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We often hear of terms like ‘personal power’ or ’empowerment’. What does this really mean? Some think that being empowered requires money, position or intelligence. While these might help in some situations, they are not necessary requirements.

We have all known two year olds who have an incredible amount of personal power. They know how to take a stand. What can we learn from them? Well, the first criterion they demonstrate is a clear knowing of what they want, and what they don’t want. If we are not sure what we really want, it’s hard to be assertive.

Next, they have a belief that they can have things their way. They are not always correct about this, but holding this belief sets the stage for putting some effort into the matter. They have a willingness to speak up for what they believe in or what they want. If they feel they are not being heard, they are not embarrassed to speak a little louder, or to make a bit of a fuss. They are persistent. They will not back off the first time their wishes are not honored. They are not afraid that others will be annoyed if they express themselves. And if they are being hurt, they will scream at the top of their lungs.

This is not to suggest that empowerment means acting like an infant. Throwing tantrums is not a demonstration of personal power. The empowered individual takes the time to determine what he or she truly wants. This means separating your own wants and needs from externally imposed ‘shoulds’.

You must believe in your heart that you have value, and that you have a right to work towards meeting your needs. You must also develop the courage to speak up for yourself, and/or the self-control to express yourself calmly. You don’t give up all attempts because it didn’t work out the first time you tried. You may have to come back again and again, from different angles.

You may need the assistance of an objective, professional third party. This might be your minister, doctor, teacher, or therapist. If the feedback you get is that your wishes are reasonable, then that individual may assist you in getting your point across.

Some people believe that the best way to live is to be always co-operative and accommodating. These are positive living skills to be sure, but if they are utilized continually, in a process of denying your true self, they will turn you into a chameleon. If you please everyone but yourself, they will all be happy, and you will be sad and unfulfilled. This is not the way to live life.

Your life is your gift, to be lived according to your inner spirit. Listen to your inner two year old, whenever, from deep inside your own being, you hear that definitive “NO!” You can translate that impulse and emotion so that you come across as a composed adult, but you do not have to live ‘yes’ when your heart says ‘no.’

Gwen Randall-Young is an author and award-winning psychologist. For permission to reprint this article, or to obtain books, CDs or MP3s, visit www.gwen.ca. Follow Gwen on Facebook for daily inspiration. 

Covid-19 Updates

Vaccination and adherence to public health measures key to Step 3 reopening success

SIMCOE MUSKOKA – Under Step 3, more indoor services may reopen with restrictions in place, and size limits for social gatherings and organized public events have increased to up to 100 people outdoors and up to 25 people indoors. Indoor dining may resume with added requirements such as active screening of all dine-in patrons along with capacity limited to a number that can physically distance. Retailers may open with a sign posted indicating their capacity limit to ensure physical distancing. Face masks should be worn if physical distancing indoors or outdoors cannot be maintained with people outside your household. Other indoor services and activities may resume with certain capacity limits, physical distancing and mask requirements including faith-based services, sport and fitness facilities, museums, theatres, cinemas and other entertainment venues. 

“As we enter Step 3, it is still vital that we continue to follow the precautions necessary to prevent a resurgence of COVID-19 in our area,” said Dr. Charles Gardner, Medical Officer of Health for SMDHU. “To that end, I urge all individuals 12 years of age and older to get their full two-dose series of COVID-19 vaccinations as soon as they are able.”

SMDHU reminds the public to follow current public health measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 including staying home when feeling ill, maintaining a physical distance of at least 2 metres from those living outside of your household, wearing a mask indoors and outdoors when physical distancing is not possible, covering your cough, and washing your hands regularly. To learn more about public health safety measures and reopening guidelines under Ontario’s Roadmap to Reopen Step 3, visit smdhu.org/covid19

Community News or Should we start a section called Hey Dads ????

How is your relationship with your…appliances?  Has it gone through a rough patch?  Do you find there’s only one-way communication?  I understand.

