Monthly Archives: March 2011

Saskatoon-Wanuskewin 2011

Lately, I’ve had a lot of inquiries from residents of Saskatoon-Wanuskewin who want to know why I am not their candidate.  As my former constituents were aware, I fully intended to run again in the current general election.  I accomplished a number of things in the last national election that I am very proud of, and with a few years experience and two elections under my belt, I’m all the stronger, and that much better prepared.

Firstly, I am sorry.  You put your trust in me, and I have let you down.  Your support was not something I took lightly.

Over the last few years, the Green Party of Canada has shifted several people through the role of organizer for Saskatchewan.  A role that was filled by Mike Jones when I first came on board, and I’ll be honest…  they never should have let him go.  After the last general election, the GPC did away with the part time job Mike held, merging us with another of the three Prairie Provinces and turning it into a full time position (for the other organizer).

At this point Saskatchewan went from being a top priority to being bottom rung, just like our province is for every other political party.  I was disappointed, but it’s really par for the course.  We don’t bring in a lot of funds for the national parties.  It was bound to happen.

Next, all three provinces (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta) were merged under one organizer.  And then, under yet another organizer, all three Prairie Provinces were merged with Northern and Eastern Ontario – because that makes perfect sense.  This organizer was Nora Shea.

Nora knew I planned to run again, and had been in touch with me.  Unfortunately the two of us had difficulty connecting the one time I knew she was in Saskatoon.  We had planned to work together on all the paperwork that needed to be filed in order to make my candidacy official.  But, I figured, the next time she found her way out here, we’d make it work and get everything formalized.  I wasn’t worried.  Nora knew my intention, and so to did every Green who knew me.

Fast forward…

About a month ago I overheard some happy chatter in regards to Saskatchewan officially having a full slate of candidates for the rumoured upcoming general election.  I say rumoured, because we all had been waiting for a non-confidence vote shortly after the last general election.  Sometimes the rumours were strong, sometimes they were a murmur.  They ebbed and flowed like the Oceans that border our country.

I was rather startled by this news…  as I was still a “candidate of record”.  Without my paperwork filed, there was no official anything.  Just an intention – albeit a well known one.

I queried Elizabeth May.  I taught her how to use BlackBerry Messenger last time she passed our way, and we have each other as BBM contacts.  Regardless of everything that has gone on within the party, she remains steadfast.  Always someone I can count on.  Always upfront, always honest.  I let her know what was going on, and asked her to look into things for me.  And despite a packed and hectic schedule, she did so quickly and without hesitation.  For that, I am very grateful.

It turns out that Nora had been fired…  and the claim from Sharon Labchuk (the organizer for PEI) was that she never passed on any information about my intention to again seek the candidacy for Saskatoon-Wanuskewin, and that would have been sufficient.  I felt badly, but amidst chaos, things like this happen.  People fall in the cracks, details are forgotten, information is not passed on.

However, Ms. Labchuk left me with a very bad taste in my mouth.  Rather than apologizing that I’d been overlooked, she instead began throwing the blame anywhere she could.  At Nora, at me…  at unnamed people whom she insisted had repeatedly attempted to contact me, but whom I didn’t actually hear from (why they would have been trying so hard to reach me if Nora had not informed them of my intention, I have no idea).   It very much reeked of “too bad for you, I don’t care, it’s not my problem, don’t waste my time”.

A political party’s worth can truly be measured from the ground up.  The leader, our figurehead, is vitally important…  but without each supporter, each volunteer, each candidate, each willing body pushing tirelessly towards change, those at the top have no hope and no future.  So while I fully support E. May, and believe wholeheartedly in her abilities and her integrity, the type of attitude displayed by Ms. Labchuk truly makes me fear for the future of our party.

I hope I’m wrong.  Truly I do.

So…  that is the long and short of it.

I fully intended to again fight to give a voice to all of you who otherwise feel you have none in this backwards, broken political arena.  And I am sorry that I am not there for you.  I do not know the man who has replaced me as your candidate, but I hope you will give him the same support you would have given to me.  And I hope that he will listen to you the same way I have, ensuring that your voices ARE heard.

In solidarity, ALWAYS, Tobi-Dawne Smith.

Danae & Cameron – Campus Sweethearts

Danae and Cameron were absolutely adorable.  I always worry about couples who take themselves too seriously.  But these two have humour in spades.  Being able to laugh with (and occasionally AT) one another is an awesome thing.

