Saturday, 20 May 2017

Ashley Simpson: Walk for the Missing

While many Canadians will be preoccupied with settling into their cottages, or campsites, on this long weekend, others will be lacing up their running shoes to walk in the memory of their loves ones -- women who have gone missing and are presumed murdered.

Members of my immediate family will be participating in walks from coast to coast. Some will be walking in St. Catharines/Niagara to remember my cousin Ashley Simpson who disappeared a year ago from her home in Salmon Arm. She is one of three women missing from the B.C. Interior towns of Salmon Arm and Enderby. Deanna Wertz and Caitlin Potts are also missing.

Her father, John Simpson, will join in the B.C. walk. The organizers of walk have put the emphasis on aboriginal women because the majority of the missing come from the First Nations communities. But they have also taken John into their fold. Grief has no ethnicity, after all.

The walk will cap off a frustrating time for John who dropped everything and set off to find his daughter.

He's spent the last two weeks scouring the creeks and bushes near Yankee Flats Road where both Ashley and Deanna were last seen. Sadly, John will leave the area after the walk, having failed in his quest to bring Ashley home.

The weather has been challenging, with flooding, and record rain fall so John has only had a few days to look for her. Luckily, the community has pitched in, offering help with food, lodging and money to keep John going. He's also been aided by drones which have enabled him to search in the most treacherous areas, places where humans have been unable to go -- until now.

Despite the strong support, John has also encountered unexpected road blocks. The federal government cut off the employment insurance which has kept John going since Ashley's disappearance. There is a provision in the legislation which allows short term cash for family members of the murdered and missing. Unfortunately, John had his EI disallowed because he left the province of Ontario to search for Ashley because he wouldn't be able to look for work during this time.

What a stupid, moronic, bean counting, box checking thing to do to a father who is going mad, sitting at home, unable to look for his daughter. So much for Canada's social safety net.

What a joke.


  1. Unbelievable, unfathomable that a mayor of a town that has a Missing Woman can't support the community that is searching for her. The mayor of Salmon Arm joined us in our walk on Yankee Flats Road today, she walked the whole 10 kilometers side by side with all of us, in solidarity with us. She participated in the blessings and prayers for those that are missing, and she was touched by the tragedy of it all. That is what a mayor of a community should do, without question.

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  3. I lived in that town for sixteen years. Lotta strange things go on in the backwoods. Thrives on secrecy. And women are held in low regard for the most part. Especially women who 'run off'. There should be a warning at least about the women missing up there.... it seems like the logical thing. That tells you something.

  4. Prayers and thought go out to all the families , friends, and all missing women . I'm sure the mayor of Enderby supports this cause and may have had made other commitments . Not that this is not a very important event ,just some times there are not enough hours in a day to be everywhere. I to have lived in Enderby for many years my daughter was born here 40 plus years ago . I have never felt or been disrespected and I hope that no one of any nationality has had been made to feel that way in Enderby and if so please speak out about it because I can tell you that there are many women my self included that would have lots to say about any one that shows that kind of behavior. It is unacceptable

  5. No surprise to me ...The mayor called my nephew a "chug"..... Last summer at his store (sutherlands).... Was quite disgusted at his terminology.... and thought how inapropriate that was for a mayor to speak that way of his neighbouring people... Also Reminded me why so many of us grew up with racisim in high school and why so many kids still are dealing with that today in our town too... Not much is changing as far as racisim goes or the attitude towards our people's in this community I don't hold my breath on that changing anytime either... Believe me I wish it would change sooner than later...the worst sort of hate to create is self hate and that's what racisim sets the platform to do.... Its finally public is all the issue has just been too quiet for far too long the only time they care for our people is when two tables sign papers for working realationships that has finacial gain.... Other than that our people are ignored called down or looked down on.... Rarely would any Of our people be hired in downtown stores.... Hence why I started a Buisness to do what part I could to help our people move forward.... Heart breaking as this is our home too...

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