Tag Archives: poverty

How Do I Apply For Refugee Status?

I wrote my Ombudsman the other day, for the 3rd time in the past year; to ask how I go about applying for refugee status.

Am I being factitious? of course, Canada is where people come to escape persecution and have a better life. Canada and the USA are made up of generations of people who dreamed of a better life, freedom of speech, and protection from racism, persecution and suffering.  And if you are a refugee coming to Canada that is what you will get, but not if you are a born and raised Canadian.

I was born in New Westminster, 57 years ago, always lived in Canada, worked from the time I was 13 and have paid my taxes unemployment insurance, and into the Canada Pension Plan my whole life. I have been a business owner and a home owner, contributing to the economy of Canada my whole life. I have been  charitable law abiding citizen of Canada, never once packing a bomb or gun or uttering any threats against my country or my fellow Canadians. I have successfully helped several immigrants fill out their applications for citizenship and to bring loved ones to Canada. We have lots of land up here, room for thousands and I am not greedy, I have been known to go home and take 1/2 of everything in my cupboards box it up and give it to someone without food. On several occasions I took the family grocery shopping at Christmas with two shopping carts and everything we bought, the same was put in the other cart to be donated to a family in need. Not the typical mac and cheese, or long noodle soup people donate, but the good stuff, chips, nuts, cranberry sauce, cheeses, crackers, all the things we look forward to pigging out on through the Christmas holidays. I am not a selfish person and I don’t give two shits about being recognized for my efforts, that is not why I did it. I did it because I hate to see people do without, I can’t enjoy my good fortune when I know there are people out there going without, especially young children. I have literally given the coat off my back to a young child without a warm coat.

I will say Happy Holidays if Merry Christmas offends you, or Happy Hanukkah, and I won’t be offended if you don’t worship God as I see him/her and I will try your traditions, respect your beliefs, and I love to try different foods from different countries.

I respect your right to not say the Lord’s Prayer in school, and I respect your right to wear your traditional head gear or Burgha.

My irritation comes from losing MY right to say the Lord’s Prayer in school, MY right to wish people Merry Christmas, and MY rights to a roof over my head, food on my table and protection from those people who mean to do me harm.

If I was able to get refugee status I would qualify for full medical and dental coverage, I would be guaranteed a roof over my head, an education, food, and protection from the narcissistic people who threaten my existence.

I am all for helping the persecuted and the hungry masses, no one should get away with murdering innocent women and children, any where! not in Syria, not in Canada, but I DO feel charity should begin at home.

And THAT my friends is the thorn in MY side right now, and that does not even touch on the fact that Yes we are all immigrants in some way, it is a totally different scenario now than generations ago.

Time Flies By Whether You Are Having Fun Or Not

Two years ago in February I put the offer in on the cabin at Hatzic Lake, I had started a new job, and the future was looking a lot brighter. I was perfectly happy to live in this little cabin for the rest of my days.  Looking back I was still so very broken; I was not comfortable talking to people, I felt self-conscious and afraid I would say something stupid, I still talked about James a fair amount (but he kept creating trouble in my life so that kept him forefront in my mind). I kept to myself the first year, I took a lot of walks, did a lot of meditation, reading and breathing. I loved to look out my window at the lake, the herons and eagles soaring overhead.

So much has happened in those two years, I wasn’t even in my place a month when James managed to hack into my phone and tried to get me fired by placing an anonymous call to my boss, he was coming in here anonymously trying to discredit me and he called the management board where I live making anonymous complaints against me trying to get me evicted. I noticed I was very low energy and tired easily, my feet were so swollen I couldn’t wear most of my shoes, I was struggling to even go up a few stairs. I had just started my new job and thought I could “just push through it” but my body had different ideas and I had my second heart attack.  I was able to get sick benefits through E.I. and then my brother hired me for a while and I was able to get unemployment insurance benefits for a little longer. I was still trying to keep the cabin but it began to look pretty doubtful.

I applied to receive funding to train to be a Life Skills Counselor and that was a joke, as some of you know, I have been living on welfare for almost a year which is $610/month and I get an extra $10/month because I have a heart condition. Whoopeee, I try to not spend it all in the same place. (sarcasm). I handed in my research and funding ap in November 2014 and my course was to start Jan 7th 2015. I found out I was denied in February, the reason I was denied was because it wasn’t in the regulation black binder. My worker had not done her job, my package sat on 3 different people’s desks and not one of them even read it, yet they denied me. February I had a new worker and I questioned her on why I was denied. When it became clear that no one had even read the funding application she set about helping me resubmit. I am really impressed with her efforts and have thanked her. I will be sending a letter to her supervisor expressing my appreciate this week. I had a new start date of April 7th, we submitted the 2nd funding application a few weeks ago and I was denied again. This time it is because the government will only pay $7500 towards education and my course is $10,000, the school said they would carry the $2500 and I could pay it $50 a month but the funding committee won’t go for it because I won’t get my diploma until it is paid in full. (I can see their point). I applied for a student loan and haven’t heard back.

