Jennifer Huculak and her husband Darren Kimmel of Saskatchewan, Canada went to Hawaii for a beach vacation in October 2013. At the time, Huculak was six months pregnant. Prior to the trip, the mom-to-be received permission from her doctor and purchased travel insurance from Blue Cross, CTV News reports.
But just two days into the vacation, Huculak’s water broke. She was airlifted from Maui to a hospital in Honolulu, where she had to remain on bed rest for six weeks, The Toronto Sun reports. Huculak delivered her daughter Reece nine weeks early via emergency C-section on December 10, and the baby girl spent her first two months in the NICU.
At the end of their medical ordeal, Huculak and Kimmel were finally able to return home to Canada with their healthy baby girl. But they were also left with an astounding $950,000 medical bill that Blue Cross is still refusing cover.
“We thought we had done everything right,” Huculak told CBC. “We thought we had covered all avenues and we thought we were covered. We thought we were safe to go.”
A group of Ontario university students trying to prove that not all Canadians were Islamophobic following the shooting death of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo appear to have made their point, after one of them was attacked while pretending to harass a friend who was dressed in a traditional Muslim gown. Some of the remarks are quite thoughtful. Then one guy comes in over the top. Ouch.
Jesse Lee Peterson is one of those anti gay, pro big business Republicans ( or at least I’m guessing he’s a Republican, I’m not sure, but he’s definitely far right. )
Attempting to defend the “rights” of business owners, Jesse Lee Peterson said one of the dumbest things I’ve heard someone say trying to defend an absolute free market. As Right Wing Watch pointed out,
Last month, Jesse Lee Peterson wrote a column for WND suggesting that if anti-gay Christian business owners are going to be required to serve gay customers, they ought to do so by informing any gay customers “upfront that they would take their money and donate it to a conservative Christian law firm to fight against same-sex marriage.”
Shortly after posting that column, Peterson discussed this “solution” on his radio program and, during the course of that discussion, declared that business owners should be free to discriminate against anyone they choose. As such, Peterson said, it was wrong civil activists to launch sit-ins and protests against racially discriminatory business owners during the Civil Rights Era.
Yeah that’s why blacks in the south only did sit ins at private business because their feelings were hurt by signs that said whites only. Yeah that explains why freedom riders were willing to go to jail and risk their lives, to put an end to segregation. If Peterson actually did live in the south during Jim Crow, he must have either been too young to remember or he must have had it better than most African Americans had it. Also unlike Peterson, I hope the day comes very soon when its also illegal not to serve gay people on the grounds that they’re gay.
There’s actually a pretty good commentary about why we need anti discrimination laws that was posted on Troy Media website. Its about anti discrimination laws in Canada, but much of what it says applies to the US as well.
To understand why Canadians place such a high value on equality, we must understand the good that anti-discrimination laws seek to achieve. They are intended to protect human dignity, personal security and social inclusion. They also seek to ensure equal access to various services and material goods, without discrimination based on race, religion, sexual orientation, and the like.
Imagine that you are denied a job or an apartment because of your skin colour, ethnic origin or sexual orientation. We can all recognize that this is unfair; anti-discrimination laws are the expression of this basic realization.
Because human dignity is difficult to pin down, some people suggest that anti-discrimination law should focus only on the material harm that arises from lack of equal access to goods and services. While it may be difficult to define exactly what wounds personal dignity, we should not minimize damage to our sense of self-worth. Human experience teaches there is little that is more painful than being denied your individuality, which is what discrimination is all about.
Off course Peterson would tell you that’s not a big deal, and in the case of the gays he seems to think its a good thing that they would be denied service or employment based only on them being attracted to people of the same gender.
He probably agrees with Bryan Fischer’s nonsensical belief that private business owners being required serve gays is “slavery,” minus the “mark of the beast thing” maybe. Kyle Kulinski had a pretty good response to that, and what he said about the unfairness and unjust nature of allowing anyone to arbitrarily discriminate against anyone also applies here.
Peterson would rather see signs outside of private business that say “no coloreds” than have the day come when private business are required to take down their “no gays” signs. He would also rather have “no coloreds” signs than have the government interfere with the private sector at all. It is amazing on one level how he as a black man, who grew up in a place and a time, when anti black racism was not only tolerated but required by law, and doesn’t see how much better things are now that we are much less tolerate of people being mistreated based on their race. He would rather we live in a country, where he could be denied service anywhere, based only on the fact that he’s black. At least he’s more logically consistent than other homophobes who want us to make a special exception for their anti gay bigotry but nothing else.
Two weeks ago my wife and were standing outside on the Sparks Street mall right in the heart of downtown Ottawa. We had just had lunch with a longtime friend of mine and were enjoying the cool fall air outside. Nearby, commuters walked to and from work, tourists snapped photos and everyday citizens went about their lives.
As the three of us chatted outside the restaurant faint bagpipe music began to fill the air. Looking over my wife’s shoulder, to the National War Memorial that lay right across the street from where we were standing, I saw a bagpiper in full regalia escorting two members of the Canadian armed forces to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The tomb is guarded 24/7 and the shift changing ceremony I was watching takes place every single day.
