Showing posts with label Cam Tait blog. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cam Tait blog. Show all posts

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

The Sept. 10 Tait Debate: Thirty home care visits missed in Leduc over the weekend (PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR MORE)






More than 30 people scheduled for home care services in Leduc did not have their shifts covered Sunday. WeCare Home Health Services employee  Cindy Mielke posted the situation on Facebook Sunday before she said she became aware of the situation at 8 a.m. Mielke who has 16 years of experience, was in the Leduc WeCare office when she was told the shifts were not covered by staff. “It’s very unusual,” she said through an email exchange. “I used to be a co-odinator with WeCare. If the weekend and nightly shifts were not booked we stayed late and got them  booked.”

But with Alberta Health Services re-vamping home care recently, staff are leaving the positions. Wages have been cut as well as vehicle allowances for staff. Mielke has seen the damage first-hand. One of her regular clients recently went an entire weekend without getting help for a bowel routine. “I got a phone call at 10:15 one Saturday morning asking if I would go but I was already in Red Deer for the weekend.  WeCare couldn’t fill her shifts,” she says. Two days later Mielke went into work with the woman and she says it was a disaster. “Because she went all weekend without she became very incontinent in her bed and she was deeply embarrassed. Poor woman,” she says. Mielke has also heard of people not getting a bath for a month because of shifts not being filled.

There’s another alarming side of this story: the mental anguish of people with disability being uncertain of personal care attendants not coming. Wondering if you will get help or not can grind a person down. It can dampen one’s confidence to live in the community … independently. The sad thing here is the provincial government is not paying much respect to personal care attendants. Mielke says she’s feeling like a newspaper carrier, rather than someone who provides needed personal care. “AHS needs to understand the rights of the ones who are disabled and or elderly.  I help people with their daily living. I hope I give them dignity and self-respect,” she says. “People that are going through issues, whether it’s having a hard time growing old and all the complications that go with it. Or, ones suffering from disabilities and all the things they go through in a daily manner.”

Wages show respect. But Mielke doesn’t see it. She runs her vehicle for 60 cents per kilometre but is paid  40 cents per kilometre, one way, when she travels to help people in rural Alberta. That means she dips into her own pocket. Clearly, it isn’t worth her while and says, after calculations at $17 per hour, she’s making less than minimum wage. “I’d be making more at Wal-Mart where my car is parked for eight hours,” she says.

And that’s a real shame. Because it takes someone special with understanding, patience and a giant heart to be a personal care attendant.
“I think it’s the love of money, prestige and power,” Mielke says of the current dimise of home care in Alberta. “Until they (AHS) find themselves in a similar position, they really don’t give a damn.”

Front line home care workers need to be paid more. They have to be: otherwise more visits are going to be missed. There were over 30 visits missed Sunday. And, that’s 30 too many.

(Cam Tait has cerebral palsy and uses home care in Edmonton)


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Saturday, 7 September 2013

The Sept. 7 Tait Debate: An invitation for ice cream with my grandson to those who think we received preferential treatment (CLICK FOR MORE)


Our grandson Nicholas in our living room (AFTER SCHOOL)
Just a little after 7:30 a.m. weekdays my day begins when my 10-year-old grandson Nicholas walks into our bedroom door and leaps on to our bed. First, he gives my wife Joan a big hug to start the morning and then rolls over to my side. “’Morning, Papa,” Nicholas says, often punctuated by a long yawn. I pull myself out of bed, get into my wheelchair and watch cartoons while Joan cooks and gives him breakfast. It has been our way of life  for five months now after Nicholas’ mother passed away from cancer. Our son Darren drops him off in the morning.  Joan drives Nicholas to school in the morning, takes him lunch and then picks him up in the afternoon. Nothing was going to stop Joan and I from providing the best environment for Nicholas and a time when he needed it the most.

But we came very close to losing that. Very close. In June Alberta Health Services decided to re-vamp home care by dismantling many successful programs. I have cerebral palsy and require assistance in bathing, dressing and other things. Since 1997 Joan and I have lived in a condominium with 24-hour home care. Under the brilliant leadership of founder Larry Pempeit who formed Creekside Support Services — a non-profit group — 14 people with physical disabilities in the Creekside complex live independently … all because of home care. That wasn’t good enough, it seemed for AHS. In fact, they told us a new homecare provider would be coming in, with new staff, who, incidentally, might be on-site 24 hours a day like we had.

