Whether by Fire or by Flood


Two years ago, this very week, May 1st, 2016 to be exact, Fort McMurray, in Alberta, Western Canada was a tinder box, and went up in flames. We covered that tragedy here on the blog. Hundreds of thousands of people were displaced, thousands upon thousands of homes were burned to the ground.

But, resilient as people are, Fort McMurray is on the rebound as rebuilding has been going on since the all clear was sounded.

Seasonal changes have been occurring … This is fact.

Winters have been long and arduous. The snow pack is deep, again this year. Snow has been falling to the ground across Canada into the month of May this year. Here in Quebec, Winter went so long, we thought it would never end.

Conditions out West are not much better. The Winter season dropped inordinate amounts of snow on mountainous terrain, and across the prairies. melting snow running downslope into rivers, is a serious danger.

Now, that very snow is melting at rapid rates. The almost sudden shift from Winter into Spring, over the past few weeks, is wreaking havoc on communities across the country.

Rivers here in Quebec, New Brunswick, and across Canada, from Manitoba to British Columbia have risen so high that they have burst their banks and once again, the season of flooding has begun in earnest.

Last year, flooding caused by rising rivers here around the island of Montreal, forced hundreds of families from their homes. With that flooding, many of those homes were deemed uninhabitable. People are still living in hotels, a year later. Some of those families have been tossed onto the streets, having over stayed their welcome.

The Province will not rebuild a home in a flood plain, for the one reason that in a flood plain, homes will flood seasonally, so why pay to rebuild a home that is going to get wet again and again. So where do you relocate families who have, some, lived in those homes for decades ? Rising water, from coast to coast is problematic.

This is not a passing oddity for sure. We are watching the climate decimate homes and property across the board, year after year. Either by Fire or by Water.

Where are they supposed to go now ?

Homes in flood plains have yet to be repaired, and the Province and the City have yet to do what they need to do to get these families back into their homes, that STILL need to be cleaned, repaired and for many, rebuilt from the ground up.

And now in 2018, the rivers are rising again. Severe flooding has stricken New Brunswick in very serious conditions. People are running for their lives, having to be evacuated by boats because vehicles cannot pass deep water.

This same problem has affected points West from Manitoba through to British Columbia.

If conditions are too dry … Wildfires are a given.
If conditions are too wet … Flooding blankets the country.

If this is a problem in First world cities in Canada, imagine what is happening, on Third World Reserves, also in Canada. Our Reserve inhabitants have been in constant flux, being airlifted from their reserves to bigger cities that can accommodate them because their land has been flooded.

This is also fact … Third World reserves in First World Canada …

Whether it be the lack of clean water, or substandard housing, or health concerns, our people who live on reserves in rural Canada, have it very bad. And the government has done very little to alleviate or mitigate this very serious issue.

Many reserves are located on land that is either land locked, (read: Forest) or only accessible by plane or by boat. And with the flooding season already begun in many communities, the airlift of people being moved from one location to another has been going on for weeks now, as rising waters inundate lower lying communities.

You don’t often hear about the plight of the Third World reserves in Canada, because it is a dirty little secret, that nobody talks about, but every once in a while, the National News will hit a piece about current conditions on the ground.

Reserves on land that are not connected to Big City Infrastructure suffer more than those main line big cities, in comparison. When a river jumps its banks on land that is not regulated by dams or levies, or infrastructure, the damage is severe.

Once a river jumps its banks, where ever that river lies … Mitigation is pointless.

Rivers have jumped their banks across Canada.

Welcome to the Spring Thaw …

Paul Lanza – Needs a Kidney in Montreal


Paul Lanza – Face Book

I have no idea how to post this kinda stuff, so I’ll just dive right in.

Almost 3 years ago I began to reject my transplanted kidney, I spent a month in the hospital trying to save it. Almost a year later, it was no longer able to keep me healthy, so I started dialysis. In the last two years, I’ve been on dialysis waiting to be placed back on a waiting list for another transplant, but there are all kinds of things that need to go right for that. Right now, I’m waiting for a surgery to remove the rejected organ, forcing me to take some time off work, and more time not on the list.

