Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Forgiving my abusers - part of my healing

This poster says "To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you"

November 7, 2007

I had been contemplating for years if I should forgive my many abusers. I had been angry for years and would not give up that anger that was eating away at me. It was my baggage of despair, of
hopelessness, of shame.

I decided within the last month to forgive all my abusers - my parents, my Uncle Lyman, my former husband Fred, and many others I shall not mention.

I felt the anger and hate towards my abusers was eating at the very core of my soul. It affected my health greatly. I would overeat when I felt the feelings of anger and I ate to comfort myself
into being comfortably numb. I also used psychiatric drugs that were toxic to numb me.

I realized last month, hating my abusers was futile. It was wasting my precious energy everyday that I could be doing something useful and more meaningful.

I prayed in my heart to let the anger and hate leave me and I saw a phoenix in my mind flying from out of the ashes, the ashes of emotional pain I hung on for years. I don't want that emotional baggage weighing me down anymore. I want to live my live and be free of the anger. Anger is fear.

I want to let know of the many layers of pain I have surrounding my body which is the layers of fat that insulated me from feeling any emotional pain. I don't need to overeat and stuff down my emotions
from the pain from the past. I have suffered enough.

Today I got up and went on the internet and felt happier than I have been in my life. I felt lighter,
not holding on to past anymore.

I want to feel all my feelings without having to use food to numb them.

Just because I forgave my abusers does not mean I have to associate with those people. I have
cut them off years ago, but I had not forgiven them for many years.

Anger is a waste of time for me especially when it was something that happened many years ago.
Some of the abuse damaged me badly, but it is up to my heal, that is my job. I have done lots
of healing in the past. I have had alternative therapists, feminist therapists, sexual abuse counsellors,
social workers, regression therapist, and the list goes on.

I like to draw and am not very good at it but I try. I want to art today and have fun. I laugh more
and smile more than I ever have. When I laugh it is a deep belly laugh and I feel so much better.
Laughter is the best medicine and it costs nothing.

Forgiveness is a journey, it takes time to be able to forgive people who hurt you. Those people need to forgive themselves also.

You can't forget what happened to you. It stays with you all your life but you learn how to cope with all the trauma.

I just wanted to share that with you all.

Forgiving feels good, I feel free to be me and not have part of my soul imprisoned by anger and
rage and animosity towards my abusers.

I know my truth and my abusers know who they are.

I believe that victims and abusers both need healing. Abusers have often been hurt themselves and then they lash out at others. I am not saying what abusers do is ok, I am saying they were once
victims themselves. Abusers need to look at themselves and take stock of their lives and see
how they have hurt people and see how the long term effects of what they have done can have on their victims and their families and friends. I believe anyone can change if they want to and have the desire and realize what they have done is wrong.

The criminal justice system needs to do more healing work with people inside our prison system.
The present system does not work. Putting someone in a cage is inhumane. There needs to be
preventive measures taken when problems arise in kids, not later on when they commit the crimes.
Violence is not ok. We need to work to making our communities safer and by making our
citizens feel secure. This can only be done if everyone in the communities work together for the greater good of all.

Compassion for all goes a long way....I have come to this point in my life where I realize this.

I know this to be true.

Love is the answer.


Monday, November 5, 2007

Sue chains herself to Prime Minister's fence


Above is a picture of the former Prime Minister of Canada, Jean Chretien

Above is a picture of Rex Murphy, television commentator

The Prime Minister's residence at 24 Sussex Ave, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. In front of the house
is an iron gate where Sue chained herself.

Sue chained herself to the iron fence shown in this picture at the Prime Minister's residence at 24 Sussex Ave in Ottawa on November 21, 2000 to protest the cuts to Vocational Rehabilitation for people with disabilities like Sue.

Jane Scharf dn701 at freenet.carleton.ca
Mon Nov 27 07:28:02 EST 2000
P R E S S  R E L E A S E       FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Persons with Disabilities Shafted Again

Contact: Sue Clark: between 10:30 and 3:00 at 231-6722 or 234-7492

On Monday November 21, Sue Clark Chained herself to the gates of 24 Sussex
home of Prime Minister Chretien to protest the loss of all vocational
rehabilitation sevices for persons with disabilities. The loses are due to
withdrawal of the national standards and funding by the Liberals in 1996
when they brought in the Social Transfer Act.

Chretien defended himself about Sue Clark's accusation of no vocational
rehabilitation help for the disabled left in Canada in an interview with
Rex Murphy on Friday November 24. In the interview Chretien said we are
doing a lot of good things for the disabled with HRDC money. (This is the
first time to our knowledge that a public statement about he disabled has
been made in this election.)

Chretien said he visited a program the other day that was helping disabled
with training so they might be able to get a job someday. THEN HE SAID THEY
WERE BEING SHOWEN HOW TO MAKE SKIES AND SKI POLES. And that it warmed his
heart to see these people who are very disabled doing work. Fortunately
this will enrage the community of persons with disabilities because this is
not voc. rehab. this is WORKFARE the only so called help left. No basic or
post secondary and no real skills training. All low-end entry level work
with no remuneration. And it is very very doubtful they will ever be hired
because a) the government does not protect from discrimination any longer
and b) what call for hiring would there be in an industry that has access
to free staff doing the work on workfare.

Sue Clark says, her peers are being forced into slavery because of their
disabilities. WORKFARE is not dignified and it entrenches our
helplessness and hopelessness. Workfare is against the United Nations Human
Rights Declaration under which Canada is a signatory and in gross violation
of section 15 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms which is suppose to
protect us for discrimination. The only reason they are able to force into
workfare is because we have disabilities.

Our disability pension levels already leave us in destitution and now we
are offered workfare as our only option to disability pension instead of
education or proper skills training.

This is war against Canada's most vulnerable and I am prepared to fight if
the government is going to continue to treat us like second class citizens.
At least 10% of the population have to contend with disabilities, which is
enough of a burden without right wing bigots like Chretien, plotting our
demise in favour of big business interests.

-30-

Chretien Defence Against the Sue Clark Chaining

Jane Scharf dn701 at freenet.carleton.ca
Sun Nov 26 07:39:32 EST 2000
Dear Enlightened Electorate: Chretien defended himself about the Sue Clark's accusaton about no vocational rehabiliation help for the disabled left. Rex Murphy interviewed Chretien on Friday and Chretien said, we are doing a lot of good things for the disabled with HRDC money. (This is the first time to our knowledge that a public statement about he disabled has been made in this election.) Chretien said he visited a program the other day that was helping disabled with training so they might be able to get a job someday. THEN HE SAID THEY WERE BEING SHOWEN HOW TO MAKE SKIES AND SKI POLES. And that it warmed his heart to see these people who are very disabled doing work. Fortunately this will enrage the community of persons with disabilities because this is not voc. rehab. this is WORKFARE the only so called help left. No basic or post secondary and no real skills training. All low end entry level work with no renumeration. And it is very very doubtful they will ever be hired because a) the government does not protect from discrimination any longer and b) what call for hiring would there be in an industry that has access to free staff doing the work on workfare. Jane Scharf, Canada Action Party Candidate for Leeds and Grenville http:www.CanadianActionParty.ca

Sue's pics for videos


Saturday, October 27, 2007

Sue speeches

Carleton University, Senior Social Work Students, November 1987

Jim Albert, a professor asked me to speak at his class of social work students and I did. I was nervous but I did it anyway. I spoke about my experiences as a psychiatric patients and how psychiatry violated many of my human rights, the lack of affordable housing, and mental health in general. The class was small. I got a $35 honorarium for this from Carleton University.

