Bittersweet Reunion

My Mom attended the reunion for the high school she taught at in the late 1950s and early 1960s, North Grenville District High School in Kemptville, and was thrilled to meet up with so many of her former students. Unfortunately, she was the only one of her contemporaries to attend which indicates that most of them are most probably deceased.
Sadly, one of her former students, someone I remember and was so hoping to meet again was not there. Apparently, he committed suicide a number of years ago. I was so sad to hear this. Jimmy had figured in a number of my childhood memories and Mom spoke so often about her high hopes for his future.
Mom did, however, meet up with so many of her former students who were pleased to see her and even more pleased that she remembered them so fondly.

Bittersweet Reunion

My Mom attended the reunion for the high school she taught at in the late 1950s and early 1960s, North Grenville District High School in Kemptville, and was thrilled to meet up with so many of her former students. Unfortunately, she was the only one of her contemporaries to attend which indicates that most of them are most probably deceased.
Sadly, one of her former students, someone I remember and was so hoping to meet again was not there. Apparently, he committed suicide a number of years ago. I was so sad to hear this. Jimmy had figured in a number of my childhood memories and Mom spoke so often about her high hopes for his future.
Mom did, however, meet up with so many of her former students who were pleased to see her and even more pleased that she remembered them so fondly.

Oh, my dear God….

“The time has come for Canada’s justice system to think about doing away with preliminary inquiries, federal Justice Minister Vic Toews said Monday.”
Sighhhhh…. Will someone point out to Vic that preliminary inquiries save the court system time and money because they help weed out cases which have no validity, allow a judge or magistrate to decide if there is enough evidence for the case to go on to a full trial, and for the defence to know the strength and details of the case to which it has to answer. Doing away with preliminary inquiries not only prevents the defense from hearing the full case against them, putting the defendant at a disadvantage, and, no matter how you cut is not “expedient”.
Contrary to Mr. Toews’ assertion that “Maybe, in very limited circumstances — [when] the Crown and defence counsel agree that there’s an issue related to the credibility of a witness — that makes sense…. But in most situations, all we’re doing is duplicating. We’re giving defence lawyers, essentially, a second kick at the cat.”, many cases have been thrown out before before the get to trial or a defendant, hearing the evidence against him/her has chosen to plead guilty in order to avoid trial. This, in fact, allows the Crown to test evidence without risking mistrial or to allow them to withdraw the charges in order to strengthen their case before running the risk of a “not quilty” verdict.
It might also be pointed out that if a preliminary enquiry “allows the defence a second kick at the cat” it does the same for the prosecution, making it advantageous for both sides.
Surely making sure you “get it right the first time” should be seen as more “expedient” than wasting time, money and effort on a case which should never have been heard in the first place or shou;ld have been significantly redrawn to ensure conviction….
I find the final statement by Mr. Toews to be very telling of his grasp of the legal system and the importance of preliminary inquiries to be particularly telling…
Toews noted that provincial attorneys-general already have the discretion to skip a preliminary hearing and proceed to direct indictment, as happened in the Air India trial.

Toews said he would like to see that trend continue.
Just a little reminder of the outcome of the Air India trial…. After 20 years of investigation and prosecution, and $130 million CAD:
March 16, 2005 – Justice Ian Josephson delivers the verdict for Ripudaman Singh Malik and Ajaib Singh Bagri: Not guilty on all counts
In his findings, Justice Josephson wrote: “I began by describing the horrific nature of these cruel acts of terrorism, acts which cry out for justice. Justice is not achieved, however, if persons are convicted on anything less than the requisite standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Despite what appear to have been the best and most earnest of efforts by the police and the Crown, the evidence has fallen markedly short of that standard.”
On February 10, 2003 Inderjit Singh Reyat plead guilty to a charge of manslaughter (for his constructing of the bomb that downed the plane) and was given a 5 year sentence.

Oh, my dear God….

