By George Evens. May my wife Claudia & myself be among the first to wish you & your family all the very best for a Happy, Healthy & Prosperous New Year’s 2014
Dear Prime Minister, MP, Premier, MLA, Opposition Party Leaders, Publishers, Editors, Reporters, Columnists, Talk Show Hosts, Mayors & Councillors, Dr. Nigel Murray, CEO/FHA, Mr. David Black, President/CEO Black Press, Police Boards/Assn/Commissioner/Chiefs, Political Associations, Seniors’ Associations, Seniors’ & General Public:
In this Edition – Toxic Leadership & how followers enable bad management, continued from November & December issues. “Homeless in Canada a legacy of bad Government policy & decisions, DIMINISHING Middle Class, exporting manufacturing jobs is killing North America, making a minority rich?” November 2014 MUNICIPAL ELECTION CAMPAIGN NOW UNDERWAY – SAY YOUR GOOD BYE’S TO UNACCEPTABLE MAYORS & COUNCILLORS! Seniors’ getting organized and ”banding together to fight” or as CARP Representative April Lewis said, “Seniors’ are prepared to boycott, Go ahead and screw with us – see what happens”; Media ownership & censoring;Volunteering today
Rallying Call “Unity in Challenging Times” rings across the land but I think a quote by April Lewis of CARP says it best, “Seniors’ are prepared to boycott, go ahead and screw with us, see what happens”. My sentiments exactly, as ‘Tough Seniors’ Talk Tough” but moreso we are Tough and resilient to resist foolhardy attacks upon us, whether by foolhardy Merchants & Service providers wanting to cut back on Seniors’ Discounts to any other attempts to harm or diminish our well-being & lifestyles worked so hard to achieve.
SENIORS’ MATTER – “It is time for all to shake hands”
Challenge to YOU – One of the most important lessons ALL SENIORS’ need to learn and start to practice is to work together toward common goals. Spoken from my vantage point to all Seniors’ at the start of a new year. I believe,” The significant challenge to all Seniors’ and by extension Seniors’ Organizations, like major groups, such as CARP or COSCO who boast thousands of members and many affiliates, is for all of us to harness our collective energies and influences”. To incorporate into our respective objectives/goals/values a genuine willingness to advocate unequivocally, possibly several major initiatives &avenues, to achieve a common good for all Seniors’. Thus, no matter what our respective organization objective & goals may be, to stand tall, to be able to stoop down to help another less fortunate or powerful. Simply, to be amenable to focus our individual and collective might to support a Seniors’ issue that may fall outside our self-interests..
- A mean-spirited, less astute Government goal is to marginalize, and divide & conquer, thus to divide Seniors and reduce impact and power. Seniors’ accustomed to these (divisions) throughout their earlier lives, many continue to be divided along, as Seniors’, first, Political Party lines, economic job divisions like Management or Labour, Professional or Unemployed, to wealthy or less fortunate, hence a prolonged state of social exclusions appear, often income inequalities and a heaping influence of uncaring and indifference & failure to speak-out on most anything, just existing in ones’ social status, by many.
- Today, a reality sets in for many, as Seniors’, a social exclusion emerges, which, in part, cause introspection but as well, a new dilemma, how to deal with the reality of mammoth population of Seniors’ but largely unorganized and hence, at the will of mean-spirited Government that actions impact on being a Senior, not political party member, hence the subtle, maybe, difference we seek to address for ALL SENIORS’ regardless of political affiliation but granted, a difficult task for many to change loyalties, of sorts, to a “Seniors’ Political Party” for want of a better title. Hence our rallying call, “Unity In Challenging Times” need to be heard & acted upon, by most Seniors’ to clearly signal Government, we exist.
- The burning questions becomes one of, “how do we harness the collective energies of all/many/most Seniors’, to act as “one major strong voice”? How can we harness all existing Seniors’ local Municipal Associations, major Provincial Organizations and National Organizations, to individually focus upon the goal of Seniors lives and improvements to Seniors’ issues & needs, which is the question I pose to each. Hence ECAC is one dedicated voice who will lead and speak-out but unless we all embrace each other the status-quo prevails and mean-spirited (not tough decisions) Government actions untoward Seniors’ will increase unabated and unchallenged.
