Lady Justice: Talking turkey for Thanksgiving

Let’s talk turkey. I enjoy a Butterball with meat stuffing. Since turkey is not a popular meat in Jamaica where my spouse grew up, my mother-in-law would cook a ham to add to the celebration. Although she is no longer with us, the blended turkey/ham dinner lives on (including in the year we explored turducken).

Since I did not inherit the cooking gene (or it lays dormant), Thanksgiving dinner means a trip to one of the extended family members’ homes (or, during the Pandemic, the heat and serve Butterball turkey roll had to suffice). There are always many leftovers stuffed in to-go packages to take home.

This is the average Canadian tradition.

Every day I am thankful to be Canadian but always wonder how to maximally assist other humans less fortunate, especially those who through no fault of their own do not have the good fortune of the average Canadian.

When I was young, we did get the locks changed by a landlord once when my parents had first separated. But, through two full time jobs, my mother (originally a stay-at-home parent), with the help of her mother, was able to ensure all five children were looked after.

On Monday, I attended my first 100+ Women Who Care Red Deer event at the Red Deer Golf and Country Club (the “+” is an invitation to join). Each event (four per year) is a commitment of an hour of time plus $100.00. We heard pitches from three nominated not-for-profits and voted on one to receive the funds (in the range of $10,000.00, but pre-pandemic I heard the total could be double that amount). The group just surpassed half a million dollars in financial impact to the community.

The winner was the Mustard Seed School Lunch Program. As one participant noted, how is this a thing? In fact, I understood the funds would help the program for about a week given how many meals they need to make for students in need. These are Red Deerian children who do not enjoy the average privileges of the rest of us Canadians.

For adults, misfortune could be through poor choices. On the other hand, my cases dealing with serious or catastrophic injuries, involve someone else’s poor choices (negligence) causing pain, suffering and financial hardship. If a breadwinner is injured, the whole family suffers, which can result in needing outside supports.

These days it is impossible to ignore the fortune of those outside Alberta and Canada. For example, I just replied to an unsolicited job application from a Ukrainian lawyer who was forced to flee their country and would like to relocate to Canada, and specifically Alberta. Since requalifying is needed to become a lawyer in Canada, they are seeking a position as a legal assistant after over a decade at the Bar in their home country. Any leads, let me know.

The Urban Dictionary defines talking turkey to refer to speaking frankly and discussing hard facts. Frankly speaking, I am thankful to be Canadian, Albertan and Red Deerian, but it is clear that in a global market, we need to take care of each other to remain competitive. As I write, I do not know who the new Premier will be (you as reader will know by the time of this publication). Let’s hope that distraction is over for awhile and we can forge ahead and remain thankful for this land of opportunity. Happy Thanksgiving and do not forget to come and enjoy the final Farmer’s Market of the year.

Donna Purcell, K.C., (aka Lady Justice) is a Central Alberta lawyer and Chief Innovation Officer with Donna Purcell QC Law. If you have legal questions, contact dpurcell@dpqclaw.com.

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