#BlogsCanada.ca
"The Pulse of Canada "


 
 

untitled
Allan's Perspective

Honey Boo Boo and Uncle Poodle!

Posted November 4, 2014 by Allan W Janssen

Dear Readers: In a world-wide exclusive, the Naked News Department and the Perspective Research team has learned from TMZ that Honey Boo Boo is about to have a safe, stable home free of all convicted child molesters … …., or so vows Uncle Poodle, who says he’ll file for custody if things get bad at […]

Full Story »

 
Canada

Watch This: Canadian Tire Bring Holiday Cheer To Children’s Hospitals

Posted December 10, 2014 by Sonya

December always warms my heart. Ever since I was little, Christmas has been something to look forward to. Family traditions of gingerbread houses, decorating trees and wondering what to leave out for Santa are always a must. But seeing all […]

Full Story »

 
Art

How One Painting Gave Back In A Huge Way

Posted December 3, 2014 by Loukia

Last Monday was a very special day for my family and I. My mother’s painting, Honouring My Father, was unveiled in Mayor Jim Watson’s boardroom at City Hall, where it will be on display next to original paintings by The Group of Seven. The painting will be seen by school groups, ambassadors and dignitaries who visit with the mayor at City Hall. An enhanced print will also be on display in City Hall for everyone to see. The best part is how much this painting has already given back to fallen soldier Nathan Cirillo’s son, Marcus.

The paining was made after the tragic shooting at the War Memorial because like everyone that day, my mom was distraught at the news that a young man—a brave soldier—was tragically shot, especially because this man was a single dad, raising his young five year old son, Marcus. It was an incredibly sad day for Ottawa. 

News of the painting travelled far and wide, and my mom received hundreds of emails, likes, requests, suggestions, and messages, about the painting and the media quickly interviewed her in articles online, in print, and on television. The Mayor requested to meet with my mom to find a way to make this painting public, for all to see.

Prints were quickly made, and hundreds sold instantly, though Koyman Galleries. Prints are still being sold daily, and the best part is that all profits from every single print sold are going to Marcus’s TD trust fund. 

Over the weekend, my mom and I met with Cpl. Nathan Cirillo’s mom at Chateau Laurier and had a tea, along with Nathan’s good friend, Brandon, who was also with him the day he was tragically shot. It was an emotional meeting. We hugged a few times, cried, and even laughed, despite the circumstances. My mom presented her with the first enhanced print and she said the painting will be hung in Marcus’s room.

“We’ll neve obviously replace his dad, but certainly through these financial contributions, we can make sure that he is given those breaks in life to go to college or university and to help him as he grows up without a father,” said Mayor Jim Watson during the unveiling. 

I truly love how much one painting has given back in such a huge way, and I love that something good has come out of such a tragedy. My boys were so proud of their grandmother! Giving back and finding a positive way to remember the good is so important.

Full Story »

 
Entertainment

Fun Things To Do Over The Holidays As A Family

Posted December 31, 2014 by Sonya

The kids are off of school for a couple of weeks. I came to the realization yesterday that, oh yeah, they’re home with me! My daily routine of sitting at the computer with a bottomless cappuccino is not their idea […]

Full Story »

asshole trophy
Allan's Perspective

B.C. teacher suspended for prank!

Posted September 25, 2014 by Allan W Janssen

We have a brand new “Asshole of the Day” for ya, folks. A Langley, B.C., teacher has been suspended over a homophobic prank he played on a Grade 11 student in class last year. Daniel Mark Ogloff is a metal fabrication and machining teacher at Aldergrove Community Secondary School. On Sept. 24, 2013, Ogloff wrote […]

Full Story »

JELSK9MCVUQ0FQ7C-rsz320x212-cp0x26x320x186
Allan's Perspective

And a banana for your monkey!

Posted December 22, 2014 by Allan W Janssen

A woman with a small baby gets on an airplane and sits beside a guy who is very drunk. The drunk looks over and says: “Jesus Christ lady, that’s the ugliest kid I ever saw!” The woman, who is outraged, calls the Stewardess and starts to loudly complain. The Stewardess, attempting to calm the situation, […]

Full Story »

 
General

Celebrity Chefs And What They Feed Their Own Kids

Posted November 3, 2014 by Sonya

Hanging out at the amazing Delicious Food Show in Toronto recently was definitely a fun time and good thing I went hungry! The morning media breakfast created by the amazing chef Rob Gentile and Buca Restaurant not only tantalized our […]

Full Story »

 
Canada

What’s the real story? Jian Ghomeshi gets fired from CBC (Developing)

Posted October 26, 2014 by Jes

What’s going on with Jian Ghomeshi? That was the question across the country this morning when CBC announced that they had parted ways with the popular host of “The Q”.

