The Straight Goods

Our Children are Watching

Posted in Uncategorized by Marlene Wells on June 20, 2013
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I’ve wanted to write about the ‘bullying’ epidemic for quite some time now.  It has long been a cause that I have spoken about with various people in the community.  But this week it seems much more of an emergency.  Few of us have not been touched by the story of Rehtaeh Parsons.  While the case seems to be in extreme in so many ways, it is sadly the story of all too many of our young people today.

First let me qualify what I mean by extreme.  The mismanagement of the case by the police, the schools and mental health professionals, seems to be extreme mismanagement.  The alleged actions of the four boys are quite possibly the worst actions that can be perpetrated against any one, and are extreme in that way.  The method of the bullying was intense and wide spread, a very extreme way to torment any person.  And sadly, the ends that befell a beautiful young woman are certainly extreme.

This stuff only happens in the movies, right?  Wrong.  They are happening all around us, every day. On the surface it seems that our society is doing all that it can to protect our young people from bullying. There is a no tolerance policy for violence in the schools.  Kids are talked to about bullying and what they can do to help prevent bullying. There is a day for our kids to wear pink to raise awareness about bullying. There are many efforts by school groups to offer peer counselling and support to kids who are bullied.  I’m sure there are many more that could be listed.

But is this enough?  Obviously not, or things like what happened to Rehtaeh Parsons would not be happening.  When you think of the efforts being made, they are all aimed at our children.  Most of the bullying cases that we hear of are perpetrated by children, against children, so it would seem that teaching kids would be the right place to start.  It very well may be, but where are we teaching those kids about tolerance and acceptance for others, despite differences?  Where do we teach these kids about empathy and dignity for those people who may not fit into the ‘mould’?  How do we grow a better stock of citizen so that these things don’t continue to happen in generations to come?  Who is responsible for this?

It is a long held belief that children learn what they live.  Another is that actions speak louder than words.   What does that mean here?   It means children learn this behaviour somewhere.  They learn it from the adults in their life.  Parents, coaches, teachers, baby sitters, and so many others, have a hand in teaching all of our children, both from what they say, and in their actions. As the adults, we all need to be aware of our actions, all the time, even when we think that the children are not watching.  How adults speak of one another, treat one another, and represent this to our children, affects them in profound ways.  Kids pick all of this up; they are learning their behaviour somewhere.

As adults it is incumbent upon us to act like adults, always.  We must practice tolerance and acceptance toward one another, our children are watching. As adults we must treat our peers with respect and dignity, always, our children are watching.  As adults, it is only by doing this that we can hope to grow a better stock of citizens.

Who is responsible for teaching tolerance, empathy, respect and dignity to our children?  I am.  You are.  Every one of us is.   Our children are watching.



!!! Action Alert !!! Green MLAs will be elected in BC, with your help!

Posted in Uncategorized by Marlene Wells on May 9, 2013
Tags: , , ,
I am trying to help drum up some support for the BC Greens in some spare time.  With the BC Elections rules that are binding, it is quite illegal to use Federal resources to assist the provincial Campaign in the province.  Because of this I am doing this ask as a volunteer, and I’m asking you to volunteer too.  For this reason I am using my Blog space to ask for your help.
On May 14th, we have our best chance ever to elect Green MLAs in BC. They need your help to reach out to voters by phone in key ridings. No matter where you live, you can be part of the team that changes BC politics and shows the whole country that we can elect Greens in British Columbia.


This will also be very helpful to the GPC because it will prove that Greens are serious contenders and a real choice for the Canadian Electorate.  Remember when the NDP won multiple seats for the first time?  How about the Reform Party, or the Canadian Alliance?  This is OUR time, and we need your help!

We have three excellent candidates in ridings with strong Green support: leader Jane Sterk, climate scientist Andrew Weaver, and former municipal councillor Adam Olsen. But we need your help to reach out to their voters.


1. To volunteer for Adam Olsen’s campaign, contact:

Marilyn Redivo


Call: 778-351-0404

2. To volunteer for Andrew Weaver’s campaign, contact:
Evan Pivnick
phone: 778 679-4930

3. To volunteer for Jane Sterk’s Campaign, contact:
Lorraine Tanner
778 265 9230


When you make these calls you are not trying to convince people to vote Green, you are simply finding out if the WILL vote Green.  This is important on Election Day because we can call those who said they are going to vote Green to make sure they get out to vote.  🙂  You never have to convince anyone of anything, or talk policy, or BC Politics…  you just identify them as a Green voter.


If you’ve phone canvassed with Grimes before, you know that it’s easy with our online system – you can call from home whenever you have time and you don’t even need to dial a phone. We’ll walk you through making calls, give you a script to make it easy, and we’ll always be there to help.


If 1000 people make 40 calls each, we can call every voter that we can reach in these three key ridings – Victoria-area ridings that Elizabeth May and Donald Galloway have proven are full of Greens.


There is just under one week until election day! Now is the time to be making calls.  Together we can do this!  

Please pass this email along to your contacts and friends.  We need to get this message out now, and we need your help for that too.


