It has been an interesting past couple of days. And I chose not to write yesterday because I was waiting on a medical call from my doctor after our short but terse visit together.
Obviously, he says one thing, then does another.
Because of what he said at my appointment was of such import and dire warnings that he should have followed up on what he wanted to do next.
Alas, I am still waiting…
By the Numbers …
16 April 2013 VL 39 copies CD4% 45 CD4Abs 1080
02 Jan 2013 VL 39 copies CD4% 45 CD4Abs 1440
07 Aug 2012 VL 39 copies CD4% 44 CD4Abs 1276
My t-cells seem to fluctuate around that thousand mark. But as long as my percentages remain at 45% there is no worry from my doctor. I got copies from my file/chart that has a more explicit history of my treatment.
Two appointments ago, my doctor mentioned that a change is coming for my treatment plan. The new regimen is not online yet here in Canada. So I remain on what I am taking until then. Probably six months to a year out.
Secondly, my doctor has been fixated on my heart. A fixation that has only grown in earnest this appointment yesterday. He tells me one thing, then I go to see his brother for my diabetes issues and George sends me for a cardiogram.
I dropped two copies off to both clinics. Now, it is understood that if a problem arises that they would call me immediately because something needs attention right away.
I’ve been working on that assumption for all these years. So I dropped that lab off and got no response.
Yesterday at my appointment my doctor mentioned in passing that there was some abnormality on the scan. He did not elaborate. He then went on this tirade that I was going to drop dead.
Or have a heart attack soon, as in IMMINENT !!!
He has been about this warning for some time. However he does not elaborate on the warning. Frustrating.
He wanted to order a battery of tests. A stress test and all that goes along with it, and he left it at that. He said nothing encouraging to me yesterday. He was very grim. However good my labs were, he seems fixated on my mortality.
More than usual. Is this about him or me I wonder !!!
Since cardiac issues run in my family, not to mention strokes, I am on God’s good graces, seeing my father has had several heart attacks, and both his parents were knocked down by terrible debilitating strokes. I should be right in line for some catastrophic heart related issue … Let Us Pray !!!
I left that appointment shaking my head. Not knowing what to feel or whether I should really be worrying. The secretary at the clinic was supposed to make arrangements, check with my doc and call me back.
Now, had this been an immense emergency, like needing these tests right away, they would have already contacted me into the cardiac clinic.
They haven’t … No call at all, two days later. Should I worry or not? Do I give in to serious ruminating and worry that my mortality is in jeopardy? I have no clue, so until such time I get a call or further warning, I am going to go on with my life.
An issue has arisen with the Quebec government and my financial aide file. They say I owe them almost $3000.00 in back loans. AIDS and HIV are disability issues and that loan should have been converted to bursaries long ago but weren’t. When I applied for financial aide, I submitted a disability form in late 2003. They are fixated on this date as my diagnosis date. They are wrong.
My diagnosis date was July 8th 1994. Not November 2003.
I have to contact my primary care physician in Miami to get him to send some notes up here to verify that I was treated in their clinic prior to my arriving here in Canada. Ugh !!!
*** *** *** ***
Today is Thursday. I usually don’t sit here and stare at my monitor all day long. so instead I sleep until I need to get up and go. Which is what I did today.
I was up early and out by twenty to six for the meeting. It has been on the cool side the past few nights. And on the way home I was chilled.
We sat a fair number and hit kitty goal again tonight.
Our chair read from the Big Book, and Chapter Five … How it Works.
“If you have decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it, then you are ready to take certain steps.”
One line. Lots of words. People all over the place on the topic of steps.
There is a note in my Big Book on Step Twelve …
Having HAD a spiritual awakening as THE result of these steps, we tried to carry the message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
In my book I have this notation at Step 12 … There is no other result if you work the steps…
We talked long and hard about steps, where we all are at the moment, what he did, how we did it and what happened afterwards.
Suffice to say that at ten years, I had a spiritual awakening. I have worked my steps again since then. I live in my steps today, to the best of my ability.
I am not perfect. I still have issues, with myself and a few others. Not many others. But still. I do what I can every day to help someone else.
It was a good night.
More to come, stay tuned…
Firstly, welcome to all the new followers of the blog. It seems you like what I am doing, and that is always a good sign of where to go next.
I’ve got a new follower from our magic city of light. And after reading his blog earlier I thought I’d put up something I did a while ago – but never wrote about it because it was a school assignment. Maybe he will engage this post…
I took a semester of Sociology, because my husband is an M.A. Candidate in the Department of Sociology at Concordia. This was at Dawson last year.
One of our work papers consisted of performing acts of breaking the norm when it came to mass transit, elevators and escalators.
When I first moved here more than 10 years ago, I fell in love with the city, not only because it was my birth mother’s city and I have family here, I came to visit and decided to stay.
It IS my anniversary of my arrival in Montreal this Easter. And so the first week I visited places, found meetings, found a place to live, sent off my application for my birthright citizenship form, and began to get to know the city.
Coming from Miami, there was little mass transit. One train, One line, and feeder buses connecting both points. I was blown away by the Metro System here. It is a big system. But pales in comparison to other Canadian cities and some in the U.S. like Washington and New York.
Montreal has its own charm. And there were things I learned early on. Like how to line up waiting for the bus in orderly fashion. Nobody seemed to push or barge in front of someone in line. People were polite and orderly.
Escalators … Stand Right, Walk Left. Never stand on the left, and never walk on the right. Except of course you are on a BIG escalator in a station.
Then it is all fair game.
Elevators … Always be kind to your neighbors. I live in a highrise. Never play music while others are in the elevator. It is rude and antisocial. People come in the elevator and talk on their phones. (Like I want to overhear your entire conversation !!! ) Going Up, What floor?, Hello Good day/evening.
If you enter a crowded elevator – take off your backpack and hold it by your feet to save space. THIS GOES for the Metro and the Bus as well. Because sometimes buses and trains are packed in peak hours.
When you get on a bus, if you are in a queue line, you are observant of others in front of you and behind you. Never sit in the front seats of a bus – they are often reserved by handicapped folks, older members or children.
Always be mindful of your bus driver. Be polite. Say hello – good day – have a nice day/night, and goodbye. Preferably in FRENCH !!!
People wait in orderly bunches on Metro platforms. On some platforms there are clear door markers on the floor marking where the doors will open. Always allow riders debarking the train to get off before you barge your way onto the train.
Never sit in marked seats for the pregnant and disabled.
Always be mindful of what is going on ON the train while you ride. You never know when you will get to practice your chivalry or your French. Always be kind – don’t hog two seats because you only need one. Take care to pay attention to others, in case shit goes down while you are traveling.
You will notice that most folks are connected medically to their devices. Be they phones, players, I-phones, MP3 players and the like. Don’t blast your music and be aware of what is going on around you in case you need to step in and do something.
Learning how to navigate the Metro system took some time, until I learned what the directional signs meant. There are four lines. Green Line (downtown) Orange Line (Financial district line – going from one end of the city to the other) and the Blue line (which bisects the city up on the Mountain) from Snowdon to St. Michel. And finally the yellow line which operates from Berri to the South Shore and Ille Ste. Helen (where Expo 67 took place).
Your stop corresponds to the direction the train is traveling. You get on the train in the direction of your stop, the end points are identified on all metro platforms. I live downtown.
Our building sits equidistant between George Vanier on the Orange line, Atwater Metro on the Green line and Guy on the Green line up the way from here going into the East end.
Over the years the STM has perfected the way we use transit. We went from tickets we fed into turnstiles to plastic monthly passes we swiped to the all important OPUS pass that is a rechargeable credit card that holds all kinds of fares, be it daily, weekends, monthly etc …
If you are not fully fluent in French, you will learn, if you come here to live.
French is mother tongue over the transit platform. I’ve learned my French at Dawson and learning to live in this multicultural city. However I identify as a member of the anglo community. I find the only places I use French in my daily life is on transit, the grocery store and the shopping malls. For the most part I live in English Montreal. My meetings are in English and most of my friends are English – but a fair number of my friends are fully multi lingual.
The English AA and French AA share the same space at the Intergroup office. Our meeting lists are printed multi-culturally, French, English, Spanish, and Farsi. With the need of meetings crossing cultures, AA has adapted to the needs of the people in the city.
So now that we have given you the pointer of how to navigate our city, we come to the highlight of the post. The breaking social norms exercise. We had a week to complete this task. Then it became a written paper for class.
We were asked to do things a bit differently. With all that I have written above about etiquette and social responsibility this was our task.
1. To sit where we shouldn’t
2. To stand/walk where we shouldn’t
3. Take seats that are not usually sat in (see above)
4. Be counter the flow
And add to this watch how folks respond to breaking the social norm.
I found that I could not break social norms when it came to the bus, metro and escalators. And I surely did not sit in a front seat on a bus, I never sit in the front seats on any bus, Even if I at at the head of a line getting aboard.
I’ve learned in Living here more than a decade, there are unspoken rules that we all live by. And your lessons start the first day you set foot on our streets. We are kind people. We are forgiving. And we are polite.
However, there are those who just don’t fill any of these qualities.
NEVER be rude to an S.T.M Employee.
NEVER be rude to a bus driver.
Just Never be RUDE if you can handle that.
Smile, be kind and be aware of what is going on around you because you might, one day, have to act to help another human being on your day’s journey.
And that is a snapshot of Montreal from my perspective.
What have you learned about people, where you live???
