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Ontario Women Stripped of Health Care Coverage

English: Statue of crying woman by World War v...
English: Statue of crying woman by World War victim memorila in Častotice, Třebíč District. Česky: Socha plačící ženy u památníku obětem sv. válek v Častoticích, okr. Třebíč. Autor: Eduard Činčera (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ll make this short and to the point.

Today the Ontario Ministry of Health announced significant cuts to OHIP coverage for women, putting us at higher risk for diagnosis of life threatening disease at more advanced stages.

Our pathetic excuse of a government reduced coverage for annual PAP tests from once a year to once every 3 years. They quote new, recommended ‘guidelines’.

Yah, right. Guidelines concerned with the bottom line, rather than with the well-being of an already poorly cared for population; women.

Perhaps our Ministry of Health might consider reducing the billions of dollars spent on chemotherapy drugs pimped to cancer patients who are at the very end of life, offering us, the citizens of Ontario, compassionate health care, rather than lining the pockets of Big Pharma?

Just a thought, but what am I thinking?! There’s no money to be made by making ethical decisions.

I urge every person in the province of Ontario to write a letter or send an email to their MPP demanding accountability and better health care for everyone.

Contact your Member of Provincial Parliament and let them know that cuts to already inadequate women’s health care are unacceptable.

I’ve made it easy for you, you can just copy and paste this letter if you don’t have the time to compose your own.

The women in your life will thank you for it.  Your mom, will likely thank you with a couple dozen of your favourite cookies still warm from her oven. Your sweet, sexy gal-pal will certainly give you a long, sensuous smooch.


Dear: ___________-


I am writing as a resident of _____________ to regarding the recent change in OHIP funding for women’s annual PAP tests. Depriving women of adequate health care by withdrawing annual payment for these tests is unacceptable. Cuts to our health care system such as this put low-income, high-risk women and their families at significant risk of more advanced disease when diagnosed. This of course ultimately results in higher health care costs.

As a citizen, I demand my government be accountable for the decisions that are made with regard to our health care system. It has been eroding over the years, with decreased coverage for everything from eye exams to cancer screening tests such as CA125 and PSA tests.

Myself, and my family expect a response from you as our Member of Provincial Parliament with regard to the steps you are going to take to demand quality health care for EVERYONE in the province of Ontario.



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Canadian Journalism is Dead

broken_typewriter copy
broken_typewriter copy (Photo credit: wvs)

Journalism is dead.

The objective ideal has long since gone the way of cigarette holders and the sassy style of gin-joint flappers.

Today, the  cover of our local news featured an advert at both the top and bottom of the front page, with the majority of coverage going to Anne Hathaway’s smarmy giant-toothed grin.

Guess what I’m using to line the bottom of our bird-cage? Heads up Anne….

A minor few inches of the front page were dedicated to yet another report of a crooked Canadian politician, and an “exclusive’ about the risks of casual and contract work on the vulnerable.

I hate to break it to you Toronto Star, but – no kiddin’.

Canadian politicians are as crooked, greedy and unprofessional as any in nations which we assume political superiority. Not only is journalism dead, but so is real, political leadership and vision.

Very few, if any journalists working for major publications will risk their jobs or lives (no exaggeration) to report on who’s buying who. Besides, what good would it do? No one would publish their work anyway.

During the past few months, Toronto news has been overwhelmed with the mayor’s miraculous escape from being kicked from office, despite clear conflict of interest, and misuse of city resources (including pulling our miniscule transit resources to coddle his football hobby).

Senators Mike Duffy and Pamela Wallin have lied about their residences. Bowing to the almighty dollar rather than the great good of the nation. Way to go.

As soon as Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne took office, the opposition started acting up like middle school children during a forced indoor recess.

We have become a nation of apathetic Stepford Citizens at every political level.  Democracy in Canada is a joke.

The “Canadian Dream” of living in a progressive, socially responsible society has turned into a nightmare of big business buying out our media, government, and stretching the gap between the working class and the wealthy thinner than an immigrant’s pay cheque.

Keep in mind, this criticism comes from a hopeless patriot, and idealist. I believe our country has great potential, and it’s heartbreaking to see it stripped away.

Are you prepared to be duped into thinking the issues of today are Anne Hathaway’s nipples and Danica Patrick’s crappy driving?


