ACTION: Stop the cuts to supports for people living with disabilities

The Preamble:

thereginamom is more than a little angry about the Wall government’s attack on people with disabilities by cutting the Saskatchewan Assured Income for Disability program.  So, she wrote and sent a letter at the request of a friend.  You, dear Reader, are free to write your own or to copy-paste this one or parts of it into a message and send it.  Just please do something.

The Letter:

Mr. Premier, MLAs, and Editors:

I write because my friend, B., an elder in our community and the mother of an adult daughter who has lived her entire life with a disability, asked me to do so.  I worked alongside her daughter at a community agency a number of years ago.  That B. is concerned about the cuts to financial support for people with disabilities in the province, especially the Saskatchewan Assured Income Disability (SAID) program, does not surprise me.  She loves her daughter.  Many Saskatchewan residents rely on SAID in addition to what work, if any, they can find.  People with disabilities, as well as people without, have every right to expect to live and thrive as functioning members of our communities and we pay our taxes so that our governments see to that.

This impacts our friends and neighbours, family members and coworkers who already live every single day of their lives at a significant disadvantage.  They will most definitely suffer, in very real ways, as a result.  It’s a dangerous decision for the Province, one that’s on a slippery slope lending credence to the theory that this administration honestly does not care what happens to people with disabilities.

I can’t help but wonder if this government would rather see people with disabilities medicated and locked away in mental hospitals and prisons than see them live and work in their communities.  That would, I suppose, help this administration’s friends in the pharmaceutical and prison industries, wouldn’t it?  So, we really shouldn’t be surprised by this attack on vulnerable people, should we?

Yes, I can get cynical.  However, my elderly friend also suggested that we challenge our MLAs to cut their collective salaries enough to fill the gap.  Though I don’t believe it’s the correct solution, it is, in fact, a solution.  And so, until this administration comes up with a better solution, I join her call.

Will you support a motion to reduce the salaries of all Members in the Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly so that those who live with disabilities in Saskatchewan and rely on the SAID program need not see theirs reduced?

Sincerely,

Bernadette Wagner
Author, Editor, Community Organizer

The Request:

We challenge all elected members of the Legislature to vote to cut their own salaries in order to sufficiently fund the level of maintenance promised to persons with disabilities.

Premier Brad Wall: premier@gov.sk.ca
Donna Harpauer: humboldtmla@sasktel.net
Carla Beck: reginalakeview@ndpcaucus.sk.ca
Kevin Doherty: kevindohertymla@sasktel.net
Mark Docherty: markdochertymla@sasktel.net
Muhammad Fiaz: muhammad.fiaz@saskparty.com
Gene Makowsky: gmakowsky.mla@sasktel.net
Warren McCall: reginaelphinstonecentre@ndpcaucus.sk.ca
Tina Beaudry-Mellor: admin@ReginaUniversityMLA.ca
Laura Ross: laurarossmla@sasktel.net
Nicole Sarauer: reginadouglaspark@ndpcaucus.sk.ca
Warren Steinley: walshacresmla@sasktel.net
Christine Tell: christinetellmla@accesscomm.ca
Trent Wotherspoon: reginarosemont@ndpcaucus.sk.ca

To learn more about cuts to the SAID program, google “Sask party cuts to SAID program.”

The Addenda

To find more addresses for MLAs, go here.  Please act now.

The Wall government’s Advisory Group on Poverty Reduction wrote a letter to the Saskatoon Star Phoenix.

As community members of the Advisory Group on Poverty Reduction, we are concerned by the way Social Services Minister Donna Harpauer has represented changes to the housing supplement for SAID recipients.

Please act now.

Legitimate what?

Over the past couple of days, the regina mom has read a number of pieces, some humourous, in response to a statement by US Representative Todd Akin, the Republican Senate nominee from Missouri,  regarding the medieval concept of legitimate rape.

How long has this no-pregnancy-in-rape theory been around?
“The idea that rape victims cannot get pregnant has long roots,” says Vanessa Heggie at Britain’s The Guardian. Think 13th century. One of the earliest British legal texts — Fleta, from about 1290 — has this familiar-sounding clause: “If, however, the woman should have conceived at the time alleged in the appeal, it abates, for without a woman’s consent she could not conceive.” Samuel Farr’s Elements of Medical Jurisprudence, a treatise from 1785 (second edition 1814), elaborates: “For without an excitation of lust, or the enjoyment of pleasure in the venereal act, no conception can probably take place. So that if an absolute rape were to be perpetrated, it is not likely she would become pregnant.”

What’s the medical underpinning of this theory?
From medieval times until the 19th century, doctors and laypeople alike widely believed that women only conceived if they had an orgasm, since the presumed female “seed” — needed to complement the male sperm to achieve pregnancy — was thought be secreted only during sexual climax. “By logical extension, then,” says Heggie, “if a woman became pregnant, she must have experienced orgasm, and therefore could not have been the victim of an ‘absolute rape’.”

Interestingly, and in stark contrast to what the right wing nut jobs (RWNJ) in the US have been saying, researchers at the University of Saskatchewan’s Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon recently shared their findings into a hormone that’s present in semen. They now believe it “nudges a woman’s body to ovulate.”

In a new study published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the Saskatoon-based researchers and their colleagues in Chile went sleuthing in llamas and cows for the identity of a seminal fluid protein they’d previously found sends a signal to a female’s brain. That signal prompts the female brain to release hormones that stimulate ovulation.

Veterinary biomedical sciences Prof. Gregg Adams, who is with the university’s Western College of Veterinary Medicine, says he expected to find a brand new protein in the seminal fluid. Much to their surprise, they found this poorly-understood protein (called ovulation-inducing factor or OIF) is the same molecule as an old friend in the nervous system that’s critical for normal neuron function.

the regina mom cannot wait to see how the RWNJs respond to this piece of legitimate science!

The Book Is Here!

Some of you already know that I’m a poet as well as an activist.  My first book is now available.  This hot place cover image You should be able to find my collection of poetry, This hot place, at bookstores across Canada any day now.  I received my copies from  Thistledown Press a week and a half ago.

I begin a western Canadian tour in April with confirmed stops in Regina, Earl Grey, Prince Albert, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Gabriola, Calgary and Vancouver.  It’d be great if my activist, writing and family friends were able to make the events we’ve lined up.  The more the merrier, y’know?  Tour dates are here, at my book blog.

If your town is not listed just let me know and we’ll see what we can work out.  I ‘m open to sharing my work in a variety of places, from curling rinks to bookstores, art galleries to bars, living rooms to conference rooms — you name it!  I’ll try my best to work it into my schedule.

I’ll head east for a few gigs in Ontario and the Maritimes and then south, down the Pacific coast, after the USA release of the book sometime in September.

Hope to see you somewhere along the path!