Earlier this month Jian’s father passed away and on Friday Ghomeshi told his audience that he was taking some ‘much needed personal time’ away from the show…one would assume it was because of his family, but maybe not.

This morning CBC dropped the bomb – Jian was done.

“The CBC is saddened to announce its relationship with Jian Ghomeshi has come to an end. This decision was not made without serious deliberation and careful consideration. Jian has made an immense contribution to the CBC and we wish him well…Information came to our attention recently that in CBC’s judgment precludes us from continuing our relationship with Jian…Whenever a decision is made to end a relationship with an employee, terms of separation are never disclosed.”

This was all from a statement made by CBC on Sunday morning.

It was clear that Jian got fired from the show, but what did he do? Must have been something major for the network to fire him. Besides Peter Mansbridge (Mansbridge Nation represent), Jian is arguably one of the most popular people in the CBC family.

The Internet went crazy with speculation as to why. Most of the things I read leaned towards it being a sexual issue. Abuse, harassment…just being a creepy to multiple woman.

Jesse Brown, an online media critic also tweeted, “What I have learned about @jianghomeshi after months of investigation will be reported responsibly as soon as possible. Patience please.”

There was only speculation. Did he get fired? What did he do?

Then a release came out stating that Ghomeshi was suing CBC for $50 million in damages and that he would like to be reinstated.

 OK, so he got fired, but what for?

Later in the afternoon Jian released a post on Facebook that claimed he had been dismissed from the CBC after coming forward with information to his superiors that he had a kinky, consentual sex life with an ex girlfriend. And that’s why they fired him.

“I’ve been fired from the CBC because of the risk of my private sex life being made public as a result of a campaign of false allegations pursued by a jilted ex girlfriend and a freelance writer.” (Read the full statement after the jump).

The Internet went crazy once again. It seems the post (which was made after Ghomeshi hired a PR firm to assist in his crisis, which makes one assume that he posted it with their council) had done its job.

“Jian got fired for being kinky? Really? In 2014?” was one of many tweets made in defense of the host.

The “report” from Jesse Brown has yet to come out, and there has yet to be any word from the other side of what the full accusation is. I suggest we all put down the gasoline and step way from the CBC until we hear the other side. There’s always another one.

More to come…

From Jian Gomeshi’s Facebook page:

Dear everyone,

I am writing today because I want you to be the first to know some news.

This has been the hardest time of my life. I am reeling from the loss of my father. I am in deep personal pain and worried about my mom. And now my world has been rocked by so much more.

Today, I was fired from the CBC.

For almost 8 years I have been the host of a show I co-created on CBC called Q. It has been my pride and joy. My fantastic team on Q are super-talented and have helped build something beautiful.

I have always operated on the principle of doing my best to maintain a dignity and a commitment to openness and truth, both on and off the air. I have conducted major interviews, supported Canadian talent, and spoken out loudly in my audio essays about ideas, issues, and my love for this country. All of that is available for anyone to hear or watch. I have known, of course, that not everyone always agrees with my opinions or my style, but I’ve never been anything but honest. I have doggedly defended the CBC and embraced public broadcasting. This is a brand I’ve been honoured to help grow.

All this has now changed.

Today I was fired from the company where I’ve been working for almost 14 years – stripped from my show, barred from the building and separated from my colleagues. I was given the choice to walk away quietly and to publicly suggest that this was my decision. But I am not going to do that. Because that would be untrue. Because I’ve been fired. And because I’ve done nothing wrong.

I’ve been fired from the CBC because of the risk of my private sex life being made public as a result of a campaign of false allegations pursued by a jilted ex girlfriend and a freelance writer.

As friends and family of mine, you are owed the truth.

I have commenced legal proceedings against the CBC, what’s important to me is that you know what happened and why.

Forgive me if what follows may be shocking to some.

I have always been interested in a variety of activities in the bedroom but I only participate in sexual practices that are mutually agreed upon, consensual, and exciting for both partners.

