September 30: The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
—a new statutory holiday
As an octogenarian, I thought I was knowledgeable of The First Nations, Inuit and Métis. I knew there were long-standing problems: alcoholism, inadequate housing, poverty, unsafe drinking water, family breakdowns, suicide, and domestic violence. But I did not understand WHY. Then a disturbing event occurred on June 30, 2021—182 unmarked graves were found near St. Eugene’s Mission Residential School (B.C.). Two months later more than 1,300 suspected graves were found at other residential schools. Why were they buried near their schools and not on reserves? How and when were parents notified?
Searching for answers I read the 2015 . It includes testimony from 6,000 witnesses. I was embarrassed by my ignorance of indigenous history and government mandates. From 1831 to 1996 over 150,000 Indigenous children (ages 4-16) attended 139 residential boarding schools. I discovered that The Indian Agent had the authority to enter homes and seize children. Parents who hid their children could be arrested and imprisoned. Initially all the schools were run by religious institutions: Catholics 60%, Anglicans 25% and Presbyterian and United Church 15%. In 1883 the federal government assumed responsibility to oversee and fund the schools, in partnership with the aforementioned churches.
I also learned that residential schools were hotbeds of childhood sicknesses—smallpox, tuberculosis, influenza, measles and pneumonia. Duncan Scott, Superintendent of the Department of Indian Affairs, recognized the high death rate. It is readily acknowledged that Indian children lose their natural resistance to illness by habitating so closely in these schools, and that they die at a much higher rate than in their villages. But this alone does not justify a change in the policy of this Department, which is being geared towards the final solution of our Indian Problem. (DIA Archives, RG 1-Series 12 April 1910)
The “final solution” involved boarding schools. At first glance it seems commendable. Schools were being established so that indigenous children could receive an education. But why did they provide schools? Here is the answer that Sir John A. Macdonald provided May 9, 1883 in the House of Commons. In other words the primary goal for residential schools was assimilation. By separating the children from their parents, the government and participating churches intended to break the children’s link to their language, and their past.
What was it like for the children in residential boarding schools? Here is one story from Phyllis Webstad’s book Phyllis’s Orange Shirt. In 1967 at the age of six, she was taken from her Canoe Cree Reserve to a residential school at Williams Lake, 111 km away! In preparation for school, her grandmother bought her some clothes. Excited and nervous, she wore her new orange shirt on her first day. Within hours of arriving at her school, she was told to remove it. She never saw her orange shirt again. It was the first of many traumas she experienced as her teachers deprived her of her braids, family visits, her language, culture and spiritual heritage. Phyllis was not allowed to go home for holidays—not even Christmas.
On September 20 of this year will we pause to reflect on the legacy of Canada’s residential school system? Let’s wear something orange and remember one little girl, Phyllis Webstad.
Ron Evans, retired Hamilton High School teacher.
Owed to Old Age
Thought I'd let my doctor check me.
'Cause I didn't feel quite right.
All those aches and pains annoyed me,
And I couldn't sleep at night.
He could find no real disorder,
But he wouldn't let it rest.
What with Medicare and Blue Cross,
It wouldn't hurt to do some tests.
To the hospital he sent me,
Thought I didn't feel that bad.
He arranged for them to give me
Every test that could be had.
I was fluoroscope and cystoscoped,
My aging frame displayed.
Stripped upon an ice-cold-table,
While my gizzards were x-rayed.
I was checked for worms and parasites,
For fungus and the crud.
They pierced me with long needles,
Taking samples of my blood.
Doctors came to check me over,
Probed and pushed and poked around,
And to make sure I was alive,
They wired me for sounds.
They have finally concluded.
(Their results filled many a page.)
What I have will someday kill me.
My problem is: OLD AGE!
The moral is, as this rhyme unfolds,
That for your & me who are growing old,
It's better to say, "I'm fin," with a grin
Than to let others know the shape we're in!
- Author Unknown
When You Do and Don't Pay Tax
on Inherited Property
Submitted by a resident from the September edition of Good Times magazine
My wife and I are joint owners of our home. Until recently, we were under the impression that after one of us died, the survivor would have to sell the house before his or her death so that the beneficiaries - our children - wouldn't have to pay capital gains tax on the house. However, your answer to a recent question about capital gains tax on a jointly owner principal residence suggested otherwise, and it would be a great comfort to know that this isn't necessary. So our questions it, when the final joint owner has passed away, do the beneficiaries of the estate have to pay any capital gains tax?
There's no capital gains tax on principal residence when both joint owners have passed away and the property goes from the estate into the hands of heirs - in your case, the children. They would receive the property tax-free.
