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Dancehall duo Bonjay returns to hometown Ottawa for Bon-Fire

Bonjay When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday Bon-Fire 2018: Aug. 17-18, Rideau Pines Farm, 5714 Fourth Line Rd., North Gower Also performing: Wolf Parade, Casper Skulls, Jennifer Castle, Ansley Simpson, Shadowhand and more. Passes: $59.99 general admission, $49.99 for youths age 25 and under, includes free shuttle bus from Ottawa. Children 10 and under free. Schedule information and […]

Bonjay


When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday


Bon-Fire 2018: Aug. 17-18, Rideau Pines Farm, 5714 Fourth Line Rd., North Gower


Also performing: Wolf Parade, Casper Skulls, Jennifer Castle, Ansley Simpson, Shadowhand and more.


Passes: $59.99 general admission, $49.99 for youths age 25 and under, includes free shuttle bus from Ottawa. Children 10 and under free.


Schedule information and ticket purchases: arboretumfestival.com.


*******


It’s a commonly accepted nugget of dance-floor etiquette that you don’t interrupt the DJ when he or she is mixing the music that’s making everyone dance.


But singer-songwriter Alanna Stuart, who’s one half of the duo Bonjay, couldn’t help herself when she joined friends at a party in Ottawa’s Chinatown neighbourhood more than a decade ago. Though raised in Orléans, she had just moved back to Ottawa to attend university, she recalls, and was “hungry for something more, musically and culturally.


“I remember walking up the narrow staircase to the attic, and hearing this remix of Fela Kuti’s Zombie. I was mesmerized by the polyrhythms, the freshness of it. I saw the crowd sweating profusely and almost convulsing to the music,” she says.


It was one of the legendary Disorganized parties — a monthly residency hosted by an Ottawa DJ collective — and Stuart recognized people she knew from the punk, hip hop and soul scenes. She had a revelation.


“I realized, ‘This is who I am,’” she says. “‘This is where I need to be.’ And playing that song in this tiny little DJ booth was Ian (Swain). I didn’t know whether he was a producer or not but I ran up to him and explained that I was a pop/R&B singer wanting to do something different. He was in the middle of mixing and I broke a cardinal rule of interrupting a DJ mix. He was like, ‘Uh, okay, here’s my card.’ I just trusted his instinct and that has not wavered.”


In the studio, Swain, aka DJ Pho, forgave her transgression.


“If I hadn’t met Alanna, I don’t think I would be making music in the same way,” he says. “Basically I come from DJing and whatever nexus of music I’m playing. Alanna comes from singing in the church, and the 2000 indie scene is where she found her voice. Where we meet in the middle is dancehall, so it really is unique.”


The soul singer and the DJ made an EP, Broughtupsy, that came out in 2010 and earned them a cult following.


Bonjay, consisting of Alanna Stuart and Ian Swain. (Credit: May Truong)


Then came a long period of artistic development that finally ended earlier this year when they released Lush Life, an album that Exclaim! magazine describes as “one of the very best R&B albums of 2018.” A polished mix of R&B, techno and dancehall, with a songwriter’s sensibility, it was also longlisted for the Polaris Prize.


For Stuart, the artistic development involved studying theatre in London and dance in Montreal, while Swain delved into music theory, and learned to play all the instruments.


The songs on Lush Life explore how we live in cities, a theme that emerged thanks in part to Swain’s day job as an economist researching the growth of cities. He and musician/consultant Andrew Vincent co-authored the 2015 report Connecting Ottawa Music: A Profile of Ottawa’s Music Industries, which analyzed the state of Ottawa’s music scene and recommended ways for it to expand. The report sparked the creation of the Ottawa Music Industry Coalition and led to the city implementing a music strategy.


“Visiting Ian at his work place, I’d be privy to certain conversations about urban planning or music in cities so I feel like those ideas had set in my subconscious,” Stuart says. “And also just being a black woman in Canada, it’s no surprise that ideas of identity and diversity would be expressed lyrically.”


Although Bonjay is now based in Toronto, they can see how being from Ottawa led to their unique musical style.


“Sometimes people don’t see Ottawa as being a place where the unexpected can happen,” says Stuart. “Being a government town and a university town, it can be a bit conservative and we have to work so much harder to create something different. We don’t necessarily have this template for how to do that so we have to create our own way, unencumbered by industry standards and trends and things like that.”


“Merging dancehall with the indie songwriter side of music doesn’t always make sense and isn’t always easy,” adds Swain. “The idea that we took these influences and we built on them and took them in our own unique direction, that is the greatest fulfillment I could ever get.”


The duo hints at some big things to come over the next few months, and they promise it won’t take another eight years to create more music. In the meantime, they’re thrilled to return to hometown Ottawa to play Arboretum’s Bon-Fire festival.