Well, maybe that’s for the best. After all, ignorance is rumoured to be bliss.

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Savoury Sundays: Cioppino

English: Map of Italy and its districts.Every Sunday ANDSHELAUGHS will post a savoury recipe for you to prepare for the ones you love.

***Please leave a comment  and reblog if you make the recipe. Let us know how you liked it!***

This very first  Savoury Sunday, I offer up one of my very favourite recipes: Cioppino.

It takes me back to a visit to San Francisco, and indulging in a classic Italian dinner at Alioto’s overlooking the bay.

Perhaps not a traditional family meal, Cioppino makes an easy, light meal ideal for a quiet night in with your sweetheart.

I recommend serving this Cioppino with fresh bakery bread,butter and a bottle of  Luccarelli Primitivo to enjoy as well.



2 teaspoons olive oil

1 onion finely chopped

1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and diced

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 can (14.5 oz) crushed tomatoes ( I use my own home preserved tomatoes)

1 cup dry white wine

1/4 cup tomato paste

1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley (don’t skip this, parsley is a key ingredient)

1/4 teaspoon dried basil ( I prefer t use fresh – just a few finely chopped leaves)

1/4 tsp dried oregano

1 bay leaf

10 oz boneless whitefish cut into 1.5″ chunks

12 littleneck clams, scrubbed

12 medium mussels, scrubbed and debearded

8-12 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

*Add crab if it’s available* Yum!!!


1. In a large nonstick saucepan, heat the oil, and saute the onion, pepper and garlic until softened.

2. Add tomatoes, wine and tomato paste, spices, herbs, bay leaf and 1/2 cup water.

3. Combine all ingredients well, and bring to a boil.

4. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

5. Add the fish and simmer uncovered for ~5 mins.

6. Add the clams & mussels and simmer ~3 mins.

7. Add the shrimp and simmer uncovered for ~5 mins until the clams and mussels are open and the shrimp are pink.

*** Discard any unopened clams and mussels as well as the bay leaf***

***When preparing this meal, beware of the timing. It’s not something you can leave on the stove top and keep warm until your dinner guest arrives. Prepare your ingredients, and enjoy a relaxed conversation over a glass of wine while you’re cooking.***

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When Life Gives You Lemons ~ Get Real

Francisco de Zurbarán - Still-life with Lemons...

I’m a touchy-feely person. Tests have proven I’m a kinesthetic learner. I think hugs make most things bearable, and smiling at a stranger is the norm.

I believe the universe provides. Admittedly it provides what we need, not necessarily what we want my darlings.

I believe the glass is half full, and usually full of something yummy.

I believe  that most fella’s tip the scale on the side of ‘good’ rather than being  rotten eggs.

I also believe that there is a time to ‘fish or cut bait’ or, as the less socially groomed say, ‘shit or get off the pot’.

My Facebook page is awash with positive, upbeat photos, memes, quotes and motivational posters such as these;




The reality is, that sometimes giving up, losing hope and questioning  your faith are the best things you can do. It’s called a reality check.

Sometimes plodding along wondering why things aren’t going your way is because we mistakenly think that determination, hope and faith will get us everywhere, when what we really need is a kick in the pants to dig in and face change.

Let’s go back to the above three examples. The beginning is not always hard. What twitstick came up with that one?

The wise words of my lovely older, wiser friend Ms. T, “If this is what it’s like at the beginning, what will it be like at the end?”, were a wake up call for me when I started dating a large, useless flap of skin.

Beginnings should be fresh, new and exciting. In love as in life, if the beginning is bad, it’s just bad. Get out. Get therapy. Get some bourbon on the rocks.

Sometimes being cheery and loving life gives you no advantage over miserable, energy sucking, peewads.  Sometimes life does not love you back. Some days life spits in your eye, punches you in the guts and leaves you writhing and naked in the ditch of failure.

As much as we need  encouragement, we need validation that things get tough, life kicks us in the beans sometimes, and it’s ok to admit it.

So, for those days, I offer up the following kitschy little sayings;

11blog 12blog 13blog

If you had a great day, that’s terrific my wonderful little cherry pie. If not, it’s ok to say it sucked.

Wishing you more wonderful days than sucky ones.