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Last week — with groups from all over the Salish Sea — we sent more than 66,400 faxes calling on the National Energy Board to respect Indigenous Rights and Title and to take real action to save the endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales.
The public comment period of Trudeau’s rushed Trans Mountain “Reconsideration” closed last week after allowing only a few weeks for submissions.
When we learned the NEB would only accept comments by fax (or using an 8-page online portal and then mailing a hard copy!) we flooded the NEB with faxes protesting the limited opportunity for public engagement, using a special internet tool developed by friends of ours. 66,400 people (who don’t have home fax machines) were able to send a fax to the NEB, along with Prime Minister Trudeau and key Cabinet ministers.
Secretary-Treasurer of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) Chief Judy Wilson said, “I sent my fax with tens of thousands of other concerned people to make it clear that Canada cannot get away with a shoddy re-do of the already flawed NEB process. I am still shocked that the NEB attempted to completely ignore the impacts of the proposed Trans Mountain pipeline on our marine environment, and with the current whirlwind re-do, it’s like they are almost still ignoring the impacts.”
While we were faxing, the NEB decided they would limit the scope of their investigation into the effects on endangered whales to 12 nautical miles from shore, instead of the 200 nautical miles recommended by every intervenor except Trans Mountain, the Government of Canada and the province of Alberta. For more details on what’s been going on at the NEB, please read Eugene Kung of West Coast Environmental Law’s latest blog post.
“The Trudeau government’s slick, quick and dirty NEB process is a kick in the teeth to the Federal Court of Appeal ruling which quashed the federal approval for the Trans Mountain pipeline and tanker project,” says Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC).
“There is absolutely no chance that the impossibly short time frame and under-resourcing of the current NEB process will allow Canada to properly address the marine impacts of Trans Mountain. We continue to demand that this ill-conceived, dirty, garbage oil fuel expansion project be completely scrapped and that Canada invests in real clean energy development projects.”
Later today, Canadian First Nations and U.S. Coast Salish Tribes will hold a press conference prior to the Indigenous Oral Testimony NEB session that is part of the “Reconsideration”, from 1:00 – 1:45 pm in Victoria, BC. We will share the live stream on the Coast Protectors Facebook page or you can watch here.
I’m not much for public mourning, but this is just a little too close to home for me and more significant than I may be able to explain… We all love you, no matter how you felt, Our youngest cousin Alex Pro (Sister, daughter, niece, she’s even an auntie) will be missed, but remembered forever… you reached out and I was too far away to help, I have been dwelling on this for months.
Over the last week or so, I had the great opportunity to sit with 2 Elders, a Seer, and a healer, both advised me well beyond my own imagination could have ever thought…
And I felt as though I had been set on a new path. I was so overwhelmed by the experience that I feel now that the messages passed unto me had been more urgent than first realized. I felt the urgency and didn’t question it.
Alex Pro‘s Gramma, my Great Aunt, was quite vocal in my reading, very present and Willing to speak on many things of importance.
I can only send a message out into the universe and hope that you hear it again, Your Gramma will find you, and you should look for her too. By all means, I am here too, anytime ever, you’d like to communicate, I’ll leave my mind open. Let your soul find your way home, rest in paradise… you’ll not be forgotten.
All people have to do sometimes is listen and take it at face value… Most won’t understand what it takes to battle a demon, but I believe you took it to game 7 and into Overtime.
There is so much more I’d like to say, I just hope this message finds you in less pain than when you left this plane…
I wrote this the other night, this is my cousin. I just want to say her name: Alex Proestos.
She was found earlier this week, unresponsive, from a fentanyl Overdose, or at least whatever she had taken had some in it. Until this morning she lay brain-dead, in a Toronto hospital waiting, kept alive/active enough so that her organs could be donated. I’m not entirely sure how all that works, but She was a kind soul, still young, like 23-24, or so now, I believe. Unfortunately, I had not seen her in a few years, She was the youngest of 3, and the only daughter. Of our group of Cousins, she was the youngest.
Now, I talk of my family as an adoptee, this seems like an important mention. (We came from a strange mixed up family, and I mean that very literally. My parents adopted me, from a family I now know and have been to visit etc.. after a long search. My Dad’s Aunt was Alex’s Grandmother. Her name was Dorothy, the nicest person you’d ever meet. She and her husband adopted Alex’s Mom and her brother. My Dad’s sister was also an orphan who my grandparents had brought home as a baby) There’s more, but I think I’m losing the battle to the train of thought.
