REGINA – The Saskatchewan NDP is asking the province to properly get rid of bedbugs at local seniors housing complexes after one resident spoke out about the issue.
Adele Bryson, 80, lives in an apartment at 2121 Rose Street that she said has been crawling with bed bugs for months.
Bryson hasn’t been bitten herself, but when her family comes to visit they leave with numerous bites. Her granddaughter appears to be their favourite victim.
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“When she stays with me overnight, the next day she’s just full of bites on her arms,” said Bryson.
“There’s thousands in there, thousands! You can’t go in there without seeing one,” said daughter-in-law Karren Jackson. “You just touch the bed and you see them crawl.”
Jackson has collected dozens of the bugs in traps to prove the infestation.
“It’s quite embarrassing. Not very pleasant really,” said Bryson.
By July the situation became so bad the senior felt she needed to leave her home, so she moved in with a friend.
Jim Gusul took Bryson in, but admits he’s worried about the bed bugs transferring to his home from hers.
“I won’t go in there. I don’t want her to go in there either. I don’t want to take the chance of coming back to my place with one or two or five in the cuff of my pants,” he said.
Exterminators are scheduled to treat Adele’s apartment, one on each side, as well as on top and bottom. But Bryson’s family doesn’t think that goes far enough in addressing the bigger problem.
They’ve put traps in other seniors’ units further down the hall and found bed bugs there too.
Bryson’s family is concerned that unless the whole building, including common rooms, is treated for bedbugs that the money will be wasted because the bed bugs could return.
“I just want my mom to be safe and comfortable,” said Bryson’s son, Jim Bryson.
“She’s on a small pension and doesn’t have the ability to take everything she owns to a dry cleaner or to move her own furniture. What about all the seniors in that building that don’t have family that can help? Those seniors will suffer, and the bugs from their suites will come right back into mom’s suite making the cost, the effort and displacement of mom all for nothing.”
The NDP is also calling for the entire building to be treated for pests.
“Families are approaching [us] to describe horrible bedbug infestations in seniors housing, and have a real struggle getting the government to properly treat the problem,” said NDP Housing critic David Forbes. “Do it once, so you’re not constantly coming back and having those expenses.”
But Saskatchewan Housing says that’s not reasonable, or necessary.
“It really isn’t practical to treat that many units at any given time,” said Dianne Baird, the executive director of the housing network.
She added the cost for a single treatment is around $1500 and so far this year, Saskatchewan Housing has spent over $700,000 on bed bugs.
She said officials were only recently made aware of Bryson’s issues.
“When an incident is reported, the housing authority jumps on it very quickly so the bed bugs are contained within a particular suite and do not spread,” said Baird.
Before the extermination happens, the home needs to be prepared, and furniture and clothing moved out.
Bryson’s son Jim Bryson, is worried about how other seniors could do that without the assistance of family or friends: “If I wasn’t here, in the city, to do this for my mom – there’s so many seniors that can’t get this done.”
“It’s not like they’re expecting an 80-year-old to do that. But they do reach out to the family and hope they help their family prepare the unit for treatment,” said Baird.
But Saskatchewan Housing said they would never leave anyone in a lurch. They will help individuals who do not have family to assist in cleaning their suites out.
According to the NDP, the Saskatchewan Housing Corporation has had its maintenance budget cut to $48.3 million in 2014 from a peak of $93.4 million in 2011.
YORKTON, Sask. – Two people have been charged after a drug bust in Yorkton, Sask. The bust happened Tuesday at a residence on Victoria Avenue.
Mounties say they seized marijuana, hydromorphone, drug paraphernalia and weapons while executing a search warrant.
Kenneth Peepeetch, 34, has been charged with trafficking cocaine, possession of cannabis marijuana for the purpose of trafficking, possession of hydromorphone, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose and assault.
Alisha Peepeetch, 25, is charged with trafficking cocaine, production of cannabis resin, possession of cannabis marijuana and possession of hydromorphone.
