About the Author

Lorene Shyba

Books by this Author
5000 Dead Ducks

5000 Dead Ducks

Lust and Revolution in the Oilsands
tagged : satire
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At the moment, George Bovich is more interested in his bologna sandwich than in the workings of his portable mini-power reactor. He and his buddies call these rolling reactors ‘mobile nukes’. There are a bunch of them perched like locusts on the banks of the Athabauna River, superheating the water that separates the oil from the sands. George glances at the master dial. The needle is bouncing back and forth into the red. He puts down his sandwich. Strange, he thinks. He rummages around for the manual. It’s all in FarEast, so it’s not much help. “Hey Chip, we got a manual in English?” Chip crawls out from the back of the truck. “Not that I know of.” Pulling his goggles down, he wipes his streaming brow under his hardhat, “Shit, it’s awful hot back there all of a sudden.” George radios over to his buddy on the opposite bank. “Hey Charlie, your dials acting up?” “Yeah, hey, main dial’s stuck in the red. Maybe we should call the high-tech guy at the plant. Truck’s startin’ to shake too.” Bovich looks again at his dial. “Mine’s maxed too. And the truck’s shakin’ like an SOB. Holy sh**.”

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RumbleSat Art from the Edge of Space

RumbleSat Art from the Edge of Space

Art from the Edge of Space
also available: eBook
tagged : group shows
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Excerpt form "Not Alone" a short story by Jim Parker. Only a few years earlier, they would have missed the object entirely. The astronomers at the Poem Tree Observatory had improved their small object detection system in the past few years, their ‘meteor shield,’ as people called it. The approaching object was at the limit of their abilities, moving rapidly through their solar system faster than a comet. It was not in orbit of the sun, so had come from outside the system. That fact alone made it worthy of interest, but the object also appeared to be slowing; interesting too, because only artificial objects do that. Jonos left the observatory at sunset. Many of the astronomers worked at night, or course, but Jonos was tracking local objects, and especially this object, with radar, and it was now below the horizon. Nothing more to be done tonight, as the object posed no danger. He took the tram down the hill to the elevator where his colleague Kip was waiting at the bottom. “Well, if it isn’t the famous discoverer of the extra-solar object!” Kip shouted. Their meeting was not planned, and in fact Jonos didn’t like Kip much. She was something of a motor mouth. However, Kip was on the committee that assigned radio telescope time, and Jonos knew that it behooved him to be nice around her. “Well, hello. I didn’t expect to see you today. How are things in the high pay levels?” Jonos asked. “I am perfect,” Kip replied, slapping Jonos on the shoulder. “You know, you have made my job so much more interesting. The sun was just touching the horizon. The sky was red, the clouds were orange and yellow, and the wind was rising, as it always did at sunset. The poem trees were singing a lullaby, and they smelled glorious. It was Jonos’ favourite time of day. He did not want it ruined by a chance encounter with someone he found as irritating as Kip. He sighed to himself. Kip continued, “We’re having some press here tomorrow. I hope you can spare them some time. They have questions, and I know that you don’t have all of the answers, but you’re now the expert. They need to hear from you.” “Sure, you know me. Always willing to help.” Jonos sighed again. “Listen, make it early in the morning so that I can get it out of the way before I start working.” He smiled weakly. “It would help. I’m not getting much sleep.”

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More Tough Crimes

Foreword by Honourable Patrick LeSage “I have seen the effect of crime on many parts of the community; first and foremost the victims of crime and their families, but also police officers, medics, witnesses, court staff, the lawyers, the jurors and the judges and yes, even the families of the perpetrators. I have spoken to judges who previously unbeknownst to me had suffered deeply from the effects of a case or cases, be it the trauma flowing from the details of the crime, to the impact of having to view child pornography, to living in a smaller community where lawyers, judges and police find themselves always in the public eye, even outside the courtroom.”