About two years ago I started seeing a woman in her late 20s. Our relationship was affectionate, casual and passionate. We saw each other on and off over the period of a year and began engaging in adventurous forms of sex that included role-play, dominance and submission. We discussed our interests at length before engaging in rough sex (forms of BDSM). We talked about using safe words and regularly checked in with each other about our comfort levels. She encouraged our role-play and often was the initiator. We joked about our relations being like a mild form of Fifty Shades of Grey or a story from Lynn Coady’s Giller-Prize winning book last year. I don’t wish to get into any more detail because it is truly not anyone’s business what two consenting adults do. I have never discussed my private life before. Sexual preferences are a human right.

Despite a strong connection between us it became clear to me that our on-and-off dating was unlikely to grow into a larger relationship and I ended things in the beginning of this year. She was upset by this and sent me messages indicating her disappointment that I would not commit to more, and her anger that I was seeing others.

After this, in the early spring there began a campaign of harassment, vengeance and demonization against me that would lead to months of anxiety.

It came to light that a woman had begun anonymously reaching out to people that I had dated (via Facebook) to tell them she had been a victim of abusive relations with me. In other words, someone was reframing what had been an ongoing consensual relationship as something nefarious. I learned – through one of my friends who got in contact with this person – that someone had rifled through my phone on one occasion and taken down the names of any woman I had seemed to have been dating in recent years. This person had begun methodically contacting them to try to build a story against me. Increasingly, female friends and ex-girlfriends of mine told me about these attempts to smear me.

Someone also began colluding with a freelance writer who was known not to be a fan of mine and, together, they set out to try to find corroborators to build a case to defame me. She found some sympathetic ears by painting herself as a victim and turned this into a campaign. The writer boldly started contacting my friends, acquaintances and even work colleagues – all of whom came to me to tell me this was happening and all of whom recognized it as a trumped up way to attack me and undermine my reputation. Everyone contacted would ask the same question, if I had engaged in non-consensual behavior why was the place to address this the media?

The writer tried to peddle the story and, at one point, a major Canadian media publication did due diligence but never printed a story. One assumes they recognized these attempts to recast my sexual behaviour were fabrications. Still, the spectre of mud being flung onto the Internet where online outrage can demonize someone before facts can refute false allegations has been what I’ve had to live with.

And this leads us to today and this moment. I’ve lived with the threat that this stuff would be thrown out there to defame me. And I would sue. But it would do the reputational damage to me it was intended to do (the ex has even tried to contact me to say that she now wishes to refute any of these categorically untrue allegations). But with me bringing it to light, in the coming days you will prospectively hear about how I engage in all kinds of unsavoury aggressive acts in the bedroom. And the implication may be made that this happens non-consensually. And that will be a lie. But it will be salacious gossip in a world driven by a hunger for “scandal”. And there will be those who choose to believe it and to hate me or to laugh at me. And there will be an attempt to pile on. And there will be the claim that there are a few women involved (those who colluded with my ex) in an attempt to show a “pattern of behaviour”. And it will be based in lies but damage will be done. But I am telling you this story in the hopes that the truth will, finally, conquer all.

I have been open with the CBC about this since these categorically untrue allegations ramped up. I have never believed it was anyone’s business what I do in my private affairs but I wanted my bosses to be aware that this attempt to smear me was out there. CBC has been part of the team of friends and lawyers assembled to deal with this for months. On Thursday I voluntarily showed evidence that everything I have done has been consensual. I did this in good faith and because I know, as I have always known, that I have nothing to hide. This when the CBC decided to fire me.

CBC execs confirmed that the information provided showed that there was consent. In fact, they later said to me and my team that there is no question in their minds that there has always been consent. They said they’re not concerned about the legal side. But then they said that this type of sexual behavior was unbecoming of a prominent host on the CBC. They said that I was being dismissed for “the risk of the perception that may come from a story that could come out.” To recap, I am being fired in my prime from the show I love and built and threw myself into for years because of what I do in my private life.

Let me be the first to say that my tastes in the bedroom may not be palatable to some folks. They may be strange, enticing, weird, normal, or outright offensive to others. We all have our secret life. But that is my private life. That is my personal life. And no one, and certainly no employer, should have dominion over what people do consensually in their private life.

And so, with no formal allegations, no formal complaints, no complaints, not one, to the HR department at the CBC (they told us they’d done a thorough check and were satisfied), and no charges, I have lost my job based on a campaign of vengeance. Two weeks after the death of my beautiful father I have been fired from the CBC because of what I do in my private life.

