Friday, July 31, 2015

a chicken the size of a pony

As older boy had an irresistible urge to make nachos and guacamole I had to go with him to get fixings; he made a huge batch and I wonder how he will get through this snack. He has already had rice and stir fry for supper.
I leave him to this mass of food.
I have put a frozen chicken out for baking over the weekend.
This is a chicken that farming friends of dad sold to him. There are four others in the fridge. I decided to be brave and defrost one of them.
The chicken is the size of a pony.
I had it on the kitchen counter all day and it is still frozen.
Unwilling to leave it out all night on the counter, I put it in the fridge to thaw with a towel under it in case it leaks.
I'm not sure how to cook such a massive bird.
Let me go look for help.

I go to my favorite chef.
And hopefully this recipe won't be hard.
I don't have cumin. I will see if mum has some tomorrow.

Meanwhile I am worried the chicken will stay frozen for a week.
I will check on it tomorrow.

Peruvian-Style Roast Chicken with Green Sauce

but when it does

and when you feel down
when you feel that you are not able to keep going
look at the world
in its smock of green
and take courage
from the persistence
of the grasses

and when you feel down
when you feel     all the words have made a river
that has drained into the sea
that is silent
when you feel you can't do anything any more 
look at the grasses in their stamping feet
and their roots that hold tight  have faith    change is coming 

and when you feel down
when you feel that the world has forgotten
the good      and taken only the bad
into confidence   when you feel that values
are the dust that flies in your face
when you feel that selfishness rules and we are saddled all the time
look at the grasses always working for the common good     and believe 

and when you feel down
and the sky is struck with dark lines
of melancholy
the clouds weep    and smear of their tears
is everywhere about in the muddy runnels of land
when you feel nothing is going right
watch the dancing grasses in the rain and feel all right
the world takes forever to alter    but when it does   it happens just like that

This and that--Friday July 31, 2015

I have gone to mail stuff and have helped dad with some work. Then I came home to take down the laundry and put some up. The front garden is full of horrible grasshoppers that skitter away like springs when I water the dried up front bed. There is no hope for the delphiniums that are frayed and torn. I will take them down later.
The shed is massive. I looked at it while I took down the laundry. It is the size of our bedroom. And it is hard to imagine how hubby and the two sons will finish the monster shed.
I have to work on the business today.
Usually I do not do this often as I am ferrying folks here and there but it's Friday and I have done nothing all week other than moving sick people around on the board of life.

Younger boy has to find a job. Older boy thankfully took care of this and is fully occupied earning his school fees for second year at NAIT. I won't have to worry about him. He will try to take a small holiday before school starts.

Younger boy is very nerdy and so I will have to look for a nerd place for him such as a computer store. It is very difficult to get him out of bed so I will need a place with evening hours for his first job.
But if I can't find a nerdy place he will start at the fast food nirvana.
I have him do some work on the shed so as to feel manly but it is hopeless.

I will put up the next load of laundry.
It is Friday.
I haven't done anything at all.
It's a hash.
I yapped a bit with my aunt in England and found out they are muddling along just as we are.
I have talked in passing to the brother who never bothers.
I have yanked out a few weeds in the garden.
I haven't done anything else.
But at least the monster shed is going up.

the entire story in continuing care is simply to provide money / and forget about the deliverables -----------take your medicine all concerned and heal yourselves

and we put our troubles down
and walk like children
hand in hand
to the future we are creating
in continuing care in Alberta
we are afraid
but we persist
with relentless determination
our words will be heard
and change will come
because we believe
that we are right
in our stance

and we put our troubles down
and walk like children
hand in hand
to the future we are creating
in continuing care in Alberta
we tell our stories without shame
and we wait for lawsuits by continuing care providers
who threaten us with cease and desist letters
but our stories are backed up by facts
for the BiPaP machine downloads don't lie
each line has the proof of data
and so these threats are designed to intimidate
and bankrupt the advocates
these are SLAPPS
and we will ask our MLAs for anti-SLAPP legislation
and legal protections in the continuing care laws that will be made in the future

and we put our troubles down
and walk like children
hand in hand
to the future we are creating
in continuing care in Alberta
we say our pain and our hurt
we have been betrayed by AHS
and Alberta Health under the Tories
for government is interested simply
in its own survival
and doesn't care beans for the citizens
who pay for everything
will the situation stay the same with the NDP?
or will we have legislation with teeth?
how can you have collaboration  between everybody  while the  abuses continue?
how can you have the folks at AHS tell us to move forward
as if this strategy overwrites their failures in oversight?     and what about
the adverse event protocol that isn't followed in the industry?
who is doing the work of intelligent oversight and the administration of penalties
or is it fine to maim the most vulnerable citizens?    is this a system that culls the weakest?