“Bonjay is from Ottawa’s Chinatown, and Bonjay is from the Clocktower Pub in the Glebe, and to come back to play in Ottawa always feels like a homecoming,” says Stuart. “It will be nice to play outdoors because it’s home, and also because it reminds me of Jamaica, where I’ve never been to an indoor party or show. Ever. It’s always under the open sky, and there’s this feeling of freedom and expanse. I just want to open my arms wide and sing.”


lsaxberg@postmedia.com


 


Source: Dancehall duo Bonjay returns to hometown Ottawa for Bon-Fire
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Provincewide psychiatrist shortage strains Ottawa's resources

The wide and worsening shortage of psychiatrists in Ontario is impacting the Ottawa area, and the city needs around 25 more psychiatrists to make up the difference, says the president of the Ontario Psychiatric Association. Dr. Mathieu Dufour, associate chief at The Royal, is one of the co-chairs with the Coalition of Ontario Psychiatrists, who […]

The wide and worsening shortage of psychiatrists in Ontario is impacting the Ottawa area, and the city needs around 25 more psychiatrists to make up the difference, says the president of the Ontario Psychiatric Association.


Dr. Mathieu Dufour, associate chief at The Royal, is one of the co-chairs with the Coalition of Ontario Psychiatrists, who released a report last week that said Ontario is facing a shortage of psychiatrists that is expected to worsen by 2030.


The report, plainly titled “Ontario needs psychiatrists,” found that Ontario has a shortage of about 200 psychiatrists. By 2030, that number is forecast to rise to 350.


That provincial shortage exists on a local level as well, said Dufour. “Just recently, we know that there’s between 20 and 25 psychiatrists missing in the whole region,” he said. That shortage is similar in scale to what other urban centres in the province are facing, but since Ottawa encompasses so many rural areas, other challenges are present.


“There might be a bigger shortage of psychiatrists in rural area,” said Dufour. “That’s for sure. There’s more difficulty accessing psychiatric care in the region of Ottawa if you’re outside of Ottawa.


The shortage in Ottawa and across the province touches different areas of psychiatry, but the report points out that there is an “acute shortage” of community-based psychiatrists, which in turns adds to the workload of psychiatrists who work in hospitals and emergency departments.


“We certainly need more community-based psychiatrists in the region of Ottawa,” said Dufour. It is not, however, the case that we need community-based psychiatrists exclusively. “But we also need, I would say most hospitals — acute care hospitals and The Royal — we also suffer from that shortage.”


The report also singles out child and youth psychiatric services as an area in which this pinch in psychiatrists is particularly worrisome. The report found that Canada needs about 1,500 child and youth psychiatrists but that there are only about 500 active; in Ontario, there are fewer than 100 child psychiatrists, mostly in urban areas, leaving parts of the province “entirely unserved.”


Joanne Lowe, executive director of Ottawa’s Youth Services Bureau (YSB), sits at the intersection of those two concerns. She sees day in and day out how that shortage impacts young people. “We certainly see that for young people, the whole lack of mental health services in general plays itself out through the absence of child and youth psychiatrists, for sure,” said Lowe. “If there is a need for a psychiatrist, that’s when it becomes more challenging when you’re trying to find someone.”


Joanne Lowe, executive director, Youth Services Bureau. James Park, Postmedia


A psychiatrist shortage is a problem that will continue to grow as psychiatrists age out of the system with little in the way of young replacements. 56 per cent of the psychiatrists in Ontario are above the age of 55, the report notes; only 4.3 per cent of psychiatrists surveyed were below the age of 35. The report does not mince words on this point, saying that “the efforts made to recruit students to psychiatry are abysmal.”


Part of the problem, notes the report, is that every year psychiatry residencies — the specialized training positions in medical school that qualify one to practise psychiatry and other specialties — go unfilled despite excess demand for them. In 2018, for instance, 190 medical students ranked psychiatry as their preferred discipline, but of 184 residencies available, only 175 were filled.


“We need to ensure all psychiatry residency spots are filled,” reads the report. “The need for psychiatric services is too great, and the effects of psychiatric shortage are too severe, to fail here year after year.”


Though the report points out that in 2017 that the University of Ottawa left two residencies unfilled, Véronique Vallée, a spokeswoman for the university, confirmed that all residency spots were filled for the past five years.


Dufour said that making sure the local medical school fills all its vacancies is a start toward attracting more psychiatrists to Ottawa in the first place. “We try to retain them as much as we could,” he said. “We’ve also been trying to recruit out of the province, out of the country as well to get some good candidates to provide mental health services.”