PART I: Politics and Transborder Donald Bayne. “Mike Duffy: Trial By Media in a Post-Truth World.” “Moments before he went on television, Senator Duffy pleaded with PMO insider and confidante to the Prime Minister, Ray Novak, saying, ‘Ray, I did nothing wrong. If I take a dive for my leader when I am innocent, then I am totally at the mercy of the opposition.’ This plea fell on deaf PMO ears and insiders emailed one another with notes like, ‘I appreciate the work this team did on this. One down, two to go (and one out)’; ‘Yay this is fun’; and ‘Sweet’.”

Brian H. Greenspan. “The Eagle Has Landed: The Eagleson Transborder Resolution” “The public fervour against Alan Eagleson led by Russ Conway and his cadre of supporters, most vociferously Carl Brewer and Bobby Orr, had always been offset by a subdued and more private list of Eagleson loyalists and admirers including Bob Gainey, Bobby Clarke, Marcel Dionne, as well as a distinguished group of former politicians and judges. I had always felt confident that my list of All-Stars would eventually outperform and outlast their All-Stars. Following the announcement of the Canadian charges, Paul Kelly was inundated with demands for speedy justice. At the same time I was bombarded with protestations of Alan’s innocence and demands for his ultimate vindication.”

David Bright QC. “Justice Delayed: A Story of Complacency” “When MacIntosh was taken before the presiding Justice in India, he indicated that he was not contesting his return to Canada, but needed time to wind up his affairs. He had been living in India for many years and had a household of furnishings that required disposal, as well a duty to his employer to turn over the office to a successor. Indeed he was given time, but he was accompanied everywhere by armed Indian police. During the nights and non-business times, he was housed in the infamous Tihar Jail, which is a vast penal colony in Delhi. It is equipped to handle some 5,200 prisoners, however, at the time of MacIntosh’s incarceration, some 10,500 were housed there. Conditions were abhorrent. MacIntosh slept and sat on a wet, concrete floor, with a variety of other prisoners incarcerated for serious crimes. He had to purchase his own food. The so-called dormitory area was visited by rodents and vermin, and snakes were a common sight.”

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Tough Crimes

John Rosen on Defence of Paul Bernardo “Much has been written about the videotapes, the failure of the police to find them and the horrific nature of their contents. But nothing has ever been said about the impact of the tapes on the lawyers. After taking possession of the tapes, [Clayton] Ruby and I met at his home to view them for the first time. We played the VHS tapes so as not to damage the originals. We also fast-forwarded through most parts. Our intention was to get an understanding of what was depicted so we could assess my legal, professional and ethical obligations. “In truth though, the images depicted shook me to the core. At one point, I needed to stop and excuse myself for a few moments. The images were deeply disturbing and the implications were obvious. How was I going to defend this case in the face of these tapes? What would prevent the jury from coming over the boards at me for having the gall to advance any defence for this accused? Moreover, I am a father myself – what would my own family think of me? How was I going to survive a trial with my health and reputation intact? “I could have avoided my responsibilities by claiming I was a witness to the chain of custody of the tapes. But what would that have said about the twenty-five years of my life that, at that point in time, I had dedicated to the criminal law? After a moment’s hesitation, I decided to set aside my personal feelings and interests and get on with the job at hand.”

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Women in Criminal Justice

Honourable Susan Lang “Flawed Forensic Evidence: The Motherisk Hair Analysis Independent Review” Overarching problems were rooted in the lack of adequate oversight by the Hospital. As a result, the Lab continued to test hair for forensic purposes before it even received clinical accreditation in 2011. Moreover, clinical accreditation related only to the Lab’s processes and did not assess the robustness or reliability of the hair tests. Sadly, the bottom line was that the Lab’s hair tests were flawed. They should not have been relied upon to make decisions in either child protection or criminal cases.

Honourable Nancy Morrison. “The Courage of Vicki” There was a mean shed in a nearby field. Small and old, a sometime pump house, it had a dirt floor, upright rough-hewn slats for walls, some barbed wire, broken pipes. Inside, feed for cattle. An old bathtub was outside, to be filled with water for the cattle. Its only door could not be seen from the grandmother’s farm. It was one of the places he took the child to rape her.