“The time has come for Canada’s justice system to think about doing away with preliminary inquiries, federal Justice Minister Vic Toews said Monday.”
Sighhhhh…. Will someone point out to Vic that preliminary inquiries save the court system time and money because they help weed out cases which have no validity, allow a judge or magistrate to decide if there is enough evidence for the case to go on to a full trial, and for the defence to know the strength and details of the case to which it has to answer. Doing away with preliminary inquiries not only prevents the defense from hearing the full case against them, putting the defendant at a disadvantage, and, no matter how you cut is not “expedient”.
Contrary to Mr. Toews’ assertion that “Maybe, in very limited circumstances — [when] the Crown and defence counsel agree that there’s an issue related to the credibility of a witness — that makes sense…. But in most situations, all we’re doing is duplicating. We’re giving defence lawyers, essentially, a second kick at the cat.”, many cases have been thrown out before before the get to trial or a defendant, hearing the evidence against him/her has chosen to plead guilty in order to avoid trial. This, in fact, allows the Crown to test evidence without risking mistrial or to allow them to withdraw the charges in order to strengthen their case before running the risk of a “not quilty” verdict.
It might also be pointed out that if a preliminary enquiry “allows the defence a second kick at the cat” it does the same for the prosecution, making it advantageous for both sides.
Surely making sure you “get it right the first time” should be seen as more “expedient” than wasting time, money and effort on a case which should never have been heard in the first place or shou;ld have been significantly redrawn to ensure conviction….
I find the final statement by Mr. Toews to be very telling of his grasp of the legal system and the importance of preliminary inquiries to be particularly telling…
Toews noted that provincial attorneys-general already have the discretion to skip a preliminary hearing and proceed to direct indictment, as happened in the Air India trial.

Toews said he would like to see that trend continue.
Just a little reminder of the outcome of the Air India trial…. After 20 years of investigation and prosecution, and $130 million CAD:
March 16, 2005 – Justice Ian Josephson delivers the verdict for Ripudaman Singh Malik and Ajaib Singh Bagri: Not guilty on all counts
In his findings, Justice Josephson wrote: “I began by describing the horrific nature of these cruel acts of terrorism, acts which cry out for justice. Justice is not achieved, however, if persons are convicted on anything less than the requisite standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Despite what appear to have been the best and most earnest of efforts by the police and the Crown, the evidence has fallen markedly short of that standard.”
On February 10, 2003 Inderjit Singh Reyat plead guilty to a charge of manslaughter (for his constructing of the bomb that downed the plane) and was given a 5 year sentence.

How to be a complete idiot in several easy and fun steps!

  1. Go for a long drive one day
  2. The next day, go out to a small restaurant outside of town (in this case, Amanda’s Slip, in Kemptville, about 1/2 hour from Ottawa)
  3. Spend 2 hours eating a wonderful meal while listening to a friend playing and singing, while being waited on hand and foot by a very nice (so cute and far too young!) waiter
  4. Go to pay and discover that you appear to have left your debit card at a gas station you stopped at the day before
  5. Sheepishly ask the owner (who, luckily you know, if only as a reasonably frequent parton) if you can come back the next time they are open to pay your bill….
  6. Arrive home to find your card in the pocket of the pants you had PLANNED to wear but at the last minute changed into a skirt because the waiter is so cute, though far too young….)

My only saving grace was that I had enough change to tip the waiter, at the very least…..

Yeesh! How humiliating!

How to be a complete idiot in several easy and fun steps!

  1. Go for a long drive one day
  2. The next day, go out to a small restaurant outside of town (in this case, Amanda’s Slip, in Kemptville, about 1/2 hour from Ottawa)
  3. Spend 2 hours eating a wonderful meal while listening to a friend playing and singing, while being waited on hand and foot by a very nice (so cute and far too young!) waiter
  4. Go to pay and discover that you appear to have left your debit card at a gas station you stopped at the day before
  5. Sheepishly ask the owner (who, luckily you know, if only as a reasonably frequent parton) if you can come back the next time they are open to pay your bill….
  6. Arrive home to find your card in the pocket of the pants you had PLANNED to wear but at the last minute changed into a skirt because the waiter is so cute, though far too young….)

My only saving grace was that I had enough change to tip the waiter, at the very least…..

Yeesh! How humiliating!

Saturday Drive

Mom and I drove down to Brockville today and, on the way, I took some photos….. I am VERY pleased with how they turned out!

Log Cabin, Roger Stevens Drive

Schoolhouse, Roger Stevens Drive (this is the outhouse behind it)

Floating Heart

Tin Barn, South of Tincap

Saturday Drive

Mom and I drove down to Brockville today and, on the way, I took some photos….. I am VERY pleased with how they turned out!

Log Cabin, Roger Stevens Drive

Schoolhouse, Roger Stevens Drive (this is the outhouse behind it)

Floating Heart

Tin Barn, South of Tincap

A "new" old house….

Mom and I drove out to Winchester the other day and we passed this beautifult old house which, at the time, I took to be abandoned. I didn’t have my camera with me so I went back today and took some photos.


In fact is isn’t abandoned. The new owner was there and graciously allowed me to photograph it. She is in the process of bringing it back to its former glory…. Nice to see someone giving some love and attention to it.

