In Memory of Dr. Walter Reynolds,
(August 10, 2020)
By Morne Odendaal, RDPCN Chair and Family Physician
It is with disbelief that I realize that it has been a year since the passing of our colleague Dr. Walter Reynolds.
And in many ways, as abruptly and unnecessary as Walter’s life ended, for many others a different life began.
I cannot but help to think of his wife and daughters. His family. His friends. His closest colleagues.
“People touch our lives if only for a moment, and yet we’re not the same from that moment on, The time is not important, The moment is forever.” Fern Bork
During the last year I learned a lot about Walter Reynolds.
I learned about his life as a physician, a friend, a father.
I learned from his friends and colleagues.
I learned from so many that knew him so much better than I.
And as a family physician, I mostly listened to some of his patients that I have now had the opportunity to serve.
And what I learned was that Walter Reynolds was a truly special person.
He was a gifted healer.
His skills were obvious. His knowledge excellent.
But his insight, dedication and compassion to his patients was inspiring.
He was a wonderful colleague.
I never had the privilege of working with Walter, but those that did are richer for that opportunity.
He was an excellent athlete.
And I can truly respect the example he offered to so many others.
But what I learned that embodied Walter Reynolds the most, was his love for his wife, his daughters.
His commitment to his family is the truest reflection of Walters Reynolds contribution to the life that he led.
William James said: “Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.”
And that is what I learned the most about Dr. Walter Reynolds.
His life made a difference.
TC Energy shuts down Keystone pipeline system after leak in Nebraska
CALGARY — TC Energy Corp. says it has shut down its Keystone pipeline after a leak in Nebraska.
The company says it has mobilized people and equipment in response to a confirmed release of oil into a creek, about 32 kilometres south of Steele City, Neb.
TC Energy says an emergency shutdown and response was initiated Wednesday night after a pressure drop in the system was detected.
It says the affected segment of the pipeline has been isolated and booms have been deployed to prevent the leaked oil from moving downstream.
The Keystone pipeline system stretches 4,324 kilometres and helps move Canadian and U.S. crude oil to markets around North America.
TC Energy says the system remains shutdown as its crews respond and work to contain and recover the oil.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 8, 2022.
Companies in this story: (TSX:TRP)
The Canadian Press
Advocate asks AFN chiefs to ensure $40B settlement deal leaves no child behind
By Stephanie Taylor in Ottawa
A First Nations child welfare advocate on Wednesday implored chiefs to ensure “no child is left behind” in a landmark $40-billion settlement agreement with the federal government.
Cindy Blackstock delivered the message to an Assembly of First Nations gathering in Ottawa, after being invited to take the stage by Cindy Woodhouse, regional chief in Manitoba who helped negotiate the agreement, which had been thrown into question since being rejected by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.
The AFN, representing more than 600 First Nations across the country, had asked the tribunal to approve the settlement deal, which would see the government spend $20 billion to compensate families and children for systemic discrimination in the Indigenous child welfare system. It would also spend another $20 billion on making long-term reforms.
Blackstock, the executive director of the First Nations Caring Society who first lodged the complaint at the heart of the issue, raised concerns that the agreement wouldn’t provide $40,000 in compensation to all eligible claimants, which is the amount the tribunal ruled they should get.
“We can make sure that in our First Nations canoe of justice, no child has to see their money go away and no child is left behind in justice,” she said Wednesday.
“We are capable of that.”
Following the tribunal’s decision in October, the federal government filed for a judicial review of some parts of its decision.
Endorsing the settlement agreement loomed as one of the biggest items on the assembly’s agenda, with chiefs being asked to vote on what the organization should do next.
The chiefs had been preparing to vote on conflicting resolutions, with one asking them to support the final settlement agreement, while another sought to see the organization not appeal the tribunal decision and renegotiate the deal.
But on Wednesday, further talks between both sides took place, assisted by former senator and judge Murray Sinclair, who helped the AFN, federal government and lawyers for two related class-action lawsuits reach the $40-billion agreement in the first place, which was formally announced in January.
Chiefs ultimately voted late Wednesday against re-entering negotiations but to instead support compensation for victims outlined in the agreement and “those already legally entitled to the $40,000 plus interest under the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal compensation orders.”
It also included a provision that AFN leaders must regularly return to chiefs to provide it with progress updates and “seek direction” from chiefs on implementing the final agreement.
Many chiefs thanked Blackstock, who was greeted with applause after further agreement was met and said she was honoured to see people come together for children harmed by Ottawa’s discrimination.
“We have had too many apologies, we’ve had too many compensation deals, we’ve had too many kids hurt. And this has got to be it,” she said.
She added more discussion on the long-term reform part of the deal would be presented to chiefs on Thursday.
Earlier in the day, the assembly heard from sisters Melissa Walterson and Karen Osachoff, plaintiffs on the case, about the impact the foster care system had on their lives.
Osachoff said she had been in the child welfare system since she was born and didn’t have a chance to grow up with her sister.
“Had it not been for the ’60s Scoop and the child welfare (system), her and I would have grown up together.”
She said she understands why the tribunal characterizes those like her as “victims,” but told chiefs to instead think of them as survivors.
“I am not a victim and our claimants are not victims.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 7, 2022.
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