Quiet For Too Long

I have been gone and thought my days of posting my thoughts were behind me. It has taken a pandemic to come to the realization that I am not ready to stop posting the garbled garbage of my thoughts yet. I thought I was ready to stop posting but didn’t want to stop writing. Now, with the newest version of the COVID19 restrictions, I continue to write daily. Winter weather isn’t conducive to wheelchair life anyway, going for a wheel in snow and -15 is not a relaxing situation, so I write. Usually I just hibernate but this year social isolation has taken on a whole new meaning. Over the years I have become use to hibernating but this year it is a way of life for a lot more people.

This year I can hibernate while using the tools available to me “social media” to maintain and encourage interactions. This is finally a situation where relationships can continue to be enjoyed without being face to face. These days I’m usually at home anyway writing or researching. And it would appear nothing brings out more fools and bizarre conspiracy theories than a good worldwide health crisis. Since I’m home most of the time writing or researching most of this crazy shit why not share some of the insights I see. So I am going to post this one as a Happy New Year post and take the steps needed for the next chapter.

For the first time and we need it

Writing and expression is kind of meaningless if you are not sharing which brings me to an important point. I am not trying to create a “monologue” but a “dialogue” so leave a comment below, share your view, let me know I’m not the only one capable of seeing through this new world of smoke and mirrors. We shouldn’t have to worry about smoke and mirrors but when you elect egos that’s what you get. They are very good with smoke and mirrors. Plus, to me, writing is like quilting to others, or a diary for some or maybe gardening for others. It is whatever their passion is and one of the things I am noticing about these COVID restrictions is how much many are learning about themselves (discovering their hidden passions).

Writing is my passion, I love writing, I love using words to create a vivid image. I enjoy “fact checking”, sifting through details in order to be an informed voice of conscience, something a lot of people are lacking these days. But people like to share their quilts, some like to share their diaries or share their gardening accomplishments with others. People don’t play to their passions just to hide them in a closet so why shouldn’t I share some of my meanderings. I mean to sit and write something, then not share it in some way is like talking to myself and you know what we say about people that talk to themselves.

After eight months of COVID19 induced isolation I realized it wasn’t the writing that I was backing away from but the subject matter. I have spend so much time writing about access I didn’t realize how long I had been beating that horse. After almost fifty years of fighting for disability rights and access just wheeling away now would result in me feeling like my whole life has been a waste of time. I have been in a forest of access issues for so long I no longer see the trees and I can’t do that. At the same time I often feel like I’m screaming into an empty valley. There is a whole world of younger access activists out there, time for me to put down the mantle and let the new kids take over. After all 45 years is a long time to beat the same horse so good luck people and with a word of caution, I remind you to keep your guard up, gains can be eroded quickly and we have a government in this province who are using the facade of the pandemic to erode rights.

There, that’s the serious crap out of the way, time to think of the future. So I am going to design a new page and just have some fun while also getting my political digs in. We are certainly in serious need of some levity in that area and, with this government there are peat fields of digging that can be done. So I am going to close this year with an “All The Best in 2021” (can’t really get worse) but also an alert. I am going to leave access issues alone and focus myself back on social justice issues.

Watching the current ruling party, the UCP, strip away rights gives me numerous skids of info to go after. I will be redesigning my site, share some stories and perhaps provide some insight into how our democracy is being stripped away. One thing the COVID crisis has shown me is how little people really pay attention to detail. As a retired policy analyst research is my retirement activity so most of my writing will be based on that. People need to pay attentions and if I can get just one person to rethink the situation, I’m happy. Think about it, what kind of responsible role modelling does a Health Minister exhibit when he drives over to a constituents home to belittle him from the landowners drive way. Ask yourself what kind of government rips up the doctors master agreement at the beginning of a health crisis and then adds insult to injury by pushing their professional association into effectively creating regulations restricting the “portability rights” enjoyed by every Canadian.

So I will speak with you in the New Year, new look, new directions less concern over hurting peoples feelings. I’m writing about something because of something the topic emoted in me, not attack you. If you decide to personalize anything I say thats on you. Be aware and don’t be overly sensitive. And keep in mind I’m looking for dialogue, not a monologue. Leave a comment, ask a question, rip a strip off me but lets create a dialogue. If all I was interested in was a monologue I find an open mike night somewhere…all the best

Return To Sender

A simple picture of me sitting in a tree with a beer in my one hand and a joint in the other circa 1981 Pigeon Lake Cabin, caption "Life in a Tree"
Life in the tree

I haven’t published anything on my site for some time and actually thought I was finished with it. I have been writing a lot but not publishing. It just seemed everything I wrote was so negative and jaded that I didn’t want to put it out there. We are surrounded with the negativity of COVID19, the madness of Trump and the continual move by the current alt-right governments popping up everywhere I really didn’t want to contribute to any more negativity. However my writing does give me a way to keep that negativity from festering in myself. I am my own sounding board and my own emotional drainage spot. So I write.

In my own province we have a government that is closer to fascism than democracy. I can’t help but feel like that we are now in the twilight of democracy. A democracy so many gave their lives for seventy-five years ago. Ironically, in todays world, we send a younger generation to foreign lands to fight for a concept they no longer really understand. I see nothing but negative social media posts over the hypocrisy of our own political leaders for those very acts. I can’t help but speak out so I am back. I can’t, in good conscience, tell others they need to speak out while silencing myself. I cannot join the ranks of the complacent because that is what is killing our system.

Most recently I came across this picture of myself. That was a time when I could climb trees and leave my crutches on the ground. This was by Pigeon Lake and I loved being up in a tree cut off from the gravity of the ground while just gazing with a blank mind at the never ending sky above me. I was an outspoken activist with a busy career. I was going to change the world. After all the Vietnam War had recently abated and we had all of this change ahead of us to overcome the privilege of those who pulled the strings at that time. And while I was looking at this picture one of my favourite songs popped into my head but I saw it in a completely different light.

I close my eyes, only for a moment, and the moment’s gone
All my dreams pass before my eyes, a curiosity
Dust in the wind
All they are is dust in the wind

While that tune floated around my head I was pulled into the thought of Kamala Harris being named Joe Biden’s running mate in the upcoming American Presidential election. The news and all of the political pundits were heralding this as the passing of the torch to the new generation. That’s when it dawned on me, I’ve been working my ass off on social media trying to do some bridge building with “that new generation” by focusing on 30 year olds, Kamal Harris is 55 years old. The generation I have been trying to reach out to is almost 30 years younger. The ones I have been reaching out to are more like that guy in the tree, they want to change the world they know at 30 but, generationally thinking, we may have a good knowledge base at 30 but the “wisdom” required to make that knowledge effective is much more apparent in a 55 year old. It took me hitting fifty to really understand that. I had the knowledge, I just didn’t have an organized tool box.

