A report from a private, for-profit provider brings a different perspective

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On COVID-19 and the severe impact it’s had on long term care homes especially in Ontario, it’s time to try a different approach. After pointing fingers to such an extent that we no longer have digits to point anywhere, we should give listening, empathy and compassion a try.

The private firm Revera, which owns and operates more than 500 properties across North America and the UK, does not at first blush feel like it needs our empathy. There are many people who now realize “profit” and “long term care”…


A Year in the Life of an Uber Driver

Excerpt from a book by the same name available on Amazon and my website.

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As I write this the contours of the New Normal are still hazy, except for one thing: Whatever it is we settle on for the remainder of 2020 and a good chunk of 2021, it will not involve nearly as much transportation as it used to. The changes we are making now will be with us for some time.

And that’s bad news for people who make a living driving others. In May 2020 Uber announced it…


J’en ai plein mon casque, de ce chignage

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Attention tout le monde. Enfin, only those who can speak bilingual. This is a discriminatory piece parce que seuls ceux qui sont bilingues vont pouvoir passer à travers.

Les autres, ils n’ont qu’à aller se plaindre. They’re good at it.

I wasn’t going to talk about this at all, mais dimanche le sondeur d’opinions Angus Reid s’est décidé à tweeter (a bilingual anglicism, deal with it) a piece whining about the fact that c’est juste nous autres les chanceux de la clique laurentienne qui peuvent décrocher des postes juteux dans les hautes…


50 years later, it’s time to recognize the War Measures Act went too far

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Image credit: Photo by Library and Archives Canada PA-117477 The Montreal gazette), Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=34529483

Relationship Lesson #4549: It’s not because your ex suddenly yanks your chain that you have to respond. Sometimes, ignorance is the best course of action. Unless of course you come to realize, time and proper emotional distancing helping on the empathy front, that maybe they have a teeny bit of a point.

Before leader Yves-François Blanchet got sidelined due to a positive COVID-19 diagnosis (his wife also contracted the virus; as far as anyone knows both are now fine), the Bloc Québécois was in the process of demanding an apology from the federal government for having used the War Measures…


Enforced patience is the best way to keep kids, and the rest of us, safe

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There was a bit of a storm lately about speeding cameras and I’m flapping my arms saying, uh guys, we need to be talking about cameras on school buses. And patience. My goodness do we need to talk about patience.

What, you didn’t know about school bus cameras? Not inside the buses to check on drivers or unruly students. Outside the bus, affixed to the stop sign on the driver’s side, the one that not only is red, octogonal and says STOP on it but flashes red lights at you to boot.

The message, and I can’t believe this needs…


Quitting is not an option so we don’t. But man, do we cry.

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Hey, moms. Can you hear me over the incessant din inside your head?

I see you. Man, do I ever.

Here you are, having abruptly begun your homeschooling career in March, while struggling to work from home – if you’re fortunate enough to still have a job; a questionable benefit for some of you I’m sure. It’s been a long time. I know you’re exhausted.

I feel for you. You didn’t have a chance to get ready for this. It all happened overnight, without warning. The pandemic assaulted us all with all the subtlety of a Mack truck. …


They’re not human-friendly, and it shows

Eldest the other day drew my attention to a story from three years ago that I had somehow, unaccountably, missed. It was about how scientists, looking at data from car crashes including what happens to human bodies and what trauma surgeons have to deal with, had come up with the optimal shape humans should have to survive these events.

They went through the list of what body parts get mangled the most, and came up with ideas on how to redesign the human body so it can withstand the kind of force one usually sees in those situations.

Then they…


It’s easy, really. You just have to give up!

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Hey! Are you stuck at home, practicing your social distancing skills and desperately trying to do your office work from your kitchen table while your toddlers pull on your legs every 1.3 seconds?

Welcome!

I spawned three amazing little humans inside of four years. My legs are now permanently longer because of them.

I homeschooled for well over a decade while working from home and even a bit outside the home. During that time I learned many lessons, including that trying to complete home renovation projects was just one thing too many.

Let’s just say I know how you feel…


David Brooks hits the nail squarely on the head

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Delighted to see this amazing piece by David Brooks in The Atlantic.

During this period [between 1950 and 1965], a certain family ideal became engraved in our minds: a married couple with 2.5 kids. When we think of the American family, many of us still revert to this ideal. When we have debates about how to strengthen the family, we are thinking of the two-parent nuclear family, with one or two kids, probably living in some detached family home on some suburban street. …


Yes, it’ll come back, but that’s okay. Every time I get better.

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Anxiety is a silent killer, all the more damaging because it leaves no mark on the outside of your body. All anxiety cares about is to bruise and batter the space between your ears. It’s after your sense of self-worth, working relentlessly to annihilate your self-esteem.

Your friends, the people who care about you, often can’t tell how much pain you’re in. If you’re good at hiding your ailment, as I am, you’ll become a chronic over-achiever who’s always there ready to help others and accomplish more work in a day than most people do in a week. To the…

Brigitte Pellerin

Writer | Ottawa. Books include Épître aux tartempions, Le national-syndicalisme, Down the Road Never Travelled, Not Just for Kicks, Le livre Uber (upcoming).

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