The supply of psychiatrists and the number being trained annually give shape to the resource management challenges that front-line services face. Lowe said she was hesitant to put a number on the shortage of psychiatrists that her organization, and the field of child and youth psychiatry in Ottawa sees; she jokes that if she could, she would hire 100 new staff and start there.


“I mean, let’s be really clear. Do we need more child and youth psychiatrists? Absolutely,” she said. ““It’s an imperfect system. I’ll be the first person to say that.”


Efforts to increase the number of psychiatrists working in the province by incentivizing psychiatry in medical school have a built-in lag time for training, which means that in the short-term the field will continue to feel the pinch in Ottawa.


“As psychiatrists we have seen the increased demands,” says Dufour. “Psychiatrists have responded by actually increasing their hours and the number of patients they see. Over 10 years, psychiatrists have increased by 20 per cent (in terms of) their hours and the number of patients they see.”


Lowe admits that more funding would be nice, but in the interim they will continue to work with partners to try to marshal what resources they do have to the right places. “The gaps not just in the what we have, but how we use our existing resources,” she said, and then jokes: “if you could write me a blank cheque I’d be good with that.”




If you are experiencing a mental health crisis, you can call the 24/7 Mental Health Crisis Line at 613-722-6914. If you’re a young person experiencing difficulties, you can call the Youth Services Bureau at 613-260-2360 or talk to someone online, between 4 p.m. and 10 p.m., at http://www.chat.ysb.ca.


Source: Provincewide psychiatrist shortage strains Ottawa's resources
3
Defence Watch / Today's letters: The power of the Last Post
« Last post by One Veteran One Standard on August 11, 2018, 07:03:41 AM »
Today's letters: The power of the Last Post

The power of the Last Post RE: Lloyd Maxwell died alone but not unnoticed, Aug. 9 I was the bugler in the RCMP Cemetery that you referred to in Thursday’s article. I can assure you that as I stand among the headstones I am playing for everyone of them. Of course I was there for […]

The power of the Last Post


RE: Lloyd Maxwell died alone but not unnoticed, Aug. 9


I was the bugler in the RCMP Cemetery that you referred to in Thursday’s article. I can assure you that as I stand among the headstones I am playing for everyone of them. Of course I was there for a particular family and friends but the Last Post is to be shared by all those who can hear and those that lie in silence. I have played in Canadian Cemeteries in Holland and Hong Kong and the sadness is palpable and as you look at the rows of young soldiers. My mind goes back over my own family that have served and to those who never come home.


The Last Post was for Lloyd Maxwell just as much as it was that RCMP family who had just lost a father, grandfather and colleague.


I am a member of the RCMP Pipe Band in Ottawa. We are almost all volunteers from the community who play for nothing more than making music and supporting the RCMP in Canada and around the world. I have the additional privilege of playing bugle and trumpet calls as needed.


To read your story today brought tears to my eyes as I learned that my “call” reached out to another Canadian that served.


Bless them all.


Charles Armstrong, Ottawa


 


Chef’s actions speak volumes


Re: Acclaimed chef to close Beechwood Gastropub


This article clearly depicted the journey and reality of “much respected young chef/owner Harriet Clunie”.

The captioned 13 words “I learned a lot. It’s only going to make me a stronger chef” clearly depicted her positive attitude. The article also shares some of the lessons learned.  It is a shame that she had to withdraw from this fall’s Gold Medal Plates competition. A prestigious invitation that she earned.  It is commendable that Chef Clunie is donating whatever food is left to Ottawa-area shelters. Giving to those in need during a personal hardship speaks volumes. (Although a reality, perplexing that the restaurant “perpetually been short-staffed”.)

Steve Georgopoulos, Orleans




Photo radar the right approach

Adding additional police officers in a cash-strapped economy to battle crime and violence is enough justification to establish an aggressive photo radar program to deal with aggressive drivers. Having a police officer sitting on the side of the road catching those speeders who haven’t been warned in advance is a hit-and-miss practice. Photo radar works 24/7 with no brakes, no idling emissions, no waste of resources and is a constant reminder for the motoring public to obey the law.  As for the invasion of any personal privacy you gave that up when you choose to put public safety in jeopardy.

Gord Mills, North Gower


 


The real value of the modern royals is their celebrity cachet


Re: The summer of Meghan Markle and all the tired ways we talk about royal women (Aug 10)


The only way that royalty really makes sense in today’s world is to turn them into celebrities. We definitely live in a shallow celebrity age where people are famous for just being famous. Watchers live through their celebrities just as sports fans idolize their sports heroes who make millions (funded often by the fans). Duty and loyalty are no longer important – it’s now all about the glitz, glamour, and schmaltz. Someone once said, in commenting on the state of monarchy in the world, that in the future there will only be five queens left: the Queen of Clubs, the Queen of Spades, the Queen of Hearts, the Queen of Diamonds, and the Queen of England. Queen Elizabeth will definitely be the last true Queen, void of all the Hollywood, showbizzy glitz and phony glamour. The irony is that in the old days the people were subjects to the Queen and Kings not by choice, but today the monarchy still holds court over the average person, and people now are subjects to the monarchy by choice. People often worship and adore what they themselves are lacking in their own lives. It’s the royal conundrum.