My favourite shot from our sweethearts shoot speaks volumes, and so too do all those which follow:

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This shoot really was a treat…  spontaneous and fun.  Just like the couple themselves.

…as the wheel turns

So, just as I get better, the girlie is up for her turn.  Isn’t that the way?  She’s not sick yet, but I can feel it coming.  The moodiness.  The sleepiness. The irritabliness.  Wait.  That’s not a word.  Okay, maybe I’m not ALL the way better yet.  😉

It was a long day.

But I was able to get a little work done.

I put in a few hours this afternoon editing photos.  However, I’m not on the desktop computer, so I’m unable to share any.  Sorry.  Though, I don’t think I’d have done so anyway.  This was a “boudoir” shoot.  And while some folks have no problem letting it all hang out for the world to see (and seriously, kudos to those of you who have the guts to do so) that’s not the case in this instance.

I think we have a winner (in the cool two-wheeler category).

I’ve been out sick for the last several days…  so I actually have a legitimate excuse for the lack of blog posts lately.  LOL  It was pretty miserable, so I’m very glad to be on the other side of all that nastiness.

We took the girlie out looking for bikes.  With the snow still covering everything, we aren’t in a big rush.  But I’m full of Spring thoughts and warm weather wishes…  and looking for a two wheeler was a fun springy thing that we could do indoors (where the blowing snow couldn’t get to us).

We visited a couple different stores, and had to have tried out nine or ten different bikes.  But I think we may have found a winner.  😀  Unlike all the others that piqued her interest, this one has no tassels, no pink or purple, no fairies or princesses, no doll bike seat, no basket, no flower vase…  But when she saw it her eyes lit up and she exclaimed:  “Wow!!  It’s just like a car for racing!!!”

The Winner!

 

And, the coolest part?

While I know she’d get the hang of any bike after a little practice, all of them were stop and go.  Push one peddle down, wait, push the other down, wait…  Well, all of them until she tried this one.  She needed a little help to get started, but then took off like a flash!  She went about 40 feet without any hesitation or signs of slowing.  LOL

So I called her Daddy over to help her out so I could pull out my BlackBerry to take a quick video.  😀

http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=10150130011992353

And yes, if I could figure out how to embed a fb video here I would.  LMAO  But, for now you’ll just have to click on the link.

 

 

Bill C-389… the “bathroom bill”?

Today has been super busy.  Spent the morning with my wee girlie.  The early afternoon answering emails and phone calls.  A photo shoot in the late afternoon.  Supper with my husband and girlie, followed by another shoot.  Read a few chapters to the girl, put her to bed… and am now here – with you.  Because today was so busy, there are lots of things I could blog about…  but more important than anything I did, is something YOU can do.

With the looming general election, there’s a chance that Bill C-389 may end up being scrapped.  If it’s not passed soon, it’s done…  and all the work that has been done already will be for nothing.  Everything will have to start from scratch.

To it’s discredit, Bill C-389 has become known as the “bathroom bill”.  But it really has very little to do with public washroom facilities (gendered washrooms vs ungendered ones) and everything to do with human rights.  Some folks, particularly the “Christian Right” have been using fear-mongering tactics… claiming it would mean the end of “family values”.  And honestly?  What a load of bunk.

This bill is about human rights on a VERY basic level.  Equality for all people.  It simply asks for the words “gender identity, gender expression” to be added to both the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code.  This would give protection to transgendered people, who currently face an appalling  amount of discrimination, recrimination, and fear every day…  for nothing more than BEING.

You can read the text of the bill itself at:  http://www2.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&Parl=40&Ses=3&Mode=1&Pub=Bill&Doc=C-389_1&File=27#1

In an effort to promote fear, prejudice, and incite hatred some are attempting to thwart this bill saying that it would mean that we would need to start teaching trans 101 in pre-school.  Quite honestly, these folks are completely out of touch with reality…  but, seriously, this is the “worst case scenario” they came up with.  The worst possible thing to come out of this legislation would be to teach equality to children?  Wow.  How is it we haven’t passed this bill already???

We teach equality regardless of sex, equality regardless of race, equality regardless of religion, equality regardless of wealth, equality regardless of creed…  why are we not teaching our young children equality regardless of gender?

