, 10.30.2020 08:02 AM

The words that count the most

Yesterday was a really really good day. I won’t bore you with the details, but I went to bed feeling pretty good.

As I usually do, I took a peek at social media. On Twitter, in direct messages, a man – I’ll just call him Dean – had sent me a note asking if I was serious about helping people who are in trouble. I said yes.

He was in Calgary (I already knew that, from previous interactions I’ve had with him about politics) and at a well-known Calgary hotel on the 10th floor. He told me he had broken the window and thrown everything in the suite onto the ground below. He said the police were there, outside the room.

I didn’t know whether to believe him. But I asked him to remain cool and stay in contact with me. He sent me a photo showing that he had indeed broken a window and was sitting on the windowsill, ten floors up.

I kept him engaging with me, but then I got in touch with the Calgary police service. I told them what was happening, and started coordinating responses with them.

A couple times Dean said to me things like “over and out,” and indicating finality. I kept him talking as much as I could. I was scared for him.

(For reasons known only to themselves, Twitter summarily took down his account during all this, thereby ending my ability to engage with Dean. I’m not sure why they do things like that, but it was not very frigging helpful. Fortunately I had a couple phone numbers he had given me.)

Dean’s back-and-forth with me, and with the police, went on for a while. It was clear that he felt he was out of options and unloved. Eventually, however, he surrendered to police and one of their psychologists sent me the message quoted here.

This is all I said to him, and probably the only thing of value I said to him. It is true of him, and it is true of every one of you who experiences what he did, or will experience it in the hard months ahead. Remember it. I believe it.

You are loved.


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    Pipes says:

    The world is such a better place with you in it. Despite all the bashing you get, you have a big heart continuously hammering away. All of your detractors and betrayers will never have an ounce of your tenacity of purpose and integrity. For those who are spitting rage and indignation in your direction, well, I stand with you.
    During your dark times and those that experience the sadness and the desperation remember that the sun always comes up.

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      Warren says:

      Thanks brother. Quite a night. Just spent.

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      Mark says:

      I can only second what Pipes said. Our lives are at least partly measured by the concern and empathy we show others.

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    the real Sean says:

    I’ve been in a similar situation with a family member although not quite that level of urgency. The most important thing is that people need to talk, talk, TALK and not just bundle it up inside. Everyone is more fragile than they realize these days. Good for you Warren.

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    Ronald O'Dowd says:


    In my circle, albeit at a considerable distance, there have already been unfortunately two suicides. You know, friends of friends and that is beyond horrible.

    Frankly, in everything you do I see prominent flashes of Douglas Kinsella’s humanism, ethics and wisdom as you’ve previously related those qualities to all of us on several occasions. Mistakenly, you so worried that there was nothing of him in you. Quite obviously, you were wrong. I see a pattern here: in politics, on the side of the honorable and principled vs. those wishing to underhandedly install another in office; in COVID-19, clearly making efforts to move mountains to tender to the well being of your Mom and family; in litigation, where you never once asked anything for yourself, only that those who were repenting make a purposeful donation to a reputable charity; and finally, on this website, where more often than not pretty much every slight or act of disrespect is eventually forgiven, along with the restoration of comment privileges.

    Yes, Sir. Somewhere out there, your Dad is indeed proud.

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      Warren says:

      Thanks brother. I really really appreciate that.

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    Martin says:

    Wow. Well done.

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    Gilbert says:

    You made a big difference in that man’s life. The encouragement you gave him helped a lot. We don’t share the same political views, but I appreciate your website and resspect the good work you do.

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    Nasty Bob says:

    Chapeau Warren
    And hats off also to Calgary Police PACT team who, no doubt, responded to that call you made. The PACT team is an excellent example of what “defund the police” should look like. Not really defunding but smarter allocating of funding. Teaming health professionals to ride along with police saves lives (eg – see above) plus taxpayer money by diverting people in crisis out of the criminal justice system and into the healing they need.

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    Carmen says:

    Warren, I’ve been a long-time reader but never felt compelled to comment until reading this. Thanks for being such a wonderful human. Canada is a better place with you (and others like you) in it.

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      Warren says:

      Thanks my fiend but I was merely backstopping the police. That’s it. Take care.

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    Robert White says:

    I’ve run into a situation where Ottawa Social Assistance has taken my Medical Allowance for Food, and my Medical Travel Allowance for transportation, plus they have appropriated two months of back rent that they stole prior to stealing my Basic Needs Allowance.

    I reported the theft of my Basic Needs for food, and transportation, plus rent to Ottawa’s Auditor General, Social Services Department, Progressive Conservative MPP for my riding, and to Legal Aid Ontario, but now I need a litigator to process the fraud and theft of my Basic Needs Allowance in the Ontario Superior Court so that I can prevent the systematic fraud and theft of the poor that are forced to live and die on Social Assistance in Ontario.

    I was completely hesitant to even mention this to you until I read today’s WAR Room installment.

    When it rains it pours, Warren.

    Your mom and dad truly raised a compassionate professional, and great human being.

    I don’t suspect that my issue is something that someone like yourself ever gets engaged in, but I do very much appreciate that you helped that guy that also drops in on the WAR Room given his interest in politics.

    P.S. Biden is doing well with the bookies and his odds of winning this are excellent. I too am sitting on pins and needles waiting for this to end on the third. This election has been the toughest of my lifetime, and I’m sure many here would agree.

    Better days have to be ahead IMHO.

    Thanks for being there for that guy, Warren.

    You get points for that around here, eh.

    Cheers, Robert

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    Derek Pearce says:

    Good job WK. That’s all I can think to say. I had to deal with a similar situation with a close family member last winter, thankfully he came through it and is getting help.

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    Ronald O'Dowd says:

    In my case it was a Conservative candidate who got blackballed quite a ways back. When she didn’t answer, the Montreal Police broke down her door. Thankfully she was alright in the end.

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