Sunday, 15 May 2022

LTC/TLC - Long Term Careless (the plight of Long Term Care in Ontario) - The Learning Curve '22

LTC - Long Term Careless
(the plight of Long Term Care in Ontario - a discussion)


As a senior now, and having worked as an educator/counsellor over the years, I am both disturbed & disappointed by the latest series of fumbles; fallout from the privatization of LTC/Long-term care in Ontario. That said, and with a provincial election right around the corner, there's lots of talk when in reality?  We need a miracle.



It was part of Premier Mike Harris’s ‘Common Sense Revolution” in 1999 and his bold new vision to repair and rectify Ontarian’s massive provincial debt while creating an economic model that would sustain the future. Simple stuff, right? Balance the books and everything will fall into line. A no brainer. It neither happened nor will it on this road we’re on a quarter century later.  A noble idea that had no legs or real substance. A quick fix solution to a problem requiring a whole lot more patience, effort & creativity.

Over the remainder of Harris’s term there were cuts to essential services all across the Province, that seriously harmed people (elevating mortality), yet all nicely swept under the carpet (still justified) while the problems just festered over the coming decades, and continues.  Early indicators.  Remember Walkerton?  Water contamination because of new short-cuts in testing, resulting in e-coli poisoning & multiple deaths, right up to the present day, where thousands of the province’s elderly have died in a pandemic because of the rampant neglect by those in charge. 

It’s a system blind to such consequences in the slipshod management of their living environments designed to stay afloat as cheaply as possible. A younger public/mass population is complacent. Out of sight - out of mind. It is what it is.

We just ‘assume’ that our so-called elected officials are taking care of business before catching wind (in the media) that there’s a real problem; just shaking our heads while pouring that third glass of red wine and laying in the back yard lounge thinking of something else. Whatever. Shit happens. New initiatives designed to give the impression that ‘we’re on it’, placating our immediate concern until we’re distracted by something else. This can wait. Later.

Culture of Avoidance: short term gain - long term pain.

You see, by privatizing anything related to education or healthcare, there’s the inevitable ‘short term gain’ angle that those in power think can sustain itself (but almost knowing it can’t). It also creates a lot of good will amongst politician’s crony capitalist friends (campaign donors).  Big smiles & laughs all around (cigars and complimentary ’buck a beer’ at the summer barbeque … an election weeks away). The ‘long term pain’ (blowback) inevitability getting shelved in favour of an immediate handshake; pat on the back (until someone else has to deal with it - years after the fact). An easy sell but let’s not talk about that.

The initial justification is painfully obvious when presented, that all the advantages just make sense. Privatization puts more money in people’s pockets (participants), which is a boon for the economy right? … oh and relieves a huge (debt) burden from the government where massive divisions of labour can be reallocated to the private sector (saving billions, creating employment - real jobs). Privatization means competition which is good right? Just think about this for a minute!


Working harder to create a better world where the benefits far out-weigh the sacrifices, namely the cost of big government, bureaucracies & costly oversight.  Privatization means those ‘contributing’ can run their operations free of government interference, thus more efficiently & productively (whilst passing the savings on to the people they serve).  Great idea (in theory). The truth is in the stats. Ontario's debt was at an all time high after Harris left. So much for that idea, and the fallout?  We're still in it. 

So kudos to Mike Harris for his brilliant revelation, only there’s just one monumental problem, conveniently overlooked … greed.


Minimal oversight, supervision & management allows those running the show to take advantage of a new system because no one is watching where the PROFIT is going nor how exactly they’re acquiring that profit (irrelevant). Hell, Mike Harris went on to launch Chartwell, the largest privatized LTC franchise in Ontario which just sold for $447M.  Hey Mike!  Good call.  It’s a win-win for everyone right? Well let’s just say that yes, for the 10% at the top of the food chain.  Everyone under the surface?  Think again.

Case in point.  PSW (Personal Support Workers) are front-line staff, hired to do all the ‘dirty work’ in privatized LTC facilities.  You know, clean up the messes, deliver the food/spoon-feed them, change their diapers while being told they need to pretend to care about their jobs (that they’re so lucky to have).  Non union, 12 hour (understaffed) shifts for barely more than minimum wage, flipped around from facility to facility on any given day/week by agencies taking their commission on placements because that’s the system now. 

PSW’s shuffled like a deck of cards and played like a bad hand, not staying at any given LTC facility for any real length of time because it’s not ‘cost effective’ to do it that way. They are cheap, transient sanitary workers at best and just ask one if they like their job.


