Archive for March, 2014




31 March 2014

Leafs Game

The weather is still hovering around the freezing point. For pedestrians it means treacherous sidewalks, especially in the shade. I could see Chuck’s knees and the wheels of his chair from a block away; the rest of him was obscured by an aluminum pole that accommodated the push button for the Walk light.  When I talk to Chuck, I have to be careful not to lean on the button; a bell goes off each time it is pressed.

“Hi, Chuck, did you enjoy the hockey game?”

“Yes, I enjoyed being at the game, but our team lost  5-3  to St. Louis.  Toronto allowed a season-worst 23 shots in the first period and, thanks to some awful play from Dion Phaneuf, spotted St. Louis a 4-1 lead in the second period. They made a two goal come back in the third, but it wasn’t enough.  One loss isn’t so bad, but we fell from third-best record to tenth place in just two weeks.

“I didn’t sleep well last night, ate too much junk food. I had some pizza, then later I had some fried chicken — too much grease. I’m leaving here in about fifteen minutes. When I get home I’m going straight to bed.

“This afternoon I’m going to a place in the west end to have my income tax calculated. I got a friend who is an accountant. He’ll do it for me for free. The government is taking away all of our deductions.  It used to be that I’d get a refund of eight hundred dollars. That would keep me off the street for a while. That was really helpful. Pensioners like me  have it rough. It’s all we can do to pay the rent and have enough left over to eat. It’s worse for a woman trying to raise kids. I have a cleaning lady that comes over one afternoon a week — I like my mornings to myself. I can’t imagine how she makes ends meet. What happens when the kid needs a new bed? Those are expensive. How about a grandmother whose grandchildren live half way across the country? Do you think she can afford  travel costs, the way they are today? No way!”

“What do you think of our mayor, Rob Ford?”

“People say a lot of bad things about him, but he did something; he kept  taxes low by reducing the size and cost of government. He also boosted tourism. It’s the provincial and federal governments that are holding back our pensions. Their suggestion is that people save more money. I don’t get enough money to be able to save.  Old Age Security and the Guaranteed Income Supplement pays less than a thousand a month. That may sound like a lot of money, but try to live on it.

“When the Canadian government brought in the International Free Trade Agreement it cost us a lot of jobs. I worked at a brush manufacturing company. My job was to shape the handles of the snow scrapers. I could run five or six per minute through the shaper. It was dangerous. If I pushed too hard it could fly back at me and cause serious injury. I was paid about two dollars an hour at that time. The company decided to ship the rough handles to Japan. They were bundled by the hundred, sent by truck to Vancouver, then by ship to Japan. Labor costs there were about ten cents per hour. The handles were returned to us the same way, then we’d attach the plastic scraper on one end and the bristles on the other. My job was gone so they moved me to the push broom department. 

“I should mention that the company I worked for  was started by two guys who had no money, but they had a great idea.  They collected sawdust from the local lumber mills, added  a green color, a pine scent, some oil and sold it as a sweeping compound. The company has been around for a hundred years and now produce  a full range of powered scrubbing, polishing and carpet care machines and vacuum cleaners.

“Anyway, I enjoyed making the push brooms. I asked my boss if it was okay to make a broom for myself. I said I’d do it on my own time, during breaks. He said, ‘Sure, go ahead.’ What he didn’t know was that I made a broom with a longer handle and instead of the regular corn bristles, I used camel hair. This was back in the sixties. What I made was worth about sixty dollars at the time. Can you imagine what it would cost now? I worked with my brother-in-law Bruce. He’d come over to my place after work for a few beers. I threw the broom to him and said, ‘Bruce, would you sweep my floor?’ He looked at the broom and said, ‘You son of a bitch.’

“I  also worked at a shoe factory. The owner drove a Rolls Royce, he was too cheap to have a driver. That car was absolutely filthy, but he refused to have it washed. He’d say, ‘The rain will clean it eventually.’ He made a lot of money, but there was to control of inventory. If I wanted a new pair of shoes, I’d just go to the back and ask for the style I wanted and give them the shoe size. I didn’t wear those shoes; instead I’d sell them for half price. I’d have a buyer lined up ahead of time. It served him right, the old tightwad.”





28 March 2014

Tickets Found


On his usual corner was Chuck Senior and Goldie. A light dusting of snow fell overnight, but the freezing rain predicted, has held off.

“Hi Chuck, Any news about your missing tickets?”

