About sqedmonton

Community Developer, Actor, Director, Father, Husband, Beer Snob, Fisher of Fish, and a creaotr always thinking about the next project.

Ward 5 – The Choice

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Let’s talk about the Ward 5 race ‘cause that’s where I live, and I have a vested interest. In the ward is the incumbent, Maureen Cassidy, who has served the last term on Council as our representative for Ward 5. Running against her in the election are some people. Notably Randy Warden, who ran and lost n the last election, Charles Knott and Shane Clarke.  What has marked this election across the city, and here in Ward 5, is misinformation, sign wrecking, and anonymous attacks through websites and signs.

Sadly this seems to becoming a norm in London, and I don’t think the media pay enough attention to the trumpifying of our local elections. That said I want to talk about these candidates and who I feel should choice for Ward 5.

For a majority of candidates in Ward 5, there is little difference between the anti-BRT candidates. They oppose BRT without a lot of details. Most say we need to reconsider BRT because of cost, the need for “better” consolation, or that it won’t fit our future needs. Again their clams are light on details and strong on ten-word opinions. The problem though is that Ward 5 residents need the next ten words to understand exactly what their plans are beyond “further discussions or consultations” or “ preparing us for autonomous vehicles” that may or may not ease traffic.

The problem is with these claims, and others that include safe consumption and development is that they don’t have any credible alternatives and are so sparse on details that we could be another decade waiting for any response to growing congestion in London while they discuss and consult. We need action now, not in 2029, on our severe infrastructure and congestion issues. If you want some thoughts on BRT from some leaders with some credibility and experience, then I suggest you read our former mayors ( and outstanding past Ward 5 councillor)  Joni Baechler and Jane Bigelow here on the facts of BRT

About some of the candidates:

Randy Warden is an outstanding volunteer in our community, especially with St.Johns Ambulance and The Canada 150 celebrations. He has given a lot of his time, and his efforts to London should be applauded for this. That does not make his sparse platform and his views on serious issues affecting London very detailed. On his platform page Randy has two lines on job creation, two lines on BRT, two lines on making life easier for families, and two lines on making life easier for families. If you watch the Ward 5 debates you see the same pattern of sparse answers and hardly any details. Randy’s campaign tagline is “leadership you can trust” but it’s tough to do that when there is little substance to his campaign. Randy is a nice guy and a great community volunteer but we need leadership, and a significant part of leadership is clearly articulating a vision and plan for where we are and what we should do. Randy doesn’t do this.

Charles Knott:  I haven’t been able to find much out about Charles other than his campaign website and Linkedin profile. He’s lived in London for some time and went to The London School of Economics to complete masters degree in science. He worked for a bread company and a motor company in customer service, has created a flooring business that supplies Mixed Martial Arts( MMA) companies, and is a manager of a sports clinic. I haven’t found anything about community service or volunteering. Charles has many of the same views as Randy does, though with more words that describe essentially the same viewpoint. You can read his platform here. Again my complaint is the same as I had for Randy – lots of declarations but few details backing up his clams. Charles talks a lot about job creation, and rightly so, but anyone who has spent any time on economic development will tell you that City Councils have little control of job creation. They can create small incentives through development but Councils are severely limited by law on what they can do to attract business to a city. The industrial land development was an effective way Council did this in the last two terms. But it is also important to understand that according to LEDC ( London Economic Development Corporation), who is charged with attracting business to London, says there are 1500 jobs available right now to at great companies. Our problem is we can’t attract and retain the talent we need to fill those jobs. We have a talent attraction and training gap problem in London, not a business attraction problem. How do you attract young professionals to our city? Well, there’s a lot of research on that, and googling Richard Florida is an excellent place to start as is looking at the CityLab website.  I don’t find Charles to be a credible candidate – claims and assertions are fine, but they need facts and details to be believable.

