By George Evens. Communicating effectively to the millions of Seniors’ represented by countless Organizations is the objective. Somehow, we need to access & find a means to co-ordinate all the many SENIORS’ ORGANIZATIONS and reach out to the many INDIVIDUAL SENIORS’. An organization Newsletter and/or such, as local papers, Seniors’ Corner or Features can be one vehicle albeit slow and often a monthly effort. Broader (locally) is to have organizations form into a Seniors Advisory Council. Thus, each Council may entertain joining a (Provincial body, such as COSCO) that includes (communication, lobby, advocacy, activism, etc.) to provide a united Provincial thrust. Equally, if not more important, a local central forwarding vehicle, such as massive email address accounts (anonymous listing) that can be accessed via many (registered) originating sources, can expedite a spontaneous last minute notice and/or (protest) by an originating source sending to address book contact.
Simply, as well, for example, if all recipients of our “newsletter” merely send to “their email address book” & recipients do similar, we may potentially reach millions. “We become our own Media; a potentially major political force with sheer numbers that may help change Governments, Municipal Councils & even “Associations”.
The Elder Citizen Action Coalition (ECAC) provides unsolicited, frank & sometimes “in your face”, sage advice in a constructive and objective manner, facts and wisdom exuding empathy but equally public opinion about public interests being observed and met or not, with proposed solutions.
SENIORS’ MATTER – “It is time for all to shake hands” ….. Some retrospection will identify a road to follow …..BUT, First, (our focus) Mission Seniors’ need an MLA who will (finally) represent Constituents. Mission/Abbotsford/Maple-Ridge have been largely neglected, suffered partisan politics, incurred dramatically divided/polarized communities, systemic erosion of Mission Memorial Hospital, lack of inclusiveness. This era ends May 14, 2013 as presumably Mission will have one certain and may have two new MLA’s. In one scenario, the (party) faithful will no longer have a partisan MLA & this may end some anomalies & perceived injustices or partisan favour, causing possible anxiety to some. Whereas, the District, as a whole can expect a more united effort and inclusive progress, simply by nature of individuals, partisan politics will end.
The first progressive step in this pending new era was the profoundly intriguing “Elder Citizen Round Table Discussion Group”, first meeting with Mike Bocking, NDP, MLA Candidate Mission/Maple-Ridge & Preet Rai, NDP, MLA Candidate Mission/Abbotsford on Thursday February 28, 2013, 7:00pm-10:00pm – Frank Questions by (informed) Senior & Community Leaders & (Candidate) Answers on Seniors’ issues but the Community, as well…..Who will fund Missions’ first Seniors’ Activity Centre NOW? Will ALL or MOST Seniors’ respond and be supportive?
Possibly the single greatest demand upon VOTERS everywhere, whether to elect “Boards at Associations” or “Politicians” the more pronounced qualities desired in Candidates include their exuding “empathy”, just as being wary of persons to avoid, the “passive bystanders”, thus the qualities of sound ethics and values that set true “Leaders” apart from the pack – take the time to research Candidates carefully, set high standards and vote for people who meet needs. “We are only limited by the imagination of our Leaders”.
THE LEARNING PAGE – offers sage advice and counsel to all Humans, with some focus upon Seniors’ but seeks to explore and thus, provide you with proven successful “Management skills & techniques” to improve your productivity, informed decision making & stimulate your creativity, innovation and contribution to Society. It is “look in the mirror time”.
· This month we look at perpetuating a myth, a process of some “to sell programs & books” to the chagrin of the general public. Those who believe stating “the glass is half-full” depicts those saying so, to be “positive thinker’s”, whereas those lowly thinking “the glass is half-empty are negative”. Such folly, but nonetheless some pay money to attend such foolish ventures and seem to feel a degree of superiority. Let’s examine the ramblings of Dale Carnegie, “How to win friends and influence people” Training wherein he (naively) states, “Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most fools do”, thus ambiguous comments, literally perceived to stifle “speaking out, expressing opposition, to accepting mediocre or to complain, brands you a “fool”. By contrast, Edmund Burke states to the contrary, “Evil prevails when good men and women do nothing”, so given the opportunity and/or need to (complain) do so. Perspective is everything.
· Sadly, some still retain traits of apathy, indifference and denial.
· Some factors contributing to the dilemma of (inept) and (wrong choices) is the ever present “lack of transparency, lack of accountability, lack of objectives & standards” but similarly, the ever present “enabler, apologist and excuse maker who continues to rationalize inferior performance”, often relying upon (personality) and anecdotal impressions to combat any constructive criticism. Further, illustrates an intransigency symptomatic of a closed mind and leads to the conclusion a reasonable apprehension of bias exists.
“DELIBERATELY STUPID AWARD” – This ‘infamous’ increasingly popular, recognized authority is awarded to the most deserving, the misguided, arrogant, self-centered & truly ignorant among us but the “deliberately stupid” category is a truly heartfelt distinction not that many, fortunately, can aspire to & attain..
