Archive for May 31, 2014

Dennis 

 

Thanks to all of you, my petition for a public inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women has crossed the 300,000 signature mark!! This is the largest show of public support EVER on this issue!

The Federal Government’s stance that a public inquiry is not needed is looking weaker and weaker by the day. Several weeks ago we learned that the RCMP have documented 1186 cases of aboriginal women being murdered or going missing — way higher than anyone previously thought. Following that James Anaya, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, published a report slamming the Canadian Government for inaction and calling on them to launch a “comprehensive, national inquiry” into the issue of why aboriginal women and girls are vulnerable to abuse.

And of course rallies and vigils are being held almost daily across the country and the media coverage is not letting up. Justice for our women feels close!

The Federal Government is doing their best to ignore our calls, so it’s our job to make sure the pressure is relentless and that those in power like Justice Minister Peter Mackay, Status of Women Minister Kellie Leitch, and of course Prime Minister Harper are confronted daily by this tragedy and the need for them to call a public inquiry immediately.

Will you help me reach 350,000 signatures by forwarding the email below to your friends and asking them to sign my petition?

Thank you,

Holly Jarrett

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Here’s a message you could adapt and email to your friends:

Hi,

I’m supporting this petition started by Loretta Saunders’ cousin Holly Jarrett calling for a national inquiry into the deaths and disappearances of over 1186 Aboriginal women in Canada. 

Loretta was a 26 year old Inuit woman who was writing her university honours thesis on missing and murdered Aboriginal women when tragically, in February, she was added to that list. 

Over 300,000 have signed Holly’s petition. All provincial premiers, federal opposition party leaders and the UN Special Rapporteur for Indigenous Issues have said a public inquiry is needed. 

Will you sign? www.change.org/AmINext

Thanks,

 

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bench

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30 May 2014

Pandemonium reigned at the park today. While I greeted Joy, Chester interrupted by asking, “Dennis, do you have any bus tickets?” I shook hands with Jacques, Mariah,  Debbie and Shakes  on the curb,  Ghyslain and Little Jake sitting on the sidewalk.

Ghyslain said, “I’d get up to shake your hand, but I’m on roller blades.”

I came back to Joy who said, “Big Jake has gone for the weekend.”

I asked, “Where has he gone?”

Chester asked, “Dennis do you have any bus tickets?”

Joy said, “He’s gone to his parent’s cottage in the Muskokas. We’ve been together for eight years now and he hasn’t introduced me to his parents. What do you think of that? I ‘m so pissed off.”

Chester asked, “Dennis, do you have any bus tickets?”

“Here, Chester,” I said as I handed him the tickets.

Jacques offered me a cushion and I sat between him and Shakes. Ghyslain was on the sidewalk in front of me. He asked, “Dennis, did you see the game last night?”

“No,” I said, “I didn’t see it.”

“You don’t follow hockey? It was a real disappointment. Montreal was beat out by New York. It’s been twenty-two years since a Canadian team has won the Stanley Cup. It wasn’t Tokarski’s fault, he was standing on his head to make some of those saves, he allowed only one goal, but that was all it took for the Rangers to win.  Now it will be the winner between Chicago and Los Angeles who plays New York for the finals.”

Little Jake came over to talk to Shakes, “You got paid yesterday. It’s time to pay your debts.”

“What debts?”

“To me, asshole. Who do you think has been feeding you?”

Jake stormed off with a scowl on his face. Shakes said to me, “He’s on new meds. That’s why he’s so cranky. He’s had a go at everybody today.” He pulled a bottle of Jack Daniels from his inside jacket pocket and passed it around.

Debbie stood up to try to soothe Jake. “Come on Jake, sit down and relax.”

You, get away from me. Don’t you dare put a finger on me.”

“Or what, Jake? What are you going to do to me? Are you going to hit me? Don’t you dare touch me again.”

As this was going on Joy was yelling at Raven, “You piece of shit. You stole money from Chester. I know he gave you his bank number and you cleaned out his account. You did the same thing when I was living there.” Mariah was holding Joy back as Raven walked away. Chester was rocking back and forth on the plastic crate he was sitting on.

Jacques said to me, “Chester isn’t supposed to drink hard liquor. It could kill him. His legs go when he drinks that stuff.”

I asked, “What’s wrong with his legs?”

“He’s got a bad knee, but the real problem is when he drinks, he can’t stand. Me, I just have a couple of beer and leave it at that. I know I can’t drink hard liquor or wine.”

