Tag Archive | politics

Second Day of School-Update

It can’t be a good sign if it is only the second day of school for my Claire, and I’m already exhausted…nope, not a good sign. It is not even for a good reason, like watching three hours of Horders. Claire came in the door yesterday talking a mile a minute,excited about the new year…and a big stack of papers for me to sign…it happens every year. Claire has this habit of when her teacher even suggests that they may need, or have to do, something, that it now becomes a law for Claire.  It reminds me of the scene in the,”Ten Commandments,” where Ramses says, “so lot it be written, so let it be done.” You can’t believe the panic in this child’s eyes, when I try to explain that she can wait one day to get a 1″ binder for her agenda. You would think the teacher is giving out lashings for noncompliance.

I knew that the Parti Québécois won the Quebec election yesterday before I went to bed…can’t say I was shocked. I’m impressed that they elected a woman, but that is where my good feelings end.  I moved away from the city I love, Montreal, because I did not want my children to grow up in a place where they would be discriminated against because of their Mother tongue. Most people who do not, or have not, lived in Quebec, believe that I exaggerate the  problem…I do not. After the election results were announced, and as the new Premier was giving her acceptance speech, a crazed gunman was shooting down people just outside the door, blaming the English for his acts.  I would like to say that it was just one crazy person, but the discrimination in Quebec of the English is institutionalized, and it has become acceptable to treat the English-speaking Quebecer badly. This is allowed to happen in one of the most peaceful countries of the world…shame on us.

God Bless, Julia

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Hear That?

Do you hear that?…no?…that because it’s quiet. The first day of school means lots of running around and excitement, and then…silence.  I miss her already, how pathetic is that? I know, I should be happy that she is back to school today, but it is bitter-sweet.  She is a preteen now…suddenly worried about what others, her peers, are going to think. No kiss and hug goodbye, just a wave and a,”see ya.” I am grateful that she loves school and is liked by so many, it definitely makes life easier…but could she not humor me, and pretend she will miss me, even a little? 🙂 This is not a real problem, something that is eating away at me…just a little twinge of sadness that time goes much too fast.  This can be fixed with the Scottish solution to all problems, a brew. 🙂

The other thing on my mind this morning  is the provincial election in Quebec…was that a yawn?…I feel the same.  I grew up in Montreal, where politics infuses every part of your life. Everyone is politically aware…sounds like an overstatement I know, but politics is taught in the schools and on the streets…that is the way it is.  When I moved away from Montreal, I still kept track of the politics as though it had some impact on my life.  Fifteen years later?…yawn, I just don’t care.  Now I understand why the rest of Canada really does not care about, or understand the Quebec people.  I understand them, but I just don’t care any more.  I know that they will elect the right person…Quebecers are very politically astute, they know what they want and vote accordingly. Fifteen years ago I would be following how things were playing out from early this morning… now? yeah, not so much, I’m having a brew. 🙂

God Bless, Julia

Being Canadian

As a Canadian, I apologise for the four letter word.

Sunday is July 1st…that means that my country will be celebrating Canada Day.  Canada Day is the equivalent to the U.S. Fourth of July.  These two events highlight some of the differences between Canadians and Americans.  Living so close to the U.S. you would think that Canadians and Americans were pretty much the same.  American media can have a huge effect on our identity, but we have been able to hold on to some of it.  Being Canadian I first have to start with a disclaimer…in no way does this post imply that I do not like and appreciate our U.S. neighbour.

On July 1st Canadians will politely gather to drink Canadian beer, in the company of other polite Canadians.  There will be very respectful gatherings of people…complaining about how hot it is, because Canadian’s favorite topic of conversation is the weather…to barbeque various forms of dead animals, and spray ominous amounts of cancer-causing insect repellent, to ward off the hummingbird size mosquitoes and black flies. Some will gather around the t.v. to watch performers like, the Bare Naked Ladies, perform from our country’s capital.  Most people will  go to bed early, happy that they have a three-day weekend to enjoy the two months of the year when they don’t have to have the heating on.

Here are some questions to see how much even Canadians don’t know about Canada.

1. For fifty points…what is Canada’s capital?

2. For twenty points…name a Canadian musician who is not Justin Bieber, or the Bare Naked Ladies?

3. For two thousand points…who was Canada’s first Prime Minister?

4. For one thousand points…name Canada’s current Prime Minister?

5. For five points…what are Canada’s two official languages?

6. For fifty points…how many provinces and territories does Canada have?

7. For five millions points…name ALL the provinces and territories?

I do know these answers without Googling them…but I have a university degree in geography and education…so don’t feel bad, this is just for fun!