and we put our troubles down
and walk like children
hand in hand
to the future we are creating
in continuing care in Alberta
when I went to the folks at AHS
they told me that      there was nothing they can do
there was nothing they can do        there was nothing they can do
and yet I ask you
what is the point of having an oversight agency like this
if they can't do anything about the troubles of citizens?
what is their role in continuing care? is it to simply be at meetings
with the continuing care provider and cover up negligence?
is it to provide feel good stories on the evening news?  without penalties
and true re-education there is nothing there at AHS but meaningless babble 
and action plans of the Harper crew 
why not have continuing care under the management of Alberta Health?
or can't the Alberta Health folks do their jobs either?  will the citizens have to investigate
their own forever      because no one can do their work properly?  is this the legacy
of the Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta?  is there no intelligence in the system?

and we put our troubles down
and walk like children
hand in hand
to the future we are creating
in continuing care in Alberta
will we continue to have the sham of governance that was our experience as citizens in Alberta?
will the 44 years of the useless Tories in government continue with the NDP?
will we continue to hear denials and excuses by AHS and Alberta Health
for the abuse and deaths of residents?
and who will say the truth?  who will say these folks aren't doing their jobs?
will everyone be collaborating with each other
while our families experience adverse events and die?
who will say the situation as it is?  will it be the mummies?
         will we tell the public
there are good people in the continuing care system 
but the cover ups are also implemented by our hires
 to hide negligence
and true failures in performance?
I don't think this is a matter that should be hidden
and I don't believe advocates should be silenced as if they were breaking rules
what rules are these I ask everyone? are these the rules that cover up imcompetence in care?
are these the rules of silence and accepting abuse? 
 if so I don't believe in these rules of coercion of families

and we put our troubles down
and walk like children
hand in hand
to the future we are creating
in continuing care in Alberta
take your medicine all concerned and heal yourselves
this is the way that sickness turns to good health
and we can't do this nursing of the continuing care system    by ourselves
we need the truth out     and the government of Alberta to be the physicians
administering the medicine that is needed
we are tired of waiting for the illness to be treated
we aren't the reasons for the disease in continuing care
the real reasons for the adverse events and deaths
are the failures at the level of staffing and staff performance
you can't handle sixty residents with a single RN and a couple of LPNs
I'm telling you all           the things you should know already
but apparently AHS and the Tories left the allocation of public funds
up to the private sector providers and only got involved when families 
went public before an election that could bother the politicians' rehiring prospects 
these abominable staffing ratios result in the sorts of situations that make the news
also you can't provide respiratory care without trained staff
      would you expect a mechanic to perform heart surgery?
but the downgrading continues  in continuing care in Alberta 
the RN is replaced by the LPN  the care manager has to work part time
the physician is replaced by the nurse practitioner
and the respiratory therapist is replaced by nobody
patient care based funding has been a success for everybody except the resident
who goes without supplies   respiratory therapist   oversight
  and so you can see how successful this funding change was   
AHS saved money initially that they had to put back into the system later

and we put our troubles down
and walk like children
hand in hand
to the future we are creating
in continuing care in Alberta
patient care based funding is provided to the residents
but no one bothers to see where that money is allocated
there were 2 years without respiratory therapist hours
for my handicapped sister
and so I ask you
even if more money is provided for complex cases
if the money is not used for the specific needs of the residents
what is the point of doing this junk?
the entire story in continuing care is simply to provide money
and forget about the deliverables 
there is no oversight
and the people at AHS are running after the kites
after the wind has taken them from their grasp
the strings in their hands are all that remains
we lack confidence in them
I look at these highly paid intelligent people
and I shake my head
do they need the help of mummies?
why won't they listen to the stories?
or do these administrators and managers get paid
for not delivering the results that are reported in the yearly reports
of successes that we don't see in continuing care?
Home > Information For > Seniors > Care Options for Seniors > Long Term Care > Patient-focused funding for long-term care residents

New care-based funding matches levels of support to health care needs

January 23, 2013

Patient Care Based Funding
Long-term care residents with higher health care needs will receive the care and attention they require under a funding model that ensures the most appropriate care for all residents.
The new funding model – called Patient Care Based Funding – is designed to ensure equitable funding for every resident in long-term care across the province.
Patient Care Based Funding makes funding for residents equitable and sustainable for all providers in the province. The more care a resident needs the more funding their care providers will receive.

