Monthly Archives: December 2011

Happy New Year!

To all that have been reading Red Heart Blue Sign since it was launched in October this year, thank you.

While being the PC Party Candidate in Ottawa Centre in the Provincial Election provided me with my first opportunity to speak out on what I believe in, Red Heart Blue Sign has allowed me to continue to speak to you about Ontario, the City of Ottawa and issues that affect us all.

The best to each of you for 2012, thank you for making 2011 a memorable year for me.

Rob

Collective Benefits of Ending Homelessness

I was heartened to read in two separate accounts of the At Home/Chez Soi project that the Mental Health Commission of Canada is leading (Huffington Post: http://tiny.cc/cpdkn. Ottawa Citizen http://tiny.cc/qcxuy ).  Both pieces indicated that the project was on target to prove what all affordable housing providers know, it costs society less to keep a person in a home than on the street.

In Ontario the provincial government funds programs through various ministries; the City of Ottawa distributes money from the Federal, Provincial and its own programs.  The seriousness of our homelessness problems are never as visible as they are in the winter when there are double digit temperatures below zero.

The At Home/Chez Soi project has done much to show that when there is a concentrated effort to provide a home there is more needed than just a roof.  Life skills as simple as respecting and getting along with others can be more challenging than finding a place to live.  The solitude of not having others watch and try to control their lives is one aspect of not having a home that appeals to many.  The At Home/Chez Soi Project address these issues with support and follow up with the clients in the program.

While the monetary benefits help everyone and all levels of government, the greatest benefits go those who have the support and new encouragement to live an independent and healthy lifestyle.   Benefits reach into the most important streams of our live from Health care, Emergency Medical services, Policing and our Judicial System.  Savings in these areas can partially fund the continuation and expansion of the program. Though he does not quote any financial numbers, Malcolm Gladwell writes in his piece “Million Dollar Murray” (http://www.gladwell.com/2006/2006_02_13_a_murray.html ) the impact that the homeless have on many aspects of our society.

It is my hope that well before the At Home/Chez Soi Project ends in 2013 a firm commitment is made at the Federal,  Provincial and Municipal levels of government to continue and expand the program to include cities outside of those currently (Moncton NB, Montreal QC, Toronto ON, Winnipeg MB and Vancouver BC) involved.  It is incumbent on our community leaders to press Government leaders to openly discuss the role each plays in ending homelessness and providing greater assistance to Non-Profit housing organizations to meet their individual mandates for the level of care they provide their residents. The plight of the homelessness is just as important to our society as looking after our elderly and fragile, ensuring a stable Health Care system and good economic government policies.  These are not only individual but collect concerns for a strong Canadian society.

I can be found Twitter @robertdekker and on Facebook at http://tiny.cc/n5l97. Please follow me and send your thoughts on this and other postings.

My #Twitter List for 2011

The past year has been one of the most eventful of my life, only eclipsed by the arrival of my two (now very grown up) children Emma and Nicholas.  I have run for election, become President of @DaybreakHousing  and now I am running my @Celluland store.  I can’t wait to see what 2012 brings to me.

There are many people that have been there with me, and in the spirit of my #twitterexperience here is a list of those I look forward to reading on twitter whether I agree with their views or not.  For those of you that are not on twitter that I am close to, and you know who you are, this is a Twitter list only so there is no need to feel left out.

So in no particular order here is my Twitter list for 2011:

@sunswimsail, @acoyne, @michellebranch, @markchats, @beatlestweets, @walterrobinsonm @amyleemelinda, @nicbranch, @OpenFileOTT, @MacLeodLisa, @J_MacDonald_PC, @Centretowner, @mbpowell, @markblevis @FredShermanOVPC, @emma__elizabeth, @stuntmanstu, @nickdekker2, @rdekker1830, @deVormerij, @ScottMoffatt21, @lights, @andrea_maclean, @jamiepistilli, @yasir_naqvi, @anilnaidooNDP, @JimWatsonOttawa, @DaybreakHousing, @pastaandsalsa, @SteveClarkMPP, @emilyddickinson, @ProCPV, @AlexLewisOttawa, @brentcolbert, @katrynasmon, @KidsHelpPhone, @LisaLarter, @KenGray, @OttawaFoodBank, @DenVan, @Kaylafernet, @LuciaLand, @donfex, @ODonnell_K, @bose_anu, @ChantalHbert, @Bruyere_Care, @rjeschmi, @bitofmomsense, @timhudak, @PerryMarleau, @rlmOttawa, @debsimms, @kady, @stephen_taylor, @roseannecash @sabinegibbins

While I follow and enjoy reading over 600 people, these Tweeters listed above come often and come with plenty to say.

In the spirit of Twitter I close this entry with #MerryChristmas and #HappyNewYear to all in the Twitterverse!

I can be found Twitter @robertdekker and on Facebook at http://tiny.cc/n5l97. Please follow me and send your thoughts on this and other postings.

Ottawa the Good and Giving


This past Saturday, a record amount of food was donated and filled OC Transpo buses across the city to help the Ottawa Food Bank through the Christmas and New Year’s needs for families the count on the food bank.

The Food Drive is just the tip of the iceberg of the generosity that exists within the hearts of residents in Ottawa and Gatineau.

Within the past few weeks Ottawans have given to the following causes and campaigns to help everyone in our city.

The United Way of Ottawa wrapped up their annual campaign by raising $31.5 Million.

A Radiothon hosted by Rogers Radio Stations in Ottawa raised $170,313 for the Snowsuit fund and CFRA Hosted the CFRA/Bruyere Radiothon had more than $2.4 million donated.

There are so many other ways that we give, it could be by throwing money in a Fireman’s boot in the Santa Claus Parade or filling a Salvation Army Kettle.

This time of year many organizations will be making requests for their good causes as each looks to have a balanced book with hopes of starting 2012 with a flush account and plans to do more good work for Ottawa and Gatineau.  If you are able to please consider helping any of these organizations.

Ottawa you are Good, Giving and very Generous!

I can be found on Twitter @robertdekker and on Facebook at http://tiny.cc/n5l97. Please follow me and send your thoughts on this and other postings.