Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Ashley Simpson: What police found in the woods

Update: The remains found by polce were another girl. Thankful but it's disturbing for another family.

It is with a heavy heart that I report that the police have found human remains at a site in Salmon Arm. As you know, my cousin, Ashley Simpson, has been missing from that area for more than a month.

I remain forever hopeful that this is not the Gypsy Girl. But thought you'd all like to know...

This is a report from the Salmon Arm Observer.

The Salmon Arm RCMP and BC Coroners Services announced late Tuesday afternoon that they are investigating the discovery of human remains located by police.
The Salmon Arm RCMP were called to an area on 6th Street NE on May 20.
Investigators located what have been confirmed as partially decomposed human remains in an area between 6th Street NE and Lakeshore Drive. The remains were located down an unused steep footpath that is overgrown.
Police say the remains appear to be fairly recent.
“At this time the Salmon Arm RCMP is working with the BC Coroner’s service to identify those remains. The investigation and identification of the remains may take some time as investigators may have to rely on DNA analysis to conclusively identify the remains,” says RCMP Staff Sgt. Scott West.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Ashley Simpson: A Father Remembers

I have asked Ashley Simpson's family and friends to give us a glimpse into the life she lived before going missing nearly a month ago. Here is how her father John remembers his sweet girl.

Ashley was a treat when she came into this world, a smashing 9lbs 8 ounces with a  head full of hair and nails that needed to be clipped.

She has made many friends in her journey of life and continues to make them as we speak. She has made this world a better place by her love of mankind and this place we call Earth; unfortunately this life she has lived hasn't been the best for her.

She has suffered through unbearable pain and suffering through her menstrual cycles. She has cysts on her ovaries that make those 10 days a living hell. She had one of her ovaries removed when she was just 14; the other they won't take out till she is 40 or older. Years of hell for my Ashley. I so feel her pain every month but she doesn't quit, doesn't give in.  

That's my girl, a real trooper. She cares more for others than anyone could ever imagine. 

This I know for she has been by my side working with me for the last 20 years, starting by serving the captains on ships. When she came on with me for visits when she was 12, I would say we all have to earn our keep so you need to serve the crew when you are on the ship.

 She loved the idea of travelling at an early age.  We often travelled to see friends and family across the country and the USA.  We went to museums to monuments across the country.  

I remember her first real sea sickness day when we left Newfoundland on a ship and hit rough seas. When we left the harbour, it wasn't pretty but she did her best as long as she could. Seasickness will get you  and it's not pleasant.

She loved dinosaurs, gemology, meeting new faces, and especially kids. She could not get enough of them all of them.  I haven't met many persons who haven't just wanted to hug her and be with her.  She's just that kind of person.

Ashley washed dishes in restaurants where I worked when she was young. She was younger than I was when she took on her first job as chief cook on a ship. 

She has a love of travel, to see Canada and all its glory, as well as the darker side of places. She is not afraid of things she doesn't know about. She will investigate till she has an understanding of the situation.

Ashley has worked in oil camps, diamond mines and restaurants.  She works at the LONGHOUSE LODGE with me. This is our 6th year there. She is loved by all at the Longhouse and has made many American friends there.  She will be greatly missed if she misses this year.

There is only one thing greater than her love of the outdoors and nature and that's her love for family.  She has a joy for the planet, to see things others don't, go places, explore, become one with nature. Her love of animals is only matched for her love of her nieces and nephews, sisters and family members.


Unfortunately, she has had troubles in her love life, and has not been able to find the right one, the one who cares as much as she does about the things she holds dear.  She has met some very terrible men in her life; she has been beaten more than once by those she had loved. This troubles me.  Has she met her match?  She is a fighter; she won't give in, or up.

These are men who love to beat women cause they can.

I have borne witness to one of these situations.  They tried to beat me but couldn't. I wouldn't let them. I stood my ground, protected my young, got beat but they got the worse. Two thugs thought they could do want they wanted but the training I got in the military saved me.   My hand to hand combat kicked in. They suffered more than I. 