· Ugggggh! – “Spence Diamond “YELL” after (their) advertisement, pure childish and “Consumer turn off” so why yell in first place????? Sadly, some never learn to not do (their own commercials)
· Repeated advertising – all evening long, the same ad, repeated more than twice is an offense upon one’s senses and an insult to one’s intelligence, regardless of (message). It is abusive and advertisers have the audacity to believe you will “believe their message eventually” whereas it is common today, to “mute sound, change channels more so”. The (Public) paid Government advertising adds insult to injury. The publicly unacceptable (message) such as Enbridge worsens their image and self-serving nature of perceived lies, by the Public. In all ventures, wasteful spending does not bode well in the Public mind. Many interesting advertisements, using different people, tend to take away some of the (Public) disgust felt. A very worrisome aspect is Political Party Leaders dominating ads, perpetuating the impression of (dictator leader) already entrenched in the Public mind, worsens the image of a Leader who lacks credibility, to start. Paying money to (Political Advisors) for the same old 1950’s approach to mundane, egotistic & annoying advertising, particularly “attack ads” is foolish, at best and a growing sore on the Public behind, at worst, so stop it! Quit annoying (the) viewing Public, at least give some interesting and varied topics & people, maybe some with charisma but at least some entertainment & practical values.
· Continued Hospital Pay Parking is an abuse upon the ill and elderly that has no saving graces, just a (money grab) so abolish this abuse and find other alternative means to replace the revenue, don’t justify revenue, at any cost.
· Paying $ 321,000.00 to resigning City Manager at Abbotsford perpetuates an already perceived incompetence by Public leaders, notably at other jurisdictions, that “typically give incumbents no choice other than to resign, but in doing so do not justify severance”. Clearly, a review of all Severance payments is crucial but in keeping with eligibility, proper objectives, standards and objective performance reviews would justify, bonus, wage increase or justified termination for not performing to standard, thus eliminating all this massive waste, particularly in Public venue using taxpayer dollars. Lastly, one of the most overused and wrong myths is “you need to pay high salaries, perq’s and such to attract the best” – such unadulterated ‘crap’ that some profess, perpetuates paying too many inept people too much. It is time to pay for value & performance.
· Government inadequate precautions and legislation to prevent contamination of an aquifer – expensive to clean up, if it can be done at all. Some organic acid contaminants now appearing in groundwater, in out-of-pit tailings pond, from oil sands.
· Government failure to adopt stringent mandatory recycling practices & Plastic Industry Associations to voluntarily adopt, particularly pertaining to four most problematic plastics, notably PVC, Polystyrene, Polyurethane and Polycarbonates (approx. 30% of global production), lack of closed-loop systems by Industry. A major number of sea species are becoming entangled or found eating plastic waste, much of which may end up on Consumers plates in some manner.
· Provincial Government Oil & Gas Regulators failure to provide details of Regulatory Violations at Natural Gas drilling sites using hydraulic fracturing (fracking) practices.
· Government failure to extend permanent funding for homeless people with mental illness. Like Seniors’ care, a rapport takes time to create, including outreach teams. A “Home First” approach is most feasible & cost effective long term.
· Provincial Government failure to establish an “Independent Officer of the Legislature” for Seniors’ Advocate..
The “Political” future is unfolding with optimistic opportunities
We need to “rebuild” the ‘Political system” and reinvigorate the Voters confidence in ‘creating and managing political change needed to restore Voter trust & confidence.’
· The yell for attention by some disparate movements, first “Occupy Movement” (initially lacking organization) and followed now by “Idle No More” (a more organized First Nations movement but not yet accepted into mainstream) and it is anyone’s guess who is next, most likely expansion of the “Silver Tsunami” (a major growing Seniors’ movement, lacking co-ordination/organization of the whole but significant organization among throngs of Seniors’ groups across North America) – The common denominator, “long-standing issues not being effectively addressed”…..currently the “yell for attention” – next COMMON GOALS/ACTION!
· Canada & Provinces need “Democratic Reforms”, free votes, independent Committees and more powerful ‘Back Benchers”.
· The days of prorogued Government, Omnibus Bills and Autocratic Style, with “no dissent” MUST GO; a need to shake-up things if you want to change the dominant consensus or you’re never going to get progressive & fair change”.
· Simple & fundamental change is needed, abandoning “Leader dictatorship” and “creating effective Recall”, reinstating the Constituent as the primary beneficiary.
· MISSION “ELECTION 2014” – Are Mission & Abbotsford Councils performing, who is/who is not? It is time to start planning our ‘election campaign’ to attract, if needed, a (New Mayor & Council). CRMG identified the successful process, a needed (SLATE) approach & typical campaign to achieve a renewal of Council, so let’s make more wise Candidate choices but the campaign process is before us. Seniors’ hold the balance of (votes) to elect a new Council and yes, on May 14, 2013 a “new MLA or possibly two at Mission”.