To have a (mostly) normal life, I need another kidney transplant. The rejection was so severe, that I’ve developed a large number of antibodies, and my donor pool is incredibly small. They’ll need to place me on a nation wide donor list, which presents more complications. The wait could be decades.

I need help, I need someone to donate one of their kidneys to me. This isn’t easy to ask. I don’t expect anyone to do this, it’s a huge burden. But I want my life back. I want to travel, and eat, and not feel like shit all the time, and have free time. If you’re willing, and truly willing to donate a piece of yourself so that I can live, I can’t put into words the gratitude I’d have for you.

If you want to get tested, ideal blood type would be O+, but since I’m so tough find a kidney, there are ways around it. You need to contact the following number, and speak with Laura Gilbert. (514) 890-8000, poste 24840. She’ll give you all the information to move forward. I don’t expect anyone to do this, how do you ask someone to put themselves through this for you?

It feels so selfish. But what are my options? To wait for someone to die, and hope they’re a match? If you have any questions you can always message me as well. Thank you to anyone who even reads all this.

Immigration Woes

In the early 1970’s, my family had made their second house move to a larger home and into a new area of Miami. By the time we began school, in the early 1970’s, the Mariel Boat Lift had begun.

Thousands of Cubans were fleeing the island of Cuba for a better life in the United States. They came by boat, they came by inner tubes, they came by any means that would carry them across the ninety miles between Havana and Key West.

Florida really had no other choice. People were coming and they needed assistance. Many were deported back to the island in the Wet Foot Dry Foot laws took hold.

Many, Many Cubans came and settled into Miami, building a truly remarkable community that rose over my lifetime.

In school there were two paths to education.

  1. The White – American English Path and
  2. The Bi-lingual Spanish English Path

My brother took the White path, where I took the latter.

I was educated in English AND Spanish for the whole of my educational career. I learned the second language and welcomed it into my life. Decades later, it would be the Cuban community that came to my rescue when I was so very sick and was going to die.

They held me up and cared for me.

I feel like I welcomed them as a child, and as an adult, they welcomed me.

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Today … In Quebec, and across Canada, migrants, and immigrants and asylum seekers, are crossing our borders by any means possible. And last Winter we watched, devastatingly, what happened to men, women and children who suffered in the biting cold of the dead of Winter, crossing the border North, to get away from Donald Trump and his presidency.

There are thousands of immigrants sitting in tents on the New York – Quebec border crossing that is just a dirt road in the middle of no where.

There are those, protesters that are against allowing immigrants over the border, seeming to just allowing them access to Canada, without the red tape.

That is NOT the case.

But I have said that if this trend continues, and Summer turns into Fall and then Fall turns into Winter, crossing the border, once again, is going to become deadly dangerous.

And we, as citizens need to step up and do what we have to do to make sure everyone finds a home, and fast.

Our Prime Minster has spoken on the issue and guarantees immigrants entry, but with the legal and moral conditions that are in place. There will be no easy ride into citizenship. Everyone will be processed legally and by the book.

I waited almost a year for my birthright, and it was a fluke that it took the short course it did, because of a kind immigration official in Sydney Nova Scotia.

Just the same, Canada is a country that is SAFE, FREE and STABLE.

The rumor that it will be a cakewalk and easy to get over the border and get citizenship is NOT TRUE. Haitians and anyone else crossing the border, will be met by immigration authorities and will be processed legally and respectfully.

We have not heard about Canada repatriating people back over the border nor deporting them just the same. We will do what we can, but there is NO guarantee that your application will be accepted and that citizenship IS a guarantee.

Acceptance and Citizenship are NOT guaranteed.

You will be processed like any one else asking for admittance into Canada.

The United States has fallen on hard times with the election of Donald Trump and millions of people are on the receiving end of his threats.

What can we do ? We can do what we can to help our fellows find homes, schools for their children and jobs for their parents.

We need to let go our Nationalism and our demonstrations against those now crossing the border.

We need to step up and be charitable and kind and loving.

It’s a really good thing that Haitians and others speak variations of Creole, French and African languages. Because French is not at odds with either. We have vibrant communities from ALL OVER the world here.