No ‘rational discussion’ at AIDS conference, Clement says

Federal Health Minister, Tony Clement, is complaining that the international AIDs conference, hosted by Canada, is “in our view, was becoming a place where you couldn’t have a rational discussion. I think things were way over the top, at least from some of the so-called experts and people that like to have an opinion on these things.”
Activists, apparently, like South African AIDS expert Mark Heywood who has called for the resignation of Dr. Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, South Africa’s Health Minister for promoting the use of garlic, lemon and African potatos as “cures” and falling in line with President Thabo Mbeki who stated that he doubted that HIV caused AIDs.
Mark Heywood: “It’s not about denouncing traditional medicine, it’s about giving people the information which could save their lives.”
“Earlier this week, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who didn’t attend the conference, said the conference had become “politicized.””
NO! Really!???
When you have governments like the US refusing to fund programs which don’t promote abstinence instead of those offering REAL solutions like retro-viral drug programs or education on the use of condoms and South Africa’s backward-thinking policies, is it surprising that the issue and discussions have been “politicized”? Hardly…..
Unfortunately, the current Canadian government appears to be falling into line behind the US in its policies on such things as AIDs prevention, preferring to push abstinence instead of education which MIGHT actually save lives.
At least these “so-called experts and people that like to have an opinion on these things” have opinions that they are willing to share… unlike our respected Health Minister who seems rather reticent about sharing his own opinions.

Tony Clement, in an interview with the CBC on Canada’s “commitment” to the fight against HIV/AIDs, skirted the issues and the only thing he made crystal-clear was that he was able to talk a lot without saying much….
Carole MacNeil: Minister Clement, what is it that you want to accomplish at this AIDS conference?
Tony Clement: Canada has been at the forefront of AIDS research, and on the treatment and care and prevention of AIDS, both domestically and worldwide. Canada has invested over $800 million to date to fund HIV and AIDS. We’re doubling our money domestically and we should continue to be working with agencies and the multilateral institutions on all of those fronts. So that’s the first objective of the Government of Canada. The second objective is that this conference is a large international conference, and if we can continue to move the agenda forward, in both the research that is being done – because this is a conference of scientists and as well as activists * – and in terms of the continuing work we have to do together to collaborate on the treatment and the care and the prevention, then I think we will have achieved something.
*– “because this is a conference of scientists and as well as activists” — You will recall he seemed particularly perturbed by the presence of “so-called experts and activists”.

MacNeil: So you have those two particular goals, rather wide ranging – how will they manifest themselves specifically in terms of announcements? Or what you intend to do or announce during this conference?
Clement: Well, I obviously will make announcements when we are making announcements, but I can certainly tell you that Canada has been engaged and has been at the forefront in many differents aspects of fighting HIV and AIDS, and we will continue to be so engaged. The new government of Canada will be emphasizing that commitment with my presence, with Minister Josee Vernert’s presence as well, as Canada’s head of international development agency.
MacNeil: ….. Stephen Lewis, the special UN Envoy for AIDS to Africa has criticized the government saying, “Canada is lapsing into banalities and irrelevance to which the Canadian government seems so severely addicted.” He says, “the government has been delinquent and hypocritical because they have not set out a timetable for the funding of the 0.7% of the GNP and also because its legislation is turning out to be a lame duck.” What’s your response to that?
Clement: I mean Stephen is doing what Stephen does and what Stephen has to do. He has to be a very articulate advocate on behalf of the fight of HIV and AIDS…. *
*
Really? Which I guess lets Tony Clement off the hook in the Need-To-Be-Articulate Department. Stephen Harper, of course, chose not to attend or even speak at the conference and hasn’t actually made any statements about the issues that would have been memorable enough to be called “articulate”. And, we all know that Mr. Clement is still under the “Stephen Harper Parliamentary Cone of Silence” which requires all Conservative Members to keep mum on all issues, not to make eye-contact with the Press, and if it becomes absolutely necessary to speak, speak in tongues.

MacNeil: What do you think is essentially the problem with the legislation?
Clement: Well, I’m hearing different things about different things*, about whether the regulatory framework is the right framework, whether it provides enough prodding for things to get done. There are others who say there are different avenues for other countries who wish to gain access, to gain access. So there is a multiplicity of views as to why things can be done*, and what can be done in the future. But my point of view is that we have to get beyond that *, get the expert advice, and then if there is a problem to be fixed, that it’s within the government of Canada, because not all problems are fixable here.
* Oddly enough, you didn’t actually answer the question about wwhat YOU THOUGHT is the problem with the legislation…..

Oh dear…. Words fail me….
Who elected this dimwit and the government to which he belongs? I know I didn’t.

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