Posts Tagged ‘Winnipeg’

I must admit outside of the CTV series Flash Forward, Robert J. Sawyer’s work never truly held my attention. But curiosity of hearing a sci-fi novel where Calgary’s Mayor Naheed Nenshi becomes Prime Minister intrigued me (NDP take notes, for it is the end of Mulcair’s leadership and Nenshi’s ascension that led to you forming a government in 2020 in this novel).

Not wanting to deliver to many spoilers from this excellent work, it is set against the backdrop of Quantum Psychology, and truly raises some intriguing ethical questions as humanity is broken down into a 4:2:1 ration (yup all 7 billion of us) into the following categories:

  1. Q1-P-ZED’s-Philosophical Zombies those that exist within life with no internal dialogue, essentially no extra consciousness. The largest group, the followers that are easily used as cannon fodder.
  2.  Q2-Psychopaths is the second largest group, yes it is jarring, those that feel nothing outside themselves.
  3. Q3-Awakened- these are the truly conscious within the world, those that feel and interact with life.

The ethical question within the story is if you had the ability to awaken psychopaths (essentially cure it) and move P-ZED’s up would you? And the real hinge of the decision is that those who are awakened may become psychopaths?

What is your decision? What is your choice?


It is a unique thing when one’s vocation and travel patterns intersect with familial history.  As a student, there was a drive within me not only for the academic/theoretical bent but also the practical and pragmatic. Through my monastic formation within Druidery/Buddhism/Franciscanism the practice of pilgrimage was important.

These would intersect while working on my Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts I served building ministries in the city, but also served aiding those without homes rediscovering themselves and what it meant to live in community and home. That’s right I was a humble shelter worker.

On vacations I would explore the history of Canada from coast to coast, doing outreach with those experiencing homelessness and discovering deeper truths of what it meant to be not only a Canadian, but a human being. It was in one of my earliest trips to Winnipeg, AB that I discovered the actual shelter history of Canada, through the Winnipeg Shelter that historically was a Methodist Outreach, and whose most famous lead minister/director was James Shaver Woodsworth.

I must admit this man’s pragmatic theology became a guide for my journey over the past 15 years.  He was one of the members of Canada’s Social Gospel movement; was arrested at the Winnipeg General strike and moved from Orthodox Christianity to Pantheism (although under newer definitions I would say he became Panentheist).  The minister would move from the ministry of the Methodist Church, to planting the Labour church, and his political leanings of socialism would lead him to join, aid in founding, and eventually   lead the new party dubbed the Co-Operative Commonwealth Federation. His political career would come to an end during the Parliamentary vote on Canada going to war with Nazi Germany. It was not because an evil should not be stopped, it was knowing that war as practiced in the world is not about right and wrong, it is about the profiteering of the wealthy and the culling of the poor. Woodsworth was the only Member of Parliament to vote no, it would cost him leadership of the CCF, and his seat.

But why does this man matter?

Why do I digress into travel history?

Simple, for the prophetic life of Woodsworth was shaped through service to others. It was grown out of a shelter environment. He spoke much, yet he also wrote and two of his books still ring true (once you put aside the eugenics stances of his time within): My Neighbour and Stranger at the Gates. Both works of the early 1900’s explore the work of the shelter, and the tie it has to the holistic care of a person.

The shelter debate has lost its historic centre of the narrative, for within both of Woodsworth’s books what is discovered is working with the whole person to aid them in transitioning from one point of their life to the next. Historically the Winnipeg Shelter was for new Canadians coming to settle the prairies. Now remember historically the Prairies and British Columbia were settled on mass to keep the encroachment by our neighbours to the South. Also historically it was an unfertile wasteland, which needed healthy communities for survival.

This was the role of the shelter. It was about aiding new Canadian families to prepare for the trek west, and also to build a new home. Not a house, not a subsistence existence, but a home. A home that was connected to other homes to build a community and thrive as a unit to create and grow a new society that was burgeoning that was Canada.

How did they do this?

They met the new comers where they were at. They discovered and worked to abate health needs. They worked on education, literacy, language, skills training. They looked to the communities where tracts of land were available, start up kits were given, but they also ensured that the community they were settling new families and persons into was a healthy community for them to be a part of and grow.