READ MORE: Three charged after RCMP seize 100 grams of cocaine in Carlyle
Hydromorphone is a controlled drug under Schedule I of the Controlled Drugs and Substance Act.
Both are scheduled to appear in Yorkton provincial court on Wednesday.
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WATCH ABOVE: Should medical marijuana dispensaries be regulated and allowed in Edmonton? One group took its perspective to city hall Wednesday. Vinesh Pratap reports.
EDMONTON – A local society is pushing the City of Edmonton and the Alberta government to establish regulations that would allow for the legal sale of medicinal marijuana.
Members of Macros – the Mobile Access Compassionate Resources Organization Society – held a rally outside city hall Wednesday morning.
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“We’re here to talk to Don Iveson, to tell him that he’s turning his back on people that need this medicine,” said Aaron Bott, Macros president.
“We’ve been here 11 years and we’ve had no chance to have any regulations at all. We’re here to see if Don Iveson, Mayor Don Iveson, can get us regulations.”
READ MORE: Clients upset after police raid Edmonton marijuana dispensary
In July, police raided a marijuana dispensary run by Marcos. Robert Syre, Janice Syre and their son Aaron Bott are now facing numerous charges including possession and trafficking.
The non-profit group sold medicinal marijuana to people who had a prescription.
The couple is taking the matter to court, arguing it was providing a necessary service for people who need medicinal marijuana.
“Any time law enforcement detracts from a person’s ability to access their own medicine, that is a violation of the constitution, and that’s what we’re here today,” said Robert Syre.
“It’s a necessity service. It covers a lot of people that the government does not cover in their program,” added Janice Syre.
READ MORE: Medical marijuana comes to Alberta as Health Canada grants grow licence
It’s illegal to operate a dispensary in Canada.
However, in some communities police have looked the other way. Earlier this year, Vancouver city council voted to regulate dispensaries despite being illegal under federal law. Dispensaries in Vancouver must now pay licensing fees and abide by zoning rules.
The City of Edmonton said there are no plans to take similar measures.
WATCH ABOVE: Police are investigating another shooting outside Toronto Marriot hotel. Lama Nicolas reports.
TORONTO – The city’s Homicide Squad is investigating after a man was gunned down early Sunday morning in front of a downtown hotel.
Police said they were called to the Dundas St. W. and Bay St. area around 2:45 a.m. after reports of gunshots. A man found with gunshot wounds was found in front of the Toronto Marriott Downtown Eaton Centre Hotel at 525 Bay St and was pronounced dead on scene, according to paramedics.
Toronto Police identified the man as 27-year old Kabil Abdulkhadir.
Police say Kabil Abdulkhadir, 27,was killed in the early hours of Sunday morning in downtown Toronto.
(Toronto Police Services)
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Bay St. was closed between Dundas St. W. and Queen St. W. as police continued their investigation, before being re-opened at around 1:30 p.m.
Detective-Sergeant Joyce Schertzer told reporters at a morning press conference the investigation is at “the beginning stages” and called on witnesses to contact police.
“We are appealing to the public,” said Det. Joyce Schertzer. “There were perhaps people out, given the fact that this is part of the entertainment district and it is a hotel. We are asking anyone with information to contact [investigators].”
Police said they are conducting a witness and video canvass throughout the Bay and Dundas area.
Guests staying at the Marriott could leave the Marriott on foot, but not by car. And guests who have exited the hotel are not allowed to re-enter and check-in is suspended until further notice from police.
Man killed at Bay/Dundas at 2:45am IDed as Kabil Abdulkhadir, 27. Investigation still ongoing. cc: @TPSHomicide ^vk
— Toronto Police (@TorontoPolice) August 9, 2015
Several guests were caught off-guard by the police investigation and not being allowed to re-enter the hotel.
Chris Sherry, who was staying at the Marriott, said she stepped outside to have a cigarette and wasn’t allowed back into the hotel, with his daughter still in their room.
“I finished my smoke and turned around to go back in and they wouldn’t let me in the door,” Sherry said. “I was a little concerned, and I said ‘if it’s not safe enough for me could you please go get my daughter.’”