AHS is providing more options for seniors and others requiring continuing care. Since 2010, we have increased funding by more than $118 million into long-term care across the province. Over the past three years, close to 2,500 continuing care beds have opened across the province and another 1,000 new beds will open this year. More Albertans are receiving home care, helping them to remain longer in their own homes.
The care-based funding will begin in March and will be rolled out over the next four years to ensure operators have the time they need to adjust and plan for any changes that will be required.
AHS is responsible for monitoring the quality and safety of care provided at all continuing care facilities that it funds and will continue to closely monitor these facilities to make sure residents and families continue to be satisfied with their care.
The care-based funding model uses an internationally-recognized assessment tool to determine what level of care a resident needs based on their health conditions. This type of model is used in other health organizations across Canada, including Ontario and around the world in such countries as the U.K., Australia and Norway.
For more information on the internationally-recognized assessment tool visit:

Thursday, July 30, 2015

records management fiasco at AHS ------------------d) Shauna writes to Vicki Kaminski on July 14, 2015 telling her that she was told her records were destroyed. e) Shauna gets a letter back from Carl Amrhein telling her the records that were shredded were transitory. So what if they were transitory? Hello? Is anyone awake at AHS? We need all records here. Once you have a FOIP request, all records are sacred.

It appears that records management is determined by the topdogs in government--the Executive Council Office.


Executive Council ensures effective strategic planning and coordinated policy development across government, engagement of Albertans and the broader global community and the promotion of a vibrant and innovative public service. It ensures outcomes are achieved by:
  • supporting strategic planning, coordinated policy development and informed decision-making for the Government of Alberta
  • helping ministries communicate and engage with Albertans and tell Alberta's story around the world


I wonder how I would get in contact with them?
It seems that Rachel Notley is the chief of this council.

Honourable Rachel Notley

Premier of Alberta, President of Executive Council

I still don't know what this executive council does with reference to records management but here is a piece of legislation that yaps about it:

 RSA 2000
Schedule 11
Chapter G-10

Records management 
14(1) In this section, “department” means
 (a) a department, branch or office of the Government of
 (b) an agency, board, commission, corporation, office or other
body designated as a department in the regulations,
 (c) the Executive Council Office,
 (d) the Court of Appeal of Alberta, the Court of Queen’s Bench
of Alberta and The Provincial Court of Alberta,
 (e) a treasury branch, and
(f) the office of a member of the Executive Council,
but does not include the office of the Speaker of the Legislative
Assembly, the office of a member of the Executive Council with
respect to personal records and constituency records and the office
of a member of the Legislative Assembly.
(2) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations 
 (a) respecting the management of records in the custody or 
under the control of a department, including their creation, 
handling, control, organization, retention, maintenance, 
security, preservation, disposition, alienation, destruction 
and their transfer to the Provincial Archives of Alberta; 
 (b) establishing or governing the establishment of programs for
any matter referred to in clause (a), including
interdepartmental structures for implementing the programs;
 (c) defining and classifying records;
 (d) respecting the departments, records or classes of records to
which the regulations or any provisions of them apply.
RSA 2000 cG-10 Sched. 11;RSA 2000 c16(Supp) s47;
2003 c42 s8;2008 c18 s2


I go look what executive council does.

Executive Council | How we're organized

The people and offices that make up our department.

Office of the Premier

The Office of the Premier, led by the Chief of Staff, provides strategic advice, media relations and issues management support and scheduling.

Executive Council Office

The Executive Council Office provides support to the Premier and members of Executive Council.
The Office, led by the Deputy Minister of Executive Council, is made up of:
Deputy Secretary to Cabinet
  • support to the Premier and members of Executive Council for administration and record-keeping for Cabinet committees
  • participation in the fiscal and business-planning processes
  • promotion of cross-ministry coordination in the development and implementation of strategic priorities
Policy Coordination Office
  • support to the Premier and members of Executive Council for long-term strategic planning and policy coordination for government
  • organization and co-ordination of planning and policy meetings within the decision-making process of government
  • programs for senior international visitors, provincial government ceremonial events, and protocol advice
  • support to the Alberta Order of Excellence Council and the Office of the Lieutenant Governor
Public Affairs Bureau
  • advice for two-way communication with Albertans
  • communications support to Government of Alberta ministries
  • Premier's correspondence unit
  • support for governance of government departments and agencies
It seems to do the top dog management stuff.  I'm wondering if the Policy Coordination Office would be involved with the records management in government?

How do I find out who to contact about the mess that poor Shauna McHarg has been going through for five years of hell?