Like, Comment, Subscribe !!!
What can I say about today? I voted. And I voted for the CAQ candidate in our riding. Our riding is a heavy Liberal riding and it stayed that way. I saw lots of people out there voting all day today especially in Westmount.
I am going to repost this from a friend because he has the pulse of this issue and I don’t have the knowledge to paint this picture correctly.
CTV called a: Parti Quebecoise Minority 9:21 p.m. This may change later on tonight, I will update it as needed.
As I write this, voters in Quebec – where I was born and raised – are casting ballots in the provincial election that, in all likelihood, will spell the end of the rule of the Liberal Party and its leader, Jean Charest, after 9 years. If you don’t live there, I know what it means to you: meh. If you’re Canadian, however, it could mean the beginning of yet another chapter of game-playing with our country’s future.
I’m going to way-oversimplify this, so forgive me in advance. Here goes: Quebec is the only province in Canada where the majority of residents speak French as a first language. Long-festering feelings that the rest of primarily-English Canada treated them like second-class citizens gave rise to the separatist movement, spearheaded largely by the Parti Quebecois political party. They first came to power in 1976, under leader Rene Levesque, on a platform of separating the province from Canada, their way of preserving the French language and culture in a North American milieu.
Yes or No
The PQ has held two referendums on sovereignty since then – in 1980 and in 1995 – and in both cases voters said, no, they wanted to remain in Canada. They’ve voted the PQ and Liberals into office sequentially since 1976, and every time the PQ takes over, fears of yet another run at leaving Canada surface.
Throughout the current campaign, PQ leader Pauline Marois hasn’t exactly endeared herself to members of minority groups, and has made it fairly clear that the French majority makes the rules. To wit, here’s a fairly typical gem of hers:
“It is the responsibility of everyone that wishes to call Quebec their home to learn and assimilate the local culture, not replace it with their own.”
Lovely. And this in a province where the schools your children may attend are determined by what language the parents were educated in, and where they are from. And stores are only allowed to post signs in the official language of French (Canada’s bilingual, remember) and, if they violate the language laws, the so-called Language Police swoop down and charge them. Where a province crippled like all others with the modern vices of too much demand and too few resources spends billions on legislating language and prosecuting violators.
The exodus continues
My wife and I – both fluently bilingual, and she’s a French teacher – eventually grew tired of the cultural, language and borderline-xenophobic games, and finally left soon after the 1995 referendum. Of my high school class, the vast majority have left, as well. Montreal was once a city of boundless opportunity, a cosmopolitan city of the future. After the PQ swept to power, waves of well educated anglophones headed west, primarily to Toronto. Head offices of major corporations and the country’s top banks soon followed. If you ever wonder why Toronto became the business hub of the country, now you know. I’m not sure they ever sent a thank you card, though.
We decided we wanted to live in a place where the priority was building businesses, building communities, and raising families. The endless political, language and cultural wars became tiresome for us. And I suspect another generation of folks just like us is already getting ready to call the real estate agent, book the moving van and get the hell out of Dodge. Or whatever the Pequistes choose to call it from here on out.
Unfortunately for those who escape, Quebec’s inability to get with the program – or to willingly work with the rest of Canada to address its persistent feelings of being left out – sucks the life out of the rest of the country, too. Political uncertainty destabilizes not just the Quebec economy, but the national one. It discourages foreign investment and diverts resources away from the issues and projects that will benefit citizens the most. Many Canadians, fed up with Quebec’s generational tantrums, have stated publicly they’d like to be rid of the province entirely. Unfortunately, separation would throw the entire economy into a tailspin – as if it isn’t there, already.
Back to the brink
Anyway, apologies for the ramble. Tonight, the PQ stands poised to kick the Liberals out of office. Mind you, the Liberals, dogged by persistent corruption scandals and a grinding protest by students against tuition hikes, didn’t do themselves any favours. Like the good politicians they were and are, the pig-at-the-trough mentality eventually caught up with them. But as we once again listen to voters justify their choice by saying they didn’t vote FOR the PQ as much as they voted AGAINST the Liberals, I can’t help but think that the subtlety of democracy is completely lost on them. After all, what you’re thinking matters little once you’ve let the wolf in the door. The wolf doesn’t much care why you let him in, and will proceed to happily do whatever it is that wolves do best.
Vive le Quebec libre, indeed. What an unbelievable waste of political capital. And what a sad comment on an entire society’s inability to do what it needs to do to keep pace with the rest of the continent. While they bicker over perceived slights to their beloved language and culture, Rome – or in this case, Montreal, or Quebec City, or virtually any other city in a place that could have and should have had it all – burns.
Such a pretty space. The home conversion of a holy space. I’ve seen a few of these and they have been done up to high spec.
You know what they say about prayer … “Be careful what you pray for, because you just might get it.”
I wrote a post about what has been going on here at the hacienda and my worries. It is the end of the month, hence, we run out of everything all at the same time, it is just a gradual – well, we run out of food. We run out of pills. We run out of stuff to drink.
And most importantly, you know you’ve hit rock bottom when you run out of toilet paper. And have no money to buy more. Thankfully there is 1 roll left which means money will come. I believe as long as there is one roll of toilet paper ready to go, that’s money in the bank.
I was up late last night. Much later than usual. I was scanning through several books to occupy my mind because I was out of my meds and I wasn’t really tired, because my mind tends to wander and I begin to ruminate. So I picked up Harry Potter and read a scene from the Order of the Phoenix, and put it down. I picked up Many Lives and Many Masters and read a paragraph, and was like Oh God !!!
Then I picked up meditations by the Dalai Lama, and was like, too deep for 4 am. Then I picked up The Tao of Pooh, and read a couple of chapters. But it wasn’t sinking in, so I gave up the ghost, turned off the light and tried to sleep. 45 minutes later I was wide awake laying in bed. It was close to 6 a.m.
I fired up the box and rifled off my opinion about the looming election on September the 4th. If the Liberals loose we may find ourselves under the gun of a separatist party who’s main goal is to push through a referendum “tomorrow”
As the Parti Quebecois Pauline Marois has said in interviews as of late,
about separating Quebec from Canada. Like they can afford to do this, and have a new currency ready to go, and a majority government to push through this referendum, because it will be harder to do with just a minority, which if we believe the reports as of last night, a minority is within reach, if the Liberals cant eek out another win, which is unlikely, but we all haven’t voted yet and until the last vote is counted, we don’t know who will win.
Fuck these separatists. They can all go to hell.
When I came to Canada I became a citizen of Canada. Not a citizen of Quebec. Quebec didn’t send me a nice signed “Welcome to Canada proclamation.” And the first time I shopped in a Quebecer staffed grocery store and a francophone woman spit at me I was finished with anything French… They can all go fuck themselves.
And if the separatists win and they fuck with my living in Anglo Montreal, I will sure as fuck consider leaving the province because I don’t need that kind of shit to worry about.
Sorry for that rant .
Moving right along … back to my story:
So it was closing in on 6:15 and I was ruminating so I got dressed and I actually broke out a sweatshirt to wear out because it was that cool this morning. I walked the few blocks there jamming some good tunes, and I arrived around 6:30. The meeting is only a few blocks away.
I sat there and waited until 10 to 7 and then texted grasshopper because nobody had shown up to open and he sent me back an “I’m on my way.”
He has this new phone a Galaxy something or other. And he has an app that is a virtual personal assistant. All he has to do is speak into the phone and tell it what to do and he does it for you. Like instead of texting and driving all you need to do is speak to the assistant and he will do it for you … It’s not Siri…
So anyways, I said a prayer to God last night when I wrote that “trust me” post and God replied at 7:20 this morning. Just as my sponsor advised me to do.
You might pray to God to help you change this … or ask him to change it…
Once you become a member of the fellowship, ALWAYS bring your needs to a meeting, be they big or small. In 10+ years of sobriety, I’ve never had to go outside the room for anything. If there was something going on, I took it to a meeting and spoke about it and I shit you not, I got answers. Sometimes not immediate like today, but damn close.
I shared my concerns with a friend and he, without skipping a beat, took care of those problems as soon as the meeting was over with. I am truly grateful for friends in the program. Because they have done great things for me.
Attitude of Gratitude…
And I get word that tomorrow is our wonder woman chair from Tuesday Night’s meeting, anniversary on the 30th. Thursday night, and her sponsor is flying in from New York to speak at St. Matthias then. It will be a Big Huge Estrogen Party. It will be exciting for sure. 14 years is a long time.
Good things to look forwards to on Thursday night.
I think I may try to sleep now. Since I’ve been awake for umpteen hours now.
More to come, stay tuned …
This photo would be more appropriate if there were train tracks near here, and there are, not far off but one doesn’t really go walking on the tracks because they are busy all day long.
*** *** *** ***
There have been marches every night here in the city. The cops are getting creative with their “Kettling” of the crowds, and though other police forces in other cities have been cited for using this drastic tactic, Montreal police are fearing for their lives on a nightly basis.
Hundreds were arrested last night after a Kettling, and even innocent passersby have been getting caught up in the dragnet. We are told that talks will resume and that they really need to reach consensus, and they need to do it now.
The Grand Prix is starting to suffer as groups have begun to cancel their appearances here because they fear for their lives and the well being of the cars and those who would be coming.
Festival season is just days away now and students are holding the city hostage and the Premier is shuffling his cabinet in the attempt to bring fresh eyes and ideas into the mix to try and end this conflict with students.
