Archive for the ‘Causes’ Category

Today I mourn for the polar bears…

Last night I was sitting out on my back deck at 9:15 p.m., drinking a delicious Creemore beer after a day spent outside painting my fence in shorts and a tank top and getting a sunburn. I was also busy swatting at mosquitoes while I checked out my crocuses, daffodils and tulips as they are doing a whole lot more than just poking through the ground. And it’s March. And I’m in Canada.  There is something seriously wrong with this picture.

Don’t get me wrong – I am loving the beautiful sunshine and the warm weather ain’t half bad to deal with – but the fact remains, that it’s March. And I’m in Canada.

Please don’t tell me that global warming is a myth.

The warm weather is here and we might as well enjoy it. As Canadians, we are used to getting such a sacred few days of beautiful, warm weather that we have no choice but to REALLY enjoy every one that we get. But while you are outside enjoying the unseasonably warm temperatures, reflect for a second on how scary the repercussions of such temperatures are and what they can actually mean for our planet if this becomes the norm. This cannot possibly be good and it’s a rather stark reminder that we all need to be doing things differently and demanding better from governments and large corporations. If we don’t start being better stewards of our planet, we  will end up doing a whole lot more than mourning for the polar bears.

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Apathy is Pathetic

I have been hearing and reading a lot of people bemoaning politicians in general and making grand declarations that “Jack Layton was the only politician who truly cared about what was best for Canadians”. Mr. Layton did care passionately about making Canada a more equitable place for all and he did work hard to help bring his vision of Canada to reality but he is not the ONLY politician who cares/cared. Statements such as that are actually counter to the effort that Mr. Layton put into making politics more accessible to all Canadians and counter to Mr. Layton’s final words to us all. Apathetic statements like that just don’t fly. They give citizens of Canada a further excuse to avoid political engagement. If you really want to honour Mr. Layton’s memory, now is the time to become engaged and get involved in politics at all levels (municiple, provincial and federal). It is time to start working to understand the issues and educate yourself on them. It is time to write, phone or email your representatives and ask them for a few minutes of their time to discuss your findings and thoughts. It is the time to seek out the party that best reflects your vision of Canada and become involved.

We receive the political representation that we deserve. If you do not believe your current MP, MPP or councilor is working in your city, province or country’s best interest, it is your job to open a dialogue with them and question what they are doing. Make a stink. Get loud (in an educated manner). Get others involved. Make your voice heard.

If you are not satisfied with the response you receive, it is then your job to work to ensure you receive better representation in the next election by either putting your own name forward or throwing your support (and time) behind a candidate you believe in. We, the people, decide who represents us and decide which vision of our city, province or country is likely to materialize based on our votes. That is the beauty (and sometimes the curse) of democracy.

Mr. Layton wanted to change things. He wanted to change people’s perception of politicians and he wanted to change how things get done in this country. If you want to help change things, and not just pay lip-service, then you need to get engaged and involved. Stop just talking and start doing. The only way change will happen is if you start making it happen.

“You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing, there will be no result”.

-Mahatma Ghandi

Today is World AIDS Day….

Causes seem to go in and out of popularity. HIV/AIDS was a very “popular” cause for quite some time but seems to have fallen by the wayside in recent years. Today is a reminder of how important it is that we all work together to bring this devastating disease back into the spotlight. It is necessary for us all to make an effort towards ensuring that the HIV/AIDS dialogue continues to be prominent and that we don’t ignore the cause in lieu of more “trendy” ones.

In 2009, between 31.4 and 35.3 million people were living with HIV/AIDS worldwide, 2.5 million of which were children.  In 2009 there was a  new infection rate of around 2.6 million. The disease continues to spread at rampant rates and the stigmatism attached to the disease continues to exist in an alarming way. HIV/AIDS affects people from all walks of life in all corners of the world. Currently, 1 in 120 adults in Toronto is believed to be HIV-positive.

I challenge you all to take some form of action to tackle the HIV and AIDS prejudice and to contribute to the ongoing battle to find a cure. Find an event in your local area, make a donation, reach out to someone you know who is suffering from the disease and the stigmatism attached to it. If nothing else, make a personal pledge to help improve understanding about HIV and AIDS. Please donate your time, your money and your heart to this cause. Together we can make a difference in the lives of so many.