Members of Executive Council
Organizational Unit
Notley, Rachel, Honourable 780 427-2251Premier, Minister of International and Intergovernmental Relations 
Mason, Brian, Honourable 780 427-2080Minister of Transportation, Minister of Infrastructure, Government House Leader 
Eggen, David, Honourable 780 427-5010Minister of Education, Minister of Culture and Tourism 
Bilous, Deron, Honourable 780 427-3744Minister of Municipal Affairs, Minister of Service Alberta, Deputy Government House Leader 
Ceci, Joe, Honourable 780 415-4855President of the Treasury Board and Minister of Finance 
McCuaig-Boyd, Marg, Honourable 780 427-3740Minister of Energy 
Hoffman, Sarah, Honourable 780 427-3665Minister of Health, Minister of Seniors 
Ganley, Kathleen, Honourable 780 427-2339Minister of Justice and Solicitor General, Minister of Aboriginal Relations 
Sigurdson, Lori, Honourable 780 427-5777Minister of Innovation and Advanced Education, Minister of Jobs, Skills, Training and Labour 
Carlier, Oneil, Honourable 780 427-2137Minister of Agriculture and Forestry 
Phillips, Shannon, Honourable 780 427-2391Minister of Environment and Parks, Minister Responsible for the Status of Women, Deputy Government House Leader 
Sabir, Irfan, Honourable 780 643-6210Minister of Human Services 

The members of executive council all seem to be the ministers and the premier.
So I guess I should go to the person at the top of the pyramid of power which is the Premier.

Office of the Premier
Organizational Unit
Notley, Rachel, Honourable 780 427-2251Premier. President of Executive Council 
Kahlon, Parm 780 427-2251Executive Assistant to the Premier 
Topp, Brian 780 427-2251Chief of Staff 
Leighton, Stacey 780 427-2251Executive Assistant to the Chief of Staff 
King, Adrienne 780 427-2251Deputy Chief of Staff 
Hasenbank, Katie 780 427-2251Executive Assistant to the Deputy Chief of Staff 
DiCandia, Marla 780 427-2251Director, Tour and Scheduling 
Bitun, Jairalyne 780 427-2251Scheduling Assistant 
Kapty, Sheryl 780 427-2251Receptionist

I will send an e-mail to the Chief of staff:

Topp, Brian Chief of Staff Office of the Premier Executive Branch 307 Legislature Building 10800 - 97 Avenue Edmonton, AB T5K 2B6 Phone: 780 427-2251 Fax: 780 427-1349 E-mail: 

Now what do I want to say in this e-mail that will  go to all the MLAs as well as the chief of staff and premier?
I guess I will say it like it is. It is getting ridiculous this situation with Shauna McHarg and someone at the top of the pyramid of power needs to do something to resolve this issue with AHS. There is no way that the restrictions placed on Shauna are humane and making her run the AHS maze for five  years is enough suffering.
If the government won't do something about it, then I guess we will have to yap to the people of Alberta endlessly.
It's shameful in my mind what has been happening in the case of Shauna McHarg.

Let me go through the rotten mess once again so that you can all see how utterly depraved this business has been.

1) So I first heard of Shauna McHarg when I was reading the stuff on the PIA site here:
2) I didn't understand the banning business. It seemed odd to me. And when I heard about it I thought that people were doing bad stuff and this is why they were being kept away from staff and residents. It did seem odd to me that the facilities were banning folks completely--why didn't they make provisions for mediation by a third party mediator?

3) In any case, I kept reading about Shauna here and there as I got more educated on long term care issues. I had no idea of the messes in long term care. I know that the work done in hospitals is regulated to a certain extent and I just assumed that the folks who ran continuing care facilities were similarly regulated. I was wrong.

4) When I took over my handicapped sister's care over a year ago, I was surprised by the resistance of folks to the ordinary complaints of families. I found no evidence of a complaint resolution process and the only response of the folks at AHS seemed to be to move forward. But really, if the folks at AHS simply use moving forward as their strategy this won't actually solve problems that can have fatal consequences and so I began to realize that no one was doing anything (that they reported to me at least) and my sister had a repeat of the first major adverse event.

5) Now its fine to have policy/ procedure that is vetted by AHS but if no one but families are actually auditing the facilities adequately by doing random checks as they see their family members then I have to ask the questions that I have asked over this past year--what's the point of policy and procedure if no one is following these matters?  What is the point of an oversight system that does not do random and indepth checks of facilities? What is the point of the accreditation program when there isn't any signs of quality control or even following of the standards of care? Not one of these so called levels of oversight are useful because we don't have enough investigators, we don't know what happens to the audit results, we can't follow the audit work over time, there is no staff to analyse any of the cumulative auditing data, there is no transparency or value for dollars spent review; there is in fact --no sort of due diligence by the folks at AHS in the continuing care system in my opinion. It's a major mess. And families have to pick up the slack in terms of understaffing, lack of professional staff, lack of quality control programs, lack of infection control programs, lack of specialized workers such as respiratory therapists, lack of any sort of one stop health management for complex cases.
For the past 44 years, I have no idea how the continuing care system has been managing --I would think that it has been breaking down often.