Jim sent me a letter thanking me which said:

Carleton University Memorandum:

written by hand

Nov 13/87

To: Sue Clark

Dear Sue:

Thanks very much for coming into my class and sharing your experiences and your thoughts on
improving services. The students really appreciated it and said it was a very good class. Let's keep in touch. Regards.

Signed: Jim Albert

***************************************************************************
Sue's speech to the Community Services Committee, Ottawa City Hall, RMOC Headquarters
lll Lisgar St, Ottawa - Thursday, August 3, 2000

I am Sue Clark, I have been an antipoverty activist in Ottawa for the past l6 years. I am here to
speak about the homemaking services Anne Hubbert requires and also to support her. I have
known Anne for about l5 years. She has required the use of homemaking services in our region
for several years as a result of ill health. Now Anne will not be getting the required hours of
homemaking she requires to remain in her home as an independent person but will have to move
to a seniors residence at the age of 54 years old. This is an inappropriate solution for Anne.

How many more Anne's are in our region? Many more I am sure. Anne's independence is right
whether she has disabilities or not! Do we take away Anne's freedom and privacy for sake of saving dollars and creating new regulations and policies that are only feasible on paper and not for the
people they are intended for. I call this a crime against humanity. My freedom and privacy are
the only things I have that I will fight tooth and nail for. I have several disabilities as well. I have
post trauma stress disorder, a short term memory disorder caused by electroshock treatments in
1973, and severe arthritis in all my joints. Isn't a person's health the vital key for life? Without
good health, a person's quality of life goes down hill and so does their income in most cases.
You can't work effectively if your health is dependent upon numerous pills, doctors, therapists,
and the little bit of homecare there is available to an ill person.

What is the answer? I would say there should be an assessment of the whole homecare services
in our region with a focus on evaluating how effective the hours of homecare are to each client.
In other words, how did Anne lose so many homecare hours that now she is required to move into a
seniors residence as a result. The priority of the project should be maintaining a person's independence for a long as they are able to remain in their homes.

Anne has lobbied on her behalf and others for more homecare services for many years. I commend
her for her effective efforts and results. She is articulate, intelligent and focused. She is an
excellent public speaker in health issues. Why has Anne not been hired for a consulting job
with the region? Perhaps her increased income would have alleviated some of the problems we
are hearing today.

The real experts in this case are the ones who use the services not the ones who develop, plan,
and administer services. If the region hired a few people using the various services in the region,
perhaps there would be improvements made to all services.

I hope I never have to use the homemaking services in Ottawa. I probably would get very little
hours. My health is not as bad as Anne's but is getting there. With the added stress in my life,
that being an activist, living in poverty, overeating to calm my self down, getting fatter by the year
has increased my blood pressure sky high and I have diabetes type II. I eat at soup kitchen
at St. Joe's Women Centre in Ottawa everyday.

How many more health casualties will happen like Anne with all these cuts to vital services? Some of the homeless have died on our streets in front of us due to a lack of affordable housing, and how many
more have died or will die from all these health cuts? Can anyone from the committee answer this
question before it is too late? Thank you to the committee for allowing me to speak today.

Sue Clark

**************************************************************************






A family of war vets

Jim Watson


Above is a picture of Jim Watson who now an MPP for the Ontario Liberal government just re-elected
for a second term in the Dalton McGuinty Ontario government. Jim Watson was also an Ottawa
City councillor and then was voted in as the Mayor of Ottawa.

Sue tells off the Mayor of Ottawa - Jim Watson at Ottawa City Hall formerly on Sussex Ave

I walking downtown alot in Ottawa. I would see poor people mostly homeless looking into the garbage cans on the sidewalks and pulling anything out of it like half eating sandwiches, a half fixed bottle of soda and then eating the contents and walking away. This made my heart sink and I felt physically ill
seeing such poverty on the streets of Canada's capital, Ottawa, a wealthy nation.

One day I had the opportunity to speak out about homeless and poverty and I did. There was
Ottawa City Hall council meeting with the Mayor of Ottawa Jim Watson and his city councillors
at the former City Hall on Sussex Ave. The older city hall sat dormat there next to it. This
new facility was impressive. Perched next to the water it had high tech everything in it.
As you entered the main doors of this city hall at the end of the long hallway was the City Hall
Chambers were the Mayor and his councillors had meetings.

The Chamber hall was very fancy indeed. It had high raised platform where the mayor and councillor sat. It was a dark oak and it was done by a carpenter by hand. The seats for the public sloped down in the front of the this impressive oak platform. In the middle of the seating area for the public
was an electronic device where wheelchairs could be lifted and which rarely well. Kevin Kinsella
a person with disabilities and an activist was in the automatic wheelchair high tech device that
got stuck when Kevin was high in mid air. It was all very embarassing to the mayor and city councillors who saw this. The people in the public gasped outloud when they saw this. It was
very humilitating for Kevin as well.

Mayor Watson and his city councillors were having a meeting one day and I walked in and signed a sheet asking to speak on a poverty and I was granted to speak and I did.

I had a tiny tin garbage can with me and garbage bag full of garbage I had collected.
I took out my garbage can and sat it on the ledge in front of me and I opened my garbage bag and the contents smelled pretty awful for sure of the rotting contents in it. Jim Watson looked perplexed but
let me continue.

Paul Martin

Above is picture of the former Prime Minister of Canada and he was the Finance Minister for the Federal Liberal Government for years.

Sue tells off Paul Martin

I was at St. Joe's Center when one of the staff asked me to come into the office. Someone had called the drop in center from CBC and wanted to know if a person on social services would like to be on national tv to speak about poverty issues. Paul Martin the federal Finance Minister was holding his ? at the Museum of Civilization in Hull. I said I would attend. CBC paid for my taxi and I had to leave by 6:50 a.m. to get there and I did. I was up early and had on my best clothes. The taxi promptly picked me up and I was excited. Something like a prize fighter before a big match. Here was my opportunity to tell Paul Martin what I thought on national tv.

There were people all over Canada picked to be on this national broadcast. People from financial backgrounds, health backgrounds, poverty activists like myself etc.

I told one of the moderators I wanted to speak. I stood up and said my name. Paul Martin was about five feet away up on a higher level mock stage. I saw his cold blue eyes staring at me and sizing me up. Little did he know I could hold my own with the best of them and I did. I told Paul Martin
I was a person with diabilities and I was an antipoverty activist for years in Ottawa. I told him that
nothing very much was being done for persons with disabilities and there were lots of studies getting dusty in some office filing cabinet. I told him I called the Prime Minister's office for a job, then
Jean Chretien and I never got a call back. Mr. Martin acknowledged more had to be done for
persons with disabilities and was surprised the Prime Minister's office did not call me. I also told him that homelessness was a national disgrace and he agreed that it was.

