Tens of thousands of Canadians have written to me in recent weeks to wish me well. I want to thank each and every one of you for your thoughtful, inspiring and often beautiful notes, cards and gifts. Your spirit and love have lit up my home, my spirit, and my determination.
Unfortunately my treatment has not worked out as I hoped. So I am giving this letter to my partner Olivia to share with you in the circumstance in which I cannot continue.
I recommend that Hull-Aylmer MP Nycole Turmel continue her work as our interim leader until a permanent successor is elected.
I recommend the party hold a leadership vote as early as possible in the New Year, on approximately the same timelines as in 2003, so that our new leader has ample time to reconsolidate our team, renew our party and our program, and move forward towards the next election.
A few additional thoughts:
To other Canadians who are on journeys to defeat cancer and to live their lives, I say this: please don’t be discouraged that my own journey hasn’t gone as well as I had hoped. You must not lose your own hope. Treatments and therapies have never been better in the face of this disease. You have every reason to be optimistic, determined, and focused on the future. My only other advice is to cherish every moment with those you love at every stage of your journey, as I have done this summer.
To the members of my party: we’ve done remarkable things together in the past eight years. It has been a privilege to lead the New Democratic Party and I am most grateful for your confidence, your support, and the endless hours of volunteer commitment you have devoted to our cause. There will be those who will try to persuade you to give up our cause. But that cause is much bigger than any one leader. Answer them by recommitting with energy and determination to our work. Remember our proud history of social justice, universal health care, public pensions and making sure no one is left behind. Let’s continue to move forward. Let’s demonstrate in everything we do in the four years before us that we are ready to serve our beloved Canada as its next government.
To the members of our parliamentary caucus: I have been privileged to work with each and every one of you. Our caucus meetings were always the highlight of my week. It has been my role to ask a great deal from you. And now I am going to do so again. Canadians will be closely watching you in the months to come. Colleagues, I know you will make the tens of thousands of members of our party proud of you by demonstrating the same seamless teamwork and solidarity that has earned us the confidence of millions of Canadians in the recent election.
To my fellow Quebecers: On May 2nd, you made an historic decision. You decided that the way to replace Canada’s Conservative federal government with something better was by working together in partnership with progressive-minded Canadians across the country. You made the right decision then; it is still the right decision today; and it will be the right decision right through to the next election, when we will succeed, together. You have elected a superb team of New Democrats to Parliament. They are going to be doing remarkable things in the years to come to make this country better for us all.
To young Canadians: All my life I have worked to make things better. Hope and optimism have defined my political career, and I continue to be hopeful and optimistic about Canada. Young people have been a great source of inspiration for me. I have met and talked with so many of you about your dreams, your frustrations, and your ideas for change. More and more, you are engaging in politics because you want to change things for the better. Many of you have placed your trust in our party. As my time in political life draws to a close I want to share with you my belief in your power to change this country and this world. There are great challenges before you, from the overwhelming nature of climate change to the unfairness of an economy that excludes so many from our collective wealth, and the changes necessary to build a more inclusive and generous Canada. I believe in you. Your energy, your vision, your passion for justice are exactly what this country needs today. You need to be at the heart of our economy, our political life, and our plans for the present and the future.
And finally, to all Canadians: Canada is a great country, one of the hopes of the world. We can be a better one – a country of greater equality, justice, and opportunity. We can build a prosperous economy and a society that shares its benefits more fairly. We can look after our seniors. We can offer better futures for our children. We can do our part to save the world’s environment. We can restore our good name in the world. We can do all of these things because we finally have a party system at the national level where there are real choices; where your vote matters; where working for change can actually bring about change. In the months and years to come, New Democrats will put a compelling new alternative to you. My colleagues in our party are an impressive, committed team. Give them a careful hearing; consider the alternatives; and consider that we can be a better, fairer, more equal country by working together. Don’t let them tell you it can’t be done.
My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.
All my very best,
I don’t even have words right now, I am so incredibly sad. :(
I used to investigate child abuse and neglect. I can tell you how to stop the vast majority of abortion in the world.
First, make knowledge and access to contraception widely available. Start teaching kids before they hit puberty. Teach them about domestic violence and coercion, and teach them not to coerce and rape. Create a strong, loving community where women and girls feel safe and supported in times of need. Because guess what? They aren’t. You know what happens to babies born under such circumstances? They get hurt, unnecessarily. They get sick, unnecessarily. They get removed from parents who love them but who are unprepared for the burden of a child. Resources? Honey, we try. There aren’t enough resources anywhere. There are waiting lists, and promises, and maybes. If the government itself can’t hook people up, what makes you think an impoverished single mom can handle it?
