Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Maternal Health - Shut up and SIT DOWN Stephen Harper.

So there is going to be a big meeting of the 'Big' G8 countries in Ontario in June. They are going to be discussing Maternal Health in the developing world. These countries have the highest maternal mortality rates and the highest infant mortality rates. The reasons for these high rates of death are varied in each country. It is generally acknowledged that one of the key factors in the mortality statistics has to do with the access a woman has to health care during her reproductive years.

For some reason the Prime Minster of Canada has made a statement that his government will only fund such Maternal Health initiatives that do not include abortion.

Ahhhhh.... wait a minute. Canadian women and most other women in the developed world have access to health care on demand and have access to all kinds of reproductive interventions (from abortion to fertility treatments). So what Stephen Harper is really saying is that poor women who are subjected to sexual violence in their homelands, rampant HIV infection, intermitten starvation and relatively few oppourtunities to access health care do not deserve the same choices as Western women. Hmmm....

Or is Stephen Harper showing his cards about how his conservative government would behave if they were actually in a majority in parliament? I kind of hope that he is showing his true colours and Canadians overwhelmingly vote him out or into another minority government because we will not tolerate his Right wing conservative agenda.

I have always been pro choice. This does not mean pro abortion. It means that I believe in individual choice. This was reinforced when I was pregnant for the first time. We were excited, it was a planned pregnancy and we knew that it was going to change our lives forever. But it got me thinking about all the women who fell pregnant due to sexual assault, poor planning and various other reasons. If someone did not want to be pregnant it really was a terrible sentence to have them remain so for 9 months.

Ironically one of the reasons why the maternal mortality is high in the developing world is due to the fact that many women access illegal abortions. These women are not choosing abortion because another child is 'bothersome'. They are choosing it to save the children that they have given birth to as sometimes one more is too much of a burden on a starving family. They are choosing abortion because rape is a common tactic of war. They are choosing abortion because they themselves are sick with HIV and knnow that another pregnancy will shorten thier own lives and create orphans.

But the why should not matter. Women in developed worlds have a choice. And truthfully if you can't trust me to make a choice then how can you trust me to care for a child?

Maternal Health funding needs to include all forms of medical intervention available to women. This includes birth control, proper prenatal care, proper post natal care, PAP smears and abortion.

The statement of the Canadian government regarding Maternal Health does not reflect the core values and rights that Canadian women themselves have.

So SHUT UP and SIT DOWN Mr. Harper.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Grateful Journal Entry

I am grateful today that I do not follow through on my desire to kick people who deserve to be kicked.

I am grateful today that I didn't find anything at Gap that I loved and NEEDED to have.

I am grateful today that I have three healthy, cheeky and active children.

Monday, April 19, 2010

A Terrorist is a terrorist is a terrorist.

In grade 12 I had a history teacher who used to state: A Dictator is a dictator, is a dictator... as though this explained everything that one needed to know about an indivdual...

I went ont to get a BA in European History and I agree with my old high school teacher. Sometimes things are that simple. Sometimes and Asshole is an asshole is an asshole. I probably could have written a masters paper on this theory....

In 1985 a bomb went off on Air India 182. The airplane, carrying 329 people (mostly Canadians), plunged from the sky off the coast of Ireland. Everyone on board was killed. It was soon revealed that this bomb and a twin bomb that went off at Narita Airport (which killed 2 baggage handlers).

This is Canada's worst act of terrorism. The bombs were created in Duncan BC and loaded onto Air India jet planes in Vancouver BC. The bombs were made by terrorists (obviously) who wanted to settle a score for something that happened in India. For more information about the political issues I recommend reading Kim Bolan's book Loss of Faith: How the Air India Bombers Got Away With Murder.

This past weekend the Indo Candian community celebrated Vaisakhi. Prior to the celebration certain members of the community threatened 2 Canadian politicians that they would not be safe at the parade. Both of these politicians are Indo Canadian and both have stood up to these terrorist in the past (MLA Dave Hayer's father Tara Hayer was assasinated in his drive way due to knowledge that he had about Air India and MP Ujjal Dosanjh was severely beaten for standing up to the terrorists).

Many provincial Liberals boycotted the event due to the association with the terrorist group and the fact that a parade float would be there which had pictures of 'martyrs' for Khalistan. Once Mayor Diane Watts saw the parade float she left, disgusted. MP Sukh Dhaliwal stayed - for unknown reasons but for which he should be disciplined by his party leader Michael Ignatieff.

