Letters to the Government

Please send your comments to: chilko99@y.a.h.o.o..com and if they are presentable, I'll add them to this! You'll have to figure it out. Just trying to beat the bots.!

Here’s a letter I wrote for Stephen Harper about the time he shut down the flag at half mast for vets returning in body bags. I don’t think I ever sent it to him. Maybe you could pass it along to whoever is in power.
Dear Mr. Leader
I read the papers, listen to the news and think a little sometimes. This often gets me into trouble but generally helps make life interesting. An observation I made the other day is that we as Canadians will soon quietly become extinct as we transform into Americans. This is not because we are losing our culture but because of our culture. We have been trained to be a fairly meek society and go with the flow. Unfortunately, the flow is taking us to a place where a lot of us don’t want to go! Take our peace keeping forces. Yes I know it wasn’t protocol during the Wars and the Korean conflict but for the past couple of years we lowered our flags when one of our own was killed in action. This was a rarity, something like 16 times during the last 5 or 6 years. We can expect the numbers to change and to ensure that the flags are NOT kept permanently at half mast, the Harper government has decreed that they shall only be lowered on Remembrance day. Another thing that has been in the news a lot is the idea that there will not be enough money in the Canada Pension Plan for us baby boomers when we retire. Here again it looks like we have listened to lessons from the past and are implementing them now. When the economy goes into a slump the best way out is to create a war. Worked in 1914, again in 1939 and seems to be working fine now. Folks are busy either making bombs or getting killed. At least they’re doing something. On the other hand, the kids coming home in body bags are not adding to the Pension Plan coffers. This may help forty years down the road when they are not there to collect but we need their tax money now! What to do? Again in the news, “The Grey Parade is marching” Yes the old folks have problems. We have worked for years building this society and now taxes are increasing so that a number of us cannot afford to live in our houses due to rising taxes; and don't even get me started on the price of dog food! We are retiring at record rates. We worked all our lives and suddenly we don’t know what to do. A good share of us have actually looked after ourselves so we aren’t likely to kick off any time soon. This creates more demand for services and support. Some of us drive large motor homes or pull trailers, most of us still drive. Some of us would like to travel but insurance companies have killed that idea. Insurance companies like to make money and if anything bad happens, they don’t make money so they make restrictions tight enough that they stifle any thoughts of seniors traveling. No travel unless the seniors are extremely wealthy, senile or both! ( my mother tried this - passed away on her way to paradice. I hope she made it!) Also, we are constantly reminded that our time is short and we should buy our plots, headstones and services now so we don’t burden our children. (I’ll get right on that- kids) Yes being a senior these days certainly has some challenges. Welfare recipients. Another group that gets more than it’s fair share of coverage. They tend to make a lot of use of the Health Care system. Some have mental difficulties but a lot simply don’t know what to do because they have never had the experience of seeing life lived as it should be. They came from welfare families and will raise welfare families. The circle continues. Prisons are in the news a lot. They cost a lot to maintain. They take money away from our Canada Pension Plan. The inmates do not like the way they are treated in prison. They have lost the right to smoke. What next? Will they loose their TV’s and movies? Will they also loose the right to conjugate sex? Yes things are tough! Currently when someone gets a ten year sentence they get out after five years and go straight back to society - then straight back to prison. You’d think there would be some way we could ease them back into the population. (remember this thought)
Now previously I mentioned that I think a little. Well Mr. Harper, I have a plan for you. Let’s rethink this whole war effort!
You need to support the Americans or I mean the Iraqi and Afghan people.
You need to help protect the oil supply, oops excuse me, the way of life of the mid east countries. We’ll start with that as a given! Next, It’s not really good PR or all that good for the economy to have kids arriving home in bags and boxes. There are a few of groups of people that could replace the kids. Yes, I’m talking of the Welfare addicts (we’ll call them Poverts), Parolees and Pensioners. Lets look at the costs and benefits of this for all parties involved.