Honourable Lise Maisonneuve. “How to Shift a Culture” I understand that the readers of this book will be a varied lot, but I know that many women will read it pondering their futures in the criminal law arena. In this book, you’ll read many essays from experienced criminal lawyers — all women — who, despite the many challenges they faced in continuing and succeeding in their careers, persisted and, in turn, their contributions to the law have had important and positive impacts for both individuals specifically and society as a whole. They are examples for us all. In light of those stories, I see one of my roles as Chief Justice as encouraging women to follow in their footsteps. Part of that role involves encouraging and maintaining the gender diversity of our Court today as an administrative function as Chief Justice. But another part of my role is personal — telling my own story and the lessons I have learned and can share.

Honourable Danielle Côté: “Certainty? Certainly Not” A judge is ultimately alone when deciding a case and is always alert to the danger of a wrongful conviction. The truth is that not only is the judge alone, but if a wrongful verdict is rendered, also keenly aware that many may point out the judge as being a bad judge, incapable of rendering justice. Perfection is not possible. It is out of reach for human beings. A good judge is always trying to reach perfection. But is there certainty? Certainly not. But reaching for perfection helps me sleep at night.

Honourable Iona Jaffe. “The Toronto 18” Bound by his own sense of confidentiality, my colleague did not reveal any details. But he did make a gesture with one hand. He pointed down to the ground. I was clearly confused. He pointed to the ground again. It was at that moment, sitting in my office on the 35th floor of the Exchange Tower in Toronto, that it struck me. My colleague was pointing to the floor of the Exchange Tower. “This building is the target of the terrorist attack?” He just looked at me, and I knew I was right. To say I felt an instant sense of unease was an understatement. I wanted to leave the building of course, but my feelings of anxiety were mixed with feelings of guilt. I had knowledge and could leave the building if I wanted. But I could not share what I knew with anyone else in the building. Not yet. And I could not tell my family that the building to which I commuted everyday was apparently in the cross-hairs of a terrorist group.

Senator Kim Pate. “A Study in Discrimination and Inequity” When I was in the unit manager’s office at the end of the [prison] visit, the head of security interrupted our meeting to advise that he was planning to bring in the emergency response team. I asked why. He advised that the women on the segregation tier, the first range I visited that day, were rioting — screaming, yelling threats and banging the bars of their cells. I advised that I had been down there speaking with those women a few hours before and they were upset about the lack of programming and spiritual support — they were all Indigenous — but that they were working on a group grievance to address their issues. What was striking to me was what the head of security said: “Why don’t you take the baby down? I hear they like your baby.” I wondered, How serious could the risk be that the women posed if the head of security believed a baby could calm the situation?

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Vistas of the West

Vistas of the West

Poems and Visuals of Nature
tagged : nature, canadian
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Shades of the West by Doris Daley

Out where the wind sweeps the prairie, out where the wild eagles fly, When God sends a rain to scrub the world clean, a rainbow gets hung in the sky. But look and you might see another and you’ll find yourself doubly blessed. It’s a rainbow you see with your heartstrings, painted in shades of the west. Red is a hot iron flaming, red is a cow on the prod. Red is a ribbon of pink in the sky brushed on the by the hand of God. Orange is Indian summer, with leaves turning gold somersaults. Orange is twirling in three-quarter time when the band plays the Harvest Moon Waltz. Yellow is slickers on saddles. Yellow is spuds with the roast. Yellow’s a golden October sun buttering the prairie like toast. Indigo angers the heavens, and indigo night-shrouds the trees. Indigo flaps on the clothesline in spring when Levis blow stiff on the breeze.

