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On April 23,2018, a white van (driven by an incel enthusiast Alec Minassian) ploughed through Toronto’s longest street Yonge Street, killing mainly female pedestrians and bystanders (10 in total) on a sunny spring day here in Canada. The entire crime scene encompassed 2 kilometers in length. A  makeshift memorial site for the victims was set up at the junction of Finch Street and Yonge Street(Olive Square specifically).

The culprit was successfully caught without being shot by a nearby police officer(Constable Ken Lam) who confronted him.

Because of this, safety precautions have already been set up around the city of Toronto(Canada’s largest city–located in the province of Ontario) as if a potential terrorist attack would strike anytime.

Even other parts of the country, such similar security measures are up in case any copycats would try to do so.

Canada’s innocence has gone. Other  similar van attacks which happened in Europe sprang from terroristic aspirations.  Here in this Canadian van attack, it sprung from Mr. Minassian’s  extreme misogynistic views and his hate for women who rebuffed him which led to his deprivation of his sexual needs– ( incel—–involuntary celibate). He also idolizes another incel enthusiast —Elliot Rodgers who served as his inspiration for the Toronto van attack.

An editorial cartoon drawn by our local Maritime cartoonist–Michael De Adder depicts 2 boys sitting on park bench ,their backs to the readers, each holding a hockey stick and their jerseys emblazoned—the taller boy had HUMBOLDT and the shorter boy had TORONTO on their respective jerseys .

It depicts the prevailing mood that Canada still hasn’t recovered from the Humboldt  Broncos bus attack in April 6,2017  and now, Toronto has its own tragedy.

It’s the new reality indeed.

My thoughts and prayers to all affected !!!

 

Josie

 

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Last night, the hockey team  Humboldt Broncos’ vehicle collided with a semi-trailer unit (transport truck) while en route out west within their home Canadian province of Saskatchewan  , to a playoff game in  a town called Nipawin. Majority of the players are within the 16-22 age range. Accdg. to latest reports, 14 are dead and 14 are wounded(3 are critically wounded). The critically wounded are reportedly being airlifted to the nearest big city which is Saskatoon(approx. 2 hour drive between Humboldt and Saskatoon).

The love of hockey is a big part of the Canadian identity. Any disastrous event like this bus crash cuts through the core of the hearts of Canadians–whether hockey fan or not.

 

My memories of Humboldt years back was a small friendly town made up of folks, primarily of German descent which explains the town name–Humboldt. It’s located northeast from Saskatoon. It’s a known hockey town among local Saskatchewaners.

My thoughts and prayers to the teams’ family and friends.

Full report from the RCMP(Royal Canadian Mounted Police) has yet to follow at this time.

 

Josie

After the Valentine’s Day massacre at the Parkland High School( aka Mary Stoneman Douglas High School) in  Parkland,Florida(one of the safest U.S. cities), one would think that apathy and indifference would come up again with regards to possible gun control/regulation.

Well, in light of the recent #MeToo movement, it was refreshing and uplifting to see the students and residents holding rallies calling out for gun control, challenging the US politicians especially the Republican Party from the White House to Congress to stop hiding behind the coattails of the NRA(National Rifle Association) who has been giving out political donations to them. Hopefully, such rallies would continue and not only in Parkland but everywhere else until they’re heard and  definite change comes.

The Fire & Fury at Parkland is a starting point. Its about time. Too many shootings already.

What will invoke change this time? A decisive vote in the polls or a bullet into the head of the son/daughter  of a politician?

People’s lives matter. Guns don’t die. People do.

Valentine’s Day is supposed to be a day celebrating love but with the tragedy at Parkland High, it became a day of hate and a sad anniversary to everyone affected.

My prayers to the victims and their families.

 

Josie

Jerry Lewis,comedy icon and philanthropist/fund-raiser for the National Muscular Dystrophy Foundation had died yesterday at age 91 after a brief illness.

May you rest in peace and as your ending song after each MD fundraiser states, You Will Never Walk Alone as the angels escort you to the Pearly Gates. I’m sure your comedy team partner Dean Martin will be waiting for you up there to greet you a warm welcome.

Josie

With Easter Sunday arriving tomorrow,amidst all the impending festivities, I will also be reflecting on the life of a special family(a widow with 3 special-needs,adult sons) who all passed away from smoke inhalation secondary to a house fire just this past Tuesday.

It happened in the town of St. George,New Brunswick,Canada.

Their deaths have been deemed as “non-criminal in nature”. the cause of the fire remains now under the investigation by the Office of the Fire Marshal.

The only silver lining here is that all 4 of them left this world together and will be celebrating Easter in their own way wherever they are now.

Here’s today’s news article which gives a synopsis of what had recently happened and the memorial service of all the 4 deceased family members.

Community gathers to remember family killed in house fire—-Sarah Seeley(The Telegraph Journal)

ST.GEORGE–  Fire trucks lined Main Street outside St. George Baptist on Saturday as the community gathered to remember Esther Boyd and her three adult sons,Davey,Billy and Robbie.

The four family members died in a fire at their South Street home on Tuesday.

The public memorial service was held on what would have been Davey’s 56th birthday.

The front of the church was filled with members of the St. George Fire Dept. where Davey was an honorary fire chief who had helped out at the station for more than 40 years.

Firefighters from the departments in Black Harbour,Deer island and St. Stephen were also at the service.

All the pews were filled at the Baptist church with more mourners gathering at the St. Mark’s Anglican Church across the street to hear a broadcast of the service.

Some of the Musquash Fire department took over operations at the St. George Fire Hall so the firefighters could attend the funeral.

Esther,80,was the primary caregiver for her three adult sons with special needs-Billy,59,Davey,55 and Robbie,52.

She was a dedicated member of St. George Baptist Church where she taught Sunday school and sang in the choir. The songs sung at her funeral were some of Esther’s favorites.

The church’s minister,Rev. Jason Hooper,and Rev. Mary Ann Langmaid from the Anglican Church conducted the service.

Hooper said Esther was known around the community as a kind and loving mother to her boys.

“She was a  person of strong faith,”he said. It was her strong faith that helped her to persevere .”

Premier Brian Gallant and MLA Rick Doucet and St. George mayor Crystal Cook attended the service.

After the service,Gallant told the Telegraph-Journal he was touched by the outpouring of sentiments from the town of 1,500 people.

“It’s very sad anytime that you have a community going through something of this nature.We wanted to be here to support them. We  know all New Brunswickers are thinking of St. George.”

 

My thoughts and prayers for this family as well.

Josie

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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