A reporter from a Toronto newspaper asked me for an interview after the event and I did.

Here is the article

Ralph Klein's government


Above is a picture of Ralph Klein, the former Alberta Premier. He was notorious for his behaviour.

Sue tells off Ralph Klein at the Westin Hotel in Ottawa

I got a ticket to see Ralph Klein speak at the Westin Hotel in Ottawa and it was 40 dollars and paid for by some friends. I really appreciated that as Ihad wanted to tell of Ralph Klein off for years and I had my opportunity and I did and it was covered in the Ottawa Sun the next day.

I sat at a nice big table with a white tablecloth with people that I did not know. I wore my best clothes. that day. I looked presentable and did up my hair and put on my makeup.

Believe it or not, Ralph Klein came into the big meeting room and passed right in front of me, about a foot away. He had on a suit and wore this big cowboy hat on his head. Ralph Klein, the Premier of Alberta was walking right in front of me in living color. That sure was an experience I can tell you.

Ralph got up and introduced himself. Everyone in the room knew this man, who wouldn't?
He got up and babbled away about how his government cut costs in Alberta and how his government had a big surplus of money much he liked his job and that he was good at it. His speech went on for about half an hour non stop. This man is verbose to say the least. He laughed during his speech and made some political jokes too. He did not take himself too seriously up on stage. He was used to making lots of speeches and this was just another one.

There were about 500 of us listening to Ralph Klein.

He asked if anyone had any questions, I sure did. Boy, it felt good at last to tell Ralph what I thought and I did.

I asked him about his government buying bus tickets for people on welfare to move to British Columbia and move away from his province Alberta. He admitted his government did buy those bus tickets and he laughed.

I told him I thought that was unfair of him and he should have treated people on social services better and not cutting their welfare rates by 20 percent.

I told him I was glad I was a disability pension in Ontario and not in Alberta.

Everyone clapped after he spoke. I felt a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach knowing this man
did not care how the most vulnerable in our society were treated. I found him to be obnoxious
and insensitive. He was full of himself that day at the Westin. People nicknamed him Ralph the Knife, little wonder why!

I had a good meal, spoke to some people at my table and was happy to leave that meeting room.
When Ralph Klein walked out of the room, I knew I had done my job well that day speaking up
for people on social services. I was glad to see Ralph go.

**************************************************************************
Here are some stories that were in the news about notorious Premier of Alberta

Welfare decline misleading

By SUE BAILEY / The Canadian Press

OTTAWA - The number of welfare cases plunged to two million from 3.1 million between 1994 and 2000 as provinces cracked down and job markets picked up, Statistics Canada said Thursday.


Politicians often hail such numbers but social activists say they illustrate heartless attacks on the poor. Tighter welfare restrictions have swelled the homeless ranks and caused suffering, they say.

"The study shows that the provinces in Canada are involved in a race to the bottom," says Robert Arnold, president of the NAPO. "Each one is getting stingier with welfare payments and eligibility in an attempt to get poor people to move away." Alberta Premier Ralph Klein went so far as to buy bus tickets to British Columbia to help cut his welfare rolls.


Across Canada, social assistance use fell most dramatically for single moms, says the first report to track national rates by family type. About one-third of single mothers were on welfare in 2000, down from one-half in 1995. "Eligibility rules were tightened, especially for new entrants, benefit levels were cut, snitch lines were introduced and other rules were adopted," says the study.

It examined four family groups - singles, couples with children, couples with no children and single moms - in all provinces. Welfare recipients were defined as anyone aged 18 to 64 who declared more than $101 a year in social assistance or had a spouse who did.


Alberta consistently issued the fewest cheques to singles, with a user rate of 9.2 per cent in 2000, followed by P.E.I. at 12 per cent. At the other end of the scale, Newfoundland had the highest rate of single people on welfare, 21.4 per cent, followed by Quebec at 21 per cent.


The nasty '90s were a bad time to be poor and it's no better today, said Sue Cox, executive director of Toronto's Daily Bread Food Bank. Support was slashed across the country after 1994, she said. Cox witnessed an "extraordinary rise" in food bank use after the Ontario Conservatives under Mike Harris cut welfare benefits. Single moms were hit especially hard. "It drove them into fairly dangerous situations . . . where they and their families were at real risk as they tried to reduce the cost of housing by moving into crowded and very poor conditions."


A strong economy hasn't helped shut down services like hers, Cox said. Food banks in the greater Toronto area now serve about 175,000 people a month. "The strain on the charitable sector has been enormous, and not one that they've been able to meet for the most part."


Governments could humanely help people off welfare by not cutting them off drug benefits and other supports when they land jobs, Cox said.


John Murphy, chairman of the National Council of Welfare, says government policy has too often amounted to punishing people for being poor. His group advises Social Development Minister Ken Dryden. Better child-care and retraining services are badly needed, Murphy said.


"Provincial and territorial governments keep the rates so low with the [corporate] misconception that by squeezing people they'll get them back to work."

**************************************************************

The Loose Tongue of Ralph Klein

Updated Thu. Nov. 9 2006 7:42 PM ET

Bill Doskoch, CTV.ca News

Ralph Klein will probably go down as one of the more quotable politicians Canada has ever produced.

His predecessors as premier of Alberta and leaders of the provincial Progressive Conservative Party were the buttoned-down, MBA-educated Peter Lougheed and the amiable former quarterback and oil executive Don Getty.

Neither one ever gave a protester the finger. Ralph did it as environment minister during a 1990 meeting about a contentious pulp mill project.

One agitated protester advanced in front of Klein and flipped him the middle digit. Klein didn't miss a beat, glaring and flipping it right back at him.

"He doesn't take any guff from anybody," Don Martin, political columnist and author of the biography King Ralph, told CTV.ca about Klein. "And what was the result? His popularity went up five per cent."

The son of a professional wrestler, Klein first worked in public relations and then began an 11-year run as a popular reporter with CFCN TV in Calgary, a CTV affiliate. He shocked his friends by announcing in 1980 he would run for mayor and then shocked everyone by winning.

He then got his chance to shock the country by complaining in January 1982 about "eastern creeps and bums" driving up the crime rate in Calgary.

"That put him on the national scene, but he handled it so beautifully in terms of damage control. He went right down to eastern Canada and dealt with it," Martin said.

"So off he went, and before you know it, he's the toast of Toronto," he said. "He learned something from that, that you can talk your way out of trouble, and he did."

Here are some of Klein's choicer remarks over the years:

"I wasn't surprised that she crossed over to the Liberals. I don't think she ever did have a Conservative bone in her body. Well, maybe one.

Klein at a charity roast, talking about Tory turncoat Belinda Stronach -- who used to date Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay -- on Nov. 7, 2006.

"You get a lot of free dinners but after that you get sort of tired, especially when you quit drinking, and then it's no fun at all, so I don't know why they would want to do it."

Klein talking to reporters at the Calgary Stampede on July 10, 2006 about his potential successors.

In the same scrum, he said: "I wake up in the morning and I say, 'Why am I here?' And it's because I'm not all there!"

