Sunday, April 22, 2018

Why I care so much about historic buildings

I am standing in front of Easton Manor on my 5th birthday, 1956.
     The first property I really loved was my grandfather's farm, located in a tiny village near Jasper, Ontario.

 Easton Manor, also known as "The Farm" was my Shangri La, an earthly paradise---a 15 room mansion filled with Victorian furniture. The Farm included 100 acres of land, with apple orchards, corn fields,a quarry, several barns, gardens...Then, in 1963 The Farm was sold, and the furniture was auctioned off in a drunken frenzy on the front yard of the estate.

Tara, the plantation that Scarlett O'Hara loved, was pillaged by the Yankees; while The Farm was stolen from my grandmother by greedy, uncaring relatives. My family and I were unceremoniously evicted from the property by a vile woman who told my dignified grandmother, my  mother and me to "Get off my property." My family and I ended up in "The Maple Leaf Motel" on Highway 15 in Smiths Falls, then we lived (existed) in a second floor apartment in Smiths Falls.

A September 14, 1968 Ottawa Citizen article about Easton Manor.
On the outside looking in-Mom and my sister. (1990).
My grandmother used to tell me stories about the Manor during The Great Depression, how she gave money, food and jobs to men who showed up at the door; in later years, Nanny thought that the singer Boxcar Willie was destitute, and she wanted to send him money.

My childhood ended in 1963. Up until the farm was sold, I had a blissful childhood---picking apples and raspberries, feeding the cows and horses, checking out the quarries and outbuildings,running, jumping and playing on the land...
A 1990 pilgrimage to Easton Manor.
Mom later compared us to characters in plays by Tennessee Williams, especially Blanche DuBois in "A Streetcar Named Desire". Like Blanche DuBois, we depended on the kindness of strangers, or people we barely knew:

Diary - August 24, 1966 - Mom and I visited a woman that Mom grew up with, she is very beautiful, has long black hair and looks like Yvonne de Carlo (The Munsters) who is Canadian. She gave us clothing, especially shoes, purses and dresses.

In Smiths Falls, my refuge from the poverty, incessant rock music and crowded living conditions became the Carnegie Public Library. (Between the years 1883 and 1929, Scottish philanthropist and businessman Andrew Carnegie provided money for the construction of 2,509 libraries in North America.)
The Carnegie Public Library in Smiths Falls, Ontario---My Beacon of Light during turbulent years of darkness in Smiths Falls.

Canadians collectively owned $60 billion dollars worth of federal real estate

     In 1985, the people of Canada owned billions of dollars worth of Crown property. According to former Deputy Prime Minister of Canada and Minister of Public Works Erik Nielsen:

     "...the largest chunk of money in the  federal government is in its real estate holdings. My guess, based on preliminary research I had gathered, was that it was pushing $60 billion".
(From: Page 268 of the book "On the Take"---Stevie Cameron, the author, interviewed Erik Nielsen.)

My fellow Canadians and I can thank the following individuals and agencies for the massive sell off of OUR real estate holdings:

Marathon Realty
Canada Post Corporation
recommendations of the Fraser Institute
National Capital Commission
Canada Mortgage and Housing - privatized Habitat at Expo and the Kingstonian Apartments
Fisheries and Oceans Canada - divested the entire portfolio of lighthouses.
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation - the CBC has been delisted from the Federal Directory of Real Property.

Museums, aircraft hangars, ( including the de Havilland aircraft hangar at Downsview,) marinas, the Diefenbunkers (the only remaining Diefenbunker is located in Carp, Ontario), foreign embassies, the Pinetree Line, several Dominion Observatories, several Agriculture Canada experimental farms ..the list goes on...are no longer Crown property.

Corrections Canada - The Kingston Penitentiary,aka "The Big House"; the Prison for Women in Kingston and the Saint-Vincent-de-Paul Penitentiary in Laval, Quebec were decommissioned.

Several people are trying to save the Kingston Penitentiary from a wrecking ball, including Kingston City Councillor Bill Glover, who said:

   "It's very, very important that City Council designates Kingston Penitentiary under the provincial legislation to give Council the power to protect this historic property...because federal designation as a National Historic Site of Canada, while it's important, does not protect the property after it passes from public ownership to private hands..." (From: Frontenac Heritage Foundation, Volume 40, Number 1 - January 2013.)