The protests have morphed into what is called Casseroling. People sit on their balconies and on street corners banging pots and pans in civil disobedience to voice their displeasure with Bill 78.
Social media is firing all these protests in our city, and even though I support the students, something has to give and it better give soon.
We don’t venture out into the neighborhood very often and we sure as shit don’t travel to the East end or the village because that is where all the nightly troubles start. Marchers are fucking with the city by marching up and down streets Against traffic which creates nightmares for pedestrians and drivers and buses.
They marched against traffic down Ste. Catherine’s Street earlier today which stopped traffic for hours while cops drove behind them the wrong way all the way to Westmount.
I don’t see an end in sight and this needs to end because if it doesn’t the summer tourism season will be heavily affected and the city will loose big because tourism is a huge draw during the summer with the Grand Prix, The Fireworks Festival, the Jazz Fest, Just for Laughs, and on and on …
If students are marching in the streets blocking traffic, fucking with the Metro, blocking bridges and streets en masse, how are we supposed to go on with our lives – it’s not only the tourists who are loosing, it is Montrealer’s just as well.
We will keep you posted …
*** *** *** ***
It has been a quiet couple of days. I had lunch with my mentor yesterday and we chatted about a great many things. Lots of ideas are on the table but nothing looks really good at the moment. I’ve been told by more than one sober person that I should wait to see what presents itself and not to rush to do anything big just yet. I’ve been making a list of “Things to do or Things I would like to do.”
And all these things involve other people and all of those people are out living their lives and doing their jobs and ministering to their folks. How do you go about asking someone to devote some time to you when it seems that their plates are full already? Time is precious and I don’t want to waste someones time or be a burden on them or their community.
All my EBAY items for sale will end tomorrow. Which means I will have to cart those boxes downstairs for pricing and shipping again. I contacted all the bidders to get some information from them and I am waiting on them to respond. It’s all about timing right now.
I was sitting on the balcony earlier today and the sun was shining and dark clouds closed in from the South Shore and it poured down rain just before I was getting ready to head out for a meeting. And glad that I arrived when I did to see arching over the sky from one end of the sky to the other was a huge bright and beautiful rainbow – I took photos of it with my phone. It was the first time in recent memory that I have seen a rainbow that big in the sky.
Not a bad photo !!! Courtesy of Android HTC Hero.
The speaker at tonight’s meeting talked about God, and his conscious contact and how God had moved in his life. All the stories are somewhat the same. We came, we drank, we couldn’t stop things get ugly and only finding God as a result of working the steps, does one finally get sober.
A friend of mine asks the questions …
How much recovery is enough? My answer to this question is another question…. how much is there?
Our man has been part of the program for more than 25 years. But he dabbled, drank and drugged in sobriety. So how much is enough? I don’t think we ever get “enough” but we have to come each day and fill our cups with living water, hope and serenity. It isn’t enough to stop drinking – but a constant daily necessity of getting what we need as we need it.
It was a good meeting. Here is today’s reflection…
Happy, Joyous, and Free
We are sure God wants us to be happy, joyous, and free. We cannot subscribe to the belief that this life is a vale of tears, though it once was just that for many of us. But it is clear that we made our own misery. God didn’t do it. Avoid then, the deliberate manufacture of misery, but if trouble comes, cheerfully capitalize it as an opportunity to demonstrate His omnipotence.
Alcoholics Anonymous P.133
No matter how bad it gets (Grasshopper) there is always a solution. It may take some time – but we will find the solution. Just don’t drink. One day at a time.
That’s all for tonight.
Originally posted to Writing by David Harris Gershon on Tue May 22, 2012 at 06:40 PM PDT.
Also republished by Canadian Kossacks.
Massive crowds engulfed downtown Montreal this afternoon, marking the 100th day of student strikes and protests sparked (in part) by Quebec’s plan to raise tuition by 82 percent on May 22.
While estimates ranged wildly – from 100,000 to 500,000 in the streets – the number is less significant than the civil disobediencethat has thrust Montreal into the global revolution spotlight.
Authorities in Quebec, trying to counter the protests that have raged for over two months, passed “emergency” legislation last Friday that suspended the winter semester and effectively made protesting illegal. (The legislation, or Bill 78, stipulates that groups of 50 or more gathering must submit itineraries to the authorities in advance or be deemed illegal.)
Students and citizens in Montreal responded to the draconian legislation by streaming into the streets and defying Bill 78 in record numbers today. While the protests have been led by the significant student population in Montreal, the protests today contained cross-sections of the population.
Noting one of the more visible and noisy marches of the day, which was gatherings of both the young and old banging on pots and pans, Steve Faguy of The Gazette Tweeted the following:
I’ve covered quite a few protests. Never have I seen one that so resembled an actual popular uprising.
And writer Kris Holt had this to say regarding the emergent popular uprising:
Those on my street banging pots and pans are middle-aged or older. Much more than students now.
It seems that the legislature’s attempts to quell protesting in Montreal has had the opposite effect, as many today streamed into the streets specifically to defy the anti-protesting emergency legislation.
As one of the student leaders, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, stated today:
“We want to make the point that there are tens of thousands of citizens who are against this law who think that protesting without asking for a permit is a fundamental right,” he said, walking side-by-side with other protesters behind a large purple banner.“If the government wants to apply its law, it will have a lot of work to do. That is part of the objective of the protest today, to underline the fact that this law is absurd and inapplicable.”
Absurd indeed – and that absurdity seems to have awakened popular support for the students’ plight, support that has increased dramatically in recent weeks.
The global revolution has officially arrived in Canada. And with student strikes and protests set for the summer, and with more of Montreal’s citizenry falling behind the students, it’s a revolution that may not be ending anytime soon.
Iran, Tunisia, Egypt, Spain, Greece, Israel, New York City, Montreal…
…we are witnessing an historic global uprising, as peoples across the globe continue to rise up in numbers and demand their political rights, demand social justice, demand economic fairness.
It’s a struggle that is not just essential, but fundamentally human.
Courtesy: ChicagoTheatreBeat – A Separate Peace …
“WE” The First Word of the First Step …
It rained today. And amid all that rain, tens of thousands of people defied provincial law to march on the city once again today, and I hear through the grapevine that a march will happen again tonight marking the 100th day of the student uprising. And the plight of students here in Montreal has gone global, with support coming from far and wide around the world and on tv.
On Saturday night on SNL Arcade Fire wore the “Red Squares” on their shirts in support of the Quebec movement. If the authorities (read: Government) thought that Bill 78 was going to stop the marches -
they were terribly WRONG !!!
They not only thought wrong, they threw more fuel on the fire. We will see where the march tonight.
It was a dreary, blustery day today. And it doesn’t rain for very long, but comes in intervals and we got a good downpour just before the meeting started.
But the day began with me carting two huge boot boxes down the the post office to get weighed and rated for shipment come Friday when my auctions end, and it was raining this morning on and off. Then I had to cart them back upstairs, what a pain in the ass.
I knew that thousands of people were gathering at 2 pm this afternoon, and I was afraid that the marchers would get to our end of the city before I got out of the house, One doesn’t want to get held hostage by marchers in the street. I got out of the house early, just to avoid getting caught up in the throng.
On the way out, I checked the mail, as usual, and stopped at the bulletin board to read the announcements and I was pleasantly surprised to see a baby announcement from our building manager. Now I see her every day, sitting behind her desk, but I haven’t seen her stand up in a while, so I stopped in the office to congratulate her and she was not only pregnant, she was VERY pregnant. And I missed it all this while. So she is off for a year’s maternity leave starting in a couple of weeks. We’ve lived here more than ten years now, and it will be joyous to welcome a new baby to the building.
Set up was a breeze and it rained so you never know how many people are going to come to the meeting in the rain … If it rains, people don’t show up, If it is -20c out, people don’t show up, and If it is 40c outside, people don’t show up …
That’s the facts about our meeting. Depending on the way the wind blows, people either come or they don’t. We sat 40 folks tonight. One of our young men was in the chair for the first time so he went with the Daily Reflections. And today’s reflection was all about the word “WE.”
Stuck in my disease – it was always about me. But not really about me. Living with HIV put me in a very specific hole in life. After your friends and family ditch you, what do you have left, Yourself…
I was living alone. I had very few friends. Nobody knew the misery I was sitting in for so long. And nobody would know, because I kept it to myself. There was nobody there to notice that I existed. Nobody to point out the hole I was in, lest they get in the hole with me. I drank in a big, loud, dark, room with hundreds of other people – and I was alone …
It was by the grace of God and the persistence of a young man named Troy, who came into my life at the right moment, when I was ready to hear the message and the invitation to come back. I prayed for those words to be spoken, I asked God for those words to come, and they did.
I went to one meeting to see Troy get his year cake. Nobody noticed me. Queers in recovery can be as clueless as they are in the bar. So I waited for the next meeting at 10 that night, and a woman came up to me and greeted me and asked me to join them all in the meeting. Fonda took me by the hand and welcomed me into that meeting.
I was no longer alone …
I never took another drink. I was lucky to be in that “we” group. We went to dinner, We went to the beach, We went to meal after meal after meal together. We did things together every night and I was never alone again. And that is the spirit that carried me to Montreal some months later.
And ten years and some months later I am still part of that “WE” effort.
It was a good night, and the skies are clearing up, the temperature went down drastically, when we came outside the hall after the meeting it was very blustery and cool. Great sleeping weather. The helicopters are buzzing our neighborhood which means marchers are getting close.