"I'm no doctor, but I think that Mr. McGuinty's got a case of premature speculation.

Klein in March 2006, commenting on Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty's declaration that Ontario would oppose any Alberta-style health reforms that might lead to two-tiered care.

"I ought not to have thrown the Liberal health policy at our page Jennifer, and to Jennifer, I apologize most sincerely. ... And I also apologize for referring to the document as crap, Mr. Speaker."

Klein apologizing in the Alberta legislature on March 1, 2006 after throwing a Liberal Party health policy booklet and narrowly missing a legislature page.

"They didn't look severely handicapped to me, I tell you that for sure. They both had cigarettes dangling from their mouth and cowboy hats."

Klein speaking to a Tory provincial election campaign rally in Calgary on Oct. 27, 2004. He was talking about two women who were "yipping about AISH payments," which go to Albertans who are severely handicapped.

He later followed up on that in Grande Prairie by saying: "I'm sure none of you want to talk to me about AISH. No, because you're normal -- severely normal people."

"You would have to eat 10 billion meals of brains, spinal cords, ganglia, eyeballs and tonsils."

Klein in 2005 on the risk being infected with bovine spongiform encephalitis, or mad cow disease.

"We're basically the same party, you know. Conservatives and Republicans are quite the same."

Klein speaking to reporters in Washington after a 2003 meeting with U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney.

"I guess any self-respecting rancher would have shot, shovelled and shut up, but he didn't do that."

Klein's 2003 advice to an Alberta farmer on what he should have done after finding a BSE-infected cow in his heard.

"Dinosaur farts."

Klein's 2002 offering on what might have brought on the Ice Age that killed off dinosaurs.

"I'm going to try and stay clean as long as I can, but if from time to time I have a glass of wine, don't make a mountain out of a mole hill."

Ralph Klein after an infamous December 2001 incident in which he showed up inebriated at a homeless shelter in Edmonton, berated some of the residents for not having jobs, then throwing money on the floor and leaving.

At the same newser, he said, "I'm telling you, it feels good to get up without a hangover."

"Well, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Ralph's World."

Klein addressing his supporters on March 12, 2001 after winning a landslide victory in the 2001 provincial election.

"A fine city with too many socialists and mosquitoes. At least you can spray the mosquitoes."

Klein speaking in 1990 as a Progressive Conservative MLA from Calgary.


Great instincts

While Klein frequently shot from the lip, he had great instincts about when it was time to turn on a dime and apologize, Martin said.

"I was talking to him about Peter MacKay today," Martin said on Oct. 30, referring to the federal Conservative minister accused of implying Tory-turned-Liberal MP and former girlfriend Belinda Stronach was a dog. "He said, 'Did he say it?' And I said, 'I think he said it.' And Klein said, 'Well, if he said it and didn't apologize for it, then he's not a very smart politician'."

Klein was so famous for his mea culpas that when he left Calgary's city hall to enter provincial politics in 1989, his staff gave him sweatshirt that had "I'm only human" printed on it.

"And he is. That's the interesting thing about Klein. He's not a robot like so many of the politicians today."

While those outside the province might raise their eyebrows at Klein's pronouncements, one had to understand that Albertans had a long-term relationship with Klein and realized he wasn't being malicious, Martin said.

A few too many drinks

However, even Klein can't wave off some things. His appearance at the Edmonton homeless shelter was a bottom.

Although right-wing radio talk show callers supported Klein, that incident embarrassed most other Albertans, Martin said.

"He understood that and said he couldn't just shrug his shoulders and say, 'I'm only human, I had a couple drinks.' He had to go one step further and take a public vow of abstinence."

Martin met with Klein on Monday in Calgary's St. Louis tavern, where Klein as mayor used to hold court, and was amazed to see Klein drinking coffee out of a beer glass.

"I'm going, 'that's a first for me; I've seen everything now'," he said.

Actually, Martin speculated that Klein's quitting drinking may have been partly responsible for what some saw as a decline in the premier's political acuity.

"I've always argued that Klein's social connections, his political antennae were fine-tuned by the fact that he'd go to these receptions. He'd drink with people and people liked to drink with him.

"When he started to go home at 9 p.m. to watch his favourite show on the Discovery channel, he started to lose his connection with the average person."

In the 2004 provincial election, Klein -- who's never lost an election -- saw an erosion in popular support for the first time since he entered politics, Martin said.

This spring, his party voiced its displeasure, and Klein had to vacate his 14-year hold on the party's leadership about a year before he wanted to.

However, during the interview, some guys came up and asked Klein for autographs, so that's some evidence he's still popular amongst average Albertans, Martin said.

Ultimately, however, it is time for Klein to move on. "He knows it, we know it, and we're never going to see the likes of him again," Martin said.

****************************************************************************

Friday, October 26, 2007

Mike the Knife's government



David H. Tsubouchi (Minister of Community and Social Services


SOCIAL ASSISTANCE

Mr Bob Rae (York South): I'd like to ask a question of the Minister of Community and Social Services. I'd like to ask the Minister of Community and Social Services, when was the last time he bought tuna at 69 cents a tin?

Hon David H. Tsubouchi (Minister of Community and Social Services): I guess this is a lesson on economics.

I also apologize again. I still have a touch of laryngitis.

Interjections.

Hon Mr Tsubouchi: Thank you for the sympathy.

To the leader of the third party, there are many places where you can buy tuna for 69 cents. In fact, even if it's not priced at 69 cents, quite often you can make a deal to get it for 69 cents.

Mr Rae: Since the minister is now on record as saying that he himself has gone and bought tuna for 69 cents a tin, I'm sure he'd like to tell everybody where that is.

I'd like to ask him by way of supplementary, in response to his answer, which I can honestly say I was not anticipating so I do not have a text for this, but I'd like to ask him, when was the last time he bartered for food?

Hon Mr Tsubouchi: These are very interesting questions today and I thank the leader of the third party for them.

I think the whole object here is to look and see whether or not we're looking at the rate cuts. Obviously this is what the leader of the third party is getting at. We strongly believe that we have reduced the rates to 10% above the average in the other provinces. With all due respect, I think the leader of the third party is really asking whether or not it's possible to buy food on this type of a budget.

I would be happy to share with the leader of the third party perhaps not the entire text of this but certainly afterwards I can share this with you. I had some research done to indicate how and whether or not someone who is a sole single on benefits or a single parent with a child -- we've actually provided a budget here. Someone had asked me that before, whether or not someone can budget for this. I have it here in this binder. I'd be willing to share this with the leader of the third party.

Mr Rae: I'd love to have it. I'd love to have a copy and I'd like to share it with all the working parents of this province. I'd like to share it with the women and children who are out there now. I'd like to know what you and your ministry and the cabinet think is enough to live on. I think the people of this province would like to know what that is, and I'd like to hear from them, because I trust their judgement a whole lot more than I trust yours or the cabinet's on the basis of what it takes to live in this province. Their experience is much more eloquent than your data.