One just needs to look at the strong socio-cultural roots within sections of Alberta and Saskatchewan to see the effectiveness of historic housing readiness and effective placement in aiding the building of generational homes.

So as citizens this example leads to questions:

  1. What is community to you?
  2. Do you have a community around you?
  3. Do you have what you need to have a healthy life? For you? Love ones?
  4. Do you have a house or a home?
  5. Is the human right for housing or a home?

From my perspective of pilgrimage through history and country, I believe the human right is not for housing, for me it is about the human right of H-O-M-E.

The place where you belong and are safe and loved.

Proclamation of the Constitution Act, 1982 / P...

Proclamation of the Constitution Act, 1982 / Proclamation de la Loi constitutionnelle de 1982 (Photo credit: BiblioArchives / LibraryArchives)

Have we really become as enlightened and egalitarian as our Elders hoped:In 1919 Winnipeg held a general strike for the rights of the working class.

Women’s Suffrage in Canada from the late 1800’s to early 1900’s

It was the 1930’s before the Metis were seen as actual human beings

Aboriginal Rights movement that was shocked by the death of an indiginous veteran on the streets of Winnipeg in the 1960’s that leads us to #IdleNoMore

The enshrinement of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in the Constitution Act 1982

Universal Health Care finally going Nation Wide between 1957-66 (imagine you’re sick and will actually be helped).

First Old Age Pensions in 1915-27

1960’s-`70’s – Homosexuality and Divorce Decriminalized and moved into the modern era of understanding within our society.

1969-1988 women’s reproductive rights finally liberated from the older caucasoid male, Abortion decriminalized, legalized and finally provided for under the Health Act.

2010 say the Occupy Movement

Marriage Equality in 2005…

The Differently Abled still fight to be seen as full participants in society.

Citizens still die on the job; do not earn living wages; still die on the streets…

Labels still make individual’s less than in the public’s eye.

When are we going to realize that in just under a 100 years we have come along way, but there is still another million miles to come…

Let 2013 be the year of Universal Equality for all Canadians.

Let 2013 be the year that we hold our Government and citizenry to account for the promises of our Constitution Act, Under God (actually and aboriginal concept of the Sacred)…peace, order and good governance are guaranteed.

These grow out of fair and equitable distribution of resources; living salaries; care for creation and one another; reinvestment within our social network and education and a striving to celebrate our unity as Canadians within our diversity that makes us uniquely one nation.

A year when we will realize a nation that is truly for the people, where everyone participates fairly, interdependently and with one another. Where labels finally are buried and we become a beacon for transformation within the rest of the world to be at Oneness. H-U-M-A-N-I-T-Y.

For the better, let your actions transform us in 2013, For the renewal.




Graham James light sentence for destroying multiple lives is being appealed . The challenge is that we are delusional as a nation if we believe our national game (religion even?) has only one bogeyman.  It is time to honour the brave men that have stepped up and revealed the darkside of the preisthood of hockey coaches that we sacrifice our young to.

It is also time as a nation to honour them and state clearly that enough is enough. We have burst the seams on many religious sexual abuse scandals from the Roman Catholic to Jehovah Witness to Christian & Missionary Alliance to Bountiful, BC… to the destructive and near genocidal reservation schools.  It is now time to turn this eye upon our national sport and to shine the light brightly into the darkness where monsters dwell.

Are we ready as a nation to cleanse our sport?



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From the National
Office of the ELCIC

ELCIC National Convention Delegates Approve Social
Statement on Human Sexuality

Saskatoon, 16 July 2011–Following more
than two hours of debate, delegates of the 2011 ELCIC National Convention
approved a Social Statement on Human Sexuality. The results came late in a day
and were done by written ballot, with 213 votes in favour of the motion and 134

The document is the
result of a four-year process involving: a study guide, a church-wide feedback
process, a draft statement that allowed for further feedback opportunities, and
the statement. The statement analyzes the current social problem, provides
theological and ethical foundations, and applies insights from the first two
sections to the contemporary situation.