It scared me. I was afraid I might have to move into a nursing home. Nicholas wasn’t ready for that, I said to myself. It would also mean I could no longer be the grandfather I wanted to be. So we fought like hell. The day before we met AHS officials and were told of the changes, my neighbor Heidi Janz and I had a chat.
Alison Redford
What if, we wondered, we asked Alberta premier Alison Redford for coffee to share our story? So we did on this very blog. (Have a look here.) The day after I received an e-mail from Redford’s press aide Neala Barton saying our invitation had been accepted. We met Redford five days later and within 48 hours our meeting, the AHS decision was reversed. We still have our homecare program intact.

Last week Creekside Support Services came under fire in a report (click here) on how the home care contracts were handed out. One unnamed company is claiming we got preferential treatment because we met with Redford, causing Calgary Herald columnist Don Braid to chime in on the debate.
Hedi Janz

I find this very petty. So does my friend Heidi who replied Friday with this. One has to wonder if this company even asked for a meeting. Funny what happens when a requests are made ... I would suspect the got in a huff because the reversal had a huge financial impact on them.  For me, it was personal. It was about my family, and it was about having existing services in place so I can be the best husband, father and grandfather I can be. It’s about the circle of care: because I am cared for, I can care for others.

Homecare isn’t just about dollars and cents. It’s about empowering people to be the best they can be. So rather than inviting this unnamed company for coffee, I’m inviting them for ice cream with Nicholas and I. They can ask Nicholas how much fun it is jumping on Papa every morning to wake him up  — and then draw their own conclusions.

Nicholas in our living room playing trains

Friday, 6 September 2013

Sept. 6 Tait Debate: Guest blogger Dr. Heidi Janz on home care report (click here for more)


How Does Granting a Plea for Dialogue to Save Our Independence Become “Preferential Treatment”?



by Dr. Heidi Janz

In a Calgary Herald column which appeared on September 4, 2013, Don Braid reports:

In a long report on clumsy and insensitive AHS handling of new homecare contracts, there’s a startling line on page 88 that instantly rang political gongs on Wednesday.

Some homecare providers vying for contracts, the document says, “were upset that other service providers that had approached the Premier received preferential treatment and in their view this option should be available to other providers.”

The wider finding of the report, ordered up by Health Minister Fred Horne, is that Alberta Health Services kind of forgot about the people who need home care when it started awarding big contracts to private national companies.

That jolted AHS and led to a reshuffling of contracts, some of them away from big outfits like Ontario’s Bayshore, and back to worthy non-profits that have served Albertans for decades.

But the full report didn’t come to light until Wednesday … And it contained that explosive suggestion — repeated without elaboration — that Premier Alison Redford was somehow playing favourites behind the scenes.

Redford herself didn’t comment Wednesday. But her press aide, Neala Barton, says the only relevant meeting on Redford’s schedule was with an Edmonton co-op agency in June.           

This was well publicized at the time, mainly because one of the players is the remarkable Cam Tait, blogger, and longtime Edmonton Journal writer who has been afflicted with cerebral palsy all his life.

Now, in the interests of full  disclosure, let me confess that it was I, along  with friends and fellow Creekside Support Services users Tait and founder Larry Pempeit,  who conspired to unduly influence Premier Redford to reverse a wrong-headed  decision by AHS to blow up our user-run homecare services, and hand over all control of our personal care—and, with it, practically all control over our lives—to a big-box, for-profit homecare provider. For anyone interested in the facts of what such an arbitrary change in homecare provider would have meant for us, here they are:

·      No longer were we 14 Creekside users with physical disabilities to have any say at all in where, when, or by whom our personal care was provided.
·      We were going to lose all of our current health care aides—many of whom had worked with us for 10 years or more.
·      We would no longer be able to receive personal care services outside our home. For some of us, this would mean no longer being able to go to school or work.
·      According to the representatives of Alberta Health Services  Homecare, with whom we met just five days before we met with Premier Redford, there was no guarantee that the new service provider would be able to provide the 24/7 care that many of us require, and currently receive.

If any of you are surprised by any of these facts, you’re in good company—so was Premier Redford. My own sense is that it was being presented with the real effects that this decision was going to have on real people that affected the reversal of this decision.

So, to those unnamed applicants accusing us of unduly influencing the Premier, I would simply ask this: Would the decision on who was awarded Homecare contracts affect any aspect of your personal life, other than perhaps the size of your bank account? Would it affect when (or if) you get  up in the morning?  When (or if) you can use the bathroom? Who cleans you after you use the bathroom?