Poverts requirements:
Need a sense of worth
Sense of giving back to the community
Need a living
Exercise is good
Health care
Structure and direction in their lives

Parolee requirements:
Need a sense of worth
Sense of giving back to the community
Need a living
Exercise is good
Health care
Structure and direction in their lives
Moral instruction

Pensioner requirements:
Need a sense of worth
Sense of giving back to the community
Need a living
Exercise is good
Health care
Ability to travel & see the world
Assistance in daily living
Ability to use life skills
Funeral and burial services

Young Adult requirements:
Need to procreate
Need to Create
Need to consume
Need to learn
Need to work
Need to plan
Need to live

As we can see by the above examples, Three of these groups of people have very similar requirements while the other is very different. The current situation takes the unlike group, youth and sends them off to war to get maimed and die while the other groups of which there are clearly a greater number of; sit back in the easy chair, watch the proceedings and worry about where their future help will come from. Most are too old to pro-create without scientific help, so therefore, the only ones left to re-build society are the deviants that are left.

Now, lets look at what the forces provide:
Sense of worth
Opportunity to drive light & heavy equipment
Opportunity to use strategic skills earned in the business world
Health care
Burial and memorial services
Ability to help those less fortunate

Remember all those “match the items in the two columns” exercises we did in grade two. Well you do the math! It looks to me like there are a few perfect fits and almost none involve youth! In the old days war was fought by kids with spears, bows, guns and swords. In those days, you had to be agile, fast and young to have a chance to survive during the rigours of war. Things are different now. Now we drive tanks, armoured vehicles, jets and ships and need the ability to push a button. Even if you get shot down, you still only need the basic ability to push the eject button and dream. It’s not like you can do much more until you hit the desert. Somehow the generals think that kids are the only ones agile enough to have this ability. Personally I’d welcome the chance to get out there and join the army. I’ve got a few frustrations I’d like to deal with! I used to hunt fish and trap. Most of our delicate Disney society sort of frowns on that now. The army might give me a chance to relive those days and brush off some of the skills I learned back then. It would certainly let me forget that I am retired! Although my marriage is perfect, I can see where this would be an opportune time for some to get away from the daily drudgery of watching old movies on TV and walking Fifi up and down the same brown stained bit of boulevard. Of hearing the same tired comments from the same tired mind about the same overwhelming minuscule problems. Who knows, going off to war, (er peace keeping) might even stir her up to knit some toques and write some letters or something! And the economy! The youth would all be working, The Poverts would be doing meaningful work, The pensioners would be living and dying same as now but the living and dying would both probably be much better. The Parolees would be learning how society really works and if they didn’t make it, such is life. The youth would feel much safer knowing that the parolees are occupied with staying alive! Society would have a sense of progress and vitality again.
The forces, how would they handle the shift in demographics? Well lets see. Probably not so many antibiotics and condoms required but probably a few more cases of depends. The generals would probably need to plan a little so that the more youthful did the heavier tasks like setting up camp, changing tires etc. Some of the equipment would need to be retrofitted with piss tubes and porta-potties. Seats would need to be a little more comfortable. Maybe some corrective lenses in the optical displays. Casualties would definitely be higher but probably not if you include the lower death rate at home. Entertainment may have to be re-visited. Training would have to be adjusted. Rather than a drain on the economy, the forces may actually enhance the economy by providing necessary services to a portion of the society that the government already supports. I can envision a future where the military forces could become a mercenary peace keeping force where they are paid by other countries to police radical areas of the world. This in turn would enhance the home economy to the point where the youth might only have to work a two or three day work week and could spend the rest of their time in activities of recreation and consumption! We have done a lot for our kids in the past but this will be the ultimate support of our kids. And yes, some of us will return home in body bags and yes, unfortunately our children will be burdened with the task of burying us before they cash the estate cheques! So here Mr. Harper is the rough draft! You have the chance, should you wish, of creating utopia where all members of society are treasured and rewarded for what they do. You can do this without selling out, but by getting our buy in. To get our buy in, you must help create an environment that will support the arts! You must allow free speech and freedom of assembly! You must ensure that all people are allowed to peacefully celebrate their beliefs! You must create an atmosphere where hate is not tolerated! ou must enable us to create a culture worth protecting! You must have a celebration of life anytime one of us is killed protecting our way of life!
Kindest regards

Frank Peters

A Letter for Mr. Harper
1. Joe Borkoski says:
2011/04/09 at 11:37 am
you’re a fucking genius! Tanks a lot!