Police have not released a suspect description or the number of shooters involved.
Schertzer urged any witnesses to “take the initiative” and call 52 Division at 416-808-5200 or Crime Stoppers at 416-222-8477.
This is Toronto’s 32nd homicide of the year and a post-mortem examination has been scheduled for Monday morning.
WATCH: A PSA reminding people to not leave their dogs in hot cars is making rounds online. WARNING: Offensive language. Courtesy: bchizzle, YouTube.
The creators of a tongue-in-cheek video reminding people to not leave their dogs in hot cars are hoping to spread the important message.
The two-minute video that features local YouTube celebrity Peter Chao shows men clad in balaclavas and black sunglasses, smashing out the window of a car, with a dog trapped inside.
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“We are everywhere. We see everything,” says one man wielding a hammer. “We see your dog in distress and you are not around to open the door, we are going to let the hammers fly.”
“We’d like to remind you that a broken window is nothing compared to an animal’s life,” he adds.
However, the video ends with a disclaimer, saying anyone who sees a dog in distress in a hot car should try to locate the owner or contact their local authorities for assistance.
“Breaking a window can be seen as a last resort in an urgent situation,” it says. “Remember, we are just a YouTube channel, not legal advice.”
One of the people behind the video, Brian Cheung of Vancouver, says it was always meant as a joke.
“We were playing with the concept of disheveled dog owners who would go all out and start smashing car windows,” says Cheung. “We thought that would be terrifying. But then we thought we could maybe sugar coat it and make it entertaining to create the discussion.”
Cheung says he and his friends have personally witnessed a lot of cases of dogs stuck in hot cars and wanted to raise awareness about the problem. But before doing that, they wanted to make sure they get the right message across.
“It is a very strong message, so we did not want to promote the wrong one, which is to go out and smash windows,” he says. “It is just to make people talk about it, that’s all.”
READ MORE: Video shows man lashing out when confronted about dog in hot car
READ MORE: Actress Jennifer Beals confronted after leaving dog in West Vancouver car
Randy Fincham, a media relations officer with Vancouver police, told Global News the video is “an interesting and dramatic approach” to educating the public about the dangers of leaving pets in a hot car.
He says in the event that someone comes across an animal in distress inside a car in the city of Vancouver, they should call 9-1-1 and the VPD will dispatch one of their officers to the scene to assess the need to gain access to the vehicle and determine the associated liability involved in intentionally damaging another person’s property.
For their part, Lorie Chortyk with the BC SPCA says they admire the creativity that went into making the video and getting the message out.
“Anything that draws attention to the issue of dogs in hot cars, we are certainly all for that,” says Chortyk. “We obviously can’t condone people breaking the law and taking matters into their own hands.”
Anyone who sees a distressed animal inside a hot car is asked to call the Animal Cruelty Hotline at 1(855)6BC SPCA (1-855-622-7722) and the BC SPCA will send an officer to investigate.
Since the beginning of this year, the BC SPCA have recorded 1,201 calls about animals trapped in hot cars province-wide.
TORONTO – Usually, the words “low-speed” and “mid-air” aren’t in the same sentence, especially when it comes to police pursuits.
But that’s exactly what unfolded Monday afternoon in the skies over Castaic, California, as Los Angeles County sheriff deputies in helicopters pursued a man in a motorized hang glider they believed dropped contraband into the yard at Peter J. Pitchess Detention Center.
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“We have several open compounds, so there was concern that somebody might be dropping contraband or there could be some crazy escape attempt. It was really hard to say,” Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Sgt. Brian Allen told ABC News-7 in Los Angeles.
WATCH: Good Samaritan saves little boy hanging by his neck off balcony in China
The incident unfolded around 5:30 p.m. Monday afternoon when police spotted the motorized glider in the airspace near the California prison.
Turns out it was all a mistake. The hang glider pilot, identified as 62-year-old Ron Nagin, hadn’t dropped any contraband and said he was merely blown off course by high winds.
So why the pursuit? Turns out there was more than one misunderstanding in the skies of California that afternoon, as Nagin said he didn’t hear police sirens and loudspeaker requests that he land over the sound of his own engine.