If you’ve answered “yes”  to any of the preceding questions, we owe you an apology.

If not, I’d  say, you owe us one.






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Monday, 26 August 2013

The Monday Camburger: New DATS cancellation policy provides wonderful opportunity



A week from now the Disabled Adult Transportation System is bringing a new policy where you have to cancel two hours in advance or you get hate mail. And if you get enough hate mail, you could be suspended from service. So, as DATS user, after much deliberation I have decided how I am going to handle it. I’m going to ignore it. Pretend it isn’t even there. I am a busy person and if I can’t cancel within the said period, bring the hate letters on. I really don’t care if I get suspended.

What bothers me is the way this was handled. DATS didn’t ask users at all for their input. I find that very interesting given today’s information age. They did bend a bit, saying those cancellations up until 7 a.m. will not go on the hate mail list. I don’t think that’s good enough. If DATS administration would have asked users, they would know many things can happen in the morning: personal care aides may be late, or not show up; equipment such as wheelchairs and lifts may falter; accidents in the home might happen and other things. Many of these things happen after 7 a.m. Respectfully, I think the exemption time for the two-hour policy should be extended to 10 a.m.

But nobody asked. Nobody from DATS did their homework. So despite 550 names on a petition the two-hour policy swings into affect next week.  Bring it on, I say. Because I think this is a great opportunity for people with disabilities to make another profound statement that cookie cutter philosophy without consulting consumers does not work.


Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Wednesday's Cam 'n Eggs with Grace and Ish Naboulsi, and Craig Styles

GOOD MORNING!
    Grace and Ish Naboulsi, right, with the help of longtime friend Craig Styles, raised $282,000 to thank the University Hospital for helping Grace with a heart ailment.  PHOTO by Nick Lees




Tea With Tait — The Gretzky Tales - Part V — "Have one for me"


 (It's been fun, sharing my stories with Wayne Gretzky over the past few days. Here's the last instalment.)

Wayne as coach

I see Wayne the odd time now when he comes to Edmonton.
One of the most amazing things to me about Wayne is how he always encourages people to look to the future.
Whenever we had a chat at the morning skate of a game, he would end by saying: “You’re coming to the game tonight, right? I’ll see you after the game.”
And he would. It wouldn’t be for very long because he had a plane to catch. But right before he left the rink, he would  always say “I’ll find you when we are in town next.”
And he always did. His time was so restricted he often did not have time for a quick hand shake and hello. But he always did that.
I’ll never forget in December of 2008 when the Phoenix Coyotees were in Edmonton to play the Edmonton Oilers. I was on the bottom of Rexall Place near the Phoenix dressing room and watched the team walk under the stands on to the ice. With his hands in his pocket, Wayne followed the team out and, minutes before the game, probably had a million thoughts. He saw me, stopped and shook my hand.
“Cam, how are you? Everything OK?” he asked. “It’s game time but God bless.”
In the winter of 2002, Kevin Lowe had me phone him before every hockey game Canada played at the Salt Lake Winter Olympics. (Wayne and Kevin were part of the management team.) The night before Canada met the Americans in the gold medal game, I made my call. Kevin took it and said someone wanted to say hello.
Joey Moss
One of Wayne’s special friends is Joe Moss, who has Downs Syndrome and can be difficult to understand at times.
Kevin handed Wayne his cell phone.
“Hi Gretz. How are you?” I asked when I recognized his voice.
“Joey!” Wayne exclaimed, thinking I was Moss. “How nice of  you to call.”
And, he was serious.
“Sorry, Gretz. It’s Tait.”
There was a long pause at the end.
“Well, you’ve been drinking, haven’t you? Have one for me.”
Wayne, Bill Comrie, Glen Sather and myself at the Northlands in 1999 in Edmonton



PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR PREVIOUS PARTS OF THE SERIES

Tuesday's Camburger: A hateful letter challenges us all




I have lived with cerebral palsy all my life, use a wheelchair, and  had the priceless support from my family and community around me as a young boy. That’s why the recent story of Brenda Millson and her grandson Max extremely disappoints me and has me very, very concerned. Max is 13 years old and has autism. Ms. Millson had an anonymous letter delivered to her in Newcastle, Ont. suggesting the family either leave the neighborhood or Max … well, you read the letter below.

This type of behavior is sad, on so many levels. It is also darn right scary for people with disabilities to have people who have such attitudes. Horrifying, in fact. And it lends itself to ask countless questions: what would cause someone to do this; do we need more public awareness campaigns, starting with government and the non-profit organizations representing disability, challenging and remember to include people with disabilities; do we need to provide better support systems to include people with disabilities in communities, creating even more understanding; do we take a deep look at ourselves and  re-examine our own beliefs; do we …?