Hopefully – nobody gets hurt we’ll see …
Goodnight from Montreal.
McGill Metro Station – Green Line – Montreal
The Mayor is pissed, the Premier is pissed and Montrealer’s are getting pissed as well. Who’s to blame for this action today? Nobody is sure. But these kids are adamant and just hitting their stride. This could go on for months. I’ve seen marches like this before, and once a movement gets galvanized, there is little that they can do about it unless the authorities get drastic and the government moves its ass and changes their tune …
The summer festivals will begin soon and the city doesn’t want this taint on our city, nor do we residents. Somethings got to give, and give soon, or else Montreal is at the mercy of the angry student movement.
Montreal mayor Gérald Tremblay is urging people to “take back their city” after a series of smoke bombs paralyzed the public metro system, sending the island’s transit service into chaos at the peak of rush hour.
“No cause, legitimate or not, can justify any criminal action that jeopardizes public security,” a livid-looking Tremblay told reporters at a news conference.
Although the attacks haven’t been directly linked to ongoing student protests, Tremblay also urged students and politicians to get back to the negotiating table to settle their tuition dispute, and restore civil order.
TORONTO – New Democrats opted Saturday for a rhetorical spear carrier over an ideological puritan, selecting mercurial Thomas Mulcair to carry the official Opposition into electoral battle against Stephen Harper’s Conservatives.
Mulcair, a combative former Quebec Liberal cabinet minister, won the NDP leadership on a fourth ballot, besting longtime party strategist Brian Topp in a contest that severely strained the party’s self-styled tolerance.
A perceived centrist who was once wooed by Harper’s Tories, Mulcair overcame loud complaints that he would abandon social democratic principles in the pursuit of power — a federal pursuit that New Democrats can now truly taste for the first time in their 50-year history.
In the end, a party now dominated by its come-lately orange wave in Quebec went with its star candidate in that province to replace the late Jack Layton, whose sudden death from cancer last August staggered New Democrats just weeks after their spring electoral breakthrough.
Mulcair claimed 57.2 per cent of the vote in the final, head-to-head showdown with Topp on Saturday’s fourth and final ballot.
Mulcair assumes the role of leader of Her Majesty’s loyal Opposition when the House of Commons resumes Monday after a one-week break.
The experienced legislative sparring partner was the candidate most New Democrats conceded was best prepared to hit the ring swinging. He’ll be put immediately to the test when the Conservatives bring down their first budget as a majority government this Thursday.
“Thomas is fearless, Thomas is organized,” NDP MP Charlie Angus said Saturday after his first choice, Paul Dewar, dropped out following the first ballot. “He’s one of the strongest MPs we’ve seen in the House of Commons and he’s certainly a match for Stephen Harper.”
Topp, a close Layton confidant and the first candidate to enter the race just three weeks after his death, fell 8,542 votes short on the final ballot against Mulcair.
He vowed to work with the new leader in a united front against the Conservatives.
Topp had earlier defended his decision to force the final ballot, rather than concede, even after it was clear he could not win.
“I think it’s fit and proper to let the party decide who the leader is and to not have the appearance that it was arranged,” said Topp.
Dark-horse contender Nathan Cullen, written off at the start of the race last fall after proposing co-operation with the Liberals, made it to the final three and cemented his role as a rising star in the party.
Cullen said his strong showing in the contest proves there’s an appetite for co-operating with Liberals.
“Change is in the wind, my friend,” he said. “I think anybody who (thought) New Democrats aren’t open to the ideas of change was obviously mistaken.”
Peggy Nash was eliminated following Saturday’s second ballot, while Paul Dewar, Martin Singh and Niki Ashton all dropped out after the morning’s initial vote.
Mulcair, Cullen, Nash and Dewar are among the NDP’s best parliamentary performers and their long absences on the leadership campaign trail have not helped the official Opposition consolidate its role.
Their return next week should reinvigorate a Commons already boiling with political controversy over allegations of election fraud and the prospect of a ground-shifting federal budget.
The NDP’s weekend leadership showcase, however, was drained of much of its excitement and vigour Saturday by a series of technical delays with the online voting system — although the source of the delay did add a minor element of intrigue.
Party president Rebecca Blaikie confirmed two IP addresses had been isolated as the source of cyber-attacks that appeared designed to slow entry into the system, effectively gumming up the works but not impairing the vote.
“Whoever this is or whatever it came from, their goal was simply to make it a pain to get into our site, to make it harder for people to vote, to block it up with a lot of traffic,” Blaikie said.
Whatever the cause, Mulcair’s victory wasn’t confirmed until late Saturday evening — timing the party had scrupulously planned to avoid.
That wasn’t the only come-down for New Democrats.
The day’s biggest ballot topped out at 65,108 voters, a less than 50 per cent turnout from a party membership that swelled to over 131,000 during the leadership campaign.
About 56,000 people had voted in advance of the convention.
Under the preferential ballot system, in which voters ranked their choices first to last, those 56,000 votes were locked in for all subsequent ballots and couldn’t be influenced by floor-crossing endorsements.
None of the vanquished candidates except Singh — who, as expected, went with Mulcair — chose to publicly endorse another contender.
As it transpired, key endorsements weren’t required.
Mulcair’s high profile in Quebec helped him maintain his status as the candidate to beat. Once a western-based protest party, the NDP’s world has revolved around Quebec since last May’s election, when an unexpected Layton-led wave swept the province and vaulted the party into official Opposition status for the first time in its 50-year history.
As the lone Quebec MP in the hunt, Mulcair made a powerful case as the standard-bearer for a party in which 58 of its current 102 seats came from his home province. Mulcair was the lone New Democrat among those 58 Quebec MPs who held his seat before last May’s federal election.
He has also caused divisions, however, among social democrats who believe he’ll turn the party into a pale imitation of the more centrist Liberals.
Elder party statesman Ed Broadbent lambasted Mulcair as temperamentally ill-suited to leadership in an extraordinary public broadside just two weeks before the convention. Jack Layton’s mother Doris endorsed Topp in the final week.
None of it could stop Mulcair.
It is a cold (-8c) And it is brisk out. A soft blanket of snow lies over the city, we had a soft snowfall earlier in the day. But they tell us that more is on the way, maybe some freezing rain along with it… Bah !!!
Things are very quiet here at home. With plenty of time on our hands, it comes down to finding things to do when there is nothing to do. Just how much politics can you take in one day’s news cycle ??? Hubby loves every minute of it but I am getting tired of hearing about it, since it doesn’t affect us here.
So the day was quiet. I spent a few hours reading “Inheritance.” I am about 300 pages into the 850 page read. Then we took our afternoon nap before having to get ready to go to the meeting.
Lizzy offered to drive me out and bring me home which is nice, not having to take the bus and train. Not that I mind rapid transit. But a car is nice when it is in the minuses outside.
We got to the church and the door was open. I made coffee and tea whilst Lizzy did set up and did chairs. I did my share of set up as well. Then we waited. It was the last Friday of the month and we had our business meeting. Everybody is happy with their Christmas gifts. IPads, Blackberry tablets, smart phones and the like.
I don’t see why I would need an IPad. I have no use for one. I am happy with my desktop setup. And I like my Android smart phone as well. Since we are an Anti-Apple household, we wouldn’t deign to buy an Apple product.
So tonight was my last meeting for the calendar year of 2011. There are plenty of meetings open tomorrow night, but I will be staying in with hubby. I got to do literature tonight and it was another round robin share meeting.
At the end of the hour I got up and shared about my “seat.” I told this story on my year end review the other night. I wanted to commit to a meeting, and you can’t do that when you travel from meeting to meeting. And picking my chair at Friday West End was the best decision I had made in sobriety this past year. Because it paid out in spades. I could not ask for more from a group of people who care about me and each other like they do at Friday West End.
We heard a lot of good things tonight. There are ways to celebrate the New Year that do not involve drinking …
Our yearly New Year’s Eve Tradition begins tonight at 1 a.m. With Coast to Coast AM on CJAD. The yearly, two night 2012 prediction extravaganza.
Hosted this year by the esteemed Ian Punnett from the Great Lakes Region of Minneapolis St. Paul. This will be his last weekend hosting his regular Saturday night gig because of tinnitus. So it will be a bittersweet weekend of radio.
We look forward to this show every year because of the rotating hosts and the show itself. They pull out the books that hold the predictions from last year to see which ones were hits and which ones were misses. While callers get to give one prediction for the year ahead.
And 2012 is going to be crazy. You know, with the end of the world on the calendar, you know the crazies are going to be calling for destruction, pestilence and calamities beyond anything the world has ever seen. It’s gonna be earthquakes, famines, floods and calamities … Mark My Words …
I can just hear it now, one crazy fucker after another trying to out piss the caller before them to see who can best the other in the predictions for 2012.
It will be crazy. Worth every minute of listening.
And the show will conclude on Saturday night into Sunday morning. We will ring in the New Year as usual. Hubby hates New Year’s Eve. So it will be a subdued affair.
This week we got screwed by Quebec City once again. They issued our bursaries over a week ago. And they posted a bank date of Wednesday. But it is the holiday’s and nothing is carved in stone. And Quebec City fucks us all over several times over each year and this year would be no different.
