Once again,like a broken record, another mass shooting had taken place in the United States(the worst one in that country’s history ) on June 12,2016 at the Pulse Nightclub, a gay nightclub which is located in Orlando,Florida. 50 dead,53 wounded is the current tally. The gunman, a US-born citizen of Afghan descent who  accdg. to his family,reportedly hated gays was killed during the ambush by authorities. He reportedly voiced out Islamic extremist thoughts when he called up 911 before the carnage.

Reflecting on this entire situation which is still evolving in terms of getting more details regarding him, his motive and whether he acted alone or not, it’s sad to see another group of people killed. This time, it’s a  group of people who practices an alternative lifestyle of  gender preferences and living life to the fullest with no intention of hurting anybody .

Even though the rest of us do not practice the lifestyle of the LGBT(Lesbian,Gay,Bisexual and Transgender), it is important to recognize that such a  lifestyle is a civil right to this population , much the same as one practices a different religion,etc. They’re humans like us.

It’s heartening to see around 1,500+  folks in the Orlando area lining up voluntarily to donate their blood when a cry for blood donations came out to help the seriously wounded.

Others are planning to hold vigils and whatever means to honor the memory of the dead as well as praying for the wounded.

Such acts of goodwill holds hope for me that all is not yet lost in this world. These are all silver linings , off-shoots from a despicable tragedy.

My thoughts and prayers to all the victims and their friends/families!

Josie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With the recent passing of the greatest boxing icon Muhammad Ali, his being called “The Greatest” doesn’t only pertain to boxing but also to his humanitarian work.

His overall persona touches everyone and would leave an indelible mark in both their hearts and minds of The Greatest One.

His bigger than life personality,tenacity and fortitude to follow and work towards attaining his dreams and goals in life had been very inspiring for all.

His biggest and final opponent in life was his ongoing bout with Parkinson’s Disease, an aftermath from his pugilistic career. His bravery,fortitude and perseverance in fighting this through was very heartwarming.

In my opinion, he boxed through the entire 15 rounds of the rest of his mortal life versus Parkinson’s Disease,still standing and in fighting form, not knocked out as per boxing jargon.

He left  this world because of an apparent septic infection secondary to unknown natural causes,not due to Parkinson’s Disease.

The Supreme Being above had called him to come home to the heavens already and not go for a possible round 16 if there ever was one in the boxing ring at all. Time to hang up the boxing gloves.

Though he left all of us here in this world, he will never be forgotten and his legacy as a great human being which encompasses not only his history in boxing but also his history in helping mankind in everyday life’s struggles will be hard to match but emulated ,not only by us but also with future generations.

To the Greatest One, I could hear the signature songs of Rocky Balboa  as well as that other song “We Are The Champions” playing in my ears.

Rest in Peace, Champ!

Josie

 

 

 

 

This past May 2, 2016, in Fort McMurray,Alberta,Canada, a sudden burst of flames had apparently started in a few trees and due to high winds,had spread rapidly until it engulfed the entire city.At this time, around 40 wildfires at latest count. It had already affected a huge span of land ( approx. 150,000 acres)and probably still growing yet and most of the residents(around 88,000) had to evacuate immediately and drive down to the nearest big city of Edmonton or travel out to other parts of Alberta province as well as to other parts of Canada.

Amazingly, no one got hurt or killed from these still ongoing wildfires and accdg. to experts, the fires are still raging at this time and the effects from these wildfires will last a long time. It’s highly unlikely that things will go back to normal soon.

Fort McMurray or what we call as Fort Mac was an evergrowing city of migrants coming from all over Canada to take advantage of job opportunities in the oil well industry. Unfortunately, due to the world wide oil price crisis and now the wildfires, it only exacerbated the careers and bottom lines of these workers and their respective families.

It hits home here in Atlantic Canada since a lot of folks from New Brunswick,Nova Scotia,Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland had gone to Fort Mac to look for work in Alberta province, the land of milk and honey especially in the oil  well business. Some of these Maritimers  came back home with only the shirts on their backs and  probably no careers to return to from there.