Once he did hear them, he said he misunderstood their intentions.
“At first I thought they were just looky-loos, just trying to investigate the sport, but I figured when they cut in front of me twice, I’d better turn around and land,” Nagin said.
By 6:05 p.m., Nagin had landed in a nearby outdoor paintball field and was detained by authorities without incident.
Police later declined to press charges or levy a citation.
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Twice a month, Brenda Taylor spreads out her bingo cards on the living-room coffee table, picks up the phone and gets ready to play.
It’s a routine she’s been enjoying for a number of years – telephone bingo from the comforts of home.
The games are offered through a program called Senior Centre Without Walls – an initiative of A&O Support Services for Older Adults located in Winnipeg.
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There are about 70 regulars like Brenda who play telephone bingo. They get patched into a teleconference and experience the game as a group – even though they live all across the Manitoba.
“We’ve got groups in Churchill, Eriksdale, Swan River, Beausejour and other parts of Manitoba,” Lydia Roberston, Program Assistant for A & O: Support Services for Older Adults explains.
The small, portable bingo cage sits on Roberston’s desk as she turns the handle to dispense the game balls.
That, along with a hands-free phone and computer is all she needs to operate the game.
Most of the registered players call the toll free number and enter their code before the session. Those who can’t, receive a call from Robertson.
There aren’t any big jackpots to be won. It’s the camaraderie that draws players in.
“They’re interacting with one another. They might be lonely. They may not be speaking to a lot of people. It may be hard for them to get out,” Robertson says.
The Senior Centre Without Walls doesn’t just offer bingo games. It offers 60 different programs throughout the day by phone, Monday to Friday.
“We offer educational presentations. We tour different museums like the Manitoba museum. We do health and wellness. We offer art therapy, music therapy, meditation all over the phone,” Michelle Ranville, manager of community services at A & O: Support Services for Older Adults explains.
She first learned about the concept after hearing of a similar program in the United States. In 2009 Senior Centre Without Walls was launched in Winnipeg and then across the province a year later.
“I thought if a program could be popular in California then imagine what it would be like in our Manitoba winters,” Ranville says.
About 150 seniors in Manitoba are registered for the free programming.
Taylor participates in several of them regularly.
“Each one of us knows that at around 10 in the morning there will be somebody on the other end of the phone. You’ve got a reason to get up in the morning,” Taylor says.
Many of the people who present programs are volunteers.
New event calendars are released every four months. The next one starts in September and runs until the end of December.
Global News Anchor Heather Steele and I (Eva Kovacs) will be calling the Bingo games in September. For more information on Senior Centre Without Walls is available online or by calling A&O at 204-956-6440.
Better Winnipeg is a weekly feature that focuses on people and events that make Winnipeg better. If you have suggestions for stories, send them to [email protected]桑拿按摩.
LOS ANGELES — Bumble Bee Foods has agreed to pay $6 million to settle criminal charges in the death of a Los Angeles-area worker who was cooked in an oven with tons of tuna.
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Melena’s grisly death in a 270-degree oven three years ago led to a $6 million agreement by Bumble Bee on Wednesday to settle criminal charges in what Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey said was the largest payout in a California workplace-violation death. The sum was four times greater than the maximum fines the company faced.
“This is the worst circumstances of death I have ever, ever witnessed,” said Deputy District Attorney Hoon Chun, who noted that he had tried more than 40 murder cases over two decades. “I think any person would prefer to be – if they had to die some way – would prefer to be shot or stabbed than to be slowly cooked in an oven. ”
READ MORE: Charges laid after worker cooked in oven with 12,000 pounds of tuna
Melena, 62, perished at the seafood company’s Santa Fe Springs plant after a co-worker mistakenly believed he was in the bathroom and loaded six tons of canned tuna into the oven after he had stepped inside.
The company didn’t have safety procedures that would have required the equipment be turned off with an employee inside or provide an escape route or a spotter to keep watch with a worker in a confined space, Hoon said.
