Thursday, 23 February 2012

Graham James comitted the worst kind of crime

It is expected that Graham James will find out on March 20 whether or not he will receive jail time for sexually abusing Theoren Fleury. I am not normally one of those "tough on crime" people that believes that we should lock up every criminal and throw away the key, but in the case of Graham James I believe a severe punishment is justified.

Everyday parents leave their children in the trust of adults, whether it be school, hockey, swimming lessons or whatever. To betray that trust with kids and their parents is a sick and heinous thing. Kids should be able to walk into any situation with any adult and believe that they are in a safe place. At a young age kids need to be able to trust the adults that are around them or it can completely twist their view of the world.

I read the Theoren Fleury autobiography and I know the details of what James did to him. He trapped Fleury into a situation where he felt he could not tell anyone or his chances at the NHL would be done. Plus a boy at that age would be so ashamed of what was happening that they may just want to keep it quiet. James new all of this and used it to manipulate Fleury and countless other boys.

Having that happen at such a young age would do permanent damage to anyone and it is no suprise that Fleury spent years abusing drugs and alcohol.  Fleury and every other boy that James did this too has been handed a life sentence because they will never live a completely normal life.

Graham James didn't want to show his face outside the courtroom because he was obviously ashamed. Well Mr James you should be ashamed. You stole the innocence of countless young boys and have caused years of pain and suffering for them and there families.

I hope the justice system does right and puts you away because if they don't it will be a severe injustice and a slap in the face of the people you hurt.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Fiance of missing woman continues to search for closure

On Wedneday, I did an interview for a magazine article that was the most emotional thing I have done since joining CreComm.

Matt Bushby is the fiance of Claudette Osborne-Tyo, a woman who went missing in 2008 and has never been found. When Shelley Cook, the founder of Missing Manitoba Women blog gave me his contact info, I was terrified at the thought of interviewing someone whose gone through what he has and trying to ask questions that still got me the answers I needed, while being sensitive to what he and his family has been through

My fingers trembled as I dialed his phone number. I had a list of interview questions prepared, but the list never was used. As soon as I started talking with Matt I knew that asking questions off of a piece of paper wasn't the way to do this. Instead we just had a conversation. Matt is soft spoken, articulate and an obviously intelligent man. I could hear the emotion in his voice as he told me that with every year his hope is fading that Claudette would return.

Matt does not feel like the media and the police have always been fair with him, but he never raised his voice or made accustions. He knows that Claudette will likely not show up suddenly, but at this point he just wants closure, for himself and for Claudette's kids.

I can't thank Shelley Cook enough for helping me with my article and I strongly suggest that people check out the Missing Manitoba Women blog, which tells the stories of Manitoba's missing women that mainstream media often doesn't tell.
Claudette was a mother and a fiance, and I pray for Matt's sake that one day he gets the answers that he's been searching for since 2008.

Drug and Alcohol Problems are no joke

Whitney Houston's sudden and tragic death got me wondering why is it when a famous artist dies from a drug or alcohol problem, people rush to talk about what a wonderful and talented person this was, but when they are still alive and dealing with their problems they are ridiculed. Millions of people around the world deal with alcohol and drug problems and these are illnesses that kill people and destroy families.

Whitney Houston, Amy Winehouse, and Michael Jackson were all the butt of jokes on late night talk shows like SNL and Conan before their death These are easy jokes that get easy laughs and I've been guilty of laughing at them. Mya Rudolf's impression of a drugged up Whitney Houston became a fan favorite on SNL and the more she acted completely out of it, the more laughs she got. Well now Houston is dead and I assume that the character will be retired. It's not funny now that she has passed away but it never should have been funny in the first place.

I think that as a society we have accepted that if a famous person has problems then we can make fun of them and laugh at their problems.

I think we forget that drug and alcohol problems and mental illnesses are diseases. We would never make fun of a person dying of cancer but we ridicule people dying of addictions.