Thanks for reading this entire post!  Please share it on your Facebook so more people can help!


Marlene Wells

Nova Scotia

Central Nova Green Party

Marine Atlantic to get funding, on the Cons terms

Posted in Uncategorized by Marlene Wells on March 5, 2010

Ok, so the common theme here is: when I am poisoned about something I will write a blog post.  Today it is the budget.  While there are many things that the budget failed miserably on, including environment, the arts, poverty, and other things that the ‘big boys’ don’t have to worry about, the funding that is proposed for Marine Atlantic is the thing that really boiled my pee.

According to CBC NL, Liberal MP Gerry Byrne, who represents Humber-St.Barbe-Baie Verte, in western Newfoundland, says “people in his province won’t be happy when they hear where the $175 million promised in the federal budget for the Marine Atlantic ferry service is going.”

No, I guess they won’t!  And neither will any of the Newfoundland natives that return to the province every year by ferry.  Add the tourists, and you’ve spawned a recipe for financial disaster for any business on the island that relies on tourism!

Apparently most of the money will be spent on leasing and retrofitting the two sister ships of a vessel, the Atlantic Vision, that is already in service from Port-Aux-Basques to North Sydney.

As a person who uses this ferry service, at least 4 times per year, I feel confident saying that investing in two more ships that are laid out like the Atlantic Vision is a $175 million dollar mistake.

Having had the opportunity to travel on the Vision a few times this year, I can tell you it is a VERY nice ship.  The decor is lovely, the buffet is delicious and the cabins are beautiful, they even have down filled duvets!  But the Atlantic Vision ferry does not offer the adequate seating or accommodations to suit the budget of most families that would use the service.  Cabins are available and very comfortable, if you are willing to pay the price (130.00/night), adding 260.00 bucks to a round trip.  In the end, if you can not afford a cabin you are relegated to sitting upright in a dinner chair for 6-8 hours, with NO option.  Keep in  mind, seats are scarce.  And the buffet is non-negotiable, you pay a  flat fee, around $15/person, and that is the only option.
This could, and will, change the travel plans of those who can not afford to fly to and from the province.  They will not be able to afford to travel by ferry either.
The Atlantic Vision has also had many issues docking in Port-aux-Basques, N.L. On one occasion it ran aground. On another, its hull was punctured when it hit the dock.  The harbour is simply not big enough to handle the jumbo ship.  There have also been a couple of on board fires in the last year.
There are  2 other ships in service on the Gulf, the M.V. Smallwood and M.V. Caribou.  Both jumbo ships in their own right.   They both offer large seating areas distributed throughout the ship across multiple decks. Cabins and Dormitory Sleepers are also available. There are options for everyone’s budget – the cabins provide the most comfort at the highest cost (130.00 for a 4-berth, night crossing) , while dorm sleepers are cheep alternative (~$20.00), and seats are plentiful and FREE! 
I have also travelled on both of these ships, too  many times to count, actually.  Having the alternative of a cheap bunk is usually how we go.  There’s no need to pay 130 bucks for a cabin, it’s only for 6-8 hours, and you don’t get a good sleep anyway, cabin, or no cabin.  It saves us $140.00 per visit, which we usually spend in some shops around the Stephenville area.

So, where does that all end?  Investing $175 million dollars in two more ferries that are:

  1. more expensive to travel on;
  2. not as comfortable; 
  3. less reliable;
  4. ill-suited to the needs of those tax payers who actually use the ferry service.
  5. going to lead to decreased tourism


The CBC reports that Federal Transportation Minister John Baird wasn’t available for comment on Thursday evening.  Make no wonder! He wouldn’t have a clue what he was talking about!  I don’t know for sure, but I might just place a financial wager on the fact that he had never traveled to Newfoundland by ferry. 

I don’t know that I have the right answer, but these two sister ships to the Vision are not it.  There MUST be a way to accommodate more than one brand of traveller.  Putting 2 more ships of this caliber on the run between NS and NL will not serve the travelling tax-payer, who is subsidising this service, well at all.

Don’t even get me started on the names that are proposed for these ferries!  The Mila and Brian Mulroney and the Jean and John Crosbie.  Ask most Newfoundlanders and they will most likely say that there are better names for either vessel!  How about the M.V. Newfoundland? The M.V. Labrador?

In light of a possible loss of words in the Anthem, The M.V. True North and the M.V. Strong and Free?  That kind of goes nice with The M.V. Atlantic Vision.  Just please, don’t let them be sister ships to the Vision!

There you have it, The Straight Goods.

Oh my, where to start!

Posted in Uncategorized by Marlene Wells on January 10, 2010

… Prorogation… What a great shelf life this story could have, but not if the Conservatives have their way!

So, Iggy returns home just in time to make a big announcement about the state of democracy in Canada. It’s his big moment, all the cameras are on him… what does he say? “Canadians don’t want an election on this issue.”

What? Are you kidding me? Iggy, you could have made the cons sweat for five minutes at least! The shelf life of the story is getting shorter and shorter by the announcement.