It really goes to show how life can be unpredictable when a fire can wipe out your life or lifestyle in a flash. The silver lining  is that charity and the drive to help out kicks in. As they say here in Canada, it’s the Canadian way—to help others in times of need.

Around here in  Canada, most of the stores and other business establishments had set up posts to receive cash donations for the Fort MacMurray victims, all proceeds to be given to their local Canadian Red Cross office.

Even our prime minister Justin Trudeau will match $ for $ each cash donation on behalf of the Canadian government with this regard.

Overall,  here in Canada ,one can make a donation online through the Alberta Fires Appeal online—-www.redcross.ca  or 1-800-418-1111. One can also go their local Canadian Red Cross office to give monetary donations whether cash,check or credit.

It is much better and more convenient to give monetary donations since it’ll reach the province of Alberta much faster and much easier there to purchase whatever supplies would be needed.

For all of those Canadian expats  and anyone who live abroad and would like to help out, they can go their local Red Cross  , Red Crescent office,.Red Cross Society base,etc. to give their monetary donations.

I am fully aware of what this entails since I am an employee for the Canadian Red Cross in my district. Even though I’m not directly involved with Search and Rescue nor in the Volunteer Services Department, my local CRC branch feels like a big family trying to help out in any way possible.

I feel that with my blog, I could help in this endeavor  by being a voice for help because with the Red Cross, we are here to serve.

My prayers go out to the Fort Mac victims.

Josie

This news article from the Times and Transcript newspaper(based in Moncton,New Brunswick,Canada) came out today.

The article is titled “Accused in python deaths case appears in court” –written by Tim Jaques of The Tribune from Campbellton,New Brunswick,Canada.

Jean-Claude Savoie, accused of criminal negligence causing the death of two Campbellton boys in 2013,appeared in the court of Queen’s Bench in Campbellton on Thurs day to listen to a pretrial motion in the case brought against him.

Arguing the motion before Justice Frederick P. Ferguson were his lawyers,Les Matchim and Mikael Bernard, and Crown prosecutor Pierre F. Roussel.

The motion,however,is subject to a sweeping pretrial publication ban that forbids publication not only of any mention of what evidence was tendered and what was argued, but also what the motion is for and any reasons for the judge’s decision, prior to the conclusion of the case.

Information released to the media by RCMP immediately after the deaths alleged that a 45-kilogram African rock python escaped an enclosure in Savoie’s apartment in Campbellton during the early morning hours of August 5,2013. Connor,6, and Noah,4, were in the apartment on  a sleepover visiting Savoie’s son.

RCMP said at the time that they believe the snake asphyxiated the boys as they slept.

Savoie owned an exotic pets business downstairs from the apartment,called Reptile Ocean,which did not reopen after the incident.

The Department of Natural Resources with the assistance of outside experts seized animals,mostly reptiles,from the scene.

Savoie,who is living in the Montreal area,had not been present at previous court hearings.

He sported long hair and a short beard,wore a blue shirt and jeans,and appeared to be listening attentively from his front row seat. He entered and left on the lobby elevator with his lawyers,whose office is in the courthouse building.

The boys’ parents, Mandy Trecartin and Andrew Barthe,were not present,but their grandparents,Ernest and Linda Barthe,listened from a second-row seat.

The motion did not conclude on Thursday as scheduled,and will resume Friday at 1:30 pm. it is likely that Justice Ferguson will reserve any decision.

The case is scheduled for a judge-and-jury trial from Oct. 31 to Nov. 10.

More news updates to follow once available.

Josie

 

 

 

This news article from the Times and Transcript newspaper(based in Moncton,New Brunswick,Canada) came out today.

The article is titled “Motion in  Barthe deaths case next Thursday” written by Tim Jaques of The Tribune from Campbellton ,New Brunswick, Canada.

A pre-trial motion will be heard next week in the case of 39 y/o Jean-Claude Savoie ,charged with criminal negligence causing the 2013 deaths of Noah and Connor Barthe of Campbellton.

Accdg. to the current court docket,the defence motion,which had been originally been scheduled for several days,is now set for only one day,Thursday,April 28, in the Court of Queen’s Bench in Campbellton starting at 9:30 am,before Justice Frederick P. Ferguson.

