September 1, 2013
The Full Gamut
on child predators is not enough'
Submitted by Myrtle Macdonald, Chilliwack
An open letter to Chilliwack MP Mark
yes, cut down on prison population and also keep penalties high for
sexual predators. These high level generalities you sent out are too
vague to be useful or trustworthy.
Here are some sensible
workable solutions. Become a party that shows some real potential to
solve situations, as follows:
1. Hire more skilled
patrol officers who are skilled counselors, who have time to
reeducate criminals, and also do follow-up to prevent recidivism,
and get the offenders into education.
2. Reduce prison populations by keeping most of the
aboriginal people now in jail, out of prisons by having more
community counseling, education programs and individualized prompt
3. Do prevention by having preteen, teen and adult offenders
treated through community policing programs, such as the long term
successful one in Chilliwack. They and their family meet with the
victim and his/her family and work through how the offense affected
everyone, understanding what happened, apology, asking forgiveness,
restitution, and follow-up education etc.
4. Fund more post secondary colleges like at Seabird Island,
Agassiz. Another example: Back in the 1980s there were a highly
successful high school and post secondary education programs at Blue
Quills Native Education Centre at St. Paul Alberta. I was there
helping them get a school of nursing going. I also stimulated the
adding of science, math and English courses so that students could
get their first year of university education there for a choice of
several universities, to study engineering, medicine, dentistry,
forestry, basic sciences, nutrition, architecture, pharmacy,
veterinary, etc. Too many had ignored the sciences and aimed only at
elementary teaching, social work, child care and law.
I had 80 applications for nursing who were all short on enough
science, math and English to get into nursing. I sent most back to
their local high school, telling them what courses they needed. 22
studied the next year at Blue Quills post secondary, and only two
dropped out. The rest got their high school equivalency, some of the
mature students had enough basic knowledge already to finished three
years of high school in one, in an individualized program supporting
Distance Education in class. The one teacher helped every student.
At the end of the year they were qualified and accepted into schools
of nursing, pharmacy, etc. The two drop-outs sorted out personal
child care issues and came back the next fall. I call that 100%
5. Raise self-esteem by having first class recycling programs
for garbage, refuse and broken down cars on the reserves. If a
community looks run down, the youth make it worse by doing vandalism
6. Provide well-built and maintained homes, water supply,
sewage system, side walks, flower borders, vegetable gardens and
parks, their pride of ownership goes up and so does their behavior.
7. Certificates in any of these practical skills will help
them get a job on or off the reserve. See the long list of courses
taught at Seabird Island. It's thrilling.
8. Reopen the detox centre in Chilliwack General Hospital.
When addicts are referred to a distant location they often do not
get there. If they do, they lose contact with caring significant
others, etc. Aim at closer to home. Offenders need to learn how to
reenter their old community with support, to maintain sobriety and
to develop the better relationships available with families,
classmates, etc. They need to overcome in the familiar setting.
Among strangers there are no real long term friendships, no sense of
9. Follow-up after detoxification needs much better staffing
to not only maintain sobriety but to get an education.
10. Speed up the court system by better staffing and more
judges. Having to wait years for settlements is very demoralizing
for everybody. It makes me ashamed of my beloved country Canada.
Please forward this letter to the Prime Minister and to Ministers
who can do something to accomplish all of the above. Vague goals
however lofty they sound, are useless. I will not vote for such a
About Myrtle Macdonald
M.Sc. Applied (in Nursing
Research and Education), McGill University.
Myrtle is a retired
registered nurse living in Chilliwack now working with the local
chapter of the BC Schizophrenia Association. Myrtle was a street
nurse for many years in places like India and Montreal. She turned 92
in June and
is one of the Voice's most popular contributors.
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