Same old song, just a drop of water in an endless sea
All we do crumbles to the ground though we refuse to see
Dust in the wind
All we are is dust in the wind
Oh, ho, ho

So I am back and I will be speaking up. The majority of my generation (the baby-boomers) have become fixed in their believes. They are still voting like it’s the 70’s, that the Lougheed Conservatives are still building the wealth of Alberta (Kenney and his UCP gang are a long shot from what Lougheed began) and still hold a grudge over a decision of Pierre Elliot Trudeau from fifty years ago (National Energy Plan). It’s over, let’s move on and keep would be fascists out of our political halls of power. Let’s not let a grudge that should have been buried two generations ago let ourselves fall into demagoguery. That is what is happening in Alberta and a few of other provinces from what I read. The tools are there in a document called the Constitution so use them rather than just whining behind a keyboard on Facebook.

Now, don’t hang on, nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky
It slips away
And all your money won’t another minute buy
Dust in the wind
All we are is dust in the wind
All we are is dust in the wind
Dust in the wind
Everything is dust in the wind
Everything is dust in the wind
The wind

I do not to be just “dust in the wind”. I do not want the work I spend my life on mean nothing and be discarded by a provincial government that appears to be completely devoid of morality. I can’t count on my generation. Their existence and comfort is based on what they help build. They are now quite happy (and justifiably so) to live off the accolades of what they helped develop. The erosion of those things mean nothing now but that leaves a whole generations of people who will never knew life before the benefits that began in the 80’s.

A generational chart covering ten generations from 1915 until 2015.  Captioned "These are the Generational breakdown of the voters.  Where do you fit in?  I can almost predict voting patterns based on which generational group you fall into.
These are the Generational breakdown of voters. Where do you fit? I can almost predict voting patterns based on which generational group you fall into.

I’ll be back…

When Perspective and Ideology Diverge…

Imagine, for a moment, that you are ten years old and lying in a hospital bed. The kid in the bed next to you is eight and you are watching the life drain out of him. In less time than it takes to slip a face covering on the life had evaporated out of your eight year old bunk mate. For some, that sounds like a scene from a movie, to me that was my youth.

Peter was an eight year old who had contracted polio almost five years after the introduction of the vaccine (2020 marks the 65th anniversary of the polio vaccine). He contracted polio from a family down the street who hadn’t bothered to vaccinate their kids. Peter paid the price because the system was so sure polio was being eradicated now that a vaccine existed. Unfortunately there were still people who couldn’t accept the idea of vaccinations, that same type of mentality that keeps people from wearing masks today. These are the memories that I built my belief system on and includes practicing “responsible” behaviour when it comes to threatening other peoples health.

Flash forward almost sixty year and we are inundated with another health pandemic, COVID19. In less than six months Canada has experienced over 8800 deaths to date and climbing. The world has over 603,000 deaths and yet we continue to ignore such a simple action that could cut down those deaths numbers by who knows how much. WEAR A MASK! It’s really that simple. You don’t need to just accept my word, check the World Health Organization (WHO) for current figures. Take the political ideology out of the spin numerous politicians are using to make this a political issue and not a health reality. This is where perspective comes into play. Are you a sheeple or a rationally thinking individual who is truly concerned for your neighbour.

I do my best to be open minded and supportive of everyone’s right to personal choice. However I am also very aware of the threats to others who may not enjoy the privilege many attending the “anti-mask protest” in Calgary today do. You can do what you want but when what you do threatens other then you are infringing on their rights to a safe environment. I have about as much patiences for those refusing to wear face coverings as I do antivaxxers, drunken drivers, or street racers.

I will never regret getting older. I know too many people who never had that privilege

I had too many childhood friends who never got past childhood because other people made choices that cost my friends their lives. They never had the opportunity to enjoy the privilege of “aging”. And they never enjoyed that privilege because so many others felt they knew better. Our healthcare system was no where as refined as it is today so many of these deaths would be averted today because of a change in perspective. We, at least for now, live in a time where we respect science and facts. Contrary to what many “leaders” would have you believe this is a “health crisis”, not a “political rally”.

We have the tools we need to beat COVID19 or at least keep it in check. We don’t need a repeat of the Spanish Flu which cost almost 50 million lives however everyone has a role to play. The inconvenience of wearing a mask is a lot easier to handle than picking out a coffin. For god sake people we live in Calgary and I don’t see a lot of people complaining about face coverings on a -25 cold winter day.

This continual flow of misinformation on the “non” issues of having your face covered all day is crap. Nobody is insisting you spend your life in a mask just when you go into a busy public place. You know, as well as I do, that there are limits to “social distancing” so use the common sense whoever you believe granted you and wear a frigging mask. Why do you think we have drunk and driving laws? To protect the innocent, the mask is no different. If you are that concerned over your rights think about those people who never got to experience those rights because of the neglect of others.

Yes this pisses me off. I survived polio, a lot of my childhood friends didn’t. Contrary to what you might like to think you are NOT the centre of the universe, show some of that “compassion” I keep hearing about and think of those around you. If you had put as much energy and thought into wearing a mask in the first place we wouldn’t still be having this discussion. Perspective people, think about it. Take the ideology out of it and use some perspective. COVID19 isn’t the real problem, your refusal to fight it is…

For any hanging around that protest who agrees with the simplicity of wearing a “mask” grab some pictures with that fancy phone. Post a few and identify those you know, shame is easier to deal with than death. Post them, put them on your Facebook page (that seems to be how democracy works these days), “Oh I read it on Facebook, it must be real”, grow up and fact check. If you post them hashtag them #WearAMask, I’d rather see my picture on a hashtag than in a nice portrait above a coffin…

Thanks for reading, now show me you are listening…

Taking a Stand – Part 1

Calgary Protest

I have been staying quiet recently and there has been a reason for that. We are already inundated with negative news and every time I sat down to write nothing but bitterness was showing up on my screen. People didn’t need more of that so I just kept my writings to myself. One still has to get that negativity out of your system but it is not always necessary to dump it on others. For that reason I wasn’t publishing anything, I was just cleansing. However with Kenney expediting his attack on our freedoms purely for the purpose of a twisted and bitter ego I can no longer be quiet. The UCP have provided an army of misinformation soldiers. I can’t sit back watching as fifty years of civil rights advancements be undone for no other reason than the ideology of a handful. I can no longer just sit back and, for those I haven’t yet managed to alienate, well sorry but here goes.