Savoie’s lawyer,Les Matchim of Campbellton,has declined to speak to the nature of the motion because of a pre-trial publication ban in effect governing the evidence that will be used on the motion. However, the motion hearing itself is open to the public.

Scheduled to appear for the crown is Pierre F. Roussel.

In January,the dates for the trial had been set for Sept. 12 to 23,but the RCMP announced in a press release on Feb. 15 that in order to accommodate witnesses the date for the judge-and-jury trial was been put over to run from Oct. 31 to Nov. 11.

Savoie,who has not been present for previous court hearings and is not expected to be present on Thursday,was charged in March 2015. Information given to the media by RCMP immediately after the deaths alleged that a 45-kg African rock python escaped an enclosure in Savoie’s apartment during the early morning hours of Aug. 5,2013. Connor,6, and Noah,4, were in the apartment on a sleep over visiting Savoie’s son, and it was alleged that the snake asphyxiated the boys as they slept.

The apartment was situated above his Campbellton exotic pet business,Reptile Ocean,which has since closed. The exotic animals in the store and apartment,which were mainly reptiles,were seized by the dept. of National resources with the assistance of outside experts including Bruce Dougan of the Magnetic Hill Zoo in  Moncton..

Most of the creatures were parcelled out to zoos across North America,and the Magnetic Hill Zoo got two large Sulcata or African spurred tortoises. However 4 large alligators kept in the building’s basement had to be euthanized,as no zoo would take them.

The building remains vacant.

The unusual facts surrounding the deaths drew considerable international media attention to Campbellton in the weeks following the discovery of the boys’ bodies.

 

More news updates to follow once available.

Josie

 

 

Yesterday,March 22,2016, will go down as one of those days when anything can happen,good or bad.

First and foremost,the terrorist attacks at Brussels,Belgium. This makes the case that terrorism is the new reality and coping with  it in our daily lives is the new normal. How to live normally yet vigilant is indeed a never-ending balancing act from now on.

While all that news coverage is going on, breaking news  came out here in Canada that 46 y/o  former Toronto mayor Rob Ford passed away in palliative care from pleomorphic liposarcoma which he battled bravely for 18 months. He was quite a character—loud,brash,flamboyant,led a hedonistic lifestyle especially when it came to cocaine use but definitely loved by his followers because he cared about the well-being of Torontonians. His legacy is quite big indeed.

Also in Canadian news, is the presentation of the first federal budget by the Liberal Party in Parliament.

South of the border, there were ongoing primaries in Idaho,Utah and Arizona , the 1st 2 states  which were won by Democrat hopeful Bernie Sanders and the last one by Hillary Clinton.Republican hopeful Donald Trump won Arizona and fellow Republican Ted Cruz won Utah.

What a difference a day makes,indeed!

My prayers to the people in Belgium and to the Ford family!!!

With Easter fast approaching,hopefully, it’ll mean a new chapter/renewal for us all as we journey through this life.

Happy Easter! Joyueux  Pacques!

Josie

 

 

 

This news article from the Times and Transcript newspaper(based in Moncton,New Brunswick ,Canada came out today:

The trial for a man charged after a snake he owned killed two boys in Campbellton in 2013 has been pushed into the fall.

Jean-Claude Savoie,39,formerly of Campbellton but currently living in Montreal, was charged in March 2015 with criminal negligence causing death after a  lengthy investigation.

The charge was laid in relation to the death of two young boys at his home,who were having a sleepover with Savoie’s son.

On Aug. 5,2013, a 45-kilogram African rock python escaped an enclosure in Savoie’s apartment, situated above his exotic  pet business,Reptile Ocean. RCMP say autopsies determined that four-year-old Noah Barthe and his six-year-old brother Connor died as the result of being asphyxiated by the snake while sleeping in the apartment.

Savoie elected trial by judge and jury and the trial was set to take place Sept. 12 to 23.

The New Brunswick RCMP announced in a news release on Monday that the court has changed those dates. In order to accomodate witnesses who will be called to testify, the trial will now take place from Oct. 31 to Nov. 11.

 

I will keep you guys posted of any further developments regarding this.

Josie

 

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