In a rare prosecution of a workplace fatality, Bumble Bee, its plant Operations Director Angel Rodriguez and former safety manager Saul Florez were each charged with three counts of violating Occupational Safety & Health Administration rules that caused a death.
Each party reached a different plea agreement Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court.
Bumble Bee agreed to plead guilty in January 2017 to a misdemeanour of having wilfully failed to provide an effective safety program. First, however, it must complete several safety measures that include spending $3 million to upgrade ovens so workers can’t get trapped inside and providing worker training.
ARCHIVE VIDEO: Charges laid against Bumble Bee foods after worker cooked inside oven with tuna (April 28, 2015)
Florez, 42, of Whittier was sentenced to three years of probation and will face fines and penalties of about $19,000 after pleading guilty to a single felony count of violating a workplace safety rule that caused a death.
Rodriguez, 63, of Riverside, agreed to plead guilty in 18 months to a misdemeanour and pay about $11,000 after he completes 320 hours of community service and worker safety courses.
The two men had faced up to three years in prison and fines up to $250,000. The company had faced fines up to $1.5 million.
Melena’s family will receive $1.5 million under the settlement. It does not prevent them from also suing the company or receiving workers’ compensation funds, Hoon said.
“Certainly, nothing will bring back our dad, and our mom will not have her husband back, but much can be done to ensure this terrible accident does not happen again,” the family said in a statement.
Melena, 62, had been loading pallets of canned tuna into 35-foot-long ovens at the company’s Santa Fe Springs plant before dawn Oct. 11, 2012.
When a supervisor noticed him missing, an announcement was made on the intercom and employees searched for him in the facility and parking lot, according to a report by the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health.
His body was found two hours later after the pressure cooker was turned off, cooled and opened.
The San Diego-based company is appealing $74,000 in fines by the state’s occupational safety agency for failing to properly assess employee danger.
“We will never forget the unfathomable loss of our colleague Jose Melena and we are committed to ensuring that employee safety remains a top priority at all our facilities,” the company said in a statement.
Workplace violation prosecutions are fairly uncommon – even after deaths. Of 189 fatality investigations opened by the state in 2013, only 29 were referred to prosecutors and charges were only filed in 14 cases that year, according to state records.
WATCH ABOVE: Police are appealing to the friends of Kabil Abdulkhadir, who were allegedly with him when he was fatally shot on Sunday outside Toronto’s Marriott Hotel. The 27-year-old was Toronto’s 32nd homicide of the year. Peter Kim reports.
TORONTO – Toronto police are appealing to the associates of a 27-year old man who was gunned down early Sunday morning in front of a downtown hotel to come forward.
Police said they were called to the Dundas Street West and Bay Street area around 2:45 a.m. after reports of gunshots.
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A man found with gunshot wounds was found in front of the Toronto Marriott Downtown Eaton Centre Hotel at 525 Bay St. and was pronounced dead on scene, according to paramedics.
READ MORE: Police investigating after man, 27, fatally shot near Toronto Marriott Hotel
Police identified the man as Kabil Abdulkhadir and are requesting that his associates who were allegedly with him at the time of the shooting come forward.
Det. Sgt. Joyce Schertzer said in a news conference on Wednesday that Abdulkhadir was shot when he stepped out of a car outside the hotel, and that the suspects in the shooting also arrived by car.
Abdulkadir’s mother, Fouzia Hassan, also wants his friends who were with him in the car that night to come forward and talk to police.
WATCH: Police provide update after fatal shooting near Toronto Marriott Hotel
Abdulkadir’s brother and sister also spoke at a teary news conference, saying he didn’t deserve to die.
Schertzer says several people have spoken with investigators, but need Abdulkadir’s friends to speak with police in a “meaningful manner.”
Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders said Tuesday that “good cooperation from witnesses” had helped investigators in the investigation, in stark contrast to the lack of information from the public in the Muzik nightclub shooting investigation that left two dead and three injured.
