When she woke up from the drug induced coma, she first wanted to know where her legs were. They were still where they had always been, but that wasn’t a good thing. Three days earlier, Jac was rushed into surgery with the prospect that both legs could be amputated at the groin in the hopes of saving her life.
It has always been the case, and remains today, that people who experience a disability- intellectual or physical, fight to be recognized as human beings of equal value. This statement could not be more clearly articulated than through the example provided by the ongoing treatment of survivors- some living and many dead, of Huronia Regional Centre. The government run institution warehoused thousands of people who had intellectual disabilities and perceived physical disabilities. Huronia survivors suffered inhumane conditions and were subjected to physical, sexual and mental abuse every day and every night. And when death came, surely as a rescue for many, a way to escape the living nightmare, they were laid in numbered, nameless graves and forgotten in the government owned cemetery- Huronia Regional Centre Cemetery.
Two years ago, Austin Chillman didn’t spend most of his day in bed exhausted and in pain. Back then Austin was a hearty 12 year old with a slew of friends and little time to spare. When he wasn’t in school Austin threw himself into his sports –especially hockey, camping, fishing, hunting or working the trapline with his grandfather. But in August 2014, Austin’s carefree adolescent lifestyle took an abrupt turn.
Nine years ago, outdoor adventurer couple and conservationists, Gary and Joanie McGuffin and art historian, Michael Burtch, set out to retrace and map the Group of Seven’s paths across pristine lakes and the wild northern landscape –just for the love of it. A few years ago the president of White Pine Pictures, Peter Raymont and researcher, Nancy Lang, made a connection with the trio. A couple of pizza pies and a few beers later, the group agreed that they should unite forces and take McGuffin’s and Burtch’s discovery to the next level –film.
It’s market day! Time to put on your best casual summer outfit that screams ‘oh yeah, I just accidentally dress this cute every Saturday morning’. It’s always an exciting day loaded with short bursts of small talk with vendors and good catch-ups with acquaintances galore. The stalls are overflowing with healthy produce, eggs, meat, preserves and baked goods lovingly produced by your favourite local farmers. But this great time isn’t an inclusive event –not even by a stretch. Supporting local farmers is a good thing to do but it is reserved for those who enjoy the benefit of a disposable income.
When 12 yr. old Aubrey ran away from home, she fled from a life coloured with sexual abuse, neglect, emotional battery and her own attempts to end her life. She ran without a plan and with a hope that anything out there was going to be better than what was disappearing in the dust of her tracks.
Northern Ontario- so unique from the rest of the province that it doesn’t even feel connected to their lower counterparts. Haunting lakes, dramatic cliffs and an untamed wilderness where tens upon tens of thousands of creatures great and small endure- they see us though we may not see them.
Such is the beauty of this place that one hundred years ago, Canada’s most revered and universally celebrated artists came together to capture the breathtaking vistas of the Algoma District. Eight years ago, outdoor adventurer couple and conservationists-Gary and Joanie McGuffin, and art historian-Michael Burtch, set out to retrace and map the Group of Seven’s paths across pristine lakes and the wild northern landscape –just for the love of it.
It’s been a tough road for downtown merchants located on Sault Ste. Marie’s Queen Street. The Station Mall, entry of corporate retail outlets, online purchasing habits and an exodus of businesses and services to Great Northern Road have contributed to declining patronage in the downtown. The gristliest of business owners have hung in and a few newcomer businesses have joined the crusade to restore Queen Street to the once vibrant and bustling main street it once was –and still can be.
Seeking an increase in private sector investment to invigorate the downtown core, the Sault Ste. Marie Downtown Development initiative obtained grants that provided funding for interior renovations, structural upgrades, façade improvements and professional design service as well as providing for tax rebates for large-scale investments.
However, some Queen Street merchants have expressed that revitalization efforts are cramped by an unwelcome neighbour –the Ontario Addiction Treatment Centres (OATC) Sault Clinic located on the corner of Queen Street and Spring Street. The clinic provides a methadone treatment program for people who have voluntarily sought out the resource to break free of opioid and opiate dependency.
The mayor of an Ontario town that’s on the hook for a controversial $49.5-million loan from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. is rejecting calls for a forensic audit of its power utility.
Centuries of systemic abuse beginning with the height of colonization in the early 17th century and extending hundreds of years later to the closure of the last residential school in Canada just eighteen years ago in 1996, have left a dark stain upon the legacy passed from one generation to the next. These atrocities, short of the near genocide of the First Nations, have left a people struggling to reclaim their cultural identity and spirituality, recover lost ancestral tongues and restore family unity that was defiled by the intervention of the government and church between parents and their children.
And what were the long-term consequences of the governments organized attempt to wipe out the First Nation culture? Among them, lower rates of education and income and increased rates of addiction, homelessness, abuse and incarceration.
When Frank showed me what the flower of the milkweed plant looked like I was way too excited. I had grown up with the plant my entire life but never knew it by name. When I was in my early twenties I’d walk home from work along the train tracks where milkweed grew aplenty. I’d often break the stem that was loaded with heavy and fragrant purple blooms and race home only to have the flower die before I could even transfer the stems into a vase of water.
The horrifying killing and dismemberment of Wesley Hallam in January 2011 terrified the community of Sault Ste. Marie. For Wesley’s family, the tragedy was life shattering. For 27 year old Chieanne Ainslie, younger sister of one of the three accused -Eric Mearow, and her parents, the incident presumptively branded the family as dangerous goods. After five and a half years of silence and with a sentencing for her brother on the horizon, Chieanne was compelled to go on the record about growing up with Eric, the burden of being his sister and what she believes would be the best outcome for Eric.
Community in Action Initiative: Building a Healthy Community
COURAGEOUS LIVES: A PROFILE OF THE WORKING POOR IN ...
It’s the day before New Year’s Eve and it’s coming on dusk. Outside it’s cold, northern Ontario cold. The air is so icy that your frosted words snap off at the end of your lips. We’re bumping north up Goulais Avenue in Shannon’s SUV and heading to Nettleton Lake. It was her brother’s favourite place. Over the radio ‘If I Die Young’ comes on. Shannon flashes her eyes, filled with concern, to the rear view mirror.