Dishwasher.  Vacuum cleaner.  Washing Machine.  Dryer.  Stove.  All appliances I’ve attempted to repair in the last few years.  I’ve bought parts on Amazon.  I’ve bought better parts from local appliance stores.  I’ve paid appliance repairmen to come out and fix them.  New appliances.  Used appliances.  It doesn’t seem to make a difference.  They all seem to break down at some point.  Ours is a love-hate relationship.  

The laundry room has been a source of contempt in the last year.  This shouldn’t be.  With nine kids you can deduce that we spend a lot of time in our laundry room.  Washing.  Drying.  Scraping crayons and stickers out of the dryer.  

We also have a clothesline outside.  That place where most clotheslines reside I would assume.  I’m looking out the window right now at our clothesline.  With clothes hanging on it.  With the rain from last night dripping off of them.  So it has its issues too.   In the next issue of the Springwater News I’ll tell you about the time our bedsheets were hanging out there real close to the ground and I thought I could just drive under them with the riding lawn mower.  

Ah the dryer.  Really I’m grateful for the thing.  It’s great on rainy days, winter days or any other days when the clothesline is out of commission for one reason or another.  But it’s been trouble for the last year.  Ours is stacked. You know, stacked on top of the washing machine. Stacked tightly.  Between two walls.  In the bathroom.  If there’s trouble it means dragging/lifting/dropping it off the washer and finagling it somewhere with enough room to work around it.  Now that I think about it, our bathroom is more of an appliance warehouse.  Because to work on the washer or dryer you need to somehow get it around the two chest freezers we have squeezed in there too.

Has your dryer squeaked and squealed before?  During my appliance apprenticeship on Youtube, I learned that it’s the rollers inside the dryer making that sound.  I’m sure all my neighbours now recognize the sound as it’s been blasting on and off for a couple months.  

Since the dryer was screaming away and most likely wouldn’t fix itself, me and my (willing?) assistant – my oldest daughter Annabelle – hefted the dryer down and over to a workable spot.  After my incident with the screw and the bike ramp (read about that at heydads.ca) I was sure to wear work boots this time.  Me and the boys pulled the dryer apart and changed the rollers.  We only had to reference Youtube five times because we had swapped out these rollers before.  LAST YEAR!

We managed to get the rollers in and the squeals disappeared as if by magic.  And by sweat.  Now clothes will be dried and the people will rejoice.  Hopefully the boys and the girls learned a little bit about repairing appliances.  I learned that we should probably own two dryers.  Or fewer clothes.  I didn’t lose my cool and I learned about patience.  That seems to be a theme as a dad wouldn’t you say?  

You’ve got what it takes dad!  Dry those clothes and make every moment count!

Jason Weening fixes his own appliances in Minesing with 9 kids, 63 chickens and one wife.  Read more family and appliance d-advice at www.heydads.ca.

Barrie Police Chief named Officer of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces
The Barrie Police Service is proud to announce that Chief Kimberley Greenwood has been appointed as an Officer of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces, an honour presented on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen by the Governor General of Canada. 

The Order of Merit of the Police Forces was established in October 2000 to recognize a commitment to this country and to honour a career of exceptional service or distinctive merit displayed by officers or civilians of Canadian Police Services. Through their activities, Members, Officers and Commanders of the Order bring distinction to policing and support the concept of police cooperation in public service. The primary focus is on exceptional merit through contributions to policing, community development and fostering relationships among police forces in Canada and throughout the world and between police and the community. 

On behalf of the Barrie Police Services Board, I offer our congratulations to Chief Greenwood for this recognition,” said Barrie Police Services Board Chair Greg Ferguson. “Throughout her career, Chief Greenwood has demonstrated her commitment to the communities she has served and the policing profession. We are extremely honoured to work alongside her and thank her for her dedication.” 

Chief Greenwood began her career with the Toronto Police Service in 1981 and served in a variety of roles in the organization, before joining the Barrie Police Service as Chief in 2013. 