WATCH: Family of Kabil Abdulkhadir make appeal to public for information in his murder
“We have a high level of cooperation, we’re moving the investigation in a much more rapid manner. It’s still not over yet, but the level of success is dynamically different,” he said.
“With one case we have an absence of people coming forward and in the other we have people that have stepped up to the plate and exercised their due diligence.”
Police have not released a suspect description or the number of shooters involved. Police urged any witnesses to “take the initiative” and call 52 Division at 416-808-5200 or Crime Stoppers at 416-222-8477.
With files from Andrew Russell, Lama Nicolas and The Canadian Press
Every morning, when Whistler resident Mark Edmondson walks to work, he takes the longer route through the forest.
This way he can visit the memorial garden and be with his son Owen Benjamin, who died five days after his birth in October 2014. He suffered from a loss of oxygen during an emergency delivery which caused severe, irreparable brain damage.
Edmondson and his wife said goodbye to their son under an oak tree on the grounds of BC Women’s Hospital on a rainy October night.
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“We weren’t in control of his birth and what happened there,” he said. “But we could at least be in control of his death and make it peaceful.”
When they were ready, doctors took out Owen’s breathing tube. “And they all left, except for this one nurse who stood silently behind us, holding an umbrella over us, while she was getting drenched for however long it was,” said Edmondson.
They told Owen it was OK for him to go. But for Edmondson and his wife, Owen will always be a part of their lives.
“He might not be here physically but he’s still here in spirit,” he said.
“We make every effort to include him in what we’re doing. We still want to parent him.”
The dads who spoke to Global News after either having experienced infant loss or a stillbirth said that afterwards, most of their attention was focused on their wives and partners, and that’s to be expected.
But they also found that their grief was often not acknowledged in the same way, and sometimes not at all.
“My initial automatic reaction was to protect [my wife] Robyn and that maybe wasn’t helped by the fact that A, that’s what society expected. And B, anyone that we would interact with, they interacted with Robyn and not me,” said Edmondson.
He said when a midwife came to check on the couple after Owen’s birth, she only talked to Robyn. “And the only thing she said to me was when she arrived and asked ‘is Robyn doing OK?’”
“For someone who’s trained in the profession, to kind of have that societal expectation as well, I’m sure some of it is nature, but I’m sure a lot of it is nurtured by this concept of the man being the strong pillow or model, kind of thing,” added Edmondson.
He said he understands the fact that the loss of the initial physical attachment is so much stronger for the mother.
“I was focused more on the loss of having someone to teach how to play football and to chase around in the garden and show wildlife to and that sort of stuff,” he said. “Which I realize is years away, but that’s how the loss hit me.”
Dave Shannon, whose daughter Elizabeth Blake Shannon died in utero due to a knot in her cord, said he knew he had to assume the role of being ‘The Strong One’ in order to keep life going. He and his wife Caitie also have two other children.
“One of the big things that stuck out for me was I sort of had to put my own grieving on hold,” he said. “Caitie obviously needed my support. She knew Elizabeth far more than I did. I only got some glimpses in some monitors and then I only got to hold her for a day.”
Shannon said he didn’t mind assuming that role to give his wife and his family time to grieve. But he knew he would need some time for himself and in the beginning, his grief manifested itself as anger.
“For the first month or so I was wound pretty tight,” he said. “I was pretty angry and I couldn’t express myself because it was a very odd time.”
“My anger was more about the fact that how dare they take my Elizabeth away from me. We went through all of that time and effort and money to have it just stripped away from us and that made me so angry. That made me more angry than anything else.”
Eric Hill’s daughter Valley was stillborn last June. She passed away in his wife’s womb a couple of days before she was born.
As a grieving father, he also struggled with how to support his wife and family and allow himself the time and space to mourn the loss of his daughter.
“I knew I had to be emotionally strong,” he said. “Yes, I held my ground for a bit, but I knew if I blacked out those emotions to be strong for my wife, I knew I would be losing out on those emotions.”
He said, from his experience, men feel like they have no one to talk to sometimes and may feel like they are left behind in their bereavement.
He approached his grief by talking about his daughter as much as possible, even though the pain of mentioning her name was sometimes overwhelming.
