Story collected by Charlie Senack.
“I grew up in Winnipeg, and, unfortunately, I’m still a fan of the Bombers and the Jets. I lived there until 1975 when I came to do my PhD in clinical psychology at Ottawa University. Then, I moved to Edmonton, where I was a psychologist at the University of Alberta Hospital.
In 1991, I moved back to Winnipeg and got a job as head of psychology at one of the hospitals there. In 2009, I started my own private practice. Along the way, my wife and I had two children, but she unfortunately passed away in 2012 due to complications from MS.
When my wife died, I got in touch with an old girlfriend who lives in Ottawa, and, in 2014, I moved back here to marry her. We first met in 1968 and kept in touch over the years. It’s a great love story and would make an excellent movie, so if there are any Hollywood producers who are interested, reach out.
During my practice, I got to work with Indian residential school survivors. They would tell me their stories of being up north and how they were taken away as children. It was very sad, very difficult. Whenever they were finally able to go back home after being taken away, they never really felt like they fit in and were without a home, really. A lot of the problems Indigenous people experience today came from the after-effects of being in residential schools.
Earlier in my career, I was lucky enough to be a prison psychologist, so I heard tough stories from the get-go. It was difficult at first, but with 50 years of experience, you get used to having those kinds of reactions to people and you’re trained on how to handle it. You need to have compassion and empathy for people who have gone through these difficult experiences.
I retired in 2020 and I wasn’t expecting a pandemic to hit, so I started writing my book called ‘Emotions Don’t Think.’ It’s about the turmoil in society over the last few years; people observe emotions from other people. When you have people grouping together in situations like we saw in Ottawa with the convoy, you saw how people were feeding off of each other’s emotions and it strengthened. People are reacting from their emotions instead of their mind and their thoughts.
I enjoy living in Westboro because it’s very neighbourly. I love seeing all the trees when I go for walks. It’s great seeing people I know everywhere I go. People are so friendly here. We are also super close to public transit which is very convenient.”