Remember - Air India bombers KILLED Canadians. And yet somehow we have allowed these Asshats to have a float in a parade with pictures of aforementioned terrorists.

This is akin to a float being driven with an Ode to Timothy McViegh in Oklahoma. Would that fly with the general public in the states? I THINK NOT.

So lets make sure that the City of Surrey knows that we are PISSED that they allowed a terrorist group to float a parade and wreck a nice family activity. Lets make sure that Liberal MP Sukh Dhaliwal knows that we are PISSED that he is such a pansy and didn't take a stand against terrorist.

And lets give Gordon Campbell, as much as it pains me politically, and his Liberal party big cheers for standing up to those TERRORISTS and not attending this event.

I heart Diane Watts at the best of times and applaud her comments and her willingness to leave this event when she realised what was going on.

I know that the majority of Indo Canadians do not want to be associated with these TERRORISTS. But by being silent and allowing them to parade around means that you are implicit to their deeds.

I remember the victims of Air India 182. I have faith that people in the Indo Canadian community remember these people as well and will not tolerate these TERRORISTS marring their community.

I have seen the footage - they pulled dead children out of the Atlantic Ocean in June of 1985. I have an image of a Royal navy helicopter pulling the body of a boy about 4 years old age out of the Atlantic. He was naked because the force of the plane falling out of the sky ripped his clothes from his body. They pulled mothers and fathers and babies. All dead. The Irish people and the Canadian and Indian people gather every year to acknowledge the waste.

Do not tolerate these TERRORISTS in our community. They are nothing more and nothing less than assassins of humanity.

Seriously - you can't guarentee the safety of 2 politicians at a family styled parade in Canada? Me thinks you are in the wrong country Inderjit Singh Bains. Perhaps you didn't read your pamphlet upon arrival - but EVERYONE here has the RIGHT to attend any public function without fear of being attacked.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Grafeful Journal

Every mat leave my goal was to clean up the den and organise it.

I have had three years to do this (between naps, feedings, preschool runs, doctors appointments, etc). It never got done. Then we moved into a larger house with a small den.

During our move I found a journal that my roomie from university started. She called it a "Grateful Journal'. I hate to say it but I think that Oprah started it...

Anyway as you can see I have not been blogging for the last year or so... working full time, parenting full time and maintaining some sort of social life has cut into all my free 'blogging' time and frankly the only time I get to think about interesting topics is when I am driving. And blogging and driving is verboten..

So I thought that I would start again by creating a Grateful list and try to do it once every few days.

Today I am grateful for Colin Firth. He is a great actor and seems to embody that special charm which I find utterly attractive.

Today I am grateful for the wee bit of sunshine that we got which powered up my solar lights in the front yard.

Today I am grateful for Buffalo chicken dip. Delicious.

Protection is Relative

Frequently I think about my job and how the idea of 'protection' is articulated and expected in societies. A co worker recently remarked after a trip to Africa that child welfare really is a relative concept and what we would consider protection here is not what one would consider child welfare there. It is sometimes hard to draw the line.

Which of course always brings me back to my own children. My protection of them is primal and does not require legislation. We have an optional parent teacher interview next week. Optional is kind of a funny way to characterise a parent teacher meeting. Especially with the grade one teacher at my son's school. Because obviously they are not saying what they need to be saying to the parents at the door as per their inane report card comments. So optional is really teacher slang for MANDATORY.

I first want to say that I have a lot of friends who are teachers (seriously - love you guys & I know that you work hard. Except in July and August...).

But really - my son has been in a grade one class that I just pray he makes it out of with his self esteem intact. And at our 'optional' parent teacher interview I will again be arguing for my son to receive some quality teaching and assessment. He is not special needs, he is a boy who was born in November. Which means that he is one of the youngest kids in his class of 42 (SERIOUSLY!!!).

At issue are his 'fine motor' skills. Which is a surprise to me as they never mentioned any issues during any of my weekly volunteer time in the class. Or everyday when I pick him up from school. Which brings me back to quality of teaching and communication. Trust that I will be bringing flow charts, cue cards and a pointer to make my self clear to these people.

And I need to make it work as I have two more children coming through this mega project classroom and I am not moving.

Protection is relative.