Loving the Sacred through Word and Image. Prayer and Meditation. A Wordpress Production

Canada – Maritimes

Lighting the Way Saturday Night …

tumblr_mgu7iqqdNR1ryd57co1_500 untiltheacropolis

Courtesy:Quotegoeshere – Untiltheacropolis

The weather outside the past few days has been less than thrilling. You never want to give an excuse for why you can’t make a meeting on any given night because we all went out of our ways to get alcohol when we drank. But with that said, we did skip a meeting on Thursday night because of frigid temperatures.

I got a text from my sponsor earlier this afternoon inquiring if I wanted to go to Dorval tonight for a meeting. A whole bunch of us decided on going. I called a friend and my sponsor called other friends and we all met at Snowden to go to Dorval.

The trains were running more or less on time, we only had to wait a few minutes on our change from the Green line to the Orange line at Lionel Groulx. We got on the Orange line going out of town and there was a cute Francophone Mormon boy on the train and he was chatting up folks in our car from one end of the car to the other, and a friend and I were seated somewhat in the middle so he stopped to chat (in French) with us. We were a stop away from our destination, and I should say that had he addressed me in English, I might have paid him a bit more attention, but French just gets a nod and wink … UGH !!!

Mormon boys on trains …

They usually travel in pairs. But our boy was traveling solo …

We finally arrived at our destination. Lots of familiar faces, from the Dorval side of town. We don’t usually see West Island folks in Downtown meetings. But we were welcomed nonetheless.

You never know what you are going to hear from the chair on any given night. Our woman had some time. And a grueling story of pain, loss and addiction. I sat there and felt truly blessed by being in the presence of a fellow traveler. It was good to get out and hear a message.

The take away for me was this …

You could say that my family of origin was dysfunctional. What do you do with four family members, all drinkers and mentally and physically abusive towards their children? For our woman, the dysfunction was so great in her life that in order to drink on her terms she had to move 1000 km’s away from her family.

Coming from small town Maritimes, where everybody knows you and the possibility of running into friends and/or family while on a drinking spree was so high, that she had to get away. The story does not get better, it got worse.

Fifteen years of drinking took its toll and she came to – had a moment of grace – and made the call that changed her life.

I’ve written ad-nauseum about my family and the myriad of things that went down and why I had to get away, make certain changes in my life and finally move 1500 km away to begin the life that I thought I deserved. And I did that in sobriety. The thing was – was that I never quite thought of family as dysfunction that I needed to get away from, but in hindsight something greater than myself was guiding me to the life I now live. It makes a whole lot of sense when you look at things from this perspective.

There is a reason we are where we are on any given moment in our lives, and if you question why you are where you are right now, it is because you were meant to be in that moment or this moment, where ever you are at this time.

Everything happens for a reason.

It was a great meeting. We all enjoyed the speaker. And we all came away with a take away for the night.

A good night was had by all.

More to come, stay tuned …


Harper: Majority win turns page on ‘uncertainty’ CBC

Courtesy: CBC.ca

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.


The Time is Now to make a difference… VOTE

Courtesy: Namesakesuffix

Let us be the generation that takes back our country, that holds our government accountable, and that shows the rest of our great nation just how important Canadians are to one another.

We can no longer afford to sit back and let our government work itself out. In order to have a powerful democracy and to maintain our status as one of the best places to live in the world, we must become involved in our democracy. The democratic system is only as powerful as the citizens who participate in it—do not make the mistake of thinking you have power as a citizen without doing that fundamental thing that demonstrates that power: voting.

Tomorrow, stand on guard for your country. Don’t continue to let other people make your decisions for you. Vote for whichever party you like or go and scratch your vote in protest, but make sure that your voice is counted.

Vote.


Canada Votes …


‘Terra incognita’: Poll projects 100 seats for surging NDP

I voted today in early voting … Orange all the way …

PATRICK BRETHOUR

VANCOUVER— Globe and Mail Update
Posted on Monday, April 25, 2011 7:47PM EDT

The NDP is rapidly outdistancing the Liberals and has whittled the Conservative lead to single digits – a level of support that would see Jack Layton win 100 seats on May 2, says the latest poll from EKOS Research.

Under that scenario, the NDP would still come in second in seat count to the Conservatives, but the support of the third-place Liberals would give Mr. Layton a working majority in the House of Commons.

“We’re in terra incognita here,” EKOS president Frank Graves said.

