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Posts by Richard E. Ward

The One Thing Women May not Know that Men Need Most

This is an interesting article by Russell Scott of Awaken The Guru In You. I have known Russell for a few years having met him in a workshop that we both attended. His workshops are worth taking a look at.

He offers some simple advice to women about men. The advice seems easy enough to understand…at least for this man. Russell writes:

Women want a new man one who is sensitive and caring yet resilient and strong when she feels weak. Yet this demand is where men have the greatest difficulty with women.

To be sensitive means to really see a person the way they are but it also means to be vulnerable.

So when a man is vulnerable and gets hurt by a woman the woman expects the man to be sensitive and understand that all this came out of her dysfunctional childhood with an abusive father, a critical mother, a narcissistic sister, bullying in school, i.e. her own victim hood. The list can go on and on.

She needs sympathy from a man and she needs the man then to be a “strong man” to push his hurt aside and then be there for her. If a woman always requires this of a man and offers a continual explanation of her own victim hood when she has hurt a man, it will drive him crazy.

This is very confusing for a man: “Strong or sensitive, what does she need from me…I am the one that is bloody well hurting?” This will eventually drive a man nuts, into addictive behaviour, being a passive “yes” man with suppressed rage, someone who leaves the relationship or worse, the frustrated angry man that he and his woman does not want him to be.

He is developing his feeling capacity and does not know how to navigate all of this.

What men really need from a woman at this time when he is hurt, is for the woman to see him in his all pain. She needs to avoid the justification. He needs his pain to be validated rather than expect him to suck it up and “be a man” which is the worst way of shaming a man and making him your enemy.

A man does not need much more than a simple apology and an understanding of how he has been hurt.

If a woman can do this simple thing for a man and avoid the long complicated explanation, she will cultivate a loyal partner for the rest of her life.

Russell Scott
Awaken The Guru In You

Over the years I have worked with many men, especially men that want to grow out of the old paradigm of the macho patriarchal male. This is one big thing that I see these kind of post-modern men are challenged with.

Hey men (and women) let me know if this is a struggle for you …or maybe I’m the only one.

Russell

The Brain That Changes Itself by Dr. Norman Doidge

This is a wonderful book. If you or loved one or a friend have ever suffered from head injuries or head trauma then you will want to read The Brain That Changes Itself by Dr. Norman Doidge.
Richard Ward

Norman Doidge, M.D., a psychiatrist and researcher, set out to investigate neuroplasticity and met both the brilliant scientists championing it and the people whose lives they’ve transformed.

The Brain That Changes Itself is a riveting collection of case histories detailing the astonishing progress of people whose conditions had long been dismissed as hopeless. We see a woman born with half a brain that rewired itself to work as a whole, a woman labeled retarded who cured her deficits with brain exercises and now cures those of others, blind people learning to see, learning disorders cured, IQs raised, aging brains rejuvenated, painful phantom limbs erased, stroke patients recovering their faculties, children with cerebral palsy learning to move more gracefully, entrenched depression and anxiety disappearing, and lifelong character traits altered.

“You don’t have to be a brain surgeon to read it — just a person with a curious mind.” — Globe & Mail

Doidge takes us into terrain that might seem fantastic. We learn that our thoughts can switch our genes on and off, altering our brain anatomy. Scientists have developed machines that can follow these physical changes in order to read people’s thoughts, allowing the paralyzed to control computers and electronics just by thinking. We learn how people of average intelligence can, with brain exercises, improve their cognition and perception in order to become savant calculators, develop muscle strength, or learn to play a musical instrument, simply by imagining doing so.

“Only a few decades ago, scientists considered the brain to be fixed or ‘hardwired’ and considered most forms of brain damage, therefore, to be incurable. Dr. Doidge, an eminent psychiatrist and researcher, was struck by how his patients’ own transformations belied this and set out to explore the new science of neuroplasticity by interviewing both scientific pioneers in neuroscience, and patients who have benefited from neuro-rehabilitation. Here he describes in fascinating personal narratives how the brain, far from being fixed, has remarkable powers of changing its own structure and compensating for even the most challenging neurological conditions. Doidge’s book is a remarkable and hopeful portrait of the endless adaptability of the human brain.”
Oliver Sacks

Using personal stories from the heart of this neuroplasticity revolution, Dr. Doidge explores the profound implications of the changing brain for understanding the mysteries of love, sexual attraction, taste, culture and education in an immensely moving, inspiring book that will permanently alter the way we look at human possibility and human nature.

Lucid and absolutely fascinating…engaging, educational and riveting. It satisfies, in equal measure, the mind and the heart. Doidge is able to explain current research in neuroscience with clarity and thoroughness. He presents the ordeals of the patients about whom he writes- -people born with parts of their brains missing, people with learning disabilities, people recovering from strokes- -with grace and vividness. In the best medical narratives — and the works of Doidge… join that fraternity — the narrow bridge between body and soul is traversed with courage and eloquence.
Chicago Tribune

The Brain That Changes Itself is available on Amazon.

TBI Weariness

David Grant the founder and publisher of TBI Hope & Inspiration wrote this and posted it on Facebook. It struck a chord with me so I am sharing it here on my blog.

TBI Weariness is unlike weariness in my past life – a life now forever over.

In the old days, the days before everything changed, I could shake it off.

A hot shower and a good meal and I was ready to rock ‘n roll.

But not so anymore.

TBI weariness is a level of unfathomable exhaustion.

You want to simply put your head down for a while… and not come back.

Small tasks take Herculean effort.

And I’d be angry at my TBI – if I had the energy to even be angry.

Brain fog clouds my vision, thoughts scattered.

It all to often feels like it’s always been like this.

And always will be.

I long for a break from the perpetual and unending exhaustion.

“What’s it like to wake up refreshed,” I wonder.

