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Ban Mom and Dad
September 28, 2015 permalink
Ontario will gradually eliminate the terms mother and father from government forms if it acts on the motion by liberal MPP Glenne Thibeault. The motion received the support of all parties.
No more ‘mothers’ and ‘fathers’? Ontario looks at gender neutral changes to government forms
Ontario has become the first province to consider moving all government documents toward gender neutral language to refer to parents.
A motion from a Liberal backbencher to replace references to “mothers” and “fathers” on all government forms to “parents” and “guardians” received all-party support Thursday afternoon. The initiative is non-binding, but Cabinet ministers spoke in its favour and MPPs said it’s about creating a more “inclusive” environment in a world where there are many kinds of families.
Some government and medical forms already opt for the gender neutral “parent or guardian,” but not universally. Sudbury MPP Glenn Thibeault, who brought forward the motion, said a constituent pointed out the issue on a school form in her area. The single mother was perplexed where there were spaces for both a mother and a father as opposed to something that better reflects the shape of modern families.
“For my constituent, it was a reminder that she was a single parent, and that being a single parent makes her feel different,” Thibeault said. “It’s a reminder to single parents, to divorced parents, or queer or transgender parents that they and the way they raise their child is not what is considered to be ‘normal.’”
He said adoption records are another example of government document that relies on binary gender norms.
“This isn’t about banning the words “mother” and “father” that was mentioned by some members of the press gallery earlier this afternoon,” Thibeault said. “This is about making Ontario more inclusive.”
The motion is timely given the recent upsurge in awareness of transgender issues, thanks at least in part to pop culture. Orange is the New Black and Transparent have brought the issue to the fore on small screens, and Caitlyn Jenner’s coming out earlier this year drew international attention.
New Democrat MPP Jennifer French, a former teacher, lauded the motion saying families come in all shapes and sizes.
“It isn’t the gender of care, it is the nature of it,” she said.
Her caucus-mate Cheri DiNovo, who has been a leader on trans-rights issues in the Ontario legislature, said she plans to bring forward a private member’s bill to take the same notion ever further. She said the non-binding motion is just a start, but it’s time for “parental equality.” DiNovo said it would be best if all the changes were enshrined in law as opposed to a non-binding motion.
The motion is drafted so that the government can make the changes going forward and use up existing forms, Thibeault said, so it wouldn’t cost anything to implement.
All parties supported the motion on a voice vote, but Progressive Conservative Bob Bailey suggested it might be better to both maintain traditional words while also adding more inclusive language.
Source: National Post
Social Workers Poisoned
September 22, 2015 permalink
Those know-it-all social workers who tell you how to nourish your kids failed to exercise their own expertise. Eighty of them in Brantford succumbed to food poisoning.
Food poisoning sickens 80-100 in Brantford
Food poisoning cause still a mystery
More than 80 child protection employees were sickened by food poisoning last week, a situation that has decimated working teams at the Brant Family and Children’s Services agency.
Executive director Andy Koster said Thursday staff at the agency has been scrambling to help cover shifts after between 80-100 workers called in sick, beginning last Friday.
“Some people have symptoms that are going on well beyond the regular time associated with food poisoning,” Koster said. “But people are working really hard to deliver our services and those who aren’t ill are doing double duty.”
Koster said staff at the agency plans a once-a-year getaway event where all staff take part. A professional speaker addressed issues of stress management and dealing with the trauma many child protection workers face. This year’s event was held at the St. George Arena and a professional caterer was hired to feed the 200-plus people at the day-long conference.
Koster said egg salad wraps, chicken wraps and potato salad were all on the menu for lunch.
“On Friday morning we had people calling saying ‘we’re down four people on our unit’ and people were reporting stomach pains and diarrhea.”
Workers continued to call in sick, although Koster said some employees, knowing their colleagues were more ill, came to work.
The Brant County Health Unit stepped in, pulling workers from other teams to assist the infectious diseases unit, which is leading an investigation, said Karen Boughner, the unit’s director of health protection.
“We have quite an investigative process for something like this,” said Boughner.
Health unit workers have interviewed both those who were sick after the event and those who weren’t, so they can try to pin down the food involved.
They collected and sent samples for lab analysis of some of the foods from the caterer. Similarly, they’ve collected stool samples from some of those who are the sickest and those have gone off for testing.
“The reportable diseases are tested at a public health lab in Hamilton but the less common, non-reportable ones are being tested separately at a different lab in Toronto.”
