Tag Archives: gifts

The Gift of Giving

I am as poor as a church mouse. At least, that’s what my bank account would have you believe. Do I have hidden riches? You bet. No, it’s not Opal, my ‘precious jewel’… though that would be a good answer. My latest ‘riches’ arrived through the Advisory Committee For Persons with Disabilities which I chair. Recently, the city Mayor and Council felt generous (and maybe wanted to make points for the upcoming municipal election?). They approved $200,000 for fixing or adapting or creating stuff in HRM buildings to make them more accessible for persons with disabilities. Nice. The committee’s job is to decide how this money gets spent. We have a wish list that is growing by the minute. My suggestion was to maximize the spending of this money. 200K is squat when you consider that this is the price tag for major accessibility surgery like putting in one new elevator in a community center. I wanted to do the most with this, and effect change in many buildings. Yesterday, after much discussion following the ‘pitch’ from a representative from the Sledge Hockey Task Force, we passed a motion to funnel 35 thousand towards retrofitting the Bowles arena in Dartmouth (auto door opener and washroom) so that the new sledge hockey team can get off the ground here in HRM. Sledge Hockey, by the way, is a form of hockey that uses ‘sledges’ to move disabled players around the ice. This is CANADA! Hockey is our game and part of our identity. All kids should have the opportunity to participate in the game. What a wonderful gift for me to be able to say the words, “motion passed”. I had bumped into Mayor Kelly before my meeting started (He was coming into city hall as I was stepping out to relieve Opal). He knew who I was though I don’t know why. We’ve only met at big, crowded functions. My paranoia led me to believe that he has been following this blog…remember the ‘can relocator’ and my confession by proxy? I think I mentioned that I should be dumping Opal’s poop bags on his desk because my requested garbage can had not arrived after two months… my photo is on one page of this blog…you can see how my mind got to this conclusion. But no, he was setting up for the Pride flag raising ceremony (could it be that Mayor Kelly is courting the gay vote?) and the reception in Halifax Hall which followed. I told him that I was going to my meeting and that I was not pleased that he had booted us out of our regular meeting room (about to be used for the Pride Week shindig). He suggested that I drop by after my meeting. I did. It was a little crowded and noisy. You know what people are like when food is available on the city’s dime. I stayed long enough to say hello to Mayor Kelly again. He told me that he is feeling better after his recent hospitalization. He insisted that I take one of the sweets from the tray he was wielding around like a social butterfly. Perhaps I’ll send him a note to announce the spending of some money for the sledge hockey team and their arena. Could it be that we can double the 200K amount that is set aside for disability-related retrofitting next year?