6) In any case, families find out that things aren't pretty pretty and begin to ask questions and make complaints. It's hard to do this because it makes the staff antsy but you gotta do the work of advocating because sure as lawns make dandelions, the Tories didn't bother about the residents or else they would have made long term care facilities in the public sector instead of selling the innocents to anyone who would take free public money to build warehousing quarters.  The beauty of the Tories is that they gave the appearance of caring without any sort of actual caring; families and residents had no power and as a result the messes never got to the public eye; if anyone yapped it was easy enough to evict the resident or dump her at the emergency. What could the resident and family do? The folks at the regional health boards and then at AHS didn't follow the laws of the land so there was no appeal process. For those residents who were not evicted --we had the farce of the banned beginning as some advocates would not stop complaining and so the threat of no contact or limited contact was good enough to shut them up. We have also the happy legal recourse too. Families with yappy advocates are given "cease and desist" letters. This is yet another way that advocates are intimidated and the continuing care providers gets off the hook.  It's a pretty good system that only PIA was able to provide information on as the regular media wasn't about to get lawsuits for reporting on yappy banned advocates and evicted seniors.

7) Then comes the case of Shauna McHarg. Most banned folks accept their sad lot in life and disappear into obscurity. It's hard to wear the scarlet letter of banning. I know. I have been in Shauna's shoes. In my case, I was banned when my sister was evicted; PIA did an eviction and banning story on us so I do know I was banned. Then, when I met with the board of the continuing care organization the upper manager told me I was banned after my sister was evicted (as if this made it better). Then suddenly I was told I was not banned at all by the Good Samaritan Society. The transformations from banned to never ever banned is stunning; but it doesn't end here. AHS refers to my situation as a "perceived banning". 

So I know what it feels like to be the scarlet letter woman.

8) So I begin to feel sorry for poor Shauna.  She has one hour with her mum and no hours with her dad. Her situation is complicated by the fact that her parents are not their own decision makers. Shauna has to work with her parents' agent.  This arrangement in my mind should have no bearing on the ability of Shauna McHarg to raise concerns and complain if she feels her parents are not being cared for properly.  Shauna's case is interesting because Covenant Health decided on the banning of the advocate.

9) When the Covenant Health banning decision was made, Shauna asked for a review by the AHS Patient Concerns Office. They did their investigation. They upheld the ruling by Covenant Health. Shauna McHarg asked for her personal information records at AHS on April 8, 2011. 

Now in my mind this FOIP request is the most important matter. What happened later is of less importance. When AHS got this FOIP request--all data--whether transitory or otherwise should be retained until the FOIP request has been completed.
In this case, they did not provide Shauna McHarg with her records within 30 days.  I don't know why. Maybe these records were not actually that supportive of the Covenant Health decision? May be there were  some logical fallacies associated with the decision of AHS to support their sister organization? Who knows? In any case, Shauna McHarg goes to the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta who rules that there may be other responsive records, AHS needs to search for them and hand them over to Ms. McHarg (see Order 2013-50).
I've read over this order briefly but I want to write about it in detail later.
For now we will think about the matter of this order.
This order says to AHS to do it's job and provide information to the citizen.

What does AHS do?
It disregards this order.

10) AHS is able to disregard an order by asking for a judicial review.
So they go the legal route. Right up to one week before this judicial review they want to do it. 
But then they say to Shauna, they don't want to do it. 
So this raises an interesting question.  Why did AHS suddenly see the light --that Shauna McHarg was not going to be intimidated by a judicial review and then ask her to sign a Discontinuance of Claim form?
Why did AHS waste taxpayer cash for an unnecessary request for a judicial review?
Why did AHS waste Shauna McHarg's time and money for this play of a judicial review?
And why did AHS finally discontinue the process?

By asking for a judicial review AHS was allowed to disobey the order of the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner from the date of the order (November 26, 2013) to the date of discontinuance of the judicial review (scheduled for April 23 and April 24, 2015).

By discontinuing the judicial review, AHS now is in flagrant contravention of the order that they originally disobeyed by the tactic of a judicial review.

Really I begin to think that AHS is even more Machiavellian than the AER folks. The AER folks look like bumbling amateurs compared to the folks at AHS who seem to have found all the ways to stall providing information to citizens --until the reason for the FOIP case--Shauna's parents are dead.  I have to think that the Ethics and Compliance office actually needs to get complaints from citizens; but if citizens are directed to the Patient Concerns office we aren't allowed to make complaints to Ethics and Compliance. This is yet another neat trick that allows AHS to be protected from citizens by the simple routing of advocates to the useless Patient Concerns office. What can I say? It's a masterly set up.