Douglas Cornish, Ottawa


 


Don’t erase history, but don’t sugarcoat it either


RE: Victoria removing Sir John A’s statue from city hall


Racism and slavery were accepted in many countries in the 19th century. “Accepted” by the ruling classes, who gave consideration only to their own judgments, while ignoring the injustices inflicted on the victims of their actions.


Historians say Sir John A. Macdonald had no regard whatsoever for our indigenous peoples. He thought they were disposable, and at best, should be assimilated. The fact that residential schools were inhuman and immoral should therefore not be surprising.


Because he was a prime mover for residential schools, schools named after Macdonald should be renamed. And all statues of him in public spaces should be retrofitted with plaques that describe the culture of that time, Macdonald’s valuable contributions to Canada, and as well, the residential schools disaster. Without candy-coating.


Brian Boyd, Orleans


 


Canada doesn’t have monopoly on values


I don’t think I am alone in wishing that Justin Trudeau and his ministers would cease using the meaningless expression “Canadian Values”. The implication is that Canada has a monopoly on all things bright and beautiful. All freedom-loving democracies share the same concerns for issues such as human rights and the environment, although such countries, regrettably, are probably a minority among the nations of the world.  I believe Americans are among those who cherish these principles even though their president does not.


If the composition of the United Nations is any example it is a sad reality that many of its members are governed by oppressive tyrants who have no regard for rights. Canada is a victim of one such regime, Saudi Arabia.


Philip Laundy, Ottawa



Let’s use this imbroglio to review Canada’s prosperity strategy

Global Affairs Minister Freedman did not show the most diplomatic smarts by criticizing the Saudis on social media regarding their human rights abuses. What it did though was to expose those abuses to the whole world. It also provided a chance to witness how far this regime is ready to go to try to intimidate international voices from publicly criticizing their human rights abuses.


As far as I am concerned, let them terminate diplomatic relations with us. Let them sell their assets in Canada and then, as your columnist Andrew Cohen rightly suggested, to let us reclaim their embassy on Ottawa’s ceremonial route and reassign it to a country that respects human rights. Let them repatriate their own citizens studying in Canada including all the Saudi medical residents; that way this will provide required residency positions to our own Canadian citizens waiting for such openings. Let those frustrated Saudi students get mad at their own authoritarian government regime. In reality, these repatriated students may become human rights allies and activists in their own country.


Let us use this imbroglio as an opportunity to review our own future prosperity strategy. For instance, let’s implement measures that will help us to become more self reliant on our own resources. Perhaps one day we will thank the Saudis for having kicked us hard enough to convince all of us that commerce cannot trump (no pun intended) human rights activism. It may perhaps become an opportunity to send the White House regime a clear message that we can be creative in protecting our future economic prosperity.

Ghislain St-Jacques, Ottawa

 


What about Canada’s imprisoned activists?


It is reported that Saudi Arabia has expelled the Canadian ambassador and frozen “all new business” with Ottawa over criticism of the kingdom’s arrest of women’s rights activists.


The kingdom’s foreign minister, Adel Al-Jubeir, said the next wave of retaliatory steps could affect investment flows between the countries. Saudi Arabia’s central bank and pension funds have already begun selling Canadian assets, according to reports that triggered brief selling of the loonie.


At the same time, 214 social activists, many of them women, have been arrested in Vancouver and charged, with the full support and encouragement of the Canadian government, with protesting the proposed Trans Mountain expansion.


What blatant and shockingly self-serving hypocrisy on the part of Justin Trudeau!


Mike Priaro, Calgary


 


Foreign student tuition masks a real funding problem


RE: Saudi Dispute Hits Hospitals, Aug. 9


The suggestion that because the payment by the Saudis for medical positions in our universities and hospitals creates positions over and above what our provinces fund, is very misleading, and speaks to the short-sightedness of our current reality. We are chronically short doctors because our government does not provide enough financial support for medical positions to serve the needs of the Canadian public. One of the reasons they provide insufficient funding is because we pursue the short-term fiscal strategy of big bucks associated with foreign students. The result is that qualified Canadian medical students are either denied entry to our local schools and hospitals, or they are forced to go abroad for their training. This is discouraging and unfair to our local youth, and in the end only hurts the Canadian public. This is exacerbated by the fact that we the taxpayers pay (and have paid for) the vast majority of the school and hospital infrastructures that supports this medical training. So school, hospital, and government bureaucrats, please spare me the crocodile tears in lamenting the loss of the foreign students, when in fact this should wake us up to the reality that we must reduce our reliance on foreign student cash, in order to properly serving our local youth, and our taxpayers. In other words, reduce the number of foreign medical students, since it impinges on our ability to serve our own needs first.