Today is June 11, 2020 and the day of one, of which I believe will be many, Alberta wide protest taking a stand against what has become the most authoritarian Canadian government I have ever experienced in my 45+ years of voting. Today will be a day of protest province wide that will not only challenge the Constitutionality of a piece of legislation but also expose every protestor involved to the threat held in that Bill, the Critical Infrastructure Defence Act, better known as Bill 1.

Still protesting after all of these years

It seems my life has been one protest after another often protest to protect what we thought had been won in past protest. This government, which has been abusing every citizen of Alberta while hiding behind the COVID19 pandemic crisis, is stripping away every right protected under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Bill 1 is designed to keep those who oppose this government from congregating or speaking out. It’s “marketed” as a “safety precaution” against those who would stand in the way of the oil and gas industry but is deliberately devoid of specifics.

What constitutes a “Critical Infrastructure”? The way this Act is worded leaves that totally up to the politician dealing with any given issue. In my days as a government policy analyst we were reminded regularly to use “descriptive adjectives” rather than “directive verbs”. Words matter and when it comes to legislation the more ambiguous the wording the greater the latitude of application. Bill 1 not only accomplishes that but also denies many of the rights and freedoms contained in the Constitution. I have fought for, marched in protest for and completed court cases for for over FORTY years and here we are again. This isn’t advancing democracy, this is stripping freedoms.

These rights include “Fundamental Freedoms” (as per the Constitution Act 1982) Part 1, Section 2, Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Freedom of Association. “Legal Rights”, Part 1, Section 7, “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.” “Equality Rights”, Part 1, Section 15, “Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.”. And this is just a sampling.

Polio victims in protest at Downing Street, London, 24 December 1969.

I have been marching in protests since I was a teenager and it tears me apart not to be able to join in on todays march. However time does ravage the body and in todays world of social media you don’t necessarily need to be there “physically” to have your voice heard. I will do whatever and however I can when it comes to protecting the rights and freedoms I have dedicated my life to promoting gains, defining rights and continually pushing forward. I will not sit back while a “new” type of authoritarian government begins to erode those advances made in the past by moving us backwards like moving our child labour protections back to the days of 1920 rather than 2020. Bill 1 is a huge step in the erosion of rights and protests need to happen. That’s a problem itself, this is only “one step”.

Kenney has not hidden the fact that he is about building a “new” Alberta and if that means tearing down the protections we currently have he is prepared to do that. At a luncheon presentation to the Calgary Chamber of Commerce in 2018 he stated, and I quote, “You move quickly. You move with speed because speed creates its own momentum. It also makes it harder for the opponents of reform to obstruct it.” And that is exactly what he is doing in the mists of a health pandemic. This is Bill 1 and I will be tackling the Charter affects of his other corrosive legislation from healthcare to education.

Kenney and the UCP are a bigger threat to Alberta than COVID19 but so many people don’t want to leave their comfort bubble. They don’t seem to realize that there is a cost to a “free society” and that it doesn’t happen without “involvement” from the people. Speak up people, out forefathers (and for some that means our parents) gave their lives so we could have the freedoms we enjoy today. It is easier to lose them than gain them.

I may not be at the Calgary protest physically today but my thoughts and heart will be there pulsating with the energy of the newest generation of activists. I am there for them and I am there to hopefully avoid reinventing the wheel. One thing social media has shown me is how little many of todays activists know about our history.

In closing, as a polio survivor, I implore everybody to, at a minimum, wear a mask. Social distancing is impossible during a protest, the least you can do is wear a mask for health reasons in this renewed fight for rights. On the irony side of things, it was fifty years ago that the Simon and Garfunkel song “Bridge Over Troubled Waters” held the number one song position for six weeks. It’s as appropriate today as it was in 1970. Stay strong at the march…  

He Didn’t Know

Well it is Monday, a nice sunny day with a bit of a cool breeze. I thought my days of writing were behind me and that it was time to just quit. People don’t seem to want to hear. However when you look at what is going on in, not only the world, but in my own province of Alberta I realize now is not the time for silence.

We are now ruled by a Premier who is closer to fascism than democracy. Albertans have become so numb to political rhetoric that the use of the word “purge” rolls off our back like water. The idea of “purging” democratic oversight committees was a term I associate with a third world despot, not a Canadian political party with a Premier name Jason Kenney. We have left the world of democracy and now is not the time to stop speaking out.

Picture of two tables with banners above them and a single individual seated at each table.  A long line has formed in front of the table with the banner reading "Comforting Lies" while the second table is absence of anyone waiting and a dejected looking individual sitting under a banner that reads "Unpleasant Truth".  The picture is captioned "The truth may set you free however it can also alienate you".
The truth may set you free however it can also alienate you

I had made a decision a couple of weeks ago just to stop writing and keep my opinions to myself. It took a birthday phone call from my brother to realize I couldn’t do that. This brother is four years younger than me and that is important in the family dynamics here. As many of you are aware I grew up in a hospital, to my “very” young brother I was just that kid up there waving down from my room on the third floor. Siblings weren’t allowed to visit, polio kids were kept pretty isolated back then.

He was too young to realize that the regulations of the day kept me from attending community schools. It wasn’t until the late 50’s that the Alberta Education Act was amended requiring schools to start accepting kids with disabilities. He was too young to realize that I could now attend school but any regulations that required a school to be “physically” accessible didn’t happen until the National Building Code was amended in 1976 to include wheelchair accessibility. The irony there became it was law that school administration could no longer refuse admission to someone with a disability but there were no regulations stating the facility itself had to be accessible.

I was sixteen when I got home that day to find a letter from the Alberta Eugenics Board. I knew what that meant. I was on the road hitch-hiking to Vancouver before my parents got home to find that letter. He was 12 and had no idea that the Alberta Sexual Sterilization Act gave the government the ability to sterilize me regardless of my desire. To him I was simply an out of control kid who had run away. He had no idea to the extent regulations affected my ability to live a “normal” life.