“What’s it like to actually sleep through the night?”

I try to live life like I used to.

When I was whole.

Before I was broken.

On the good days, I pay a steep price.

Steeper than most will never know.

Trying to appear unbroken takes work – a lot of work.

On the tough days, the price paid is torturous.

Never a day off, forever part of the two words that sometimes

I really hate.

“New Normal.”

Got two pieces of news for you.

This is NOT normal.

and…

I’m as eligible as you to at times crumble under the weight of this all.

Sometimes I just need to vent.

Dr. Daniel Amen recommends Kirtan Kriya – the the SA TA NA MA meditation

Dr. Daniel Amen in his book Making A Good Brain Great recommends using a form of meditation known as Kirtan Kriya, also known as the SA TA NA MA meditation.

The 12 minute format of Kirtan Kriya that Dr. Amen recommends is a very easy form of meditation for busy people to practice.

The SA TA NA MA meditation is based on the five primal sounds:

  • Saa,
  • Taa,
  • Naa,
  • Maa and
  • Aa

I have found this to be a wonderful meditation.

I have struggled to meditate on a regular daily basis for decades. And while there is no doubt that the gabapentin medication is helping me to stay on track, as shown in my second SPECT Scan, I am finding that when I get up in the morning, and before goingto bed at night, I really look forward to doing Kirtin Kriya. It seems that the combination of sound (mantra) and movement (Mudra) makes a difference for me.

Dr. Amen says “I teamed with Drs. Dharma Singh Khalsa and Nisha Money to study the impact of meditation on the brain. We chose a simple 12 minute form of meditation, Kriya Kirtan, that is easy for busy people to practice. It is based on the five primal sounds: Saa, Taa, Naa, Maa (aa being the fifth sound). Meditators say each sound as they consecutively touch their thumb to fingers two, three, four and five. The sounds and fingering are repeated for two minutes out loud, two minutes whispering, four minutes silently, two minutes whispering and two minutes out loud.

“We performed SPECT scans at rest one day and then after meditation the next day. We saw marked decreases in the left parietal lobes (decreasing awareness of time and space) and significant increases in the prefrontal cortex (which showed that meditation helped to tune people in, not out). We also saw increased activity in the right temporal lobe, an area that has been associated with spirituality.

Alzheimer’s Research & Prevention Foundation & Kirtan Kriya

Alzheimer’s Research & Prevention Foundation conducted a study at the Amen Clinic in Newport Beach, California in 2003. It was a joint project between the Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation and the Amen Clinic of Newport Beach, California, affiliated with the University of California at Irvine.

What did the SPECT scan from the study show before doing Kirtan Kriya?

In one of the brain scans, we saw that the dimples in the front of the brain show a lack of complete blood flow. The area located on the back region of the brain is lumpy and asymmetrical, also due to a lack of blood flow. In the center of the brain, no thalamus is visible.

brain before Kirtin Kriya

What did a SPECT scan of the same brain described above show after doing Kirtan Kriya?

A SPECT scan of the same brain showed that the dimples had disappeared, showing an increase in blood flow. The back of the brain is fuller and more symmetrical. The thalamus is now visible in the center of the brain. The thalamus controls appetite and sleep cycles, sets the emotional tone of the mind, and promotes bonding.

brain after Kirtin Kriya

SPECT Scans courtesy of the Alzheimer’s Research & Prevention Foundation.

So I am looking forward to my next SPECT Scan to see what other changes we see to my brain.

When you do the Kirtin Kriya meditation you say each sound as you consecutively touch your thumb to fingers two, three, four and five. Each time you close a mudra by joining the thumb with a finger, your ego “seals” its effect in your consciousness.

Visualize or feel each individual sound come in the crown chakra at the top of the head, down through the middle of the head and out to infinity through the third eye. This is very important and must be done with each sound. It is an essential part of the cleansing process. If this part of the meditation is not done, you may experience a headache.

Kirtan Kriya 12 Minute Meditation Instructions :

  • Sit with a straight spine.
  • Bring your mental focus to the brow point.
  • 2 minutes OUTLOUD – SA TA NA MA
  • 2 minutes in an audible WHISPER – SA TA NA MA
  • 4 minutes chant SILENTLY. Keep the hands and tongue moving – SA TA NA MA.
  • 2 minutes WHISPER – SA TA NA MA.
  • 2 minutes OUTLOUD – SA TA NA MA.
  • 30 seconds: sit quietly and listen inside, hear the mantra and experience the energy flowing in throw your Crown Chakra and out through your brow (Third Eye).
  • Do not do the finger movements.
  • 30 seconds: inhale deeply, raise the arms up in the air and vigorously shake the arms and fingers. You can involve the whole body and spine. Exhale. Repeat 1 or 2 more time if you desire. This is an important part of the meditation as it helps move and release the energy in the body.

Relax for a few minutes before going about your day. Or relax on your back. If it is before bed time, simply go to sleep.

While doing the meditation, you may experience pictures of the past come up like on a movie screen in your mind. Let them dance in front of your eyes and release them with the mantra. This is part of the cleansing of the subconscious mind.

If emotions come up, you can also incorporate them in the chanting, i.e. if you feel anger then chant out the anger. Whatever you experience is OK. Do not try to avoid or control your experiences. Simply be with what is going on and go through it. It is all part of the cleansing process.

The bottom line is that this meditation works. All you have to do is do it. You can trust the process and the technology.

 

Eliciting the Relaxation Response in Meditation

Elicitation of the Relaxation Response in meditation as taught by Dr. Herbert Benson is not difficult.

Meditating is one of several activities that produce the relaxation response, and meditating for 20-30 minutes a day, over time, can lead to a generalized feeling of relaxation in many areas of your life.