By way of final supplementary, the minister's aware that under the existing way of life for people on social assistance there are 100,000 people on social assistance who are now working in the STEP program. I wonder if the minister can explain why those people who are now working -- not the ones that you've ordered to go out and get a job, not the ones that you've told should go out and get a job, the people who are now working -- why, for example, for a single person who's working, their rate has gone from $842.85 to $769.85 and why a single parent with one child who's working under the STEP program is going from $1,721.95 to $1,393.69. Why, even in the world of your own tellings, of your own truths, of your own pieties, would you be punishing who have already taken your advice and have gone out and gotten a job? Why are you punishing those people as well? You're punishing everybody in the province.

Hon Mr Tsubouchi: First of all, our government is committed to breaking the cycle of dependency and giving people the incentive to get back to work. With all due respect once again, our commitment was to make sure that people have the opportunity to earn back the difference between the old base rate and the new base rate. We're not taking about programs to enhance income, which obviously the leader of the third party is right now. So I don't have to explain this, because once again we strongly believe that by reducing the rates 10% above the average of the other provinces, not at the average of the other provinces but 10% above, certainly this is going to be sufficient.

The Speaker (Hon Allan K. McLean): Official opposition, new question.

Mr Dominic Agostino (Hamilton East): My question is for the Minister of Community and Social Services. Minister, this is a can of tuna -- it is dented -- for $1.09. If you can tell me where you can get a dented can for 69 cents, please let me know because we'll buy it. Take a close look at it -- not 69 cents, $1.09 at every store where you can get it.

The Speaker: Was that your question?

Mr Agostino: No, it's not. Minister, in the throne speech, in the House yesterday, yourself, the Premier, stated that welfare recipients could earn back the amount of money you reduced without a penalty, a clawback or a reduction. Minister, this information is inaccurate; it is dead wrong; it is a myth.

In fact, this government by its policies is punishing people on welfare who want to work. You're penalizing people who you encourage to go out and get a job and then the clawback does not allow them to earn the amount of money that you've cut from them.

Minister, you know your statements are wrong. You do not understand the system. You do not understand your own ministry regulations. How can you make changes to the act without a common understanding of what you're doing? How can such punishing changes take place when the minister does not understand the social assistance system in Ontario?

The Speaker: The question's been asked.

Mr Agostino: I ask you to admit to the House today that the information in the throne speech that you gave, that the Premier gave, was wrong. Will you commit to changing the regulations for people with jobs to earn it back?

Hon Mr Tsubouchi: It's difficult to pick a question out of all that rhetoric. But, once again, with a little bit of work the people in this province have the opportunity to earn back the difference between the old rate and the new rate. Once again, I have to say that what we have done is remove disincentives for people to get back to work. It's very important for people to get off this cycle of dependency, and this is what this is intended to do.

Mr Agostino: Again, the minister by that answer has shown us once again that he does not understand his own regulations, does not understand the comments he made yesterday. Minister, yesterday you said people can earn back the amount you cut without a penalty or a clawback clause.

The reality is, with a single person, a single parent with one child or a couple with two children, in every single case the clawback clause kicks in before the reduction so therefore they will be reduced the amount of money that they can earn before you take away from them. You allow people after the clawback to keep 25% of what they earn. Before that happens, the reduction is already greater than you have anticipated.

Minister, the information you gave is wrong. You're not addressing the question again. These misguided and uninformed decisions are causing the hardship, the pain and the chaos in Ontario today. What province do we live in? What irrational decisions is the government going to make today?

Again I ask you, Minister, can you clarify your statements of yesterday, where you stated that the clawback clause you have in your regulations to allow people to earn back what you have deducted from them -- because the facts do not bear that out. Change your regulations and make consistent what you and the Premier have said in the House.

1440

Mrs Elinor Caplan (Oriole): Just say yes.

Interjection: Who's asking you the question?

Hon Mr Tsubouchi: Yes, is this the second question?

I will say this to the honourable member for Hamilton East: We are prepared to ensure that there is the flexibility in the system to make sure that everybody can earn back the difference without clawback. This is an assurance I will give to the member.

Secondly, I just want to repeat the message one more --

Mrs Caplan: Repeat that.

Hon Mr Tsubouchi: Would you like me to repeat that? Is that what you said? I will ensure that there is the flexibility there. We've had individual circumstances brought up prior to this date in the House. I've also asked that if these circumstances are brought to my attention, we will deal with them. I will give this House the assurance that everybody will be able to earn back, without clawback, the difference between the old rate and the new rate.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

ODSP

ODSP has called me many names and put me down but I say "Who says I want to fit in?"

The Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) as it is officially called but I call it
"The Ontario Deprivation Starvation Pension"

I have been on the ODSP since 1984 making this my 23 year living on a meagre pension from my
Ontario government. We had to wait 11 years for an increase. Last year in 2006 we got 2%, wow what a raise eh, give me a break! and then next month in November 2007 we are going to be
getting another 2% increase monthly on our cheques, roughly $20. more a month. With the hydro rates having gone up, food costs rising, rents going up and the list goes on. We need to have
an income to be at the cost of living every year and it is not. I am living 50 below the poverty line.

*************************************

ODSP has called me many things on my huge file. Here is what they have called me:

Jeanne Roemdeau, a VRS Intake Counsellor called me the following in her report about me
dated April 6, 1988 - File No. 101010

very loquacious woman

extremely assertive and be very demanding of her rights

************************************

Wendy Riley, my VRS worker called me in one report dated July 12, 1995, a report to her
supervisor Anne Amys, Memo #3 File No. 307-101010

flamboyant person

colorful dresser

a non-conformist

quite unique

strong willed

radical,

strong in her viewpoint

Her approach is one of anti-psychiatry.

**************************************

Wendy Riley wrote another report about me on June 22, 1988 Intake Memo #1, file no. 101010

She presents as a verbose and somewhat of an eccentric individual in that she wears a number of
anti-psychiatry buttons on her clothing and relates in a hyperactive way (rapid speech, extraneous
information and wondering off topic). However, she has obvious intellectual ability, seems
motivated to engage in the rehabilitatin process and has has a variety of past work experience.

**************************************

I called my friend Jane Scharf and told her I was called "eccentric" by Wendy Riley and Jane told me that is a compliment, it means I am one of a kind, there is no one quite like me and she sure is right.

It is ironic that the Ontario government doles out pennies to us each month and they got a 25% fat
increase on their cheques. The Ottawa City Hall councillors got a big increase go on their cheques
as well as the federal member of parliament, it makes me sick. The most vulnerable people in our
society who are disabled get a raise of mere peanuts in relation to their big pay hikes. Shame on
these governments for being hogs when it comes to their paycheques.

The ODSP office in Ottawa has been nasty and cruel to me at times. I like to shake the tree so to speak and I got a good licking in them in some respects. If you bite the hand that feeds you sometimes they will bite you back and they have.

Here are some of the nasty things they have done to me. I applied for ODSP in the fall of 1984 after
my former husband John Clark and I have been on Welfare for about 6 months. I had asked my
welfare worker if there was pension for people like me who had a psychiatric background and I had bad nerves and found it hard to go back to work. My welfare worker who worked at the Welfare
office at 495 Richmond Road in Ottawa, told me there was no such pension. I believed her and did not investigate for myself and I should have. Don't believe what the worker says, check it out for yourself with someone higher if you gut feeling tells you differently. I learned a good lesson from that is all I can tell you.