By sixteen I was a Vancouver street kid living with my crutches and my wits. Those were the survival skills that had been developed in the Children’s Hospital but something a 12 year old able-bodied kid could not fathom. The Alberta Sexual Sterilization Act was finally repealed in 1972. When I returned to Alberta to attend Mount Royal College, the old college down town, he was 16.

He had no idea that for me to get a leased apartment close to the college the regulations of the day required me to have a co-signer. That was part of the world of the disabled in those days and even that was a fight. Up to that point most disabled were institutionalized so one had to fight for the right to live independently in the community. Up to the early 70’s the social regulations of the day kept us in facilities. We had to prove we were “capable” of being responsible for ourselves which also included co-signers for any kind of contract.

As long as I’ve been aware he has always had some type of job. He was working as a gas jockey part-time while finishing his high school. He had no idea that the regulations of the time allowed employer to deny me any interview let alone a job because I was “disabled”. That type of national protection for the right to work didn’t happen until the introduction of the Charter in 1982. He didn’t know.

A picture of sunset over a field of wheat reading "One of the most cowardly things ordinary people do is to shut their eyes to the facts".

He, like so many, also doesn’t like to discuss politics. So when he phoned me for my birthday I touched on my favourite subject, politics. All you have to do is look at the protested happening, not only in the States, but world wide to understand the importance of political engagement. He, like so many, sees political discussion as adversarial, not a “fact” checking discussion. So after a few low level political remarks we settled into a discussion of completely mind numbing nothing. Following the polite “well have a good birthday”, he asked why I didn’t just give up the advocacy. He was pretty sure “nothing ever changes anyway so why get involved”. Well I can’t do that, a lot has changed over the years but you have to have the historical context to see that.

A lot has changed but change can be a slow process. Inactivity and silence are not what keeps the life blood of democracy flowing. Democracy isn’t free and change can be slow. The problem is the taps of democracy can be turned off much faster than it took to get the right flow going. I can’t keep quiet and to those out there, your silence is killing people. More to come…

Breaking Point

I was sitting here last night just catching up on some news items when the alert regarding the Minneapolis riots came across my screen. I flipped on CNN to see what was going on. I wasn’t surprised, I understand the frustration that comes from years of broken promise while being told that change would happen, the life events would improve, that the days of being marginalized were behind us. It is sad when you know something like the George Floyd murder and, regardless of your belief, it was murder. Anybody who was around when the Rodney King event happened would know the potential that this powder keg could turn into a battle-zone. It has been coming and people shouldn’t be surprised.

I have a life time of being subject to “broken promises” so I am well aware of how frustration can be like a metastasizing cancer. Unfortunately this also plays right into the hands of the actual perpetuators of these atrocities. The Minnesota demonstration was repeated in other cities across America last night as well but the crux was Minneapolis.

Sadly, the actions of that bend up frustration, having reached its limits, provided the ammunition for those creating so much of this unrest. It’s frightening to think we could be going back to the Rodney King days or even worse all the way back to the times of the Kent State massacre. I fully support a persons right to protest and I can certainly understand their anger fuelled frustration, however turning a protest into a riot just hands their oppressors more tools. In Canada we can no longer sit back and say “well that’s America” when this same type of oppression is taking over our political “temples”.

Just how stupid does the Premier think Albertans are

That same level of frustration is being felt by the marginalized of Canada. COVID19 is forcing us too recognized that. The most recent report done on the appalling conditions of senior care in this country is, in my mind, a “crime against humanity” and it took the involvement of the armed forces to raise the alarm. So for our Premier, the same one who is waging a war against healthcare professionals in the midst of a pandemic, stands up in the House and make this ridiculous statement I just can be quiet anymore. At first I thought it was just a meme taking a political shot at an out of control Premier who prefers to rule through fear and intimidation until I did some “fact checking”. From the broadcasting system right in our own Legislature.

This is the man Albertans elected to protect us, check his history

And what is this Premier doing to improve issues for seniors in Alberta besides making ridiculous comments like that one above, he’s phasing out the Office of the Seniors Advocate . God forbid there should be any oversight on an issue this sensitive. Then this morning this same Premier, the one who has never been able to graduate from an accredited university, despite all of the science and medical input Kenney has decided not to extend the protections of the current public health emergency status that expires June 15. And he did that with no medical input.

At the same time his UCP party is busily attempting to push through as much legislation as possible, most of which would never survive a Charter challenge. Bill 15 effectively uses tax payer money to fund more Charter Schools while removing funds meant to provide the additional costs of education assistance for “special needs” students. Charter schools are not mandated to accept students with disabilities so back to my childhood when the only place to access education was in an institution. Bill 10, which would have given the reining Party unfettered legislative authority, is being reviewed before any further attempts to push it through the House. Bill 21 which has the potential to deprive anyone with a disability equal health services due to what is called the “complex needs”.

In two days I enter a new decade. My birthday is Sunday and, as a polio survivor, I have a lifetime of broken promises fuelling me. Over the years I have tried to be reasonable. I have overcome many obstacles in my attempt to be cooperative. I have ignored my own accomplishments in my attempt to accommodate a system that keeps telling me “change is happening”. I have spend forty years on a wide variety of committees, advisory panels, working groups, focus session, evaluation teams, etc all in the name of advancing life options for the marginalized but in particular the disabled.

When decent behaviour towards disabled people is deemed extraordinary, you need to re-evaluate how you're conditioned to treat disabled people in the first place.
Think about it

And now Kenney is stripping services to the disabled. He is removing 47,000 seniors from the Blue Cross for Seniors prescription program, he has increased barriers to the Alberta Assured Income for the Disabled, as stated above he has created barriers to education by moving more tax dollars to Charter schools, and again the list goes on. An $800 wheelchair cushion that I had qualified for but not yet received before the COVID19 crisis arose through the Alberta Aides to Daily Living has been removed from the list of equipment. I no longer qualify. And again the list goes on. I’m a senior, I’m disabled and I try to be a nice guy. There is no reward for being a “nice guy” and I’m not going to take it anymore. Those days are now behind me, now I’m pissed and people that know me prefer me when I’m not pissed (which has nothing to do with alcohol consumption). It is time to riot and my riot tool is social media so bring it on Kenney, Shandro, LaGrange, or the UCP in general. I am not going into the night quietly…

Stay tuned…

Cracks in the Mirror

I am just coming up to the end of my 9th week of the COVID19 health crisis. I had entered this period believing my days of writing were behind me and that maybe, just maybe, it was time to just give up the fight and let others take up the torch. All indications are not many people didn’t really want to get their hands to close to that flame so maybe it is not time to exit.