There are two essential steps to eliciting the Relaxation Response:

  1. Repetition of a word, sound, phrase, prayer, or muscular activity.
     
  2. Passive disregard of everyday thoughts that inevitably come to mind and the return to your repetition.

The following is the generic technique taught at the Mind/Body Medical Institute:

  1. Pick a focus word, short phrase, or prayer that is firmly rooted in your belief system, such as “one”, “peace”, “AUM”, “The Lord is my shepherd”, “Hail Mary full of grace” or “shalom”.
     
  2. Sit quietly in a comfortable position.
     
  3. Close your eyes.
     
  4. Relax your muscles, progressing from your feet to your calves, thighs, abdomen, shoulders, head, and neck.
     
  5. Breathe slowly and naturally, and as you do, say your focus word, sound, phrase, or prayer silently to yourself as you exhale.
     
  6. Assume a passive attitude. Don’t worry about how well you’re doing. When other thoughts come to mind, simply say to yourself, “Oh well”, and gently return to your repetition.
     
  7. Continue for ten to 20 minutes.
     
  8. Do not stand immediately. Continue sitting quietly for a minute or so, allowing other thoughts to return. Then open your eyes and sit for another minute before rising.
     
  9. Practice the technique once or twice daily. Good times to do so are before breakfast and before dinner.
     

Regular elicitation of the Relaxation Response has been scientifically proven to be an effective treatment for a wide range of stress-related disorders. In fact, to the extent that any disease is caused or made worse by stress, the Relaxation Response can help.

The Relaxation Response can be brought forth through many techniques in addition to the method above, such as imagery, progressive muscle relaxation, repetitive prayer, meditation, repetitive physical exercises, and breath focus. Each person should choose a technique that conforms to his or her belief system.

The Relaxation Response

The Relaxation Response is a term coined by Herbert Benson, MD.

The Relaxation Response is a learned behavior or practice describing a natural restorative phenomenon that is common to all as a counterbalancing mechanism to the fight-or-flight response.

The Relaxation Response is a state of profound rest that can have lasting effects if any of a number of techniques that involve mental focusing is practiced regularly.

Learning how to relax, really relax, can have a far-reaching influence on the quality of your life. There is a difference between “vegging” (which can be a good thing to do) and taking time to engage in activities that produce deep relaxation. Meditation is an activity that can lead to deep relaxation.

Deep relaxation has specific characteristics. When a person has a relaxation response, several physiological changes occur. They are:

  • Decrease in heart rate
  • Decrease in respiration rate
  • Decrease in skeletal muscle tension
  • Decrease in metabolic rate and oxygen consumption
  • Decrease in analytic thinking
  • Increase in skin resistance
  • Increase in alpha wave activity in the brain

Meditating & The Relaxation Response

Meditating (one of several activities that produce the relaxation response) for 20-30 minutes a day, over time, can lead to a generalized feeling of relaxation in many areas of one’s life.

Some of the benefits of deep relaxation are:

  1. reduction of generalized anxiety
  2. preventing stress from building up
  3. increased energy and productivity
  4. improved concentration and memory
  5. reduction of insomnia and fatigue
  6. prevention and/or reduction of psychosomatic disorders such as hypertension, migraines, headaches, asthma, ulcers
  7. increased self-confidence and reduced self-blame
  8. increased availability of feelings

Try meditating 20-30 minutes a day for an extended period of time. See if you can experience some of the physiological changes listed above. See how it affects your life.

Regular elicitation of the Relaxation Response has been scientifically proven to be an effective treatment for a wide range of stress-related disorders. In fact, to the extent that any disease is caused or made worse by stress, the Relaxation Response can help.

To use the Relaxation Response in daily meditation just follow the easy steps outlined in Eliciting the Relaxation Response in Meditation.

End of Life Planning Canada

End of Life Planning Canada is a new national healthcare charity that has been spun off from Dying With Dignity Canada. Dying With Dignity Canada is the national organization committed to improving quality of dying, expanding end-of-life choices and helping Canadians avoid unwanted suffering.

The mission of End of Life Planning Canada is to help Canadians navigate the end-of-life experience with confidence and dignity.

They promote research and provide information, education and support to help individuals and their families to plan for a gentle and dignified death, and to navigate the health care system with confidence that their rights and preferences will be respected to the very end.

Ujjal Dosanjh – a great Canadian

Ujjal Dosanjh is a great Canadian from my personal point of view. If Canadians had more men like him who entered politics Canada would be a better country. He continues to write and speak out about important issues. His website is www.ujjaldosanjh.org/

The information that follows was clipped from Wikipedia and I think it makes for fascinating reading. I have included the complete reference rather than just linking to it.

Ujjal Dev Singh Dosanjh PC QC, (born September 9, 1947) is a Canadian lawyer and politician.

He served as 33rd Premier of British Columbia from 2000 to 2001 and as a Liberal Party of Canada Member of Parliament from 2004 to 2011 including a period as Minister of Health from 2004 until 2006 when the party lost government.

As a member of the Official Opposition from January 2006 until 2011, Dosanjh variously has been the critic of National Defence, Public Safety, and Foreign Affairs, as well as sitting on Standing Committee on National Defence, the Committee on Public Safety and National Security, the Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development, and the Committee on the Canadian Mission in Afghanistan, and the Committee on Justice and Human Rights.

Dosanjh was one of four Visible Minorities to serve in Paul Martin’s Ministry.

Prior to being involved in federal politics, he spent ten years in provincial politics.

He was elected in the Vancouver-Kensington riding in 1991 as a member of the British Columbia New Democratic Party (BC NDP) and re-elected there in 1996.

He served as the Attorney General of British Columbia from August 1995 to February 2000. When the leader of his party resigned in 1999, Dosanjh put himself forward as a candidate and won the leadership vote. With the win he became Canada’s first Indo-Canadian provincial leader.