    After I found out that the Kingston Penitentiary was being decommissioned, I wrote the following letter to Huffington Post Canada:

     "The City of Kingston is fiercely protective of its heritage buildings, cultural sites and waterfront---read the Internet document "City of Kingston Official Plan - Section 7 - Cultural Heritage Resources" (2010). The City will use all measures possible to protect its "significant cultural resources" which include the Kingston Penitentiary and the Rockwood Asylum.
     The City of Kingston intends to designate Portsmouth Village, where KP and the Prison for Women are located into a Heritage Conservation District. No high-rise condo units will ever in the future obstruct views of Kingston's waterfront, parks, gardens, cemeteries, lakes, rivers, neighborhood shorelines, vegetation and scenic vistas.

     Ontario's Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing approved the "City of Kingston Official Plan" (2010), so the Federal Government, Ontario Realty Corporation and developers cannot appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board for demolition and zoning changes".

     I can envision the Kingston Pen being re purposed as a museum, or as a commercial hub, with restaurants, clothing stores, shops that sell post cards and art work. More movies could be filmed at the Pen---in fact the final scene of the first Superman movie was filmed at the Big House. The guard towers could be converted into observation decks, with telescopes. People from all over the world could see the former Olympic marina, Wolfe Island, the Martello Towers, Old Fort Henry, Lake Ontario...The tunnel that connected Kingston Pen to the Prison for Women could be reopened.

A letter I wrote to the Hon. Pierre Poilievre M.P. regarding the sale of prison farms, July 27, 2010:

Monday, April 16, 2018

My interview with Apollo astronaut James Irwin

Apollo Astronaut James Irwin talks about the moon landing, his faith in God and a conspiracy theory

By Allison Shaw, Mount Royal College, Calgary Alberta--October 19, 1974

Speaking before 1,000 people at the South Calgary Community Church on October 19, Colonel James Irwin said "About 13 percent of the people in the U.S. don't think we went to the moon".
On July 26, 1971, Colonel Irwin and fellow astronauts Col. David Scott and Air Force Major Alfred R. Worden were launched to the moon.

Recalling that day, Colonel Irwin said "It was a beautiful morning, it was just a joy to be alive". Mr. Irwin and his fellow astronauts were awakened from their bunks at 4:30 a.m. at Cape Kennedy (now Cape Canaveral).

They proceeded towards the mess hall for a steak breakfast, then were helped into their space suits, helmets and gloves. After ascending 360 feet by elevator, the astronauts were helped into their space ship "because we were so clumsy in the space suits" Col. Irwin said.

"They don't launch right away," he said, adding that the astronauts had to lie for several hours "waiting and wondering". Listening to the countdown, the hours dragged by slowly.

Apollo 15 was launched at 9:34 a.m. atop a 363-foot Saturn 5. The astronauts could see the earth's continents clearly outlined, the whites of the clouds, tan-coloured deserts, and the blues and greens of the oceans.

As the crew saw the earth's size shrink from their viewpoint to the size of a marble, they realized that "everything we ever loved was back there".

Apollo 15 reached the Moon July 29, 1971 and the lunar module landed at 6:16 p.m. on the dusty Marsh of Decay, on the edge of the dry Sea of Rain. Colonel Irwin's inspiration when he landed was Psalm 121:1, "I shall lift up mine eyes unto the hills from whence cometh my help".

On July 31, Mr. Irwin and Mr. Scott set foot on the Moon and described the soil as feeling like "soft powdered snow". In their four wheeled, 460-pound electric car, named 'Lunar Rover 1' they explored the surface of the moon and collected more than 226 pounds of material. Astronauts Irwin and Scott spent a record two days, 18 hours and five minutes on the Moon.

Apollo 15 splashed down in the Pacific Ocean on August 7, 1971, 333 miles north of Hawaii. The three astronauts were the first Moon explorers not required to undergo quarantine after returning from space. The men did experience heart irregularities and dizziness on the Moon, and recovered slowly from the effects of weightlessness after returning to Earth. However, the space physician speculated the heart irregularities were caused by fatigue and were probably not serious.