A friend of mine Lise had a cousin who was visiting her at her apartment in the South end of Ottawa.
It was the summer of 1984 and John Clark and I had gone to visit Lise and her boyfriend.
Her cousin and I were talking about social services. I told Lise's cousin that my welfare worker
told me there was no disability pension and her cousin told me that was a lie. The cousin was
on ODSP and the office was at 10 Rideau Street in Ottawa located next to the Rideau Center.
I got the phone number from the cousin.

Boy was I angry at hearing that news. John had lost his job at the Ottawa Civic Hospital for no good reason a long story that I will tell in his bio in this book. See the section called "John Larry Clark".
We had to pay the rent and the phone and we ate well but had no extras at all. We could not
buy a coffee outside at all. We counted and pinched every penny. We did it.

I called Ms. Quinn of ODSP and told her the story. I told her that if John Clark and I were not
on ODSP in one month, we would call a lawyer. She believed me. She asked me for the welfare
worker's name and in a about a week we got our first ODSP and it was susbtantially higher than
a welfare cheque, not much more, but enough to buy a coffee and maybe see one movie if we
were lucky.

We lived at 57 Bayswater Ave in a one bedroom apartment. The apartment was too small for us.

About a year later, Sarah Burell an ODSP worker, other known as an Income Maintenance Officer came to see me and John Clark. She filled out an ODSP form. It was "Special Report to Medical Advisory Board" dated October 18, 1985. The form had my name on it: Sue Clark, 103-57 Bayswater Ave, Ottawa. Reference file no. 371312. Local office no. 211. Caseload no. 138

Here is some of what was on the form filled out by Sarah Burell.

Question 2 asked: "Present activity or daily manner of living - Note particularly what activities
of work the applicant/recipient is able or accustomed to do at home or elsewhere each day"

Answer: Sarah Burell wrote the following "Day hospital, 3 days a week, housework, read, does
some writing, member of Star Trek Club

Question 4 asekd: Income Maintenance Officer's observations on applicant/recipient:

Answser: a. appearance: Obese

b. obvious disabilities: Nerves

c. Mental alertness: "scatter-brained", repetitive

d. Posture: Normal e. Gait: Slow

f. Behaviour: friendly, highly repetitive g. Distress: anxious, nervous
rocks in chair while talking

Physician Address Treatment/Medication

Dr. Pecher Monfort psychiatrist
Dr. Bajwa 356 Woodroffe, Suite 106 psychiatrist
Dr. Vlahoivch St. Anne Clinic general practice
Dr. Rabie - has replaced Dr. Vlahovich

Record of applicant's/recipient's hospitalizations/attendance at clinics for the past five years:

Hospital/Clinic DATE
From To

Monfort - for nerves Aug 26/85 Sept 26/85
Ottawa General - overdose Sept 29/84 Oct 15/84
Queenseay Carleton 1981 for one month

Section III - Applicant's Education, Training and Employment:

Education: College, Algonquin, secretarial

Occupational History

Secretary May 75 to Oct 78

Clerical June 79 to Aug 80

REMARKS:

Cecile Cyr is a nurse at the Montfort Hospital (Day Hospital) adminsters most of her medication/.

LI Carbonate (Carbolith) 300 mg - 6 caps a day
Thioridanize 25 mg 4 a day
Thioridanzine 10 mg

Sarah Burell signed her name and dated the form which was October 18/85

Calling me "scattered brained" crossed the line I think.

**********************************

VRS - Vocational Rehabilitation Services:

ODSP has a section called VRS which stands for Vocational Rehabilitation Services. At one time, the Ontario government would send a person with disabilities to University or College to get their degree and pay for all of the education costs, books, transportation etc. The Mike Harris government took that all way with Bill - Social Assistance Reform.











Wednesday, September 12, 2007

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Sue healing survivial and healing techniques

Above is a picture taken by Sue's husband Steven Wittenberg in Ottawa in September 2007

Sue has many techniques and tools she used in order to heal from her past.

RELAXATION:

When Sue is either feeling hungry, angry, lonely or tired like in the 12 step program HALT, Sue
will take a day to relax. Sue does the following:

- takes a long hot shower or bath
- shut the land line phone off and cell phone off for the day
- stays indoors that day if you need to
- makes a nice breakfast with all the trimmings, make a healthy lunch and supper and order out
or go out for your meals
- plays nice soft music that you like
- don' t read the newspaper or listen to the news - most of the news can be negative
- call a friend who will listen to her and not judge her
- write in a journal all of her feelings whether good or bad
- write a letter to someone she is angry with an not send it and then tear it up
- draw some pictures, do a pastel or oil painting, or use crayons and color in a regualr coloring book
- do a puzzle
- play solitaire
- wash her body and hair with some nice smelling body lotion
- don't put make up on that day
- wear pj's all day
- read some magazines
- read a good book
- make some tea
- cut out pictures from a magazine and make a collage
- write a poem
- go onto the computer and play some fun games
- know that today will pass and tomorrow will be better
- lay down on the couch and do nothing but watch tv - put on some game shows or put on a funny movie
- call the distress centers if you have to and pour out all your troubles to them
- make supper for a friend and keep it low key, something easy to make or order out
- go for a long walk and take a camera and take pictures of the flowers, the birds and the scenery
- make a scrapbook of anything
- make a list of all the good things you have done
- make a list of all the good qualities about yourself
- make a list of gratitude for the things you are thankful for
- cry if you want to and tears are a healing tool in themselves, left it all hang out
- cry with a friend and they will have a shoulder for you to cry on, a safe place to fall
- go on a picnic by yourself and bring your favourite foods
- go shopping and buy yourself something nice - special for you
- mark down the 5 funniest things that ever happened to you
- calling someone and telling them you love them
- hugging someone you love and telling them how much they mean to you and why
- putting on some music and singing along, you don't have to be a great singer, but sing for fun
- looking outside the window and watching the cars and people go by
- write down a dream you have, something you want to have or do in life, write a story about it
- start a "forgiveness" journal of those you want to forgive. Write what the person did you to you, how it made you feel and why you want to forgive them - releasing the anger will be a weight off your shoulders and make you feel better
- don't like your job, write down jobs you would like to do, what makes you happiest when you are doing it or around it.
- take a ride in a hot air balloon
- go the local fair and have fun
- go to an art museum and stuy the pictures and read up on the picture's history, take a tour of a museum in town
- get your hair fixed up at the hair salon - its feels good to have someone take care of your hair
- go to your favourite restaurant and bring a friend
- put on some music and start dancing - dancing will make your feel great and energized
- take your pet out for a long walk

Know you are unique and one of a kind in this world. There is no one like you. You are special.

************************************************************************************
When someone dies...

Sue has lost friends in the past. Here are Sue's suggestions on what worked for her:

- crying is ok and let out all your feelings. If you are in public sometimes the tears will flow and you can't help it, if someone asks what is wrong, just say someone passed away. Don't be embarrassed.
People will understand.

- call your friends and family for support.

