Re­mem­ber­ing The For­got­ten Poor

Seaway News - - Opinion - Sara Lau­zon Way­back Play­back

Ev­ery sin­gle day with­out fail, a his­toric photo of Cornwall or a sur­round­ing county is posted on my pub­lic Facebook page. How­ever, on Satur­day, April 14, no pic­tures were posted, only words.

On June 1, 2017, I sub­mit­ted a pe­ti­tion to the Cana­dian gov­ern­ment ask­ing them to rec­og­nize April 14 of ev­ery year as Poor House Com­mem­o­ra­tion Day in Canada. I had 120 days to gather, at minimum, 500 sig­na­tures of sup­port. In to­tal, 648 sig­na­tures were re­ceived. On Novem­ber 8, 2017, the pe­ti­tion was pre­sented and tabled in the House of Com­mons by lo­cal MP Guy Lau­zon. On Jan­uary 29, 2018, I was in­formed of the gov­ern­ments re­sponse: “The Gov­ern­ment of Canada does not have any cur­rent plans to of­fi­cially des­ig­nate the afore­men­tioned date [ as Poor House Com­mem­o­ra­tion Day in Canada.]”

On April 14, I wanted to re­mem­ber and cel­e­brate each and ev­ery Cana­dian Cit­i­zen and Im­mi­grant that lived or died in an Asy­lum, a House of Refuge fa­cil­ity, or a Poor House on Cana­dian soil. Many of these peo­ple were buried in un­marked graves, with no fam­ily liv­ing to sur­round them and cel­e­brate their lives. Some of the fe­male in­mates were shunned by their fam­i­lies for be­ing preg­nant and un­mar­ried. Many of these peo­ple were just too poor, and could not af­ford any means to get by. Many in­mates were crip­pled, un­able to work or fend for them­selves, and some of them suf­fered from men­tal ill­nesses.

By April 14, 1937, Cana­di­ans and Im­mi­grants who suf­fered from men­tal ill­nesses were en­tirely stripped of their prop­erty, man­ag­ing their eco­nomic af­fairs, and their abil­ity to re­pro­duce. Not only had they lost their be­long­ings, the right to own prop­er­ties, but they were stripped of their right to have chil­dren. By April 14, they lost con­trol of ev­ery­thing, in­clud­ing con­trol over their own body.

On April 14, 1937, the “Act re­spect­ing the Men­tally In­com­pe­tent Per­sons and their Es­tates” was passed in Al­berta. This Act marked a grow­ing in­tru­sion of the state into the lives of those they deemed “men­tally in­com­pe­tent or un­fit.” Cana­dian cit­i­zens in an asy­lum were no longer ca­pa­ble of man­ag­ing their eco­nomic af­fairs. The gov­ern­ment stripped these peo­ple of their own prop­erty. Nine years prior to this act, the gov­ern­ment of Al­berta stripped their cit­i­zens of the abil­ity to re­pro­duce. On March 21, 1928, the Leg­isla­tive Assem­bly of Al­berta passed the “Sex­ual Ster­il­iza­tion Act.” This leg­is­la­tion au­tho­rized sex­ual ster­il­iza­tion to in­di­vid­u­als liv­ing in des­ig­nated state in­sti­tu­tions (Asy­lums) deemed to have “un­de­sir­able traits.” The im­pact of the Sex­ual Ster­il­iza­tion Act was sub­stan­tial. Un­der this Act, over 4,800 peo­ple were ster­il­ized. More than 2,800 per­sons were ster­il­ized un­der its two amend­ments in 1937 and 1942.

Al­though you are read­ing this a few days af­ter the fact, I hope you will take time to re­mem­ber Cana­dian cit­i­zens that lived in Asy­lums, a Houses of Refuge, and Poor Houses. I re­mem­bered them, I know you will re­mem­ber them, and one day, Canada will re­mem­ber them too. Poor House Com­mem­o­ra­tion Day is not an of­fi­cial day in Canada... yet.

1) Learn­ing to pri­or­i­tize

Peo­ple tend to start with bath­room and kitchen ren­o­va­tions, as these are the busiest rooms in the house and they have a high re­turn on in­vest­ment when sell­ing. How­ever, in some cases, it is bet­ter to opt for ren­o­va­tion projects that are not as en­tic­ing, such as re­new­ing the home’s plumb­ing sys­tem, elec­tric­ity or ther­mal in­su­la­tion. The state of the house is more im­por­tant than its ap­pear­ance.