So when Wednesday came and went and no money in the bank, hubby called Quebec City and they told him that the monies would be deposited on Friday. Today … Well, no monies were deposited today either. Which means the money could come overnight tonight. And if it doesn’t come overnight, then it will be next week before we get paid and having no money is putting a strain on us here at home. FUCK ME !!!!
God Damned Quebec Financial Aide You Fuckers !!!
You know they all got paid for the holiday don’t you !!!
Anyways, what was I saying … Oh yes, Coast to Coast… You gotta listen if you can. It will be entertaining at least.
I don’t know if I will post before the New Year so if I don’t Happy New Year to you and yours. May it be filled with happiness, love and peace…
Goodnight from Montreal.
It has been an eventful past few days. I’ve been sitting on this post to let my mind percolate and write something substantial and meaningful.
Thursday came and went. It was all very anticlimactic. I don’t care for French any more and come tomorrow I will “crosses fingers” have the opportunity to drop said course in opt for a little Western Civilization. I told a friend of mine earlier tonight that I needed tomorrow to go as planned, or I am screwed. And you know what they say about the “best laid plans” right … Never expect …
I got out to Friday West End early for the business meeting, since I am a member there now it was my first business meeting and it is a good group of people, lots of long time sobriety. They run on biweekly service commitments so I am on set up on the 30th of September and the 7th of October. You know from the get go that when you join a group you start at the beginning by doing service. That means chairs, coffee and greeting. And you do that from the beginning.
I have been going to this meeting for a number of months continually since the beginning of summer and that is how you work your way into a group by getting to know people, learning names and lengths of sobriety. Many of the members there had once been members of Tuesday Beginners.
I’ve been focused on my double digits coming soon. And it has been, for the last month or so, a journey of change and transformation for me. I don’t know why at this point, but I know not to try to figure out why things happen the way they do but just go with it and find out where the journey is leading me.
Which leads me to tonight’s meeting, which I will talk about in a little bit, but before that we need to talk about the weekend and Irene. It was wall to wall coverage of hurricane Irene over the weekend. It was billed as the storm of a century to rock the East coast in a hundred years. And they warned us here in Canada that we would get something from Irene. So we watched a lot of tv, and we waited.
Saturday the skies were clear and it did not rain. But come Sunday everything changed. The skies grew dark and dismal. And the rain began early in the morning on Sunday and it rained all day long. Sitting as high as we do, the winds were gusty and the windows buckled in their sills. In many parts of the city there was destruction and devastation. Trees falling on houses and cars, power lines down and electricity cut for millions of home owners. Flooding in areas east of us that have been devastated earlier by the spring floods got even more water on top of what was still lying around. Points further East of us in Maine, and Vermont got slammed. Roads, bridges and homes were devastated.
With the night the storm rolled out of Quebec and the skies cleared by nightfall and the weather cleared up. We saw little damage in the downtown core. But other areas in the city did not fare as well.
Monday I had my first Sociology class. The prof is a PHD and has a good head on her shoulders. I think I will find this topic intriguing we had a good first discussion about the “lifeline.” We looked at the events that changed the world from the years 1961 to 2011. There were many points on the timeline that impacted many of us in class. We need to buy the textbook or find ways to download the E Book. The book costs $103.00 and I don’t want to E Book it.
I need the physical book in my hands and I have two weeks to get it and read the first chapter for class on the 12th.
Today has come and gone. We are waiting to see when Quebec City is going to pay out our next money dump – they fucked up my file again and I had to email the financial aide office to re-update my file confirming my full time status on file which dropped me back a day because Quebec doesn’t reup their files till late on the day we file changes here. So the file is reupped but they haven’t issued out the next deposit. And I really need that money today actually knowing Quebec they are going to screw us left and right this month because of the Labor day Holiday. I really hope that they don’t wait till after the holiday to make the deposits because I will be pissed.
I am empty of all my medication and I need to pick up this months draw from the pharmacy but that’s gonna run me over $100.00 and I need the cash today not tomorrow. I hate the end of the month and add to that Quebec dragging its feet doesn’t help the situation.
Hubby got his teaching gig for the semester and his friend and sidekick did as well so they will both be teaching this semester and the universities go back next week. It is all very exciting.
I got out to the church early for set up because we had our business meeting tonight before the main meeting. It was a good meeting. Lots of good ideas floated for the future, lots of new topic discussion. We are working to come up with some fresh ideas to keep the newcomer engaged and present, to keep them “coming back for more.”
We talked about “The Doctors Opinion” from the beginning chapters of the Big Book. And I was on the end of the table as the discussion went counter clockwise from the chair which put me at the end of the line tonight. So I had some time to ponder what I wanted to share about the chapter. And this is what I came up with.
Coming to the end of my drinking career the first time I was drinking to get drunk, drinking for the effect. Drinking to get to the bottom of the bottle intentionally without a second thought. I craved the drink. I remember what that felt like. The first time around. It took a while, but once I quit drinking the craving went away. I stayed sober for some time.
But when I went on my slip, I don’t remember ever craving the drink like I had the first time. And this is the scary thought in hindsight, I don’t remember the feeling or sensation of craving. I had refined my drinking. I knew all the particulars of the how, where, when, how much and to what extent…
And after I had those coordinates I went to it. All I remember about that time is that I had skipped over the craving and went into the downward spiral binge. Once I began to binge the craving stopped. I had moved past that point of no return. I lost the ability to know that I was craving because all I did was drink.
And I think that is what is driving my recent reflection on “keeping it green.” I’ve been doing a lot of reading from old grapevines and writings from Bill W. I don’t know why I am so focused on ten years. This is the longest period of sobriety I have ever had in my life. And it is too easy to get complacent and sit on my heels and do nothing but that is not the case.
The longer period of time that elapses from the last drink to today is an opportunity to pick up a drink, again … The farther we move away from our last drink we tend to forget what it was like, and the defenses go down and we ponder the thought, “well, maybe I can, again…” Nope not for me.
Old timers with double digit sobriety, we’re talking 20, 30, 40+ years of sobriety warn us not to forget. To keep it green. To always remain connected to service and meetings. To work with newcomers. To read and re-read the book. To remember what it was like, because if we forget, we are closer to the drink than ever.
That is my meditation for tonight. May I never forget…
Tomorrow is Wednesday. I need the day to go as planned. I need a real break. I don’t want to be fucked for the semester. I need to get up and out to be at the school by 3:30. And hopefully the early bird will get the worm and I will succeed in the end. Let us pray …
Hence our photo above of prayer and blessings on your heads…
I need things to happen that I am powerless over to make happen or change.
God’s will be done …
More to come, stay tuned …
Courtesy: 1Etranger (Sean Ashmore)
The weather held out. It was much warmer than usual today, but it is summer and we should be thankful for warm days. There are only so many more weeks of summer and the season change will begin in earnest.
The parade stepped off around 11 out front of the building. The good thing with holidays is that they always step off right in front of our building from the streets below the tunnel on Ste. Antoine and Rene Levesque. A good time was had by all. The pubs were full on our end of the city.
But all eyes were on National TV and the celebration in Ottawa of Canada Day and the continuing visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. It seems they were a big hit.
But all that is going to change because of the leftist separatist anti monarch animals in Quebec and Quebec city. They are going to be the tarnished black eye that is going to embarrass all of Canada to the rest of the world.
The anti Monarch protest is planned and tomorrow we will see just how much air time they get on the national news. Fucking animals…
But for today it was a good day.
Last night I headed over to St. Matthias for the Thursday night meeting, and wasn’t disappointed. I had never heard the speaker who spoke – he was a couple years in and older than me, we all have similar threads to get here.
The buses and Metro’s were all running up to speed both nights, I didn’t have to wait for either last night and tonight.
Tonight I headed over to Friday West End for a meeting. And it seems there is a trend going on with speakers being of the LGBT persuasion. In our own special way they are celebrating pride in sober fashion. My sponsor was waiting out front when I got to the hall but we didn’t sit together and I slipped out after the meeting and didn’t say goodbye to many folks.
A good night was had by all.
Tomorrow the Royal Couple will be here in Montreal for a few hours, I don’t know if I want to brave the heat and crowds over at St. Justine’s Children’s Hospital. there are a couple of things on the schedule for tomorrow before they board a naval vessel for the sail up to Quebec City over night.
Time for din din …
More to come, stay tuned…
Canadian voters have delivered Conservative Leader Stephen Harper his first majority government after five years of governing in a minority situation, with the 41st election bringing a dramatic and unpredicted realignment to the country’s political landscape.
Meanwhile, NDP Leader Jack Layton will now become Official Opposition leader and replace Michael Ignatieff, who himself was defeated in his own Toronto riding. Ignatieff took reponsibility for the Liberals’ historic electoral loss. Ignatieff’s Liberals — often touted as Canada’s “natural governing party” — placed a distant third behind Layton’s party.
With 90 percent of the votes counted, the Conservatives were elected or leading in 166 seats, followed by the NDP with 104, Liberals with 34 and the Bloc Québécois with three and the Green party with one. A party needs to capture 155 seats to win a majority in the House of Commons.
The NDP, who appeared to have nearly tripled their seat count, made a major breakthrough in Quebec, mostly at the expense of the Bloc. The projected loss of 45 Bloc seats in the province prompted party leader Gilles Duceppe to announce he would resign in days.
Following his victory, Layton bounded up the stairs to address a near ecstatic crowd in Toronto, brandishing the trademark cane given to him by a supporter on the campaign tour to help him with his recovery from hip surgery.