- don't isolate yourself. If you are feeling down and depressed for a long period of time tell people.

- visit your friends and family and invite them over too

- go to a bereavement group in your area. There are one to one sessions and also group sessions.
Sharing with others who have gone through the same thing will not make you feel like you are the only going through this

- take time to relax, easier said than done

- it will take time but the healing can begin from all the sadness when someone dies. We will never forget them but the pain of losing them does lessen as time goes by and it is bearable afterwards
Emotional pain is hard to put in words sometimes, if someone asks how you are doing, just say you are having a rough time. If someone wants to talk about the person who passed away and it is too
painful for you just tell them that you don't want to talk about it that day maybe another day.

- get a counsellor at the local community center to talk things over if you want to - a social worker

- surround yourself with people who are safe and good to you







Algonquin Heron Park Campus 74-75

Above is a picture of right to left: Sue and her friend from College, Cathy Lewis from Chipman,
New Brunswick.

Sue attends Algonqiun Heron Park Campus in Ottawa from 1974-75.

I got my secretarial degree from Heron Park Campus which was part of Algonquin College in 1975.
I had 10 months of fun at this campus.

I was living with Fred Wegner my future first huband to be. I lived at 370 Forest Street with Fred and his two teenage boys Manfred and Walter. I went to the Unemployment Department on Slater Ave at the time and asked to see a counsellor. I wanted to go to school and get a bursuary. I asked the woman counsellor who sat in front of me what type of courses were available. I told her I was let
out of the Brockville Psychiatric Hospital the year before and I needed to continue my education.
I had a grade 12 diploma from Champlain High School in 1972.

The counsellor quirmed when I told her I was a former psychiatric patient. She rolled her eyes a few times. She told me about the Heron Park Campus Secretarial course. She told me I had been out of school for two years. I told her so what. I was 19 years old and I needed to get a degree of some kind to get a job. I fought to get into my secretarial course. I only was given 16 weeks for a secretarial
refresher course. I said ok and took the course and took my chances at furthering my education.
I had nothing to lose.

I took the bus from my apartment building next door to Carling Ave and went to Heron and Bank and got off. The campus was behind the Canadian Tire on Heron Rd. I was taking psychiatric medication
at the time and I felt sleepy. I sometimes would miss my stop and the bus driver would have to yell
"Sue, you missed your bus stop, don't forget your lunch and briefcase". I had forgotten my briefcase a few times before and my lunch. I had the same nice bus driver most of the time on the route to school.

The school was large. As you came into the entrance, the office was to the right and the cafeteria was
in the middle of the school. I has a locker at the back of the school. There were new students entering the secretarial program every week. I met my friend Cathie Lewis at college. She was l8 years old and tall and thin and pretty. Cathie was from Chipman, New Brunswick. I told Cathie I was living with an older man 23 years my senior. She thought that was odd.

Cathie and I got along famously. We would sit and talk at lunch time and laugh about everything under the sun. Cathie had a carefree relaxed attitude about everything. We would chum around after school. I took my brother Chris to visit Cathie who was living at the Ottawa YMCA in a room.
Chris liked Cathie as a person and thought she was nice.

Cathie told me one day about the rock group Steppenwolf was coming to Ottawa. I bought tickets for my brother and I. Cathie came along to the landsdowne civic center in Ottawa to see the group.
I was naive about street drugs for sure. Never took them before. On the floor in front of the stage
were lots of people. A young man came by and he opened up his jacket and had lots of pills attached to the inside of his jacket. I yelled over to Cathie 'Hey Cathie, this man is showing me lots of pills" I waved my hands to where the man was. Someone said to me "are you for real?"
Cathie yelled for me to shut up. She came over to me and pulled me aside and said never do that.
I asked her why. She told me that man was a drug dealer and it was illegal for him to sell those drugs and that there were Narks around. I asked what was a nark. She said a nark was an undercover
officer who looks for drug dealers. I turned ten shades of red from embarrassment. I led a sheltered life so to speak in some ways.

We all sat in front on the stage close to the amplifiers which is not a good thing to do. My ears were bussing for a few days, I almost went deaf I would say. Steppenwolf played lots of good music.
We got up and danced and so lots of the crowd. Cathie took drugs sometimes as most young people did. She gave me a capsule of mescaline, some type of street drug. Never took street drugs before and that would be the last experience for me. I sure could hear the music real well and everything
was real nice and peaceful to me. The drug was beginning to work. It affected my co-ordination somewhat too. It was one hell of a concert, one to never forget. Those rock'n'rollers had their act down to the wire, they knew how to put on a spectacular show and they did. They pleased the crowd for sure. There was a thunder of applause after the concert was done for Steppenwolf. The song "born to be wild" was played by the band that night, my favorite song.

We all left and it was took a long time to leave the landsdowne civic center there were so many people
We got on the buses and went down to Carling Ave. I almost got hit by a city bus when I thought
the bus farther away than it was. My perception of distance was hindered by the drug.

The next day at Algonquin, I had to sign into my class on a piece of paper. I signed my name 15 times and the teacher asked me if there was anything wrong with me and I told him I was tired and didn't sleep that well and he looked at me as though he didn't believe my excuse. I did not elaborate with him. I never took any street drug until much later on. I tired Marijuana once when I was married to Fred. I choked on the joint and that was enough of that drug for me.

Fred and I had a fight in our apartment on Forest Street. He threw me onto our bed roughly. I told Cathie this and she told me to leave Fred but I did not listen to Cathie, something I would regret later on. Fred would apologize and make up it up to me and it was like a honeymoon period for a while
and he would get violent towards me again.

Fred was drinking heavily. His sons were attending high school. I told Fred I thought I may be pregnant and he said not to worry, one more kid would be no problem. I was not pregnant, my period was just late.

I was only given a 16 week course. I had forgotten the shorthand I had taken earlier in high school
as a result of the electroshocks I had. I had to fight with Mr. Younghusband about getting more
weeks added to my course and I got it. I had to do a song and dance practically. I was in college for 10 months rather than 16 weeks. It was a year in my life I shall never forget

I had to take Business Math. It was a 4 week course and after 4 weeks I was still in class and I
could not learn very quickly. I was frustrated. I was put in another Math class with a teacher who
taught alternative teaching in the USA. He told me I learnt by someone showing me the data on the board not by the book. I was a visual learner. I took the math course and got a B average. The teacher told me I could do anything if I put my mind to it and I have.

One day I was at my locker between classes. A guy who a locker beside me had a plastic bag over his mouth and he was breathing into it. I ran away and I was confused and not sure what he was doing.
My friend Cathie told me "he is sniffing glue, stupid". I did feel stupid.

The comedy group of McLean and McLean showed up at our campus and their off color jokes had us all in stitches with laughter. They wowed the crowd for sure. We had so much fun.

One day my typing teacher an older woman was in a snarly mood and liked to pick on me. This one morning she looked down at my hands on the keyboard as asked why I looked down at the keyboard when I was typing and this was my answer "That is my style, that is me". Some of my peers in the class laughed.

I saw some painters painting the hallways and I felt very ill and nauseous. I realized I am very allergic to fresh paint and so I left the school that day. I had a headache and vomited. I stay away now from
places that have been freshly painted.