Colonel Irwin has always been interested in flying, and as a boy he constructed model airplanes. Graduating from high school in Utah, he attended Annapolis Naval Academy in Maryland, but he convinced them to let him join the Air Force. He became a renowned American test pilot, only to have a plane crash just before his most important flight in the world's fastest airplane. He spent two months in the hospital with two broken legs and a broken jaw.

As he lay in the hospital he recalled "I prayed to God for understanding and recovery". He said it was difficult to convince the space program to let him become an astronaut; however, in 1966 he moved to Houston for rigorous space preparations.

Since the Apollo 15 flight Colonel Irwin has retired, and he and his fellow astronauts Worden and Scott have founded the High Flight Foundation, a non-profit organization to share faith in God---through speaking engagements, publications and non-denominational spiritual retreats.


Sunday, April 15, 2018

The House Detective, a television program created by my father, that was broadcast from 1962 until 1963.

Photo taken by George Shaw.
My sister Nancy Shaw  in front of the TV when "House Detective" was on.


Crown property that was owned by all Canadians

Agriculture Canada - The Central Experimental Farm in Ottawa -  Federal Agriculture Ministers Bud Olson and Eugene Whelan refused to privatize the Experimental Farm. However, by 1988, ninety-one acres of land were annexed from the Farm, the "Clyde-Merivale Lands". A high-density development called "Central Park" was built on CEF land.
     To see a YouTube video of the Farm, Google "Snow Music Color/ Dance".The Agriculture Canada headquarters were located at the Sir John Carling Building in Ottawa, a building that was demolished a few years ago.

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation - CBC real estate holdings included 1500 Bronson Avenue in Ottawa, the Edward Drake Building; the Jarvis Street Complex in Toronto, where Glenn Gould recorded his albums;

Canadian National Railway

Canada Post

Corrections Canada - The Prison for Women in Kingston,Ontario was a Classified Federal Heritage Building, before it was denationalized. A tunnel connected P4W to the Kingston Pen, located across the street. A few years ago I burst into tears when my husband drove us by the Prison, and I noticed that most of the buildings were demolished.
The former Prison for Women in Kingston, Ontario.

Dominion Buildings

Fisheries and Oceans Canada - Several years ago, the DFO declared 976 federal lighthouses "surplus", including the Peggy's Cove Lighthouse. in Nova Scotia.The photo below shows me standing in front of the Peggy's Cove Lighthouse--May 2015:

Government of Canada Buildings - Ten years ago a Vancouver company bought seven GOC buildings, which included:
The Harry Hays Buildings - Calgary, Alberta
Canada Place - Edmonton, Alberta
The Canada Revenue Agency Building - Montreal, Quebec
The RCMP Building - Montreal, Quebec
The Skyline Complex (Towers 1-7) - Ottawa, Ontario, built on Central Experimental Farm land.
Joseph Shepard Building - Toronto, Ontario
Thomas D'Arcy McGee Building - 90 Sparks Street, Ottawa.
To see a YouTube video about why the privatization of these buildings is so wrong, Google "PSAC National President John Gordon delivers speech".

The Greenbelt - that surrounds Ottawa was created by  Jacques Greber, as a living memorial to Canada's war dead. But the National Capital Commission will not hesitate to sell off the property.

According to the GREENBELT MASTER PLAN, CONSULTATION REPORT - PHASE 1 - Step C -Land Use Concept - Prepared for the National Capital Commission January 2012:

Parcel 2 may be sold off:
"Possible sale of Parcel 2, the site at the southwest corner of West Hunt Club Road and Woodroffe Avenue, with buildings."
 The entire bloc of land, 1,200 hectares, was owned by Agriculture and Agri-food Canada:

     "As of March 31, 1998, the Greenbelt Research Farm, which covers 1,200 hectares of land bordered by Hunt Club, Woodroffe Avenue, Fallowfield Road and Greenbank Road, ceased to function as an Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Research Centre. This was announced in the 1995 Federal Budget."

     The National Capital Act (1985) gives the National Capital Commission the power to "sell, grant, convey, lease or otherwise dispose of" any properties in its inventory. And money from any sale does not have to be deposited into Canada's treasury, the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

    The Americans would never sell Arlington National Cemetery land to developers, nor would they allow condos or hotels on the grounds of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. The Greenbelt is also sacred land, Remembrance Land, and should be treated accordingly, with respect; not as a cash cow to benefit the National Capital Commission and real estate corporations.