Violet is crocus and lupines. Violet tastes saskatoon-sweet. Violet is royally riding the range with a kingdom of grass at your feet. Blue is the mist in the valley, the sky like a sapphire dome. Blue is the worry and lonesome you feel when riders are late getting home. Green is the sweet smell of April. Green runs the frost out of ground. Green is the jingle and jig in your step when beef brings a good price a pound. There’s my rainbow, and there’s no pot of gold at the end, and sometimes the going is tough. But if you’ve seen it too, and know these colours to be true, you’re a Westerner, friend, and that’s enough.

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Go Ahead and Shoot Me! And Other True Cases About Ordinary Criminals

Go Ahead and Shoot Me! And Other True Cases About Ordinary Criminals

And Other True Cases About Ordinary Criminals
by Doug Heckbert
afterword by Debbie J. Doyle
foreword by Howard Sapers
cover design or artwork by Rich Théroux
general editor Lorene Shyba
tagged : criminology
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Excerpt from Chapter 1

"Sally: Go Ahead and Shoot Me"

A day or so later, I called Sally to book an appointment to see her at her home. The plan was that I would gather information about her such as age, finances, education, work record, health, marital situation, and the offence, then develop a case plan with her for the period of probation. The appointment was for two days time, at her home.
I arrived at Sally’s address in the north-central part of the city. As I pulled up in front of the house, I noted it was an older bungalow, about 1100 square feet with a well-kept yard featuring grass lawns, shrubs, flowers, and trees. The outside of the home was a combination of grey stucco and brown wood panels, in good condition. Nicely kept houses and yards were on either side of Sally’s.
I head to the front door which faced the street. The woman who came to the door introduced herself as Sally. I estimated her to be about forty years old, of average height, weight, and build. Once inside the home, she introduced me to Roger, her husband. He was about the same age as Sally, about 5–10?and 170 pounds, with slightly greying wavy hair. Sally led us through the front room into the kitchen where she offered coffee. I accept and we all sat down at the kitchen table; Sally, Roger, and me.
I started out the interview by explaining that the purpose of this meeting is to review the probation order, to be sure she understood what had happened in court, to gather information about her, and then to develop a case plan that covered what she needed to do to complete her probation.
As I worked through the probation order, phrase by phrase and condition by condition, Sally said she fully understood what probation was, and what she had to do. Sally relayed her information to me in a pleasant, easy-going manner with no hint of anger, no hesitation. Roger sat quietly at the kitchen table, listening intently to our discussions but not saying very much.
In response to my questions about their home, Sally told me that they had lived at this address for nearly twenty years. She worked part-time as a clerk in a downtown department store and Roger had worked for many years in a warehouse in the north end of the city. They had two children, both girls, who were doing well in high school. Both Sally and Roger had attended high school in the city and both reported to be in good health. I noticed the furnishings in the house are relatively new, so on the surface it appears that Sally and Roger were doing well financially.
I wanted to hear about the offence; but was is a matter to be explored with solemnity, tact and respect. Attempted murder is a very serious charge. When I judged that the interview was going well and we were comfortable with each other, I decided it was time to explore what the offence was all about.
“Thanks for all the information about your house, family, and work,” I said. “Now, can you tell me what the charge is all about?”
There is a long pause. Sally and Roger looked back and forth at each other, neither speaking nor displaying overt facial expressions. Eventually, Sally cleared her throat and began to speak. Roger just sat there at the table, quiet. Over the course of the next while, I listened and digested the scenario that had taken place right over in the next room.
“Well,” she said. “For years, Roger would go out for beers with some of the guys from work, nearly every Friday after work. He wouldn’t get home until eight or nine in the evening, and sometimes he was pretty drunk. For a while, I accepted this behavior and didn’t say a thing. He then started to come home later and later, saying he was hungry and horny. This really bugged me, but again I didn’t say anything. But it continued and I started telling him that I was not the least bit pleased that he came home drunk and demanding. He normally didn’t say much when I got after him, but he did not change. It just kept happening.”