11) So here is Shauna. She had expected a 30 day turnaround. I mean this is the normal experience of citizens in any other case that doesn't involve AHS.

It is now 2015. AHS doesn't give a darn about the entire business. Why would they? These folks are above the laws of the land. They simply wait for Shauna McHarg to go to the courts for help. Shauna  gets a judge (Judge Belzil of the Court of Queen's Bench) to ask AHS pretty please, do your jobs and obey the original order of the Office of the Information and Privacy office. This was on April 23, 2015. The judge told the folks at AHS to comply by May 7, 2015. 

This is where it gets even more bizarre.  The only constant with any interaction with AHS is that you won't get a straight line solution. This place is designed for futility.

12) My understanding of the situation is currently this:

a) AHS had told the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner that they had obeyed the original order.
b) AHS ignored the order of Judge Belzil.
c) AHS did not sign the order within 90 days and so that order is not legally binding.  So what happens then? Does AHS get off the hook?  Is this sort of action by AHS legal?

d) Shauna writes to Vicki Kaminski on July 14, 2015 telling her that she was told her records were destroyed.

e) Shauna gets a letter back from Carl Amrhein telling her the records that were shredded were transitory.

So what if they were transitory?  Hello?  Is anyone awake at AHS?   We need all records here. 
Once you have a FOIP request, all records are sacred.

f) So who is going to provide all records to Shauna?  I am curious about this matter. 
This is either a sort of amateur production by all concerned that has proven to be a public farce that has reduced my confidence in the ability of any of these folks to manage data or more troubling--this case indicates that there are illegal and non-transparent forces at work at AHS. If the situation at AHS is this non-transparent and non-responsive---then I think there needs to be a review of practices by Executive Council.

I may be wrong about this situation but certainly this case is an indication to me that the Tory ways are persistent at AHS and needs to be altered to NDP ways. If they don't change, folks need to be fired, we need fresh attitudes, acts and accurate performance of work. I'm not impressed by this mess. Are you? 

13) Shauna McHarg has been treated badly for five years.
It's time this junk stopped.
And I thought we had got this junk to stop when we hired the NDP.
Are the NDP going to allow the continuation of this sort of crap?
Hopefully no.
But there's no harm in yapping with Mr. Topp.

14) I am not actually sure what a chief of staff does but I will point it out to him that records management at AHS needs an overhaul in many ways. This case is illustrative of why there needs to be a change in records management at this public body.

writing everywhere--slow walking

Walking cures crabbiness. I have been reading "The True Secret of Writing" by Natalie Goldberg who has many books that I have read; she's practical and I like her books because she simply gets on with writing. She's also good for ideas about how to deal with bad writing--she basically gets you to accept bad writing which is most of our writing and occasionally you might get good writing. I find this forgiving attitude so much better than the horrific experiences of university where you are expected to sprout poetry instead of rubbish just like that (or so it seems). I have picked one idea to concentrate on while I walked--and it was the slow walking business. Since I am not able to walk slowly it felt odd to get my body slow but I did it. Natalie goes to excess with this idea-asking us to feel our feet. I didn't do this. I mean my feet are busy walking slowly. Instead of this feeling my feet rising up and down business, I simply walked slow and did the carousel of writing that I do when I remember to bring my journal. I was too lazy to make impressionist art; instead I make a mess but it was very good for me. I was able to sit with the myriad views of weeds, berries and birds without dashing about as many other folks were doing in their running practice.
I began writing everywhere from reading Natalie's books. You need someone with brains to wake you up to the idea that there is no damn time to write and therefore you have to do it where you find a few minutes; hence the writing everywhere.  She also taught me to write all the time. Then there is that business of not writing because you want pretty pretty. Natalie Goldberg says simply write. And it was possible for me to begin.  If you can't write anything intelligible well so what? It may be that the chores of life must be done before you get to fun.  Writing ten years of crud might be the chores of the writing life and after this endurance test you might get to the good stuff. Or not. It's best to just keep writing.
In the forest it was cool and the birds were out doing their berry picking or dominating the aerial territory; a squirrel loudly told me off. But this is how it is when I get to my small trail near my home; it's tiny but worth the back and forth slow walking.

This is my cacophony of images that I pulled out of the walk. I will put it as a list as I have other things I want to do.  Such as keep reading Natalie Goldberg's book.