2) De­ter­min­ing what to DIY and what to del­e­gate

Some tasks can be com­pleted by the home­own­ers them­selves but this op­tion comes with cer­tain risks. Those with lim­ited knowl­edge and man­ual skills should leave the work to pro­fes­sion­als, as com­plet­ing a ren­o­va­tion project can be tricky and over­whelm­ing. Rookie mis­takes may cost big as they will need to be fixed af­ter­wards. It should also be noted that in some prov­inces, laws and reg­u­la­tions make it so that tasks such as plumb­ing and elec­tric­ity

have to be com­pleted by cer­ti­fied con­trac­tors to con­form with cur­rent build­ing norms.

3) Cal­cu­lat­ing and re­spect­ing the ren­o­va­tion bud­get

It is ex­tremely im­por­tant to es­tab­lish a bud­get be­fore em­bark­ing on a ren­o­va­tion project, to keep spend­ing in check and to avoid ac­cu­mu­lat­ing too much debt. The ini­tial bud­get should in­clude an amount equiv­a­lent to 15% of the ex­penses for un­planned fees and events. This should be enough to cover any ex­tras that come along the way. It can be very tempt­ing to add more to the project, es­pe­cially when shop­ping at home ren­o­va­tion stores or when speak­ing with a con­trac­tor. How­ever, it is im­por­tant to stick with the bud­get to avoid be­ing faced with fi­nan­cial prob­lems later on.

4) Choos­ing value over money

Look­ing to save money should be con­sid­ered nor­mal be­hav­iour for any­one plan­ning a ren­o­va­tion project. How­ever, qual­ity must never be sac­ri­ficed in or­der to save a few dol­lars. Al­though us­ing cheap ma­te­ri­als and labour may cost less in the mo­ment, over time this choice will be ex­pen­sive and could even lead to se­ri­ous prob­lems. It is best to look for ma­te­ri­als and con­trac­tors that of­fer the best price/qual­ity ra­tio.

(MS) — Af­ter a win­ter of hi­ber­na­tion, spring is the per­fect time to con­sider re­mod­el­ing projects that will help keep your house cool in the com­ing sum­mer months and re­duce en­ergy con­sump­tion.

An un­fin­ished base­ment is a source of en­ergy loss in many homes. By sim­ply fin­ish­ing the space with wall and floor cov­er­ings, you will no­tice a dif­fer­ence on your en­ergy bills. A re­mod­eled base­ment of­fers more than ad­di­tional stor­age and liv­ing space. It can pro­vide room for a grow­ing fam­ily or a space where you can re­treat for some pri­vacy.

In­su­la­tion is a key com­po­nent in mak­ing your base­ment look and feel com­fort­able, invit­ing and dry. For the best re­sults, in­stall a rigid board in­su­la­tion like ROXUL Com­fort­board IS against the con­crete foun­da­tion be­fore you stud the wall. The

(MS) — En­joy a jam ses­sion or watch an in­tense sports game with the boys with­out dis­turb­ing the rest of your house. Sound­proof­ing your man cave will en­sure that the noise of male bond­ing, deep voices, loud mu­sic and cheer­ing doesn’t dis­turb the en­tire house­hold.

A sim­ple so­lu­tion to con­trol­ling noise is acous­tic in­su­la­tion. A min­eral wool prod­uct, such as ROXUL Safe‘n’sound, of­fers sound ab­sorb­ing qual­i­ties that will let you crank up your sub­woofer and cheer and jump around when your fa­vorite team scores.

In­stalling min­eral wool in­su­la­tion on the in­te­rior walls of your man cave or me­dia room will con­trol sound, de­liv­er­ing a place you can call your own sanc­tu­ary to hang out with the boys. with a heav­ier and thicker as­phalt caulk­ing com­pound. Still wider cracks -- those more than a half an inch -- should be patched and filled with a paste made of sand and emul­si­fied as­phalt sealer. And, those re­ally big pot­holes and larger re­pairs, like miss­ing chunks and bro­ken edges, should be made us­ing an as­phalt cold-patch ma­te­rial. If you catch prob­lems early or keep up with them once you’ve made big re­pairs, you’ll have a drive­way that’s wor­thy of a man with­out cares. process. The fol­low­ing tips can help buy­ers and sell­ers find the right agent.

• Use a soft cloth or long-han­dled soft-bris­tle

brush to wash frames.

• Do not use clean­ers con­tain­ing ag­gres­sive

or­ganic sol­vents (such as chlo­rine bleach; liq­uid grease re­mover; strong soaps and de­ter­gents con­tain­ing or­ganic sol­vents) be­cause they could dam­age the sur­face ap­pear­ance of the vinyl.

• Use the read­ily avail­able house­hold clean­ers listed below for tough dirt and stains such as top soil, caulk­ing, rust or mold and mildew. Please re­fer to the man­u­fac­turer’s instructions on use of clean­ers.

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