Frank Scott, Ottawa


 


Canada has nothing to apologize for


I don’t often agree with PM Trudeau but this is an exception. As Canadians we have every right to speak about the need to respect human rights.


Let the Saudi continue to live in the Stone Age where it is common to persecute the family of critics if you can’t otherwise silence them.


Recalling their 16,000 students hurts them more than us. A recall leaves their valuable training incomplete and them unqualified. Banning new Canadian business and selling off Canadian assets will again hurt them more. Others will come for the smell of good investment deals to be had at a sell-off discount. We have our own oil and don’t need theirs. They have no clout. We should, in fact, put a freeze on their massive Canadian arms deal agreement until they pull in their blunt horns.


We have no need to apologize, retract, or express regret for advocating for human rights.


Leif Schonberg, Osgoode


 


Pay attention to problems at home


While our Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland does her virtual signalling on twitter regarding Saudia Arabia, is she aware that in Canada, dairy farmers who offer raw milk to Canadians that cannot digest pasteurized milk without becoming extremely sick are charged huge fines to adhere to out-dated regulations and if they refuse to cease and desist are charged with obstruction and put in jail. Durham raw milk farmer Michael Schmidt spent time in Penetanguishene’s maximum security jail in 2017 for this transgression. Canadians were shocked and surprised as raw milk is not illegal to drink in Canada.


Yours truly was also charged for several related offenses and was also threatened with jail time. In the meantime, Europe has thousands of raw milk vending machines.


Michael Ilgert, Golden Lake


 


 


Source: Today's letters: The power of the Last Post
4
'The Grippler' grasping for world arm-wrestling title in LA

PEMBROKE — Ian Carnegie believes he can go “over the top” when it comes to the World Armwrestling League. On Thursday, The Grippler (Carnegie’s arm wrestling nickname) hopes to add to the “Ws” in his 15-6 record when he competes at the league’s next showcase event in the Supermatch Showdown Series at The NOVO in Los […]

PEMBROKE — Ian Carnegie believes he can go “over the top” when it comes to the World Armwrestling League.


On Thursday, The Grippler (Carnegie’s arm wrestling nickname) hopes to add to the “Ws” in his 15-6 record when he competes at the league’s next showcase event in the Supermatch Showdown Series at The NOVO in Los Angeles.


Standing 6’1” and weighing in at 350 lbs., Carnegie arm-wrestles in the super heavyweight division, currently competing right hand only, but typically arm-wrestling with both hands. He said he’s looking forward to the competition and he is ready to go.


“(My) short-term goals are to win every match presented to me and then ultimately become the number 1 arm-wrestler on the planet,” he said.


Coming from a family steeped in wrestling, the sport is clearly embedded in Carnegie’s DNA. The son of Gary Carnegie, a Canadian Army vet, and Diane “Vivian” Vachon (yes, those Vachons), a Canadian wrestling queen and hall of famer, The Grippler was born in Pembroke on Feb. 5, 1980. His father was stationed at CFB Petawawa at the time.


His uncles Maurice “Mad Dog” Vachon and Paul “The Butcher” Vachon are both hall-of-fame wrestlers and are certainly well-known names to wrestling fans. He is cousin to WWE superstar Trudy “Luna” Vachon.


Carnegie’s family moved to Montreal when he was young, but returned to the Pembroke area when he was in Grade 8. He attended General Panet High School in Petawawa and Fellowes High School in Pembroke. As a child he played hockey with the Petawawa Patriots, and basketball at Fellowes and then at Dawson College in Montreal. Coming from a wrestling family he wrestled a little as a child between ages six and nine then a bit at age 16, but it was after he had joined the Canadian Forces that he became interested in arm-wrestling.


“I’ve always been interested in arm-wrestling however it was through the military and a very well established arm-wrestler by the name of Devon Larratt that really got me involved,” Carnegie said.


In 2005, Garrison Petawawa held an army arm-wrestling tournament which Larratt ran. He was a member of JTF2 at the time but was already one of North America’s top arm-wrestlers.


“I entered the event and won both arms in the heavyweight division. Once the event was over I then had the opportunity to pull Devon. It was a total futile effort as he was clearly way too strong of an opponent. He assured me that I had what it took to be a champion. So I took his advice and have been competing ever since,” Carnegie said.


It’s the individualistic nature of the sport that appeals to Carnegie and keeps him in it.