The EKOS poll, conducted from April 22 to April 24, gave the Conservatives 33.7-per-cent support nationally among decided and leaning voters; the NDP had 28-per-cent support; the Liberals, 23.7 per cent; the Green Party, 7.2 per cent; and the Bloc Québécois, 6.2 per cent.

If those numbers held true on election day, it would be the worst showing in the history of the Liberal Party, and the best result by far for the NDP. A seat projection using the EKOS poll indicated the Conservatives would lose seats, dropping to 131, while the NDP would garner 100 seats, more than double its previous best result; more than half of those seats would come from Quebec. The Liberal caucus would be much reduced, falling to 62 seats. And the Bloc would be a shadow of itself, with a caucus of just 14 MPs.

The EKOS poll is showing stronger levels of support for the NDP in Ontario and the Atlantic provinces than other polls, but the trend of sharply rising poll numbers for the party is consistent with other surveys. The level of support for the Conservatives is lower than other recent surveys – and the size of the Tory lead is about half of other polls.

In Quebec, the New Democrats lead with 38.7 per cent of the vote, with the Bloc far back at 25.2 per cent, while the Conservative support pegged at 14.7 per cent and the Liberals in fourth place with 13.1 per cent.

The poll of 2,783 voters is considered to be accurate within 1.8 percentage points. As with other polls, the margin of error for regional breakdowns is much higher.


STOP the Conservatives from winning … NOW !!!

 

If you live in Canada and want to end Stephen Harpers ability to form a government in any form, click the link below for your riding and get involved to make sure the Conservatives don’t win another election.

Welcome to ProjectDemocracy.ca.

Canadians don’t have an electoral system that directly reflects the ballot box.  With our ‘first-past-the-post’ electoral system, vote splitting means Canadians could end up with a majority Harper Government with as little as 35 percent of the popular vote.  This is not the outcome most Canadians want, and avoiding it requires voter knowledge and cooperation.

In the last election voteforenvironment.ca was the go-to site for nearly half a million unique visitors who clicked in time and again to determine how they could mark their ballot to get an acceptable electoral outcome.   If you were one of those 440,000 – congratulations, it worked!  On the last day that public opinion polls were available, the VFE website model showed that the Conservatives were on track to win 152 seats, but on Monday, they were elected in 143.  Our analysis shows thousands of visits to our advice regarding the candidate with the best chance to beat the Conservative in key ridings. (link here for 2008 analysis)

ProjectDemocracy.ca builds on voteforenvironment.ca.  The stakes for our environment were very high in 2008, and remain at risk.  Since then it has become even clearer that Harper is prepared to ignore the basic tenets of our democracy to keep in power and pursue his ideological agenda.  For all those who care deeply about our democracy, stopping the Harper machine is job one.

Please check your riding, sign-up and spread the word (especially to people you may know in key ridings).


The Bishop’s Man

The Bishop’s Man, written by Linden MacIntyre is a well written book. It is the story about Father Duncan MacAskill, a priest from the Maritimes.

Father Duncan is the “go-to” man for his bishop. The one who cleans up the messes that other priests create. MacIntyre’s attention to detail speaks to his being a journalist. Along with the assignments that Duncan works through, he has his own past, that spans back to the 1970’s in Honduras, and even further.

The way the book is written is very interesting. For me it was a page turner. It is not a straight forwards read, there are many threads weaving in and out at the same time, and the flow of the read depends on all these threads weaving in and out of the story. I found myself paying acute attention to his storytelling method.

Duncan is moved from place to place. His work takes him all over the globe, but never to a parish, until now. The Bishop wishes Duncan to clean up after a “situation” arises with a particular priest.

The story is about clerical abuse. A story that is ripped from the headlines of the recent past. Duncan finds himself set into a parish in Creignish. Duncan faces his past as he takes on his new parish assignment. It is too close to home for Duncan.

In having to face his past, while working in the present, many things are going on at the same time. Everybody knows each other, and secrets are kept in hidden coves and harbors. As Duncan faces his demons he becomes a victim of alcoholism, which he eventually finds himself in a detox for 40 days to clean himself up.

A scandal is brewing and Duncan’s job is to route out the guilty party and find out what really happened. That is not an easy task because of the people involved and the role that father MacAskill plays in their lives. Duncan lives on a need to know basis. And that creates heat between himself and his bishop and the other priests that he find himself friends with. This need to know problem almost costs Duncan his sanity, when the situation blows up in his face and he needs to be extricated from the situation and sent to Ontario for detox and to get away from the media storm.

