Thursday, January 20, 2005
Yes, the last 24 hours has been very hectic andeverything is back to normal! After eight days, the protester - Tim Smith hasended his hunger strike and is now on a bus on routeto Saint John! Thank God for that! Everything started to move very quickly yesterdaymorning at 11:00am! While walking in the hallway of the Legislature? Ibumped into Margaret-Ann Blaney. I asked the Ministerif she had a couple of minutes. I told her that it wasok if the Government ignored me during my protest!
But this here protester Tim Smith is verydetermine and serious about the issue of VLT’S! TheGovernment must talk with this guy because if youdon’t? He will die!!!! She quickly told me that she’ll chat with the guyright now! I told her that is not the way to do it! You mustinvite the guy inside in a room and chat with theprotester in a very serious manner! I walked with the minister to her SUV and she toldme that she’ll look into my concerns! Of course, Iknow that this Government don’t communicate withProtesters and what a person does compare to what theysay is two different issues! Hours later, I was introduced to Don and his wifeSandie Bishop from Saint John. This couple lost their son because of the VLT’S!He committed suicide 6 years ago because of hisaddiction and they have been very outspoken againstthese machines. The poor mother said- If I wasn’t so old? I wouldjoin Tim Smith! It’s very cold out there! I chatted over the phone with this couple aroundfive years ago. They remembered our conversationbecause I used to write a lot of letters to the editoron this issue! It’s not that I only fought this veryemotional issue once the protest began! I have beenfighting against these machines for a long while andthe Bishops knew it! They told Tim Smith that Charleshas been outspoken on this issue for years! The Bishops went to the gallery and listened tothe speeches of the politicians. I visited the Sergeant At Arms office! Whilechatting with Dan Bussieres, Terry Andow <> walked in and said - Charles? The protester ismeeting right now in a room with Wayne Steeves , Margaret-Ann Blaney Jeannot Volpe <> and ElvyRobichaud <>!!!! I quickly gave the Bureaucrat a thumb ups and Isaid to myself - Boy? That Margaret-Ann sure movedfast on that issue!!!! I was very very very surprised that four Ministerswould meet with the Protester while the House wasstill in session! You got to understand that the Lord Governmentonly has one seat majority so therefore they have tobe present at all times! I quickly walked upstairs to the Gallery and toldthe Bishops of the good news! After close to an hour we still couldn’t locateTim Smith. The Bishops decided to call it a day andwent home. Earlier that day, Nicole Carlin from ATV asked theProtester if he would give a live interview with SteveMurphy in Halifax? I told Tim that this is a opportunity of alifetime and he should do it! At the end, he did but I’ll get to that later. I couldn’t locate Tim so therefore I believe thathe went over my place because I gave him the keys tomy place that morning! I told him to leave the Legislature and go to myplace before the Live interview so he could relax andconcentrate what he’s going to say! This is LIVE TV!!!! Once over my place, he was no where to be found.Thank God that I had a spare key! Then I heard on CBC radio that the protest wasover and Tim enjoyed a nice bowl of soup in theCafeteria with Margaret-Ann on his side. I never once taught of going to look for him atthe Cafeteria. I watched his interview on Television and he spokejust like an expert! My God? Can this man ever speak from the heart! Hedid an excellent job!!!! He was so good that after the interview? SteveMurphy phoned the ATV office in Fredericton and toldthe reporter to tell Tim Smith that he did a fantasticjob!!! The reporter told Tim that she has been aroundfor over two years and this was the first time thatSteve Murphy ever phone after an interview! Last night, I had to attend a support group forADHD but I’ll get to that one in days ahead! I spokeat the meeting but I was exhausted from running aroundall day! After the meeting, a woman dropped me off at theShelter and I asked for Tim Smith? Once he came outside, he gave me a big hug and itwas the first instance since the protest began that hehad a huge smile on his face. He was on cloud nine!!!! The protest was over and he was looking forward tosee his kids in Saint John! He spoke very very very highly of Margaret-AnnBlaney! He praised her like she was God! He told me that they had a good two hours parentchat! He added that the meeting was sometime emotionaland happy! After ten minutes of listening to all the stories<>…lol..I love to talk!!!...lol… I asked Tim a direct question? I asked- Ok? Whathappens if the Government don’t take your issuesseriously? Once you leave the Capital, the Governmentjust ignores you? What happens there? His eyes open up and he quickly said- I don’t wantto talk about that!!! It was just like telling him that his kids wereinvolved in an accident! He quickly changed the subject and continue topraise Margaret-Ann Blaney! I wish him a very good night and went home! This would be the last time that he’ll have tosleep in the shelter. I bet tonight he’ll be please tosleep in his own private bed!!! This morning, the doorbell rang at 7:45am and itwas Tim Smith. He dropped over the winter boots I gave him and hewanted to invite me for lunch! I was still half asleep so we had a nice coffee!!!It sure was nice to see him eat! We walked into the Legislature and I introducedhim to a few politicians. It sure bought me back intime when my protest was over! It took me half a day to shake everyone hands whosupported me during my six months protest! Of course the politicians were very happy to seeme go because I droved them crazy for a six monthsperiod but the happy days were soon over once Ireturned to the Capital 11 days after!!!..lol… We bumped into Bernard Lord <> and onceagain he praised Margaret-Ann for her commitment tohis issues! Bernard replied- Margaret is a good person! Of course being Charles? I had to bring the issueof Ritalin to his attention! I am still waiting for acommittee to study the issue! I reminded the Premierthat he’s going to be a guest on Voice of the Province<> this evening and get ready for my phonecall! He told me that they’re not taking any phone callsfor this show only! Ahhhh that’s no fun!!!!! I can’t phone you toagitate ya???...lol…. A Liberal politician pushed me aside and said - MyGod? That guy removed four Ministers from the floor???That has never happened in the past!!!! I told the Politician that he was a special guybecause he spoke from the heart and he has the publicsupport 100%!!!!! We went to Tim Horton and it was really nice thistime around because he also ate with me! Last week, Ifelt guilty to eat a Boston Cream in front of theProtester but I just love my Boston Cream!..lol.. It was time for Tim Smith to leave the Capital. Iwalked with him to the Bus Station and before he wentinside the Bus, we gave each other a little hug and hethanked me very much to stand beside him during theprotest with my updates and the little connection Ihave! I told Tim that the people who committed suicidebecause of these dreadful machines are looking down athim from the sky and are saying- Good work Tim! At 11:30am Tim Smith left the Capital and headingfor Saint John! I felt a little sad to lose my newfriend but I was happy for the guy! You can read his story athttp://nb.cbc.ca/regionalnews/caches/nb-hungerover20050120.html The protest is gone and I’ll never forget themessage that Tanker Malley <> told me overand over during my protest. His message was- Charles? One man can make adifferent!!! Did Tim make a different? Who knows??? But I praythat the action from the Government wasn’t just apublic relation act! He said- Isn’t great to see theGovernment and the people work together??? I pray and hope that they will take Timsuggestions seriously! His idea to shut the machines off on a Sunday is agreat idea and to show how good of a man Tim is? He said that he wish to dedicate that day for theBishops who lost their son! Tim is on my email list and I’ll still keep intouch with my new friend! Good work Tim and you also Margaret! MY GOD!!! CLOSE TO 1,700 WORDS????? Ohhhhh well…this update is a souvenir for this oldprotester! What can I say? Excuse the style and grammar of this updatebecause I once again wrote it in a very quick fashion! Do you have any comments for Tim? Send them alongbecause he’s on my email list!! Bye bye…. Charles LeBlanc114 Brunswick StreetFrederictonNew BrunswickE3B 1G6