God Bless, Julia

Shootings

When I woke up this morning I turned on the local morning news. There was a shooting at the University of Alberta, and at least three people are dead. When I was pregnant with my son 23 years ago, a shooter went into UQAM, a university in Montreal, and killed 14 female students.  My niece, and her husband, were studying at Virgina Tech when the shootings took place there.  Living in Canada…fourth on the list of most peaceful countries in the world…this does not happen often.  I have trouble understanding why these shootings happen.

I realise that the majority of the planet does not have peace.  I watch the news reports from Syria…children being used as human shields…and I think of my friend Yara who emigrated to Canada only a few years ago, and her young daughter.  I know that she still has six siblings, and parents, that live in Syria…my heart is heavy for her.  I do not understand the kind of hate that one must have in their heart to take another person’s life.  It does not matter the reason; politics, religion, insanity…there is no reason to take another life. 

At times when I feel like the world is a crazy senseless place I remember the people who live, or lived, for peace; Gandhi, Mother Teresa, the Dali Lama…they are the examples of the kind of life I want to live, and the world of peace that I pray for.

God Bless, Julia

Peace Train

This video makes me think about the marches going on in Montreal right now.  I am a Montreal native…I was born and raised there…having moved to Edmonton 15 years ago.  My friends are aware that I am from Montreal, and so have asked my opinion about what is going on there.  I have to admit that it is difficult to understand the city and the people of Quebec and Montreal, unless you are from there.  In Quebec, and especially Montreal, politics infuse every aspect of your life.  That is why I don’t live there any more…I miss the people and culture of Montreal, but not the politics.

I wish I could say that the protests will not escalate, and that everyone will calm down and talk…but that is not likely.  There is a history of protests…an experience of public unrest…that underlies all these marches.  The only way to stop this is for the government to compromise, the students will not.  I believe that public protest can, and do, bring about change.  I believe that the next generation must demand change if they want a world of peace.  However these protests are not about peace, they are about money…this will not end peacefully unless the government backs down.  I pray for peace, I pray for compromise, I pray for my city, I pray for my family and friends in Montreal…please let there be peace.

God Bless, Julia

 

Rayne, Rayne, Don’t Go Away

No one wins in a custody battle, especially the child.  My wife and I…because we are lesbians…have had to fight for custody of our children.  The battles were long, draining, maddening, and largely unnecessary.  There is another custody battle brewing in our family…but this one we have no legal say in, even though it affects us deeply.  Kathleen and I have a grandson, Rayne…he is the son of Joseph…he will be four next month.  We all love and miss him so very much.

As grandparents we have little to no say in Rayne’s life…not that we think that we should, we just want to see him.  I’m going to be honest here…we are not allowed to see Rayne because we are lesbians…wait, I’m not over reacting or misreading the situation.  Rayne’s maternal grandparents, who are caring for him right now, believe that access to Kathleen and I will, “make Rayne a fairy”… yes, that is a quote. I realise that I live in the most right-wing, red-neck part of Canada, but really, are they serious?

This post is not meant to sway anyone who does have a say in Rayne’s life, to suddenly realise that they are neanderthals…sorry that just slipped out…and no, I am not bitter. :)…no one involved even knows I have a blog.  I’m not naive enough to believe that a blog entry is suddenly going to change their minds.  I did say we have five children, and we do…Rayne will always be a part of this family, even if we are not allowed to see him. 

Rayne and Claire

First Nations Windows

For the last six months I have been hard at work producing six windows that will be installed in the Standing Stones Chapel, All Saints’ Cathedral, Edmonton, Alberta.  All six are finished…well sort of.  The bear window…which of course is everyone’s favorite…has been damaged so I have had to take it back to my studio to repair it.  No problem…well actually it is a lot more work…it is easier to make the window in the first place then to take it apart, replace a few pieces, then put it back together again.

These windows have a very specific purpose.  They are a reflection of the culture of the indigenous members of the Anglican Church of Canada who have been disenfranchised because of their treatment in the residential schools they were forced to go to.  it is a horrible part of the churches history…one we can not forget…and that we as a church need to address.  I myself am not part of the First Nations Peoples of Canada…I am a member of a group of people who are still discriminated against in the church though…I am gay.  The windows have had a positive reception from all of the First Nations leaders who have seen them…for that, I am very grateful.  My art has always been a reflection not of myself, but of what God uses my hands, mind, and heart to say.  My prayer is that they can bring some healing to those who see them.

God Bless, Julia