In addition to today’s honour, Chief Greenwood has received the Police Officers Exemplary Service Medal and Bar, as well as the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Jennett Mays
Honduras Update
Canadian and United States Delegation to Honduras
One-Year Anniversary of Garifuna Leaders’ Disappearance
OFRANEH Wins Letelier-Moffit Human Rights Award
Canadian/US Delegation to Honduras

On September 13-14, 2021, the trial of Edwin Espinal and Raul Alvarez will be heard by the National Jurisdiction Court in Tegucigalpa Honduras. Edwin and Raul are two of hundreds of human rights defenders, environmental defenders, teachers, healthcare workers and concerned Honduran citizens who took to the streets to protest the illegal election of Juan Orlando Hernandez in November 2017. 

This upcoming trial of Edwin and Raul is extremely important for it acts as a signature case that represent political prisoners and marginalized individuals that were criminalized following the 2017 elections. All still must go weekly to sign before a judge as they, like Edwin and Raul, await their trials for speaking against the Juan Orlando Hernandez government. To bring continued attention to this September trial, the Simcoe County Honduras Rights Monitor is organizing a Canadian delegation to Honduras for the week of September 13, 2021. 

The Canadian delegation will be accompanied by a Canadian photographer and videographer who will provide a report on the actions of the delegation; the delegation members will be attending the trial and also meeting with Honduran human rights groups and government officials. US citizens affiliated with the Honduras Solidarity Network and Cross Border Networks may also attend this delegation. All Canadian COVID-19 protocol will be followed throughout the delegation trip. The dates of the delegation will be announced in early August 2021. 

The delegation will attend meetings with the Canadian and United States Embassy representatives, the President of the Honduran Supreme Court, the Committee for the Convergence Against Re-election, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the National Committee for the Freedom of Political Prisoners.  

The SCHRM delegation will also meet with the eleven Pimienta political prisoners from the electoral crisis, many of whose community and family members have been seriously affected by the late November 2020 hurricanes. We will also set up meetings with the Municipal Committee in Defense of Common and Public Goods that are advocating for the eight Guapinol water and land defenders’ release from prison. These environmental defenders have been imprisoned in pre-trial detention since 2019 for defending the Guapinol River and their water source from the mining actions of the Honduran company, Inversiones Los Pinares. This company has strong ties to the US Nucor Corporation. Both are involved in iron ore extraction and are mining on protected indigenous lands. 

One-Year Anniversary of the Disappearance of Garifuna Leaders 

July 18, 2021, marks the one-year anniversary of the disappearance of four Garifuna indigenous leaders and land defenders. In the early hours of the morning, the men were taken at gunpoint out of their homes by 30 DPI (Police Investigation Directorate) trained forces in their communities of Triunfo de la Cruz, Honduras. The men who were kidnapped belong to the indigenous group called OFRANEH, the Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras that supports the indigenous communities’ struggles on the north coast and Garifuna community members living in other parts of Honduras. 

Since the largest population of Garifuna residents live in beautiful communities on the coastal waters of the Caribbean Sea, the lands are highly sought after by tourism companies; many are Canadian, such as NJOI based in Newmarket Ontario, and Banana Coast and Carivida Villas operated by Randy Jorgensen from Saskatchewan. In our previous article, we touched further on this Canadian tourism land grabbing issue, where this area of the north coast is often referred to as ‘Little Canada.” OFRANEH is also combatting international and Honduran African palm companies that are illegally possessing their lands.

OFRANEH is supported by Canadian Public Service Alliance of Canada, Rights Action, Toronto and others that understand the importance of supporting the struggles of indigenous communities at home in Canada and abroad. This week, international and Honduran human rights organizations and the Honduran people are demonstrating their support outside the Ministerio Publico (Public Ministry) in downtown Tegucigalpa. They demand an investigation into the disappearance of the four men and justice for the perpetrators of the kidnapping. 