After almost nine weeks of isolated reflection I am starting to see cracks in the mirror. If nothing else the COVID19 crisis has forced many people to take a hard look at what is around the community (and in many cases what “isn’t” around). We are in uncertain times for our health care system (#patients4abdocs), our educational sector is under attack and we have a government that doesn’t believe in governance. I guess now is not the time to be giving up activism.

I have been doing my best to avoid as much news as possible which is very difficult when you are a news junkie. Being in the wheelchair doesn’t exactly make “jumping on a bike” and work it off on the bike paths. I can’t exactly do a bunch of home repairs on a one bedroom condo. The weather, although improving (the rain has stopped), hasn’t been all that conducive to going out for a wheel. And even if I could right now there is no place to go. Calgary starts opening up Monday May 25 and I have already booked a haircut for Thursday. A true indication of the depths of boredom is when an old time hippie activist finds the act of a haircut exciting.

When your doctors office starts calling to see if they can e-mail some “Advance Care Planning” documents so they have something on file while finding activities to keep the office busy you start to realize just how bored everyone is becoming. These are things that need to be done but during a pandemic where healthcare facilities are being hyper vigilant about patients coming in you begin to understand just how far we have moved from the old norm.

When you have spend your life in some of the seediest areas of Calgary, Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and never really felt threatened you would think a “stay home” pandemic order would be a piece of cake. When wearing masks and “social distancing” becomes part of a new norm (BTW Quebec how did that Bill 62 work out for you) you start to think you are on the set for some old western. For the first time in my life I actually feel a tinge of trepidation when the weather does allow me some sun and fresh air time. With that said my last three foray onto the streets for fresh air have resulted into almost epic movie scenes.

Part of the first event was caught on camera by a friend. He had come by and we decided to take a walk and capture some video on how well the Beltline was adhering to social distancing. This was 4:20 on a Sunday afternoon and we were just casually wheeling down 7th Street. My buddy (for the record a Millennial, trying to close that generation gap) stopped me and asked me to wait on that side of the alleyway entry. It had to do with capturing the light of coming out of the shadow and into the sun. He ran over to the other side of the alleyway opening and waved me on. Just as I was hitting the sun all hell broke loose and I found myself wheeling into the middle of a gang shoot out in an alley way (what level of education do you need to realize any good shoot out happens either at high noon or shortly after midnight), what kind of movies are these guys watching?

Anyway I was just starting to wheel across the alleyway curb when the shooting started. Being who I am I stopped to see if I could catch the licence plate off the car the one shooter was leaning over shooting at the guy in the oncoming truck who was shooting back. I’m staring down the alleyway, maybe sixty feet away, looking for that licence plate when my buddy hollered at me (he was already about 45 feet away, always good to know someone has your back) that it sunk in. As I looked at that gun it dawned on me that maybe the licence plate wasn’t that important and all of a sudden I was back at the National Wheelchair Games hauling ass on the track course. We hung around until the cops arrived, gave our statements and, after looking around, realized in the commotion the concept of social distancing quickly became irrelevant so got the hell out of there.

Along came a week of rain so I was in no immediacy to go wheeling. Started catching a bit of the local news just to stay abreast of the pandemic lockdown. If the world is coming to an end I figure my cable will be one of the first things to go, so I’ve paid for it, I’m going to max its use. My computer is WiFi capable and there are cell towers around so I can always use my phone to create a hotspot, data charges be damned. The COVID19 stories I could handle, there was very little that surprised me.

I have a fair idea of the underbelly of social conditions out there so not a lot of surprises. Some disgust, some disappointment and, on occasion, a few tears. I’ve lost a few friends in this time so that was difficult but the reality is when you are heading for 70 years old losing friend to death is a reality, as my brother would say “suck it up princess”. I have more compassion than that but I also understand the reality of a marginalized life. I don’t live in a bubble and when you are already socially isolated by a neglected build environment you have a lot of time to reflect. Accessibility is a concept in Calgary, not a reality. As the sun reappeared and it began to warm I started putting on my mask (bright yellow with some black and white design) to go out to catch a few rays. That’s when the public ignorance really hit home.

I have modified my “social distancing” to expand it to about ten feet. When you are sitting in a wheelchair and someone sneeze in your direction it sink as it settles. That extra four feet makes a difference (at least in my mind) and so physics tells me. On two different occasions, while having a mid-day wheel, I was approached by what I refer to as “brief-case rednecks” who spit on me while blaming the “stupid virus on you cripples”. These weren’t street people, drug addicts or people down on their luck, they were young guys in nice sport coats, I believe, waiting for the day they can put their sheets and pointy hats back on.

Now there was a time in my life when I would have handled this very differently and often involved violence but, as I’ve matured, I now behave in a more civilized manner. I did what a civilized person should do and made the police aware. Regardless I am now a little hesitant about wandering around on my own. I can handle the social isolation that comes with a healthcare crisis but I detest being a prisoner to my own insecurities. That’s state is relatively new to me. I have build my life refusing to be controlled by fear or intimidated by a series of policies designed to catch the deceitful while being presented as well meaning regulations meant to help the marginalized.

However when those policies begin to generate covert support of racism, and not all racism is ethnically focused, by a government that is more than willing to support racist tones then that is not the time for me to check out. I opened this by mentioning “cracks in the mirror”. I can’t sit back anymore and simply accept there is nothing we can do about it as an excuse for the erosion of our democracy. Look in that cracked mirror and see what’s looking back. We, collectively, elected a government and Premier with too many examples of coverts racism in their closets. We stuck our heads in the BBQ pretending to turn the burger while ignoring the facts of seniors being tossed on the street. We busily grab a cold one from the cooler while MLA Drew Barnes evicts a tenant two days after the lapse of the eviction protection expired, this during a healthcare crisis where so many people have been “furloughed” (fancy regurgitation of an old military word). We holler back at the kitchen to put some condiments on the shopping list instead of taking time to research the way the Kenney government is running (or should I say ruining) Alberta right now making it the Old West again. It is not hard to verify Kenney’s thirty years of covert racist behaviour.

So look in that mirror again and say “What can I do about it?”. I would highly recommend you start by developing an understanding of those of who may be different from you. Get to know someone younger, older, of a different culture, of a different gender (regardless of how they identify), of a different socio-economic strata, COMMUNICATE, be a mentor, bring some history to the discussion. We are all PEOPLE, we all have dreams, hopes, values, aspirations, etc. But we are not communicating very well. The best thing that can come from this COVID19 crisis is a “new norm” that we all have to work on to build. Don’t let a history of divisive rhetoric being spewed by a spiteful government continue to drive wedges between us.

