Monday, May 30, 2011

Pay Equity for Midwives

I am a HUGE fan of midwives!  I have had wonderful experiences in their care with all four of my children.  I can't say enough about how they treat a woman as an intelligent participant in pregnancy and childbirth and how great it is to have their support at home after childbirth.  So when I found out that they are looking for pay equity I was more than happy to write a couple of emails.  I wish I could attend the rally on Wednesday but it's just not possible.  I hope there will be a great turnout and that they will be heard.

Below is the letter I wrote to my MPP (you can find your local MPP here) and to the Minister of Health.

I'm writing to request your support in ensuring pay equity for midwives.  I was blessed to have all four of my children under the wonderful care of the Community Midwives of Halton, the most recent being born this past February.  I am truly grateful to have access to professionals who view pregnancy and childbirth as a normal and healthy process in a woman's life.

As you may know,
midwifery care is a cost effective option for women that improves outcomes for mothers and babies.  Midwives have provided care to over 100,000 mothers and babies in home and hospital since 1994. 

Ontario midwives are asking the Ontario government for a pay equity adjustment.
  • Midwives have been providing excellent, cost-effective care for 17 years - for 11 of those years they received zero pay increase
  • Midwives’ pay has fallen behind that of other health care providers
  • An independent, third party report funded by the Ministry of Health recently concluded that there is a large pay equity gap for midwives

Please encourage Premier Dalton McGuinty on my behalf, and on behalf of the thousands of other women who are thankful for our midwives, to provide a pay equity adjustment for midwives.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

What about you?  Have you ever had a midwife?  Even if you haven't, I love birth stories so feel free to provide a link to yours!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Smothered Chicken and Rice

I got this recipe from and tried it out earlier this month.

The final product.
I think I didn't have mushrooms and I added in some tomatoes just because I had them on hand.  I also used white rice instead of brown because again that was what I had.   

DS2 liked it
and lovely DD1 was also a fan
DS1 liked it
Smothered Chicken and Rice
4-6 pieces of chicken
1 cup uncooked rice
1 small onion
1 package mushrooms
1 can cream of mushroom
1 1/2 cups water
salt and pepper to taste
Salt and pepper chicken, place in deep cooking pan skin side up.  Pour in 1 cup rice into the cooking pan,making sure it doesn’t sit on top of chicken In a large measuring cup mix soup and water till it reaches the 2 1/2 cups line, pour over rice.  Add chopped onion and mushrooms.  Bake @ 350 for 1-1 1/2 hours.

What's a quick & easy recipe your family enjoys?

Sunday, May 1, 2011

It's a booming business

So I did a little more research into the legalities and costs around cremation and all ... 

The Board of Funeral Services compiles statistics about the funeral sector based on information provided by licensees, education programs and the Ontario Government. They have quite the informative site and the following information was provided from them based on their fiscal year ending October 31, 2009.

According to their site, the average cost of services based on the current price list for a "direct disposition" is $1,626  This includes "the removal of the deceased from the place of death, the placement of the body in a container or casket, the delivery of the body to the cemetery or crematorium and the filing of necessary documentation. It does not include visitation or services with the body present."   Quite the deal when you compare it to the amount I was quoted by the lovely cemetery director I spoke to last week - but then, it is a business you know.

But wait!  You can get an even better deal at CremationCare Centre.  $1,412.39 will get you:
  • Transfer from place of death
    All documentation including 6 Proof of Death Certificates
  • Cardboard cremation container (but you can't weigh more than 200 lbs so it pays to stay healthy!)
  • A private family viewing room if desired
  • Transfer to the crematorium of choice 
  • Return of ashes to The CremationCare Centre
    All fees and taxes (Cremation Charge at Riverside Crematorium - other crematoria costs will vary, Coroners Fee, Death Registration and H.S.T.)
These guys don't require you to buy a fancy urn and will return the ashes in a small cardboard container at no charge to you.

Now, what do you do once you have the ashes?  The most cost effective thing to do is to scatter the ashes.  The lady I had spoken to had indicated this was illegal, or something to this effect.  However the government has actually gone to great pains to ensure people know that it is legal, stating:
"Any individuals or families who wish to scatter the cremated human remains of their loved ones on Crown land and Crown land covered by water in Ontario can do so.
Individuals and families are permitted to scatter on unoccupied Crown land, and those Crown lands covered by water. There is no need to obtain government consent to scatter on or in such areas, which include provincial parks and conservation reserves, and the Great Lakes. Individuals wishing to scatter on private land, or private land covered by water, should obtain the owner’s consent."  (October 15, 2010)

The next thing I was told was that it would be legally required when selling property to disclose if ashes had been scattered there.  I haven't found any Canadian laws stating this but am awaiting a reply and will update in the comments if this turns out to be true.

So there you have it - you can get your remains taken care of for about $1,500 Personally I would much prefer my family to enjoy whatever money I can leave behind for them than to see them sink it into the ground.  That's me though - and my family knows I'm all about frugal.  I don't need a monument or a graveside to be remembered at once a year - I'd like a Celebration of Life and to be remembered in the small things throughout the year.