“Well, you can’t find what was never lost in the beginning. I did something really dumb.” He formed his fingers into the shape of a gun, held them to the side of his head and said, “Boom”.

I told you that I received the tickets, by mail, in a big brown envelope. There was also a nice letter that said, I hope you enjoy attending the game with your daughter. I threw the envelope away. I didn’t have any use for it. I put the tickets in a smaller envelope with the rest of my papers. I must have looked in that envelope a hundred times. I was sorting through my envelopes last night and saw some advertising in one of them.  I pulled it out to throw in the trash and on the other side was printed my tickets. I guess they had gotten stuck together. So, this weekend I see the game with my daughter. I feel so stupid.”

A lady stopped by, “Hi Charlie, do you have time to talk with me?”

“I always have time to talk to a pretty girl.”

“Charlie, I’m not pretty and I’m older than you are, so I’m hardly a girl. I’m seventy-eight. I’ve still got six years on you. Anyway, I wanted to give you something, but it’s in my backpack at home. I only brought my purse today.” She bent down and kissed him.

Chuck said, “You see, this job I got isn’t so bad after all. You’d be surprised how many women kiss me throughout the day. Then of course in the warmer weather there’s the crazy lady. The one that picks up the cigarette butts and other trash off the sidewalk. I’ve always been nice to her. I can’t understand a word she says, but I nod my head, say, “That’s nice.” Whatever seems appropriate at the time. She doesn’t harm anybody, but  lots of people abuse her. She just wants to be listened to. If I’ve got extra change I’ll give it to her for a coffee and a donut.

Sometimes, she makes perfect sense.  She showed me her journal one day.  It was beautifully written, but it was all in French. I don’t speak French, so I don’t know if it made sense or not. Once came up to me and said. ‘If I ever decide to get married, I’ll choose you.’ Then she gave me a big kiss. I said, “Wait a minute, not so fast.”

“She has some mental problems. We all do. I certainly do. ”

I said, “I do, too, Chuck.”

“That reminds me of the time I applied for my disability pension. You wouldn’t believe the number of hoops you have to go through to get that. I’ve got a bad back. They wanted me to see a psychiatrist. I can’t figure that out. They said they had to make sure I was telling the truth. Okay, I agreed to see a psychiatrist. Actually, I’ve been on various occasions.  One time, I arrived at my appointment early. The psychiatrist said, ‘You’ll have to wait about ten minutes, my receptionist isn’t in yet. While your waiting I have some papers for you to fill out. It was all the standard stuff. Back then we didn’t have a health card, like we do now. I came to the part where I had to fill in my medical insurance number. It was a long number, but I remembered all the numbers, except for the last three. So, I pulled a paper out of my wallet and wrote down the rest of the number.  All the other numbers, like my driver’s licence, Social Insurance; I remembered all them. The psychiatrist asked me about the paper I pulled out of my wallet. I said, ‘I forgot the last three numbers for my medical insurance.’ He said, “You mean you had all the other numbers memorized?’ I said, ‘Yes.’ He said, “Why are you here. You have a better memory than I have.’ I told him that I needed a signature for my disability insurance. He said, ‘Sure, I can do that for you. Apart from that your mind is as healthy as can be.’

“Another time, I was waiting for a psychiatrist appointment. He had his office door opened about two inches.  I was curious, so I peeked inside. He had a tourniquet around his upper arm and was shooting up. I told my worker about it. She said, ‘We know that he has diabetes.’ Well I know that you don’t need a tourniquet to inject insulin. It was probably heroin, or else he was a crack head.”

“I knew this woman one time. She was very pretty, a prostitute. Lots of guys wanted to marry her, but she held them off. Then this psychiatrist and her got married. I asked him about it. He said, ‘I want to write a book about life with a prostitute, so I married her.’ I asked, ‘What happens to her after you finish your book.’ He said, ‘I don’t know. I haven’t thought that far ahead.’

“Speaking of prostitutes, I get propositioned quite a few times while I’m sitting here.”

I said, “I expect that their out of your price range; are they?”

“No, they’re all on crack. I could get head for fifteen to twenty dollars, if I wanted it. I’d make sure I was wearing at least three condoms. You never know what diseases they’re carrying. There are a lot that hang around where I live. It’s a rough area. A guy was stabbed to death right in front of my building, just a few days ago. It was probably a drug deal gone bad.”