As I took all of this in I couldn’t help but think of how much I loved my country and Ottawa in particular. Ottawa is a midsized city. Not overly confusing, overly sprawled or overly complex. I may be partial due to my long history there but I’ve visited many other cities both large and small and Ottawa has always been near the top of my list as a comfortable, peaceful place. Even more surprising as Ottawa is the seat of the Canadian government and a place of national importance to the country.
(detail of my birth certificate)
I was born in Ottawa, I was bred in Ottawa. Twenty of my Thirty three years have been spent there. I’ve lived in a variety of places but Ottawa will always be home to me.
Tonight, Ottawa is a city in pain and in grief. In close to the same spot my wife and I stood two weeks ago, a gunman killed the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. This may have been the same man I saw assuming the post that day. In addition, shots filled the Parliament buildings and sent fear racing throughout the city.
Top: An image I took on the aforementioned day two weeks ago.
Bottom: An image from the television earlier today showing the same location (evident by the lion statues and post office logos on the windows)
Of course there weren’t that many casualties but to a city and country relatively unaccustomed to major gun violence this hurts. To a country and people used to peacefully living alongside one another this is painful.
Canada is not as used to gun violence as Americans. We can’t dismiss it as easily, we can’t deal with it as easily. So while some people might think what happened in Ottawa today is a minor incident It’s far more than that. This was a shot across the peaceful bow of Canada and one we’re not liable to forgive and forget anytime soon.
We don’t know much more at this hour than we did before. Many things are uncertain right now with regards to the facts behind the incident.
But one thing is certain: Home is changed forever. Ottawa will never be the same.
And yet despite the senseless violence, despite the fear, despite the uncertainty Canadians can still come together and stand, dignified and proud, in one of our countries darker moments. There are soldiers once again guarding the Tomb of the Unknown soldier tonight.
As we stand as one, determined to stay proud and strong as a nation, the words of our national anthem ring truer than ever:
God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
Tonight and going forward, we WILL be standing on guard to protect our freedoms, our honor and our way of life. There are no terrorists alive who could ever destroy the spirit of the Canadian people.
While it’s been pretty much a given here in the US that the F-35 will be built, come hell or high water, the future of this turkey is still up in the air in the other nations which signed on the dotted line years ago. In nations like Canada, where the price tag for just a couple hundred planes is already over $25 billion, the political controversy has reached the point where support or opposition to buying the F-35 could play a part in next year’s elections.
In response, the CBC has managed to snag an interview with Pierre Sprey, one of the best experts on the difficulties of building fighters in the Pentagon. While many not be familiar with Mr. Sprey’s name, they would be with two of the aircraft he played a major part in designing, and the F-35 is intended to replace: The F-16 fighter and the A-10 attack plane. And Mr. Sprey makes clear just how much of a joke that is:
Former head of the Bank of Canada and current head of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, gave a speech in The City that challenges the received wisdom of the financial world.
He says that, “unchecked market fundamentalism can devour the social capital essential for the long-term dynamism of capitalism itself.”
I’ve long liked the man. He doesn’t treat capitalism as a religion.
When news of the Isla Vista shootings broke, myself and other Canadians no doubt began to see parallels between this incident and one of the worst mass murders in Canadian history, the Montreal Massacre of 1989:
The École Polytechnique Massacre, also known as the Montreal Massacre, occurred on December 6, 1989 at the École Polytechnique in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Twenty-five-year-old Marc Lépine, armed with a legally obtained Mini-14 and a hunting knife, shot twenty-eight people before killing himself. He began his attack by entering a classroom at the university, where he separated the male and female students. After claiming that he was “fighting feminism” and calling the women “a bunch of feminists,” he shot all nine women in the room, killing six. He then moved through corridors, the cafeteria, and another classroom, specifically targeting women to shoot. Overall, he killed fourteen women and injured ten other women and four men in just under twenty minutes before turning the gun on himself. Lépine was the son of a French-Canadian mother and an Algerian father, and had been physically abused by his father. His suicide note claimed political motives and blamed feminists for ruining his life. The note included a list of nineteen Quebec women whom Lépine considered to be feminists and apparently wished to kill.
It’s clear from the descriptions that there were similar motivations behind both attacks. There’s also a rather eerie similarity between the perpetrators: both single men, in their early 20s with similar backgrounds.
A police psychiatrist who interviewed Lépine’s family and entourage, and who had access to his letters, suggested that he may have had a serious personality disorder, as he chose the multiple homicide/suicide strategy (killing one’s self after killing others) that is a characteristic of this disorder. The psychiatrist noted “extreme narcissistic vulnerability” as shown by fantasies of power and success combined with high levels of self-criticism and difficulties dealing with rejection and failure. Feelings of powerlessness and incompetence were compensated for by a violent and grandiose imaginary life. Other psychiatrists suggested that Lépine was psychotic, having lost touch with reality as he tried to erase the memories of a brutal (and absent) father, while at the same time unconsciously identifying with a violent manhood that dominates women. Other theories were that Lépine’s experiences of abuse as a child had caused brain-damage or led him to feel victimized as he faced losses and rejections in his later life. His mother speculated that Lépine may have suffered from attachment disorder, due to the abuse and sense of abandonment he had experienced in his childhood. She also wondered whether Lépine viewed her as a feminist, and that the massacre might have been an unconscious attempt to get revenge for her neglect while she pursued her career, and for his sister’s taunts. Others take a less individualistic approach. Many feminists and governmental officials view it as an illustration of misogynist violence committed against women.