“I love that I only have me to blame if I lose and I love the ‘me versus you’ aspect of the fight … and to impose my will on another man in the context of sport.”


Carnegie said winning the Mike Gould Classic, Canada’s top professional international arm-wrestling tournament, was his first big tournament win. In 2017 at the WAL Midwest Classic ‘Tenacious 12’ he finished 2nd place in the super heavyweight right hand class, and 3rd place same class with his left hand. He credits his success to having excellent teachers and training partners.


Retired from the Canadian Forces, The Grippler lives in Kingston these days and is a member of three arm-wrestling clubs, The Ottawa Valley High Hookers out of Pembroke, Ottawa High Hookers and the K-Town Krushers out of Kingston.


If you want to catch Carnegie in action, viewers can stream the WAL Supermatch Showdown Series on the B/R Live app, or in Canada you can stream at walunderground.com.


The event takes place at The NOVO in Los Angeles on Thursday beginning at approximately 10:30 EST.


adixon@postmedia.com


Source: 'The Grippler' grasping for world arm-wrestling title in LA
5
Gatineau police searching for driver involved in hit-and-run

Gatineau police are searching for a driver involved in a hit-and-run between a vehicle and a pedestrian. So far there’s little information to go on. A 60-year-old man suffered minor head injuries when a vehicle knocked him down at the intersection of Gréber Boulevard and Orléans Street at approximately 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Police can only […]

Gatineau police are searching for a driver involved in a hit-and-run between a vehicle and a pedestrian.


So far there’s little information to go on.


A 60-year-old man suffered minor head injuries when a vehicle knocked him down at the intersection of Gréber Boulevard and Orléans Street at approximately 7:30 p.m. Sunday.


Police can only call it a vehicle for now because no one has been able to give them a description of it.


They think the driver may have fled north along Gréber.


Anyone with information is asked to call Gatineau police at (819) 246-0222.


tspears@postmedia.com

twitter.com/TomSpears1


Source: Gatineau police searching for driver involved in hit-and-run
6
Simmons: Yes, we can stop some of the harm of opioid addiction

“I’d rather die than go into withdrawal,” he said, staring into my eyes. I didn’t know how extreme addiction could get until I heard those words. I had never thought the body could become so dependent on a drug it would be more important to a person than avoiding death. That was my first time […]

“I’d rather die than go into withdrawal,” he said, staring into my eyes. I didn’t know how extreme addiction could get until I heard those words. I had never thought the body could become so dependent on a drug it would be more important to a person than avoiding death.


That was my first time face-to-face with the opioid crisis on my own as a doctor. It was last summer at The Ottawa Hospital on an overnight shift as the senior medical resident.


The emergency department had consulted me to admit this patient, who had been diagnosed with endocarditis, a life-threatening heart infection. Severe infections are common complications of intravenous drug use, due to the unsterile nature of street drugs and the settings in which they are injected. To prevent him from dying, this patient would have stay in hospital to start intravenous antibiotics.


Unfortunately, he was not the average injection drug user. He was living with a severe opioid use disorder, the worst I had ever seen, injecting heroin at least eight times per day. I ran through the options for treating his opioid addiction.


A detoxification program? Too unsafe with his addiction and heart infection. An opioid replacement drug? He had been fired by two doctors for failing to follow opioid replacement treatment. “They don’t get you the same high. You know that,” he noted. “I need an opioid and if I can’t get it here, then I will leave.”


I had a decision to make. Admit him to hospital with an opioid prescription to replace his need for heroin or leave his infection untreated and read “intensive care unit” beside his name next week (or even worse, “deceased”). What was the better choice for him? For our health care system?


If you have never met someone with a severe opioid use disorder, it’s easy to think patients like this are bluffing. That they just want you to prescribe them opioids so they don’t have to stop. That it’s a choice. They wouldn’t risk having a heart infection go untreated or another overdose with street opioids, would they?


Sadly, in my little over two years as a doctor I have learned the answer is yes, they would. Time and time again, we see the same faces with severe opioid use disorders, that cannot be managed with standard treatments, return to hospital with another life-threatening complication. Until recently, I began to grow disillusioned with the treatments for these patients. Then I worked with Ottawa Inner City Health.


Last fall, Ottawa Inner City Health began a managed opioid program. In this program, people living with severe opioid use disorders are prescribed a regimen of safe, medical grade opioids to stabilize their injection drug use and prevent their need for street drugs. It’s a radical approach and after seeing it firsthand in January, I am happy to write that it works.


This program is not for any injection drug user. The patients enrolled are similar to those I typically meet in hospital. They are suffering from extreme cases of addiction, on the brink of death from complications of injection drug use but due to the severity of the disease cannot stop their use of dangerous street opioids.