Shane Clarke: I have a lot of time for Shane Clark as he works on issues that are close to my heart. Poverty, mental illness, addictions, and the serious crisis we have in this city when it comes to our most vulnerable fellow Londoners. Shane has only three issues on his platform. Addictions, affordable housing, and snow removal.  I really respect Shane’s commitment to working and advocating with those who are most in need of our attention and focus. Think Shane also has an outstanding character and his care for his fellow Londoners is evident in his work and his volunteering. If my first choice for Ward 5 wasn’t elected, then Shane has the humility to listen and the strength to stand up for his values and our Ward. Check out Shane here

Maureen Cassidy: Maureen has been a long time advocate and volunteer in London especially when it comes to development issues in our ward. Joni Bachelor endorsed her 4 years ago as her choice to replace her, and again this election, and I believe she has done an outstanding job advocating for our ward and major issues across our city. Fiscally she was a part of the Council team that brought in multi-year budgeting and lowered our city debt by 10%. Maureen has advocated and works on issues from poverty, to indigenous issues, to very complex development issues. Throughout she has been consistent, and I believe very effective as a Ward 5 Councillor. I have had my disagreements with Maureen on some big issues, but she has always taken the time to hear me out and at times modify her views if she thought mine were valid.  Have seen her do this with fellow Ward 5 residents as well. She is not afraid to face tough issues and never takes a position for the sake of an easy political win.  I know her to be steadfast, very competent, and above all someone whom you can trust to work for the best interests of Ward 5. Here’s another reason why I support Maureen. She has details to her platforms and facts to back them up. Unlike Randy or Charles, she has more than ten-word answers. I respect that a lot and appreciate the time and thought that went into it. Here is Maureen’s platform and importantly here is the endorsement of some people who are leaders in Ward 5 and London.  I encourage you to vote for Maureen’s re-election as our Ward 5 city councillor because she has shown courage and commitment in the face of adversity and more importantly stood up for Ward 5 while facing it.

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Shattered ( Part Two – Alone In A Crowd)

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We are labeled or we label ourselves:

Visible Minority                             Millennial                 Conservative

Women                                             Addict                        Urban                  

Man                                                 Asian                            Poor

LGBTQ                                            Conservative               Handicapped

Old White Guy                              Unemployed               Canadian

Boomer                                          Progressive                   Fat

Indigenous                                   Artist                               Middle-Class

The list of identities can go on forever. These labels give us a sense of belonging, a sense of injustice, a sense of our place in the world, a sense of what makes us different from others. Identity helps us find others like us, and because we are human, we all want to belong. We are social animals.

But these labels can, and do, move us to exclude people as much include. If I’m a low-income white male who has been told his entire life that he can work hard, go to school or get a trade, I’ll get a family, home, vacation, car, and retire comfortably. When that doesn’t happen, I can feel cheated and look for someone to blame. If I am an indigenous woman who has been told that I’m a drunk, worthless, have heard the stories of my parents taken to residential school against the will of my grandparents, had traditional land stolen and destroyed, then I can feel angry with the colonials who own everything and exclude me.

If I am an immigrant from India who worked hard to bring my family with me, who saved, and studied, struggled, and finally got to a country where I thought the opportunities were greater for my children, landed a job,  can feel proud. But then had my child comes home crying because another child called my child a terrorist while the teacher looked on and did nothing, then I justifiably feel I am not welcome and not wanted. If I am a woman who sees a man raised to highest office for life despite credible allegations of sexual assault or I make less than a man with the same job then, I will rightly feel the world is unjust and that patriarchy is an unspoken law.

Yet despite these real and justified grievances we try to work together, difficult as it is, to achieve greater goals. Government is the greatest example of this. We vote and chose the party or individual to represent our interests at the tables where laws are created, and decisions on where to spend our collective taxes are made. Education, health care, infrastructure, social services, fire and police, environment, zoning, natural resources, business, and a host of other decisions on an infinite list of areas. In principle, these are a collective effort for the collective good done within the framework of institutions.

Institutions are defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as ” An organization founded for a religious, educational, professional, or social purpose.”. So courts, governments, business associations, non-profits, foundations, universities and colleges, cooperatives, all fall into this category of institutions.

But if the institution is organized and led by someone who’s identity does not recognize mine then we have a severe crisis of belief in the goals of institutions. If they don’t recognize the inequalities in my life or my interests, then are they a credible institution? Many religious organizations felt the anger of indigenous communities for their participation in the nightmare of the residential schools. Many left-leaning individuals see the conservative parties as institutions that enrich the wealthy while encouraging a lack of tolerance. Many conservatives feel the left is spending our children inheritance at the cost of paying for wastefulness now.

Our identity clashes with the needs of the greater whole within the framework of institutions.

We often do not have the faith necessary in the leadership of these institutions to moderate our disbelief in the goals they set. So we oppose or disengage. There may be a good historical reason for this, but we have to ask what form of justice or what form of reconciliation is needed to strengthen the institutions that help individuals arrive at a collective action that strengthens, rather than divides us collectively? Is this even possible given the justifiable level of cynicism many populations around the world have? And if it is possible who is credible enough to begin this process?