Dealing with the government is an exercise in futility, they keep contradicting themselves, at one time they said I didn’t have enough money to go to school (that is why I was needing help) They wanted me to apply for jobs I have experience in but the reason I need to be retrained is because I can’t do those jobs any more. They said that the commuter train into Vancouver was too expensive and I should drive into Vancouver for school yet they won’t pay for my car insurance but they will pay $.25/km for me to drive which comes to $6500 for the duration of the course, the commuter train was going to cost $3350. Yeah I know, like my worker said and I quote her exactly. “They are so fucking stupid.”

So as it stands right now I will not be going to school in April and I can not fight it any more. I have wasted so much time working on this as it is and I have to find a way to make money. $620 just does not cut it, it is impossible to live on that. When I started out on that much I had a fair amount of supplies but everything is depleted now and I haven’t paid rent this month. I have steadily gotten further and further behind on my bills, my phone is way past due, my hydro is the same, and now I have to move by the April long weekend. I knew the move was inevitable but had hoped I would have gotten my funding for school and would be getting more money per month so I could rent a place or best case scenario I would have finished school and have a job.

My son is living about a 5 hour drive away in a small town called Oliver, which is a cute little town in a beautiful touristy area but he rents a tiny one bedroom cabin and there isn’t room for me.

I am starting to sell my furniture, I didn’t pay much for it and got some of it free off Craig’s list and refinished it. I love my table and china cabinet that I distressed but it is not worth paying storage charges on it. My girlfriend has offered to store some stuff in her basement, and come the first week of April I don’t know where I will be living. I could very well be in my car. I wish I had a holiday trailer or something, I would camp for the summer. I really can’t believe I am facing homelessness again. That is why I stayed as long as I did with James, I hoped to save enough money that I could rent a place but of course he kept sabotaging my truck and I left with $5 and my dog. I slept in my truck for a while and then got to live in a mobile home for a while. The thing is, once you have been that broken and been homeless, you don’t have a safety net, any little expensive can throw you right back, let alone I had another heart attack and then wasting all that time trying to get funding. I have opened my online store but there is no way that is going to get me over this hurdle.

I have avoided saying anything because, well for several reasons

1. I didn’t want to believe it, it is my greatest fear, being homeless.

2. I didn’t want people coming in here and thinking “Oh my God she has been out for 5 years and still isn’t back on her feet, what hope do I have or maybe they will think it is better to stay with their abuser.  (it isn’t)

3. I was trying to stay positive, I really believed that eventually I would get the funding because it makes sense and I did such a bang up job on my application. I did my absolute best, they even said they had never had someone put the effort in that I had.

I can’t help but be thankful for the time I was here at the lake, I did so much healing while I was here and much more capable of dealing with this stress than I was when I came here. I don’t feel like a loser, or a lesser person for the position I am in because I know I have done everything within my power to improve my situation and it just didn’t come together for whatever reason. I trust God has a plan, it had better be a good one!!

I am giving you all a heads up that once I am out of here I won’t have the internet or anyway to afford it and will probably have to shut the blog down or at the very least shut off the ability to comment.

BTW I will be writing the head office of the company responsible for administering the funding program and I will be CCing my politicians and the newspaper. If the government is sincere about helping women leaving an abusive relationship they have a long ways to go because from what I have experienced, the reason I stayed still exists and if anything there is less help than there was 15 years ago.

I Can Not Believe This!!

OK, I have been singing God’s praises and being thankful for all the small blesses in my life. I think it is important to stay positive.

I didn’t mention that just as we were about to sit down to dinner on Sunday there was a knock at the door and it was the president of the park management board who handed me a letter. I didn’t open it right away because I was afraid but my family said better to open it now while we are all here. The letter said I have to get rid of Kato by the 31st of October. I am still going to fight it, submit letters of reference I have gotten from people who know us and now I have pictures of Kato chewing his ball while another dog is right there in the room. My brother said if I have to put him down he will take him in for me. My brother was very very supportive and concerned, he really loves animals and really loves Kato.

Then this morning I checked my bank account online because my disability benefits come every second Tuesday but they only deposited 1/2 of the amount I should be getting so I called thinking it must be a simple mistake. NO! I have been cut off, that is it, no more benefits. Everything is done online these days and I was positive my claim was good until May 31, 2014. I copied the information off of the website for my claim. What does it say to you? am I missing something? 
I don’t know what I am going to do!! My landlord, or the woman that holds my mortgage has been very patient, but I just got caught up on my mortgage and now I can’t pay it again.

I am sick about it, panic stricken, I wasn’t making it on what I was getting. And to top it all off I was going to take my painted stuff into Fort Langley on Saturday and decided to call first to make sure she was working and her financial situation has changed overnight and she couldn’t afford to buy anything off of me. My brother lent me enough money to buy the gorceries for the dinner.

Start Date of Claim: June 02, 2013
Waiting Period: June 02, 2013 to June 15, 2013
Type of Benefit: Sickness – major attached benefits
Recovery Date: January 04, 2014
Total Insurable Earnings: $xxxxxxx
Benefit Rate: $xxx
Federal Tax: $xx
Weeks of sickness benefits paid: 15
Total Weeks Paid: 15
End Date of Claim: May 31, 2014
Last Report Processed: September 22, 2013 to September 28, 2013
Last Report Processed on: October 06, 2013