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.

Save the date! #SWF13

the regina mom is so very excited! As you regulars are aware, she attended the Women’s Forum des Femmes in Ottawa in October and had a fantastic time.  So, she brought the idea home and is happy to invite you to save the date!

—–

Saskatchewan Women’s Forum 2013

 

If you are interested in women’s rights, in connecting with individuals and organizations who have been working on women’s issues recently and through the decades, and in spending a weekend learning, having fun, and moving a women’s agenda forward in our province, then:

 

Please set aside Friday, January 18 (evening) and Saturday, January 19, 2013!

 

We are a coalition of women and organizations who have come together to plan a Saskatchewan Women’s Forum taking place at the Bessborough Hotel in Saskatoon. For too long, we have been having conversations in isolation from each other about the current context that women and women’s organizations find themselves in. So we are creating this opportunity to collectively develop how we can move forward on the issues that we care about.

 

We are currently finalizing our program, which will be centered on women’s stories and respectful of intergenerational, intercultural and diverse experiences. If you are interested in attending, please respond back to us (at michelle.beveridge@oxfam.ca, 306.242.4097)) and we will ensure you receive the program and registration package by mid-December.

 

In the meantime, please save the date! And get in touch with us if you would like to be part of the planning, to volunteer at the forum in any number of capacities, or have other ideas for us.

 

Registration is $50/person. (Please let us know if you are in a situation where you would only be able to attend with a reduced rate, or conversely, if you are able and willing to donate  money to assist in covering a portion of registration for others.)

 

Sincerely,

Michelle Beveridge and Katelyn Jones, Oxfam Canada, Saskatoon

Sue Delanoy, Elizabeth Fry Society, Saskatoon

Diane Fletcher, Vadis Group, Saskatoon

Lori Hanson, U of S, Community Health and Epidemiology, Saskatoon

Laura Hopkins, Saskatoon Women’s Community Coalition

Lori Johb, Saskatchewan Federation of Labour, Regina

Audra Krueger, U of S, Centre for the Study of Co-ops, Saskatoon

Darla Leard, Canadian Labour Congress, Saskatoon

Barb Macpherson, YWCA Saskatoon

Adriane Paavo, Prairie Lily Feminist Society, Regina

Priscilla Settee, U of S, Native Studies, Saskatoon

Lenore Swystun and Samantha Mark, Prairie Wild Consulting, Saskatoon

Laura Westman, Saskatoon

Bernadette Wagner, Regina

 

Let us send you Ryan’s book!

As the regina mom‘s readers already know, she endorsed Dr. Ryan Meili in his bid for leadership of the Saskatchewan New Democratic Party.  The idea-sharing, hard work and comaraderie among the folks on the campaign team has instilled in her a renewed sense of commitment to building a better world.  Our creative campaign team came up with this great idea, just in time for holiday gift-giving! the regina mom invites you to be part of this historic time by supporting Ryan’s campaign. Check out the 50/50/7 deal:

Ryan Meili Leadership Campaign

Dear friends:

50 years ago, the Saskatchewan NDP took the bold step of introducing universal healthcare.

50 years ago, the Saskatoon Community Clinic, where Ryan works, was established to provide that care and defend the single-payer, publicly-funded system.

Today, Ryan’s campaign is building on that legacy of big ideas and shared struggle.

And we need your help.

In honour of the 50th anniversary of Medicare, we’re asking 50 people to make a donation of $50 to help us build this movement. And as a gesture of our gratitude, we’ll send you something important in return — read on for details.

We have been very encouraged by the generous support you’ve shown since Ryan launched his bid for the Sask NDP leadership. Your support has given our campaign huge momentum going into the holiday season.

But you know that campaigns cost money, and the bills don’t stop just because the holiday season is approaching. So instead of just asking for another donation, we wanted to offer something meaningful back to you.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Medicare, for the next week we’ll send a signed copy of Ryan’s book, A Healthy Society: How a Focus on Health Can Revive Canadian Democracy, to everyone who donates $50 or more in response to this appeal.A Healthy Society book cover

If you’re able to give $100, $150 or $500, you’ll be helping us cover the cost of sending books to people around the province and beyond, while still ensuring that we have the resources we need to run a winning campaign.

To meet upcoming campaign expenses, we need to reach at least 50 donors in the next 7 days. We hope you’ll sign on so we can send you Ryan’s book.

A Healthy Society proposes a new approach to politics, one that can help us put progressive ideas front-and-centre in addressing our shared challenges.

As Former Premier Lorne Calvert has said, “For those who seek the renewal of politics and public health in Canada, Dr. Meili has a vision for both. This work makes an important contribution to progressive dialogue in Canada.”

Lots of people have contacted us to say they want to learn more about Ryan’s vision for a healthy society. His book is the perfect resource for inspiring us all to work together to make it possible.

Help us celebrate the past 50 years, and shape the next 50 years, of progressive innovations in this province.

Please take a moment to make a donation today, either online through our secure server or by calling (306) 361-5755, so we can send you a copy of Ryan’s book.
With hope and gratitude,

Nicole, Jason, Rachel, Gavin, Erica, Dave, and the rest of the Meili campaign team

p.s. Remember: we need to reach at least 50 donors in the next week — please take a moment right now to respond, and then please pass the message on to your networks.