Men like this got away with it.  Most of the time, there was  nothing done to them except a slap on the back. Where is our caring society that allows this to go on? Take a look around. How often do you see it, and then turn your head when it happens?  Say, oh my, but stay on the side lines.

I end this with wishes to be with our Ashley once again, and enjoy her love of life and laughter.   

Stay safe my girl till we find you.

John Simpson

Love Letters for Ashley Simpson

It has been nearly a month since my cousin Ashley Simpson disappeared without a trace from her life in Salmon Arm, B.C. The RCMP continue to investigate, but there is still no sign of her.

The long weekend was very hard on the family. Ashley and her Dad run the catering for a longhouse up in Huntsville, Ontario, and they are supposed to start soon. They have been doing this for years, and now John feels great sadness in embarking on this journey on his own.

Instead of focusing on the negative, while we still have no news, Amanda Haverman and I are asking people to share their stories about Ashley, hoping to focus on all the goodness, light, fun, and hope she brought to this world.

John sent me this reference letter that Ashley received.

Ashley is a dedicated, productive, and intelligent worker who would be an asset in any work environment. She worked at our family camp this summer with her father preparing and serving 3 meals a day for 10 -20 people and did it with a calm capability that is not often seen in someone her age. She kept all of the public spaces at the camp neat and clean and cheerfully put up with less than stellar living arrangements.

She interacts well with people of all ages and the children especially loved her. All around she was a
pleasure to have around.

There were two particularly telling incidents this summer that underscored Ashley’s presence of mind
and dedication to her job. The first involved a renegade bear that kept approaching our camp over
several days. Ashley sounded the alarm on more than one occasion, made sure that everyone was
safely inside and then she scared the bear away by banging pots and pans. Second, due to a lost car
key there were several guests that had to stay over in camp for an extra night. Despite the fact that it
was on her one night off per week, she made sure that they had food for dinner and even prepared
breakfast the next morning.

We are hoping that Ashley will return to our camp next summer and for many more years beyond.


Friday, 20 May 2016

Body shaming at Movati Fitness

While the Opposition was busy bullying Justin Trudeau in the Commons yesterday, there was an even bigger scandal brewing in the Nation's Capital.

Let's call it "boobgate".

A woman is considering taking my gym, Movati Fitness, to the human rights commission because she says she was "body shamed" because staff members told her to cover up her large bosom which she proudly sported in a tank top.

Apparently, a lot of people complained about her outfit.

I bet it was in the women's side of the gym.

There was nothing remotely offensive about her outfit to me. That's because I have boobs like this:

Now, I don't wear tank tops to the gym, not ever. That's because I am ashamed of my boobs, and I always have been. So I wear sloppy extra-large t shirts, and the mams sort of sway back and forth because I don't wear a sports bra. I don't wear a sports bra, just a regular one, because I can't find one in my size, so this has me wondering if I might one day be taken off the floor because they aren't properly corralled.

If that happened, sisters, I would be mortified.

So I can just image what Jenna must have felt especially when hers are perfectly tucked into a sensible bra and tank. I've seen lots worse at that gym, especially when I'm on the rowing machine and have to look up an ass cradled in LuLu Lemon. I'm talking major butt floss.

Some of those outfits are so damned tight that I swear I can see their tonsils. Tights like these.

And I can tell you that there are many, many women including my friend Jennette's surgeon who wear gym wear that looks just like Jenna's. The only difference is that they have regular sized boobs.

I've also seen really, really offensive outfits on men that technically fit the dress code but do not fit into my own person code of fashion conduct. Lime green outfits, swaying junk in need of a cup, balls hanging out of the side of their shorts.

And I've heard complaints from many women who are offended by ethic swimming costumes worn by women in the pool.

People are all shapes and sizes, and they should be able to celebrate their uniqueness and their figure flaws and assets.