Bill C-389 is about safety, security, and the right to personhood.  Transgendered individuals deserve the same protection under the law that every other person is already guaranteed.  It is disgusting that we haven’t already ensured legislation like this is in place.

So, what can you do?

Write Letters!

There is a draft letter available at:  http://egale.ca/index.asp?lang=&menu=1&item=1451 So if you aren’t confident drafting your own, please feel free to copy and paste the one available there.  That is, after all, the whole reason it is there.

If you are in Saskatchewan here are the email addresses for your Senators:

andrer@sen.parl.gc.ca

dyckli@sen.parl.gc.ca

merchp@sen.parl.gc.ca

russem@sen.parl.gc.ca

tkachd@sen.parl.gc.ca

wallin@sen.parl.gc.ca

Share this Blog Post!

Share this link on facebook, twitter, or any of the dozens of social networking sites out there.  Make people aware of this important bill.  Do NOT let it die.

Talk to the Local Media!

Got a favourite news team or news show?  Find their website.  Chances are they will have contact information listed.  Email them, phone them!  Make them aware of what is going on.  Get them talking!

Tell Your Friends!

Seriously, talk to your friends and family.  I bet most of the people you know don’t even know about this bill.  Did you?

It is an atrocity that in this day and age there are still people in Canada without basic human rights.  Without the right to be free from discrimination, without the right to be free from fear.  Bathroom legislation?  What a slap in the face.  This isn’t about public washrooms.  This is about being HUMAN.

Speak up!  Get heard!  Make change!

 

Baby J’s 1st Photoshoot

I had the chance to do a new baby photo shoot today, and those are always such a treat.

I’ve rounded up a few of the photos to share.

Now, ya’ll know me.  I like a photograph that tells a story…  so those are the ones I picked.  Each of these captures really could inspire an entire host of fictions – but sometimes?  The truth is even more fun.  😉

So here is baby J:

Ginger Kids

When I saw this bag of biscuits I just had to take a picture.  No one would have believed me otherwise.  LOL

Ginger Kid Cookies: because Gingers weren't creepy enough already.

 

 

Jaclyn and Kim: sweethearts in the snow

On Sunday afternoon I had the privilege of doing a sweethearts photo shoot out in the snow with Jaclyn and Kim.  I love shooting in the snow, and though it presents its own unique challenges, I wish it was something more folk were willing to consider.  So when Jaclyn suggested it (without any prompting on my part) I was thrilled.

The two of them will be receiving a disk with over 100 images on it from our hour-long session.  But figured I’d share a few of my favourites here, both as a preview for them, and for me to show off.  LOL  I absolutely adore shooting couples in love…  and a couple in love out in the snow?  Awesome!

Starting to get busy….

It looks like my “lazy” dayz are coming to an end.  I am going to have six months of pure busy, completely immersed in the things I love.  Photo sessions galore, meeting and working with amazing LGBTTQA youth, dog shows every few weekends, and with only a few more months till Summer – I’ll have the wee girlie home with me all the time.  It’s exhausting thinking about it.  LOL

This won’t be a pace I could keep up indefinitely, but with a concrete end in sight?  It will be one amazing time.  For a while, it was all on the horizon…  but as of this weekend, it’s happening now.  I’m exhausted, laying in bed next to my baby girl, but given a little time I know my body will get used to this new level of busyness.  For now though?  I’m happy to be laying in bed rather than laying in snow – like I was doing earlier today.  LMAO  Anything for the shot, right?  It’s not the first time I’ve been in snow up to my neck to get the photograph I wanted, and it won’t be the last.  😉

Breaking the Silence, part two… Scraptastic Saturdays

Today was the Breaking the Silence conference.  It was great!  I only spoke for a little while, but I earned a few laughs, and got the chance to talk with lots of great folks afterwards.  I’d share more… but right now?  I am exhausted.  LOL  And I have to get ready for a photo shoot out in the snow tomorrow.  Besides, today is supposed to be Scraptastic Saturday.  And this post has NOTHING to do with scrapbooking.  😉  To that end, here’s a little poll.

I’m deciding on a name for my scrapbook design company.  I’ve narrowed it down to a few options, but could use some outside opinions.  So I hope you’ll weigh in.  Either with just a vote, or with a comment too.

For those who don’t know…  I call the wee girlie “my little strawberry”.  So that’s where the name choices come from.  🙂

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