I asked, “How did you initially injure your back? Was it quite a while ago?”

“I’ve injured it a number of times. I blame a lot of it on my dad. He had a job as caretaker of a cemetery. At that time they used push mowers, not these gas or electric jobs that they use now. I was about eleven at the time. He’d mow around the tomb stones; I’d go around with the clippers and get the long strands beside the stones. There was this old stone we were working around. I was on my hands and knees at the back. He was mowing in front. I guess he hit the stone a little too hard and it toppled over on me, caught my leg between my knee and hip. He refused to take me to the doctor. I lay on the sofa for about three days, then he asked, “Are you ready to go back to work?” I said, “No I’m not ready to go back to work. My leg is fractured.

“When I was fifteen, I was playing high school football. I tackled this guy, my helmet dug into the dirt, my legs bent back over my head. I told my dad about it. He said, ‘Stop your whining. Suck it up and act like a man.’ I’ve also been in a car accident. I was thrown out against a rock.”

“My dad’s dead now, but If I ever got the chance to see him again I’d say to him, “It’s good to see you dad. I love you. Then I’d shoot him in the head.

Other people had stopped to drop Chuck change or folded bills. Others were patting Goldie, so I made my exit and waved to Chuck.







27 March 2014

With the temperature at minus sixteen, I didn’t expect to see any of my friends outside, but Chuck Senior was at his usual corner.

“Hi Chuck, I didn’t expect to see you this morning.”

“Well, it may be raining tomorrow, so this may be my last chance for a while.”

“How are you and Goldie?”

“Goldie’s fine, I’m not so good though. Remember, I told you about what happened at the Air Canada Centre, where my walker got broken, and the cops wouldn’t let the cab driver pick me up? That still pisses me off! Anyway, I told you that I phoned the Centre and they said they’d send me two tickets, one for me and one for my daughter. Well, the tickets arrived in the mail all right. I put them in the dish where I keep my Disability Transport pass. I invited my daughter to come to the game with me. Will sir, I looked this morning and they were gone.”

I said, “That’s terrible, Chuck, after all you went through to get those tickets, and now to have them stolen. Who has access to your apartment?”

“A number of people do. My superintendent, my cleaning lady, my daughter — she wouldn’t have taken them ’cause she’d be going to the game, anyway –my son, but he doesn’t like hockey. I trust my cleaning lady. She’s been with me for years. She was in a few days ago. I noticed that the tickets had been moved to the coffee table. I guess when she was dusting. Things get moved around a bit, but I’ve never had anything stolen.

“I didn’t sleep so good last night; thinking about the tickets, and I ate some things I shouldn’t have.”

I asked, “Like what?”

“Well, I bought some of that Montreal style… What is it?”

“Montreal style smoked meat.”

“Yeah,  that’s what it was. It’s way to salty for me. Anyway, I had it in a big sandwich with fries. For supper I fried an egg, and  had some of the smoked meat, with toast. My stomach was rumbling all night.

“I’ll be okay tomorrow. I’ll eat lots of spinach and fresh vegetables. That should fix me up.

“The arthritis in my hands is acting up. I can hardly move my fingers.

“I’m going to look around for those tickets. I may have put them somewhere else. I’m going to contact some people. If all else fails, I’ll phone the Air Canada Centre. If someone uses those tickets, they’ll be informed that they were stolen, and they’ll be thrown out of the game.

I said, “Well, Chuck, I wish you all the best with that. I hope you get your tickets back. Perhaps, I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“They’re forecasting rain for later on, so I don’t know. I usually wake up at about one thirty in the morning, anyway. If it looks like rain, I’ll take Goldie for her walk then, so I don’t have to take her when the rain is heavy. Each morning I walk outside. If the weather’s lousy, I go back to bed, stay where it’s cozy until I’m ready to get up. That’s what I’ve been doing most mornings.”



…………….We are all the same, we seek happiness and an end to suffering. ~ Dennis

Originally posted at:

Zero Tolerance

Research reveals that some children of gay parents suffer from many issues at school, such as use of homophobic language, homophobic bullying and the exclusion of their families. Credit: Mallak Mansour. Research reveals that some children of gay parents suffer from many issues at school, such as use of homophobic language, homophobic bullying and the exclusion of their families. Credit: Mallak Mansour.