Abolish poverty. Do you have any idea how much childcare costs? Daycare can cost as much or more than monthly rent. They may be inadequately staffed. Getting a private nanny is a nice idea, but they don’t come cheap either. Relatives? Do they own a car? Does the bus run at the right times? Do they have jobs of their own they need to work just to keep the lights on? Are they going to stick around until you get off you convenience store shift at 4 AM? Do they have criminal histories that will make them unsuitable as caregivers when CPS pokes around? You gonna pay for that? Who’s going to pay for that?
End rape. I know your type errs on the side of blaming the woman, but I’ve seen little girls who’ve barely gotten their periods pregnant because somebody thought raping preteens was an awesome idea. You want to put a child through that? Or someone with a mental or physical inability for whom pregnancy would be frightening, painful or even life-threatening? I’ve seen nonverbal kids who had their feet sliced up by caregivers for no fucking reason at all, you think sexual abuse doesn’t happen either?
You say there’s lots of couples who want to adopt. Kiddo, what they want to adopt are healthy white babies, preferably untainted by the wombs and genetics of women with alcohol or drug dependencies. I’ve seen the kids they don’t want, who almost no one wants. You people focus only on the happy pink babies, the gigglers, the ones who grow and grow with no trouble. Those are not the kids who linger in foster care. Those are certainly not the older kids and teenagers who age out of foster care and then are thrown out in the streets, usually with an array of medical and mental health issues. Are they too old to count?
And yeah, I’ve seen the babies, little hand-sized things barely clinging to life. There’s no glory, no wonder there. There is no wonder in a pregnant woman with five dollars to her name, so deep in depression you wonder if she’ll be alive in a week. Therapy costs money. Medicine costs money. Food, clothes, electricity cost money. Government assistance is a pittance; poverty drives women and girls into situations where they are forced to rely on people who abuse them to survive. (I’ve been up in more hospitals than I can count.)
In each and every dark pit of desperation, I have never seen a pro-lifer. I ain’t never seen them babysitting, scrubbing floors, bringing over goods, handing mom $50 bucks a month or driving her to the pediatrician. I ain’t never seen them sitting up for hours with an autistic child who screams and rages so his mother can get some sleep while she rests up from working 14-hour days. I don’t see them fixing leaks in rundown houses or playing with a kid while the police prepare to interview her about her sexual abuse. They’re not paying for the funerals of babies and children who died after birth, when they truly do become independent organisms. And the crazy thing is they think they’ve already done their job, because the child was born!
Aphids give birth, girl. It’s no miracle. You want to speak for the weak? Get off your high horse and get your hands dirty helping the poor, the isolated, the ill and mentally ill women and mothers and their children who already breathe the dirty air. You are doing nothing, absolutely nothing, for children. You don’t have a flea’s comprehension of injustice. You are not doing shit for life until you get in there and fight that darkness. Until you understand that abortion is salvation in a world like ours. Does that sound too hard? Do you really think suffering post-birth is more permissible, less worthy of outrage?
“Pro-life” is simply a philosophy in which the only life worth saving is the one that can be saved by punishing a woman.
This goes out to all the cis people who, it’s quite obvious, want to help and befriend trans people, but who keep alienating and angering us instead. I’ve seen the befuddled looks on your faces when this happens, and I thought I’d try to clear a few things up for you. Let’s look…
“Imagine what it might be like if women were supported in fully experiencing our natural cycles. What if we lived in a world where getting a spot of menstrual blood on your skirt or pants was not a cause for embarrassment, humiliation, or shame? Imagine a world in which women would be supported, and even honored, for our ability to bleed regularly and copiously without becoming ill or dying- something that no [cis-gendered] man is capable of.”—Ruth Barrett - Women’s Rites, Women’s Mysteries
House is clean (and damned near spotless), spent 2 hours gardening and cleaning up the upstairs deck, laundry is in, and now I’m off to be grocery store to get a few things for an epic witches’ night in.
My homegirl littlecitywitch is coming over. J’espère que nous ferons la magique!
There’s a post brewing in my head about internalized albeism, and coming to terms with my recent diagnosis of fibromyalgia. I feel like this is something I really need to start talking about publicly. My hands and arms are really cramping up today though and I’m having a lot of nerve pain, so it may have to wait for another day. Or maybe I’ll make a video post once my thoughts are a bit more in order.
Overall, I’m feeling really positive actually - I am finally hooked up with a superteam of doctors and alternative practitioners who are really supportive and helpful. But today, and other days when my pain is on the worse side, just getting out of bed really feels like an accomplishment. Then I beat myself up over feeling that way, and then I consequently feel guilty for buying into my own ableist bullshit. Rinse, and repeat.
“Lughnasadh marked the actual gathering of the grain harvest, but in its sacrificial aspect; the Autumn Equinox marks the completion of the harvest, and thanksgiving for abundance, with the emphasis on the future return of that abundance. This Equinox was the time of the Eleusinian Mysteries, the greatest mysteries of ancient Greece; and although all the details are not known (initiates kept the secrets well), the rituals of Eleusis certainly based themselves on corn-harvest symbolism. The climax is said to have been the showing to the initiate of a single ear of grain, with the admonition: ‘In silence is the seed of wisdom gained.’”—Eight Sabbats for Witches, Janet and Stewart Farrar (via littlecitywitch)
Fox’s anti-birth control “expert,” Family PAC Federal Vice President Sandy Rios, however, found her own reasons to lambast the policy as “ridiculous.”
Here’s my favorite of the many unbelievable things she said:
“Why in the world would you encourage your daughters, and your granddaughters, and whoever else comes behind you to have unrestricted, unlimited sex anytime, anywhere and that, somehow if you prevent pregnancy, that somehow you’ve helped them. I would submit to you that uncontrolled sexual behavior is what is harming our girls, not our lack of birth control — which by the way they don’t seem interested in taking anyway. Having a baby is not the worst thing. I think having multiple sex partners without any kind of restraint or responsibility is much more damning, why would you support that?”
To that I reply:
“Have you had an orgasm? Don’t you wish for every person in your life to experience that as much and as often as they want?”
AND “Have you had to raise a child when you were 16 or when you weren’t financially stable or when you were with an abusive man or when you just plain didn’t wanna?”
What about those of us who are on birth control for reasons OTHER than because we have sex and don’t want babies? There IS a medical reason people receive prescriptions - or choose to take then on their own - for birth control besides the aforementioned reasons.
i am incredibly blessed to live in a country where we have free birth control. not only because i dont want a baby but also..because…i have serious issues with my periods. to the point where i do wonder if i have endometriosis and the only thing that sorts it is birth control. otherwise 3/4 days a month i would be unable to get out of bed and if i was working that would probably not exactly be looked upon greatly.
I have a few things to say about this, because I feel very strongly about it.
This entire thing is ridiculous and completely ignores the fact that birth control is not being given out for free, it simply means that insurance co-pays *for insured women* living in the United states will be eliminated. There are still millions of women who do not have medical and drug insurance in the United States. Unfortunately those who are not insured will not benefit from this.
On top of that fuckery, what is even more rage inspiring about this supposed expert’s comments is that she seems to equate being on birth control with promiscuity, as it “encourages” women to have as much sex as they want with whomever they want. So in one fell swoop her line of argumentation has also been made into a slut-shaming activity. She also makes the logical fallacy of equating two unrelated things as being the same thing, e.g. using birth control and having unprotected sex. FYI, even on birth control if you do have multiple partners you should be using a barrier method of protection, such as condoms to prevent the spread of STIs.
Furthermore, access to effective means of birth control lowers the number of abortions that are necessary, an endeavour that you’d think anti-choice organizations (such as Family-Pac) would be in support of. If you’re not pregnant in the first place then you don’t need an abortion do you?
I am very lucky to live in Ontario, Canada where my medical appointments are covered by taxes, and to also be covered by my family drug plan because I am still a student and under the age of 25, however once I leave school I will lose that. Even with my drug plan I still have to pay for my birth control out of pocket, because my plan sees it as a optional (not medically essential) medication. This is even despite the fact that I am prescribed birth control by my doctor for valid medical reasons other than just for birth control. I have been prescribed birth control because I have endometriosis, a common disease which affects as much as 1 in 10 women worldwide. It causes the endometrial lining to grow outside of the uterus, leading to chronic pelvic pain, heavy periods, very painful PMS cramping, scarring of the pelvic walls, cysts and complications in pregnancy and conceiving.
For myself, If I were not on birth control I would be doubled over in 1/4 of the month, and I would have an extremely heavy period for 7-10 days. Being on birth control also lowers the chances of having more ovarian cysts develop, which I have already had surgery for once to remove. So fuck this lady and her equating of birth control with the giving out of free mani-pedis.