So, yes, I am back and I will be keeping myself busy making people aware of what is spin and what is real. Two quick things in closing, kind of a food for thought but when a online petition demanding the province reopen “golf courses” can generate almost 50,000 signatures in less than a week but one asking for support of our frontline healthcare worker flounder with just less than 500 signatures after four weeks that speaks volumes to our priorities. Think about it.

Screen shot of a Tweet from Jason Ribeiro, current Director of Strategy for the Calgary Economic Development Board reading "We cannot let the last thing the remaining members of the Greatest Generation see be the betrayal of the values and principles they fought so hard to protect.  We ignore neo-fascism at our own peril and dishonour their service"
Jason Ribeiro is the current Director of Strategy for the Calgary Economic Development Board

I want to close by acknowledging and congratulating Jason Ribeiro. I met Jason soon after my return to Calgary through social media. He is one of those generational gaps I have been working with. He is passionate about his work and will need to be in light of the current economic challenges created by the COVID19 situation. Almost a week ago he and his wife brought their first child, Matteo, into this madness. I vividly remember the birth of my son and I am always at a loss for words to describe that but congratulations Jason, now you have someone to really fight for so what you are doing today will deeply impact his future. That always changed a persons point of view.

I can’t recall at what point Jason posted the attached screen shot of his tweet but for some reason I belief it was pre-COVID19. With a new norm now on the horizon I am not sure if Jason was being prophetic or sharing a view but it turns out to be very prophetic. So I say to Jason and the economic development sector of the community, we all have to overcome our differences and build on our commonalities.

We all had a role in combatting COVID19, now we have to, collectively, have an active role in the development of “new norms” that will work for the future of the Matteo’s. Don’t let hollow promises and shiny political bobbles get in his way. My regards to your wife and hold the little one tight. Trust me, in the blink of an eye you will be attending his high school graduation.

Running On Fumes

I have just finished week 7 of the COVID19 life-style and I’m starting to run on fumes. The fight is draining out of me. I feel like I’m trapped on a carousel of an ever changing cycle of Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, five stages of grief. However just as you think you have worked through one, a new tragedy shows up and you start all over again. I’ve gone through my denial, been a little angry about it (knowing so much of this was avoidable), and just as you are about to move into the bargaining stage, bang another tragedy comes along and you are back at denial.

A small part of history, she published her work on this in 1969 but if you Google “Five stages…” you come up with an assortment of topics. They all follow the same premise but use different content as a filler. For example, “The Five Stages of Change” identify “precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance” instead of Kübler-Ross’s original “denial, anger, bargaining, depression and, finally, acceptance”. Different words, same process. Did I need to include this little historical tidbit, probably not but I look for distractions these days.

I am exhausted by all of these “false promises” (do you really believe that if the Kenney government were sincere over their revised promise to doctors they would continue to force Alberta Medical Association into a court battle in the middle of a health crisis). I’m tired of these moments of shock when another tragedy arises but, mostly, I’m tired of the artificial narratives being poured out like Jim Jones cool-aid by governments that profess to have the best interest of all citizens at heart.

This “artificial” shock by Premiers over the appalling situation at the Residence Herron senior residence just sickens me. The fact that these political leaders could “feign” such a reaction to a problem they have devised tears any faith I have in the compassion of Canadians. These same governments have been stripping away supports to our most vulnerable for well over 20 years leaving us with seniors care services that look more like a third world immigrant holding camp than a compassionate centre of care worthy of the architects that designed what we enjoy today, CANADA. The situation was atrocious, the political reaction was a lesson in professional yoyo spinning and nothing more than “vote bait”. I’ve seen better bait on the Saturday morning television show “Canadian Fisherman”.

And like any good fisherman provincial governments have been “gutting” seniors care for the past twenty-five year. I’ve been aware of that, I’ve been paying attention. To the rest of you, why did it take a health pandemic to get your attention? I have often said “your complacency is killing me” but I never realized just how much truth that statement would bare.

It wasn’t a surprise when twenty couples were given eviction notices from their previously subsidized units at a Retirement Concept Assisted Living Centre in North Vancouver four years ago. Wexford Creek, a seniors facility in Nanaimo had been owned by the Edmonton group “Good Samaritan Society” was forced to sell resulting in almost 110 layoff notices. The Good Samaritan states they hadn’t had an increase in provincial funding in eight years so had to sell to a private company before they went broke. So these provincial governments feigning surprise just doesn’t cut it, they have been busy dismantling seniors services for years and sadly few have paid attention.

It was no surprise when Vegreville Alberta gave 52 employees their lay-off notices from a privately run seniors supported living centre and then offered to hire them back at a much reduced wage. This did not keep Premier Kenney from “phasing” out the Alberta Office of the Seniors Advocate four months ago so this feigned surprise is about as genuine as a set of hemorrhoids on an Oak tree. There are too many examples to really get into and it says a lot about out current society when it takes a pandemic of this magnitude to get people to open their eyes.

Most people I know put more research time into a new car than they do over what the facility they are trusting their parents care too. I had to point out to my own family who actually owns the facility my mother is in. It is a very nice assisted living facility but the company on the brochure is actually owned by a twice removed insurance company that trades on the TSE and makes a mint off of senior living. And governments are eating this up as their way of downloading costs onto the for profit sector.

The early days of this pandemic I did nothing but respond to calls from various disabled individuals whose morning care-giver hadn’t shown up to get them dressed, out of bed and into their wheelchairs. Others whose regular day programs had shut down for the duration of the pandemic but had given the client no warning. When I contacted the Ministry responsible for these things I received the traditional bureaucratic run around “well that service is contracted out, call the agency”. No, I pay tax dollars and expect some form of accountability for those dollars, I am not here to do your job. This pandemic has just reenforce my own belief that the disabled are more of an after thought than a priority in todays society.

Over a year ago I raise my concerns with the City of Calgary for shutting down the “Voluntary Vulnerable Persons Registry”. The registry was a major tool in knowing where the most vulnerable were in the community. The answer, “the registry was no longer economically viable”. What is a life worth and what role do the disabled have in today’s society?

