadians were homeless: living and dying on the street.
  • While the government spent 500 million dollars on a party, one in four Canadians who do not have drug insurance are unable to afford to take their prescription drugs as directed by their doctor: One in 10 Canadians struggle to pay for their drug treatments, even if they have public or/and private insurance: Millions of patients fail to fill or refill prescriptions, or skip doses to cut costs.
  • Morally and ethically the price tag for Canada’s 150th birthday bash was too high.

Infrastructure Projects included Canada spending 300 million dollars to get Canada clean and presentable enough to be seen by visitors.  Canadians might want to consider why these types of infrastructure projects were necessary. Why is Canada not always kept clean and presentable enough for visitors to our country?

On the other hand, a lot of Canadians find the money that was spent on events for the most part a big waste. The funding for the Events category was split into 3 groups. (38 Signature Events, Community Events, and Big Events. Estimated cost of all Events = 300 million dollars.

Signature Events estimated cost = 80 million dollars to pay for things such as a re-enactment of a canoe race.

Community Events estimated cost = 100 million dollars to pay for things such as a giant snakes and ladders game in Calgary. Price tag = 416 thousand dollars.

Big Events estimated cost = 20 million dollars to pay for things like the celebration in Ottawa on Canada Day.

The 500 million dollar estimated price tag for Canada’s 150th birthday party does not even include the cost of security for the parties being held from coast, to coast, to coast.  The estimated price tag for Ottawa’s security alone which does not include the cost for the RCMP is $1.5 million dollars.

When I first heard of the idea to hold a party across Canada to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday, I was thrilled.   My mind drifted back 1967 and how different things were back then.  How young we were, and how little we really knew, or cared about the moral, ethical, and financial cost of such celebrations. We, who celebrated last time are no longer children. No longer can we claim not to know the price others paid in suffering and blood for this type of celebration and nationwide party.

I look forward to a time when all Canadians can celebrate some Canadian firsts, like:

  • no more court cases being fought by provincial and federal government, seeking to prevent First Nations from getting what is owed to them;
  • no more Canadians living and dying homeless on Canadian streets;
  • everyone in Canada able to get the medication that is prescribed to them by their physicians;
  • every Canadian citizen being able to afford and have access to operations advised by their doctors in a timely fashion;
  • every Canadian being able to get access to the same level of education no matter their financial position.

Canada’s 150th birthday party proved:

  • that politicians are more interested in doing things that look good, without caring if they do good for the people of Canada;
  • how wrong the government is prioritizing how and what to spend tax dollars on;
  • how little Stephen Harper cared about the historical and continued abuse of Canada’s indigenous people and how Justin Trudeau speaks with a forked tongue.

It is the responsibility of the people to hold government to account and to this end Canadians are not upholding their end of the deal. Canadians from this moment on need to stop whining about the long waits in emergency rooms, lack of funding for needed medications, or higher education. Canadians need to think instead of the great Canada Day celebration they had; the giant rubber duck and the re-enactment of the canoe race they saw. Canadians need to think about all of the fun they had celebrating.  Or, perhaps the next time Canadian politicians want to spend half a billion dollars celebrating something, Canadians might want to consider what exactly are they celebrating and is it worth the cost?

 

Posted in Canada, Canada Day, Canandian Politicians, Government, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , ,

Why Is Priority Given To The Opioid Crisis While Other Canadians Asked To Wait Patiently For Help?


There is a debate going on in Canada about how the government prioritizes which Canadians get to have their medicine, medical treatments and operations covered by a government plan.  People are taking issue with the fact that while the government keeps saying that they cannot find money to give medications to those who caught Hepatitis C while being at a government hospital, the government was able to find money to help drug addicts with lifesaving injections free of charge.

Some Canadians would argue that drug addicts for the most part have made the personal choice to take illegal drugs and should not be helped, if it means that others in need are left behind. Others would say that we must help drug addicts no matter the cost, because drug addiction is not a choice and they are Canadians too.  I question why there is not money to help them both. I do not think that the cost of hosting the Olympics, erecting statues, or holding nation wide 150th birthday parties to commemorate the confederation of Canada is worth one Canadian’s suffering, or life.