My Birth family may be much of the same, only more people and bigger, when I include them, she wasn’t quite the youngest, but may well have been. My Cousin Alex was a fighter and battled the demon of addiction for quite some time. She reached out to me on Jan.31.2018… Unfortunately, there wasn’t much I could do to help except listen or something. Since that night, I had been stuck in a thought, trying to find out where she was and just see what she needed.
I’m old enough now, that I can remember when she was born. So I saw her grow up before my eyes, more seasonally actually I guess… There were times, In my life, where I was such as she was, nowhere to be found. She’s not the first person I have lost to addiction, but she was most likely my closest relative to have gone down that path, unexpectedly. She had the most promise, she was smart/intelligent and seemed to have a plan of some kind.
Is anybody getting the impression that Fentanyl is like the new 80’s Crack epidemic… All over again, stronger more deadly, and a complete setup? It is said, by many, that the CIA was funneling drugs into black neighborhoods, in order to kill them off to some degree, AIDS has similar theories. The Politicians get up on a stage, spew some randoms facts they know nothing about because they’re completely out of touch…. then do more nothing than ever before. Watching it get worse and worse, year over year. I really don’t believe this can be a coincidence.
I wrote the above post, both to honor her memory, and send out some positive energy, in the hope she would wake up. Many who had the chance to visit her, seemed resigned to what is now happening, maybe it’s shock. In this post below, I’m trying to come to some sort of point. But I guess, the fact of the matter is that we’ve lost a young woman that was left on her own to fight her demons. When she reached out, to my understanding she only recently been released from CAMH, or had spent some time there, and had no place to go. I didn’t get the full story, But I would like an explanation that I have not heard a thousand times over. Mental health in this country gets ignored and left behind and argued over, but nothing really ever happens, another paper gets published, or a committee gets a grant to conduct a “Study.”
Alex seems to have fallen through the cracks in the system and also the cracks in our family. The lack of education in these areas: Mental/Behavioural health, Addictions, the prison system, and treatment options. as well as related things like the people we educated/train to work in these fields of study. Regular families and kids, young people, don’t ever really think about these places unless it directly affects them, by then it is always late. Drugs usually start off with a curiosity, or experimenting etc.. it’s fun until it’s too late.
I could tell many first-hand stories of my experiences dealing with people or my own situations where somebody’s well being was brushed off and ignored for not being a physical or visible injury that would take more priority.
In a mental health breakdown of sorts, somebody tried to jump out of my car on the highway, multiple attempts, to where I had to hold the seatbelt in place and the door locked. At the ER, I explained, and we were sent to the waiting room for the next 8 hours, after going back politely a bunch of times, the triage nurse basically told me we weren’t important enough and had to wait, so when I gave her a piece of my mind and explained again, we were taken into a holding cell for psych assessment, in a hospital. And there we waiting til morning. When the Doctor showed up, there was a 5-minute assessment and release papers were signed off. Was this their solution to Attempted Suicide? No referrals, nothing. just done and go.
I have been a patient of the mental health community for over 20 years now, but only because I lost my own way and started getting into trouble as a youth. At that time, jurisdiction went to the Young Offenders Act. A little-known fact of the YOA. was that sentencing guidelines were directly connected to mental Health and treatment options, as well as aftercare planning. This all changed with the introduction of the Youth Criminal Justice Act, and even more so recently with Tough on Crime bills and other law changes. So, basically, (as my old man voice turns on) back in my day you had to get into trouble just to get out of drugs, or into treatment. Lucky for me, I was able to alter my path… slightly, and better myself to some degree. Now, if you get into trouble, you just have to make due and suffer through it. Even more, if you’re in the streets.
A jail cell isolates already, being in a little box, inside a bigger set of boxes surrounded by wire and fences and wilderness. It’s like being buried alive, now for somebody with a severe Mental health issue, this can be torturess on the mind and body. Now take an undiagnosed person with a drug addiction in full effect, and lock them up? That’ll go well. Check in with me in a generation or two.
Probably could go on and on. I spent a good chunk of my developmental youth surrounded by caseworkers and what not. I learned a lot, I could have been an Apprentice or something in that amount of time, if systems that never get along, ever worked together. If Life Experience could earn you a degree, imagine yourself and where you may be. I’ll close the loop by saying, In her last effort as a human being she decided to extend other people’s lives by being a donor.
Live eternal amongst the stars, rest in paradise… let your young light shine bright, Alex.
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