Tuesday, 15 January 2013


Yesterday my classmates and I watched the Phoenix Sinclair inquiry take place at the Winnipeg Convention Centre.

The inquiry is trying to discover the factors that led to and allowed the death of the little girl, which happened in 2005. It was at the hearing that I remembered, in part, why I want to be a journalist/filmmaker/person who creates art to raise awareness and provoke thought and social change.

We were all sitting around listening to witnesses who had worked at Winnipeg Child and Family Services at the time that Phoenix’s file passed through, and admittedly it wasn’t the most thrilling experience. But I tried to listen really carefully and take as many notes, as accurately as I could. And then they got to the details surrounding what Winnipeg CFS workers typically look for when trying to assess if a child is being abused.

They named bruises and children walking funny and having trouble sitting down and a variety of other things that made me have to blink away tears. They said Phoenix went to Wellington School, and I don’t know why but that made the whole thing very real to me and it felt like my heart was fucking breaking right there in the room.

Journalists are, in some cases, required to know about things that are too horrible to imagine, like in this case. And while I am not claiming to be an expert on the case by any means, I did gain a lot of insight into what might have happened by attending the hearing yesterday knowing I was going to have to report on it. It reminded me of the importance of doing that; of listening carefully and gaining awareness about whatever is going on in this crazy world and of raising the awareness of others, too, so maybe one day they will rally for change. Basically making sure that people don’t forget about the Phoenix’s and the Beverly Rowbothams and the Aileen Wuornos’s (whatever your views are on her) and the Debs (see my post titled “Flying High Again -- Deb is the name of the woman in that story) and all the rest of the ones who can be noticed and even helped, maybe, if me and you, and all the other journalists can lend them a voice.

I will elaborate on this in my next post.  

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