I have touched upon a few such efforts above but the gist of my message is, Government, at each level, must come to recognize and accept our collective Seniors’ might, our votes exists. We must develop a persistence, to never accept “NO” as the final answer, rather the beginning of our mutual quest. We will be undaunted in our quest, but equally we may take on a more assertive or pro-active role, at times. Thus, we must become recognized as a force & power to reckon with politically. To this end, we must share the conviction to be unrelenting, prepared to picket, boycott, write Letters to The Editor and do all within our collective efforts. Sadly, we cannot all remain ultra-conservative, fail to speak-out and expect to embrace a socially inclusive Community. Simply, many observe an ultra-conservative role and this is reflected within our respective Association, some graciously accept defeat and accept “NO” which, with respect, is ones choice but courts disaster. This is my dream concept of what may be but naturally bears a lot of consultation and agreement to collaborate among ourselves, to at least, from time to time, speak as one voice, but beyond the voice we each speak out on behalf of Seniors, within our sphere of membership or influence. The Elder Citizen Action Coalition (ECAC) has adopted a policy & practice to step-up, to speak-out and to be one of the leading-edge groups to vigorously advocate for Seniors’. Will you personally commit to becoming part of the (solution) not remain as “passive bystanders” to achieve Seniors’ equality movement? Stay tuned for ideas how we can organize the Seniors’ “Silver Tsunami” into a strong force to achieve Seniors rights.
Some Political thoughts for you to consider
Research Candidates for Office, simply enter their name in Google Search and get many facts. Seniors’ must simply & clearly notify all levels of Government we are a strong, united, pro-active force to reckon with and very important, we VOTE. Each Senior in Canada needs to cause introspection and agree to focus most of their collective efforts to improving all Seniors lives by joining our “Unity” call now!. Too many (Politicians) of the same ilk will stifle a Municipality progress but (they) argue vehemently, their way is right, only when a new Council (or non-profit Association Board) emerges, may a Community enjoy improved amenities and more progressive governance, possibly more compassionate and Age-Friendly in nature – see what is now needed in the Fraser Valley, notably Mission & Abbotsford.
George F. Evens is the featured Senior in October 31, 2013 Edition that you can refer to as a base, then each month a new Senior will be featured in Editions of Seniors 55 Plus. Here is a link to the Mission Seniors’ Living 55 Plus, published in the Mission City Record, the last Thursday monthly. The e-edition is available athttp://www.missioncityrecord.com/eeditions/
EDITORIALLY SPEAKING OF COURSE BUT–
- RELIABILITY – Simply, an organization of any type is as strong as its weakest link and as the adage, “knowledge is power” implies, it is crucial that all Members, particularly active and those in Leadership roles, attend all meetings during their tenure. Simply, if you are unable to commit and be a reliable member, do not Volunteer to be a (Leader) or active participant. Simply, every meeting/function you miss, you erode continuity, restrict your contribution and let down your Colleagues. Undertake what you can do, ensure projects are completed promptly, to avoid delays and do not procrastinate. Don’t make excuses for people, set high standards and expectations, then hold people accountable, including Volunteers, as until all dedicate and demonstrate compliance and create results, the alternative is failure and thus, the objectives of the group must prevail.
- VOLUNTEERING – Why, Who and all in between. People are not Volunteering for valid reasons, which we will seek to enumerate somewhat but it starts with continuing to do the same things or simply, little or nothing of much real interest, to broader citizenery, electing or re-electing the same people to too many (Boards) then expect a different outcome or results, that are not motivating nor encouraging involvement. Failure to energize Associations, like a Government re-elected actually, is not cultivating up and coming individuals and encouraging new ideas, particularly if a clique dominates. Another pitfall in some cases is an improper mix of age groups. For example, in a Seniors’ realm different generations or decades may warrant a synergy to emerge that will meet expectations of each, such as “young seniors’ to older seniors’” but the crucial factor is a central 24/7 Seniors’ Activity Centre to realize each idea/activity, age group and secondly, to embrace a growing and large membership base, that will sustain public interest, trust and encourage needed funding from many varied sources, commencing from Municipal Governments.
- Politics need changes, no more so than at Mission & Abbotsford. Political changes is a two-part phenomenon. First, the “Bureaucracy” needs (revamping) in that “new blood” can create new philosophy, ideas, and approaches, that as stated previously, “when too many think the same way progress gets mired in status-quo and we find moribund Councils the order of the day, as recent history proves”. Both Mission & Abbotsford have achieved many new (Bureaucrats). A major improvement to Abbotsford may be appointing Jake Rudolph, #2 Bureaucrat, Jake, who came from Pitt Meadows, has an opportunity to improve conditions overall or sadly, by wrong choices merely seek to retain the status-quo, in any particular issue.
- HOMELESS DEMANDS RESPECT and those in (power) who lack compassion and empathy, or the simple gesture to be respectful, ought to be turfed out of office, as unbecoming stewards of decency and respect fo fellow humans and their Pets.