2. Lisa P-S says:
2013/01/27 at 10:08 am
Dear Dad
F*%king brilliant! Well said!
Love your Daughter & Son In-law
Dear Mr. Trudeau, Leader of the Opposition, all MP’s and the Senate.

For the past several hundred years, you and the rest of the Canadian politicians have been treating every visible minority with your colonial attitude. One of your comments was, “We have to get this right!” for those people. It’s what you’ve been saying to the Indians the homeless, the Asians, the Syrians, the blacks, the drug users, the suicidal…and now those that desire to end their lives but don’t have the physical way to do so.  Not once have you said to any of these groups, “What can we do to help?” “What do you need?”  then, actually following through by giving or helping with what they need instead of trying to do it all for them or to them. This is a simple thing! Don’t make it complicated!  What we need is a law that allows us to go to a doctor to have them help us end our unbelievable suffering! We need a law that allows us to slip away in the arms of, or surrounded by our friends and loved ones if they desire. That’s it. It is not up to the government to tell us what is unbelievable suffering! You or I or any physically capable person can end things right now in any fashion we choose! This law is to give those without the means, the ability to do this too. The other law we, and I’m talking all Canadians, need is the one that allows us to pre-plan our deaths. We need a law that allows us to say, “If something should happen to me in the future that meets these conditions (and we decide the conditions, not the lawmakers) then help us end our lives with these people present.”  We are the only ones that can say what suffering is, because it is not the same for all of us. When we are born into this world, we are usually surrounded by family or doctors and nurses. Often times our birth is planned, but when we leave, we must leave alone. No one can know of the timing. It is against the law! Don’t be an idiot! Understand that this type of thinking is just plain wrong!

Please read through to the end even if you do not agree because I also offer alternatives!

I have a story to tell. My kids are old enough that although traumatic, I think they’ll understand. My former wife Tracy was diagnosed with Huntington’s disease in the late fall of about 1987 or 88. (I’ll never forget her response to the diagnosis. “Merry f..ing Christmas now go home and die”) This was after a few years of gradual decline that was becoming more noticeable. Her wish at the time was for me to take her out to the back forty and shoot her!
She was raised in a farming community and understood that there are some things that are just not worth living through when there is no hope, and at that time, there was absolutely “no hope.” At the time we lived on a small farm. Now although tempted I didn’t follow through. I got help and gradually worked things out so we could move to town. At the time, we had an older dog. This dog killed chickens and anything else he could. He would go nuts when put on a leash. He was a free spirit farm dog but nobody with a farm would take him because of his less than desirable habits. Because we were moving into town, because he would not understand that the neighbour kids were not lunch, and because of several other things, he and I made a trip to the back forty with a gun and a moose steak! As I was returning I kept hearing Tracy’s wishes and thinking I took the wrong one out there!   (Robert Latimer had more guts than me and the way he was treated, that was a travesty of justice if there ever was one!)
We moved to town. Tracy soon moved to an assisted living facility. (She was 28 or 29 when she moved into an old folk’s home because that was all that was available in a small town) Over the course of several years, her ability to do things gradually declined. She started lashing out at her care givers out of frustration. This caused many moves to different care facilities throughout Alberta where she was sedated to the point of being ilttle more than a zombie. She eventually declined to the point where all she could do was lay in a bed or recliner and look in the direction of the TV. She couldn’t speak, she couldn’t communicate. Her body survived another 5 years in that condition. During all this time, we took the kids to see her, because she was their mother and we wanted them all to know each other. However at some point she started forgetting their names and only, if they did something to catch her attention, could she gaze with unfocused eyes in their direction. Eventually her body died, alone, without family and friends around her, after being in a diseased prison for about 15 years. Had she been legally able to make the choice, I know what it would have been!
We had three children. This was before we knew for sure that Huntington’s was in the family. Because Huntington’s disease is a dominant gene, for each child you can flip the coin and each child has a fifty/fifty chance of having the disease. I say having because if you have the gene, you have the disease. Symptoms may appear early or later depending on genetic factors. I guess we were lucky. We only had one child with Huntington’s disease. Each of the children lived with the knowledge that they may have the disease. Testing wasn’t allowed to happen until they were of legal age which in the case of Alberta is 18. So like any gun is always assumed to be loaded, each child assumed they had the disease. When Lee-Anne, our youngest turned 18, she went with her best friend to get tested. Yes, she had the disease. She swore on that day that she would not go through what her mother did. She created a bucket list! She followed through on whatever promises she made for herself. She moved to BC, She got and held a job until she couldn’t, she fell in love until it went sideways, she put together the most amazing group of caregivers to watch over her when things got tough. Part of her reason for moving to BC was to spare us from watching her go through what would come. Part was to ensure she didn’t get in the same position as her mother! Eventually things went from bad to worse and she knew she would have to end it while she still could. She wished she could say, “when things get to (this…) level, I’d like help dying.” But that was not to be. She had several failed attempts.” She had a farewell party and planned on it being the end afterwards, but someone “ratted her out”. (her words). Another time she tried drowning herself but her ability to swim took over. That time her jaw was dislocated from shivering in the cold, and she was in excruciating pain for about 3 days. She wouldn’t go to a doctor because she was fearful of being put in an institution! Several times she tried drugs to end her life, but there were never enough of the kind that were effective. Eventually she did succeed after suffering pain for quite a few days so she could amass enough meds.