I want to write “yet despite this I believe we can….” but I’m not sure I can say that right now. I am not convinced that we can come together and reconcile these differences. I friend told me  he believed the only thing that could reconcile us was an existential threat so great that it threatened the entire planet. But I’m not sure this is even the case.

Today I read in the New Yorker Magazine about a United Nations climate report saying that “Ten million more people would be exposed to permanent inundation ( flooding), and several hundred million more to “climate-related risks and susceptible to poverty.” Malaria and dengue fever will be more widespread, and crops like maize, rice, and wheat will have smaller and smaller yields—particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, and Central and South America. Security and economic growth will be that much more imperilled. “. All of this because the governments of the world could not collaborate to ensure global warming stays under 2 degrees Celsius this century, despite the global catastrophic results. The individual needs of counties could not be reconciled to the collective good of the global community.

I am sure you, as do I, find all of this heavy to think about and very depressing to dwell on yet, as I said in the previous posting, you have to understand where you are to see where can go. And where we are is complex and changes in the space of moments. Where we are is as individual effects the collective, and all this leaves the mechanism of action, our institutions, unable to meet our needs. So do our institutions need reform or do we as individuals need to reform ourselves first? I’m not sure. But we have to chose because the consequences have left us frozen in inaction in a moment of crisis.

You can read Shattered – Part One here 

In the next post I will talk about religion and business

Shattered ( Part One – The Complaint)

JAgged

I was talking with a Doctor friend of mine recently, and they said something extraordinary. My friend said that the system in which they worked was worse now that it was 30 years ago when they started practice. This lead to discussing the issues with the health system, which lead to the issues with the mental health system, which led to issues with the government, which led to issues with our province, country, & world. At the end of the conversation we were both defeated by the enormity of the issues spiderwebbing out from local to international levels. Defeated by how jagged and broken our systems seems to be.

Another friend thinks this has happened because as individuals we are so concerned with expressing our own opinions, especially on social media, that the institution that generally hold us together can no longer bear the load. There is some truth in this.

But these institutions that drew us together began failing in the 1980’s and through the 90’s – well before the advent of facebook, twitter, and the red stripe of rage that runs through them. We were losing faith when governments, religions, trade organizations, unions, and community organizations became proxies in the war of economics and capitalism, dressed in the robes of politics, that launched when President Regan, Prime Minister Thatcher, and Milton Friedman began their ascendancy. Its a war that continues today and now uses the mask of populism as a prop.

The centre has shattered and the pieces left are so sharp that we cut ourselves by trying to pick them up and fit them back together. Identity politics further shatters what was blown apart by partisan hand grenades. You cannot speak publicly without being labelled with a tag that reinforces your worldview or has you attacked.

In the midst of this we hear the plaintive calls for us to reach back to a more civil form of public discourse. This comes from those who in the past chose not to rock any boats but fought quiet battles in back halls of power.

I don’t think it is possible for us to fit the pieces back together. To rebuild faith in institutions, political parties, churches, the media, or any other organs of society. We can’t do this because we don’t care about reforming institutions as a means to moderate us as much as we care about winning or being right.

We care more about making sure we get our piece of a tax cut. The result is we will not stand up for the poor or elderly than we will act for the addict or the mentally ill or those who feel the sting of prejudice. These may be a cause to add your voice to while in the moment, but to act to change these pandemics in any meaningful way? No. We don’t want to pay that tax or risk the wrath of corporations removing jobs to pay for the mechanisms of well-being.

So the middle class shrinks rather than stand up for itself and instead we complain about property taxes or how much teachers get paid. The middle class is self-involved and self-serving with the result that it dismantlements itself while the 1% cheers. We do this to ourselves using governments we elect.

I have a bleak view of things, and I understand that it is difficult to hear or consider. But you have to admit where you are before you can make any change and “innovation” or “ efficiency” or “going back to the good old days” will not save us. We must honestly see the enormity of our dysfunction before any change can be made and then, even if we do, it’s unlikely we have the will to do anything to change it.

We are, each one of us, shattered on the aspirations of our egos. We demand and demand and demand but only for ourselves and not for others who need our voices added to theirs. The end of the middle class will not come with a bang, but as Elliot said, with a whimper.