He served as the 33rd Premier of British Columbia until June 2001 when he lost the province’s general election.

Born in a village in the Jalandhar district of Punjab, India, Dosanjh emigrated to the United Kingdom at the age of 17 before moving to Canada almost four years later. He worked numerous manual labour jobs and attended university, studying political science. He earned his law degree at the University of British Columbia and opened his own law firm. He has been a vocal opponent of violence and extremism.

Personal life

Ujjal Dosanjh was born in Dosanjh Kalan,[2] a village in Jalandhar district,[3] Punjab, India, in 1947.[4] After moving to another village, he lived with his grandfather, Moola Singh Bains, who had established a primary school.

Dosanjh gained an early interest in politics from listening to debates between his father, a follower of Jawaharlal Nehru and the populist Indian National Congress, and his grandfather, a former Indian freedom fighter and socialist.[5]

Dosanjh wanted to pursue an education in political science, but his father wanted him to be a doctor. So in 1964, at the age of 17, Dosanjh left India for the United Kingdom where he could pursue his own interests.

In London he learned English and worked as an assistant editor for a Punjabi-language newspaper. He emigrated to Canada three and a half years later, arriving in British Columbia on May 12, 1968, to live with his aunt.[6] majoring in political science. He went on to earn a law degree from the University of British Columbia Faculty of Law in 1976 and was called to the bar the following year. During this time he taught English as a second language courses at Vancouver Community College and worked as an assistant editor of a local Punjabi newspaper.

He established his own law practice in 1979, specializing in family and personal injury law.[7] His involvement with community organizations included founding the Farm Workers’ Legal Information Service (later Canadian Farm Workers’ Union), serving on the board of directors for BC Civil Liberties Association and the Vancouver Multicultural Society, and the Labour Advocacy Research Association, as well as volunteer work with MOSAIC Immigrant Services Centre, and the South Vancouver Neighbourhood House.[8]

A prominent moderate Sikh in Vancouver, Dosanjh spoke out against violence by Sikh extremists who advocated Khalistani independence from India. As a result of these views, in February 1985 he was attacked in the parking lot of his law office by an assailant wielding an iron bar. Dosanjh, 37 at the time, suffered a broken hand and received 80 stitches in his head.[6][9] He was targeted again, on 26 December 1999, while he was a member of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia, when his constituency office was broken into and a Molotov cocktail left burning on a table.[10]

Dosanjh and his wife Raminder have three sons. In April 2000, his middle son, Aseem, was charged with assaulting an Ontario police officer during a bar brawl, but was found not guilty.[11] Dosanjh has travelled back to India several times, on official state business and for personal reasons, since emigrating. In January 2003, he was awarded the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman (Expatriate Indian Honour) from Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in New Delhi. The award recognises individual excellence in various fields for persons of Indian origin across the world.[12]

In 2014, author Doug Welbanks published a biography, Unbreakable: The Ujjal Dosanjh story.[13]

Provincial politics

Dosanjh ran as the British Columbia New Democratic Party candidate in the Vancouver South riding in the 1979 and 1983 provincial elections.[14] He lost both times to the BC Social Credit Party candidates. He ran in the 1991 provincial election in the Vancouver-Kensington riding where he won as his party came to power. He would be re-elected in that same riding in the 1996 provincial election. He spent his first few years as a Member of the Legislative Assembly as a backbencher. In 1993, he chaired the Select Standing Committee on Parliamentary Reform, Ethical Conduct, Standing Orders and Private Bills.

He served two years as caucus chair for his party[15] until April 10, 1995, when Premier Mike Harcourt dismissed Robin Blencoe from his cabinet and replaced him with Dosanjh as Minister of Government Services and Minister Responsible for Sports.[16] A month later, in a small cabinet shuffle upon the resignation of Moe Sihota, Harcourt added Minister Responsible for Multiculturalism and Human Rights to Dosanjh’s portfolio. In another cabinet shuffle, as Sihota was re-instated into the cabinet in August, Dosanjh’s portfolio was changed to Minister Responsible for Multiculturalism, Human Rights and Immigration and he was appointed Attorney General.[15]

As Attorney General, Dosanjh oversaw the resolution of the Gustafsen Lake Standoff involving the Secwepemc Nation,[5] set up a database for registering violent offenders,[17] established a hate crime division in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police,[15] and lobbied for more police officers, probation officers, and judiciary.[18] At the same time his office drew criticism for reducing legal aid and closing courthouses.[5]

As the Minister Responsible for Multiculturalism, Human Rights and Immigration he successfully lobbied for laws giving same-sex couples the equal rights and responsibilities for child support, custody and access.[18]

In early 1999, a special prosecutor under the RCMP opened an investigation into possible influence peddling by Premier Glen Clark concerning casino licensing. On March 4, after the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) raided the Premier’s house, they briefed Attorney General Dosanjh, whose office had to assist, and placed him under a gag order.[19] The order was lifted on August 13, he informed Clark, and called a press conference, after which Clark resigned as Premier.