I feel terrible for Max and his family. In an ever-increasing population it is indeed a shame we, as a society, have not embraced one another more—despite our abilities and disabilities. I am hopeful, though, this is an isolated incident will create discussion and education. In the end, the  community around Max will support him and give him  everything he need to succeed. I have faith it people. I speak from experience.


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Friday, 2 August 2013

The Friday Camburger: A sneaky move by DATS Administration


I smell somewhat of a rat with the Disabled Adult Transportation System and their new two-hour cancellation policy. Especially the timing of implementation: September 1. The civic election in Edmonton falls on Oct. 21 So I have to seriously wonder if they picked the Sept. 1 date so this wouldn’t become an election issue. And, from where I sit, it shows another form of disrespect and heavy handiness. Whoever made this decision should come forward and issue a public apology.

I sent mayoralty candidate Kerry Diotte an email Thursday to ask his stand on the new two-hour cancellation policy. Kerry took part of the Canadian Paraplegic Chair Leaders event and spent a day in a wheelchair. Here is Kerry’s response.

"I believe we must make DATS the best it can be and if there are issues, I,as a mayoral candidate, want to understand them and make sure we have a DATS system that truly works for the clients. I'd be eager to hear concerns and I want to see them addressed.
"Let anyone who takes DATS let me know how we can make this service better."

Contact Kerry through is website kerrydiotte.com

We will be asking other candidates for their responses in the upcoming weeks. For now, we’re at 153 names as of 11:30 a.m. Think we could reach 200 by the end of the day. Because, unlike DATS administration, we are not trying to fly under the radar.


Monday, 29 July 2013

The Monday Cam-burger: MISSION - 500 names on DATS petition by Friday (PLEASE CLICK ON THE HEADLINE FOR MORE!!)



We started a petition against the City of Edmonton Friday, asking them to stop a new policy for the Disabled Adult Transportation System starting Sept. 1. DATS is asking users to cancel their rides two hours before their scheduled pick up. The cancelation policy, as it stands now, is 30-minutes.

As a DATS user (I have cerebral palsy and use a wheelchair) I feel this takes independence and dignity away. I have been disabled my entire life and I feel the new two-hour policy could very well limit what I can and can’t do. I wonder, too, how people who are newly disabled and now use DATS. They need all the re-enforcements and positive policies to help them adjust to their new lifestyles to be contributing community members. I have to seriously wonder what the two-hour policy could do to their incentive.

The other thing concerning me is the lack of consultation DATS had with the users and why they would rely on research from Dallas and Seattle — not much snow there, folks — and enforce the a two-hour policy in Edmonton.

Let’s aim for 500 names by Friday to give the petition a boost. If we can make that statement we can go to the City of Edmonton. And you never know what could happen from there?




Friday, 26 July 2013

Tea with Tait: When a friend has a good day...(PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL POST)


I am really happy this evening for a friend of mine who is getting a chance to do something he loves to do. And, selfishly, I am thrilled he will be in town for a while, because, even though I don’t see him as often as I would like, I have been worried he might leave town. I’m talking about Mark Scholz. I met Mark in the fall of 1997 when he came to Edmonton from Halifax to Edmonton to co-host The Big Breakfast (remember that?) on A-Channel.  Mark and I started sharing time together and formed a great friendship. I can honestly say he is like a brother to me and we have had a few special times together.



Mark is a great drummer. My father played clarinet in a small “orchestra”  — Dad’s words — in Saskatchewan. Dad loved telling stories and Mark loved listening. When Dad passed away Mark was a pallbearer; when my mother passed on Mark and I drove to the funeral together. We’ve travelled together and have had many, many laughs together.

I also know Mark as a very talented broadcaster. I never understood why Mark and A-Channel parted ways. He free-lanced for CBC Radio for several years, but nothing permanent. Until this morning: that’s when 630 CHED announced Mark and J'lyn Nye will co-host the 630 CHED Afternoon News starting Aug. !9. The duo will fill in the 2 to 6 p.m. Time slot, while, in another move announced by the station, Dan Tencer and Andrew Grose have been given the keys to the 9 a.m. to 12 noon slot.

Mark is a dear friend. And any time a friend has a good day, so do I. 


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A petition against lack of communication with people with disabilities — revised Friday at 5:15 p.m.