From teenager to adult everyone in Canada has heard about the opioid crisis. Drug addicts know that their drug of choice could be laced with a deadly substance like Fentanyl.   Some, would argue that it is the drug addict’s awareness of the danger, that makes the spending of millions of tax payer dollars to save drug addicts from themselves, a bad deal for the rest of Canadians, who through no fault of their own:

  • are suffering and dying from diseases not of their choosing, who cannot get from any level of government;
  • who must foot the bill for these drug addicts help, an unfair way to priorities who gets help and who does not;

I believe that the only criteria used to determine who gets help and in what time frame with lifesaving medical treatments, medicines and operations, is how much media attention a medical issue gets. For the politician, media attention translates into votes and getting votes is all politicians care about.

Jurisdiction:  One must take into consideration under whose jurisdiction healthcare falls. In Canada unfortunately healthcare is clearly within the jurisdiction of the provinces and territories.  Canada’s provincial governments are quick to claim jurisdiction over healthcare and even quicker to blame their mishandling of healthcare on the federal government.  Every time the federal government tries to get accountability for Canadians on how the provinces are spending health care dollars, the provincial government demands more money and tells them to keep their nose out of what is clearly their jurisdiction. 

All province and territorial governments are responsible for the things that are  covered or not covered by Medicare, in their respective provinces. This includes which prescription drugs are covered by them.  The only help, or input they will accept from the federal government is money.    It is your premiere and his government that are responsible for the long waits in emergency rooms, people dying while waiting for operations, and people not being able to afford to buy their prescription drugs.

It is the jurisdictional issue that also prevents Canadians from benefiting from buying drugs in a way that brings the cost of drugs down and a lot more affordable. 

Canadians die waiting for operations or medical treatments that could save their lives, because the provincial government funnels money earmarked for healthcare to other things. It is these things that are making universal Medicare and PharmaCare unsustainable; not the drug addict, Canadians with Hepatitis C , or even Canadians living too long.  That Canada has the only universal health system in the developed world that doesn’t have universal coverage of medicines, is also the fault of the provincial government.

Provincial government needs to stop using its jurisdiction over things like health and education as a way to raise funds to funnel into other things it wishes to support. Taking money for healthcare and erecting French only signs in Quebec hospitals, may get the government political points, but does nothing to improve the medical care of Quebecers. 

The ‘opioid crisis’ is just another example of  the federal government ignoring serious problems, until it is too late.  Drug addicts have been dying from bad drugs being sold to them by greedy unscrupulous, illegal drug dealers for years. There is nothing new about it.  This ‘opioid crisis’ represents a failure of the federal government to crack down and put an end to the illegal drug business in this country.  I have not heard of one major drug dealer arrested, charged, successfully prosecuted and jailed since this, ‘opioid crisis’ was declared. Most politicians seem to be trying to use this tragedy as political talking point, which is a tragedy.

There are those who say that the answer to the opioid crisis would be to give drug addicts who do not want to quit safe access to their drug of choice and a safe place to do the drug.  They claim that the government’s choice to take over just the illegal marijuana business, when it claims Canada is in the middle of an opioid crisis, makes no sense.  No one was dying in alleyways, or in their suburban bedrooms from illegally smoking marijuana, and yet the government chose to protect children from its use over other things. Taking over all the illegal drug business, from producing to selling would ensure that when a drug addict buys their drug of choice, they can be certain that what they are taking will be free of any additives that will cause them to lethally overdose.

I have had to wait over a year to get an MRI and have had to watch loved ones get sick, suffer and die waiting for treatments, operations, and medications due to a lack of government funding. The spending of millions of dollars to provide on the scene personnel and medication for drug addicts, shown on television, leaving the hospital and saying that they are going to take the same drug bothers me, but in reality I know that my waiting and suffering is not their fault.  We are both victims of what happens when you need the 10 provinces and 3 territories to agree on something important to all Canadians, that requires them to work with the federal government.

I understand the parents of drug addicts fighting for the lives of their loved ones, but feel that they must also understand how those who watch their loved ones suffer and die due to causes that are no fault of their own, feel.  It is not the fault of a child born with a life-threatening disease, or a person who contracted Hepatitis C while in the hospital. They wonder why they are being made to suffer, because a supposed lack of money?

Canadians need to get out and make some noise. Let their voices be heard in Ottawa, every provincial legislature and every city hall. Remember this politicking at election time and vote out those who would let you suffer and die.

As Canada spends billions of dollars celebrating Canada’s confederation I wonder how many lives could have been saved with just a fraction of that money.  If there is no money to sustain Medicare, why is their money for Canada wide celebrations?