Dosanjh’s actions were variously criticized for not informing his party caucus and not going public sooner, and applauded for avoiding perceptions of conflict of interest despite his power to intervene.[20]

The leadership convention to replace Clark was set for February 20, 2000. Dosanjh was among the front runners, along with Corky Evans, Gordon Wilson, and Joy MacPhail who all had served at various cabinet posts.[21] Clark, Wilson and fellow MLA Moe Sihota campaigned specifically against Dosanjh.[5] MacPhail dropped out and endorsed Dosanjh followed by Wilson dropping out and endorsing Evans.[22] Dosanjh was successful and became Premier on February 24, 2000, Canada’s first Indo-Canadian provincial leader.[23]

As Premier for two and a half sessions of the 36th Parliament, between February 24, 2000 and June 5, 2001, Dosanjh gave priority to issues of health care, education, and balanced budgets. A boost in government revenue from rapidly expanding oil and gas development,[24] led Dosanjh to direct the Finance Minister to draft balanced budget legislation.[25] With the previous year’s budget unexpectedly in surplus and increased revenue expected to continue, Dosanjh was able to keep the provincial budget in surplus while increasing spending by 8% in the 2001 budget year.[26] The increased spending was mostly directed to renovations of hospital, public schools and higher education institutions, as well as building cancer treatment centers, lowering post-secondary tuition fees, and creating significantly more new spaces in the province’s apprenticeship program and post-secondary institutions.[27]

Dosanjh became the first provincial leader to march in a gay pride parade and the provincial government adopted the Definition of Spouse Amendment Act which extended equal rights to same-sex couples.[28]

With Dosanjh as Premier the Legislative Assembly adopted the Tobacco Damages and Health Care Recovery Act which permitted lawsuits against tobacco organizations to re-coup associated health care expenses, the Sex Offender Registry Act, and the Protection of Public Participation Act which prevented lawsuits against citizens who participated in public processes.[25]

However, the BC NDP were deeply unpopular within the province, reaching a low at 15% support in opinion polls at the time of Glen Clark’s resignation as Premier in August 1999.[24] With Dosanjh as leader, support had risen to 21% by August 2000.[24] Dosanjh was consistently ranked higher personal popularity over opposition leader Gordon Campbell until the run-up to the May 16, 2001, provincial election.[clarification needed][29][30]

Dosanjh and the BC NDP knew they would not be reelected, so they concentrated their campaign to a few ridings in the Lower Mainland which were still considered competitive.[31] Their campaign focused on the expanding economy, issues of health care and education, and Dosanjh’s personal popularity over Campbell.[6][30] Dosanjh conceded defeat a week before the election, but requested voters consider making the NDP a strong opposition party.[32]

After the vote, on May 16, Dosanjh lost his seat in Vancouver-Kensington along with all but two members of his Cabinet in the second-worst defeat of a sitting provincial government in Canada. The BC Liberals won all 77 other seats.

Federal politics

Following the election loss Dosanjh returned to practicing law and let his party membership lapse.[33] There had been speculation dating back to October 2002 that Dosanjh was interested in joining the Liberal Party of Canada.[34]

New Democratic Party leader Jack Layton approached Dosanjh in 2003 to see if he was interested in running as a federal candidate but Dosanjh refused.[33]

In March 2004, with a federal election expected in the spring or summer, Prime Minister Paul Martin approached Dosanjh to be a candidate for the Liberal Party of Canada. Dosanjh agreed and Martin appointed him to Vancouver South over two other nomination candidates while announcing Dosanjh as part of a team of BC star candidates along with economist David Emerson, union leader Dave Haggard, community activist Shirley Chan and Liberal party organizer Bill Cunningham.[35] The advertising of Dosanjh emphasized the party’s socially progressive aspect.[36] In the June election Dosanjh won his riding with 44.5% of the vote.

38th Canadian Parliament

In the 38th Canadian Parliament Dosanjh was appointed Minister of Health in the federal Cabinet.

As Health Minister, Dosanjh strongly supported Canada’s existing single-tier, publicly funded health-care system.[37] Dosanjh introduced legislation to make cigarettes fire safe,[38] new regulations to further limit lead content in children’s jewelry,[39] and supported and an NDP motion to ban trans fats.[40] He advocated that Canada ratify the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which they did in November 2004.[41]

Dosanjh funded a program to revise the Canada food guide to more include more multicultural foods and another program to integrate foreign-trained medical professionals into the health-care system.[42][43] Supported by a unanimous vote in the House of Commons, the government agreed to compensate the 6,000 Canadians infected with hepatitis C from tainted blood transfusion.[44]

Along with Prime Minister Martin, a 10-year, $41 billion funding plan was negotiated with the provinces to deliver health care – with $5.5 billion to specifically address wait times that had been an election issue during the 2004 federal election – but they rejected Premiers’ demands for a national program to purchase pharmaceuticals in bulk.[37][45]

As the Minister of Health, Dosanjh introduced Bill C-12 An Act to prevent the introduction and spread of communicable diseases which updated the 1985 Quarantine Act; it was given royal assent in May 2005.[46]

In May 2005, opposition MP Gurmant Grewal accused Dosanjh and the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff, Tim Murphy, of attempting to bribe him with an ambassadorship and a senate seat for his wife, Nina Grewal, if he would cross the floor or abstain from a crucial upcoming vote.[47]

Grewal released tapes he secretly recorded of the conversation between Dosanjh, Grewal, and Murphy. Dosanjh claimed innocence and accused Grewal of altering the tapes to imply wrongdoing and the Prime Minister dismissed calls to remove Dosanjh from cabinet.[48]

Audio analysis concluded that the tapes were altered and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police did not pursue any criminal investigations.[49]

Nevertheless, fellow MP John Reynolds filed a complaint with the Law Society of British Columbia accusing Dosanjh of violating the Criminal Code and the society’s Professional Conduct Handbook.[50] The Law Society reviewed the affair and concluded that Grewal had attempted to elicit rewards for his compliance but cleared Dosanjh and Murphy of misconduct charges.[51]

39th Canadian Parliament

In the January 2006 federal election, Dosanjh decisively won his riding against Tarlok Sablok, the Indo-Canadian Conservative candidate, and the community activist and NDP candidate Bev Meslo.[52] With the Liberal party forming the Official Opposition, Dosanjh became the critic for National Defence and sat on the Standing Committee on National Defence and the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development.

