Yesterday The Sun Came Out
|FTLComm - Tisdale - Thursday, August 15, 2002|
|Ordinarily, I and most other Saskatchewan folks spend a lot of
time devoted to discussing the weather and in deference to the tradition I will mention
that it rain almost all of yesterday, except for a few minutes around noon hour when
the picture above was taken and it rained all night. Not a heavy rain just rain
so that we got about 7/10ths of an inch which must bring us up to about four inches
for this year, or about the same as you would expect in Saudi Arabia. This morning it was dribbling
a little when I went for breakfast but was down to a mist when I was heading back
home (right and below). It looks like the town has finished digging up 98th street.
School in la Ronge begins on Monday but the staff of Northern Lights School Division went back to work this morning.
Though the national news reporters want us to get excited about Jean Chretien and the fool Paul Martin, most of us turned our attention on coffee row to three extremely disturbing stories here in Saskatchewan.
Yesterday morning the radio news (CBC) reported the death of a Moose Jaw teenage girl (sixteen years old) who died in custody. The report omitted the fact that was reported today, that she actually committed suicide with a torn bed sheet.
While I was taking that sun glistening cloud scene at the top of this page, the Nipawin detachment of the RCMP were sorting out some fifteen children who were taken to hospital after overdosing on perscriptive morphine medication, two are in hospital in Saskatoon.
The third story is just one step further into depression ,as the Saskatoon police department who are pretty sensitive about their conduct and well they should be, following the death squad activity of past years, are trying to figure out what has become of a twenty-three year old woman, who is described as being in the "sex trade" has been missing since May, right around the time another Saskatoon alleged "sex trade" worker bled to death in a bus shelter.
|I would much rather tell you about a construction project or street
repairs, but the social issues of 2002 just won't go away. Moose Jaw's police chief
(below) explained to television news viewers how upset he and his staff were about
the death of the girl and that they are going to rennovate those cells installing
TV monitoring in them instead of just in the hallway, but he says there was nothing
his staff could have done.
When a human being is taken into custody, the crown assumes responsiblity for that individual as that person's right to look after themselves has removed from them. The sixteen year old girl and a fourteen year old, had been alleged to have been involved in an assault on a younger girl and the sixteen year old had been in trouble with the law and was in breach of some undertaking. Today all that can be reported about her is that an autopsy is being performed.
We need to have a little refresher on Canadian law. A person under eighteen years of age is considered in Canada as a child, that is the reason this girl's name is not available, yet she is dead. She died while in custody. No excuse of any kind is acceptable.
Imagine, and I am certain everyone can easily see into the world of sixteen year old kid, a background of trouble with the law, being picked up facing more charges, terrified of her future loss of freedom and desperately alone. Taking her life was logical for her and a horrible condemnation of a society that would allow such a thing to occur. It is to easy to condemn the Moose Jaw police, it is to easy to condemn the legal and justice system, it is even to easy to blame Saskatchewan poverty and social conditions. The fact is and it really darkens a day to realise this, but its your fault and its my fault.
What kind of people let poverty exist, what kind of people have not figured out a way to care for the children of our society that they find themselves with the logical decision that ending their life is their only course of action?
There will be a lot of hand wringing and finger pointing over
a party of eleven to fifteen year old kids in one of the greatest places in the world
to live, Nipawin. Nipawin is a fabulous place, amazing scenery, gentle kind people,
a post card on every corner. But Nipawin is also home to hundreds of people who
have left their over crowded home reserves at Shoal Lake, Red Earth and Cumberland
House. People who have to rely on not enough income to live and hopes and dreams
like everyone else, only they all know that those hopes and dreams are for other
Timothy W. Shire