A single individual in a grey toned landscape with the words "Never wanted pease in my life as I do now.  Like, I am so over things that complicate my life.  I want a complete peace of mind".  Caption below picture reads "Just embers left"
Just embers left

The COVID19 related death of Ariis Knight is a testament to how little value or understanding there is. When a “policy” over rules common sense we are in trouble. When a non-verbal 40 year old cerebral palsy survivor is refused the right to have the only person there (her sister) who could act as her “voice” turned away is this really a world worth living in anymore. People have lived in their little silo’s for so long believing everything is being taken care of, well then we are just a herd of sheeple. And we have a whole political system that is growing like a patch of weeds based on our own complacency. Well not my complacency, I’m just the guy nobody wants to listen to, accepting the truth I highlight would mean moving out of their bubbles of comfort.

How much comfort do you think the population of Residence Heron enjoyed? Like I said I am running on fumes these days. I feel like the embers of that camp fire we just roasted our marshmallows over. The last few wafts of that cedar smell is refreshing and relaxing but the fire is dying. I am surrounded by kindling, I’m just not sure I have the energy to gather any more kindling and I have been unable to generate any real interest in anyone to help carry the load. The world is going to look very different after COVID19 but I have used up most of my energy pushing for change after the last epidemic, polio. I’m not sure I have the energy to reignite a new fire…

In Fascist Fields Where Hate Does Grow

For some reason I woke up at 3am this morning with the song “Romper, stomper, bompar boo” floating in my mind. Why that should have been there is beyond me. I was a few generations ahead of the TV show “Romper Room” but the tune was stuck in my head. I knew I wasn’t getting back to sleep so rather than lie there pretending I COULD go back to sleep while slapping myself around for being such a fool, I got up to do some writing. There’s a lot of material to write about so why not make the most of a good thing. Somebody has to speak out and the way I see it there is no one left for me to alienate so here goes. Let’s see who else I can piss off.

I’ve mentioned this before but it is well worth reiterating every now and then. I am not a journalist, a political pundit or even a professional writer. However I am a concerned citizen with something to say which is why I blog. As a polio survivor I had to learn to adapt quickly to almost every aspect of life. I have a life time of people expressing surprise and amazement over the day to day issues faced by my segment of the community, the disabled. Then I watch as they go back to their “comfort bubble” to completely forget our interaction. This is why things never get done. Very few people push and I’m just a “special interest guy”. Even the City turns its back on accessibility because nobody but “special needs groups” speaks up about it..

Unlike Kenney and his gang of backroom dealers, I am not trying to pat myself on the back here but the most successful disabled make being adaptive look natural and unplanned. It’s actually a form of “muscle memory” and requires a natural flow of “critical thinking”. I still do that and it shouldn’t take a genius to recognize how the UCP are ripping this province apart. They know how to use optics and now, conveniently, they have a healthcare crisis to hide behind.

While Kenney and his minions are going out of their way, at tax-payers expense, to destroy this province by hiding behind the veneer of a “healthcare crisis”, the “real” issues are being totally ignored.  Those who protect us, “the healthcare professionals”, are being decimated and caught up by that little ideological leprechaun’s ego and the even worse ideological idiots who make up his cabinet.  When we have a Health Minister, Shandro, who appears to be more interested in the financial returns of his wife’s “private health care” insurance business, we no longer have democracy, we have autocracy. 

I came into this world and face down the polio epidemic, I’m a survivor but I refuse to “quietly into the night”. Now, due to some dude who needs a stool to stand on behind his diaz so he can reach the mic to scare monger, I am challenging his campaign of misinformation. His use of feigned concerns of “life support” for a dying industry is much more apparent than his concerns over keeping the citizens of Alberta “off life support”.

I will not run the risk of losing all dignity like those poor unfortunates in the Dorval Residence Herron. That was a horrific criminal (in my mind) act and still Kenney (and he’s not the only Premier) push for privatization of senior care while removing oversight. He has already shown his disdain for oversight by removing the need for the energy sector to submit the environmental reports that use to be standard. I don’t disagree with his “red tape reduction” strategy but it has to be fair, equitable and it shouldn’t threaten public safety, particularly when a pandemic crisis is active. All tools, including air and environmental quality information is important.

Picture of nose and naval cavity being swapped as test for COVID19 virus
Nose swap to check for COVID19

We are just getting past the potential threat of returning snowbirds. It will be at least a month before we fully see the results of that. Kenney has already used his authority to remove a powerful tool from the infection control community. The coronavirus lives in the interior chamber of the nasal system making the swab difficult, uncomfortable but needed.

The next big threat (and I can almost guarantee Kenney hasn’t given this any thought as his “suspension” of environmental conditions shows) is the “spring allergy” season. A lot of sneezing, what pollutants are where, where are the environmental issues, etc is needed to identify and track potential “hot-spots”. As long as Kenney has suspended reporting those working on mitigation and trying to plan for what may be coming have just lost an important tool.

Good information is needed, not Kenney’s “misinformation” and rhetoric. As I said earlier I came into this world faced and beat the polio epidemic. I am not going to sit back while some fat little idiot more interested in the Koch brothers support than he is in the protection of ALL Albertans by putting profit before pandemic take me out of this world. People need to look past the optics and get to know the substance, how the ripple effect will affect everybody regardless of what silo you are in.

“I’m feeling more frustrated than a one armed man in a wall paper hanging contest. We are being told constantly that we “all have to do our part” and I am 100% behind that. In fact there is a certain amount of pride in how well most Albertans are pulling up their socks and make sacrifices but, again, Kenney uses this tragedy to hide behind and advance his agenda for the oil patch as well as environmental protection.

This is a time when we need as much environmental information as we can get. This is one of the tools used by infection control specialist to track “hot-spots” so not only is Kenney giving disproportionate amount of financial support to an industry on life support, he’s ignoring the support for programs meant to keep people “off” of life support systems.

Meanwhile our frontline #HealthcareWarriors are under attack by the Kenney government as a result of Bill 21. Health Minister Shandro’s used this bill to rip up the existing agreement with the Alberta Medical Association and it all took effect April 1. What kind of reasonably thinking compassion person intimidates and threats the very people working so hard to protect Albertans from COVID19. Our doctors and healthcare staff risk their life’s every day to protect Albertans from this pandemic crisis.