I have loved the CBC. The Q team are the best group of people in the land. My colleagues and producers and on-air talent at the CBC are unparalleled in being some of the best in the business. I have always tried to be a good soldier and do a good job for my country. I am still in shock. But I am telling this story to you so the truth is heard. And to bring an end to the nightmare.

Full Story »

drama5
Allan's Perspective

Sunday Morning Funnies #2213

Posted November 23, 2014 by Allan W Janssen

The Male Cycle: When I was 13, I hoped that one day I would have a girlfriend with big tits. When I was 16, I got a girlfriend with big tits, but there was no passion, so I decided I needed a passionate girl with zest for life. In college I dated a passionate girl, […]

Full Story »

 
General

If Not Now, Then When?

Posted April 9, 2014 by The Pedgehog

Today it was announced in Fredericton that the Morgentaler Clinic will be shutting its doors after 20 years. From the press release:

The Morgentaler Clinic is closing for the following reasons:
Many women are unable to pay for their abortions. As a result, the clinic revenue has never met expenses. Shortfalls were made up by Dr. Morgentaler personally.  In the past ten years the clinic has contributed over $105,400 to subsidize abortions for women unable to pay the full amount.
The 2008 flood caused damage to the clinic totalling more than $100,000.  Many downtown businesses received some compensation but the clinic was denied any because it was not owned by a resident of New Brunswick.  Had Dr. Morgentaler not paid for the required repairs to keep the clinic open, the clinic would have closed in 2008.
The clinic cannot continue to provide abortion services that are not publically funded.

As a former employee of the clinic, I can vouch for all three of these reasons. Every week I made appointments for women who didn’t have any of the money to pay, or only had part of it. Of course we tried as much as possible to help direct them to funds, and we even sometimes tried payment plans, although of course this was a futile effort. I’m actually surprised the amount subsidized was not more than $105,400.
After the 2008 flood we spent hours in the basement of the clinic, trying to rescue as many patient files as possible, and using a borrowed ShopVac to frantically bail out the water. The city was compensating businesses affected by the flood; I was there when the government employee charged with inspecting the damage pulled up to our building, and, upon learning what kind of business it was, got back into his car and drove away without conducting the inspection. 
A clinic like this could never continue unfunded in a province like New Brunswick, and anyone who believed it could was dreaming. I think the provincial government may feel a sense of relief upon hearing the news of the clinic closing, but what they don’t recognize is that this will only hurt the province – socially and economically – in the long term. 
The silver lining is that the clinic’s closure may be the impetus needed to finally push the province into action. We must strike when the iron is hot; it is time for the people of New Brunswick to organize. In the wake of this news I would love to see two things:
1. Some kind of referral/support network for providing folks seeking abortion with the immediate care they need, just like in the bad old days when abortion was illegal. There needs to be a network where people can go and find out: sympathetic referral doctors; doctors who will provide medical abortions (when RU486 becomes available); funds to travel out of province for abortions; and people who can help with transportation and accommodations in that regard. It is important that people who need abortions continue to be able to access them.
2. Grassroots, hardcore protest action. Not standing outside the clinic with candles, because why would any legislator give a shit? I mean identifying specific targets and taking actual, stand-up-and-take-notice action. Set up a tent on the lawn of the Legislature and start providing abortions in it. Hang bloody coat hangers on the mailboxes of anti-choice MLAs. Abortion caravan that shit, chain yourselves to seats in the Legislature. They won’t listen to reason, so get radical. Lives are at stake.
I hope that New Brunswick finds the energy and the spirit to fight back. If not now, then when?
Full Story »

 
General

What To See At The Interior Design Show #IDS15

Posted January 16, 2015 by Sonya

Spring is just around the corner, I promise! But while we wait, you’ll can check out the Interior Design Show, January 22-25, 2015 at the Metro Convention Centre. Under one massive roof you’ll discover the latest in home design trends, […]

Full Story »

 
Canada

CBC’s Schitt’s Creek premieres – ALL OF THE LEVYS

Posted January 14, 2015 by Jes

My Canadian television dreams have come true. As we all know, I am obsessed with the Levys – OBSESSED. When Dan and Eugene are photographed together I die. When you put the two of them and Catherine O’Hara in a TV show I basically…just…how am I bre…

Full Story »

 
Canada

NEB: Rubber-stamping pipelines and boasting about it

Posted December 10, 2014 by Boris

Hostile to the public interest. Conservative Party agent. Oil sector agent. In league with Satan. Pick your description, either the formerly respectable National Energy Board, which you pay for, will not help you understand and possibly object to an oi…

Full Story »

 
General

How’s the Weather eh?