Joy said, “I have to get Chester back to his place. We’re going to have to get a cab. Can somebody help me get him up.” Mariah, Jake and Debbie tried to help get him vertical.

A woman stopped and asked, “Do you want me to call an ambulance?”

Mariah, the voice of reason, said, “He’ll be fine, we’re going to phone a cab.”

Mariah said, “Okay, we got him up, now what do we do? He won’t walk. It would probably be better if we took him over to the lawn where he could sleep it off for a while.” He was a dead weight and ended up lying on the sidewalk. “The police will be here if we don’t move him soon.”

Jake said, “He’s not garbage, you’re not going to just dump him on the lawn.”

Mariah said, “Nobody’s dumping him, Jake. There’s nothing else we can do. After he sleeps it off for a while we can get him in a cab.”

We all lifted, dragged and pushed Chester to a secluded part of the lawn. He lay down and fell asleep.

Jacques picked up his radio, drinking bottle and cushion and said, “I’m getting away from all this bullshit. I don’t need this drama in my life. I’m going home where it’s quiet.”

Debbie and Joy were sitting on the curb. Debbie had her arm around Joy who was visibly shaking. “She’s having one of her epileptic seizures. It’s okay girl, you’ll be alright.”

I asked, “Was it all the stress with Chester that brought this on?”

“Stress, booze, malnutrition, anything can bring one on.”

After about five minutes joy awoke. She sobbed, “I hate when this happens. Do I have snot all over my face.”

“No,” said Debbie, “you look just fine. If you want you can blow your nose on my sleeve. It’s clean.”

“I can’t do that.”

“Sure you can. I do it when I don’t have Kleenex. What else am I supposed to do.”

Joy said, “Thanks, Dennis. I’m sorry about all this. I’m really hammered.”

I said, “Just take care of yourself. There’s nothing to be sorry about. I’ll see you Monday. Have a good weekend.”

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wheel

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30 May 2014

“Good morning, Chuck. It’s a beautiful day.”

“Hi Dennis. It’s a great day. I can’t figure why Joy isn’t down here. This is the second day in a row that she’s missed. I know she has a drinking problem and she has her monthly check, but that shouldn’t make a difference. I used to be in that situation, drinking and smoking a pack a day but, as long as the weather was good, I never missed a morning here. I was even complimented. One of my regulars was talking to a panhandler up the block. She asked, ‘Do you know Chuck?’ He said, ‘Yes he’s a great guy, always smiling, punctual. Did you know that he quit smoking and drinking?’ She said, ‘I had no idea that he smoked or drank. He’s always clean-shaven and polite. I never would have thought he had a drinking problem.’ It’s six years tomorrow,  that I had my heart surgery. That’s when I quit smoking and drinking.

“It was the same when I had a regular job. I worked in a tavern. At the first of my shift, I’d put aside some money for two jugs of draft and a meal. I remember one time I was serving this table of six. I’d overheard that they were attending or competing in the dragon boat races. One of them, a big guy, asked me if I had a cigarette. I handed him one. He said, ‘You’ve just handed me a native cigarette. I’m an off duty police officer from North Bay. He pulled out his badge. I’m sure you know that possession of these is illegal. I’m going to have to charge you. I’m also a judge, so I’ll sentence you right now. You’re ordered to sit at our table and have a drink and a meal with us.’

“My boss nodded his head, so I spent the rest of the evening at their table. I had a great time. I can’t remember much of it. I have no idea how I got home. Next morning I was up at my usual time, showered and shaved. I made it for my regular shift.  I asked one of my buddies if I’d done anything wrong. They said, ‘No, you were the life of the party, telling  jokes, keeping everyone entertained. I’ve never seen such a cheerful drunk. Do you know what that guy’s bill came to at the end of the night?’ I said, ‘ have no idea.’ He said, ‘Fifteen hundred bucks. We’ll split the tip.’

I said, “I checked on the computer for the electric car you want to buy. It looks great.”

“I’ll have to see. When this chair packs in, perhaps they’ll give me some money towards a new one. I’ll have to check that with my worker. What it would represent to me is freedom.  Now, I can take the wheelchair taxi, but I have to be at a certain place at a certain time. I never know when they’re going to arrive. Coming home could take hours. Sometimes they have half a dozen people they have to drive home before me. That’s no way to live. Someway or another I’m going to get that car.”

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