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Opinion

Politicians focus too much on the wallets of the few.

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We welcome opinions from our readers like this one from Garfield Marks of Red Deer, AB.

According to the Ethics Commissioner, Trudeau broke ethical guidelines on behalf of a big corporate entity, SNC-Lavalin, and as expected, it appears, everyone is calling for his resignation. I am confused, but hasn’t almost every politician of a major political party, for the last few decades, been advocating breaks for big corporations and the top 1%.

Didn’t Alberta elect a Premier who had to pay an ethics violation fine when he was a federal cabinet minister? Does he not lead a party who had issues with electoral fraud, kamikaze candidate and members issued $75,000 in fines by the ethics commissioner, due to actions during their leadership race?

Was it not a conservative government that supposedly just gave a $4.5 billion tax break to businesses? Was it not a conservative government that was supposedly lowering taxes for the top 1%? Was it not a conservative government(s) that was cutting services to everyone else to pay for these tax breaks?

Here in Alberta was there not lots of promises of jobs to rationalize billions in tax breaks for corporations only to find out that Alberta then subsequently lost 14,000 jobs in July alone?

I am not saying that Trudeau’s actions pressuring the Attorney General to give a deal to a big company is okay, but don’t they all do special deals for big corporations? Don’t we as tax payers subsidize the oil industry, cow tail to unions, pay homage to gun manufacturers, serve the auto industry, and placate the wealthy? The average voter just pays for them.

My wallet sure feels those political fingers. My costs keep going up, while my income hasn’t kept pace.

My mind has tuned out the politicians, and their desire to woo the rich and big corporations, and my heart is focused on the future, and my family.

Scientists and engineers have made great discoveries and given me some great things like cars, computers, cell phones and medical break-throughs but these same non-partisan intellectuals have also made huge unsettling discoveries, and given me causes for concern.

Issues like climate change, reminiscent of second hand smoke, are concerns to our health and our lives but are not given the same level of regard as tax breaks for the big corporations.

Second hand smoke was a major health care cost but tax breaks for cigarette companies and tobacco growers were the demands.

There is an election this fall and here in my riding there is no contest, as the conservatives will win, then become a seat warmer no one hears about, till the next election. My concerns will be ignored, my wallet will get thinner to placate the more well to do.

I do think it is about time to move on from focusing on the wallets of the few and focus on the health of the whole community. The person or party that can convince me that their focus is on the whole, for the future and not on big corporations and the wealthiest in a realistic manner, will get my support and vote.

Will my wallet survive the next election? I hope so, but I cannot be certain. I am worried we might get a Trump-like Prime Minister out of protest and the climate crisis will be pushed back and my wallet will be front and centre for political fingers for another few decades.

Is there another option?

Political editor/writer and retired oilfield supervisor

Edmonton

This is what overdose reversals means to me. An opportunity to save and change a life. By Chris Hancock

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Chris Hancock - Just a Guy with a Pack

Todayville Edmonton supports local community efforts, the original source of this writing from: https://www.facebook.com/justaguywithapack

The day has been like any other (we see anywhere from 50 to 80 users per day). My attention is piqued by a sound, almost like a wheeze but accompanied by the heavy beating sound of a drum. That sound is a man violently hitting his chest.

This is the beginning of an overdose.

The man is standing and rocking back and forth, almost like a dance. This is normal for a person who is using drugs mixed with crystal meth and / or cocaine.

I look at the computer to see what he says the drug is and it says “fentanyl” which is a usual drug for him.

He is now starting to sweat profusely and it looks as though he has just finished running a marathon.

I call the nurse and tell her of my observations so far. He is now matching a person who is starting the scary road of overdose.

I approach and place my hand on his shoulder, it’s hot to the touch and sweat glistens on my medical glove. I ask him, “How’s it going buddy?” He cannot respond to me. He is still standing but his pupils are dilated and he’s rocking back and forth. What is missing is his breath, his voice, and his normally calm demeanor. His lips are turning a shade of blue/purple.

The nurse is now approaching after putting on gloves. I give her as much relevant information as I can before I prepare to step back and take an assistance role in the overdose situation.

I have been trained for years to do emergency response. I went to school for this. I cope with the stress by repeating directions and documenting the times and dates for
the significant markers that I know are about to follow.

