The Trust Menu: A constructive response to broken trust and damaged relationships

Sometimes, you come across opposing politicians exhibiting civil constructive dialogue and you go, wow – I didn’t know that was possible. From a recent exchange in Canada’s parliament, involving members Charlie Angus and Sean Fraser (Minister of Housing), on the topic of funding for homeless: Now, if we could get the same level of civil […]

How going “gender-free” is changing the Victoria Contra Dance community

This past Saturday night, I was at my local Victoria Contra Dance, dancing “gender-free”. Aside from the pandemic years, I’ve been attending these dances for 15+ years. When I go, I’m there solely as a dancer. In earlier times, I was part of a Celtic band that played for the dancers. Miss those days, yet […]

Bridging the communications gap in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Ethiopians love coffee. They incorporate coffee into important ceremonies. They sell it around the world. The are the GOAT of coffee, the original origin of coffee, or so the legend goes. One of my favourite local coffee suppliers, Level Ground Trading, sell a fair-trade Ethiopian roast that I adore. Ethiopians produce great coffee. Period. I […]

Field notes on advocating for low-income seniors

Mabel is direct in her communications. Aged 67, of low-income, her tenancy at-risk, and loaded with all sorts of health concerns, Mabel leaves no doubts. She isn’t ready to give up. She wants to maintain her independence for as long as possible. She just needs help doing that. Seniors’ Entitlement Services Mabel’s attitude typifies that […]

Qatar: The world’s go-to mediator

Qatar is at the centre of efforts to mediate the Hamas-Israel conflict. How does a country of less than 3 million people, Qatar, become the worlds’ go-to mediator? This week’s Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Rear Vision podcast provides an explainer, and then some: Qatar has become the world’s go-to mediator, but what’s in it for them? […]

Conflict in my neighbourhood and on the high seas

This picture below is from a feature article in (UK’s) The Guardian last July. This is where I live. The breakwater walkway on the left side of the picture is a 10 minute walk from my James Bay neighbourhood residence in Victoria.  Across the waters rise up the Olympic Mountains. A beautiful landscape, except… The […]

Getting to Yes

Anniversaries abound this week. Today is July 4. In the “United States of America” it’s their Independence Day. July 1 was my country’s national anniversary, at least from the settler perspective. More personal for me is that today is my wedding anniversary. And, my partner and I are still together after 35 years! No matter […]

Committee of Care – a collective response

Not long ago an old collaborator friend contacted me. He wanted my assistance. He really is an “old” friend, being far along his life journey, in his 8th decade. Life had suddenly taken an especially rough turn for him. He knew I was now engaged in seniors advocacy work. I was able to provide him […]

10 things I’ve learned from facilitating family caregiver support groups

For the past 8 years, once a month, sometimes twice per month, I’ve been facilitating support groups for the Family Caregivers of BC . For the first 4 years those groups were co-ed groups. For the past 4,  I’ve been facilitating a men-only group.  Since the start of the pandemic the men’s group has been virtual, […]

Reflections on virtual co-facilitation of MERIT workshops in Mongolia

I was suppose to spend the month of March this year on assignment in Mongolia, with the Canadian Executive Service Organization (CESO), as part of the MERIT (Mongolia: Enhancing Resource Management through Institutional Transformation) project. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, it never happened. Fortunately, though, the assignment turned into a virtual one, getting done in June and […]