We miss her but we totally understand her wishes! It is just too bad we couldn’t have been with her. We feel cheated too. We couldn’t sing for her the songs she loved, and to protect us, she wouldn’t say when she was leaving. And it is so sad that she had to try so many times before success. It is so sad that she couldn’t have stayed until things got really bad! She was waiting for the law! There are so many more people waiting for the law. Waiting for the cruelty to end! If we had an animal that we kept in the condition of some of these folks, we would be charged with cruelty to animals! So let’s change the rules as above. Also, let’s build more and better palliative care facilities because this end of life solution may not be desired by everyone, but it should be available for everybody at their choice! Let’s not tell people what they need but provide them with choices so they can make up their own mind, as to what is right for them. Sincerely Francis (Frank) H. Peters
Laws we need:
1. What we need is a law that allows us to go to a doctor to have them help us end our unbelievable suffering! (we are the only ones that can define our suffering)
2. We need a law that allows us to slip away in the arms or surrounded by our friends and loved ones if they desire. (We need it to be legal to plan and announce our passing)
3. We need a law that allows us to say, “If something should happen to me in the future that meets these conditions (and we decide and define the conditions, not the lawmakers) then help us end our lives with these people present.”
These three ideas can be reduced to one law:
1. “If I decide I am in a state of suffering or, if something should happen to me in the future that meets these conditions (and I decide and define the conditions, not the lawmakers) then allow a doctor or ‘end of life practitioner’ to enable me to end my life with these people present.”
Resources we need:
1. Better long term facilities for younger people.
2. More & Better palliative care facilities
Keep it simple…

1. chilko says:
2016/05/19 at 12:19 pm
Please pass this on to any who may be interested. Thanks Frank

2. Vernita Carlson says:
2016/05/19 at 8:43 pm
Tracy was my best friend growing up, and I was maid of honor at her wedding to Frank. Watching her deterioration from a strong, vital, fun-loving young woman, to where she was a few years later was heart breaking. There is no need for people to suffer the way some people are made to in our society today – and the suffering extends to their family as well.
Frank, what a beautifully thought out and written letter. I can only imagine the pain that you and your family have gone through, most especially with Tracy and Lee-Anne. I wish you all the best in your quest to get laws changed so that others are spared the pain and indignities you had to watch them go through. I must definitely support you in this. ◦

3. Donna Schmidt says:
2016/05/20 at 1:56 pm
Frank: This is heartbreaking to read. You all suffered so much. May you never have to go through this kind of pain again. Your wife, your daughter, your grandson. too much for anyone to bear.
◦ chilko says:
2016/05/20 at 2:06 pm
Thanks Donna but this isn’t about me. It’s about getting the government to legalize assisted death if desired, with the right to pre-plan also if desired. ◦

4. Liz says:
2016/05/21 at 5:57 am
How thoughtfully and succinctly written. Through your loss and ability to represent this situation you have created an opportunity for reasonable and compassionate solution. Thank you