A blog discussing LGBT issues in Swansea highlighted the story of Bola Olagunju, a Nigerian student, who despite of finally tasting an unprecedented freedom, still feels alienated and uncomfortable being open about his sexuality.

Olagunju came to the UK to pursue higher education at Swansea University, and said that he doesn’t wish to return to Nigeria, because it’s a place where a “homophobic attitude” is the norm.

However, it seems that even in the UK, the LGBT community continues to be under constant pressures and discriminatory actions by those who either don’t understand or choose not to accept sexual differences.

Despite having an LGBT society at Swansea University and LGBT Youth Group Swansea; an indicator to a…

View original post 559 more words

You see, its really easy to pass judgment on others for addictions, shortcomings, or what many people call ’sins’ that we ourselves don’t struggle with…….but when the heroin addiction occurs within our own family; we start to realize that we are no better than anyone else.

Culture Monk

this way death by alcohol

by Kenneth Justice

~ Yesterday at coffee a woman nearby me spilled sugar on the table which suddenly prompted the stranger sitting beside me to say, “Every time I see white powder on a table I can’t help but think of cocaine

Excuse me?” I said

The older man continued, “Oh sorry, that probably didn’t sound right. I’m a retired judge and I worked in drug court for the last thirty years of my career“.

Since I spent last year working at a drug rehabilitation clinic we cross-referenced a few names and it turns out we had some mutual acquaintances.

You’d think a drug court judge would be really tough on criminals wouldn’t you? But I’ll tell you something, when I was in my forties my younger sister got hooked on heroin and it changed my entire perspective on life. I knew…

View original post 790 more words




20 March 2014

I was on the Queen bus, on my way home from the gym. It was packed and noisy. Getting closer to the end of the route I took an open seat near the front. On the seat along the side was Little Jake.

“Dennis, how the fuck are you? I haven’t seen you for ages. What are you doing on this bus? Oh, I forgot, you live up this way. Shakes and me met you one other time on this bus.

“I was talking to Bearded Bruce earlier. We were going to cook a big meal. He asked me to get the split peas. You know, the hard ones in the bag. Anyway, I get to his place and he’s not there. I don’t know what happened. I stopped by to see Snake and Irene, but their place was all locked up. I went to  Jacques’ place. He was cooking supper. I asked, ‘Do you mind if I stop by for a while?’ He said, ‘Can’t you see I’m getting ready to eat? Fuck off.’ He hadn’t cooked enough for two, so I just pulled up a chair,  opened my bottle and had a few joints.

“I got two bottles of wine with me, three grams and some chicken breasts. I’m ready to party and I can’t find anybody. It’s like everybody’s dissin’ me; but not really, ’cause they’re not home. I got my check today, two days before everybody else. I don’t know how that works. It has somethin’ to do with the fact that I don’t have direct deposit.  For some reason, my Trillium check and my G.S.T check come two days later than everybody else. I can’t figure that out. It works out for me though. I lend people money when I first get my check. When I’m running low, before my next check, they pay me back. I only lend to people I trust.

“I’m going to stop on my way home to see if Shakes is in. He’s just a couple of buildings down. What time is it? — eight,thirty? It’s near his bed time, he should be home. Am I near my stop yet? Oh no! I’m out of rolling papers. I’m going to have to walk a block down and get some.

“I left my bike near the St. Lawrence Market. It’s locked, but I’ve only got a small, cheap lock. I’ve also got quick release wheels. There’s nothing stopping someone from taking my wheel, but I can always steal another one.

“You’ll never guess who I saw today, Mariah. She was nearly in tears when she saw me. Well, not really in tears, but her voice sort of choked up. There was Bruce, Jacques, me, Buck and Mariah.  It’s the first time the crew has been together in months.

“Jacques has lost a lot of weight, probably about twenty pounds. He still has a pot belly, but he doesn’t look like Santa Claus any more. He’s cut back to just two beer a day and he stays off the wine. He’s eating well too.”

I said, “His doctor probably told him to lose a few pounds because of his heart. He’s had three heart attacks already, hasn’t he? I’m glad to hear that he’s taking care of himself. How is Shakes?”

“He staggers around like he always does. He hasn’t been panning much because of the cold weather. He’s doing more bumming off people. Apart from that, he’s the same old Shakes. He knows everybody. If he passed out downtown, when he woke up he’d know somebody nearby who’d put him up for the night. He’s collected a few cracked up friends that I don’t  much care for. You don’t want to be bumming off the wrong people, if you know what I mean. It’s just not healthy. This is my stop coming up. I’ll see you man.”