Whether provincial, territorial, or federal, politicians need to be held to account. Canadians need to start saying no to elaborate parties that cost billions of dollars, when our Medicare system is unsustainable and we do not have universal PharmaCare.

Canadians need to remember that when a politician says there is no money to fund something, what they are really saying is that there is no political value in helping you.   The “Opioid Crisis”, has been picked up by the news and every politician wants to look as if they are trying to do something to end it.  The government will  try to pit the needs of one group of Canadians against another, because that is how they do things. 

There will always be a debate about priorities when it comes to who should be saved first the drug addict, or the person dying from a disease not of their own choice, until the government makes saving all Canadians in need of medical attention its number one priority. There is no such thing as people who cannot be saved and no such thing as wasted money when it comes to the life of a loved one.

 

Posted in Canada, Canandian Politicians, drugs and children, Government, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

In A World Without Honor, No Nation Can Claim The Moral High Ground


I do not support the torturing, oppressing, terrorising, degrading, or killing of any person. A person’s country of origin, culture, religion, or language, does not make them a better human being. What a person chooses to do with all of those things, are what make a person a better human being.  It is not the making of promises, the signing of deals, or the successful negotiation of treaties, that makes for the sustainability of nation to nation trust.  It is the honoring of them, that makes for the sustainability of nation to nation trust.  In a world without honor, no nation can claim the moral high ground.

Unfortunately military might and the use of violence has replaced honor in modern times. Without honor, promises, trade deals and treaties are a waste of time, ink and breath.  Sadly trust, acceptance and religious tolerance all too often depend upon how willing a person is to give up their freedom of religion and conform to things like the dress code of the masses. Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Italy, Chad, The Netherlands, and Switzerland have all made it illegal for Muslim women to wear a Burka or Niqab in public.

These European nations have signed international treaties and are a party to United Nation agreements that denounce such religious intolerance, but none of that seems to matter. They justify their racism and intolerance by insisting that saving Muslim women from a male-imposed doctrine, must be put before liberty itself.  It is indeed a crazy world. Europe taking part in wars so that Muslims citizens in predominately Muslim countries can have the same civil and human rights enjoyed by the citizens of the west, while openly denying liberty to Muslims living in the west.

Why governments of the west think that bombing  an enemy from high in the sky, or from far out to sea, constitutes acts of bravery and not acts of cowardly terrorism, remains a mystery to me. Causing the deaths of innocent civilians and calling it acceptable collateral damage, is barbaric.  The leaders of western governments who order such actions, are just as cowardly and barbaric as the leaders of ISIS, who order their followers to ram cars into innocent people walking on a bridge, or live stream the beheading of  helpless captives.  Both are examples of brutal military tactics showing little or no regard for innocent lives.   They are Military tactics designed to kill, instill fear in, and terrorize the civilian population of your enemy: no matter the spin, or side of the conflict one finds themselves on.

I guess what irritates me the most is that the members of the Western Alliance insist that they are  justified, in their actions, and hold the moral high ground in these never-ending wars.  It never fails to make me wonder at the arrogance of western leaders and their people, who expect and demand that the people of foreign lands give up all that is theirs without a fight, and calling all actions of self-defense, terrorism.

It is not the Muslim’s of modern times who:

  • have roamed the world, colonizing, raping and pillaging in the name of God and progress;
  • are guilty of making promises, deals and treaties that they have no intention of keeping;
  • have forced refugees fleeing from countries ravaged by war to live camps sometimes for forty years, in deplorable conditions;
  • religiously persecute all Muslims in their countries for attacks perpetrated by a few Muslim extremists. Trying to appease the far right anti-Muslim/anti-immigration portion of their populations.

Western Military Interventions 

The Americans and the Western Alliance are  involved in a minimum of 134 military actions around the world. This means that they are claiming they are right from a moral standpoint to interfere in the business of 134 sovereign states.  They insist that their only motive in all of these interventions is to ensure that all of the people of the world get to enjoy  peace, prosperity, and freedom from oppression.

Promises

Political stability and justice for all, and a safe place in their own land for their children to grow up in, are the promises made from the west before and during every military intervention.   What these people have received thus far out of western military interventions have been, forced mass migrations, far too many dead civilians and the distinction of being a people without a country, that no Western Alliance government really wants settling in their country.

The result of these military interventions for the west have been, world instability, acts of terrorism perpetrated against their people both domestically and abroad, and a world literally on the brink of Armageddon.

The nations of the west can never claim the moral high ground as long as they continue to justify their deliberate withholding of basic human and civil rights guaranteed under international law to any human beings. These basic human rights include:

  • liberty;
  • justice;
  • religious freedom;
  • equality;
  • freedom of expression.

The nations of the west can never claim the moral high ground as long as they continue to run refugee camps where refugees live sometimes for as long as 40 years in conditions so bad that:

  • After visiting the Idomeni camp on Greece’s border with Macedonia, Greek interior minister, Panagiotis Kouroublis  said, “I do not hesitate to say that this is a modern-day Dachau, a result of the logic of closed borders.”  “Whoever comes here takes several blows to the stomach.”
  • At a ceremony in memory of modern-day Christian martyrs, Pope Francis said, “These refugee camps – so many are concentration camps, crowded with people … because international accords seem more important than human rights.” “We live in a civilization that is not having children but also closes its door to migrants: This is called suicide.” “Let us think about the cruelty afflicting so many people, about the exploitation of those arriving on boats.” “Italy and Greece are providing a welcome, but then international agreements mean they cannot move on.”  “If every municipality in Italy took in just two migrants there would be a place for everyone.”

Finally the nations of the west can never claim the moral high ground as long as groups like the American Jewish Committee espouse views such as:

  • We are asking the pontiff to reconsider his “regrettable” choice of words. CEO, of the AJC David Harris, said, “The conditions in which migrants are currently living in some European countries may well be difficult, and deserve still greater international attention, but concentration camps they certainly are not.”

Note: In Canada last year, hate crime against Muslims rose by 60%.  This included 6 deaths of Muslim men kneeling in prayer in a mosque, hate speech painted on mosques, Muslim women physically and verbally abused in public, and threats of  violence including rape and death made by phone.  These crimes are always followed by a promise to do their best from the police.  These types of crimes all too often end up without arrest and prosecution of the criminals.  The police are always quick to say that they just do not have the resources to deal with hate crimes. 

In a world without honor, no nation can claim the moral high ground.

 

 

 

Posted in abuse, abuse of power, cultural genocide, ethnoside, Government, Prejudice, Racism, Religious Freedom, stereotyping, Terrorism, Uncategorized, United States of America | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

LGBT Community to Get An Official Apology from The Federal Government! Still No Official Apology for Canadian Black Citizens


I applaud the Canadian government for officially apologizing and in some cases compensating groups of people that they have wronged in the past.  Persons of Chinese, Japanese, Sikh, Jewish, First Nations, are examples of groups of people that the Canadian government found it necessary to either officially apologize to, or apologize to and compensate, for wrongs done to them by the government of Canada. Prime Minister Trudeau has said that he will honor a campaign promise an officially apologize and possible offer a compensation package to the LGBT community before this winter.  It is this new promise that has reopened and old wound. I agree an official apology is due the LGBT community, but what about the Black community?

Every time the government officially apologizes to another group of people without officially apologizing to Black Canadians the scab is ripped from the unhealed wound of all Canadian Black people. Black Canadians cannot heal, because no matter which federal party holds the power in Ottawa, none has apologized, or promised to apologize to the survivors or descendants of those they have so horrifically wronged.

Does the Canadian government really believe that:

  • Canada has done nothing wrong to Black people?
  • To apologize would be admitting something that they wish to stay officially in Canada’s closet?
  • Black people of do not care if they get an official apology or not?
  • That the suffering of Blacks in this country was not bad enough to warrant an official apology?

I do not which one, or combination of reasons accounts for the lack of an official apology. I do know that Black Canadians are the only Canadians that have been damaged by the Canadian government’s action, or in-action that has not been officially apologised to.

The Canadian government has always insisted that:

  • Black people faced no discrimination in the immigration process when seeking to immigrate to Canada. The truth is that when Black Oklahoman farmers developed an interest in moving to Canada to flee increased racism at home, several boards of trade and the Edmonton Municipal Council called on Ottawa to prevent black immigration. In 1911, an order in council was drafted prohibiting the landing of “any immigrant belonging to the Negro race, which race is deemed unsuitable to the climate and requirements of Canada”;
  • Canada’s only role in the slavery business, was to provide refuge and a fresh start for freed American slaves. The truth is that Canada provided lumber and food for the slave ships and received rum, tobacco, sugar, and enslaved Africans in return;
  • Black immigrants were given the opportunity to become successful members of Canadian society. The truth is that African-Canadians were excluded from most employment except domestic work or as railroad porters;
  • Black Canadians should praise Canada for all the love and support that their ancestors received at the hands of the government of Canada and all Canadians. The truth is that the provincial government of Nova Scotia bulldozed down an African-Canadian village located just north of Halifax that was founded in the mid-18th century.   Promises to replace the evicted families’ houses were never kept, monetary compensation for the for many of the evicted was never received.   The victims of the racist government action now have a park dedicated to the memory of their loss.