After class one day, my professor who was a black man and very handsome asked me out for a drink.
I declined. I told him I was living with my boyfriend. He was ok with it. He used to dress really
nice and wore flashy clothes and had a sports car.

I went to the doctor in the Spring of 75. I had a nasty cough you could hear half a block away. My
family doctor told me I had whooping cough and it was contagious. I went to the office at the campus
and told them I had to take a week or two off sick leave. They told me to get going quickly after I told them what I had was contagious - the cough. I was off for two weeks and I would have to catch up in my homework. I did.

I would play jokes on the teachers. One of them was this - new students would enter a class and it would end at 10 to the hour. 40 minutes after the hour, 10 minutes before class was finished, I would
yell, class is over for the day, thank you students. The teachers did not find this funny but some of
my classmates did.

The students at Heron Park Campus were all different ages. It was interesting to talk to many of my peers. I learned alot about different cultures and heritages.

The head of Algonquin College came to see us. He was a nice man who had encouraging words for us.

I had to go one week work experience and I chose the Secretarial Program Section at the Woodroffe
Campus. I was the head of the department's secretary for one week. She was a nice lady and the staff treated me well. I used a selectric typewriter, one that had a key to erase a mistake. It had
a white ribbon with the black ribbon.

The head of the department told me her husband had some type of shell fish and had a terrible reaction and almost died in hospital. I had never heard of allergies like this before.

My stepson Manfred gave me a nice wallet for my birthday in April. I put my purse under my desk.
for a few minutes as I went to another office at the opposite side of the campus. In my purse I had
lots of bus tickets, 20 dollars and all my I.D. My wallet was stolen and I had to ask a secretary for some bus tickets to get home. It was the last day of my work experience.

I graduated in May 1975 from the college and I had had good marks. My brother Chris attended the small ceremony and I was so proud of myself. I got a nice certificate "Secretarial Sciene" Each graduate was given a flower along with their certificate.

I called the federal government and got a typing test to do. I passed the test with flying colors.
I was asked to go into the Surgeon General's Branch part of National Defence (DND). I was two weeks after I graduated and I had my first real job. I had to sign some papers for the RCMP to check my background and they did, I got a secret clearance.

My boss was Major J.P.D. Robinson or "Robbie" as some people called him.


Sunday, September 9, 2007

Valerie G.


I met Valerie when she called my group "The Ottawa Advocates for Psychiatric Patients" (OAPP)
Valerie and I became fast friends. Her father was a doctor in Montreal. Valerie was a nice woman.
Valerie was Jewish. I told her my first boyfriend was Jewish and that his name was Marvin H. and he was from Toronto.

I told her I was engaged to him but when he told me he had had one sexual encounter with a man in his past I dropped him like a ton of bricks. Marvin got suicidal because I broke off our engagement. I wanted to marry a man who was straight and not bisexual. I still loved Marvin but thought if I married him that he might turn to other men for pleasure and I did not want that. Marvin wanted me to move to Toronto and I said no. Marvin wanted the engagement ring back. It was an engagement ring he gave that was his ex's. I said no and sold it to a jeweller many years later for 20 dollars, I needed the money. The ring was beautiful. It had a diamond in the middle surrounded by many small diamonds. I think Marvin should have bought me a new rings and not his ex's.

Marvin was a good person and nice. I wished I could have married Marvin but I did not want that.
Marvin is a private math teacher in Toronto.

Valerie was a nice person. She liked men and had lots of boyfriend on the go. She was in her 30s, she was beautiful and men liked her too. She loved men. She had a pretty face and a nice body. She had a nice personality too. She was a bubbly type of person. We had fun when we got together. We laughed a lot. A man from Sweden was using her and I told her. Igmar kept her hanging on.

Dustin met Valerie in Ottawa on a nature walk. They clicked as friends right away. Dustin invited
Valerie over to his apartment. Valerie sat down on the couch and took out a condom and said to
Dustin "you're so cute and handsome, let's do it" and handed the condom to Dustin. Dustin took the condom and blew it up into a balloon. Valerie looked devastated but got Dustin's point. Dustin
wanted no part in having sex with Valerie. Dustin was too much of a gentleman to take advantage of Valerie. Dustin has class. Valerie and Dustin remained friends. Dustin took no offence to
Valerie advances towards him. Valerie told Dustin "Sue is pretty, why don't you go out with her"
He did.

One day I went to visit Valerie at her apartment on Somerset Street near Bank Street. She had a small bachelor apartment. On her kitchen table she had a box opened that had condoms. I asked her if she made all her men put on the condoms and she said sometimes she asked them to, others times she did not ask them to. I told her she knew AIDS and STDs were around and she should practice safe sex. I told her to tell her men "No glove, no love". I didn't want anything to happen to Valerie. I was like a big sister to her. She was not offended and she said I gave her good advice. I never judged Valerie about all her men. It was her life style, not mine.

I remember having a Chinese meal with her at a restaurant. It was a real experience. Valerie was very knowledgeable about everything. She was smart. She used to work as secretary at a Montreal University. We talked for hours. With Valerie you got lost in her conversation and you never released how much time had passed by. Valerie was very entertaining. Her sweet qualities and
her awareness about everything around her wanted you to stay longer with her and listen to her more.
She was capturing to say the least. I liked spending time with Valerie. You never forgot the time you spent with Valerie. Valerie was unique and one of a kind.

Valerie respected me. Valerie had a child like quality about her. She was very refreshing and bright. She was a joy to be around. She was kind and sweet. She had this tremendous laughter that was contagious. When Valerie laughed, everyone around her started to laugh. She looked at the world as if everything was new to her and she was seeing everything around her for the first time. Valerie loved life and she lived to the fullest extent of it. I admired Valerie at her zest for life. Valerie was always on the go, out and about you could say.

Valerie told her father that she wanted to go to Paris to find a man to fall in love with. Her father thought Valerie was losing it so to speak so he went to the court house in Ottawa and had his daughter committed into the local loony bin for 72 hours. Nothing was wrong with Valerie the doctors told her dad and they let her go after her 72 hours were up. Her father must have been a very controlling man.
If Valerie had gone to Paris she probably would have met a man and fell in love and then left him shortly after to return to Canada, all she probably wanted was a fling...

Valerie just wanted to travel and be romanced by the beautiful city of lights, Paris. I have had the same dream from time to time. I am sitting at a small cafe late at night and a handsome French man comes over to me and speaks to me in a Parisian accent and asks if he can sit down and I say yes. He buys me a glass of wine and that is the start of a very romantic evening. Valerie's idea about a trip to Paris was harmless and so were her dreams of getting a man in Paris.... who wouldn't want to visit this great city and fall in love....everyone has dreams and I believe this keeps up our spirit and passion alive...

Valerie left Ottawa and then moved back to Montreal. I miss Valerie. I miss her laughter, her honesty, and her carefree spirit.... Valerie was one of a kind...a special person....

Valerie was a woman who did what she wanted and didn't care what people thought about her...
I liked that quality about her...she was her own person and the world was her pallet to paint on...

Where ever you are Valerie, I wish you much joy and happiness...