Posted January 22, 2014 by Marguerite

Canadians are often accused of talking incessantly about the weather.  But when it changes so often and so drastically how can we not? In early December we had storm after storm which left us several feet deep in that white stuff they call snow.It…

Full Story »

 
Christmas

Donny & Marie Bring Christmas Fun To Toronto

Posted December 11, 2014 by Sonya

I know what your thinking. Donny and Marie Osmond? Yes, remember them? I certainly do! They are in Toronto with their annual Christmas Show bringing everything they’ve got. They’re here until December 21st playing at the Princess of Wales Theatre […]

Full Story »

1067863-Clipart-Flasher-Man-From-Behind-Royalty-Free-Vector-Illustration
Allan's Perspective

Got your underwear in a knot?

Posted October 1, 2014 by Allan W Janssen

Folks, we get a lot of really weird shit sent to us here on this site, but this has to be one of the funniest and strangest things I have ever seen! Someone was flogging caffeine infused underwear to help you lose weight! Let me repeat that! Someone was selling underwear dipped in coffee, and […]

Full Story »

images
Allan's Perspective

Yorkville

Posted December 17, 2014 by Allan W Janssen

Dear Readers: This might not be of interest to anyone not of a certain age and from Toronto, but since I practically grew up on this street it held a lot of memories for me! Posted by Chris Bateman / December 17, 2014 No neighbourhood in Toronto has undergone a more seismic aesthetic and ideological […]

Full Story »

 
General

Looking For Gluten Free? GF Garage MarketPlace Pop Up’s Got You Covered

Posted October 30, 2014 by Sonya

The gluten free marketplace has grown dramatically recently and we’re seeing more children with gluten sensitivities. But gluten-free is often associated with bland, dry and tasteless offerings. But things are changing. There’s a definitely wave of products in the marketplace […]

Full Story »

 
Canada

5 Beautiful Ways To Support Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Posted October 9, 2014 by Sonya

Many of us have been affected by Breast Cancer in some way. Whether it’s a family member, friend or even ourselves, we are aware and have been touched by this illness. October is a month where we raise awareness and […]

Full Story »

untitled
Allan's Perspective

Let’s get things into perspective here! # 6634

Posted November 26, 2014 by Allan W Janssen

I think it’s time for me to put my two cents worth in again, and damn the opposition! OR! As our motto says: “Let’s get things back into perspective here!” First we take you to Ferguson, where things are hopping, and guns are popping’! As any regular reader of this blog knows, your humble reporter […]

Full Story »

 
General

Someone Notices a Problem

Posted August 28, 2013 by The Pedgehog

Check out this article on abortion access in Canada on VICE, of all places, with a nifty chart (below)! They’re not totally clear on the New Brunswick situation in terms of hospital provision vs. clinic provision, and I wish they’d gone more in depth w…

Full Story »

 
Entertainment

BOOM! A Generation of Influence

Posted January 27, 2015 by Sonya

Why should we take a look at the past? Well, it helps us understand where we are today. Most of us weren’t even born in the “baby boomer” generation but we certainly are aware of it, hopefully? For me, it’s […]

Full Story »

 
Activism

Science World Ignores Climate Science

Posted January 15, 2015 by Stephen Elliott-Buckley

Well, why would you support something called Science World when it participates in a program to brainwash students into supporting the liquid natural gas industry, despite the science indicating how harmful it is to the world. Climate change deniers deny science. The BC government pretends to care about climate change but is roaring ahead with … Continue reading Science World Ignores Climate Science

Full Story »

 
Canada

Best New Christmas Songs of 2014 (VIDEOS)

Posted December 12, 2014 by Jes

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The middle of December, when you are still in the Christmas spirit and not yet wanting to off yourself due to the never ending Christmas carols.I mean, I don’t know how one could ever get sick of Mariah Carey’s…

Full Story »

 
General

The Longest Winter Ever

Posted March 15, 2014 by Marguerite

I wouldn’t be surprised if you thought I had simply given up and run away.  I have been seriously thinking about that.  Packing up my bags and heading somewhere tropical where there is no work, no school and no snow.Scenes like this are no lo…

Full Story »

 
Entertainment

Jersey Boys Brings Iconic Tunes To Stage

Posted December 22, 2014 by Sonya

I’m up early on a Saturday morning searching iTunes for Frankie Valli tunes after seeing the musical Jersey Boys the evening before. I didn’t grow up in that era. My mom did and remembers the songs fondly. But they all […]

Full Story »

afhykjsdiubtw4oa1m8s
Allan's Perspective

How to get smart!