We’ve started a petition today against the Disabled Adult Transportation System on their new policy, set to roll into gear Sept. 1. DATS is changing their cancellation policy from 30 minutes to two hours without any consultation with their users. We petitioning the policy — and the lack of communication DATS had with their users: they only shared the news in the DATS newsletter — after the policy was changed.

We’ve seen this lack of consultation rodeo before. In June, Alberta Health Services made wide sweeping changes to home care without — you guessed it — any consultation. In fact, (I know from personal experience as I am a home care user) when existing home care programs were asked to submit proposals, we were told if we called our MLA or the media our proposal could very well be disqualified. Why does the word bullying comes to mind?

Perhaps we’re seeing a trend. I think we need to make a statement and encourage all levels of government to have better consultation with people with disabilities before making significant changes. But, first things first: the DATS policy. If we get enough signatures by Aug. 1 on the lack of consultation with users on the new DATS cancellation policy we will deliver the petition to Edmonton City Council. One never knows: maybe City Council will reverse DATS cancellation policy. After all, we will have talked to people to get their input. 






Wednesday, 24 July 2013

DATS not the way to show respect when making changes



Brenda Lewis made a comment which sums up our Monday meeting with Deanna Crozier, director of the Disabled Adult Transportation System.
"I hate being belittled and having more and more restrictions that are demeaning and break my spirit,” Brenda, a long-time DATS user. We met with Deanna to discuss why DATS is implementing a new policy where users have to cancel their rides two hours in advance starting Sept. 1.

With the city of Edmonton growing as well as specific needs of some DATS users with kidney issues and users with dementia, DATS is trying to get more trips. And while that is fair, the way DATS conveyed the message is not. There were two very vague statements in two DATS newsletters: the most recent being 121 words explaining the policy is changing. There was no mention of DATS participation in a 2010 peer review by the American Public Transportation Association with representatives from Calgary, Ottawa, Seattle and Dallas since January 2011. I find it curious Edmonton does not have the same climate as, say, Seattle and Dallas, in the winter — yet they are implementing a two-hour cancellation policy as the U.S. cities.

This information certainly should have been shared with DATS users. Absolutely. On Wednesday morning in an e-mail exchange, Deanna said “more information will be added to the DATS page of the ETS website, an August e-Bulletin will be sent to e mail users, a “Cancellation Bulletin” will be distributed on the DATS vehicles in August, and additional information will be in the September, 2013.”

Mayor Stephen Mandel
The story has drawn the attention of mayor Stephen Mandel. His office contacted me Monday afternoon the Mayor will meet with DATS to ask how the policy was compacted to the public and “and how they plan to deal with the implications and inconvenience to DATS users.”

This story is far from over. I respectfully ask that you vote on the poll on the right side of the post. Because people with disabilities are being bullied by DATS and it must be stopped. I give the last word to Brenda Lewis.

"We are not second, third or fourth class citizens but you wouldn't know it by the disregard and disrespect we are shown fairly often. If they listened to their clientele, who have no other option for transportation they might find some common ground — but the fact is, they never listen. This is only the tip of the iceberg of deterioration."

Monday, 22 July 2013

A ray of sunshine from the Edmonton Eskimos


Jonathon Crompton

It’s a rainy, rainy Monday morning in Edmonton and with the Eskimos falling to 31-21 Saturday, there might not be much motivation to put things in gear as we trudge ahead for the week. The Eskimos were beat by the B.C. Lions and slid to 1-3 on the season. But there are a few positive things.

The Esks scored 21 points. That’s 18 more than a week ago when they fell 19-3 to the Lions. But there was something I saw and his name is Jonathan Crompton. He’s a quarterback who came in relief of Mike Reilly in the final few minutes of the fourth quarter. In his first drive, he got the hurry up offence on the go, and on his first drive, Crompton engineered a touchdown. Given the situation the performance was impressive. 

And so the question begs to be asked: could Crompton be the starting quarterback Thursday when the Eskimos visit the Allouettes in Montreal? I would really like to see that. It would be a wonderful challenge for Crompton, and it might give the Eskimos the shot in the arm they need. The team has struggled at the quarterback position, and, who knows? Crompton could be it — proving, yet again, heroes are not born, but made … even in the rain.