Not only themselves but their immediate families and loved ones. Is this the type of government you voted for? A government more concerned with the bottom line of “one” sector of the economy while threatening those who have dedicated themselves to protect us. Show our doctors that you DO care and sign the Change.org petition asking for the rights of Alberta doctors to be protected. They need some encouragement to know Albertans are standing behind them. Sign and share today…

"All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for good people of good conscience to remain silence" - Thomas Jefferson captioned "Are you part of the solution or a contributor to the problem
Are you part of the solution or a contributor to the problem

This is how fascism grows, when a military uprising can’t happen those despots incrementally dismantle the existing tools of protection. Baby steps leads to marathons…”

Are You Paying Attention?

Your complacency is killing me! I use to wake up in the morning looking forward to my coffee, blueberry bagel, check my news feeds and follow-up with my social media requests. I’m a news junkie, I don’t deny that but I am dealing with an increasing number of friends and relatives who don’t want to check the news anymore because of the COVID19 healthcare crisis. And although I understand I am very concerns about it. My analogy to that is being tested for cancer but then refusing to book a follow-up doctors appointment out of fear of the results. Burying our head in the sand will not make this crisis go away, in fact not knowing the preventative expectations of your community will only add to the severity of this crisis.

As I said I use to get up looking forward to my coffee, bagel, blah, blah, blah. Now I get up to e-mails of ire, Facebook comments decrying my ideology (not sure how wanting knowledge on a healthcare crisis is ideological but whatever), a Twitter feed of conspiracy theorists and the latest news showing how much the wick has been turned down on the kerosene lamp of rights. If you are not paying attention you are contributing to the crisis and every twisted political ago out there knows that. Trump isn’t the only one twisting this to his advantage, we have Premier Kenney and the UCP fascists doing the same thing.

A blank poster with the words "I want my friends to understand that "staying out of politics" or being "sick of politics" is privilege in action.  Your wealth, your race, your abilities or gender allows you a life in which you likely will not be a target of bigotry, attacks, deportation or genocide.  You don't want to get political, you don't want to fight because your life and safety are not at stake.  It is hard and exhausting to bring up the issue of oppression (aka "get political").  The fighting is tiring.  I get that.  Self-care is essential.  But if you find politics annoying and you just want everybody to be nice, please know that people are literally fighting for their lives and safety.  You might not see it but that's what privileged does".  I have caption this with "If you are looking for "cute kitty" videos you are in the wrong room.
If you are only looking for “cute kitty’ videos you are in the wrong room

I survived one pandemic already (in 1952 the polio epidemic was declared a pandemic). Polio was considered an epidemic up to its peak in 1952 when they called it a pandemic for that one year. That year there were over 57,000 reported cases with 3,145 deaths. I faced that one and due, in part, to people wanting to ignore it I went untreated for ten days before it was acknowledged that, yes, I had polio.

So I am not very patience with those who choose to turn their backs on the news. Complacency doesn’t sit well with me especially when it is used to disguise ignorance. If you don’t understand “voluntary isolation” you don’t do it, if you don’t know what “social distancing” is you don’t practice it, if you don’t know why businesses are closed you are running around looking for something that isn’t there while running the risk of picking up something unexpected, like the Coronavirus. You can limit your news but I do not have a “Google” stamp on my head, quit using me as your news source particularly if you are just going to ignore it. This isn’t shit and giggles to me.

Picture of Martin Luther King, Jt stating "In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemy, but the silence of our friends".  I have captioned it "Your silence is deafening"
Your silence is deafening

You know who else knows you are not paying attention, the ideologists pretending to be politicians. I watched Premier Kenney’s very public (optics) on the news last night patting himself on the back for the great job his government is doing fighting this pandemic. He touted the “extra” money his government is making available to fight this health crisis. He fails to mention the $100 million taken out of the nursing and doctor budget in the UCP November 2019 budget. He doesn’t mention the 47,000 seniors who will be taken off of the seniors drug plan or the $11 million cut to ambulance services. I could go on but why, people don’t seem to want details. That is substance, not optics.

I am not only a news junkie, I am also a history buff so imagine my horror when I looked at what Kenney and company had “quietly” push through the legislative process the night before. When a government with this one’s background the idea of something like Bill 10 is frightening. If you haven’t been following the news (and I know most of you haven’t) Bill 10 allows this government to do just about anything without going through the legislative process.

I have fought too hard in my lifetime for “disability rights” to sit back and let a government, whose moral compass is suspect at best, take complete control of a herd of sheeples. We have a Premier whose leadership was under investigation (Kamikaze scandal), a Health Minister who tore up the provincial agreement with doctors, the same Minister of Health who went out of his way to drive to a neighbours (2 miles away) and berate him (the “neighbour” happened to be a doctor). Then Minister Shandro finishes his month by using his “position of privilege” to by-pass the “Protection of Privacy” process to obtain the private residence phone number of another outspoken doctor. The message here was “no matter where you go I can find you” and laws be damned. #ShandroMustGo This is not democracy, it’s fascism in growth.

When Kenney gets in front of the public and rattled off a list of former Premiers worth emulating and fails to mention Peter Lougheed but includes Ernest Manning, there is something wrong with his “hero list”. Manning was the longest sitting Premier in Alberta’s history (25 years and 7 months) and in that time was never able to severe his state relationship from his church affiliation. Manning, the same Premier who felt it quite acceptable to forcibly sterilize the disabled as right up to 1971.

It was the Lougheed Conservatives that repealed that piece of legislation after decimating the Social Credit government and taking the rein of democracy in the 1971 election. Church and state were quickly separated moving Alberta into the waning era of the civil rights movement. Any politician with a wall of hero’s like that should not be given the type of carte blanche over our rights afforded through Bill 10.. Our rights are precious and hard fought for. In the last week I have had discussions with a numerous people talking about “the death of democracy“, that perhaps we should accept the idea of democracy as an old pipe dream and go back to the days of “survival of the fittest”. Let business run the province, how did that work out for the disabled seniors of the Dorval’s Residence Herron?

Does History really need repeating

Again review your history. Fascism did not happen in Germany over night. It was the Reichstag Fire Decree that opened the door for the Enabling Act. With the trumped up case of the Reichstag Fire Decree (later the person blamed was discovered to be a “patsy”) being rushed through a kangaroo court, a severely failing economy and the Enabling Act the German table was set for the rise of tyranny. These are the same conditions we are facing today in Alberta.

To give Kenney and company unfettered control would be the equivalent of throwing he whole kerosene lamp I mentioned in my opening into the lake. We already have more than amble examples of how little respect this government has for the democratic process let alone human rights, do we really want to throw fifty years of fighting for human rights away to an ego dressed up in a suit? I don’t…