Posted October 2, 2014 by Allan W Janssen

We’ve all heard the phrase “knowledge is power.” The more knowledge you can acquire, the more power and ability you have to take on life’s problems. The problem, though, isn’t how much knowledge is out there, but how curious you are and how willing you are to go get it. Curiosity may have killed the […]

Full Story »

 
Canada

UKIP’s quips

Posted December 20, 2014 by Boris

Ah, I believe we’re a familiar with this sort of problem with our ReformatoryCons, who are basically now required to think only in verbatim PMO talking points.

Nigel Farage is cracking down on Ukip supporters’ social media activity
after a series …

Full Story »

 
Entertainment

Heart Of Robin Hood Is Action-Packed Fun!

Posted January 19, 2015 by Sonya

Everything about the classic tale of  Robin Hood is turned upside-down in the new exhilirating theatre production, Heart of Robin Hood, now on stage at the Royal Alexandra Theatre (Toronto) until March 1st. Yes, Robin Hood (Gabriel Ebert) and his […]

Full Story »

untitled
Allan's Perspective

The Sun doesn’t always shine!

Posted November 19, 2014 by Allan W Janssen

Folks, let me tell you a little bit about Sun News. First of all, the Sun News TV network is not on basic cable because the left wing media and government have managed to keep it relegated to the hinterland of cable TV by making it the only news network you have to pay extra […]

Full Story »

Project1
Allan's Perspective

Saturday Morning Confusion About Trees!

Posted November 22, 2014 by Allan W Janssen

“I think that I shall never see, a poem as lovely as a tree!” That’s a poem by Joyce Kilmer, but this is actually a story about Christine Montgomery and Andy Beaton! The ballad of Chris and Andy! You see, Chris is an amateur Poet who put a small box on the tree in front […]

Full Story »

 
General

Another Roadblock for Abortion in New Brunswick

Posted May 28, 2013 by The Pedgehog

Bad news in New Brunswick: remember way back in 2008, when an anonymous doctor filed a complaint with the NB Human Rights Commission about how the abortion policy in New Brunswick discriminated against her female patients? Apparently the HRC handed tha…

Full Story »

 
General

Fuck. This.

Posted January 25, 2014 by The Pedgehog

So I just read the This Magazine cover story “No Choice: Why the pro-choice movement won’t let women grieve after abortion” and…well. I have thoughts.

First of all, in the interests of full disclosure, I was interviewed by the author, Rebecca Melnyk, at the start of her research for this article or what I imagine would become this article. Never have I been happier to avoid being quoted; I can’t imagine being associated with this mess. When Melnyk reached out to me she identified herself first and foremost as strongly pro-choice. She probably still does. I’m sure she didn’t choose the title of the article. But holy hell, what is going on here?

It seems to me that the premise is that both “sides” of the abortion “debate” only offer post-abortive people counselling in a politicized environment with some kind of agenda, and that the pro-choice side is routinely dismissive of the range of feelings someone might have after having an abortion. At no point does Melnyk quote a pro-choicer who backs up this assertion; on the contrary, every pro-choice person she mentions points out that folks feel any of a variety of different emotions after abortion and that they should have access to counselling:

That same month, on a warm afternoon in Toronto Miriam McDonald, an editor at the Marxist newspaper Spartacist Canada, struts up and down a hallway at the Ontario Institute of Secondary Education at an International Women’s day rally. “Abortion is just a medical procedure like getting a wart off, except it’s all politicized,” she says. “A woman’s capacity to control her fertility opens the doors to full equality. That’s why it’s … stigmatized.” Another woman standing next to her in a baseball cap, handing out newspapers, says post-abortive women need counselling, not to overcome negative feelings related to abortion, but rather, to cope with society’s stigma and culture of shame.

And:

Some women may need counselling services before or after they have an abortion, says Joyce Arthur, executive director of the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada (ARCC). She does not believe, however, that PAS is real. “It’s like the anti-choice movement works in its own bubble,” she says, “making up it’s own science and ignoring mainstream evidence and consensus.” The result, she adds, is confusion—public misinformation that scares women considering abortion. In Arthur’s mind, the act of abortion continues to be blamed for the source of trauma when, in reality, the unwanted pregnancy is often what’s truly traumatic. It’s not to say women don’t experience negative effects, she adds, just that it’s more complex than the anti-abortion activists portray.