Opening a space for women

the regina mom posted this on Ryan Meili’s ideas page, in response to a call for ideas about building gender equity in SK.  Ryan is the candidate trm is supporting in the SK NDP Leadership race.  She is overwhelmed by and grateful for the positive support the idea is receiving.

—–

OPENING A SPACE FOR WOMEN

 

In the late 1980’s and early 1990’s the Saskatchewan women’s movement was a force to be reckoned with. Feminist organizations within the province had built a solid base from which to act and continue to build.

The Saskatchewan Women’s Agenda* was the result of an intense, two-year, participatory process that brought more than 50 Saskatchewan women’s organizations together to determine what women needed to live full and equitable lives in this province. The Agenda addressed a broad range of issues, established goals and directed our work and the work we hoped to see a new government take on.

But then came the feminist backlash. As a result, debt reduction gave way to creating a better world for women. Most feminist organizations faced slashed budgets from federal and provincial sources. Some groups folded. Others managed to hold onto shoestring funding and find other sources and stay alive.

Feminists in Saskatchewan have not come together in a real and meaningful way since the mid 1990’s. Key organizers within the women’s movement have left the province or worse, passed on. Generational change is afoot in the organizations that managed to stay afloat and a key piece of our Saskatchewan women’s history, the Saskatchewan Women’s Agenda, is difficult to find, let alone study and pass on.

In mid-October, Niki Ashton, Member of Parliament for Churchill and Opposition Critic for Women, hosted the Women’s Forum des Femmes which brought together a diverse community of women from across the country. Ms Ashton created a “space for women to share experiences, ideas, and shape collective plans for re-igniting the women’s movement in Canada.” Women who hadn’t connected since the 90’s were able to share their stories, many heart-breaking and anger-making, to reconnect with sisters in the struggle, to re-invigorate each other and younger feminists taking leadership in the movement and yes, to re-ignite the Canadian women’s movement grounded in wisdom, a passion for change and a commitment to make a better world.

This is what the Saskatchewan women’s movement needs. Ms Ashton’s model can be easily adapted to the provincial level. The new Leader of the Saskatchewan NDP can make it happen. He can make it happen because he knows we are better together.

Respectfully submitted,

23OCT2012
Bernadette Wagner
@thereginamom
http://thereginamom.com 

*Note that I will upload the Saskatchewan Women’s Agenda as soon as a scanned copy is available.

The good doctor walks the talk: endorsing Dr. Ryan Meili

With this post, the regina mom publicly declares her support for Dr. Ryan Meili in his bid for Leader of the New Democratic Party in Saskatchewan.  Learning about his community-based perspective, commitment to progressive ideals and dedication to building a better world pretty much cinched the deal.

Dr. Meili truly cares about people. His practice sees him working as a family physician at the West Side Community Clinic in Saskatoon or spelling off doctors in rural Saskatchewan communities or working with University of Saskatchewan medical students in the Making the Links  Training for Health Renewal program at the Massinga Training Centre in Massinga, Mozambique, communities in northern Saskatchewan and in the heart of Saskatoon at SWITCH, the Student Wellness Initiative Toward Community Health, a student-run, interdisciplinary, inner-city clinic.

the regina mom really likes that the good doctor walks the talk.

And the talk Ryan Meili walks appears in his book, A Healthy Society: How a focus on health can revive Canadian democracy (Purich 2012).

Healthy Society is an eloquent cry from the heart and a rational appeal to the mind. With meticulous research, dramatic personal histories and precise analysis Dr. Meili shows why our wealthy society is far from a healthy one. He illustrates how social status affects physical well-being and suggests steps necessary to create a culture that’s democratic not only in the electoral sense but also in its provision for the health of its members.Gabor Maté M.D., Author, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction

Needless to say, A Healthy Society is now on trm‘s reading list.  Oh yes, dear Reader, you know the regina mom has a soft spot for politics and also for writers.  Her experience marketing this hot place taught her that spending time visiting libraries and bookstores, town halls and community centres throughout the province and the country, sharing a book to which you’ve given your creative energies, takes a lot of courage and confidence, flexibility and commitment.  the regina mom wants those characteristics in the Leader of the NDP, the party that most closely represents her politics.

It’s clear Ryan has those skills and that he will use them to rebuild the NDP in the province and in so doing, build a healthier society in Saskatchewan an Canada.  How can she — or you — not sign on for that?

let's take it to the GRASSROOTS - Ryan Meili

The time is right for positive politics!

For a number of reasons, the regina mom has had an almost 20-year love/hate relationship with the Saskatchewan NDP.  Today, it seems, she is making her way to the love side.  Check it out!

"I believe the time is right for positive politics. There is an appetite for a different approach, for candidates who are thoughtful and principled, who speak to people with sincerity, with genuine humour." -Ryan Meili, A Healthy Society. www.ryanmei.li

Donate your Facebook cover image to Ryan’s campaign for the day or the whole campaign!

Dr. Meili has scheduled an announcement regarding the Sask NDP’s Leadership race for 12 noon today. It looks like he’s in! He surprised a lot of folks last time around by taking 45% of the final vote. Here’s hoping he takes it this time, because it’s true, we are BETTER TOGETHER!

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