But, the Libs have a new ad campaign set to go tomorrow. A radio and print campaign, a small-budget ad campaign according to the Cons, aimed at keeping the pressure on about prorogation. Yeay! I’m glad that the Libs are doing something! They are afterall one of the two loudest public voices…. (when are the NDP going to take a stand?)

The Liberals campaign is based on Parliament being closed. It begs the question ‘What is Steven Harper trying to cover up?’ States the facts, Harper closed parliament when he was questioned about the detainees, and that it was done under the cover of a New Years Eve, hoping that Canadians would not notice. While strictly speaking this should be seen as an attack ad, still it is a logical question, what is Steven Harper trying to cover up?

Anyway, It didn’t take long for the PMO to respond, and typically downplay the issue. (How is it that pretend they can pretend they didn’t do anything wrong? And not only do they expect to get away with it, they do!) Their rebuttal goes like this:

~Michael Ignatieff, unseen in Canada until Thursday night, when he arrived on a flight from Europe after an extended vacation, has launched a small-budget ad campaign intended to distract attention from his lengthy absence.

As if PM Harper doesn’t run and hide sometimes! It’s called vacation. Now, I would have to agree that a long distance reply could easily be arranged in this age of communications.

~The ad campaign renews the Ignatieff Liberals’ claim about a “coverup” of “torture” of Taliban prisoners.

Claims a cover up? Me thinks that the PMO better get with the times. Are they trying to say that top officials in the Red Cross are liars? That someone in Peter MacKay’s office, at the time, just hit delete when the message came in that there was torture going on? Shouldn’t that person be fired? Well, I guess that would be hard, because then you would have to fire everyone who knew the truth. Alternatively you would have to fire the Minister responsible. Peter is not going down for Harper’s stupidity! So we are left with the Prime Minister leading us to think this is something that the Libs made up. Humph….. what an idiot. We’re not that stupid, are we?

~Mr. Ignatieff persists in this attack even though the allegation that torture was covered up represents a direct attack on the men and women of Canada’s Armed Forces.The Ignatieff Liberals like to pretend that their wild allegation bypasses the soldiers who captured and handed over Taliban prisoners — but that’s just not logical.

No Mr. Harper. This is not an attack on the brave men and women fighting for something called DEMOCRACY, this is a pointed accusation of your governments cover up of a serious human rights violation. Why do you continue to try to deflect this? And on the backs of the soldiers you are hiding behind…. shame on you!

~The rest of Mr. Ignatieff’s ad campaign is more of the same — idle chatter that is out of touch with the real priorities of Canadians — including Canadians’ number one priority, the economy.

Out of touch with real Canadians, that’s funny! Real Canadians are concerned about a lot of things… they include unemployment, health care, education, climate change, proroguement, and yes, even social justice! Get with the times, economy is last years story.

What choice are we left with?

Jack is nowhere to be seen, doing a great job of hiding until the dust settles. Not an option in times like these. My vote doesn’t go there.

The Liberals have failed to capitalize on an amazing opportunity to turn the tables on the Cons. COme on Iggy, jump in the drivers seat and take it for a spin, even if you don’t intend to buy it. Telling the Cons they have no intention of calling an election is the worst poker move in the history of Canadian politics! My vote doesn’t go there either.

The Conservatives… well, haven’t you been paying attention? They are so far from getting my vote that I won’t even bother to say it.

Green. I know I’ll vote Green. Vote for the future, the past is a mess.

My First Blog (Updated!)

Posted in Uncategorized by Marlene Wells on January 7, 2010

Hello blogosphere!

This is my first blog. I have never claimed to be a very eloquent writer, in fact, I would say that writing is a weakness. However, a friend has convinced me to start a blog. Let me state openly, my writing style will be just as the name of my blog suggests: The Straight Goods.

Anyone who knows me knows that I ‘shoot from the hip’. I am a no-nonsense girl. Some might even say that I am comical, especially when I am mad! I don’t have all the answers, but I like to explore the questions. I try to be open-minded, but sometimes I can be stubborn. I am a good friend and I have the capacity for forgiveness. I will listen to the opposition, but I will stand my ground when I feel it is warranted.

Above all, I speak the truth as I see it, and I will call you out if I know you are not speaking the truth. In this era of cyber communication there is not much room for ‘mincing’ words, and to be frank, I don’t have time to ‘pretty it up’. I am a married mom, who volunteers in my community, my church and my son’s school. I am a professional, educated, modern, house wife. Doesn’t leave a lot of time for fine tuning what amounts to the truth. (Update: I am now the Atlantic Organizer for the Green Party of Canada! But I’m still doing all that other stuff too, so even less time for things like ‘watching what I say, and how I say it!)

So, I hope that you will read, ponder, and laugh when you find yourself reading The Straight Goods. Be patient, I know that there are those of you who will jump all over me straight away, but I will, none the less, proceed into a world I know nothing about, and hope that I enjoy the ride that it takes me on!

What a great way to start the new year! Happy 2010 to one and all!