We find out what abuse does to the men who perpetrate that kind of sin, the effect it has on the innocent victim’s, but the Bishop is not keen to recognize victims, he once tells Duncan that he is either with the church or against it, when Duncan is forced to choose allegiance to Holy Mother Church, a choice he does not make willingly.

Nobody escapes abuse, and I think that is a running theme in the book, from Duncan’s past and his wartime father and mother, through his life as a priest, and into the present day. Duncan has seen his fair share of abuse and he attempts to reconcile his own life in the process of trying to save the young people he meets and befriends in Creignish.

Read the book, it is well worth the time. Linden did a fantastic job of capturing all the emotion and sadness of the situations. Life in the Maritimes is much different than in the big cities, and you get a birds eye view of just what matters to small town Canada.


The Bishop's Man

The Bishop’s Man, written by Linden MacIntyre is a well written book. It is the story about Father Duncan MacAskill, a priest from the Maritimes.

Father Duncan is the “go-to” man for his bishop. The one who cleans up the messes that other priests create. MacIntyre’s attention to detail speaks to his being a journalist. Along with the assignments that Duncan works through, he has his own past, that spans back to the 1970’s in Honduras, and even further.

The way the book is written is very interesting. For me it was a page turner. It is not a straight forwards read, there are many threads weaving in and out at the same time, and the flow of the read depends on all these threads weaving in and out of the story. I found myself paying acute attention to his storytelling method.

Duncan is moved from place to place. His work takes him all over the globe, but never to a parish, until now. The Bishop wishes Duncan to clean up after a “situation” arises with a particular priest.

The story is about clerical abuse. A story that is ripped from the headlines of the recent past. Duncan finds himself set into a parish in Creignish. Duncan faces his past as he takes on his new parish assignment. It is too close to home for Duncan.

In having to face his past, while working in the present, many things are going on at the same time. Everybody knows each other, and secrets are kept in hidden coves and harbors. As Duncan faces his demons he becomes a victim of alcoholism, which he eventually finds himself in a detox for 40 days to clean himself up.

A scandal is brewing and Duncan’s job is to route out the guilty party and find out what really happened. That is not an easy task because of the people involved and the role that father MacAskill plays in their lives. Duncan lives on a need to know basis. And that creates heat between himself and his bishop and the other priests that he find himself friends with. This need to know problem almost costs Duncan his sanity, when the situation blows up in his face and he needs to be extricated from the situation and sent to Ontario for detox and to get away from the media storm.

We find out what abuse does to the men who perpetrate that kind of sin, the effect it has on the innocent victim’s, but the Bishop is not keen to recognize victims, he once tells Duncan that he is either with the church or against it, when Duncan is forced to choose allegiance to Holy Mother Church, a choice he does not make willingly.

Nobody escapes abuse, and I think that is a running theme in the book, from Duncan’s past and his wartime father and mother, through his life as a priest, and into the present day. Duncan has seen his fair share of abuse and he attempts to reconcile his own life in the process of trying to save the young people he meets and befriends in Creignish.

Read the book, it is well worth the time. Linden did a fantastic job of capturing all the emotion and sadness of the situations. Life in the Maritimes is much different than in the big cities, and you get a birds eye view of just what matters to small town Canada.


Sid the Kid Crosby and the Stanley Cup

88035039KC085_Stanley_Cup_F

DETROIT – JUNE 12: Sidney Crosby(notes) #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins celebrates with the Stanley Cup after defeating the Detroit Red Wings by a score of 2-1 to win Game Seven and the 2009 NHL Stanley Cup Finals at Joe Louis Arena on June 12, 2009 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)


Penguins clip Wings to claim Stanley Cup

88035039KC030_Stanley_Cup_F

Stanley Cup Penguins Red Wings Hockey

Stanley Cup Penguins Red Wings Hockey

88035039KC025_Stanley_Cup_F

Images: Courtesy of Getty Images and Yahoo Sports

Even without the late-game services of captain Sidney Cosby, the Pittsburgh Penguins stood tall in winning the Stanley Cup for the third time in franchise history.

Centre Maxime Talbot scored both goals, sending the Penguins to a 2-1 win over former champion Detroit Red Wings during Game 7 Friday night at Joe Louis Arena.

Pittsburgh secures the franchise’s first championship since the Mario Lemieux-led Penguins of 1991 and 1992.

The Penguins also become the first road team since the 1971 Montreal Canadiens to begin a Stanley Cup final 0-2 yet still win it all in the seventh and deciding game away from home.