Some Important dates to remember
· Thursday March 7, 2013, 10:30am, Mission Seniors Centre Association, AGM & ELECTIONS meeting at Mission Community Activity Centre ALL SENIORS’ are encouraged to attend this meeting, JOIN or RENEW MSCA ($10 Annual dues – DUES MUST BE PAID IN ORDER TO VOTE) & help plan activities – YOUR SENIOR VOICE, LEADERSHIP, SUPPORT & WISDOM is needed more than ever NOW!
· Wednesday March 13, 2013, 3:00pm, Seniors’ Centre Task Force, Municipal Hall (Conference Room) & each 2nd Wednesday monthly at 3:00pm until April 2013 the Task Force will meet,
· Thursday March 14, 2013, 1:30pm. Mission Seniors’ Advisory Committee, monthly meeting at Mission Seniors’ Centre (venue change) – What is MSAC doing? Is MSAC attracting “the BEST” Senior Leaders? Does MISSION need one STRONG (Umbrella) organization to (represent) Seniors’ & secure an Activity Centre? An “Age Friendly” community needs a “steering Committee” – who?
Some Important web.sites to become aware of & informed about Seniors’ issues
· The Elder Citizen Action Coalition – www.thecouncilclaw.ca ‘click’ CONTENTS. The “cutting-edge Leadership for Seniors’ in Canada – Seniors’ unite & organize; NOW on ECAC site, 23 pictures of the impressive “New” Pitt Meadows Seniors’ Activity Centre (adjoining “The Wesbrooke Seniors’Living Community”
· District of Mission – www.mission.ca – watch Council meetings in progress LIVE VIA WEB CAST or check back anytime to view any topic or issues
· COSCO “Council of Seniors Citizens’ Organizations” www.coscobc.ca – 80 affiliated organizations; 85,000 senior members – The “Joys & Tears Conference” notes now posted
· OMBUDSPERSON – www.bcombudsperson.ca – A Roadmap To Better Seniors’ Care In B.C., A Summary of BC Ombudsperson Report – 176 detailed recommendations. Subscribe to receive email updates at http://www.ombudsman.bc.ca/subscribe Simply, “The Ministry of Health has, in many cases, failed to fulfill its leadership role for Seniors’ care in B.C.”.
· BC Centre for Elder Advocacy & Support www.bcceas.ca – – check out their many Workshops, such as, “When I’m 64 Benefits/Services/Controlling Affairs”, Elder abuse
· BC Health Coalition http://www.bchealthcoalition.ca/content/view/24/83/ 10 pg. Summary Ombudsperson Report; numerous Reports back to 2006
· We are “The Elder Citizen Action Coalition” (ECAC) – “Representing & speaking for Seniors’ who share our values”, is a heartfelt goal. It is crucial to understand, even if you do not wish to personally get involved, you need a (body) you trust, who will diligently represent your comparable views, people who will “do your homework for you” and your support to “vote for endorsed Candidates” becomes your paramount task; VOTE, as in all venues, “it is numbers that elect”. Seniors’ (you & I) have the numbers, we just need the resourcefulness to co-ordinate, to ‘make things happen’.
· The Elder Citizen Action Coalition (ECAC) is a private owned, operated, non-profit, apolitical and pro-active Seniors’ organization. On the ‘cutting edge’ of the silver tsunami with the potential to represent millions of like-minded Seniors’ who share our values, thus our sphere of influence is massive. ECAC always represent the majority of public interests & public opinion & convey “responsible communication on all matters of public interest. The rallying call, “Unity In Challenging Times” with one united voice to ‘represent YOU’, with
*** Passion *** Persistence *** Power *** Progress
· Demanding respect & improved lifestyle for ALL Seniors’. We are often irreverent, occasionally may portray a “devil’s advocate” persona, seek to address controversy, be provocative and normally “not suffering fools gladly”, we simply desire to “place ideas & issues on the table, & stimulate thought & inspire principled leadership”.
· ECAC, home of the “ELDER CITIZEN ROUND TABLE”, a visionary, innovative, knowledgeable & progressive thinking discussion group selected from the most informed progressive Seniors’ leaders and invited GUESTS; we will attend some Conferences and report back to Seniors Organizations locally. Typically we select representatives to meet our need and highest standards but welcome you to consider becoming a campaigner & seniors’ champion for ECAC, letter writer to papers, social media contributor, attend protests, conferences & Council meetings, be a speaker and supporter for our many issues – forward your contact info, as well, to receive Newsletters.
· Refer www.thecouncilclaw.ca click ‘CONTENTS’ Elder Citizen Action Coalition – A “Champion of Seniors’ Causes, Needs & Issues”.