“And let me tell you this: Spring is here, my friends, and a new chapter begins,” Layton told supporters.
The New Democrat leader said Canadians voted Monday to strengthen public health care, retirement security and help families make ends meet.
“And you voted to end the same old debates and political games,” he told the crowd.
But he also vowed his party would oppose the Conservative government “with vigour if it is on the wrong path.”
Ignatieff, who declined to say whether he would step down as party leader, said he still sees an “ongoing need for a party at the centre of Canadian life.”
“I will serve as long as the party wants me to serve and asks me to serve, and not a day longer,” he told supporters.
In his concession speech, the Liberal leader offered “open-hearted” congratulations to Harper and Layton — “two opponents who have had the better of the night” — and accepted responsibility for the result.
“Democracy teaches hard lessons and we have to learn them all,” Ignatieff told supporters.
It emerged shortly afterward that Ignatieff was beaten in his Toronto riding of Etobicoke-Lakeshore, while several prominent Toronto Liberals lost or were behind NDP or Tory candidates as of midnight ET.
Duceppe, who himself lost to NDP candidate Hélène Laverdière in the riding of Laurier-Sainte-Marie, told supporters after his loss it was clear Quebeckers wanted to give a federalist party another chance and now expected recognition of the Quebec nation.
“I am leaving, but others will follow until Quebec becomes a country,” he said, as the crowd of supporters chanted his name.
Meanwhile, Green Party Leader Elizabeth May earned her party’s first elected seat in Canadian political history, defeating former Conservative cabinet minister Gary Lunn in the British Columbia riding of Saanich-Gulf Islands.
“Today we proved that Canadians want change in politics,” she told a crowd of jubilant supporters in her riding.
Results in Quebec showed the Bloc Québécois plummeting from 47 of 75 seats in the province to only two. The NDP, who previously had only Thomas Mulcair’s Outremont seat in Montreal, were leading or elected in 59 seats in the province.
Some of the province’s highest-profile Conservative politicians lost their seats. Despite overall Tory gains, Lawrence Cannon and Jean-Pierre Blackburn, who served as ministers in Harper’s cabinet, were defeated in their Quebec ridings.
In Ontario, Conservative Chris Alexander defeated Liberal incumbent Mark Holland in the coveted Greater Toronto Area riding of Ajax-Pickering. The Tories are also holding their existing seats and leading in some key Liberal-held ridings such as Brampton West and Brampton-Springdale.
In Toronto, three high-profile Liberal candidates lost their Toronto-area seats, with Ken Dryden falling in York Centre, Gerard Kennedy losing in Parkdale-High Park and Joe Volpe defeated in Eglinton-Lawrence.
Outside of the city core, Liberal Ruby Dhalla lost her seat in Brampton-Springdale to Conservative Parm Gill while Conservative Julian Fantio was re-elected in Vaughan, defeating Liberal Mario Ferri.
The NDP was also holding its existing seats in the city, with Olivia Chow, Layton’s wife, winning again in Trinity-Spadina.
The Conservatives and NDP began the night making gains in Atlantic Canada at the expense of the Liberals, who have won the most seats in the region in every federal election since 1997. The Conservatives had 38 per cent of the vote, compared to 30 per cent for the NDP and 29 for the Liberals.
In Labrador, the Conservatives won what was once considered a safe Liberal seat, with Peter Penashue defeating Liberal incumbent Todd Russell. The Tories had been shutout of the province following an “Anything but Conservative” campaign mounted in 2008 by former premier Danny Williams.
Meanwhile, in St. John’s South-Mount Pearl, NDP candidate Ryan Cleary defeated Liberal incumbent Siobhan Coady.
The results come as many analysts were caught off guard during the campaign after polls suggested a surge of support for the NDP, specifically in Quebec, following the leaders’ debate in French.
Layton took advantage of this apparent spike, saying that voters were tired of both the Conservatives and Liberals and that the “winds of change” were in the political air.
The polls also forced Harper and Ignatieff to alter their strategy and focus more on the NDP leader.
Harper returned again and again to one main theme, repeatedly stressing the need for a Conservative majority. He warned that Canada’s economic stability was at risk if the opposition parties had enough seats following the election to form a coalition or some other power sharing arrangement.
Although Harper had initially targeted a possible Ignatieff-led government, propped up by other parties, his focus in the later days of the campaign switched to the possibility of Layton in power.
For his part, Ignatieff slammed Harper over his handling of the economy and accused the Conservative leader of disrespecting the institution of Parliament.
He ran ads questioning if Harper could be trusted with “absolute power” and reminded voters that Harper shut down Parliament twice and had been held in contempt of Parliament.
Ignatieff had said he would like to stay on as leader regardless of the outcome of the federal election.
CTV.ca News Staff
Hundreds of Catholics from across the country are gathering in Montreal and at the Vatican to mark a unique journey which began humbly more than a century ago.
Blessed Brother Andre Bessette, a frail orphan who grew to become a folk hero in Quebec, will officially be recognized as a saint at the Vatican during a canonization ceremony on Sunday, more than seven decades after his death.
Renowned among believers for his healing abilities and his role in the creation of Montreal’s majestic Saint Joseph’s Oratory, Brother Andre lived to the age of 91 and became known in his time as a miracle worker.
Born Alfred Bessette, he was unschooled, illiterate and frail as a younger man, but he joined Montreal’s Congregation of Holy Cross and worked as a gatekeeper in a boys’ college.
Bessette soon began receiving the needy and the sick and told them to ask Saint Joseph for help. Later, many would say that their prayers had been answered, and for the next 25 years, Bessette would spend his days welcoming people at his small office.
Using money he earned cutting hair at the boys college, he would also construct a tiny chapel in the woods of Mount Royal. That humble chapel would become the site of Saint Joseph’s Oratory, which is now the largest church in Canada and is the world’s largest shrine dedicated to Saint Joseph.
By the time of his death in the 1937, Bessette had become a hero in Quebec. His funeral attracted a million mourners, according to his biography at Saint Joseph’s Oratory.
Throughout his life, however, he remained a humble figure.
“I am nothing,” he once stated. “Only a tool in the hands of Providence, a lowly instrument at the service of Saint Joseph.”
He also dismissed claims of his healing abilities.
“People are silly to think that I can accomplish miracles! It is God and Saint Joseph who can heal you, not I. I will pray Saint Joseph for you.”
About 900 of the faithful are flying to the Vatican to watch the ceremony, with tour packages selling out well ahead of time.
For those who can’t make it to Rome, coming to Montreal to mark the occasion is every bit as special.
“I think this is so huge for Montreal and Quebec,” said Suzanne Murphy, who travelled from St. John’s, N.L. “I think it’s such a wonderful event.”
The event will begin in Montreal starting at 4 a.m. local time Sunday, and will be broadcast on a giant screen in the church’s crypt.
“Everyone here is feeling jubilant,” said Father Charles Corso, adding that last minute preparations are still taking place.
With a report from CTV Montreal’s Annie Demelt
If you are a healthcare worker (including private clinic staff, pharmacists, ambulance drivers, and first respondents), your employer, your institution, or your health and social services center (CSSS) will provide all the information you require concerning your vaccination.
If you are a group 1 individual at risk of developing complications, it is recommended that you be vaccinated. For more information on your closest vaccination center, click on the CSSS territory corresponding to your place of residence in the list or on the map below.
As soon as the vaccination of group 1 individuals at risk is complete, the remainder of the population will have the opportunity to be vaccinated, according to the dates, places, and schedules of the centers set up in each region.
EVERYONE WILL GET THEIR TURN
As of November 5
- Children 6 months to 5 years of age
- Parents, brothers and sisters of infants less than 6 months of age
- Women more than 20 weeks pregnant (vaccine with adjuvant)
- Pregnant women with a chronic medical condition (vaccine with adjuvant)
As of November 9
- Women who are less than 20 weeks pregnant
As of November 16
- Individuals less than 18 years of age suffering from a chronic medical condition (people with diabetes, asthma, bronchitis, heart failure, etc.)
As of November 23
- Individuals between 18 and 65 years of age suffering from a chronic medical condition (people with diabetes, asthma, bronchitis, heart failure, etc.)
As of December 7
- Youth 5 to 18 years of age
- Adults 19 to 65 years of age
- Individuals above 65 years of age
Vaccination Centers for CSSS de la Montagne
1500, Avenue Atwater
Information importante :
Niveau métro atwater
Centre ouvert à partir du 5 novembre 2009
Vaccination dans le respect des clientèles prioritaires tel qu’indiqué à la page précédente
(suivre le lien ci-dessous <<Retour vers la liste des CSSS)
Please respect the priority of clients according to the preceding page. Updated above.
Lundi : de 08:00 à 20:00
Mardi : de 08:00 à 20:00
Mercredi : de 08:00 à 20:00
Jeudi : de 08:00 à 20:00
Vendredi : de 08:00 à 20:00
Samedi : de 08:00 à 20:00
I am on schedule to get my H1N1 vaccine on Saturday when they open the clinic at Alexis Nihon Plaza, just up the street from home. If you live in Quebec you can click (THIS LINK HERE) to get an updated location map for vaccinations with dates, times and rules.
Please respect the right for those who need it most to get it first. If you do not fall into a high risk group – then wait your turn. We will all get the vaccine sooner or later.
Respect the rules…
I have been advised by my doctor just now that I must bring my medication with me to prove I am immunocompromised and my health card. FYI !!!