He gets an SPO2 monitor put on his finger. This little machine gives the nurse information about his heart rate and how much oxygen is in his blood. As we wait in anticipation for the monitor to tell us his number I just keep hoping, wishing it is above the magic number of 66%. However, anything below 90% and the nurse will start to offer means to reverse or help ride out the overdose. Without oxygen getting to the brain there is a chance for brain damage.

His number is low and the nurse makes the call – “Chris I need the oxygen tank and you to predraw naloxone.” I repeat the instructions back so nothing is missed in the communication. This man’s life is in our hands.

The nurse has now put oxygen on the man and is reminding him to breath. He is now in a seated position and you can see the determination on his face to get that gasp of air. He can, and my inner being is cheering yes, you can do it; you can beat the overdose and come back. But the reality of the situation is the gasp is not even close enough to raise his oxygen levels out of the danger zone.

The nurse now asks him, “Do you want narcan?” My heart leaps with joy. This will help you, we can get off this ride, you have a way to get air! But his response is “no” and the cold reality of addiction slaps me in the face. The “no” “not yet” words were whispered as almost as a plea out of fear. My stomach is wrenched out and my heart that was just hurting before is now broken.

My thoughts stray.

What are you running from that not being able to breathe and having no control over your body is a better option?

I check myself.

I will never know someone’s past or their current pain unless they share it with me. When he recovers from this overdose, he might tell me.

So I patiently plea with the man. Your oxygen is low, you are in pain, and you are overdosing. Let us give you narcan so you can come back to us. Also, in the next room we have snacks.

With the oxygen remaining low the nurse makes it clear to the man naloxone is now needed and she informs him that we will be administering the medication. Recognition is now on the man’s face – he now understands and gives consent by nodding yes to the nurse. The nod reminds me of the many nods I’ve seen athletes give their coaches when they are ready to start the fight.

One of the staff hands me a needle ready and filled with the antidote to opioids. The next challenge begins. Since the man is moving so much it takes a few tries to get the needle in and the medicine administered. It takes 3 vials of narcan to reverse whatever the drug has done to his system.

The first words out of the man’s mouth are “I am sorry.” Here is why I do what I do. This is the moment where he may say to me “Chris, I am tired of all this and I need help. That shot almost killed me and I need to change my life.” In reality we talk: where he is living, what his plan is for his next meal. These conversations will lead to a better connection and understanding of his life story. They will build trust between us so when he’s ready, he will ask me for help.

He has now successfully recovered from the overdose and will now hang out for the next while in case the antidote wears off and he overdoses again.

My name is Chris Hancock and my current role is a harm reduction support worker.

This is what overdose reversals means to me. An opportunity to save and change a life.

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Opinion

OPINION: Ravinder Minhas – as a Sikh, as a brown man, as a businessman who has put up with racism innuendos

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With a recent post circulating social media about Prime Minister Trudeau’s brown face photo. We crossed by an interesting commentary shared by prominent Alberta businessman Ravinder Minhas.

From Alberta Business man Ravinder Minhas:

“As you many of you know I don’t make political posts as I have friends and family whom are conservatives, liberals, NDP and everything in between and I respect we all have different philosophies and opinions. BUT as a Sikh, as a brown man, as a businessman who has put up with racism innuendos, undertones and sometime straight up prejudice for 20 years
I don’t see this image as a joke. On top of this I don’t wear a turban but have friends and family that do whom have an even larger uphill battle to equality.
I have had to work harder, smarter and longer to get the level respect of my selected industries for 20 years now and yes in Canada.

I expect better from those who want to be our political leaders and especially our prime minister, regardless if this is from 20 years ago. Trudeau I’m ashamed of you and your scripted, rehearsed, perfectly lit apology.

* my first version of this post had some four letter words in it, but I recalled quickly my mom is now on Facebook, so I went with the ‘my mom won’t be disappointed with me version’!”

His Facebook Profile is here: https://www.facebook.com/ravinder.minhas/

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september, 2019

tue06augAll Daysun29sepHot Mess - Erin Boake featured at Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery(All Day)

sun22sep2:00 pm4:00 pmVinyasa with a View2:00 pm - 4:00 pm MT Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre, 120 College Circle Event Organized By: Lululemon Red Deer

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