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26 klicks from the Quebec border

Saturday, August 21st, 2010

there is an Ontario as different from that of the GTA as Ontario is from BC.

The 400 km/5 hr trip, from the outskirts of the GTA, transports one into a vastly different region that is culturally & socially foreign from the self proclaimed Center of the Universe.

People converse in 2 languages, switching back & forth, often in the course of a conversation with the same person. Reminiscent of my travels. Meal prices are reasonable, people friendlier. Truckers & the vast majority of drivers, follow the speed limit.

Farmers even drive their tractors to the local truck stop for breakfast!

Didn’t fully appreciate how different, from the rest of Canada, the area + the province of Quebec was, when I grew up there. Just considered it normal & from my travels, came to realise it is, in most of the world!

Of course as soon as it becomes necessary to deal with the bureaucracy the reality of being in a rip-off Canadian province returns in spades (doesn’t matter which province in this bankrupt country when it comes to usurious fees). An example being charged $42.50 for a photocopy of a single page accident report from the OPP, can you say “Highway Robbery”!

Gee it’s amazing what

Monday, August 16th, 2010

a threat to call your local MPP on the hospital’s satisfaction website accomplishes!

While looking for the hospital administrator’s contact info I came across a place where you could comment on anything related to service & patient care. Not really expecting anything but figuring it was worth a try I aired my grievances with a note that if I didn’t receive a response that day I would be forced to contact my MPP.

I was pleasantly surprised when a couple hours later the phone rang, the hospital rep said she was looking into my concerns & I would have some answers shortly.

Lo & behold in less than 3 hours I had answers to all my questions, arrangements had been made for mothers transfer back to the retirement home’s nursing care section, the next day + she had been given the green light to travel.

Of course it wasn’t that straight forward as there was some bureaucratic BS to wade through, but then superfluous simple serpents must, on occasion, do something to justify their jobs. However all went smoothly as I figured out how that game was played years ago.

The next afternoon when I went to visit & assure myself that all was well, I find her in her old room, where there is next to no supervision instead of the wing agreed upon in discussions with the hospital.

Actually fate played a helping hand in resolving this situation as the head nurse of that section turned out to be an former driver of mine, who had moved on to a better job. So that when I voiced my concern saying that their nurse agreed with me, there was instant compliance!

Some times it’s a matter of stumbling on the right place to air your grievances & others it’s knowing the right people to obtain the appropriate care in Canada’s wondrous,  socialist health (un)care system!

Now with the care problems stabilised it’s time for a mini road trip, in Mr Checker, to Eastern Ontario, where I can practise my French & get some real Poutine & couch surf at a friends. Then on the way home, stop at mother’s lawyer’s office to complete some paper work so we can squeeze some moula out of her insurance company for her injuries resulting from the accident. Next stop will be at her TD Canada Trust bank branch to straighten out the POA & setup online banking. I absolutely refuse to have any dealings with the morons at the Bowmanville branch,  other than file a complaint over their incompetence!

With things pretty well taken care of on this end, it’s just wait until September to see what happens on the El Salvador end!


Tuesday, August 10th, 2010
“I wake up but can’t seem to move in the bed, strange wonder what’s wrong? On further inspection it appears that I’m tied to the bed. How can this be & where am I? Last thing I remember is being arrested ... [Continue reading this entry]

On Hold

Monday, August 2nd, 2010
Everything is in a holding pattern at the moment!! And life would be boring if it wasn’t for the occasional skirmish with the quacks, licensed as doctors to practise in Ontario. It seems they only learned 3 words during their schooling: 1) ... [Continue reading this entry]