Report Via: CBC.CA Online
Canadians should expect to see more severe cases of swine flu — including some deaths from the virus — as the outbreak spreads, the country’s chief public health officer warned Monday.
“Simply because we are seeing mild cases so far does not mean we can take this for granted,” said Dr. David Butler-Jones during a news conference in Ottawa with federal Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq.
“We will likely see more cases, we will likely see more severe illnesses and we will likely, unfortunately, see some deaths as well. We hope not, but it is a normal part of an influenza outbreak.”
There have been six confirmed cases of swine flu in Canada since the outbreak was first reported in Mexico. All six people — four in Nova Scotia and two in B.C. — had a mild form of the illness and have recovered, Butler-Jones said.
Along with the cases in N.S. and B.C., medical authorities in Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec and Saskatchewan are investigating cases of suspected swine flu.
Canada has heightened its surveillance system to more closely monitor the spread of the disease and will focus on rigorous infection control, he said.
The government is also considering advising travellers against all non-essential travel to Mexico, said Aglukkaq.
Provinces test for swine flu
Ontario deputy premier George Smitherman told reporters on Monday that about 10 to 12 potential cases of swine flu in the province are being checked.
“We first of all want to identify, we want to contain, we want to control any possible infectious outbreaks,” Smitherman said.
Dr. Donald Low, medical director of Ontario’s public health laboratories and chief microbiologist at Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital, told CBC News he suspects the cases will be identified in the next 24 to 48 hours.
“We’re in a unique opportunity in history that we’re watching, I think, a pandemic unfold,” said Low, who provided regular updates to the public during the SARS crisis six years ago.
“I don’t think anybody’s thinking that this is not across Canada.”
In P.E.I., the province’s chief health officer Dr. Heather Morrison said Monday eight people who recently returned from Mexico are being tested for human swine flu and have been asked to isolate themselves.
In Saskatchewan, the province’s chief medical health officer Dr. Moira McKinnon said eight people who showed flu symptoms had been tested. The results for five came back negative and the other three have been asked to stay home and have been prescribed the anti-viral medication Tamiflu.
Public health officials in Sherbrooke, Que., are following one suspected case of swine flu in a local resident who returned from a trip to Mexico with flu symptoms.
Canadians should take precautions
Aglukkaq has urged Canadians to take precautions to prevent the human-to-human transmission of this strain of swine flu by washing their hands with hot water and soap, as well as covering up their mouth and nose when sneezing.
She also advised people to stay home and contact their family physicians if ill, particularly if they’ve recently visited Mexico and have flu-like symptoms.
Aglukkaq said she is in regular contact with officials at the WHO, as well as her counterparts in the U.S. and Mexico. The government is also working “very closely” with the provinces and territories, she said.
“Canada is well-positioned to deal with the issue,” she said during question period in the House of Commons on Monday. “We have a national plan to deal with disease outbreaks.”
The federal government also said Monday it does not plan to ban seasonal workers from Mexico from entering Canada, but will require they have enhanced medical checkups before leaving Mexico.
I joined a blog community called YUL BLOG. A site that showcases blogs from Montreal and surrounding areas. If you are a Montrealer, come join the community. It only takes a few minutes to set up a free account, and it might even bring you some traffic.
After this week’s discussions with bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada, Bishop Barry Clarke of Montreal plans to launch a process to work out a rite for blessing same-sex couples in the diocese who have been married in civil ceremonies.
In an opening statement October 24 to the annual synod of the Diocese of Montreal, the bishop said he believes that in the current debate about same-sex issues some are being called to speak with a prophetic voice, others with a voice of caution.
“For reasons, perhaps known only to God, I believe we, in the Diocese of Montreal, are among those who have been called by God to speak with a prophetic voice,” he said. “It is our voice that is called to affirm that all people are loved, valued and precious before God and the church. It is our voice that is called to affirm that all unions of faithful love and life-long commitment are worthy of God’s blessing and a means of God’s grace. In time our voice will either be affirmed by the body, or stand corrected.”
About a year ago, the 2007 Montreal synod adopted a resolution calling on the bishop to grant permission for clergy, under certain conditions, to bless duly solemnized civil marriages, including same-sex marriages. Clarke, like the bishops of two other dioceses where such motions were passed around the same time, has not yet implemented it by authorizing such blessings.
Speaking at this year’s synod, the bishop described his decision as one that “does constitute an incremental step forward, which is consistent with the wishes of synod, all the while observing the cautious posture voiced and upheld in other parts of the Anglican Communion” and expressed at the Lambeth Conference of the world’s Anglican bishops this summer.
Delegates to this year’s Montreal synod took no further action on the issue except to debate and vote down, by clear although not overwhelming majorities, two resolutions presented by people opposed to same-sex blessings.
One resolution asked the bishop to refrain from implementing same-sex blessings until there had been extensive consultation with the Anglican Communion worldwide, until the diocese had established a process for consulting its members, until the General Synod of Canada changed the marriage canon, and in any event not before the 2010 Montreal synod.
The other resolution asked that, if the bishop did authorize the blessings, a process called shared episcopal ministry be made available to parishes and clergy requesting it. (Basically, this could mean that, with Clarke’s assent, a bishop opposed to the blessings would provide certain services, probably including confirmations, in similarly minded parishes. Last May, Eddie Marsh, retired bishop of Central Newfoundland, carried out a confirmation service for candidates from two parishes in the Montreal suburban area known as the West Island. Clarke authorized this, at least with regard to one of the parishes, and the experiment was considered by some to be a trial run for shared episcopal ministry.)
The two motions were rejected, although their sponsors used conciliatory language in presenting them.
David Johnstone, rector’s warden of the evangelical St. Stephen’s Church in Westmount, said the motion on consultation would not reverse the 2007 decision but would help to preserve Anglican unity in a situation where “the diversity once cherished by Anglicanism has been stretched beyond limits.”
The Rev. Timothy Wiebe of two churches in the Eastern Townships described the motion on shared episcopal ministry as “creative, generous and fully inclusive of all points of view” and “an Anglican solution, a via media.”
In his opening address, Clarke said that, shortly after the meeting of the House of Bishops (October 27-31), he would establish a commission with the responsibility of drafting an appropriate rite for the blessing and guidelines for implementation.
“In this process, I am committed to an open dialogue, and to this end, I will provide opportunities on a formal basis for listening, dialogue and further discernment,” he said. He added that the diocese would work alongside the faith, worship and ministry committee, which had been charged by General Synod, the Anglican Church of Canada’s governing body, to develop a process to engage dioceses and parishes in study of the Christian perspective on human sexuality in light of scripture, reason, tradition and current scientific understanding.
“Let me make it absolutely clear that in this process, no cleric and no congregation will be required to participate in any future blessing of same-sex civil marriages,” said Clarke.
Justin Trudeau (Liberal Party) wins his seat in Papineau with 41.5 % of the vote 17,747 votes (all polls reporting 239/239). I was watching CBC news coverage of the election returns. The Twitter community has been saying that the knives are out for Stephane Dion, will he step down and if he doesn’t – can he win a leadership review after this poor showing? There is a lot of talk about the leadership of the Liberal Party at this hour. And the news is not good for Dion.
We should continue to groom Justin for LEADERSHIP.
Well done Justin…
I am an Anglophone English Speaker in Montreal, and all of you Francophone Federalists can all go Kiss My White English Ass on Holy Sunday!!!
I will NEVER bow to the Quebec Language Police. This whole argument makes me SICK!
This is why I will NEVER learn French as a third language.
I am a Canadian.
CTV.ca News Staff
Quebec’s language activists are targeting the telephone menu systems of provincial and municipal offices.
They don’t like the fact that people who phone into government offices are given the option of linking to an English menu before they hear French instructions.
The head of the Mouvement Montreal francais says asking for an English option to come at the end of government messages isn’t radical. French language activists say all they want is for the government and its departments to live up to the province’s language policy.The province’s language watchdog recently distributed a pamphlet reminding government officials that the provincial policy is to have the English language option for phone services at the end of the French message.
“The first language is French, and I want to keep the French language of Quebec,” Michel Morin, a French language activist, told CTV Montreal.
He and other activists have been bunkered down in a call centre, calling government and municipal offices demanding changes. Some activists say that having any English on voice messages implies that anglophones are first class citizens.
Lobbyists for minority rights in Quebec say they find the entire debate ridiculous.
“These guys have got way too much time on their hands,” anglo-rights lawyer Brent Tyler told the Canadian Press. “They must be scraping the bottom of the barrel for things to complain about if that’s what they’re coming up with.”
Minority rights groups in the province say they are being increasingly marginalized, and English is in danger of disappearing in Quebec.
Lately, anglophones in the province have been on edge. Last month, Parti Quebecois leader Pauline Marois proposed a new Quebec citizenship bill, which would submit new arrivals to language testing. It would also make French a prerequisite for running in local and provincial elections, including school boards.
Montreal Canadiens captain Saku Koivu was also criticized last month after a speaker at a commission looking into the province’s reasonable accommodation debate said the NHL star didn’t speak French, despite having lived in the province for a dozen years.
Allen Nutik of Affiliation Quebec, an anglo-rights party, says it’s time for anglophones to stand up and fight back. He told CTV Montreal that the recent attacks on the English language are no accident.
“They want us gone. If don’t go, they can’t win the next referendum.”
But Beaulieu said it’s French — not English — that is under assault. He says that’s why his group has teamed up with another hardline language group, Imperatif francais, in the campaign to provide French before English on the phone.
