A Project to Raise Awareness of Sexual Violence


Several years ago I served on the Board of Directors of the Regina Women’s Community Centre and Sexual Assault Line. It was an important way for me to give back to the Centre which had helped me come to some kind of peace with my experience of a date rape that had occurred in my late teens. For too long, I had blamed myself, even though I had loudly and clearly said, NO!

It disturbed me when I saw the video featuring Premier Wall, MP Tom Lukiwski, and those anonymous Conservative men denigrating women in the way they did. It bothers me that they have not yet apologized to the women of the province, for the role they have played in promoting sexism and sexist behaviour. And it disturbed me even more, then, when I learned this:

Regina has the third highest rate of sexual assault per capita in Canada (Statistics Canada 2006).

Now, many of you know that I’m not a major fan of Mayor Pat Fiacco, but I’ll give him credit for this:

Mayor Pat Fiacco has proclaimed the week of April 13 to 19 Sexual Assault Awareness Week. It is time to Draw The Line against sexual violence in our city.

The Regina Women’s Community Centre and Sexual Assault Line have organized this event:

A Project to Raise Awareness of Sexual Violence

Bring a t-shirt to decorate to honour yourself or someone you know who has experienced sexual assault

Regina City Hall Courtyard
April 19, 2008
12:00 p.m. — 2:00 p.m.

Sexual Assault affects us all; young and old.

Please come support this event because survivors of sexual assault are someone’s mother, sister, grandmother, aunt, daughter, niece, friend, or even someone’s father, brother, uncle, or son.

Thank you in advance from all of us at The Regina Women’s Community Centre & Sexual Assault Line for sharing this message with those you know and love.

I can be at this event for only a short while as my daughter arrives home from her immersion experience that afternoon (YAY!!!). I’ll hope that this awareness campaign can prevent all of our daughters from experiencing what I experienced when I was just a wee bit older than my daughter is now.

Brad Wall, meet Saskatoon!

Just over five months in office and Premier Brad Wall has more than a video scandal on his hands. He and his SaskParty have managed to rile up a significant portion of the citizens in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. It appears that he’s getting a bit more than he bargained for by pulling the plug on the Station 20 West Community Enterprise Centre, a broad and innovative community-based project that transforms contaminated wasteland into an environmental showcase and will bring much-needed attention to a core neighbourhood:

The Station 20 West Community Enterprise Centre

An innovative three-storey state-of-the-art structure, located at 20th Street West between Avenues L and K on Saskatoon’s West Side, will be a home to:

  • non-profit community organizations
  • public institutions
  • for-profit businesses and cooperatives

Working Together Works.

The Station 20 West CEC will integrate the delivery of needed community services and programs such as:

  • medical and dental
  • access to healthy food
  • jobs, training, housing

This initiative is a model one and it is one which has garnered broad-based support from not only the community of Saskatoon but also from people across the province. It’s not surprising then that more than 2,500 folks showed up for a Community Walk in support of Station 20 West. From the Saskatoon Star Phoenix:

Thousands gather to protest Station 20 West cuts

Danielle Mario, TheStarPhoenix.com

SASKATOON – The sidewalks around the block designated for Station 20 West were filled with a throng of people taking part in the largest demonstration in recent Saskatoon history.Between 2,000 and 2,500 people gathered on the lot at the corner of 20th Street West and Avenue L on Saturday morning to protest the provincial government’s recent decision to take back $8 million in funding for the development, which was to feature dental and medical clinics, public health and nutrition programs, and a co-op grocery store.

Demonstrators started trickling onto the empty lot at 9 a.m., and within the hour, the area was filled with people of all ages.

“It’s not about politics. It’s about the community,” said Sheila Pocha, co-chair of the project’s board of directors.

“I think that’s the real problem. (The government) never met with us, and never saw our financial plan. It’s sustainable, it’s viable, and it makes a lot of sense. The government is telling us to go find an old church, or an old school, or an old Barry Hotel now.”

It seems to me that the real problem now is Premier Brad Wall’s narrow, ideological bent, nothing more, nothing less.

Shame on you, Premier Wall! And shame on former Premier Lorne Calvert and his NDP administration for not providing secure funding for this project when it was first requested!

h/t to Sean in Saskatchewan

Nurses livid! Proposal “most regressive in SUN’s history”!

There’s so much going on in this province right now, most of it quite frightening. I’m going to start with the most recent and work my way back as time permits over the course of the weekend. This media advisory, from the Saskatchewan Union of Nurses outlines the attack on nurses in SK. This, at a time when SK is experiencing unprecedented economic growth!

MEDIA ADVISORY
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Friday, April 4, 2008
SAHO CONTRACT PROPOSALS CONSIDERED
“MOST REGRESSIVE IN SUN’S HISTORY”
<<<Regina>>>The Saskatchewan Union of Nurses says that the province’s regional health authorities have tabled the most regressive contract proposals in SUN’s history, and has predicted that hundreds of nurses will either resign or retire early in response.
The union is calling for the Minister of Health to replace the department officials and regional health authority leadership that is responsible for what SUN President Rosalee Longmoore describes as “a destructive and malicious attack on nurses and safe patient care and a crude attempt to tear up the SUN/Government Partnership.”
Longmoore says, “They are refusing to commit to fill current vacancies, because they are using the vacancies to balance their budgets. Instead, they have submitted proposals that would require nurses to work unlimited overtime. That’s not a retention strategy – that’s a detention strategy that will backfire -nurses cannot work more and more overtime. They have a professional obligation to refuse more overtime if they are too tired to provide safe patient care. They will refuse, or they will just quit.”
SUN says that regional health authorities want to muzzle nurses who report instances where safe patient care is being jeopardized. According to Longmoore, “Nurses went on strike in 1988 and 1999 to get the right to report in writing to supervisors when patient care is jeopardized. Nurses are obligated by legislation and professional standards to protect patient safety – we will never give that up.”
“The Minister of Health is going to have to decide – how long is he going to continue to let his own Ministry officials and regional health authorities try to tear up the SUN/Government Partnership and avoid implementing it? How would the worst contract in SUN’s history help the government achieve its retention and recruitment targets? The retention and recruitment proposals from the Partnership must be binding in the collective agreement, or regional health authorities will continue to defy the Minister,” said Longmoore.
The union has advised Conciliator Doug Forseth that they are adjourning contract talks until after their annual meeting on April 23-25.
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To speak to a SUN representative, please call:
Rosalee Longmoore, SUN President (306) 539-6162 (cell)

Status of Women in SK

Spring has sprung and the regina mom has been busy offline.

Imagine my surprise, when gathered with a few others, I learned that Premier Wall believes that women in Saskatchewan have equality! I’ve been working for women’s equality for more than twenty years now, so I’m totally amazed!  A brief scan of his Cabinet confirms it, however.  There is no Minister Responsible for the Status of Women.

I mean, really, we should have seen it coming, what with his buddy-buddy-ness with PM Harper.  For some reason, however, I believed that Wall really was going to be different.  But in fact he is more like the NDP than ever.  He is more of the same-old, same-old graduate Saskatchewan Old Boys’ Club in which the Saskatchewan NDP’s old boys held memberships.

And that’s terrible news for the women of Saskatchewan, women who will be even further marginalized by uncaring white men with power.