“So this one time,” she continued, “about a year ago, he came home drunk and wanting sex. I had enough of being treated this way so I really lit into him.” When I asked her where this all happened she got up from her chair and pointed down the hall to the room we’d just walked through. “We were in the living room, just over there, she said. Leaping up from the table, she started re-enacted the scene as if was happening all over again.
“‘You son of a bitch!’ I yell at him. ‘You come home drunk and being a jerk, expect me to do everything for you. Well, that’s all gonna change right now; and I won’t be putting up with this shit any more. So, you get out of here and sober up!’
“I was furious and I don’t usually swear but I’d had it up to here with him!” she says, waving her hand across her throat. “He’s staggering around and slurs, ‘I ain’t going nowhere and you can’t make me. This is my house, too. What are you gonna do? Pick me up and throw me out?’
“Then he kinda laughs so I scream at him, ‘No. I know I can’t throw you out. But I’m so mad I could kill you’. He has this weird twisted smile on his face and says, ‘Oh, how you gonna do that? How you gonna kill me?’
“‘Well, I’ll shoot you!’ I yell back, mad as hell. ‘Oh, I see,’ he sneers at me. ‘And where’s your gun?’
“Well, you have your rifle downstairs. I’ll use that!
“Then he just snorts at me and says, ‘Do you want me to go get the gun? You probably don’t even know where it is!’
“‘Alright, asshole,’ I tell him. ‘You go get the gun!’ So he does.”
By her own account, Sally was enraged by this time. She’d had enough. The way she tells it, Roger staggered across the living room to the hallway, lurched his way down the stairs to the basement, found the storage room, grabbed the rifle (a 308 Wincherster he used for hunting deer) and stumbled his way back up the stairs to where she was waiting and fuming. Pacing back and forth across the kitchen, she carries on telling the story.
“‘Here, bitch’, he yells at me, hands me the rifle, and staggers back across the living room, leaving about eight paces between us. I sling the rifle over my shoulders for a second, all defiant, then I point it straight at him. ‘Where’s the bullets?’ I yell.
“‘They’re downstairs’, he says. ‘Want me to get them?’
“So I scream, ‘Yeah, asshole, you go get the bullets!’
“So he does!”
The way she tells it, Roger again staggered across the living room to the hallway, lurched his way down the stairs to the basement, found the storage room, grabbed the shell package and stumbled his way back up the stairs to where Sally was still waiting, and still fuming.
Sally explains. “When he comes back upstairs he says, ‘Here you go,’ and hands me a box of shells. He even opens the box and pulls one out, ‘You’ll need this,’ he says.
“So I hold the rifle in one hand and the shell in the other. I don’t know what to do next so Roger holds out his hands palms upwards like this,” she gestures, “and says, real sarcastic, ‘You want me to load it?’ So I say, ‘Sure,’ and he grabs the rifle, slides the cartridge into the chamber, slams the chamber shut with the bolt and hands it back to me. ‘There you go!’ he shouts. And then he staggers back to about eight paces away, like before.
“It takes me a couple of seconds to consider my move; should I or shouldn’t I, but I raise the gun up to my shoulder and point it straight at him. Then I pull the trigger. But nothing happens.
“Then he yells, ‘You stupid bitch! The safety is on!’ So he rushes over to me, grabs the rifle, flicks off the safety and back he goes, eight paces away and yells, ‘Go ahead and shoot me!’”
So this time she did! The rifle boomed and the recoil sent Sally staggering backwards a few steps, where she tripped over a chair and fell to the floor. The gun had jumped from her hands and skidded to a halt under a table. The bullet hit Roger in the left shoulder, passed through his body causing a flesh wound and slammed into the exterior wall of the living room.
Both Sally and Roger were stunned. Roger moaned due to the searing pain of his wound, and he grasped his shoulder. Blood slowly oozed between his fingers and he unsteadily sank to his knees, then toppled over onto his side. Sally started to sob uncontrollably.
After what seemed an eternity, Sally got up from the floor, went to the kitchen and sat down at the table. Roger crawled from the floor onto a sofa and remained in the living room. And this is how the police found them about twenty minutes later.
The offence part of this story ended here. The consequences continued.

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