Never Forget

I am the first artist-in-residence at the Doucet-Hennessy house in Bathurst, New Brunswick. My new exhibit opens to the public on Wednesday, July 3

By the way, I strongly identify as Irish. Yes, technically I am Canadian and one might suppose that today I would be celebrating Canada Day. However, for reasons I’ll not go into at present, I prefer to celebrate the Heritage passed down to by my ancestors, the Hennessys and O’Tooles among others.

The Don’t Forget You’re Irish art exhibit opens to the public July 3. Drop by Tuesday to Saturday for a cup of tea and a chat at the historic Doucet-Hennessy House in Bathurst, New Brunswick. If you play Celtic or Acadian music or any sort of traditional folk music, we hope to have informal music sessions on Saturdays from 2-4. Bring along your acoustic instrument and join us. Music workshops are in the planning for September.

This exhibit is open to the public from July 3 – 28 in Bathurst, New Brunswick. More about the exhibit in this press release:”>Irish Canadian family settled on Bay of Chaleur in Canada.


As someone who was so often reminded never to forget about being Irish … Even these several generation later, I look across and wonder what it might have been like had my ancesters stayed in Ireland and not made a new life in Canada.

Would I even exist and if so what would my life be like in Ireland.

Today I think I found a little glimmer …

This might be a good model for New Brunswick, perhaps even all of Canada.


Yes … We know …
New Brunswick is bankrupt
Or so they say
No way no way
Naught left to pay
Shall we then move
To the UK

My take on this is …
What take might that be
Well now I admit
There are doubts within
Where is your solidarity
Have you no pride
Sink you so low

The bridges we built
Have fallen away
Our generation is lost
Have we nothing to say
Nothing resounding
Except to demand
A fair chance to all

Scrap that old system
Scrap it I say
What’s fair about it
When some have free dental
And others must pay
When jobs are dependent
Upon who you know
When some work their ass off
While others take dole
If the system you have
Is so perfect, so good
I’m sure you’ll agree
Then spread it out Further
Apply it to all
Giving basic income a chance
Let everyone in
Her him you and me.

The truth they say will set you free
Was it truth from my Nanny
My Irish-Scots Nanny who said to me
Never want to be an artist
An artist’s life
Is much too hard
After years of struggle
… Yes Nanny … I agree

Voice of THE POOR

The poor? Who are they?
Does government listen to their voice?
Does anyone listen?
Poverty reduction? What is that?
Who decides what the poor want and need?

Does that Canadian homeless man care that Canada has committed to bringing hundreds of thousands of refugees into this country? Will his life be any better as a result?

Where does that Canadian homeless man go for a meal on Sunday when the local food bank soup kitchen is closed?

Does that Canadian homeless man get invited in anywhere to share a Christmas dinner?

What will that homeless man do during the coming winter months when it gets too cold to walk the streets all day long?

Continue reading

4 Years Later

St Peter don’t you call me
Cause I can’t go
I sold my soul
To the company store.

So … What has happened in the four years since …

(OTTAWA) – Canada Without Poverty today publicly released its pre-budget submission to the House of Commons Finance Committee, for comment and discussion in advance of hopeful opportunity to have discussion with the Committee this fall. The release is also in advance of two major events of Canada Without Poverty at the end of September, in part to increase public discussion on economic and social rights such as the right to food, housing and social security.
“Our recommendation is simple yet significant,” said Rob Rainer, Executive Director. “That is for the federal government to set targets and timelines for poverty reduction and elimination and to study all fiscal mechanisms, federal as well as intergovernmental, available to help reach these targets and lay out options for the committee’s consideration and consultation. This aligns with the ideas of Senators Segal and Eggleton as presented within the landmark 2009 Senate report calling for stronger federal action on poverty.”
In its letter to James Rajotte, the Conservative Chair of the Finance Committee, Canada Without Poverty connected six dots:
That Canada’s economic recovery and prosperity, and the strength of its state of public finance, depend heavily on the health and well being of its people;
That poverty – the overarching determinant of health and a critical determinant of crime – undermines the nation’s economic and fiscal well being;
That sick people work less, die younger and draw heavily on health care systems;
That desperate people sometimes turn to crime, drawing heavily on criminal justice systems;
That success in health promotion and in crime reduction will strengthen Canada’s economy and improve public finance; and
That a critical key for this success is poverty reduction and elimination.
Canada Without Poverty submitted a further hypothesis, that people who face poverty combined with other factors such as addiction, mental illness and discrimination, and who are mixed with those inclined to inflict evil on these victims, equals crime.
“The government need not start at square one,” added Harriett McLachlan, the charity’s board member for Québec. “Major reports on poverty and its solutions, like that of Senators Segal and Eggleton in 2009 and of the HUMA Committee in 2010, set the stage for action. A process can begin now to set targets and timelines. Fiscal mechanisms could include expanding on Canada’s existing system of basic income guarantees which more than anything have reduced poverty somewhat, notably for seniors.”
“As we see from the life of the late Jack Layton, parliamentarians have the opportunity to leave a magnificent legacy,” said Mr. Rainer. “And so we invoke lyrics by Rush, one of Canada’s legendary bands: And the men who hold high places must be the ones who start: closer to reality, closer to the heart.”
“Canada Without Poverty welcomes comments and suggestions from all Canadians,” said Ms. McLachlan. “Minister Flaherty recently said it and he is right: Canada is a leader and Canada can be a leader of all good things.”
Canada Without Poverty’s pre-budget consultation submission is available online at Its special events in Ottawa at the end of September – timed to help mark 40 years of anti-poverty activism by Canada Without Poverty – are Get Up, Stand Up: An Evening of Insight and Inspiration (September 29, 2011, Carleton University) and Will Ackerman and Friends in Concert: A Benefit for Canada Without Poverty (September 30, 2011, Dominion-Chalmers United Church).
*For the French version of the press release click here. To read the full federal budget submission click here for English and French.
For more information on Canada Without Poverty’s pre-budget consultation submission and associated events contact:
Tony Macerollo
Strategic and Communications Advisor
Canada Without Poverty
(613) 795-1423 (cell);