Thankfully, innovative approaches like that used at Ottawa Inner City Health are breaking this cycle. When you meet patients in this program, you begin to see how life-changing it is. Once stabilized on a regimen of medical opioids, they are able to engage with health care providers like never before. Instead of having to dedicate every waking moment to getting their next hit, they can stop and think.


With time, their dependence on street opioids ends and their risk of the next overdose or complication becomes minimal. Rather than becoming another admission to hospital and ultimately, another death statistic, these patients begin to work at the life they would like to have after their opioid addiction.


And while there is still a long road ahead for them and their addiction, at least some of the harm has stopped.


Graydon Simmons is a third-year internal medicine resident doctor at the University of Ottawa and the Ottawa Hospital. 


Source: Simmons: Yes, we can stop some of the harm of opioid addiction
7
Meet Bruce, the moose who thinks he's a horse (of course)

A Bourget-area farm has a new addition to its herd of Arabian horses, and it’s a moose. “He just thinks he’s a horse so he watches the horses and does what they do,” said the clearly charmed Kelsa Staffa of Wildfire Arabians who has made the muddled moose Facebook famous.

A Bourget-area farm has a new addition to its herd of Arabian horses, and it’s a moose.


“He just thinks he’s a horse so he watches the horses and does what they do,” said the clearly charmed Kelsa Staffa of Wildfire Arabians who has made the muddled moose Facebook famous.


Source: Meet Bruce, the moose who thinks he's a horse (of course)
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Reevely: Five weeks not long enough for proper audit of Ontario spending, potential bidders warn

Five weeks might not be enough time to examine all the Ontario government’s spending, compare it to other places’, and recommend how it might save money, potential bidders on the province’s “line-by-line audit” of operations have warned. Tough, the government says, we’re in a hurry. No extensions, no boost to the $500,000 budget, and don’t […]

Five weeks might not be enough time to examine all the Ontario government’s spending, compare it to other places’, and recommend how it might save money, potential bidders on the province’s “line-by-line audit” of operations have warned.


Tough, the government says, we’re in a hurry. No extensions, no boost to the $500,000 budget, and don’t expect detailed help from the public service. Bids close Wednesday.


The Progressive Conservatives promised the line-by-line audit of everything the province spends when they won power in June’s election, as a key step toward finding as much as $20 billion in “efficiencies” in a $158-billion budget.


In mid-July, they put the work out to tender. The bidding documents make it clear that the gig is much less ambitious than the party made it sound: Instead of sending accountants and operations experts out to every office, going over every nickel, counting every pen, the provincial treasury board is searching for areas of government spending that have grown faster than economics and demographics suggest they should have, to figure out where ministers might want to look more closely. It’s a scan from 30,000 feet, not three inches.


Even so, the Tories aren’t allowing much time for the lookover. They want to pick a winning bid by Aug. 10, get initial results within two weeks, and a final report that includes recommendations by Sept. 21. Serious companies have at least looked at the bid materials, according to records on the province’s tendering system, management-consulting powerhouses such as KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers and McKinsey among them.


But they’ve also formally fretted about how realistic the whole thing is. So that all bidders are on equal footing, they can put questions to the government that get answered publicly, without the questioners’ names attached. You could summarize most of them as, “What if this is impossible?”


“Given the importance of the initiative, the timeline and budget seem very tight for the scope of work requested in the (Request for Bids),” one says. “Will bidders be disqualified if they respond with the requested scope of work, but are not able to meet the timeline or budget?”


“The terms and conditions of the RFB, including the deliverables, are not negotiable,” the government responded. In other words: We’ve given you the timeline and the budget. Meet them or don’t, but if you don’t, don’t expect to get the job.


How about if we can’t do all the things you want for $500,000? “If the bidder submits a proposal based on a reduced scope that reflects the $500,000 cap, will the bidder be disqualified; or is the intent for all bidders to scope all requested items within the RFB?”


“The terms and conditions of the RFB, including the deliverables, are not negotiable,” the government repeats. Did you read the stuff we posted?


OK, OK. But it’s August, right, and we’ll have just two weeks to compare Ontario’s budgets to what they spend in other jurisdictions. We might call Alberta and find that they’re on vacation, a potential bidder writes. “Given that it is the summer and often people are unavailable, if insufficient responses are obtained from the jurisdictional review, will the project be automatically extended?”


No. “There is no intention, at this time, to extend the timetable should jurisdictional findings be delayed,” the answer says. “The government is working under tight timelines to meet 2018-19 fiscal targets for improving program efficiency and overall value-for-money of program spending in the short-, medium-, and long-term. As such, timing of the delivery of the line-by-line review and recommendations is important to help support this commitment.”