In the next post I’ll expand this by talking about personal vs. collective actions.

Sharks

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When threatened we withdraw. We look at the world in terms of us and them. We look for someone, or a group of someones, to blame.We sense the sharks are circling. Why do we feel this way and why are we turning our backs on the world more and more?

In 2008 a crisis that hit us, our families, and our friends very personally. In months trillions of dollars were lost after banking and insurance corporations fell to the sub-prime mortgage crisis. Some very wealthy people wanted to make even more money than they had and their recklessness caused a catastrophe that resulted in millions of people losing jobs in manufacturing, construction, and threw huge numbers of our workforce into work that was temporary and precarious.

In Sierra a government refused to acknowledge the demands from it’s citizens for reform and that led to a civil war that killed hundreds of thousands of civilians and caused a tsunami of refugees that numbered in the millions. In countries on the Continent of Africa we have seen the stories of genocide, religious persecutions ,girls being abducted to serve as slaves to marauding war lords, child soldiers drugged and sent out to kill, famine on a scale that is biblical, and death in numbers that beggars the imagination. In South and Central America narco traffickers and warlords enslaved women and girls as sex slaves, killed men and boys in horrific public ways, created an economic crisis that threatened the ability of people to feed themselves and their families. And to add insult to injury when they escaped to a country that proclaims the dignity of human life to the world, their children were taken away from them in a cruel game of political advantage. We have seen acts of terrorism in places we thought we never thought we would often by people who look like the majority.

During his election campaign, and his term so far as President of he United Staes, Donald Trump has continually pointed at Mexicans, Hispanics, and Muslims as a threat. In Canada’s last federal elections The Progressive Conservative Party pointed to the threat of muslims and the need to have anonymous hot lines to call authorities and report suspicious behaviour. We see in the recent news that the Mayor of Toronto and London are complaining to the federal government about the need for more money for refugees and on facebook there are posts, by partisan organizations, that we worry more about immigrants than veterans.

This makes us feel unsafe and unsure. We’re already worried about keeping a job and putting food on the table while across the world we are seeing the largest refugee crisis since World War Two. We hear public statements by some in the media about refugees and immigrants being a threat. We see governments in the west close their borders and become more insular. And we see the heartache and strife of people fleeing death and famine used as a political football. We grow fearful, feel threatened, and turn away.

Why did a Toronto Police Officer recently say to someone if you can’t drive properly then go back to you own country. Some ask why are these people coming here? Why are they taking our jobs? Why don’t they fix their own countries? Why do we see fake stories on facebook about veterans ( or seniors in some cases) not getting the help they need yet refugees get free houses? More and more , in coffee shops, the media , and amongst some people In my own family I hear ”Why can’t they just go back to their own countries?”

Warsan Shire, in her book Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth, wrote “No one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark.” Refugees who flee to Europe, The United States, and Canada do so for a powerful reason. Survival and the hope of a life for their children and loved ones beyond the teeth of the shark.

I know things are tough and people are getting more and more worried. But if your neighbours house has burned down and they need a place to stay do you turn out the lights and pretend your not home? Ask for a credit card and payment? Of course not. So why are we acting this way when whole countries are in flames? Why are we drawing away from those in desperate need when they have never needed our help more? Why are we turning out the lights and locking the door when our niegahbours house has burned down?

Ralph Waldo Emerson  said “You cannot do a kindness too soon because you never know how soon it will be too late.” For so many across the globe it’s already too late. But for families that are seeking a life free from fear, starvation, oppression, and death we need to turn the lights back on and answer the knock at the door. Otherwise we leave them to the sharks and we’re better than that. Aren’t we?\

Ontario The Selfish

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So the morning after the night before and all I feel..…well what I feel is complicated. Ontario took the time to think it through and then choose Doug Ford and a Progressive Conservative Majority Government. I am not mad at Mr.Ford for his campaign. He took the time to judge what Ontarian’s were really about and what they really wanted and then ran a campaign that shot him to a convincing majority win. No Mr.Ford and team played this election brilliantly.

But my fellow Ontarian’s? What does this election say about us as a province? Well I think it is absolutely clear. What this election says about the majority of Ontarian’s who cast a ballot and elected Mr.Ford is that we are selfish, inward looking, and spiteful. Ontario the small minded . Ontario the indifferent. Ontario the Province of “it’s all about me!”