And we can accommodate everyone, in time, as we are able.

We need to be understanding and patient.

But we also need to tell the Haitian Communities South of the border, that crossing the border carries with it NO GUARANTEES of CITIZENSHIP or IMMIGRANT STATUS.

These words need to be shared.

Canada will welcome you, but it won’t be the easy road you believe it will be if you arrive on our doorstep. You will take the same path everyone else takes.

And come Fall and the beginning of Winter, the odds of survival get smaller, because I would horror a guess what it is going to look like here in Quebec, in the DEAD of WINTER, like we saw on the Prairies last Winter in Manitoba and Alberta.

You cross at your own peril as the seasons change.

Be very careful with your decisions.

We are Canadian. And everyone deserves to live safely, freely and without fear.

Just know if you come here, you will wait like everyone else.

Six dead in Quebec City Mosque Terror Attack


The Canadian Press
Published Sunday, January 29, 2017 9:33PM EST
Last Updated Sunday, January 29, 2017 11:56PM EST
Last Updated Sunday, January 29, 2017 1:05 AM EST
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QUEBEC — The president of a Quebec City mosque says he has been told that six people have been killed and eight more injured some critically, in the building.

The shooting took place at Centre Culturel Islamique de Quebec, in Quebec City.

Mohamed Yangui says he heard the news from witnesses.

Police tweeted there were deaths and injuries but didn’t say how many victims there were.

They said two suspects were in custody.

A live video feed on a Facebook page of a mosque showed images of multiple police vehicles and yellow police tape.

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale tweeted Sunday he was deeply saddened by the loss of life.

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard reacted on Twitter by calling it “barbaric violence.”

“All our solidarity is with those who are close to the victims, the injured and their families,” he said.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also weighed in on the tragedy.

“Tonight, Canadians grieve for those killed in a cowardly attack on a mosque in Quebec City,” he tweeted. “My thoughts are with victims & their families.”

The mosque in question had a pig’s head left outside the building last June.

The head was wrapped in paper and accompanied by a note that read “Bonne (sic) appetit.”

Prominent Quebec politicians denounced the incident, which came in the middle of Ramadan, when Muslims fast from dawn to sunset.

Nous sommes tous Québécois, Nous sommes avec vous maintenant et pour toujours. Tu n’es pas seul. Nous sommes une communauté. Nous sommes Canadiens.

I offer my sincere thought and prayers to the families of those lost, to the Muslim community of Quebec City. We categorically agree that this act was cowardly. 

We will Stand With You. Now and Forever… We Are Canadians. We will Never Bow to Terrorism.

Canada plane crash on Quebec island kills several


Seven people have died after a small private plane crashed on an island off the east coast of Quebec.

Authorities said the plane crashed as it approached Iles-de-la-Madeleine Airport amid heavy winds and snow.

Jean Lapierre, a broadcaster and former Canadian transport minister, and members of his family were among the victims.

Mr Lapierre worked as a political analyst for CTV and other Canadian media outlets.

He also served as a member of parliament from 1979 to 1993 and again from 2004 to 2007.

Officials with the Transportation Safety Board of Canada are en route to Havre aux Maisons Island in the Magdalen Islands to determine the cause of the crash.

The twin-engine turboprop plane departed from Montreal’s St Hubert Airport on Tuesday morning.

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Mr. LaPierre, his wife and family, were on their way home, to attend the funeral for his father, who died yesterday after a long battle with Parkinsons Disease.

I was sitting with my friends in a meeting this evening, when one of them arrived to tell us who was in the plane that was reported crashed earlier in the day. I had no idea who had been killed, but after hearing the news, everyone was terribly sad, at such a tragic loss of an entire family.

Jean was a well loved political reporter in the Province of Quebec. He participated in all things politics, on French and English television, Radio, across the province on both sides.

We would hear him nightly, on CJAD’s 24 hours of 800.

I am terribly saddened by this loss for Quebec, for Canada, Jean’s family, and the platforms he served for so many years.

This is  terrible loss for so many, a very popular man voice of knowledge has been silenced, and there will never be another Jean LaPierre.

Eternal Rest Grant them and may Perpetual Light Shine upon them.