In the December 2006 Liberal leadership race he supported Bob Rae, a fellow former-NDP premier.[53] When Rae was eliminated on the final ballot, Dosanjh supported Stéphane Dion.[54] With Dion as the new leader, Dosanjh remained on the two committees but his critic responsibility was moved to Foreign Affairs.[55]

Dosanjh suffered a mild heart attack on the morning of February 13, 2007, outside the House of Commons. He was attended by fellow MP Carolyn Bennett, who is also a doctor, and he was rushed to hospital where a successful operation to remove a blood clot near his heart was performed.[56]

In the second session of the 39th Parliament, from October 2007 to September 2008, Dosanjh sat on the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security and the Special Committee on the Canadian Mission in Afghanistan, and his critic responsibility was moved Public Safety.

40th Canadian Parliament

The next election was called for October 2008. Dosanjh faced sociologist Wai Young running for the Conservatives, health worker Ann Chambers running for the NDP, and an IT consultant, Csaba Gulyas for the Green Party. Dosanjh won by 33 votes over Young, both receiving 38.4% of the vote. A recount confirmed Dosanjh’s victory but only by a margin of 22 votes.[57] The Conservative Party requested a second, judicial recount, which again confirmed Dosanjh as the victor.[58]

In the 40th Canadian Parliament, with his party once again forming the official opposition, Dosanjh was appointed the National Defence critic for the first parliamentary session which was short-lived. During the 2008–09 Canadian parliamentary dispute he defended the proposed coalition government as a reaction to inappropriate leadership on economic issues by the existing government.[59]

When Dion resigned as party leader, Dosanjh considered but did not run for leadership citing his inability to speak French and again supported Rae’s bid.[60] In October 2009, Michael Ignatieff appointed Dosanjh as the Liberals’ critic for National Defence.[61]

When the 40th Parliament re-convened for its 2nd session Dosanjh continued as the National Defence critic and served on the Standing Committee on National Defence, as well as the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, and the Special Committee on the Canadian Mission in Afghanistan.

In the 3rd session of the 40th Parliament Dosanjh continued with the Standing Committee on National Defence and the Special Committee on the Canadian Mission in Afghanistan, but also sat with the Standing Committee on Health.

In September 2010 he was reassigned to being the critic on health for the Liberal Party. Dosanjh introduced private member bill C-467 An Act to amend the Citizenship Act (children born abroad) in the 2nd session, and re-introduced it in the 3rd session where it received 2nd reading in September 2010, which would grant natural citizenship to children born to, or adopted by, Canadian citizens working for the federal government (including members of the Canadian Forces).[62]

The bill was meant to repeal portions of the April 2009 amendments to the Citizenship Act which repatriated Lost Canadians but also removed the ability of Canadians to pass their citizenship onto their children if the children are born outside of the country.[63]

Dosanjh was defeated in the 2011 federal election which saw the Liberal Party reduced to third place in the House of Commons.

Vaisakhi Parade controversy

On April 16, 2010, the day prior to the annual Vaisakhi Parade held in Surrey, B.C., one of the parade organizers issued a statement indicating should Dosanjh and BC Liberal backbencher Dave Hayer choose to attend the parade, their safety could not be guaranteed. This was due in part to comments that Dosanjh had made after the parade in 2007, suggesting a police investigation into reports of a parade float that had a picture of Talwinder Singh Parmar on it, the alleged mastermind behind the bombing of Air India Flight 182. Dosanjh also expressed concerns over some attendees wearing International Sikh Youth Federation T-shirts, a terrorist organization that is banned in India, Britain, the United States, and Canada.

At least two complaints were made to RCMP about the comments by one of the parade organizers, Inderjit Singh Bains, on Sher-E-Punjab radio. During part of the show hosted by Gurvinder Dhaliwal, Bains spoke about the importance of honouring the Sikh faith and some logistics of the Surrey, B.C., parade that draws tens of thousands of people.

“Everybody’s invited except those who’ve been excluded,” he said of the event that would include security for some participants. “Everyone (is invited) except… two people – Ujjal Dosanjh and Dave Hayer,” he said. “We’ve never invited them. If they come they should bring their own security.”

Premier Gordon Campbell called for an apology. None was forthcoming and all three declined to attend the parade.[64] [65]

On April 23, 2010, the RCMP launched an investigation into threats made against Dosanjh on a Facebook site, titled “Ujjal Dosanjh is a Sikh Traitor.”

Canada’s Parliamentarians condemned any death threats against Dosanjh.[66][67][68]