Bye, Jake. I’ll see you soon.





21 March 2014


The temperature this morning was almost bearable; meaning, I still had to wear a scarf over my face to protect my lungs. This causes my glasses to fog. I was somewhat  blind until I could get to someplace warm. I was surprised to see Chuck Senior at what, in more temperate weather, is his usual spot.

“Hi, Chuck, I’m surprised to see you. It’s been a couple of months now.” I shook his hand and patted Goldie while we talked.

“Dennis, would you please stand on my right side, I’ve got a regular who sometimes slips me a twenty, but only if there’s nobody on the side open to the sidewalk. He doesn’t talk, he barely stops…That was him there, did you see him? That makes coming down here worthwhile. Now, I’m in a good mood.

“You see me today, but you won’t see me next week. It’s going back to minus seventeen for a while. This weather has really kept me stranded. Which reminds me, I went to a Leaf’s game Wednesday. We lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning, but it was a good game regardless. I brought my walker, because it’s easier to get around through crowds. Anyway, I was ready to leave, so I went to the doorway where the Disability Transport bus does their pickup. They were full of people in wheelchairs, so the driver phoned a taxi for me. It’s a fifty dollar fare, but I don’t have to pay it. The Commissionaire said to wait inside where it was warm. I saw the cab pull up. Someone held the door for me, but they didn’t hold it long enough. It smashed into the side of my walker. I wasn’t hurt, but the walker was damaged. Now, I can’t fold it properly.

As I made my way to the cab, a police car pulled up. The officer told the driver, ‘Move along! You’re not allowed to park here.’ The driver said, ‘There’s an elderly man, in a walker, who is waiting for me.’ The cop said, ‘I don’t give a fuck why you’re here; just move somewhere else. This isn’t a taxi stand.’ The driver said, ‘Take a look behind you, my fare is waiting at the door. You got no business interfering with my business, you son of a whore.’ Well, that did it. They forced him off to the side and started checking his car for bombs, checking his licence, checking with the station for outstanding violations. I’d been waiting about half an hour. Eventually, another bus came along, so I got my ride home.

“I reported it to the police. They got me to fill out a form. Nothing will come of that, complete waste of my time. I phoned the Air Canada Center, where I’d been to the game. The lady was very nice. She said, ‘I’m sorry that you had such a bad experience. I’ll send you a free ticket, and one for a friend. I’m sure you don’t want to go to the game alone.’ So, that was nice. I figured I should get something. I tell you, there are some times I wish I carried a billy club. I would have gone after that cop.”

I asked, “How has Goldie been feeling?”

“She’s been doing pretty well. I got an awful scare though. She started limping on the same leg that had been operated on. I thought maybe she’d had a relapse of some kind; that maybe her hip was becoming displaced.  The next day it was even worse, she started hopping around with her foot off the ground, like she did when she’d first had the operation. So, I bundled her up, got myself bundled up, then took her to the vet. It turned out that she’d cut her paw on some sharp ice. The vet said there wasn’t much he could do. He bandaged the foot and gave me four pills for her pain. The visit cost me sixty bucks. She’s fine now.

“I was at Costco the other day talking to the manager. He looked at Goldie and said, ‘That’s a nice blanket you got for her, but I think we can do better.’ He said, ‘I’ll be right back.’ He brought back a beautiful fleece blanket, from their pet department. He also brought bags of beef, chicken and pork jerky for her. She can eat the beef, but there are additives in the chicken and pork that she’s not allowed. Anyway, it’s nice to see that there are still people who give a damn.”





12 March 2014

The coldest winter in twenty years, that’s what the weather forecaster’s say. None of my homeless friends have been out lately. I don’t blame them. I boarded the Queen streetcar, heading east, and threw my gym bag on an empty seat. As I was about to sit down, the passenger in front of me turned his head and said, “So, You’re going to sit behind me are you?”

I looked closely at his face and asked, “I know you, don’t I?”

“Yes, you know me.”

“Sorry, I can’t remember your name. Do you remember mine?”

He thought for a moment then said, “No, I don’t remember.” He moved over in his seat to make room for me to sit down.

I  said, “I remember talking to you in  Moss Park in the summer. Do you still go there? Does anybody go there, or is it too cold?”

He said, “I don’t like to be with people. It’s just me, myself and I. That’s the way I like it.