It is true that Movati is a private club but that doesn't give it the right to humiliate members so I hope Jenna wins her case. In any event, the chain has certainly got its share of bad publicity out of this mess.

Oh, and one more thing.

I noted in this Toronto Star article that, at the time I was reading it, it was sponsored by a pop up advertisement by Movati. (It's not always there; but you can see it if you refresh the page.)

Bravo Google Ads!

Ashley Simpson: Fundraisers and Tip Lines

There is still no news regarding the whereabouts of my cousin, Ashley Simpson, who disappeared from her home in Salmon Arm, B.C., without a trace at the end of April.

As I stated in my previous blog, the RCMP is now considering this a homicide investigation. Their 14-person major crimes team is focusing on searching a 25 acre parcel of land that is adjacent to where she lived with her boyfriend. They have also conducted DNA testing on all persons of interest.

Still nothing.

Her father, John, posted this heartbreaking message on Facebook yesterday.

Another day goes by and there are no calls about our darling daughter, Ashley.  I guess that's the way it's going to go. It seems to be getting easier to go out and meet people. I might try some golf tomorrow -- at least a bucket of balls. Been holed up here in the house since I came back wishing and wondering if, and when, Ashley will return or when we will  hear some sort of word about her whereabouts. Getting a few visitors of late and that's sort of nice. A little at a time for all you
Ashley watchers out there. Sorry not much today, Hopefully more tomorrow. Stay safe, hug ur kids and spouses, say a prayer for our girl to stay safe and strong till we can find her. Peace and love all
Meanwhile, the family and friends of Ashley are not giving up. They have launched a website, which includes a tip line. Ashley's supporters have also offered a cash reward for any information that could lead investigators to her, or to whomever might have done her harm.

On July 30th, there will be a fundraiser for the family. Here is a message from Amanda Haveman about the fundraiser which will be held near St. Catharines.

Hello Everyone. Thanks for the awesome support you have shown Ashley's family in this time of need and difficulty.
As we all know, some of Ashley's family traveled to Salmon Arms B.C. from many different areas to look for our Gypsy Girl. They all took time off work, they all left behind their husbands, wives, kids, and friends to join the search for Ashley.
So with that being said, we would like to do a fundraiser to raise money to help recoup lost finances, to help the family with future expenses that might come up. Also with everyone being so supportive to the Simpson family they have asked that  part of the proceeds from the event go to a missing person foundation which will be an honour as we all know how important those foundation are.

Click here to get specific information.

If you don't live near the St. Catharines area, you can always donate to her GoFundMe page. Anything will help.

Peace, out.

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Justin Trudeau's Bar Room Blitz

Now that Mike Duffy has been vindicated by a learned judge, the Parliamentary Press Gallery is stewing over the fact there are no good scandals to cover.

Sure, there's lot's going on: votes and amendments on the whole assisted suicide matter, concern over the plight of the poor folks in Fort McMurray and region, even the fascinating subject of electoral reform.

While those subjects are serious, relevant and even somewhat urgent, members of the Gallery have decided that there are more interesting matters at hand, and have focused their laser beams on two subjects: whether Sophie Gregoire Trudeau deserves more hired help, and whether the Prime Minister should be sanctioned for an accidental boob shot to an NDP MP.

Jesus H. Christ. Have we lost our collective minds?

On the matter of SGT, the so-called "tall poppy" who is getting beaten up by mean girls on social media, everybody should just get stuffed. Mila Mulroney had a suite of offices and minions to do her bidding, as well as a chauffeur to take her to Montreal to get her bangs cut. As for the other "first ladies," they were nice ladies but they didn't like or want the limelight and weren't asked to do half the stuff that SGT is being asked to do or attend.

It's true Laureen Harper didn't get much help, but then most of her causes involved volunteer work surrounding the plight of household pets and galas where her husband whinged his way through a series of golden oldies.