Once it's in their hands, however, the tax clock mat start ticking, unless their choose to sell it right away. If they sell right away and the sale takes place within a year of their receiving the property, there should be no capital gains tax liability. And if the children don't own their own homes, then even if they were to decide to hold onto the property for longer than one year, they'd be able to use their own principal residence exemptions to shelter any capital gains from tax after the property is in their hands.
If, however, they do own their own homes, they're going to face a tax liability when they sell either their own homes or the inherited property. This is because you're allowed to own only one principal residence at any time. They would have to decide whether to designate their homes or this property as their principal residence. As long as the inherited property is used as a residence at any point during the year, it would qualify.
The designation of a principal residence doesn't need to be done until there's a sale, so there may be plenty of time for the kids to decide which property to designate. Their decision will depend on whichever property accrues the most gains while they own it.
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Casino Bus - $40
$35 Free Slot Play
First Saturday of each month
(Except for long weekends - second Saturday)
Bus Leaves at 9:00am from St. Elizabeth's Village - Village Pharmacy Parking Lot
Return from Fallsview Casino - 3:15pm
To book a seat on the bus contact - Louise Comeau (905) 385-5589
July 9th, 2022 - August 6th, 2022 - September 10th, 2022 - October 1st, 2022 - November 5th, 2022 - December 3rd, 2022 - January 7th, 2023 - February 4th, 2023.
Grass Cutting Along the Boulevards
Many have noticed the boulevards along both Garth Street and Twenty Road are not as pristine as the grass that is cut within the community. Please note that the areas within the community are maintained by a contractor, governed by the individual condo contract. In all Garth Trails contracts, it is outlined that the area is to be aesthetically pleasing. Areas outside of Garth Trails property are maintained by the City of Hamilton, and the contracts that the City of Hamilton has with their contractors do not prioritize aesthetics.
In an effort to inform residents, administration at the Clubhouse has contacted the City of Hamilton to confirm the details surrounding these areas with regards to grass cutting and maintenance. All details are as follows:
- The boulevards as referred to extend from the road and inwards to the fence line.
- These areas are all City of Hamilton property and are zoned as urban.
- These areas are covered under the Urban Mowing Contract.
o The City of Hamilton is responsible for cutting and trimming these areas.
o The purpose of this maintenance is to reduce the spread of weeds and ticks.
o These are maintained from April 18th until the second week of October, and are allotted 12 cuttings throughout the season.
o Grass is cut and trimmed once every two weeks, weather permitting.
o This is contracted work: all work performed on City of Hamilton property is awarded to licensed contractors, and none of the work is performed by students.
- Please note that any grass under/surrounding hydro lines (including any within these boulevards) are property of Ontario Hydro and are maintained by Ontario Hydro twice per year.
If you are feel that the grass cutting does not align with the above guidelines, you are welcome to contact the City of Hamilton at 905-546-CITY (2489).
Wildlife in the Community: Foxes
There have been reports of fox sightings around the community. It's important that residents are mindful and aware of the various wildlife that live in the green spaces that surround this community, as well as to take some precautions to keep yourself and your small pets safe.
Here are some important things to remember to avoid attracting foxes:
When a food source is available, they will stay in the area. Therefore, do not leave food out (i.e., dog/cat food, birdseed, garbage). It is important not to feed wildlife.
This is the time of the year they will be looking for a place to build their den in order to have a litter. Thus, look around your property to make sure there is no place they can enter such as openings (slots/holes) in the raised decks. If you notice any openings, you should block the entrance.
If the fox is being a nuisance, hit pots and pans and they should run away.
Please note: if humans build a relationship with a fox and the fox is captured by the appropriate authorities, the fox can no longer be rehabilitated back to the wild because they lose their fear of humans and they will then have to euthanized.
Please avoid all interactions with foxes.
Wildlife in the Community: Coyotes
There have been reports of coyote sightings around the community. It's important that residents are mindful and aware of the various wildlife that live in the green spaces that surround this community, as well as to take some precautions to keep yourself and your small pets safe.
Here are some precautions you can take to avoid attracting coyotes:
avoid letting your small pets outside unattended.
avoid walking after dark or in the early morning hours.
avoid feeding your pets outside as this can attract wildlife.
use a non-retractable leash when walking.
attach keys or another noise generating item to your person for your walk so your presence is known.
Here are some tips to keep in mind if you come across a coyote on your walk:
never approach or touch a wild animal.
do not turn your back or run from a wild animal.
back away from the animal while remaining calm.
stand tall, wave and clap your hands, and make lots of noise.
carry a flashlight at night.
consider a personal audible alarm which can deter a coyote.
Here's a blurb that will come to individual homes, and take their items for recycling, away for free.
With all the changes going on here, this could save peoples trips to the recycling dump, and maybe get things moved out sooner than later.
- A Fellow Garth Trails Resident