References and notes

1. http://names.voa.gov/sounds/2218.mp3
2. “Niet compatibele browser”. Facebook. Retrieved May 17, 2011.
3. Walton-Roberts, Margaret. 2001. Embodied Global Flows: Immigration and Transnational Networks between British Columbia, Canada, and Punjab, India (Ph.D. thesis) (Archive), University of British Columbia. Profile at UBC. p. 2 (PDF p. 12/354). “On Thursday February 24th 2000, Ujjal Dosanjh, an Indian immigrant from Dosanjh Kalan village District Jalandhar Punjab,”
4. “Dosanjh, The Hon. Ujjal, P.C., Q.C., B.A., LL.B.”. Parliamentarian File. Library of Parliament. 2009. Retrieved February 10, 2009.
5. Hunter, Jennifer (November 29, 1999). “A faltering party’s search for a new leader”. Maclean’s 112 (48): 22–25. – Available at HighBeam Business “When Dosanjh was ready to be educated, he moved from his parents’ home in a small Punjabi village to another small Punjabi village where his grandfather lived. There, he went to a primary school established by Bains.”
6. Fotheringham, Allan (03/12/2001). “Dead man smiling”. Maclean’s 114 (11): 60. Check date values in: |date= (help)
7. Dutt, Ela (July 30, 2004). “Ujjal Dosanjh is appointed Minister of Health; only Indian Canadian in Cabinet”. Archived from the original on November 15, 2006. Retrieved February 7, 2009.
8. “Ujjal Dosanjh: premier and president of the Executive Council of British Columbia”. Contemporary Canadian Biographies. Gale (Cengage). March 2000.
9. Hamilton, Dwight. “Terror Threat: International and Homegrown terrorists and their threat to Canada”, 2007
10. Herald News Services (December 28, 1999). “Dosanjh watch under wraps: Police silent on protection for B.C. attorney general”. Calgary Herald. p. A13.
11. “Premier’s son found not guilty of assaulting cop”. The Province. March 13, 2001. p. A4.
12. “Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awardees – 2003”. Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs. Archived from the original on December 18, 2008. Retrieved February 12, 2009.
13. Todd, Douglas. “Dosanjh biography details personal life of anti-extremist”. The Search blog. Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 25 October 2014.
14. Bolan, Kim (November 8, 1999). “Long road to premiership for immigrant from India”. Vancouver Sun. p. A3.
15. Feldstein, Margaret; Maggie Sieger (November 17, 1997). “Ujjal Dosanjh”. Time Canada 150 (20): 36–37.
16. Helm, Denise (May 5, 1995). “Premier asked to explain Blencoe firing”. Times-Colonist (Victoria). p. 1.
17. Wickens, Barbara (March 31, 1997). “A blacklist of violent sex offenders”. Maclean’s 110 (13).
18. Goldberg, Kim (March 2000). “Premier Dosanjh: Lights Out for the NDP?”. Canadian Dimension 34 (2): 5.
19. Palmer, Vaughn (November 6, 1999). “Ujjal Dosanjh and the Attorney-General defence”. Vancouver Sun. p. A20.
20. Paterson, Jody (August 31, 1999). “Dosanjh just doing his job”. Times-Colonist (Victoria). p. A3.
21. Willcocks, Paul (August 30, 1999). “Dubious Achievement Award”. Maclean’s 112 (35): 17.
22. “Dosanjh vs. Evans: showdown in B.C.”. Canada: CBC. November 11, 2000. Retrieved April 15, 2014.
23. Hunter, Jennifer (March 6, 2000). “Survival games”. Maclean’s 113 (10): 16–17.
24. “Just another futile gesture?”. Toronto Star. December 9, 2000. p. NR02.
25. Leyne, Les (July 13, 2000). “NDP’s legislative report card runs from A to D-“. Times – Colonist. p. A8.
26. “Budget 2001 Highlights” (PDF) (Press release). Ministry of Finance and Corporate Relations (British Columbia). March 15, 2001. Retrieved February 28, 2009.
27. “Budget 2001 News Release” (PDF) (Press release). Ministry of Finance and Corporate Relations (British Columbia). March 15, 2001. Retrieved February 28, 2009.
28. Wockner, Rex (August 17, 2000). “B.C. Premier does Gay Pride”. Bay Windows (newspaper).
29. Wood, Chris (October 2, 2000). “In need of a booster shot”. Maclean’s 113 (40).
30. “Dosanjh calls B.C. vote, admitting slim chances”. Toronto Star. April 19, 2001. p. NE15.
31. “Diehards aside, voters say they’re sick of the NDP”. Toronto Star. April 28, 2001. p. NR04.
32. MacQueen, Ken (May 21, 2001). “Vanishing Act”. Maclean’s 114 (21): 55–56.
33. “Layton says he twice asked former B.C. premier to run NDP federally”. Canadian Press. April 2, 2004.
34. Rana, Abbas (October 28, 2002). “Former NDP premier Dosanjh could join Paul Martin’s team”. The Hill Times.
35. “PM allows ‘star’ B.C. candidates to bypass nomination process”. The Ottawa Citizen. April 1, 2004. p. A13.
36. O’Malley, Kady (July 19, 2004). “A short primer on who’s who among 28 new Liberal MPs”. The Hill Times. p. 18.
37. Dosanjh, Ujjal (August 21, 2005). “Holding our feet to fire on health”. Toronto Star. p. A17.
38. “Health Minister Wants ‘Fire-Safe’ Cigarettes”. The Hamilton Spectator. December 3, 2004. p. A12.
39. “Health Canada announces regulations for lead content in children’s jewelry”. The Canadian Press. June 1, 2005.
40. “Commons backs motion to curb trans fats in food, find healthy alternatives”. The Canadian Press. November 23, 2004.
41. “Dosanh will push for Canada to ratify UN tobacco control treaty as soon as possible”. The Canadian Press. September 29, 2004.
42. “From Carrots to Bok Choy; Plans For Revised Canada Food Guide Include Cooking up Multicultural Offerings”. The Hamilton Spectator. May 20, 2005. p. G06.
43. “Ottawa spending $75 million to help accredit foreign-trained doctors, nurses”. The Canadian Press. April 25, 2005.
44. “Commons votes for immediate compensation of “forgotten victims” tainted blood”. The Canadian Press. April 20, 2005.
45. “Premiers remind PM of drug pledge”. Toronto Star. September 3, 2004. p. A14.
46. “C-12 – An Act to prevent the introduction and spread of communicable diseases”. LEGISinfo. Library of Parliament. Retrieved January 23, 2011.
47. “Grewal tape shows Martin in loop, Tory offered government position, says CTV”. The Canadian Press. May 31, 2005.
48. Panetta, Alexander; Jim Bronskill (June 3, 2005). “Grewal tapes ‘altered'”. Winnipeg Free Press. p. A3.
49. “Criminal investigation rejected in Grewal case”. Winnipeg Free Press. August 13, 2005. p. A11.
50. “Tory MP files law society complaints against Peterson, Dosanjh and Murphy”. The Canadian Press. June 15, 2005.
51. O’Neil, Peter (November 5, 2005). “Law society clears Dosanjh in secret tape case”. Canwest News Service.
52. O’Connor, Naoibh (November 30, 2005). “Competition says Dosanjh will go down with Liberals”. Vancouver Courier. p. 12.
53. Canadian Press (June 11, 2006). “Dosanjh and Cotler throw weight behind Rae”. CTV. Retrieved June 17, 2007.
54. Bailey, Ian (December 3, 2006). “B.C. Liberals late converts to Dion”. The Province. p. A6.
55. CTV.ca News Staff (January 18, 2007). “Stéphane Dion unveils new shadow cabinet”. CTV. Retrieved June 17, 2007.
56. Canadian Press (February 13, 2007). “Dosanjh OK after scare over chest pains”. CTV. Retrieved June 17, 2007.
57. CTV.ca staff (October 24, 2008). “Dosanjh hangs on to B.C. seat by 22-vote margin”. CTV. Retrieved October 26, 2008.
58. “Second recount confirms Grit victory in B.C.”. Calgary Herald. November 5, 2008. p. A7.
59. Ward, Doug (December 2, 2008). “Western Canada may have less clout in coalition, Tories warn”. Vancouver Sun. p. A6.
60. Lai, Tim (October 25, 2008). “Dosanjh mulls run for Liberal leadership”. Vancouver Sun. p. B3.
61. Wicary, Stephen (October 6, 2009). “Liberals unveil new critics”. Globe and Mail (Canada). Retrieved February 22, 2010.
62. “C-467 – An Act to amend the Citizenship Act (children born abroad)”. LEGISinfo. Library of Parliament. Retrieved January 23, 2011.
63. Bramham, Daphne (October 9, 2010). “Ireland saves Canadian’s daughter from being stateless”. Vancouver Sun. Retrieved September 8, 2015.
64. “Metro News”. Metronews.ca. Retrieved May 17, 2011.
65. “CBC Newsworld Video”. Bing.com. Retrieved May 17, 2011.
66. “Liberal MP a target of Sikh threats”. Canoe. April 23, 2010. Retrieved September 8, 2015.
67. “MP Ujjal Dosanjh target of Facebook threats”. Ctv.ca. 2010-04-23. Retrieved 2012-08-15.
68. http://telegraphjournal.canadaeast.com/north/article/1027351
Further reading
• Interview footage of Dosanjh (Archive) from the documentary Air India 182
Clipped from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ujjal_Dosanjh