Boughner said it’s important to pin down the source of the illness since, if it was food sold at a grocery store, it could affect a wider population.
“We have our suspicions but we hope to be able to identify the virus and what they ate. We may have the results back as early as tomorrow.”
There are several hundred possible bacterias that can cause food poisoning, including salmonella, E. coli, listeria, botulism and norovirus.
Boughner said some of the workers are still unwell, seven days after the luncheon, but noted that certain enteric diseases can run for five to 10 days.
“It’s not unusual and it helps us narrow the field a bit when it comes to identification.”
As part of the investigation, the health unit has been reviewing the travel history of the catering staff. Boughner confirmed that one of the staff had recently returned from a Third World country but said the investigation had almost certainly determined that had no bearing on the food poisoning.
Boughner said the unit will not identify the caterer at this point, noting the problem may have been totally out of her hands if it was a contaminated product she purchased for the event.
Boughner said the situation wasn’t made public sooner because it didn’t affect the general public.
The health unit has been providing information sheets to Brant Family and Children’s Services and fielding questions by phone from those who are sick.
“My heart goes out to them,” says Boughner. “Those who are still sick are really sick.”
Koster said along with the health unit, the Ministry of Child and Youth Services were notified about the situation. On Thursday, rant Family and Children’s Services staff – most of whom are back at work - met with the health unit in several town hall meetings to get more information about the food-borne virus or bacteria.
“We’ve been asked to complete some questionnaires and we’ve cooperated with everyone,” Koster said. “It was really a shame because it was one of our best staff days and everyone was really enjoying having a chance to meet with each other.”
Koster didn’t get sick.
“I was busy doing other things and by the time I got to the table there was almost nothing left. I had a biscuit.”
Source: Brantford Expositor
September 22, 2015 permalink
Shawn Gartlan has been convicted of a criminal offense. Not mentioned in the Metroland news article, Mr Gartlan was a foster parent. A comment from aggrieved mother Alexandra Stuart follows the news article.
Woodville man gets jail time for possessing, making available child pornography
Shawn Gartlan, 51, sentenced to 12 months in jail, two years probation, 20 years under Sex Offender Information Registration Act after conviction of make available child pornography.
WOODVILLE - A Woodville man charged with possession of child pornography and making available child pornography has been sentenced to a year in jail.
In Lindsay court Thursday (Sept. 17), Shawn Gartlan, 51, pleaded guilty to one count of make available child pornography and one count of possessing child pornography.
For the charge of making child pornography available, Mr. Gartlan was sentenced to 12 months in jail and two years concurrent probation, as well as 20 years registered under the Sex Offender Information Registration Act (SOIRA).
For the offence of possession of child pornography, Mr. Gartlan received a concurrent sentence of six months of jail, two years of probation and 10 years registered under SOIRA.
Mr. Gartlan was charged in February, 2014, after a six-week child pornography investigation. He faced three counts of possession of child pornography and two counts of make available child pornography.
At the time of his arrest, OPP said the force’s Child Sexual Exploitation Unit, the OPP Technical Crime Unit and City of Kawartha Lakes OPP Detachment executed a search warrant at a Woodville residence and small business on Feb. 5. Three computers and other items were seized in relation to the investigation, which OPP allege contained images of child sexual abuse.
This Week was told Mr. Gartlan owned an area gas station and he was listed as the president of the Woodville Minor Hockey Association on their website.
Source: Metroland/My Kawartha
My son was living with Shawn Gartlan of Woodville, foster parent for CAS and respite for CAS and Hawk Homes. February 2014 he was charged with child porn and associated charges. After many CFSRB hearings, as CAS wouldn't move my son, as to not disrupt their bonding ... a quote from York CAS lawyer Nancy Guatto. Today Shawn Gartlan plead guilty in courtroom 3 at the Lindsay courthouse. I couldn't be there, don't know the sentence. Please add this pedo and child porn manufacturing, distributing and making available child porn convictions, a part of your fixcas please. This has been a long fight for me to get Mr Gartlan no not be a foster parent – kept getting it's alleged – so his surety since 2014 was another foster parent with 8 or so kids. The judge never heard that. Shawn wanted house arrest. His business a gas station is attached to his house, so I couldn't agree with that either. I'll call the courthouse tomorrow. Please print a story on this. York CAS placed my son in Kawartha CAS' district, but York kept and managed the file.
Source: private message