Convention delegates first considered the statement Thursday
evening during a Committee of the Whole session. The Human Sexuality Task Force
introduced the 14-page report and responded to questions and comments from

Delegates returned to
debate the matter in a Friday morning business session, and long lines of people
approached the plenary hall microphones to speak for and against the motion. As
on Thursday, comments covered a wide range of subjects, including the
interpretation of scripture, church tradition, theology, and human rights. Many
shared personal stories and many quoted the Bible.

“The statement is honest,” said a delegate in favour of the
statement. “The church is conflicted but the statement full of love and

Another delegate said that
the social statement acknowledged homosexual orientation as a genetic reality.
“Our loving God gave them these characteristics,” he said. “The least we could
do is love them the way God does.”

Speaking against the statement, one delegate noted, “Nowhere in
the Bible do I see anything in support of same-sex relationships.” He continued,
“One day we will stand before God and we will be judged not by the UN
Declaration of Rights or the Canadian charter, but by God’s holy laws.”

Others said the statement was not
appropriate at this time for the church. “It’s so ambiguous no one understands
it,” said a delegate. “This isn’t our solid ground that we stand on. After ten
years of debate, we still do not have a consensus. We don’t have anything but

In this midst of this
conversation, delegates considered several motions that proposed to alter the
process of the vote. Delegates approved, almost unanimously, a motion to vote by
written ballot instead of public voting by raising cards. The delegate who
proposed the motion said this more private method would help people to vote
according to their consciences.

Delegates defeated another motion that requested a two-thirds
majority to pass the motion instead of the usual majority of 50 per cent plus
one vote. They also defeated a proposed amendment to provide more material in
the statement’s footnotes.

After the
allotted hour-and-fifteen-minute session during Friday morning’s session, the
question had not yet been called. National Bishop Susan C. Johnson, chair of the
meeting, proposed that delegates return from dinner one hour early to finish the
discussion and vote. She requested that those lined up at microphones maintain
their order until the later session.

After other business and a meal, convention resumed the
discussion in a similar tone. Many people stood up to express earnest opinions
both for and against the statement.

Following an hour of debate, and with people still lined up at
the microphones, a delegate asked for the question to be called.

Delegates voted on whether to call the
question and the results were announced as 166 in favour and 162 against. As
convention moved on to consider the adoption of the social statement, a steward
announced that there had been an error with the previous count and the majority
of delegates had voted not to call the question.

After a brief time of reflection, Bishop Johnson sited
Bourinot’s Rules of Order and ruled the decision to call the question stood
since delegates had proceeded in good faith according to information from the
stewards. A motion was made to challenge the chair, but delegates upheld the
decision of the chair.

The original
vote to approve the proposed Social Statement on Human Sexuality resumed, and
after voting, delegates heard a presentation and several announcements. They
then finally stood to sing hymns together.

At around 7:30 p.m., Bishop Johnson announced the statement had
been adopted by a vote of 213 to 134, plus two spoiled ballots. Following the
announcement and prayer, Bishop Johnson acknowledged the ongoing divisions in
the church and celebrated the continued unity that the church has in Christ.

The ELCIC Social Statement on Human
Sexuality is available online at:

Over 500 Lutherans and special guests are
meeting in Saskatoon at the ELCIC’s 13th National Convention. Full agenda
details, highlights, and a live link to the proceedings are available on the
National Convention website:

Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada is Canada’s largest Lutheran denomination
with 152,500 baptized members in 607 congregations. It is a member of the
Lutheran World Federation, the Canadian Council of Churches and the World
Council of Churches.

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they may find useful.

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1885 was the Battle of Batoche, or the second Metis Rebellion led by Louis Riel, the MP for Winnipeg in Abstentia, recently returned from an American Asylum, firmly believing he was the new David, the Messiah of God‘s new chosen children, the Metis.

Riel recruited Gabriel Dumont See full size image as his military leader.  The Batoche rebellion was different, for one they lost, for the next, where women in the first were not active participants, the whole Metis community and several Aboriginal Nations joined the rebellion, women participated as warriors, prayer support, and doctors.The unfortunate part, was the rail road, the North West Mounted Police, and the invention and use of the gattling Gun.  Dumont fought on the belief that all are created equal, and that all humanity deserves the opportunity to be declared a human being.

It would take until the 1930’s for the Canadian Government to finally ascend to this belief and declare Metis full humans, and full citizens of Canada.  Dumont was a visionary on this front.