These heinous crimes go unpunished as many are not even investigated by the police, the justice system, or government authorities. Similarly, Raul Alvarez was attacked in his neighbourhood in early 2021 and almost died from severe stab wounds to his stomach, hands, and legs. He regularly goes to the police station to inquire about an investigation, but nothing has been done, despite there being a video of the brutal attack. The police know the attacker’s name and where he lives, but no arrest has been made. Many believe this was a planned attack related to his human rights work and his political affiliation with the Libre Party, the opposition to the National Party, led by President Juan Orlando Hernandez. 

OFRANEH Wins Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Award

On October 13, 2021, OFRANEH (Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras) will receive the prestigious 45th Annual Letelier Moffitt Award for their human rights advocacy. According to the organizers of the award, the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), OFRANEH is a “leading voice in Honduras for the self-determination and dignity of the Garifuna people in Honduras, a matrilineal people who are both Indigenous and Afro-descendent, whose ancestral territory in Honduras is principally along the northern coast and under constant threat from African palm plantations, Canadian and U.S. tourist operations, mining, energy projects, and drug trafficking.” Miriam Miranda, General Coordinator of OFRANEH will be accepting the award. For more information on this award, refer to: https://ips-dc.org/events/

SCHRM congratulates OFRANEH for winning this award and for their continued work in human rights. During the 2019 Canadian delegation to Honduras, leaders of OFRANEH hosted a day of workshops, tours, and festivities to welcome our group and to inform us about the issues indigenous communities are facing in Honduras. (See two photos of the 2019 delegation attached, at the beach on disputed Garifuna land in Trujillo and on our last night in Tegucigalpa)

SCHRM thanks the community of Springwater and beyond for your support. If you are interested in attending the proposed September delegation to Honduras, please reach us at: janetspring7@gmail.com or 705-734-4238.

Janet Spring, Kate Harries, Christine Nugent, Meg Jordan for the Simcoe County Honduras Rights Monitor

Community Events
Women & Children’s Shelter of Barrie looking for superheroes for this year’s in-person Walk A Mile

Barrie Ontario, July 19th, 2021 – You have the power to save the day and bring awareness to the serious causes, effects, and remediation of gender-based violence. The 2021 Walk A Mile, hosted by the Women & Children’s Shelter of Barrie, is a fun, friendly and inclusive afternoon where individuals, families, colleagues and community groups come together for fresh-air, exercise, and most essential, fundraise. Dress up as your favourite superhero, put on a cape, or come as you are!

“We are so excited to welcome our community back to our first in-person event since the beginning of the pandemic,”said Katie Taylor, Development Manager. “This year’s superhero theme symbolizes the resiliency of the women and children we service, our compassionate and dedicated staff, and our powerful community that rallies behind us. We rely heavily on community donations to continue to expand and offer all programming and services for free to our increasingly growing demands.”

Walk A Mile
Presented by: Royal LePage First Contact Realty
Hosted by: Women & Children’s Shelter of Barrie
Date: Saturday, September 11th
Venue: Mapleview Community Church
Starting pledge: $25
Registration: 11:00 – 11:45am
Opening Remarks & Kick-off Ceremony: 11:45 – 12:00 p.m.
Walk begins: 12:00 p.m.

Walk a Mile is an annual Women & Children’s Shelter of Barrie signature event that raises funds and awareness to end violence against women. More information on the event, sponsorship opportunities, and to register as an individual or team online please visit www.barrieshelter.com. By focusing on the positive aspect of a community coming together around this topic, the Walk strives to empower individuals to take a stand against gendered violence. Be a superhero, save a life.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of The Women & Children’s Shelter of Barrie providing a safe and secure refuge for abused women and their children in Simcoe County. We are a 27 bed facility offering 24 hour emergency and residential support. Funds raised from this event provide shelter, individual counselling, legal advocacy, housing transition services, a 24-hour crisis line, group support, and public education programs, all in the effort of creating the best life for women escaping abuse.

RVH welcomes new family medicine resident physicians to residency program 

 Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) continues its important work of training new family doctors as another group of residents begin their final two years of training in the health centre’s Family Medicine Teaching Unit (FMTU). 