The province doesn’t have contact information to supply; won’t put any government staff on the review team; and won’t hand over any previous work that might have been done to compare Ontario to other provinces, states or governments abroad. It will give the winning bidder access to the government’s financial-reporting system. For everything else, the outside team will be on its own.


Before the City of Ottawa did its dud of a deal a few years ago with Plasco, which promised to turn garbage into electricity cleanly and efficiently, the city commissioned a survey of comparable technologies. It was thrown together in a couple of weeks from database entries kept by a consulting firm, some of them outdated. The report was obsolete before it was delivered, which was fantastic for a document purporting to describe state-of-the-art technology. But the thing fulfilled its purpose. It gave the city a study to wave around.


That’s what this “line by line audit” is shaping up to be for the province: Done fast, on the cheap, using whatever data is lying around. With results and recommendations of a quality to match.


dreevely@postmedia.com

twitter.com/davidreevely


Source: Reevely: Five weeks not long enough for proper audit of Ontario spending, potential bidders warn
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Ottawa animator sent to prison on child porn charges

An Ottawa artist who helped animate children’s TV shows has been sentenced to 28 months in prison for possessing more than 60,000 images of child pornography and sharing them online. Tom Wysom, 55, has worked on TV productions such as My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and Littlest Pet Shop, according to the Internet Movie […]

An Ottawa artist who helped animate children’s TV shows has been sentenced to 28 months in prison for possessing more than 60,000 images of child pornography and sharing them online.


Tom Wysom, 55, has worked on TV productions such as My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and Littlest Pet Shop, according to the Internet Movie Database.


Wysom was sentenced earlier this month after pleading guilty to the charges in December, two months after police executed a search warrant at his home in Old Ottawa South.


Police found 60,165 pictures — many of them duplicates — along with 1,626 videos, some of which depicted adults engaging in sexual behaviours with children. In some of the images, young girls had their hands and feet bound.


In a pre-sentence report, presented to court, Wysom told a probation officer that he developed an addiction to adult pornography about a decade ago, but slowly became desensitized to it and “needed something more.” He turned to child pornography, Wysom said, which became a way to deal with his clinical depression and other medical issues.


A forensic psychiatrist, Dr. Jonathan Gray, conducted a sexual behaviours assessment of Wysom and concluded he had a “pedophilic disorder.” Wysom told Gray he turned to child porn in response to the untreated stress he was experiencing.


Justice David Berg took exception to Wysom’s attempt to blame outside forces for his behaviour.


“I think that you are still quite far from comprehending that the problem is you and only you,” the judge told Wysom in his decision. “I think that you are still trying to rationalize your behaviour to yourself and to others in the face of society’s reaction to what you have done.”


The judge told Wysom he could have erased the images on his computer and sought professional help, but chose instead to continue on his destructive path because “he didn’t think he would get caught.”


“The stressors in his life may have led him to throw caution to the wind, but the stressors did not create in Mr. Wysom an ability to take pleasure from those images. That ability pre-existed the stressors,” Berg said.


Court heard that Wysom was born and raised in Wales, where he worked as a postal clerk. He came to Canada in 1992, and hitch-hiked and camped his way across the country before becoming a permanent resident in 1996. He has studied fine art and commercial animation, and once had his work featured at Ottawa’s Cube Gallery.


Dr. Gray told the court that Wysom was a low risk to re-offend or have sexual contact with children.


The judge said he had to sentence Wysom to a prison term — a sentence of two years or more — in order to sufficiently denounce his conduct and deter others from the same path.


Earlier this year, the Court of Appeal for Ontario noted there were now so many reports of child porn-related crime in Ottawa that investigators had to triage their work by “how bad the child pornography is.” Offenders regularly access child porn through peer-to-peer and encrypted internet networks.


Wysom was arrested after a member of the Ottawa Police Service’s Internet Child Exploitation Unit conducted an investigation of a file sharing network with an IP address in Ottawa.


Source: Ottawa animator sent to prison on child porn charges
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Defence Watch / Serious injuries in head-on Sheffield Road crash
« Last post by One Veteran One Standard on July 27, 2018, 12:02:54 PM »
Serious injuries in head-on Sheffield Road crash

One motorist suffered serious injuries but was in stable condition en route to the hospital Friday morning after a head-on crash on Sheffield Road in the city’s east end. A second motorist suffered less serious injuries in the crash, which happened early in the morning commute between Bantree Street and Humber Place. Roads had reopened […]

One motorist suffered serious injuries but was in stable condition en route to the hospital Friday morning after a head-on crash on Sheffield Road in the city’s east end.


A second motorist suffered less serious injuries in the crash, which happened early in the morning commute between Bantree Street and Humber Place.


Roads had reopened by shortly after 8 a.m.


 





 


Source: Serious injuries in head-on Sheffield Road crash
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