WHOSE FATHER, SON, BROTHER, UNCLE, GRANDFATHER, NEPHEW, COUSIN WAS AL GOSLING?
HE DIED A YEAR AGO, FOLKS. DRIVEN OUT OF HIS SUBSIDIZED HOME. HE SIMPLY FORGOT TO FILE HIS DOCUMENTS TO PROVE ELIGIBILITY. WENT TO A SHELTER, CAUGHT A BUG, GOT INFECTED, AND DIED IN THE HOSPITAL ALONE.
THE GOVERNMENT AGENCY SAID, THEY WERE GOING TO GIVE HIS APARTMENT BACK. HE DIED BEFORE THAT COULD HAPPEN.
A TAD LATE.
NEVERTHELESS, LET'S RAISE A GLASS OF BITTER ALE IN HIS MEMORY, LEST WE FORGET. JOURNALIST JOE FIORITO DID NOT.
Toronto Star's Joe Fiorito doggedly followed Al Gosling's case since it happened June 2009. In 2010, retired Judge Le Sage's findings say the government agency was "complacent" about aiding seniors like Al who find themselves shuffled in bureaucratic requirements for housing.
Fiorito, through all this reportage, however, did not trace whether Al had any family in Canada, or whether they cared about him or not. Not his sin of ommission. Maybe Al did not need to be "found" or claimed by kin.
His anger remains a smouldering ember, and Fiorito vows he will not drop this ball. Al maybe dead but Fiorito will bark at every shadow who had anything to do with his hapless death.
This hero of a journalist might as well have been Al Gosling's son. A surrogate son or brother. But Al's death in the hands of bureaucrats will not be swept under the rug, he swears.
Happy Father's Day, eh wot?
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(Joe Fiorito writes his Star column Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Email: email@example.com)