@camtait




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Saturday, 20 July 2013

The voice of Telus Field this weekend


Senior baseball players from eight Alberta teams are experiencing a once-in-a-lifetime experience this weekend at Telus Field. As the 2013 Blue Willow Invitational continues through Sunday evening, players will experience playing on a professional field, under the lights and precious time in dug-outs. But the players aren’t the only ones getting the real feel of what it’s like in the Big Leagues. Right, Jordan Schell?
Jordan Schell

Jordan has been the assistant coach of the Edmonton Blackhawks for more than 10 years. Under Blackhawk head coach Randy Gregg Jordan has seen his players, who are the same age as him, develop over the years. Jordan is a dynamic young man who follows his passion: that’s why he is with the Blackhawks this weekend — not as  a coach, but as the P.A. Announcer.

Randy says Jordan did a bang up job as the announcer last year when the tournament was held at Foote Field. He will be in the announcer’s booth in the Telus Field press box, and Randy says he has all the songs figured out for the Blackhawks when they walk up to bat from the clubhouse. It’s yet another example of Jordan being able to contribute and being a part of a team; and how he continues to treat being in a wheelchair due to muscular dystrophy as a characteristic of who he is … rather than a disability.

TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE

Saturday, July 20
Game 3 - 8 AM – Cold Lake Cardinals vs Heisler Cardinals
Game 4 – 10 AM – Rocky Red Dogs vs Fort McMurray Pirates
Game 5 – 12 PM – Loser Game 1 vs Loser Game 3
Game 6 - 2 PM – Loser Game 2 vs Loser Game 4
Sunday, July 21
Game 7 - 10 AM – Winner Game 1 vs Winner Game 3
Game 8 – 5:30pm – Winner Game 2 vs Winner Game 4
Game 9 – 7:30 PM – Championship Game – Winner Game 7 vs Winner Game 8




 @camtait

facebook.com/cam.tait


Thursday, 18 July 2013

The Cam-burger: Edmonton Prospects need to fold their tent at Telus Field



  The Edmonton Prospects don’t deserve to play at such a high-calibre as Telus Field. Because for the second consecutive season the Prospects are ending their 46-game schedule without their coach who began the year. Sometime last week Prospect manager Cameron McMullen left the team. We’re seeing a pattern here: last mid-July John Sutherland was fired or quit — doesn’t really matter, though — leading to a mass exit of players, forcing the team to forfeit a game. They had to scrounge and recruit enough players for their remaining games. I can’t help but wonder if some of the current Prospect players might be already thinking about high-tailing it before the end of the season. 

The team is laughable. Their owner Pat Cassidy isn’t going to fire the team’s manager, Tracy Neumann because (but sshh!!! —don’t tell anyone) they’re married. Wouldn’t that be fun over a family Sunday dinner? It’s not even funny how this baseball club has been run, and speaking of baseball, they can’t even play. After Wednesday’s loss, their Western Major Baseball League record is 6-31. Interestingly, they only won six games last season. 

 The Prospects are doing more harm than good: what kind of an atmosphere have they created for their players? How are they going to recruit when they they can’t coaches? How are they helping the baseball image in Edmonton, a city pining for a credible baseball team — or, for that matter, a baseball team at all? Let’s hope there’s professional baseball in Edmonton next year so local baseball fans don’t have to put up with the Edmonton Prospects.

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Monday, 27 May 2013

Body checking in minor hockey needs to be curbed



  To body check. Or not.
Hockey Canada voted Saturday to eliminate body checking until players reach bantam, at aged 13, and it has sparked much debate.
Don Cherry threw his two cents in recently on Coach’s Corner and, not surprisingly, he isn’t a fan. Cherry thinks Hockey Canada is heading down the wrong path. His partner in crime, Ron MacLean, asked an interesting question: should there be two leagues — one for body checking and the other without.
Cherry’s response: “House league is perfect.”

I think Hockey Canada has made the right decision and has a vision for the future of the sport in Canada. Our country and our world isn’t getting any smaller. Unless the National Hockey League expands — and, I certainly don’t see that — the number of kids making the NHL will remain the same: a very small per centage. And that very small number needs to learn the mechanics of body checking. Absolutely.

But for the mass majority — an increasing number— they could very well be interested in playing non-contact recreation hockey — without hitting. And we should be able to have programs in place for hockey in a safe environment. So is learning to hit really that important?

The game has changed. And we need to move with those changes.
Because the most important question on the way home from the rink shouldn’t be whether you won or lost. Rather, are you OK?

Talk to Tait  @camtait on Twitter   Email camtait@telus.net
Please give your feedback by clicking a box on the bottom

Talk to Tait  @camtait on Twitter   Email camtait@telus.net
Please give your feedback by clicking a box on the bottom