The program, which is affiliated with the University of Toronto Department of Family and Community Medicine, recently welcomed nine new family medicine resident physicians to the FMTU’s residency program.

 “These residents will have the opportunity to practice medicine with a full caseload of patients while gaining invaluable knowledge as they work alongside RVH’s many skilled physicians,” says Dr. Christine Stewart, Site Director, Family Medicine Residency Program at RVH. “It is an extraordinary environment in which to learn to become well-rounded and well-trained family physicians.”

Since the program began in 2009, 92 family medicine residents have trained at RVH, with 55 staying in the area to set up their own practices, provide temporary coverage for area physicians or work in the health centre’s Emergency and Hospitalist departments.

“As a teaching hospital we merge education and healthcare excellence to have a significant, positive impact on our community. We are pleased to welcome these new residents,” says Janice Skot, RVH president and CEO. “Many physicians who have completed their training at RVH have gone on to establish practices in the area which has helped meet some of the demand for family physicians. As we focus our efforts on increasing the teaching and research opportunities available at RVH, we plan to continue growing, and hopefully keeping, exceptional physicians in this region.” 

RVH welcomes Drs. Fatemeh Bakhtiari; Ovina Chow; Jivan Gill; Curtis Kelly; Timothy Lee; Anthony Parrell; Taylor Stanojev; Deidra Carr and Anshu Jassal.

In addition to welcoming the new residents, RVH also extends congratulations to the residents who graduated from the program this year including Drs. Mackenzie Chown; Gustavo Cordova; Stephanie Duquette; Lynda Ekeh; Mayer Grunfeld; Daniel Passafiume; Dominque Pike; Amanda Sauve; Dushyaan Sri Renganathan; Mark von Allmen; Taylor Ward-Able and Li Yin. 

GBGH announces next step in resuming visitation to enhance the patient and family experience

Georgian Bay General Hospital (GBGH) is continuing to gradually expand visitation to enhance the patient and family experience. Effective July 14, GBGH is allowing two visitors at a time for inpatients within the set visiting hours of 9:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. This is an increase from one visitor per patient per day at a scheduled visitation time. Inpatient visits will no longer need to be booked in advance during specific blocks of time.

“GBGH is very pleased to announce we are continuing to gradually increase visitation as local cases of COVID-19 have decreased in the past few weeks,” says Gail Hunt, president and CEO, GBGH. “It is never easy for hospitals to limit visitation as we know how much it improves patient outcomes and experience. Decision made about visitation are always carefully considered based on local case data and maintaining the safety of patients and the GBGH team. We look forward to eventually resuming 24/7 family presence once it is deemed safe to do so, and in line with provincial guidance.”

Visitation for outpatients is also changing for the first time since the pandemic began. GBGH will now permit one visitor per patient in the following areas: Emergency department, Ambulatory Care, Diagnostic Imaging and Day Surgery.

Exceptions to visitor restrictions include visitation for a palliative/actively dying patient. In palliative cases, GBGH will allow up to four visitors at a time, as coordinated with the care team. Birthing patients are also permitted two visitors at a time for as long as they require assistance.

All permitted visitors will continue to be screened upon entering the hospital. Any visitor who screens positive for COVID-19 symptoms will be asked to not visit. In exceptional circumstances (such as a support person for a woman in labour, a parent/guardian of a child in the Emergency department or a palliative/end of life patient), a visitor who screens positive for symptoms will be reviewed by GBGH’s infection prevention and control practitioner or hospital coordinator prior to entry.

All visitors must comply with hand hygiene practices, wear a hospital-provided mask and follow physical distancing. Visitors could also be asked to wear additional personal protective equipment as determined by the care team based on a patients’ condition.

Visitor guidelines are subject to change based on the status of the pandemic within the region GBGH serves.

For more information, please visit http://gbgh.onca/covid-19-visitor-restrictions/.