“It’s urgent because French is declining in Montreal,” he said, according to CP. “For us it’s a crucial question, it allows the integration of newcomers to Quebec’s common culture.”
With a report from CTV Montreal’s Rob Lurie and files from the Canadian Press
At its annual synod or general meeting, held 19 October 2007, the Anglican clergy and laity of the Diocese of Montreal voted in favour of a motion requesting “that the Bishop grant permission for clergy, whose conscience permits, to bless duly solemnized and registered civil marriages, including marriages between same-sex couples, where at least one party is baptized; and that the Bishop authorize an appropriate rite and make regulations for its use in supportive parishes.” The vote taken on Friday night was passed in the order of clergy (44 – 25) and in the order of laity (59 – 32).
A statement from Bishop Barry B. Clarke
The Synod – our diocesan legislative body – has now requested that I grant permission for clergy, whose conscience permits, to bless duly solemnized and registered civil marriages, including marriages between same-sex couples, where at least one party is baptized; and that I authorize an appropriate rite and make regulations for its use in supportive parishes.
I will need some time to reflect on today’s discussions, to consult further with the other Bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada when we meet later this month, and to consider the concerns of our partners in the wider Anglican Communion.
All who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. As in any family, we have disagreements – sometimes serious. And as a family, it is important for us to be together; to continue to meet together to discern the mind of Christ. I was elected as Bishop of all Anglicans in this diocese, and as such, I call upon all to remain at the table, working to sustain the highest level of Communion possible.
Until a decision is made, there is no change in our current policy and practice; I expect our clergy to refrain from blessing same-sex couples.
The House of Bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada is meeting next week in London, ON and is expected to discuss not only the implications of both the Ottawa and Montreal dioceses’ vote but also conflicting interpretations of the ramifications of General Synod’s decision around same-sex blessings.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your heart be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.
This was our prayer before and after the Synod took place on Friday evening. Now that I have had a few hours to cool off and think about this momentous day, I want to share with you some thoughts, aside from my earlier posting. We knew going into the Synod where our Bishop stood on this issue, we also knew from many of the delegates at the Synod which way they would be voting.
To you all hearts are open
all desires known
and from you no secrets are hidden.
Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts
By the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,
that we may perfectly love you,
and worthily magnify your holy name;
Through Christ our Lord. Amen…
This my first “Official Church Synod,” in the capacity of a Religion Degree holder, I was witness to the Spirit of God moving through the people of God. I listened with great enthusiasm my Bishop speak his charge from the pulpit.
We concelebrated a High Mass with the visiting dignitaries from all over the world. The Bishop of Ottawa was present as well as other parish priests, deacons, ministers and Arch-Deacons. I was quite smitten with a number of them because they were speaking for me. They were speaking for us. They were speaking for their churches.
Having studied Church History and Church Politics, and having been witness to other Synods around the world I was moved in ways my spiritual life had not seen until tonight. This is the first reason why I left the Catholic Church, because inclusion would come much easier in the Anglican Diocese of Montreal. Tonight I shared this victory of our diocese with the most important men and women in my spiritual formation team. We watched the Spirit of God move and rest upon the hearts of those who voted FOR this motion.
Our Bishop Barry Clark, had already told us, in the celebration of the OUTMASS 2007, that he cared about every soul that walked into his church. As I wrote in this post back on July 28th 2007. (Walk Humbly with your God)
“He talked about the Anglican Church at large and he set his staff in the ground and said that he welcomes everyone into his church, for what would Jesus do? Following his example, he stated emphatically that he 100% supports the blessing of same sex unions even if the church at large is still wrestling with the issue.
The church is ever more blessed for the diversity that finds comfort and truth under its roof. It is diversity that makes Montreal a truly special city. For what did Jesus do? He sat with the poor, he ate with them, he healed the sick and he loved those on the periphery, those on the margins of community.
In some churches you find that some are marginalized and kept out and away. But in Bishop Barry Clarke’s church everybody is welcome and everyone is free to pray, to worship and to come to the Lord. He told us to persevere, to be persistent in our prayers. Eventually, that door will open. And prayerfully and with a right heart we shall approach it when it does.”
We prayed, and we persevered, and we waited on the Lord, and he heard us and in his time, that moment arrived. We approached that door through the vehicle of Eucharist, and we celebrated the great memorial that Jesus left us, we prayed for wisdom and we prayed for peace.
“He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8
These scriptures were used by our Bishop to remind us of our calling to Church, our calling to community and our calling to each other. Our connection with the One True God. Times have changed since the first century. And the scriptures, written by man, so said, inspired by God spoke to nations dealing with first century problems. Can we divine a moral code from the Bible for today? I think we can, but my vision of Biblical Scriptures is a guide on how to live today, in the twenty first century.
Men, Women, Young people and Old, came today to lobby for their sides position, to plead the case of their constituents. Even in our own city, with men long respected and leaders of churches we attended here in the city, voted AGAINST this motion tonight. They walk away shamed from the rest of us, knowing that major leaders of the Montreal diocese were going to and did vote FOR the motion to be accepted.
I must say when all was said and done, we watched the members of the Synod stand and be counted, and those who stood against this motion, surprised us. Now we know for sure where the division lines are in our community. Needless to say, that might have an effect on parish life in the future.
Sadly, in today’s charge we find that there are about 16,000 registered parishioners in the Diocese of Montreal. These shocking numbers tell us that things are not good in mother church. Many people have left the church, many people only visit the church, and not enough members support the church.
We must address as well, the dwindling numbers of clergy in our churches, and we must find ways to encourage attendance AND vocations to ministry. We have failed at “recruiting” new blood for the church, and this is one issue that will be addressed in other Synod meetings this weekend. We do know from today’s charge that there are upwards of twenty new young people in the process of discernment.
We have several older members in the discernment process as I write this, who shall be ordained in the coming years. If all goes well, and the creek doesn’t run dry, I may count myself amongst those numbers, but the church would have to come to new heights. One step at a time they say…
This motion was a request to the bishop. It was not a ruling on gay marriage, but it affirms the Bishop’s ability to allow blessings of civil marriages including same sex couples. This would be a Pastoral Blessing after the civil requirements were met by the couple.
And I must say that having OUR civil ceremony in a Church witnessed by my friends and family in the University Chapel, officiated by a United Church Minister, made the ceremony no less civil, but in the eyes of God a blessed event in our lives.
I heard priests who had been priests for over 45 years talk about blessing guns and ammunition during times of war. Priests in recent years have blessed cards, dogs, cats, animals and anything else that was asked of them, SO why not be able to bless same sex couples on the most important day of their lives.
Just because we are LGBTQ people, does not mean that we take the institution of marriage any less serious than our heterosexual counterparts. I just think we will do it better than most of you, for the sole fact that for the whole of my life, and I am 40 now and I have that hindsight, we have fought for the same rights and benefits given to any straight person on the street, by rite of citizenship and of birth. There is no reason why the church should stumble on this issue any longer.
Let’s get this done, today and not a day later.
Let us look at the privilege of women in the church from the past, the church stepped up to that door on its appointed day, opened the door and walked through it and today I can count myself blessed to have a woman priest, The Reverend Canon of the Christ Church Cathedral as a spiritual director. Some men in the Anglican Church still have women in their cross-hairs. Get over it already.
The time to get over sexual orientation is at hand.
There are more pressing concerns that the church needs to face instead of quibbling over this gay or that lesbian. We are people, created by God in his image. Let’s get this out of the way here:
“So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Gen.1:27
I know that there were numerous older folk in the Synod committee who live in the past, they believe that same sex relations are nothing but sinful. That we do nothing but have sex, sex, and more sex, and that we spend our days and nights finding ways to abominate the name of God.
I can truly attest to you that my marriage is based on more than sex, but upon love, fidelity, respect, dignity, and monogamy. I married for the rest of my life or until God calls me back to his heaven. I can truthfully tell you that sex is not an issue myself or my husband sits and ponders day in and day out… We have better things to do with our time, like work with others, raise children, go to school and participate in our respective religious communities.
I’m sure that if you took sex out of the equation in considering the rights and privileges of LGBTQ people, we’d have no argument from you. We can procreate, the same way many heterosexuals procreate “creatively!” Just look at Cooper in B.C. he is 26 years old, gay and the other day was finally granted full adoption rights for his children. Let’s talk about Jonas, another blogger on my list, he is a father as well. We can be great people, just given the chance to BE.
In order to Do you must BE
In Order to BE you must DO
As the service progressed this evening the energy rose in the Cathedral. We were on a mission to pray, to consult and to talk. And talk we did, several times the commission stopped to take to task the amount of time we were taking to discuss the same sex blessing question. We would see if Montreal was ready to affirm same sex blessing, I can say tonight that Montreal was not only ready, she was willing. I stood and hugged my Reverend Canon, on a fight well fought, words well spoken, and prayers well said.
Blessing, defined as “The Sacramental expression of God’s Love in our community.” This was what we had hoped would be, and in the end it was. There is nothing more to be said about this issue for the moment. Let us bask in the wisdom of the Spirit of God and praise his holy name.
We waited on the Lord, and he heard us…
With steadfastness of heart and mind we came to him and we begged his blessing and called on his spirit to move within us. If this wasn’t the spirit of God moving through his people, I don’t know what is. The door presented itself and we knocked on it and the Lord opened the door and blessed us, that Anglican Church of Montreal.
Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ…