When I walk in the parks and old parts of cities I am transported to that time in my mind and could remain there forever, because it is these places that I find my solitude and get to recharge my being, my soul and clear my head of things that need to be said. I know that this is not possible and so I return after an hour, I return and do and write what I know in my heart needs to be said and done, because doing the right thing and making sure the right thing is done is not just your problem, or their problem, it is everyone’s problem and responsibility. I have put a group of slides and a few words from me so that you can share with me my quiet walks and also share in my concerns for people and why I can never stay safely in my places of solitude and peace and neither can any of you.
I have put up a new video of the damage in the area and would like to just remind you that all of the water you see while the van is rolling, is water covering farmers fields, pastures and most of the pictures and represents real hardships for those families and for some total loss of everything that they own and know; with the exception of when I panned the camera into the lake itself.
These people are scared, because they feel that they will be forgotten once the rain stops, the water goes down and the press goes somewhere else for the new story of the day. I can not say that I blame them with the statements that are coming from Premier Jean Charest and Prime Minister Harper of late.
Historic Brockville: While taking pictures on the legal street of Brockville a truly beautiful spot I was advised to go down the street a little further and witness the beauty of historic Brockville and so after some picture-taking of the statue and the court-house, city hall and the murals on the side of the buildings I moved on to the historic area. I did this, but not before I noticed that the buildings were graffiti free unlike Montreal where graffiti is everywhere in its ugliness. I could not help but wonder why not here? Was it something to do with the police, the people, or a lot of both, or was it I just was not in the right area, but then I remembered that there is no right area in Montreal in fact there was no area in Montreal free of the gang markings anymore. On arriving in the historic area it is hard not to notice the old train tunnel and like every tourist I took pictures and video of it, went inside of it and dreamed back to another time, I walked around the park taking pictures of plaques and walking ever closer to the Marina. From the Marina you get a better chance to see the blending of new and old and there is just so much to see. Construction is going on in the area and there are plenty of hotels, restaurants offering all types of food. People fly their kites on nice days and I was fortunate enough to catch one on video. The people were so nice and friendly something I have noticed since I have actually had the time to stop and talk and am not just passing through on a truck delivering furniture. I always thought Ontario‘s people to be cold, but maybe it was me who did not have the time and was always too much in a rush, because I have found these people of Ontario to be a delight in all ways. I have taken of late to do going on day trips as a way to revisit parts of Canada that I had chance to pass through, but no chance to really see. I would encourage all Canadians to do this. It is a great way to meet other people, to see some of Canada on the cheap, to learn a little more about your country’s rich history, diverse culture and to enjoy a great day in the fresh air.
Nuns Island Revisited: The thing about these parks is that they always drag you back to them, they are addictive. The animals become my secret friends, the ground becomes my place of solitude and its upkeep the object of my personal protection and so I am drawn back to say hello to old friends and make new ones and to see that my parks are not in need of anything and that no one is violating what has now become my personal space. All of my old friends were there and the park was in a wonderful natural looking state. I did find an odd-looking creature sticking its head out through the reeds grass and duck weed, but could not make out what it was. At times in looked like a frog and others like a huge newt or salamander and again like a snake or a baby alligator. I stayed there for over 30 minutes, but he would not reveal more than his eyes and the top of his head to me. I left the park still wondering what the little creature was and knowing that I would have no choice to return until at the very least I found out what this was. Nature had made me her addict and she my drug of choice. Nature and parks are great, but the responsibility for keeping them healthy and beautiful for all of us to enjoy is all of ours and we all need to start taking this responsibility seriously or lose all of gods glory forever.
Kingston Ontario: As the houses became older and I started to see that I was on cobblestone streets I realised that I was now in old Kingston and it was very much like the old port of Montreal, complete with its port and old hotels, its blending of old and new, big ships of which there was only one looking out-of-place frozen in the ice, a tourist attraction I was guessing. Then an old black locomotive train came into view with a sign in front of a little building saying, Kingston Station, tourist information and souvenirs.
I will never sell another small city, or town short again and I will never sell winter short either. Winter will never slow my love of exploring new places again. If you get the chance to visit Kingston stop by the old section and go to the tourist information you will find all that you need there and a very friendly person with a ready smile to help you with anything you need to know. In closing I would just like to give Kingston a 5 star rating for friendliness and great service. Every store I went in and every person I met on the street were friendly, and charming. I know of a few cities and their people that could take a few pointers from the city of Kingston on how to treat people visiting their cities. Taken from: Winter Time In Kingston Ontario / Canada’s Hidden Treasures
Flooding 1 Month Later In The Townships: St Paul, Noyan, Venise en Quebec and all of the surrounding area were all hit bad by the never-ending rain and the flooding that was caused by it. I visited one side of Venise and decided to see the other side and how much improvement in their condition I could report to you all. Well I am sad to report that not much has changed for these suffering folks. Many roads are still closed, contamination of water and health related issues are still a primary concern and the army is still in town. Emergency measures are in effect still and in the worst hit areas you will see from my pictures that one month after the rain started to fall people are still pumping water through hoses out of their living room windows. They have been dealt a double blow from the governments of Quebec and the conservative government of Canada. Jean Charest has told these people that they most likely will get compensation and aid it will be topped off at a maximum of $150,000.00 no matter what the cost of their repairs or losses and for many that means they are through. Then there is the law that says they can not rebuild on land that has the possibility of flooding and for those rebuilding will be legally impossible. This means that towns once vibrant can be made into ghosts towns overnight. Mr. Harper has decided to punish the region for not voting for his party and is refusing to even visit the area and assess the damage himself. In another blow to this area he is taking the troops out of the area, just as they are expecting a major rain storm again this weekend. I knew he was ignorant, but this makes him vindictive in a cruel, evil sort of way; Gaddafi cruel. I guess the troops are needed to on the ground to hunt for Gaddafi or something like that. I know this that at one point a lady was talking to her husband on a porch just above the water line and he said to her, ” look he is taking pictures and she said good maybe the government will see how much damage there is here and help us.” I aim to do just that and so I show you these pictures taken one month after the rain started.
Houses + Fields Flooded: This set of pictures was taken to show you how much field is still under water and how many people are still walking through knee-high water to get the basic needs like water and food. The Harper government is getting ready to pull the troops while water is still being pumped out of their windows and while roads are still out-of-order. I show you these pictures because I was asked to, because these people know that the government is going to drop them just like the regular news is and then they will be forgotten. Charest is going to abandoned them after all he is just a conservative hiding in a Liberal jacket and Harper has already said that he will not visit the area so they feel that they can not count on him for assistance and that they are being punished for not voting his way. Geese and ducks have taken over the fields and it looks more like a marsh area than an agricultural belt. I just wanted you to see how politics is being played with the lively hood and the very existence of these people by Charest and Harper. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5vjBCaV46x0