Canadians are actually asking SGT for her help on a number of fronts, and she wants to oblige, but she doesn't even have the time to answer her mail. I don't think it would kill taxpayers to fork over money to hire a couple of students to help her. We're not talking rocket science here. Minimum wage, that's all. And working for the Prime Minister's wife would look great on a resume.

Problem solved.

Next, to the House of Commons, and that embarrassing display yesterday. Everybody should be ashamed of themselves. Everybody. But in the Prime Minister's defence, he was simply acting on his training as a schoolteacher/bouncer, trying to get all the kids to take their seats. Really, Ruth Ellen, you wouldn't have gotten hurt if you had been sitting in your seat.

And the claim the Prime Minister "manhandled" that Brown fellow is laughable and ridiculous. The man, obviously, has never ridden a subway in Toronto, let alone played a game of pick up hockey.

"He grabbed me, like, really, really hard," you could hear him saying.

Grow a pair.

I'm not defending JT, because, let's face it, he acted like an ass yesterday. He was a big douche, with a mouth in need of a good soaping.

But seriously, those who claim his actions have denigrated Parliament should play back tapes from Question Period.

He apologized. Let's get over it.

As Scott Feschuk said today, "How the opposition should have responded: Dude, not cool. Get your shit together. How they did respond, ASSAULTY MAURAUDER APOCALYPSE!"

The media needs a time out, too.

To paraphrase Shakespeare," It is a tale told by idiots in the Press Gallery, signifying nothing."

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Ashley Simpson: 20 Days Gone

My cousin Ashley Simpson has been missing for 20 days now, and the B.C. RCMP have turned their files over to the major crimes division.

They have assured the family that they have made the change so they can tap into the greater resources of the homicide division, a 14-person team who will stay on the case until it's resolved. In the coming days, warrants will be sworn, and they will use DNA swabs to pursue persons of interest in the case. They will also be searching the 25 acres surrounding the place where Ashley was living in Salmon Arm.

"I have to admit, the update isn't rosy," her father John wrote me in an email. "We still hope she may be found alive, but they haven't found any sign of her."

The case has pitted people against each other. There is the camp that prefers to light candles, and look to the skies for inspiration. And there are others who are more pragmatic, who are hoping for the best, bracing for the worst.

I fall in the latter category, and I'm getting a lot of guff for it.

One of my previous blogs created so much outrage that I took them all down. I told John I felt that my blogs had become a distraction, and had taken the focus away from finding Ashley and put it in the land of Internet trolls. The family were horrified and asked me to put the blogs up again, but they are now in the ether, in a place where only web experts could find them.

For my part, I'm just happy that the initial blogs were able to reach more than 30,000 readers who today are more aware of the case.

A lot of people wrote scathing emails accusing me of offending Ashley's mother, Cindy, who wrote to me yesterday, saying she was grateful that I had taken up Ashley's cause.

"The ones who commented are friends from years ago and had no right to speak on our behalf," she said. "I guess they didn't notice your last name. LOL."

Now that's over with, and I have the blessing of the family, I will continue to post and those who don't like it can get stuffed.

Fact is, blue skyers, it's pretty evident that Ashley didn't find a true love who put her up in a swanky condo somewhere. She's missing. And if she's still alive, she's in peril. The sooner the cops find her, the better for Ashley and her family.

In the meantime, John and Cindy want everyone to know that they are grateful for all the love and support. John is heading up to Huntsville where he and Ashley go every summer to the "longhouse" where they've worked for seven years.

"We met hundreds of great people who fell in love with Ash. They will be deeply saddened if she doesn't come home."

His wish?

"We need to keep up the pressure on the government to end this dilemma of missing women."

And then he added, wistfully, "maybe mention, off the subject, that when I drove back to Ontario from B.C., I noticed much of the country's watering holes for livestock -- small ponds, creeks -- most have gone dry. It'll be a bad year if we don't get rain.

"Remember, only you can prevent forest fires."

John's a typical Simpson. He's a pragmatist, but he's always looking for a ray of light through the darkness.