1) nipples of rosehips blushing pink.
2) choke-cherries dark now; leaves yellowing; some yellow-orange bunches; big batches good for a jelly.
3) some yellow choke-cherries among the glassy black ones.
4) white "poison berries" of the dogwoods; they are different than the floor level poison-berries.
5) small sparrow feeding above me on the choke cherries; I watch him for a while and he is a vacuum cleaner for the area he is covering.
6) corrugated surface of the felled tree that is covered by lichen; ants and flies over the corpse.
7) herringbone pattern of the grasses in the sunlight in a corner of the trail.
8) the only noise is the ice cream van pealing the bell that is so noisome; like the yappy dog that wheezed and barked at the beginning of the walk until finally and thankfully his owners took him in like a line that was sounding all the way in.
9) dogwood poisonberries and fluff flowers; the berries extend out like brush needles with balls at the tips.
10) crisps of Saskatoon leaves; they are dry and friable; all they need is a bag to put them in for eating.
11) a wild blue clematis vine similar to the one that peals over the side of my black fence at home has made a wild teepee over the startled Saskatoon bush that is trying to escape the overflow of vine fabrics and seed heads that fur her back --but no matter how far the Saskatoon bush strains away from the vine, she is covered by the long swathes of cloth.
12) I missed the blue flowers on that vine; how is it possible? It's full of fluffy seedheads.
13) very tiny fairy raspberries--3--sweet to eat.
14) thin green needles of grass coming out of the dead thatch that was all we have for most of the year; blue flowers that resemble large Swan River Daisies  but are coarser and probably weeds.
15) ants have strategically built their ant hill under the Saskatoon bush. I can't go near it as I don't want to be overwhelmed by torrential flows of ants; in any case, I have stuffed myself with Saskatoons and don't feel hungry.
16) crows are cawing; they seem to be speaking English--oh yeah, oh yeah--could they possibly be Beatles crows?
17)Thistles are striking purple sparks on the surface of the grasses that seek the skies.  There are other raspberries. 2 of them; but not as sweet as the three I picked up earlier.
18) thistles, dogwood, grasses, wild Alberta rose, yellow Yarrow of some sort, Fireweed, raspberry canes, Saskatoons, Swan River Daisy knockoff and other weeds I can't identify; there are row houses of the aspens along the walk as well as the squirrel in the middle of the trail.
19) purple leaves, yellow-orange leaves, splotches appear, then the green tumorous mass of leaves.
20) boxes of small things of hope everywhere.  Home.

jobs without a paycheck

The story of my life is pretty much hand maiden to sick folks. I am the sort who sees the problem and tries to solve it. Then at the end of the day I wonder where has the day gone. Everyone asks me why the house is a mess.  I wonder at this myself. It's endless.

As the drudge and taxi, it's easy to get caught up in the feeling that I do nothing.  But then I come to the blog and I make a poem and what is wrong in my life feels a bit better. The drudge isn't so consumed with sickness and health.

Instead I can write about the small sunflower that sits in the blizzard of growth among the roses, delphiniums and day lilies. One small sunflower has made her way out of the jungle. I feel like that sometimes.
Everyone else is sick in my family or extended family. The one sunflower seems to be the only thing that isn't sick.
It's a life line.
I take it.
Writing is a way to express a great deal of ugliness about being the one who has to take up the sick folks and carry them.
Where is everyone else?
It is a good question.
I guess they don't want to do this sort of work which is--as I have told older boy--a job without a paycheck.
These jobs without a paycheck--mother, daughter, sister and so on and so forth are what I do.
Sometimes I wish I had a job with a paycheck. One that paid me way more than what I get in the jobs that I do here.

When I begin to feel sorry for myself, I have to have a nap.
The nap makes me feel that it is possible to keep going.
When I am tired the work seems impossible.
With a nap, the mind is refreshed and I can keep going.

Otherwise who will carry all the sick people to the ends of their journeys?

I took mum to the CRIS place this morning.
She didn't want to go but I picked her up and took her.
Then dad had to go to the Heritage Medicenter to pick up the form for the CT scan at the University of Alberta Hospital. I got his laundry to the dry cleaner.
I had just enough time to make supper when I got back.
I worked with younger boy to get him ready to look for a job.
We are looking at early admission details for university; because I forgot to do this for older boy and he ended up at NAIT I am now going to do the application early so I don't forget.
It's life.
It's busy.
And I am off for a walk.