“I was going to go to an A.A. meeting. I got all dressed. I’m wearing three coats now. Something happened and I lost track of time. See that building up there on the corner. That’s where I should have gone, but it’s too late now.” I could smell beer on his breath. That was the something that happened.

“Do you go to A.A? Have you ever?”

“No,” I said, “I used to have a drinking problem, but I quit on my own. Now, I just have a beer every once in a while, maybe a glass of wine.”

“Are you going home to have a beer?… It’s okay, I won’t charge you… I’ve been trying to get back into rehab.

“My roommate is pissed off at me for some reason. I don’t know what it is. I used one of his onions. Maybe that’s what it is. He’s Jamaican. They eat that funny sort of food. But, he’s okay. Maybe I had the TV on too loud last night. I don’t know.

“Do you know if there’s a McDonald’s around here?”

I said, “I don’t know the area very well. I’ve got a Tim Horton’s card. Is that any good to you?”

“No, I’m not asking for money. Is that what you thought? No, I’m okay.

“This  is a nice neighborhood we’re passing through. I used to live around here. I had a sound system, three hundred watt speakers, a big TV. I got behind in my rent. I told my landlord, ‘To hell will you, for all the trouble I’ve had to put up with around here.’ I owed him two months back rent. He kept my stuff and changed the locks.

” This is my stop coming up. I’m going to visit a friend, to see if he’s home. If he isn’t home, I don’t know what I’m going to do.”


Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad: Save my 11 year son Arian #savearian #huntersyndrome
  • Petitioning Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad

Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad: Save my 11 year son Arian #savearian #huntersyndrome

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Turn your signature into dozens more by sharing this petition and recruiting people you know to sign.


My 11 year old son Arian, has a rare disorder called the Hunter Syndrome. Estimates say that there are around 2000 people in the world who are affected by this disorder. We witness him struggling with his life everyday, battling this disorder.

This is one of the rarest disorders in the world. Most countries have subsidized treatment for this disease, but this is not the case in India.

Most patients die young because the treatment is very expensive. I don’t want to lose my son, that’s why I need your support.

The Indian Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad, has the power to change this and subsidise treatment for this rare disease.  

In order to live, Arian needs to undergo an enzyme replacement therapy developed by Shire, a US drug company. But the medicine is very expensive and impossible to find in India. If this treatment is subsidised in our country, anyone suffering from this disease will be able to afford it.

That’s why I started a petition on, asking Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad to subsidise the treatment for Hunter Syndrome patients in India, and save Arian’s life.

Over the years my son’s health has deteriorated drastically. We need as much support as we can get on our petition to ensure that Mr. Azaad doesn’t ignore our demand.

Please sign my petition and share it with your friends. 

Thanks in advance for your support

Sib Sankar Chowdhury

Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad, Minister of Health and Family Welfare

RE: Medical support for Arian and subsidise medicine for Hunter Syndrome patients

Dear Sir,

As an Indian citizen I request you save this 11 year old boys life and subsidise medicine for Hunter Syndrome Patients.

Here’s a message from his father:

My 11 year old son Arian, has a rare disorder called the Hunter Syndrome. Estimates say that there are around 2000 people in the world who are…

Recent signatures


  1. Reached 50,000 signatures
  2. Elaprase: Worlds most expensive drug

    tamseel hussain

    Petition Organizer

    Elaprase Estimated annual cost: $375,000 Manufacturer: Shire This treats

  3. Reached 2,000 signatures




Abhijit Majumder


Ken Ghosh


Reasons for signing

. .
  • Dear Mr. Ghulam Nabi Azaad,

    Please take your share and pass this bill.

    prompt tax payer of India,


  • shambhu prasad PATNA, INDIA

    govt. of india expend lot of public money on politicians-medical bill. Then a public like Arian should have right to get free medical treatment as a politician gets from govt. of india.

  • 1) The boy

    2) The relentless fight from Arian’s parents and his loving sister to save Arian.

    3) The passion of my colleagues at Edelman who have been trying their best to extend all support to Arian and his family

    4) To tell myself we can never lose hope no matter how hopeless any situation might seem.

  • So that the Minister does not ignore demands that are just and a young life is saved.