Most are recent immigrants trained for 7 months in a PCC (Private Career College).  In many such schools, set up to cheat by admitting those who can barely speak English (entrance test fudge/no one looking), into a wham bam, in & out program that they magically pass anyway and are jettisoned into a market where the demand is much higher than the supply … APPROVED! What could possibly go wrong here?  Ah privatization. Where everyone can be a winner! ... (even if you don't cut the mustard).


Now we have a real problem.  It’s not working.  Turns out this whole Common Sense Revolution was a bad idea.  Who knew?  As our provincial election looms, we are yet again promised by all 3 political parties that BIG improvements are forthcoming in LTC. I’m thinking lip service; more ‘bandaids on the brain tumour’. The system is set. The agenda is in motion. The players are in place and the catch basins are open. It sure feels to me like the game is rigged in favour of those holding the strings.

The desperately needed overhaul in LTC is unlikely for all the obvious reasons and yes - we need a miracle.


jim lamarche is an education counsellor/blogger in Toronto Ontario


Tuesday, 19 April 2022


if everything seems under control
you're not going fast enough

mario andretti

D E A D  E N D
sound up, 720p
blast it!

optimized for night vision

a jim lamarche remix
from the album ONE LIFE
assembled in photoshop, logic audio and final cut

featuring the Roland System 8

source music: théo zouzou (øfdream)

visual: crystal spotlight
from dance of the dead - HEX

visit ONE LIFE - the page

  read more of Jim's blog posts here 


Wednesday, 6 April 2022


when people run in circles 
it's a very very

M A D  W O R L D
sound up, 720p

a jim lamarche remix
from the album ONE LIFE
assembled in photoshop, logic audio and final cut

featuring the Roland System 8

source music composed by roland orzabal
remix w/tommee profitt feat. lauren strahm/fleurie

visit ONE LIFE - the page

  read more of Jim's blog posts here 


Wednesday, 23 March 2022


I miss you
you were part of me ... and I was part of you
and it ended

sound up, 720p

a jim lamarche remix
from the album ONE LIFE
assembled in photoshop, logic audio and final cut

featuring the Roland System 8

feat. yana chernysheva & alla kadysh
w/oleg byonic, ron allen & alun davies

courtesy of antler films

directed by
duncan mcdowall

produced by
sash baylin-stern

choreographed and performed by
dorotea saykaly

funding by bravoFACT 


visit ONE LIFE - the page

  read more of Jim's blog posts here 


for alun davies
1966 - 2008

everything at 3K and below 100 hz
is alun

Thursday, 17 March 2022


for the best war porn 
on the internet, please subscribe
to my

D R O N E R  B O N E R
volume up/720p

all new - the latest
in ball blasting pleasure
free delivery

optimized for night vision

a jim lamarche remix
source music w/oleg byonic

assembled in logic audio & final cut
featuring the roland system 8

see the ONE LIFE album/page here >>>

see the new TWO LIVES album/page here >>>

see the new THREE LIVES album/page here >>>

Wednesday, 16 March 2022


It’s a ‘what you don’t know won’t hurt you’ game plan
with a good dose of shame and blame 
in a recycled modus operandi
and all designed to
divide and conquer 

Dateline 1986 (Windsor Ontario)

My Dad would have loved Trump.  Stoic, stubborn - ‘knows everything’ kinda guy w/a touch of torment, hatred of women and a penchant for payback.  Sound familiar?  The BIG man who wears an expensive suit, drives a BIG car and has a hot trophy wife (ok, you get it).  

I mean ok (story is), he got right royally fucked over and so now they need to suffer (yawn) … listening still.  It’s frikkin’ brutal.  Rambling on about street blacks in Detroit getting what they deserve, (intoxicated at 2pm).  Long pause.  The silence is deafening.  "So Dad, just how is it that they deserve being dominated and oppressed"?  Even longer pause and that recurring look of death.  Yikes!  I'm in trouble now.  I learned everything about the term "bleeding heart liberal"  that day, and then there was no room for discussion (on anything anymore). 

I was 30 and hadn’t seen him in years and honestly?  He didn't have any help (deciphering reality from fantasy). Sad. You see here’s the deal … he feels the world owes HIM something because he was left behind - abandoned, when in fact he blew it and abandoned himself (emotionally/spiritually) long ago, and so it was inevitable. 

But no, no no ... it's all their fault!  We had grown apart and his will to live was being compromised.  In disrepair.  He didn’t care (never did), a hint of suicide in the air (but would never/looks weak).  Perhaps even contemplating how much damage he can do first.  I remained distant. I had absolutely no idea what to do ... as lost as he was.  His resentment; my legacy.

My way or the highway.  The one thing I've learned is that 'forcing' change almost always backfires (counter-productive) and that all the money and military might in the world ultimately doesn't make one man (or any one people) any more powerful (or relevant) over another.  Ok maybe in the short term.  We’re here for an instant then gone anyway.  Whatever.  POOF, in a flash and up in smoke we go, six feet under - all over. Here today, gone tomorrow.  More-so now than ever ... compassion, common sense, the ability to reason and critical thinking have all been eclipsed by something much larger … entitlement.