And:

Over in Vancouver, Everywoman’s Health Centre is an abortion clinic that provides free, non-judgmental counselling services and resources like the book, Peace After Abortion. Erin Mullan, who’s been a counsellor for over 20 years, works there. “When it comes to abortion, nothing is in the range of normal,” she says. “A woman’s culture, her religion or history, could all inform how she’ll feel.” For the small number of women she refers out to other counsellors who offer long-term support, abortion is not the main cause of negative feelings, but rather, “it opens a door of pain.” That door can reveal bad relationships, abuse, or mental depression. Mullan points out that coercion—if a woman’s been forced to have an abortion—accounts for one third of the problems she treats. “It can sit unfinished, inside of her for years,” she says, “if she wasn’t given the space to make choices.” At this clinic, the acknowledgment that abortion can be intimately connected to negative feelings serves no greater purpose than a woman’s well-being.

And then Melnyk goes on to describe how many other abortion clinics across the country offer both pre- and post-abortion counselling, usually for free, along with referrals for follow-up counselling with specialists. At no point in the article is there any indication that pro-choicers “won’t let women grieve after abortion”.

My feeling is that the thrust of the article, the point that Melnyk is trying to make is that the options for counselling after an abortion are either shaming, Christian, anti-abortion drivel or militant pro-choice propaganda, that there is no option for folks just looking for non-judgemental counselling. Which is a load of bullshit not even borne out by her research. Yes there is a lack of accessible post-abortion therapy because there is a lack of accessible any therapy – ask any low income person with a mental health issue how easy it is to get in to see a counsellor. But the idea of a lack of non-judgemental post-abortion counselling is especially heinous when the article itself talks about the many clinics that offer it. “Pro-choice” IS “non-judgemental” – no abortion clinic counsellor worth their salt is going to judge you for feeling guilt or regret after your abortion. That’s what counselling is about. That’s why it makes a difference that the counsellors in abortion clinics are trained specifically in non-judgemental pre- and post-abortive counselling and the people in “crisis pregnancy centres” are just random volunteers trained only in making people feel like shit – like they have something to “repent” for – because they had an abortion.

There is a disturbing amount of false equivalence being thrown around in this article.

It just really pisses me off because pro-choice organizations in this country – including abortion clinics, sexual health centres, and organizations like ARCC, NAF, Canadians for Choice, and CFSH, among others – deliberately provide listings of non-judgemental counselling options on request, and often go to great lengths to ensure that people find the care they need regardless of pregnancy outcome. All of these organizations are explicit about not favouring any pregnancy outcome over others, and the number one concern is getting folks the care they want and need in the safest and most accessible way possible.

There is no neutral on abortion, really there isn’t. Not the way it’s framed right now. Either you believe it shouldn’t be allowed, or you believe it should. There is no magical third party who are the only people who can provide non-judgemental counselling. If you believe people have the right to choose how to handle an unwanted pregnancy – if you are pro-choice – then that belief extends to how people feel after their abortion. Anyone providing actual non-judgemental counselling is pro-choice by definition.

I think Melnyk knows this, but I don’t know how to explain this mess of an article. I think she is (rightfully) concerned for folks – like her – who have had abortions and haven’t received the support that they need. And that is legitimate. But the solution there has to be more support and funding for pro-choice, sex-positive, woman-positive counselling services; fighting against abortion stigma; advocating for reproductive and sexual health services in underserved areas – not bizarre magazine articles attacking the pro-choice movement for imagined slights, for not “letting” women grieve. Women can do what they damn well please – isn’t that the whole point?

***

ETA: A great take-down of the article at DAMMIT JANET! by fern hill.

Full Story »

 
Canada

Saskboy’s Abandoned Stuff: CSEC Back In The News

Posted January 28, 2015 by John Klein

Here’s an interesting bit of the process the NSA and partners are going about tracking your online activities so they can link everything you do that isn’t encrypted and disassociated from your IP address and social profiles online, to you personally. LEVITATION has been watching you, most certainly.

Every RT of #BellLetsTalk will be tracked by the #NSA & its partners like CSEC while Bell gives some money to assuage its corporate guilt.