  • Government cannot be negligent of the healthcare of its fellow citizens. Globally NGOs and State Governments are spending millions to ensure proper health status of the fellow citizens and Indian Govt. lags behind in a big way. Such an effort to bring such grave issues forward and make our govt. more sensitive towards healthcare

Parliamentary committee’s report on violence against Indigenous women ‘sanitized’

UNCATEGORIZED | 07. MAR, 2014 BY  |Parliamentary committee’s report on violence against Indigenous women ‘sanitized’

Reposted from:

APTN National News

OTTAWA–The Conservative MPs on the House of Commons special committee on violence against Indigenous women refused to add calls for a public inquiry as part of the main recommendations in the committee’s report tabled Friday in Parliament.

The committee’s main recommendations, which were essentially those of Conservative MPs on the committee, generally reflected the Harper government’s current policy on the issue.

There are an estimated 800 murdered and missing Indigenous women across the country.

The report included the dissenting opinions of the NDP and Liberals MPs on the committee who both recommended the government to call a public inquiry and issued a separate set of recommendations. The NDP and Liberals also recommended the government develop a national action plan to combat violence against Indigenous women.

“It is appalling that after hearing witness after witness testify that much more needs to be done on missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, the Conservatives could produce a sanitized report saying that everything is fine,” said NDP Aboriginal affairs critic Jean Crowder.

“That this report only contains recommendations approved by the government, and does not reflect the testimony of witnesses, is in flagrant disregard of Parliamentary principles,” said Liberal Aboriginal affairs critic Carolyn Bennett.

Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) president Michelle Audette said the report marked a “sad day for the families.”

Audette said Indigenous women needed concrete action from Ottawa.

“Look how much they spend for nothing when we are dying on the streets,” said Audette.

Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn Atleo said he would be meeting with NWAC, the Metis National Council and the inuit Tapiriit Kanatami to discuss what to do to up pressure on the issue.

“This report is disappointing to Indigenous women and girls and all Canadians who stand with us,” said Atleo.

According to the evidence heard by the committee, 70 per cent of disappearances and 60 per cent of murders of Indigenous women happen in urban centres. The committee heard that over 87 per cent of these women were mothers of at least one child, according to data provided by NWAC.

NWAC also told the committee that of the over 582 cases they’ve tallied, 39 per cent occurred after 2000 and 17 per cent in the 1990s. NWAC also found that half of the cases remain unsolved. The Canadian average for homicide investigation is a 75 per cent solve rate.

Indigenous women are also far more likely to be murdered than non-Indigenous women. Between 2004 and 2011, Indigenous women accounted for 8 per cent of murders while being only 4 per cent of the total population of women.

Indigenous women are also more likely to be attacked by a stranger than non-Indigenous women, the committee heard.

Indigenous women are also more likely to face violence in domestic situations. According to the 2009 General Social Survey, indigenous women face twice the rate of domestic violence than the general population.

While the Conservative MP’s recommendations in the report called on Ottawa to work with provinces, territories and municipalities to create “public awareness and prevention” campaigns in its first recommendation, the four that followed simply mirrored already announced initiatives by the federal government.

The committee called on the government to “strengthen the criminal justice system” so “violent and repeat offenders serve appropriate sentences.” It recommended the Harper government “maintain its commitment to develop the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights” and implement a national DNA missing persons index, which was announced in the most recent budget.

The committee also recommended Ottawa support on-reserve K-12 education, which was recently the subject of joint federal government-Assembly of First Nations announcement.

The committee stopped short of calling for funding for women’s shelters and front-line services on reserve, but instead called on Ottawa to “engage First nation communities to examine how to improve” them.

APTN National News reported Thursday that an Iqaluit woman was murdered by her partner shortly before she was turned away by a shelter because it had no more room.

The committee recommended Ottawa address poverty as a root cause of violence against Indigenous women by providing economic development and job skills training. It also called on the federal government to ensure territorial and First Nation childcare agencies have “effective and accountable service delivery.”

Ottawa is currently facing a human rights complaint alleging it underfunds on reserve child and family services compared to the provinces.

The committee recommended the federal government work with municipal, provincial and territorial governments to collect police data on violence against Indigenous women that “includes an ethnicity variable.”

The RCMP is already collective missing and murdered case data from police forces across the country but it is not specific to First Nations, Metis and Inuit women.

The Native Women’s Association of Canada has already dismissed the work of the committee.

Amnesty International said in a statement that the report failed Indigenous women.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is personally against calling an inquiry and has relayed his views to AFN National Chief Shawn Atleo.