Ontario elected a Premiere who will hack the funding for the services for the most vulnerable amongst us. Claw back funding for the homeless, the addicted, those with a mental illness, those with a physical disability, and those in precarious work. The majority of Ontario’s would rather elect a leader and look past the very serious questions about his suitability for the Office and focus on the tax cuts, what they will get, and throwing a tantrum over the Liberals. Because in Ontario it’s all about me.

Now some might say “ we needed to do this to kick start our economy!”  Ontario’s economy s the strongest n the G7 and even stronger than California’s,. So nope – that’s a lie. “We have to help the average Ontarian that’s why we needed to elect the Conservatives! “. Well no that can’t possible be true since the majority of employment in Ontario are those who work in the service industry and are precariously employed. Mr.Ford has said he doesn’t support minimum wage increases so – thats a lie as well. Someone might say “Our taxes are too high and the average person can’t get by so we need a PC government.” Well the “average person” will see a tax decrease of $18 dollars and for that $18 your going to have to stand there and watch as Mr.Ford cuts 6 billion dollars from government services , and when that happens it’s always the most vulnerable that feel that effects . So enjoy your $18 – but that’s a lie. And there’s always the old chestnut “we have a huge deficit and we need to get our finances under control”. Well let me tell you that I have yet to find a single example of a Canadian or G7 conservative government that “got it’s finances under control”. So nope – that’s a lie.

No this election was a temper tantrum over Kathleen Wynne who was either a radical lesbian lefty or was selling our public assets down the river in a right wing power move. When Ontario had the choice they don’t go for the other progressive candidate. No, Ontario chose to be selfish and grab that $18 dollars over the needs of the most vulnerable all while stamping their feet to punish the liberals. So we are Ontario the small minded. Ontario the indifferent. Ontario the selfish.

City Council and Mental Health

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Sometimes I fail. And sometimes really good leaders fail. Sometimes. Last night I felt that way when London City Council endorsed the misinformed and misguided mental health strategy for our city. Many will say that mental health services are a very complex with many parts and many factors.  But frankly in that’s balderdash.

Let me share with you some thoughts on why I feel this way this is an issue. Some background first.

In Ontario the Provincial Government is responsible for all health care including mental health. But Adult Mental Health is fatally underfunded and Child and Youth Mental Health is so bad that 80% of children/Youth with a mental health issue never get service. The Child and Youth system is so underfunded that recently 5 local Mental Health Agencies sent an open letter to the Liberal Government saying they were afraid they would no longer be able to meet service demand unless funding increased. Unlike every other medical illness, those with a mental illness wait 6 months to 3 years for service, and is often sporadic with no continuity of care to follow people throughout their illness. In other words those with a mental illness, which in london is up 130%, are discriminated against when it comes to primary health care. The Provincial Legislature’s Select Committee on Addictions and Mental Health has said this, The Ontario Ombudsman has said this, and the Auditor general has pointed out the inequities. The last three provincial governments have fundamentally failed in their duty of care. Why? It’s not about stigma it’s that there isn’t a single ministry in charge of mental health. It is divided amongst 5 ministries with often contradictory directions. The result is that suicide is the leading non accidental cause of death in Ontario and thousands suffer with a fractured and underfunded system. The Select Committee on Addictions and Mental Health’s first, and strongest recommendation, was that mental health for all in Ontario should be focused in one ministry.

In the last 20 years I have been through so many attempts to solve the issues in mental health including system including mapping exercises, collaboration tables, system integration efforts, that I have lost count. All of these efforts have failed because at the heart of the matter that there is no one ministry responsible and mental health care is fatally underfunded. Yet our City Council has decided to go down the well-worn path of previous local and provincial efforts hoping they can recreate the wheel despite all the times this has been tried before with the same failed result.

What is equally as troubling is that Council decided to follow this tired strategy despite the absolutely failed process they used , at the cost of $80,000 for a consult, in order to arrive at their strategy. I attended one of the meetings that was open to “those with lived experience” where 7 people were in attendance. At an earlier meeting there were 12. Yet at the meeting for service providers there were 40 people attended. Why the difference? Well the City of London staff, and their consultant, sent the invitation out with 2 days notice and hosted the meetings at times that was difficultly for those with families and jobs to attend. Add to this that the advisory Committee council appointed to advise them has no one with lived experience on it. Yet Council used this minimal input, by those who have to live and survive with this broken system, in order to make an “informed” decision about what their strategy should be?