— Saskboy K. (@saskboy) January 28, 2015

Full Story »

 
Canada

What Did We Google The Most In 2014?

Posted December 29, 2014 by Sonya

Google is very much part of our daily lives. Both a noun and a verb, it’s a way to launch our research into everyday inquiries from how to make those perfect cookies to helping our kids with their homework. It’s […]

Full Story »

 
General

High noon in Châteauguay

Posted November 15, 2014 by Boris

Good lord.

The police officers in the
municipality — located on Montreal’s south shore — donned their new
uniforms today, complete with cowboy boots, dark cowboy hats pinned with
a sheriff’s badge, and lapel badges shaped like stars. Th…

Full Story »

 
General

Tales From Toronto

Posted December 15, 2014 by Loukia

My boys are the best travelers, whether traveling by car, train, or plane. We just spent three days in Toronto for a pre-Christmas getaway—to attend my mom’s art show, visit the Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, and to see my best friends—and we had a great time.

 Chevrolet Canada gave me a 2015 Traverse to test drive for an entire week, and we were able to take this awesome vehicle to Toronto for our trip. The kids, of course, loved it, and we were thankful for all the room, too—thank you so much for the sweet ride, Chevrolet Canada!

We arrived to our favourite Toronto hotel, the Marriott Bloor Yorkville. This was our third stay (and my fifth) at this hotel in Yorkville, and our third stay in the Presidential, two-level suite. Our first visit was during my 35th birthday and the hotel treated us to not only the suite, but champagne, cake, flowers, treats for the children, and balloons, too.

The kids truly love all the room, and I like that we can invite friends and family to our suite, too, to chill out, have dinner around the table, and run around. The service at this hotel is great, and I love the Yorkville location. The best part is that all the shops are connected underneath the hotel, so we don’t have to wear boots or bring our coats when we want to grab a coffee at Starbucks or go shopping. Truly a great thing in the winter time!

 

We celebrated my dad’s birthday (and my Name Day) at Spuntini’s in Yorkville with the family while the guys went to a Raptors game. This is my favourite restaurant in Toronto, along with Sotto Sotto and Ciao, and the food and service was perfect and delicious.

The next day, we went to The Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, which was truly such an incredible experience—it was the highlight of our getaway, and we all enjoyed seeing all the fish and especially the sharks and stingrays. It was so cool! (You can read my full review here.)

We attended my mom’s art show that evening, at Artworld of Sherway, and my best friends met me at the show. (Thanks, Marcie and Suzanne and Eamon!) The kids hung out together while we connected again, and then we went out for a yummy dinner at Sherway Gardens.

 

Of course, no trip to Toronto is complete without a walk around Yorkville— it’s especially beautiful this time of year with all the dazzling Christmas lights and window displays. While we split up—two went to the Royal Ontario Museum, and two shopping in Yorkville—it was such a  nice time, and a great day to be outside walking around.

 My little trooper even held his own shopping bag on our walk back to our hotel!

 

Lunch on the Danforth for Greek food was the perfect ending to our little weekend getaway and we can’t wait to visit Toronto again. It’s become one of my children’s favourite places to visit that’s close to home.

 

Thank you, Marriott Bloor Yorkville, for the memories once again!

Full Story »

 
Canada

Happy ADHD Awareness Month

Posted October 1, 2014 by Zoë Kessler, BA, B.Ed.

So how did you feel when you read the word happy? You might have smirked and thought, “Who is she kidding?” Or maybe you thought, “What the heck are we celebrating? My ADHD never did anything good for me.” Maybe you’re one of the lucky ones who saw the words Happy ADHD Awareness Month and […]

Full Story »

images
Allan's Perspective

Stop monkeying around!

Posted December 19, 2014 by Allan W Janssen

Here’s something that will make Pam Anderson and her buddies a whole lot happier, folks! Animal-rights advocates seeking “personhood” for chimpanzees want to take their case to the highest court in New York State. Since 2013, an organization called the Nonhuman Rights Project has been seeking a writ of habeas corpus to free a pet […]

Full Story »

 
Entertainment

Coping In “The Waiting Room” With Diane Flacks

Posted January 19, 2015 by Sonya

There’s a new theatre production that has caught my attention as a parent and theatre lover. WAITING ROOM by Diane Flacks (in collaboration with director Richard Greenblatt) is making its World Premiere at the Tarragon Theatre  in Toronto (January 14 […]

Full Story »

 
 


The Latest