And about Eliot Rodger:
According to the Rodger family’s attorney, Rodger saw multiple therapists and was a student at Santa Barbara City College. The lawyer also claims that Rodger was diagnosed with “highly functional Asperger syndrome” as a child and was allegedly bullied. He had a YouTube account, a Facebook account, and a blog titled Elliot Rodger’s Official Blog, all of which contained posts expressing loneliness and rejection. His manifesto mentions a cocktail of drugs that he was prescribed, though how long he was being treated with them and what drugs remain unknown at this time.
I can personally relate to Lepine and Rodger to a point. In my late teens and early 20s (I was single until age 25), I dealt with rejection. I was stood up at my senior prom, I was stood up twice by the same girl in college, I was quiet, somewhat introverted and shorter than average height. I admit I was angry and frustrated because I couldn’t understand why women weren’t attracted to me.
Most guys my age had a girlfriend, didn’t I deserve one too?
Was I emotional? Yes.
Was I despondent? Yes.
Did I ever get violent? No.
I decided to live my life as who I was and let the world take me for me. Not an easy decision mind you, but the right one.
Now I don’t have Aspergers, but I do have ADD. One of the symptoms of ADD (beyond the obvious difficulty in focusing on things) is difficulty socializing. This is something I’ve struggled with greatly through my adult life. I have been making steady progress in the area, but it’s still an issue I deal with.
I do believe one of the problems is the way society portrays women. They are seen as a symbol of success along with money and power. Think of the rap videos where the star is surrounded by gold jewelry, expensive cars and a bunch of scantily clad women or the end of numerous movies where the heroic man finally gets the woman who’s been dodging his advances up to that point.
We do a fine job of presenting women as property and less fine a job of presenting them as human. No man deserves a woman just because’s he’s a man. A relationship with a woman is something that is earned, not given.
And that brings me to my next point. The murders in Montreal shook the Canadian national conscience and brought about a lot of change for my country.
The massacre galvanized the Canadian women’s movement, who see it as a symbol of violence against women. “The death of those young women would not be in vain, we promised”, Canadian feminist Judy Rebick recalled. “We would turn our mourning into organizing to put an end to male violence against women.”
In response to the killings a House of Commons Sub-Committee on the Status of Women was created. It released a report “The War against Women” in June 1991, which was not endorsed by the full standing committee. However, following its recommendations, the federal government established the Canadian Panel on Violence Against Women in August 1991. The panel issued a final report, “Changing the Landscape: Ending Violence - Achieving Equality”, in June 1993.
In addition, the violent acts also led to, guess what? Stricter gun control laws.
The massacre was a major spur for the Canadian gun control movement. One of the survivors, Heidi Rathjen, who was in one of the classrooms Lépine did not enter during the shooting, organized the Coalition for Gun Control with Wendy Cukier.Suzanne Laplante-Edward and Jim Edward, the parents of one of the victims, were also deeply involved. Their activities, along with others, led to the passage of Bill C-68, or the Firearms Act, in 1995, ushering in stricter gun control regulations. These new regulations included requirements on the training of gun owners, screening of firearm applicants, rules concerning gun and ammunition storage and the registration of all firearms.
Unfortunately, some of those tight restrictions have been successfully rolled back by the current Conservative Government in Canada:
Between 2009 and 2012 survivors of the massacre and their families publicly opposed legislative actions by Stephen Harper’s Conservative government aimed at ending the long-gun registry. A bill was narrowly defeated in September 2010, but following their 2011 majority election win, the long-gun registry was abolished by the Harper government in April 2012. The Quebec government subsequently won a temporary injunction, preventing the destruction of the province’s gun registry data, and ordering the continued registration of long guns in Quebec.
Those laws will probably be reinstated in some form after the Conservatives lose power, but the main point I am making here is that it’s clear the Isla Vista shootings will have nowhere the impact on the American people that Montreal incident did on the Canadians.
And that’s quite telling. Because it means no real change will occur. Women will continue to be objectified, guns will continue to be easily available.
Sooner or later, another Marc Lepine/Eliot Rodger/will come along and we’ll have the same conversations all over again.
With the same results.
The opposition and other leftists are quick to accuse the government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper of ignoring science and experts inside and outside of government in pursuit Conservative political objectives. They are such hypocrites.
It is many of these same leftists who refuse to accept science and expert findings when it suits them. Take the following recent examples:
The Liberal party leader Justin Trudeau raised the economic plight of Canada’s middle class to national attention without being prodded to do so.
Now—after struggling to define who it is he’s worried about—Trudeau refuses to explain himself in light of an international study that contradicts his claims.