The truth is that the ancestors of Black Canadians ran to a country where slaves were bought and sold and where even after the abolition of slavery they were hated and treated as inferior.

One only need read the story of Marie Joseph Angelique. For the full story of Marie Joseph Angelique follow this link, it is where I got the info for the short version used in this post.  http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/marie-joseph-angelique

Marie Joseph Angelique, born circa 1705 in Madeira, Portugal died June 21, 1734 in Montreal Canada.  Angelique was an enslaved Black woman. In 1734, she was charged with arson after a fire leveled Montreal’s merchants quarter. It was alleged that Angelique committed the act while attempting to flee her bondage. This accusation was never proven. (The only confession from her came because of her torture.) Marie Joseph Angelique would be tortured, hanged, and then her body burned.

Well that is an example of what Black people had to endure during the birth of Canada.  After slavery was abolished in Canada things did not go any better for Black Canadians in Canada’s infancy. Canada did not officially abolish slavery until August 1st, 1834. That is 100 years after the murder of Marie Joseph Angelique, and 30 years before Canada as a nation is born.

Montreal just celebrated its 375th birthday and it was no surprise to me that role of Black people in the success of the city was not directly mentioned in the Mayors speech.

The Mayor: “I think it’s a great moment that we are living today, because we always put forward the idea of living together,” Mayor Denis Coderre said Wednesday.  “We started with the French, with the Indigenous people. We have our flag that represents the English, the Irish and the Scottish, then all that wonderful diversity that sends a strong message that living together is part of our DNA.”

I am with the First Nations people, who point out that Montreal was founded on land stolen from the Mohawks. Expecting First Nations people and other non white, non-Christian to find a lot to celebrate about is in my opinion both insensitive and unrealistic. This was a celebration for White, Christian people of European descent. This is a flaunting and celebration of the historical wrong doing, associated with European colonialism.

Unfortunately not too much has changed for Blacks living in a supposedly more civilized, open and proud to be richly diverse, Canada.

For example:

  • forced relocation of an entire ethnic community such as Africville in Nova Scotia?  The relocation of the Africville residents occurred between 1964 and 1967. The last house was bulldozed January 2, 1970.
  • In the province of Quebec, Canadian Black people cannot get the Quebec government to stop using the word “Nigger” when officially naming government landmarks. The Quebec government has used the excuse that removing the word “Nigger” from existing government landmarks, would diminish the historical accuracy of said sites.
  • In Quebec, Canada, Black face performances are still considered an acceptable form of entertainment and part of Quebec’s cultural heritage.  An art form to be proud of and passed on from one generation to another; no matter how offensive to Black people it is;
  • From the West Coast to the East Coast Black have been murdered by white police officers. Officers are charged, but always found not guilty of abusing their duty. When they are found guilty of being racist, they are not removed from the force, but rather protected and given what amounts to being slapped on the wrist.

A good place for the government to begin to consider whether Black Canadians deserve an apology from them or not, would be their involvement in:

  • the African slave trade for a minimum of 100 years.
  • the forcefully stripping of African slaves of their cultural, language and religion. (this is a definition of genocide)

All that the Afro-Canadian Black once was, was forcefully taken from them: replaced even in freedom by those of the White masters. It is historical fact that the Canadian government took an active role in what was going on.

Canada will celebrate its 150th birthday on July 1st, and with no apology in sight for its Black citizens, it is my guess that the Canadian government will be asking their Black citizens to once again put on a happy face, pretend that everything is okay, and keep Canada’s abuse of them in the closet… a conversation best not had in public. The non-conversation making an official apology from the government, not necessary.

Posted in Black Lives Matter, Canada, cultural genocide, ethnoside, feeling rejected, feelings of hurt and hatred, genocide, Government, LGBT, Montreal, Prejudice, Quebec, Racism, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment