Be The Candle

It is so easy to give in to anger.

I hold my phone in disbelief, the tweet declaring “Breaking news: shooting in mosque in Quebec” frozen on my screen. My hands are shaking and I feel ever so slightly nauseated, because this is terrible news that comes hard on the heels of earlier news of individuals from seven countries detained at airports and mass protests taking place in response to actions by the new American president.

It would be very, very easy to be consumed by vengeance-fuelled rage at the individual who entered a quiet mosque in my country and killed six people, wounding several others. And this rage – this hate – would do what exactly?

It would feel good, for a moment. Maybe even for a few moments – but allowed unchecked it would do nothing but contribute to the kind of world in which citizens of my own country enter a house of worship and kill people.

I think sometimes in Canada we become a little complacent. That’s because we see ourselves as fundamentally good and gentle people, the vast majority of us immigrants somewhere along our family history, welcoming to those of other countries, faiths and beliefs. And yet if one scratches at the surface – and you don’t need to scratch too hard – you can find the dark shadows of bigotry, racism and religious intolerance.

Oh, we defend it, to try to make it seem we are just “protecting our Canadian way of life” (which of course has changed several times as new residents joined our country, as we moved from predominantly rural to urban, from largely agriculture-based to industry). Or we find myriad other ways to pretend that we are not distrustful, not intolerant and not being driven by hate.

Yes, hate. It seems so un-Canadian to discuss hatred, to say we are far more affected by it than we care to admit, but perhaps it is time to acknowledge the truth. We are not pristine in our treatment of others, and we are not immune to the path hate makes for us.

A path that this week ended in a mosque in Quebec.

I am old enough to recall another shooting in Quebec, this one ending in several dead women and at the heart of it a man who hated women. At that point in time I don’t think we thought of ourselves as a country that had men in it who hated women with enough vehemence to carry a gun into a college, but when it happened we suddenly woke up and realized that perhaps misogyny had deeper roots in Canada than we realized. As a young Canadian woman, that shooting changed my life.

As we begin to learn about the suspect in this shooting, I think we may come to realize some disturbing things about our country. We will learn about the roots of homegrown terrorism – because that is what this act was – and about the hatred that exists in our own nation.

For those who have been complacent or casting stones at our neighbour to the south, we must instead look at our own fragile glass house, freshly shattered panes and all. We must recognize we are not immune to anger, we are not safe from violence and we too can forge a path founded on hatred.

And that is perhaps the hard part. We cannot give in to the hatred, and we cannot act out in our anger and sorrow; instead we must come together to support, embrace, encourage and love those who are the victims of this hatred and violence. We must acknowledge the flaws in our own country, and we must, each and every one of us, ensure that our words and actions do not contribute to hatred, anger and violence.

We must move forward in the spirit of respect, dignity, kindness and acceptance of all those who share this incredible, amazing and beautiful country founded on the diversity of its residents.

And we can do this, every single one of us. A few decades ago, in another dark and troubling time, a young woman wrote in her diary: “Look at how a single candle can both defy and define the darkness.”

We must be the candle, my friends, and we must both defy and define the darkness that could so easily come to rest within us. And by so doing, we can be the beacon of light that ensures hatred will never, ever win.

Be the candle.



Let’s Talk, Fort McMurray

Let’s talk.

A friend recently told me her husband, a big burly guy not usually prone to expressing his feelings, has begun seeing a therapist. Her husband, perhaps best described as “macho” if that word were still common place, decided of his own volition to seek help after realizing he was struggling to cope with the events of May 3, 2016.

When he told his wife what he said was that he never thought he would need to see a therapist, and he certainly never thought he would tell others he was doing it, but because it is so normal in our community post-wildfire that he felt it would be accepted and understood.

So let’s talk about it taking a natural disaster that saw tens of thousands of people evacuate in terror for people to understand that it’s okay to talk about mental health.

A study just released shows members of this community are suffering from PTSD. Sixty percent of the respondents in a survey indicated they were experiencing significant impacts from the fire, including flashbacks to the fire and the evacuation, trouble sleeping and anxiety. It is unlikely this comes as any surprise to those who lived through those days in May, as it would be difficult to experience them and not be deeply impacted. Perhaps more surprising is that even more people did not report these symptoms of PTSD, but the truth is that while some never will, others may find the mental health impacts surface months or even years from now.

So let’s talk about the reality that mental illness can strike at any time and for any reason; it can be related to a specific incident or be omni-present with no clear catalyst.

The RCMP recently shared some statistics regarding crime in our community. One would expect that as our population has dipped after the fire, our crime rate would fall as well. And yet, domestic violence has not fallen in the last quarter of 2016 compared to the last quarter of 2015, staying at the same figure despite the decrease in population.

So let’s talk about how that study showing that 60% of our residents suffering from PTSD symptoms could well be tied to domestic violence, as there is no doubt stress and anxiety plays a factor in life at home.

There are some other numbers I would be intrigued to see; work and school absenteeism rates post-fire, for instance, as our mental health and physical well-being are inextricably linked.

Let’s talk, my friends.

Let’s talk openly and freely about our experience on May 3.

Let’s talk about the mental health resources available to us, not just at this time but at all times in our community.

Let’s also talk about the lack of mental health resources for children and youth, our most vulnerable sector.

And let’s talk about how we need to move past judging those who tell us of their mental health struggles and how we need to stop pretending that we are impervious to mental health issues; because, like my friend’s husband, the truth is absolutely none of us know when we might experience a mental health crisis.

As someone who has suffered from anxiety and depression after the death of my mother, I can say I was one of those people who was convinced I would never be impacted by mental illness – you know, other than the fact that my mother experienced mental illness which undoubtedly affected my childhood, and all the other family members who exhibited symptoms of a wide range of mental health challenges. But me? I was untouchable, or so I thought until I realized one day that I too was showing signs of mental distress and that it was affecting my entire life.

Discussing our mental health isn’t a sign of our weakness; it’s a signal of our strength and our willingness to display our vulnerability in the hope of helping others. In 2016, Fort McMurray and residents of the Wood Buffalo region learned a lot about hope, vulnerability, strength and helping others. I believe we have the opportunity to be national leaders in talking about mental health because we experienced something most others in world will thankfully never encounter, and as we work through the impacts we are learning more and more about the importance of mental health in our schools, our workplaces, our homes and our communities.

So let’s talk, Fort McMurray. Let’s really talk, every single day. And let us lead this country in this journey, because through sharing our experiences we can help others to share their own – and learn to really talk about mental health.

A Wisp of Smoke

It doesn’t take much.

It is my usual early Monday morning drive to work, Starbucks in hand as my car heads down Thickwood Boulevard, surrounded by trees on either side as I glide down the hill towards the juncture with Highway 63. My thoughts are filled with the week ahead – the must-be-dones, the should-be-dones, the things-likely-to-be-left-undone, just as every week begins.

I see it first as just a wisp at the top of the trees, a small shadow of smoke; as I draw closer, it becomes a column of smoke and suddenly, irretrievably and irrevocably, I am yanked back in time to the beginning of May.

It doesn’t matter that I know controlled burns are taking place as part of the FireSmart program. It doesn’t matter that the smoke is grey, not that black shade I will never forget as long as I live. It doesn’t matter that it is the dead of winter, snow covering grass and ground that would be resistant to flames now, unlike the tinder-dry conditions of several months ago.

None of that matters, because the connection between my brain and my heart has been severed by a thin column of grey smoke, and I can feel emotions that I thought I had put aside for some time beginning to rise.

I don’t feel panicked or afraid; I feel instead a form of nausea, a fundamental shakiness rocking me to the core. My head keeps telling my heart that everything is okay and all is fine and this is controlled and there is nothing to fear, and yet my heart is continuing to pound.

It isn’t until I reach my office and look out, seeing a clear grey sky with no smoke in sight, that I begin to feel normal again, because of course on May 3 what I saw across the river from my office was a wall of thick black smoke and bright red flames.

I do not believe I have PTSD, although I know others in my community suffer from this after the experience of May 3; I believe instead I have become hyper-aware of fire, sensitive to the sight, sound and smell of a natural phenomenon that I have contended with for as long as I have lived in northern Canada (now more than twenty years). I have always respected the power of wildfire, but now it is more than respect. It is an emotion for which I do not think a word exists, at least not a word I have yet been able to find.

There are experiences in life that alter you forever. I have experienced three.

The death of my mother.

The birth of my daughter.

The fire that I thought I might not survive.

And that is the truth, the real core of it all; on May 3, for the very first time in my entire life, I questioned if I would survive. There was no certainty of it; I remember watching a wall of flames and smoke and realizing how vulnerable I was. How vulnerable we all were.

And while I am here to tell the tale, to write these words, I will never forget that for a moment in time, no matter how brief it was, I questioned if I would be. And it seems that feeling will never leave me, much like the emotion I felt when I held my mother’s hand as she took her last breath and the one I experienced at the moment my daughter entered the world, altering my universe forever.

Life changes us. Experiences, the good ones and the bad ones, change who we are, how we see things and how we feel about the world around us. I suspect that no matter how many years pass, the sight of smoke will always trigger a cascade of feelings that were first felt on a beautiful sunny day in May that turned into a horror. And this is neither a “good” thing or a “bad” thing – it just is and will always be.

And that’s okay, too.

Over fifty years, I have learned that trying to suppress the changes experience has created is when you truly begin to suffer, as those changes do not like to be denied. You can pretend they don’t exist, stuff them down, try to shove them in a mental closet or the glove compartment of your mind, but they are always going to be there, lurking.

So, you may as well accept them.

This morning, a wisp of smoke forced me back to a day months ago, one that feels like it happened in another lifetime. As I allowed the feelings to wash over me, I focused on all the things I have learned since that day; most significant of all being sheer gratitude for surviving. Once again I felt deep thankfulness for those who fought the flames, a strong connection to the others in my community who lived through the same experience and a profound wonderment at how life can change so quickly.

All too often in life we cannot control what happens to us; our only control lies in how we respond to it. I will always be proud of how members of my community responded to a natural disaster that threatened us all. I will always find hope and comfort in the way we reached out to each other in those early days. I will always feel more deeply connected to my community as the result of an experience that impacted us all, each of us in different ways and with different stories to tell.

And I will always see a wisp of smoke and think back to a bright and sunny spring day when life as I knew it was altered forever. My heart will always take the lead in this one, because it will never forget that day, those moments or that experience; and I will treasure it as the time when I learned the true meaning of courage, resiliency, gratitude and strength.

Just a wisp of smoke.

It doesn’t take much.

The Meaning of Social Media

I chose the title for this one quite deliberately, as it is meant to reflect two things: 1) what the existence of the social media has come to mean in our lives and 2) how it seems social media seems to be taking on an ever-increasingly mean tone.

I’m one of those dinosaurs who has been around since the very early days of social media. I was there when forums and chat rooms were all the rage, seen it evolve into Facebook and Twitter and then revolutionize once more with smart phone cameras and the rise of Instagram and Snapchat. It has been intriguing to witness, as just one generation removed from me, my parents would have been baffled by much of this as the technology just didn’t really exist when they were at an age when it would have interested them; and just one generation down, my daughter is a digital native, growing up in a world immersed in social media. And what I have noted over time is while the medium of delivery changes from chat rooms to Facebook, from forums to Instagram, what also seems to be happening is a progressive increase in truly nasty behaviour.

Don’t get me wrong – the internet “troll” has always been there, and these individuals continue to plague every social media site; but what is more concerning is that social media seems to have enabled other people, who are quite likely fairly normal individuals in other aspects of their lives, to behave in an aggressive manner online simply because social media has removed the face to face nature personal communication once required.

It seems a sad indictment that threats of violence or death are common place on social media now, enough so that seeing them is no longer shocking. The level of anger and hatred would be stunning if it wasn’t so routine. Demeaning and disturbing language and commentary are ubiquitous, enough so that some individuals are giving up on social media entirely and deleting their accounts; and spaces that once seemed “safe”, like Instagram, have begun to see a rise in this behaviour as users take their anger there.

It isn’t that this is entirely new, as there were always “mean people” on the internet, just as there have always been these individuals in every facet of life. It just seems that many people, including the ones who one would not traditionally consider “mean”, are dropping their inhibitions as soon as their fingers hit the keyboard.

It is, undoubtedly, a change in our social interactions. Few of us would have stood in front of our neighbour and said the aggressive and charged things we will say to others on social media. I suspect few of us would have argued for hours with him on his political or social views, and once things got intensely heated most of us would have backed off to preserve inter-neighbour relations. And very, very few of us would have issued threats of violence or death, or encouraged him to commit suicide; and yet these interactions are taking place on social media on a daily basis – often between complete strangers.

Why? Perhaps this is where the meaning of social media comes into play, as what it has come to mean is that we have created a world where anyone can speak to anyone, no matter the actual physical distance between them, leading to a world where interactions have few, if any, real-world consequences. No wonder our inhibitions have dropped; there is no reward or punishment for having them, because the truth is that to some degree we are untouchable online. Real life behaviour of this sort in our workplace, our homes and our communities would have dire consequences, but online? There are few repercussions.

I have begun to suspect that there will be a time when the pendulum will swing, and our interest in social media will wane. The digital natives will see the times before the existence of social media as nostalgic and perhaps long for the days when communicating with someone meant visiting their homes, meeting for coffee or even picking up the phone. Or perhaps the digital natives will pull their circle of interactions tighter, closing their own social media down and limiting their interactions to those they know, which may well defeat the positive aspect of social media that allowed you to interact with people from around the world. Or maybe it will continue just as it is, with social media continuing along this very same path.

There was a time when I extolled the virtues of social media: the ability to connect, the ease of use, the breaking down of barriers. I find myself now increasingly concerned about the dark side of social media, and how it has not only begun to change but form how we behave.

Recently I watched a tv series from the UK called “Black Mirror”. While not perfectly executed in terms of acting and direction, the series is an exploration along the trajectory of trends we see in our world as related to technology, and particularly social media. It is both intriguing and worrisome, as some of the stories developed are far closer to fact than fiction as our technology-train rushes ahead while our social norms and behaviour run beside it on the train platform, trying to catch up and hop on board.

In the end for me the meaning has been to become ever more cognizant of my own behaviour online. There is room for debate and discussion, but when the pot begins to boil I’ve learned to step away. I no longer invest time or energy in discussions where others behave badly, as it just feeds into their behaviour and encourages it; and I don’t allow some behaviour on the social media I control, as limited as those powers might be. I can’t change or control the behaviour of millions, but I can change and control my own, and not contribute to the meaning – or demeaning – of social media.

I suspect in the future we will see more studies correlating a rise in anxiety and depression linked to social media use, as these have already begun to surface. The technology we hoped might create a global community may well instead contribute to global misery as we struggle to develop new social behaviour to adapt to a new setting; or, perhaps, the digital natives like my daughter and generations after may have already developed the adaptations necessary to navigate this brave new world.

It is one of those things that only time will tell; and some day, far from now, we may only begin to understand what the meaning of social media truly holds for us.


I hate personality tests.

They seem far too close to horoscopes to me, except of course that horoscopes are based on the alignment of the stars while personality tests claim to be based on psychology and research into human behaviour; for decades though I have rejected both of them as being more on the side of worthlessness than worth.

It really is just a personal quirk, as millions of other people, including those who work in HR departments, find these tests both informative and fascinating. And perhaps it is just in my nature to object to these tests at all, because according to the one I completed most recently, being put in a box of any sort drives me bonkers.

Yep, I took a personality test recently, and while the results seemed quite accurate, I was perhaps most astonished in that I have taken this test a few years ago, and it seems, somehow, my personality has changed in the intervening time.

This time my tests revealed me as an adventurer, someone who is fiercely independent and yet an introvert. It showed me to be unpredictable and someone who rejects tradition, convention and normalcy in favour of the untried, the untested and the unusual.

This is a far cry from what my test showed five years ago. And perhaps that is what bothers me most about these tests, as our answers very much depend on our true understanding of ourselves.

Five years ago I doubt anyone would have called me independent, let alone fiercely so; I was quite predictable and had been for years. I lived a very traditional and normal life, happy to be considered quite usual as opposed to someone who seeks things that are beyond the norm; and as such I expect I answered my personality test questions in that manner.

Five years ago, I may have still been an adventurer, but I suspect it was cloaked under who I “thought” I was or who I was expected to be; the wife, the mother, the quiet one who stayed at home.

And then, one day, almost as if a light bulb that had been dimmed for a very long time suddenly brightened, I began to remember who I was a long time ago, when I was far younger.

Unpredictable. Adventurous. Spontaneous. And frankly, always wise enough to know the consequences, but on occasion risky enough to play with them just to see where things might end.

I think that is the real trouble with personality tests; they require a firm enough understanding of oneself to answer not only honestly but with self-truth rooted in knowing who you really are, not who you may appear to others to be, or who you pretend to be.

Even when I did the recent personality test I objected to the idea of my unpredictability, arguing I was far too staid and set in my ways to be unpredictable; and then I reflected on all the crazy-ass, spontaneous, absurd, slightly bizarre, carrying-the-secret-to-my-grave things I have ACTUALLY done in my life and realized the truth of this trait, even if I was tempted to deny it.

And so, perhaps now, after fifty years on the planet and a difficult, occasionally painful but equally joyous journey of self-discovery and learning, I have learned who I really am, fiercely independent, unpredictable, adventurous and yet deeply sensitive.

Perhaps it is in learning who we are not that we learn who we are; this seems to have been the path I had to follow.

And while I now, grudgingly, accept that personality tests may well have some degree of accuracy, I have an even firmer belief that they are only as good as our self-knowledge, coloured by how we see ourselves and whether or not that point of view is accurate.

But unlike horoscopes, which will for me forever remain in the land of worthlessness, I can now read my personality test results and find some degree of worth, as glimmers of who I am shine through.

Do I think I – or anyone – can ever really be captured entirely in a personality test?

No. But do I think there is a chance that on occasion they can capture a glimpse of who we are, and perhaps even help us to see how we have changed?

Yes. And for me, that is a most unpredictable answer, too.

Who Are You? Take the Test!


Thanks For Visiting. The End.

It’s deja vu, of course.

Another celebrity, another fly-over, another agenda, another drive-by assassination attempt on the industry that fuels my community.

And thousands of words written and spoken and tweeted and Facebook posted and blogged, filled with outrage and anger, and in the end, what happens?


Nothing changes, as it’s a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing, just as it always is when celebrities decide to visit my community and express their “deep concern” over our industry.

It’s a vicious cycle, as they drop in, they stir up the hornet nest, the media reports, the locals go into defensive hyper-drive and then they fly away, never to be seen again in our community, and life?

Well, life goes on, theirs and ours.

Why do we allow them to do this to us time and time again? Why do we even dignify their visits with our outrage and our anger and our time and our emotions?

My chosen response is now this:

Dear X,

Thanks for visiting.

The end.

It’s all they deserve, no matter the song titles or movie credits attached to their name. They don’t deserve our ink, our words or our emotions, because frankly, we have other needs for those right now, like helping our community to rebuild and recover.

And in the future, they will come and they will go, their little journeys into the heart of our community driven by their own agendas and egos and money and whatever it is that motivates them to come here; and at the end of every single visit exactly one thing will have changed:


And if each of these visits results in exactly nothing, what should we be giving them in return?

Well, nothing. It seems like a fair exchange, really. Let them go through the effort of coming here, expressing their “concerns” and repay their efforts with absolute, complete and resolute indifference.

Because I suspect nothing is more infuriating than when their status is met with a total lack of response, and what they think is met with utter indifference because we know, with certainty, that it just does not and will not matter, not tomorrow, not today and not ever.

So yeah, thanks for visiting.

The end.





Platitudes, Panic and Pediatricians

The announcement of the impending departure of a local pediatrician this week would have been troubling enough in a community with a strong young family demographic but when he began to give media interviews indicating his reason for departure as concern over the safety of children due to the current on-call system for pediatricians at our local hospital, it became more alarming than troubling.

Physicians rarely give such interviews or make statements such as this publicly; these are serious allegations, and physicians who make them without grounds place themselves in serious risk of professional and even personal sanctions from their professional organization, their colleagues and the government. It is undoubtedly a bold move for any physician to do so, and one has to realize they are either deeply concerned in doing it, or deeply foolish.

When the physician in question is one who has garnered tremendous respect, with reportedly 5,000 patients in his care, it would be reasonable to assume he is more likely deeply concerned. And if a physician who is part of the medical system is deeply concerned, then as community members we should be, too.

I have been very fortunate in that I and my family have always received excellent general and emergency medical care in our community. Every visit to the Northern Lights Regional Health Centre Emergency Room has resulted in good care, and I have no personal complaints in this regard. However, as someone who has been impacted by the lack of specialty medical care in my community (in my particular case, a local or even visiting ophthalmologist), I am well aware that living in a smaller and remote northern community can be exceedingly difficult when you have a medical concern that requires specialty care. The loss of a pediatrician, regardless of his role as an on-call pediatrician for emergency services, is a concern, as the loss of every medical specialist has the potential to impact quality of life for the residents of this community. His patients, many of whom undoubtedly have specific medical concerns, have every right and reason to be alarmed by his departure, and his concerns over pediatric patients in the ER should not be discounted in any way, and yet Alberta Health Services, in responding to his media interviews, seems to take these concerns rather more lightly than one would hope.


This response, posted in an online AHS blog, seems to fall slightly more on the “throwing shade” side of defense than an actual articulate and reasoned presentation of the reassuring facts. Comments made that they were not aware of his departure and the 90-day notice a physician must give in order to move or close their practice seem more intended to distract from the real issue at hand: whether or not pediatric patients are at risk in our local hospital due to the current on-call system that sees practicing pediatricians pulled from their practices, offices and patients when an emergency requiring a pediatric specialist arises.

While AHS contends this system has been in place for decades, that alone is hardly reassurance nor a reason to think all is well, as simply because something has worked for a long time does not mean it works well now. In fact, this reasoning may be one of the greatest threats in every human endeavor and not just medicine, as it leads to complacency and an unwillingness to make changes.

What was lacking in the AHS response was three things:
1) Data showing that pediatric patients do not wait for excessive time periods to see a pediatric specialist in the ER and that pediatric patients in our community are “well served” as a whole
2) Evidence showing a lack of negative outcomes from the current on-call system (surely they must collect data of this nature, and if not then I have some questions as to how they can contend it is working)
3) Acknowledgement that this situation is deeply alarming for parents and residents of this community, particularly at a time when many individuals are still recovering from a traumatic year and assessing their ongoing quality of life in our community.

Platitudes developed as a PR response simple won’t reassure anyone in this situation. The fear, anxiety and almost palpable panic this has created in our community is clear when talking to parents and visiting social media pages they frequent; the departure of one pediatrician (and the rumoured departure of a second) is worrisome enough, but this is not the first physician who has expressed concerns about health care in our region (although most have done far less publicly) or who has left the community. In 16 years, I have been through 5 family physicians, not because I have chosen to change them but as they have left the community citing overly heavy workloads and their own quality of life as factors in their decision. I came here from a very small community in northwestern Ontario with sincere hopes my chronic eye disease would receive better treatment, and have been sadly disappointed to see those hopes dashed as my move from a community of 3,000 people to one of over 80,000 people resulted in no difference in care as I still travel to see a medical specialist and still have no local access to an ophthalmologist, emergency, resident or visiting.

And perhaps that is what bothers me most about the AHS response; in their assertion that pediatric patients are “well served”, I wonder if they think other medical concerns in this community are equally well served, like my own, or like mental health concerns for youth, or any of the other myriad issues requiring specialty medical care which are, quite frankly, NOT well served in this community. Does the phrase “well served” become the “home free” of this government agency funded through our tax dollars, and they believe they can walk away without addressing the concerns and anxiety that exists? And by not countering this assertion that we are “well served”, are we allowing them to believe this to be true?

Not so fast, AHS. Platitudes will not reassure in this case. Provide some data, discuss some facts and counter the claims this respected pediatrician has made in a manner that befits the alarm he has raised. If the facts support your assertion, provide them, and be prepared for a dialogue with residents of this community as we want to share with you our concerns regarding our own medical experiences, and those of our families. Understand that to some degree this is still a community in crisis, and it is not “situation normal” in our region as we continue to recover from the events of 2016. Tell us about your efforts to recruit new physicians, share with us the data you have developed indicating the system is working and if there are challenges, be honest and transparent about them, as we are already aware they exist. Show us you have a plan to address them, and assure us you will work with our physicians and us to ensure the kind of health care system that helps us to build a robust quality of life in our region.

For residents of the region with concerns over health care, pediatric or otherwise, I recommend emailing the Alberta Minister of Health Sarah Hoffman. Share your stories, express your concerns and ensure your voice is heard as the only way to effect change is to be part of making it happen.

This story is not over – and it is not even truly the beginning, as I have been here for 16 years and during that entire time health care and access to it has been an issue, particularly any form of specialty medical care. This is an ongoing issue that has flared and subsided over a very long time, and is likely to do so for a long time to come; but we have an opportunity at this point to ask for some answers as in this case some very serious, and very troubling, allegations have been made.

It is now up to Alberta Health Services to respond to them – and with something more than a blog post containing platitudes and hollow reassurances.