RVH moves to next step of visitor restrictions

With COVID-19 case counts declining, and in alignment with the province moving to Step 3 of its reopening plan, Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) is moving to the next step of its family presence/visitor policy.

Beginning Friday, July 16, all admitted patients are allowed one visitor per day, for one hour, seven days a week.

While there are exceptions in place for compassionate grounds, critically ill patients, birthing mothers and paediatric patients, the general guidelines are as follows:

o   Patients will appoint two designated visitors. Those not on the patient’s list will not be permitted

o   Visitors must be over the age of 16 and must pass screening upon entry and show identification

o   Visitors must wear a hospital-issued mask at all times

o   Visitation hours on inpatient units are seven days a week between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. Visitation hours on the child and youth mental health inpatient unit are seven days a week between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.

o   Visits must be pre-booked no later than 6 a.m. of the day of the visit by calling the inpatient unit directly

o   Visitors must go directly to the patient unit, and with the exception of designated bathrooms, are only permitted in the patient room and not common areas within the building

o   Outpatients, including day surgery, endoscopy, cancer centre, may have one support person with them if assistance is required

o   Emergency Department patients are allowed one designated visitor, at the discretion of the care team depending on availability of space and distancing

Please note, RVH endeavors to accommodate as many visitor requests as possible, however, the safety of patients and staff remains the top priority and capacity and physical distancing requirements are still in place.  Visitation schedules are subject to change depending on capacity or the pandemic. For more information visit www.rvh.on.ca

Dr. Nathan Kolla announced as New Research Chair in Forensic Mental Health Science
Following an international search, Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care is excited to announce that Dr. Nathan Kolla has accepted the position of Research Chair in Forensic Mental Health Science, a collaboration between Waypoint and the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine dedicated to the study and research of forensic mental health science.

Dr. Kolla is Waypoint’s current Vice-President of Research and Academics and lead for the Waypoint Research Institute. He brings his wealth of forensic mental health experience and knowledge to the role. He is a psychiatrist with a PhD in Neuroscience/Neuroimaging from the Institute of Medical Science, University of Toronto, has completed the U of T Department of Psychiatry Clinician Scientist Program and has a Master of Science in Forensic Mental Health Science (Distinction) from the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London.

“It is a great honor to be appointed to this new role. As Vice-President of Research and Academics for the past four years at Waypoint, I have to come to know the incredible research staff and unique opportunities that Waypoint has to offer in terms of forensic research,” said Dr. Kolla. “I look forward to immersing myself in this exciting role and furthering relationships within the University of Toronto and external partners to help establish Waypoint as a center of excellence in forensic mental health research.”

Waypoint has provided forensic mental health care as an integral part of its hospital services since the 1930’s. Forensic services treat patients who have been found not criminally responsible on account of a mental disorder. Unfortunately these services are often confused with corrections, which can confer a “double stigma” of mental illness and justice system involvement.

”Dr. Kolla has spent many years of his career dedicated to forensic mental health research. His appointment as Research Chair provides him with that continued focus and brings Waypoint an internationally recognized research clinician to this important new collaboration,” notes Carol Lambie, President and CEO. “He is familiar with the work of Waypoint from his current position and we know he is dedicated to furthering our focus on excellence.”

Waypoint and the University of Toronto have had a formal affiliation since 2012 and the Research Chair collaboration continues to strengthen both institutions’ efforts to advance psychiatry, as well as mental health and addictions treatment and care. Nathan further brings his experience as an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the U of T’s Temerty Faculty of Medicine to this new role.

“The University of Toronto Temerty Faculty of Medicine is thrilled to announce this new appointment. Dr. Kolla is renowned for his research and understanding of forensic mental health science and he has been involved with the University for many years,” says Dr. Benoit Mulsant, the Labatt Family Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. “Waypoint and the University of Toronto have similar goals in growing this important area of mental health care and we are pleased to have Dr.

Kolla’s leadership as Research Chair.”

Dr. Kolla will formally transition to the Chair role effective July 19 and Waypoint will begin recruitment for a new Vice-President of Research and Academics.