And in any case, it's my understanding that whether a document is transitory or not, if it is the subject of a FOIP request, it must be retained by the public body. And since this information was indeed being dealt with by Legal Counsel my feeling is that the public body is in big doo doo here.-----------Only problem is who has the responsibility for holding this public body to account? Alberta Health is silent. The Executive council at the government of Alberta is silent. And the court system isn't doing more than yapping to AHS. AHS then ignores the court system. So who will hold AHS to account?----

I have looked at the information on the review of the FOIP act as it pertains to records management. I found this information:

The FOIP Act Review and Records Management in Alberta


The duality of the FOIP Act is part of what makes it both important and complex. To balance the demands of access and privacy of information held by public bodies in a single piece of legislation is a challenging task. Although the FOIP Act has had multiple reviews and revisions in the past, it is absolutely necessary that it continues to receive regular reviews. This becomes even more necessary as technology changes and we learn how to effectively manage electronic and online information and resources. Public organizations, government bodies and individuals have all expressed their concerns about the FOIP Act in written submissions to the Standing Committee on Health. Many of these concerns dealt with how to best manage records under the FOIP Act. Some suggested that uniform records management policies across municipalities may simplify FOIP request interactions. Others debated the need to harmonize the FOIP Act with other privacy legislation in order to ensure that no information is inappropriately handled. But one of the greatest concerns is how to adjust the FOIP Act to reflect the deluge of electronic records which must be treated with the same care and attention as traditional record formats. Clearly, with all of these points to be considered, the Standing Committee on Health’s review of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act was a necessary act, even if it did not completely address all of the concerns expressed by stakeholders.
The main concern I have with the records management policy is the problem that I have noted with the Shauna McHarg case.
Because of the elongated nature of her case, there has been an opportunity for the public body (AHS) to destroy documents that should not have been destroyed.
In her case, the proceedings have been ongoing from April 8, 2011 which indicates to me that there is both a miscarriage of proper FOIP response proceeding at this public body as well as a failure of proper document destruction process in her case.

If AHS had originally had documents that it had not looked for in her case-that the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner had ordered them to search for the question first arises, why they did not look for these responsive documents.
Then the second question arises that when AHS failed to provide the documents to Shauna McHarg and instead embarked on a judicial review, why didn't the public body put a Legal Hold on all responsive documents? If Legal Counsel was involved to the point of going towards a judicial review, then why weren't all documents made inviolate? It doesn't matter if documents are considered significant or transitory--all documents subject to a FOIP request that are responsive must be protected.

Then when there was a flip flop by AHS whereby they didn't do the judicial review and simply withdrew from these proceedings costing taxpayers unnecessary cash as well as dragging out the release of responsive documents, Shauna McHarg was forced to go to a special hearing to get AHS to do it's duty.
It took from the time of the original Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner's Order 2013-50 on November 26, 2013 to a Special Chambers Hearing on April 23, 2015 just to get AHS to respond to the original order from the Commissioner. 
The court order that was issued by the judge at the Special Chambers Hearing has to be signed and filed by AHS within 90 days of issuance. This seems very dumb to me. All AHS did then to stall the business even further was they refused to sign this order.
When Shauna asked the folks at AHS what is going on they told her sorry kiddo, you're out of luck, we've shredded the documents you needed.
When Shauna asked again-what do you mean you have shredded my responsive documents the top dog at the place-Carl Amrhein said that they shredded the responsive documents because they were something called transitory documents.  And that they have the right to do this.
I'm not too sure about this.
I mean I am not a lawyer or a records manager but destruction of any sort of document that is being requested in a FOIP request by a citizens seems rather illegal to me.
This is my understanding of records management and the FOIP Act--you have to keep all documents until the FOIP Order issued by the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner is satisfied.
And you can't simply unilaterally tell the office you have fulfilled the requirements of the order when you have told the complainant that the documents were shredded. Has anyone told the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner that the way that AHS satisfied her order was by making the responsive documents disappear?
It seems very illegal in my mind.

Now what is the current situation?

Shauna McHarg still does not have the information that the folks at AHS were ordered to search for.
Now she is being told that because the responsive documents were "transitory" records --that the folks at AHS have discarded them legally and that she is out of luck.

This is very odd.
I've never heard of this sort of behaviour by any public body.
It seems that the Executive Council folks at the government of Alberta need to review this case as well as the Alberta Records Management Committee (ARMC).  This is very dubious performance by all concerned.

I am curious what will happen next.
Is it going to be a three monkeys case?

And in any case, it's my understanding that whether a document is transitory or not, if it is the subject of a FOIP request, it must be retained by the public body. And since this information was indeed being dealt with by Legal Counsel my feeling is that the public body is in big doo doo here.

Only problem is who has the responsibility for holding this public body to account?
Alberta Health is silent.
The Executive Council at the government of Alberta  is silent.
And the court system isn't doing more than yapping to AHS.
AHS then ignores the court system.
So who will hold AHS to account?

Sure looks like it will have to be yappy citizens.
In Alberta, the political parties change but you must understand that government never changes.