“Every day I wake up, I see her face on the wall,” he said. “Every day I go out to work, I always see her.”
“I keep living, breathing for her. And as long as my heart’s going, she’s going with me.”
It’s no secret that some men find it difficult to talk about their feelings and emotions, especially to other men.
“I feel like, as a guy, we kind of feel almost shy about exposing how vulnerable we could be,” said Shannon. “There are [mens’ grief groups], but it’s almost like ‘I gotta be a big strong guy, I can’t go to this.’”
“It would be a group of guys sharing their feelings and guys aren’t exactly known for that. We don’t naturally go around and have a big group discussion about our feelings.”
But all the fathers say talking about their children and being acknowledged in the fact that they lost a child helps them and others in the grieving process.
READ MORE: Stillbirth and infant loss: Your stories
Hung Nguyen’s wife had a stillborn daughter, Faith, in 2011.
He said they were lucky in the fact that they were able to spend four days with her in the hospital before they had to say goodbye.
Families and groups around B.C. are now raising money to get hospitals a cooling cot or a cuddle cot, which is a device that keeps the deceased baby cool, allowing the family to spend more time with the baby.
Nguyen said he and his family still mark Faith’s birthday every year and still talk about her as often as they can.
“I just talked about it a lot,” said Nguyen when Faith died. “I just found for myself the more I talked about it, the better I felt about it. Different times I’m up and down about it. It’s easier to deal with on certain days.”
“It never gets easy, but it’s a matter of talking to people and just educating people.”
Edmondson agreed, saying he has found that acknowledgement is one of the most powerful and important things someone can do in dealing with grieving parents.
He said the worst experience is seeing people who know what happened but do not even try to acknowledge it.
“We live in a small community obviously and we know a lot of people, and even people on our street just almost blank us,” he said.
“We feel it’s very selfish for someone to not be able to overcome their own fears when they can probably, at least partially, know what we’re going through and that it’s way worse than them just saying something or feeling bad.”
However, Edmondson knows that if the tables were turned, he and his wife would struggle to say the right thing to comfort someone in their deepest grief.
He said the support of people just willing to sit with them, or hug them, helped immensely. “They’ve helped us get to a point where we can do day-to-day things and survive,” he said.
Help raise money for a Cuddle Cot in a B.C. hospital.
Hill said he wants to see the government do more to help grieving families who are going through the loss of a child. He had to drop out of school when Valley died and even though they received financial help from their family, he knows many other families are not awarded the same opportunity.
“Some of us males aren’t always in the best financial position and it feels like you have to suck it up, go back to work, when we’re already fragile losing a child,” he said.
“I can tell you, no parent should go through the passing away of a child, it’s one of the biggest fears of anybody I think. Even passing away yourself is not as scary as losing a child.”
A spokesperson for the B.C. Ministry of Health says there are care teams in hospitals throughout B.C. that are trained to support families through the loss of a child through stillbirth or infant loss.
“Health authorities provide access to social workers to provide comfort and support during this time. Families are also provided with information, including resources they can use.”
The hospitals also support the family by taking pictures and footprints so they can take home some memories of their child.
“Parents can also receive services and support through a family doctor, midwife, nurse practitioner, nurse or mental health professional,” said the ministry in a statement.
Through the Provincial Health Services Authority, parents can access services such as the Early Pregnancy Assessment Centre, the Recurrent Pregnancy Loss Clinic, and the B.C. Reproductive Mental Health Program.
While nothing can ever take away the pain of losing a child, these fathers agree that no one should be afraid to ask about their children or talk about them.
“I had to be strong, I had to be the one to go to the neighbours to explain to them what was going on,” said Shannon. “In a weird way I almost looked forward to doing it because it made me feel more pain so that I could kind of get a little closer to Caitie’s level of pain.”
“It was almost like a self-infliction so that we could somewhat get a little bit closer.”
“Also in a way, because I was reaching out, to neighbours and friends and family and stuff like that, I was able to heal a little bit faster as well because I was able to start having connections with people.”