Monday, October 09, 2006
Daily Gleaner | News - As published on page A1 on October 9, 2006
She's not giving up 'hope'
By EVERTON MCLEAN
For The Daily Gleaner
Hope Young is on a mission to help New Brunswick families get rid of video lottery gambling addiction, and she's bringing her message to the most powerful people in the province and country.
Young, who has a family member she says is addicted to VLTs, has started a petition with the intent of abolishing the machines in New Brunswick.
She and a friend have gathered 380 signatures in the past month and are more than a third of the way to their goal of 1,000.
For Young, getting rid of VLTs is as much about saving the families of people addicted to gambling as it is about the individual.
"When you look at one individual and he's playing a machine, that man has a family," she said. "He's losing all his self-esteem, his stamina as a community member. It's a deadly game."
She has recently been touched by VLT addiction in her own family.
"It's something that I don't feel needs to be there. I feel it's a demon that gets inside people, and if I can do something about it, I'm not just going to sit there around and watch a family member of mine go down to a machine."
She said too many people have lost too much to video gambling.
"Ever since VLTs came in we've had suicides, people have lost incomes, their homes and personal belongings are just gone. I think it's terrible that New Brunswickers have to put up with such a thing. When it comes to a family member, it's heart-breaking."
Young hopes the message she's sending will be heard and changes will be made to laws governing the machines.
She has already written a letter to Premier Shawn Graham and Prime Minister Stephen Harper lamenting the machines and will send both a copy of the petition when it is complete.
She said she's particularly interested to see what Graham does, considering his new role as premier.
"I'd like to reach out to Shawn Graham. I think he's a family (man), he's very family oriented, so I hear. I want to reach out to him to see if he has the capacity and capability to get rid of these things."
While she realizes it's difficult to convince government to abolish machines that can generate a lot of money, Young said there are other things the province can do to bring in funds that would be better for the people of New Brunswick.
"They need something better to bring money in than a machine. Find something useful, find something that's productive for New Brunswickers. But people can't be productive if they're sitting there pushing buttons."
She says lowering the unemployment rate and raising income would help families in general, but if a person addicted to gambling has more money, she fears that person would end up spending more at the VLTs.
"I can't see any way besides getting rid of the machines."
VLTs were first introduced in New Brunswick in 1990
VLTs brought in $147 million in sales for the province in 2004-2005
There were 2,800 VLTs in New Brunswick as of 2000
This building offers a water fountain, washroom and free coffee. What is nice is the place is run by Volunteers!!!
We all have heard stories of the Virgin Mary popping out from nowhere in different places around the Globe.
Some will go overboard and say that a pancakes or a tree looks like Jesus. Many are caught with these messages from high above. So?
Someone told me that there’s a pictures of an Angel in here!!! What do you think????
I forgot to blog this funny little story which happen a few weeks ago at the New Brunswick Legislature.
I was near a Commissionaire when I heard on the radio - The clown is in front of the Legislature!!!
I said to myself - That’s funny? I’m not there!!!
Then just like lighting? IT HIT ME!!!
I said - Clown???? My God????
I quickly ran towards the Legislature.
I noticed one Commissionaire running towards the same direction but just like I roadrunner? I quickly ran right by the guy and made in front of the Legislature. Hey? At 47, I still can run fast!!!
I turned my eyes on the front steps and sure enough!!! There he was!!!
His name is George.
I first met the guy last year and we got a different style when he comes to protesting!...lol
This guy will stand in the Legislature with a clown nose on his face or play a guitar uptown.
Dan Bussieres had him ban from the Legislature and he has been a very upset little clown ever since.
So there he was making a big speech.
Since Quebecois Dan Bussieres said that I would be charge with assault if I walked on the sidewalk?
I said to myself - Hey? This is a story and if the Commissionaires attacks the Clown and I was the only guy in the area taking pictures?
I would have the pictures as evidence.
Just like in Saint John with Atlantica? I was the first one in the area and I had all the evidence on camera if someone was assaulted.
I’m a blogger and that’s my job!!! < Too bad it doesn’t pay. >
I quickly noticed the clown heading towards me with the three Commissionaires escorting the guy from the grounds of the Legislature.
I just kept on taking pictures. This was great!!! The clown smiled for the camera and did a little showcase for the security staff.
Then he quickly ran towards the Legislature.
I continued clicking away because a person never knows when the assault could happen?
There’s a clown out of control in front of the Legislature and this is news!!!...lol..
Yvon LeBlanc tapped me on the shoulder and in a polite way said - Come on Charles? You know you are not allowed here?
I quickly told the Acadian Commissionaire while clicking away - Don’t touch me!! I’m a blogger!!!
He insisted that I leave and at the end I told Yvon to call the Police if he doesn’t want me around???
If it wasn’t for my trial in Saint John? I would have joined the Clown on the front steps but I can’t do much till after November 2nd!
The clown decided to make a run towards the Legislature.
The Clown decided that he had enough and went home.
Once the action was done, I decided to have some fun. I knew that the Quebec Security Staff had their video camera zoom on me.
I told Yvon there were no hard feelings and offer to shake his hand but he wouldn’t.
All the security staff had orders from Quebecois Dan Bussieres that if they talk to me? They would be fired right on the spot!!! < I’ll blog more on this issue later on >
I went home and had a good chuckles over the pictures.
Clowns inside the Legislature and a clown outside!!
Lots of action in the Capital and one thing is guaranteed?
You will not see stories like this one in the Irving Papers!!! ....lol.....