I guess you didn't get the memo.  What’s real is no longer important because everything you see is fake news anyway, so fuck it.  IF we all get blown to smithereens?  At least I will have had the opportunity to make my point.  It's all about the collective.  It's about what's right.  It's about making the necessary sacrifices. This rant mirrors his.

It's chasing brown people out the back door, while crusty old white guys slip through the front (in broad daylight) and clean the living room out.

That said, it’s really not that obvious especially to those who don’t want to know.  Right wing thinkers blame us ‘snowflakes’ for stirring up shit and blaming them only they invented the rules, especially in this latest round of debauchery, all reinvented and endorsed by celebrity apprentice, fame and fortune (ah, the American Dream) and all in that familiar adrenalin rush that comes after hearing the words … “you’re fired”.  

All the problems in the world? … always someone else’s fault.  It's magic. The term ‘zero accountability’ comes to mind.  

That said; it’s imperative that we all take a good long look in the mirror from time to time and ask ourselves the most important question … ‘so what’s my part in all of this anyway’? Otherwise we’re just sticking our head in the sand just like they are.  Feeling compassion for those who are always playing the victim card?  Is a real challenge.  

"I believe in a vision of equality, justice, freedom and multi-racial democracy,
built on the premise that all people are created equal."

Barack Obama

Drain The Swamp - Hiding the Hypocrisy

Who knew that it could be so simple, so easy?  It's a slam-dunk.  It was originally about vowing/promising to take on the 'elite power structure' in Washington (ie. Wall Street, The Clintons/Corporate Lobbyists etc.).  Then it shifted to 'draining the swamp'; away from the power grid and towards removing/deporting those who supposedly threaten our livelihood/freedom (specifically immigrants) and no-one even flinched or questioned the switch.  Tax breaks for the rich (corporations) while gutting health care and essential social programs. A crime of the century con, flawlessly executed and all in plain sight.  

It's chasing brown people out the back door, while crusty old white guys slip through the front (in broad daylight) and clean the living room out.  It's about Kanye West visiting the Oval Office (dozens of reporters) and in an incoherent rant saying "when we make everything in China and not in America, we're cheating our country" while Trump listens, smiles and nods his head.  The Trump Collection (fashion suits, shirts, ties & accessories) are all made in China.  They know he's a sexual predator.  They know he lies.  They know his products are made in China and they know he colluded with the Russians. IT DOESN'T MATTER!  

Fundamentally we all just want to be heard so yeah, we have more in common then we would like to admit.  Some would prefer to look at it; others away from it.  That said, there’s a whole lot of reaction/resentment at the slightest hint of adversity/disagreement (a redundant rigidity if you will) and the rules of debate conveniently shift in favour of the righteous, where moving backwards makes way more sense than moving forward and 'collateral damage'?  Comes with the territory.  It's just easier to point and shoot first, then ask questions later.

And so, a new President (and most powerful man in the world) has turned the world into an episode of Jerry Springer; you know the one where 2 women tear each other to shreds while the crowd cheers on “Jerry, Jerry, Jerry” all laughing and loving the shit-show!  What’s important here is that I get what I need (and you don’t).  That’s what I mean by entitlement.  

Childish actually.  It's like the kid next door wanting to play with your toy (even though you're not) but you don't let him (because it's yours).  Snickering when extending your leg just enough to trip the class idiot walking by in the cafeteria, his lunch tray crashing to the floor. Hilarious.  It’s all about learning how to get away with shit without getting caught.

I’m troubled by all this and yet I’m optimistic.  History has taught me that greed and narcissism is (generally) short-lived and when it gets right down to push & shove vs. humility, humans deliver regardless of what side of the fence you’re on; looking at the big picture.  If someone else is in trouble, our first instinct is to help them regardless of the circumstances and that most of what’s going on is just an act, designed to attract attention.  This is what needs to be remembered first and foremost, what we have in common (what we share). 

That's what makes me not a Liberal or Conservative thinker, but a human being.

They say that 9/10 attempted suicides are just a cry for attention (cry for help) and maybe that’s what all this is about, only the 'powers that be' care even less now.  Cry for help until you're blue in the face - nothing is changing people.   One thing is certain.  Commoners are still being shafted by the elite/wealthy (the owners) in America only in all their blind faith (in voting for Donald Trump), they just jumped out of a frying pan and into the fire.

for G.J. (Jim) LaMarche - 1925-2002


a jim lamarche remix
Gateway House Sessions/18
assembled in logic audio and final cut

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