If you don’t like this idea, blame Bob Paterson. I got it from him.
If you’re in the Edmonton business community — specifically, advertising — you will know Bob: the fiery redhead, with the big laugh, eight or nine — maybe even 18 — things going on all at once, but still sharing time to say hello and make you feel like you are the most important thing in his ultra busy day.
Bob has a huge heart. He runs the Postmedia advertisement department and joined the Edmonton Sun in 1986.
He’s taught me many things in just the three years we’ve been friends. One of the most important one has been three words.
(Please click the pic for the rest of Bob’s inspiring lesson)
My newspaper mentor, hero and the gentleman who co-authored my book, Jim Taylor, has given me wonderful advice over 30 years. One, he stressed in that voice that tells you he’s not messing around, is writing about family members.
“Only do it when you absolutely have to, said Jim, who penned more than 7,500 newspaper columns and radio scripts. “But, for heaven’s sake, don’t make a habit of it.”
While I respect and understand Jim’s point, I’m going to break the rule. Because I want to make a meaningful point.
My wife and I have three grandsons: Nicholas, 14, Christopher 2, and Matthew who just turned one.
I’m sure Christopher and Matthew and I will experience some pretty cool things as they get older — just like Nic and I have.
I’m a pretty proud grandfather of all the great things Nic does: student, hockey player, soccer player, karate, the first-ever junior conductor on Fort Edmonton’s iconic steam train, and voicing Challenge Insurance radio commercials for the last four years.
We’re adding another line on his resume: participate in a documentary film on disability.
Say hello to my good friend Heidi Janz, a noted playwright who is now a film writer and director, with Eva Cholmers. Their first film, We Regret To Inform You, is about Heidi — who lives with cerebral palsy — and her journey with the federal government over benefits she rightly deserved. The film opened some eyes and, more importantly, minds. It also won awards.
“Eva and I had just begun talking about whether or not we wanted to pursue doing a second short documentary together, given that our first film had garnered quite a bit of attention and won a couple of major awards,” Heidi said. “We both figured that, if we did want to collaborate of a second film, it would probably be wise to do it while we were ‘on a roll.’
So Not a One-Way Street was thought of and went into production with funding from Bravo Fact.
Heidi’s idea: to tell stories of people with disabilities as caregivers of other family members who aren’t disabled.
I live with cerebral palsy but I’ve been blessed to be able to share with Nic.
Heidi and Eva picked three families to show how people with disabilities are providing a daily role of caring for others. Nic and I were honoured and humbled to be asked to be one of the families featured.
Through the co-operation of Kevin Shagiec at Challenge Insurance and Jonathon Hector of Corus Radio, Heidi and Eva took a film crew into 630 CHED and filmed Nic voicing a commercial.
They also have footage of Nic and I in out condo editing video, a hobby we both have.
Now, it’s showtime. The premier of “Not a One-Way Street” hits the big screen Sept. 28 — next Thursday — from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. on the U of A campus. Following the film there will be a panel discussion. You never know who might be on the panel.
“If seeing this film causes even one viewer to rethink their assumption that people with disabilities can ONLY be recipients of care, and NEVER caregivers, I feel like we’ll have accomplished what we set out to do in making this film,” said Heidi.
This is it! The last chance you have to nominate me to run for mayor. Today! Here’s the column I wrote in the Edmonton Sun in June.
Maybe,the time is right. And, I’m ready.
Ad after having a little chat with our son and grandson Monday night from a four-on-four hockey game, the idea seem to get more and more steam.There is a problem, though, and it’s a significant one: I really like DonIveson, not only as mayor, but a man. He’s also a friend.My heart of hearts tells me I shouldn’t oppose him in any way, but there’s no time like the present.
Mind you, I owe him one.
You see, when the Edmonton Oilers were in their playoff run in April, Don and I both had beards. Playoff beards, you understand. If we were in a contest, he won hands down. No question.
So the timing is right to run against Don for mayor of Edmonton.
After all, I have experience in politics. In Grade 9, I was junior high vice-president at Glenrose School Hospital and then, two years later, I was senior high vice-president.
I’ve had other positions, including sitting as a member of the Premier’s Council on the Status of Persons with Disabilities. My campaign manager is my 14-year-old grandson Nicholas because we’ve decided to go after the youth vote. In fact, we are having policy meetings to see if lowering the voting age to 16 might sway our vote our way.
Who knows? Maybe we can figure out a way people can use Instagram to vote. I’ll get Nic on that right now.
I have cerebral palsy and can’t walk, which will help our campaign slogan. “Don’t wait. Vote Tait, a mayor who can sit down with anyone.” I’ve already got a few items on my platform.
I know. I know. You’ve heard it before, buy I promise to lower taxes. You see, I use a wheelchair so we won’t need a mayor’s chair. We can sell it at an auction sale and take all the proceeds and put them in the city’s bank account.
Lower taxes? You bet.
Having a disability, I’m going to try to give Edmontonians with disabilities more independence and dignity. Not only we will have bike lanes, we’ll have wheelchair lanes — in all areas of the city. We will introduce a solar power program under the roads to make the wheelchair lanes heated in the winter so they can be used year-round.
We will also free install Wifi service in all Disabled Adult Transit System vehiclels so passengers can work or play on their hand-held devices on extra long trips. The password: arewethereyet2020?
And speaking of public transportation, we’ll introduce a new LRT system from Edmonton to Vegreville to promote tourism and multi-culturalism.
We also plan to introduce summer school at Fort Edmonton Park so students get an understanding of the rich, true history about our city.
And, much more.
We have a lot more work to do so I have to cut this short.
I think I have everything in tact, but there is one thing that, quite frankly, will determine if I can in fact wheel for mayor.
The nomination fee. Can I put it on my cedit card? And. if I don’t win, is it refundable?
Billy had his first cigarette when he was 13 and climbed up Mrs. Baker’s tall oak tree. He was so dizzy from smoking he couldn’t get down for three hours and his dad had to call Fire Chief Sparks to get him down. Billy’s dad made him recite Hamlet because of this. Billy fell in love with Shakespeare and got a history degree at Stratford. Billy’s a real news hound and loves matching a Shakespeare quote with a news story. By the way, Billy hasn’t had a ciggy-puff-puff since.