Hotels - The Canadian National Railway owned and operated more than a dozen iconic hotels, before they were sold to Canadian Pacific Limited in 1988:
Chateau Laurier in Ottawa, Ontario.
Jasper Park Lodge in Jasper, Alberta.
The Hotel Macdonald in Edmonton, Alberta.
The Hotel Vancouver in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal, Quebec - John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Tommy Smothers, Timothy Leary and several other people sang "Give Peace a Chance" in a room at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel.
Bessborough Saskatoon - Saskatchewan
Hotel Beausejour - New Brunswick
Nova Scotian Hotel - Halifax, Nova Scotia
Fort Garry Hotel - Winnipeg, Manitoba
Port Arthur Hotel - Port Arthur, Ontario
Newfoundland Hotel - St. John's, Newfoundland.

Shopping Centres -The Rideau Centre Shopping Mall in Ottawa was Crown property.

Veterans Affairs

Sunday, April 8, 2018

King Constantine and Queen Anne-Marie of Greece on Parliament Hill, Ottawa in 1967.


The individuals and corporations that benefited from the privatization of Canadian Crown property

1.) An American amusement park operator, Six Flags, bought the 146 acre La Ronde in Montreal; La Ronde was created for Expo 67.
My stepmother in the American pavilion, Expo 67. The geodesic dome was designed by American architect Buckminster Fuller.
2.) An American conglomerate,General Electric, bought the real estate portfolio of Marathon Realty, a subsidiary of the Canadian Pacific Railway.
 More than 100 years ago Sir John A. Macdonald gave the CPR 25 million acres of land and $25 million dollars, on the condition that any land not needed for railway purposes would revert to the Crown, the people of Canada. However, the CPR created a real estate corporation, Marathon, to sell reversionary land. See "Wotherspoon v. Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd.".
A premier of British Columbia Gordon Campbell, a mayor of Calgary Rod Sykes and a senator and premier of Manitoba Duff Roblin were Marathon Realty executives.

3.) In 1987 or 1988, 91 acres of land were annexed from the Central Experimental Farm in Ottawa. A high-density neighborhood called "Central Park" was created on the land; the street names are interesting:
Gotham - which is a nickname for New York City.
Fordham - which is a university in NYC.
Gramercy - Gramercy Park is a fashionable neighborhood in NYC.
Bloomingdale - a department store headquartered in NYC.

4.) Prince al Waleed bin Talal and Carl Icahn owned Canada's Eiffel Towers, our Palaces of Versailles, the Canadian National Railway and Canadian Pacific Railway hotels--- Chateau Frontenac, Chateau Laurier, Jasper Park Lodge, Banff hotel, Chateau Lake Louise, Royal York...
The Chateau Laurier Hotel in Ottawa, a CNR property, owned at one time by the people of Canada.
5.) A profit-making corporation paid one dollar for a massive military base in Summerside, Prince Edward Island, read the book "On the Take" by Stevie Cameron.

6.) Larco Investments of Vancouver, current owners of the Chateau Laurier Hotel in Ottawa, bought nine government of Canada buildings, including the Thomas d"Arcy McGee Building, 90 Sparks Street in Ottawa. Once a federal building is privatized, Canada's Maple Leaf Flag and Coat of Arms are removed.

7.) A developer from India bought Canada's High Commission in London, England. Gordon Campbell is responsible for the denationalization of Macdonald House. When he was premier of British Columbia, Gordon Campbell sold BC Rail to CN Rail for 1 billion dollars cash. He also wanted to privatize the Crown assets belonging to another provincial Crown corporation, the Provincial Capital Commission in Victoria.

8.) The Canadian National Railway was a federal Crown corporation. Today, the richest man in the world---Bill Gates---is a major shareholder in CN Rail. The company is now called "CN" and not "Canadian National"  in order to distance the company from any link to the word Canadian.

9.) Current President of the United States Donald Trump---the Trump Tower is located on former Canadian National Railway land at Bay and Adelaide Streets in Toronto, Ontario.