The City of London does not fund mental health nor do they have any jurisdiction when it comes mental health yet Council deals with the consequences of the mental illness epidemic in London. But rather than publicly call on the Provincial Government to create one ministry for mental health or demand that this medical illness be equitably funded they chose to create tables of conversations. The same tables that I have sat at again and again for 20 years.

I have a great deal of respect for many members of Council and agree with their work on transit, city planning, supervised injection sets, poverty , and infrastructure. This Council works hard and tires to do the right thing and is filled with good people. But in this case, despite my many meetings with The Mayor and members of Council, and my two letters to all members of Council, they chose the leaset effective path forward and dd not call for a serious correction by the provincial government to address the inequity of mental health care. No Council has ever done this. Instead we’ll have the tired formula of tables and talk with no end in sight.

I want to thank Councillors Salih, Squire, and especially Ridley ( who completely understands the mental health issues) for taking the time to understand and voting in the way they did.

The Discrimination Against Jenepher Watt

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It has been a week of pain and suffering and at the heart of it all is the simple issue of some people’s inability to accept people who are different from them. Charlottesville struck our souls  and sounded us from top to bottom. President Trumps response further amplified this and left us feeling at a loss as to how he is president. But there have been other examples this week of prejudice and the exclusion by some in power toward those who are different.

While we are distracted by events south of the border, like drivers passing by a wreck on the highway, there was an example by a professor at Queens University of prejudice toward those who are differently abled. You can read his shameful article here and the response by a thoughtful educator here. Let us also not forget that we here in London may feel removed from acts of intolerance but there is a group of bigots planning to march on our own city hall on Aug.26th. Perhaps you may want to show up and let them know that London is a city of love not hate.

And then this week we were also reminded that prejudice doesn’t just happen along racial lines, didn’t happen along educational lines, but in the case of Jenepher Watt, it was along the medical lines.. Jenepher had struggled against her mental illness and had also been an advocate for others with the same struggle. But when she tried to get help for herself not once, not twice, but three times over eleven days she was turned away each time. After the third time  Jenepher Watt took her life.

Now you may feel that this is outrageous. It is. You may feel that this should never happen. It shouldn’t. You may feel that an injustice happened. You would be right. But for Jenepher Watt the beginning, middle, and tragic end was that she was discriminated against and that discrimination led to her death.

“How can this be?” you ask. “Discrimination?” you wonder. Yes friends, discrimination.

Here is the questions you must ask yourself to consider if this was discrimination or not. If you came into the emergency room with a broken leg after falling from skiing would you be turned away and sent back into the community? If you came to the emergency room with a cut to your finger after slicing yourself while trying to make your morning bagel would you be turned away and sent back into the community? If you arrived at the emergency room in diabetic shock because you forgot to take your insulin would you be turned away and sent back into the community? If you were 75 . with a bad flu, trouble breathing, and feeling horrible would you be turned away and sent back into the community?

Yet friends Jenepher Watt, who had a serious and chronic medical condition, was turned away and sent back into the community not once , but three times over the eleven days she suffered. The only difference between Jenepher Watt’s illness and the others is that Jenepher Watt had a mental illness and because of that she was treated differently from every other illness presented over the 11 days she suffered. The result of this prejudice is her death.

The distillation of democracy is justice and the distillation of justice is compassion yet Jenepher Watt received no justice nor compassion. She was shunned because her illness couldn’t be easily seen. So her family, rightly, are suing the hospital and the system that allowed this to happen. I hope they win. I hope that this win cause changes that will never allow this to happen again because friends, I have seen this story play out many, many times in the past 15 years. I have seen children as young as 6, seniors well into their 60’s. and all kinds of people in-between  be excluded from emergency mental health care because their illness is”different”.

Now you can shake your heads and cover this crime in the soft word stigma but lets actually take some responsibility for what happened and call it what it was. Prejudice. This prejudice happens in schools, colleges and universities, workplaces, and yes even in that one place where we are taught to go when we are seriously sick. The hospital. For Jenepher Watt it is too late but for your friend, your neighbour,  your mother or father, your husband or wife, your son, and your daughter it is not too late to make sure that they never suffer what Jenepher Watt suffered. You have to call your MPP’s and MP’s and demand that this prejudice is removed from how people are cared for. This democrats action will lead to justice and this justice will be expressed in the compassion that those with this illness receive.  Jenepher Watt didn’t receive that compassion but maybe the next person with a mental illness to walk into a hospital will.