Kingston, Ontario becomes the first Canadian municipality to endorse basic income

This is a significant event and a milestone in Canada. Kingston City Council in Ontario is the first Canadian municipality to endorse a Basic Income Guarantee (BIG).

In a vote held on Tuesday, December 15, the policy idea was unanimously endorsed with a 13-0 outcome in favour. The successful motion calls for a “national discussion of a Basic Income Guarantee for all Canadians”. It also asks for provincial and federal governments to investigate and develop the measure at the national level. The motion will be sent to all municipalities in Ontario with a request to endorse the initiative.

According to the approved text, the rationale for a BIG is the growing income insecurity and inequality, and the inadequacy of the current welfare system to address these issues. The motion states that:

A basic income guarantee would reduce income insufficiency, insecurity, and inequality and ensure everyone an income sufficient to meet basic needs and live in dignity regardless of work status.

One of the biggest supporters of the outcome was former Kingston-area senator Hugh Segal. He has been an advocate for some form of basic income guarantee for decades, and took great pride in this result. Speaking to the local daily Kingston Whig-Standard, he stated that the “Council has shown tremendous courage and real leadership.” He went on to say that “it’s fiscally responsible and it responds to reality in terms of need… Give the money to people because they know where to spend it.”

This result comes at a time of change in the Canadian political landscape with the recent victory Justin Trudeau’s Liberals in the national elections. Toni Pickard, a retired law professor from Kingston University and co-founder of the Kingston Action Group for a Basic Income Guarantee, was interviewed by the same newspaper. She stressed that “the progress exceeds our hopes, to some degrees our imaginations. We expected maybe 20 years before any political take-up”. She remarked that Trudeau, the new Prime Minister, has declared poverty reduction is a top priority. A guaranteed basic income could be a way to help him make great strides in that area.

This is the first elected body in Canada to endorse the introduction of a basic income guarantee. In recent months, several Canadian mayors have spoken in favour of BIG. At the national level, the Canadian Medical Association endorsed BIG, and the National Women’s Liberal Commission, the women’s wing of the ruling party, has called for the federal government to launch a basic income pilot.

Kingston’s move is a significant step. We will have to wait and see whether this will encourage others to show the same support for BIG. With the changing political climate in Canada, it may well be a policy whose time has come.

For more information, see the following sources:

Paul Schliesmann, “Kingston council first to endorse guaranteed income,” The Kingston Whig-Standard, December 18, 2015.

Roderick Benns, “Kingston becomes first Canadian municipality to call for basic income guarantee,” Leaders and Legacies, December 16, 2015.

Roderick Benns interviews Toni Pickard, “Basic income guarantee and healthy minimum wage go hand in hand, says retired professor,” Leaders and Legacies, July 3, 2015.

Toru Yamamori, “CANADA: Ruling party’s women’s commission calls resolution for UBI experiment,” Basic Income News, November 6, 2015.

Josh Martin, “Canadian Medical Association officially endorses basic income at general council,” Basic Income News, September 6, 2015.

Will Wachtmeister, “CANADA: Edmonton mayor moots twin basic income pilot with Calgary,” Basic Income News, June 19, 2015.

About Joe Timothy

Joe Timothy has written 7 articles.
Joe is currently preparing to study for his PhD in 2016. He is looking into the feasiblity of introducing a Universal Basic Income in the UK. He is a keen blogger about social issues, politics, inequality, education and learning.
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Clipped from: http://www.basicincome.org/news/2015/12/canada-kingston-is-first-council-to-show-unanimous-support-for-a-guaranteed-income/