- Pertaining to “Homeless” the key is working with (them). In Abbotsford, 5 & 2 Ministries, is striving to develop a plan to abate Homeless, particularly now, as we enter the cold season, but important to have a plan, a new location or retain same, but no more insensitive, arbitrary and false pretenses reasons, regardless of perceived merit by authorities. Simply, we are dealing with Human Beings so treat with respect, kindness and generosity, not might and disgust at the we/they situation perpetuated. So, one may conclude, much of the infrastructure is in place, now to elect compassionate, dynamic, progressive, pro-active Mayors & Councillors. VOTERS have roughly a year to determine who to elect prior to the ever expected “usual 17 suspects, in each Municipality,suddenly appearing within a month of next election day, each seeking to be elected”.
- ECAC played a pivotal role last election in encouraging the Senior vote and expected results, more than “meets the eye” to the uninformed. ECAC will be pondering available Candidates, at District of Mission, likely convene a “Round Table Discussion Group” and will give Seniors’ of Mission some guidance by our endorsements of qualified Candidates – Seniors, 10,000 strong in Mission, if becoming organized and banding with ECAC, will form the voting block to elect the next progressive Council. In fact, we only need approx. 3000 voters to elect (our) Candidates. Two (key) components next election will be “Seniors’ & Animal Care & Respect”, two very important aspects of creating inclusive caring Communities.
- Homeless in Canada, add a diminishing “Middle Class”, stir heavily with loss of jobs and a major outcome is “Homeless”. Sadly, as is often the case, (statistics lie) and often fail to be true and accurate reflection of actual unemployment. Throw in lots of “Bafflegab” notably by Government, at all levels and Homeless surfaces as a major factor in the sad plight of millions in North America. But in Canada, for our purposes, we find Government in BC, for example, placing Mental Health Patients back in Society, with few if any actual “safety nets”, certainly not (housing) to replace the Institution closed, that was home to many in need. Then, lets mess up more, and add “Drug Addiction” to the mix of unfortunates, ensuring (Privacy Acts) protects, in part, Government need to explain, claiming (privacy you know). If Government is empathetic, plans strategy and places safety nets and housing provision in place, the dilemma is remedied in large part but if like City of Abbotsford (a prime example of contempt, lack of respect and indifference toward Citizens less fortunate). This is exacerbated by revolving door Health Ministers, who, frankly “do not know their ass from a hole in the ground”, I am told, then we witness the debacle in play right now. Worse, like at City of Abbotsford, the “relocation of so-called “Homeless” camps without plan or empathy, and as might be predictable, the Media has now got its teeth in Abbotsford’s butt.
D.R.E.A.M. another piece of the puzzle for Homeless in Abbotsford. 5 & 2 Ministries working on a site with Landowner in Abbotsford, for Homeless reflect the (missing ingredient) of Municipalities & Government, notably vision, innovation, compassion, empathy and desire to succeed in finding a remedy, working directly with and including Homeless in decisions.
- Homelessness is a phenomenon created by successive bad Federal & Provincial Management decisions and thus, can be remedied quickly if the “Political Will” and needed “Empathy & Compassion” existed. So long as VOTERS too, lack the wisdom and conviction to do what is right and demand resolution of many social ailments that failure to demand elected people act accordingly, we will witness a perpetuation of the unacceptable status-quo dealing with Homelessness, but similarly Bullying, lack of Seniors’ rights & needs and recourse to recall inept Politicians at each level of Government. Thus, as COSCO rightly state “plan with Seniors’ not for them”, so too, “plan with the Homeless, talk with them, involve them and not for them”. The atrocious behaviour demonstrated by the City of Abbotsford toward the Homeless has been recognized around the World and has cast a “black eye” upon an otherwise (reasonably) fine Municipality, of sorts, so the “I Love Abbotsford T-Shirts and “political spin” sought by foolhardy notions this will make the shame go away pales in comparison tends to discredit the businesses behind such a shallow response and frankly illustrates the mass ignorance and infact indifferecen & uncaring that actually does permeate through the community and that is wrong, at best.
- THE LEARNING PAGE – offers sage advice and counsel to all Humans, with some focus upon Seniors’ but seeks to explore leaders behavior and management styles, and thus, provide you with proven successful “Management skills & techniques” to recognize traits of others you work with or volunteer with and to improve your productivity, informed decision making & stimulate your creativity, innovation and contribution to Society. It is “look in the mirror time”.
- TOXIC LEADERSHIP – Continued from November News Letter wherein we introduced the “dysfunctional personal characteristics, & destructive behaviour’s of the toxic leader, often authoritarian, autocratic and control freak using both micromanagement and management by fear, “The Allure of Toxic Leaders – Why we follow destructive bosses and corrupt Politicians and How we can survive Them”, still true today, just as defining followers makes a profound statement about the nature of leadership itself. The phrase was coined in 1996 and is linked with a number of dysfunctional leadership styles. Two interesting books, one by Jean Lipman-Blumen “The allure of Toxic Leaders” & another by Barbara Kellerman, titled “Bad Leadership” both available from www.amazon.com
- “Toxic Leadership” compliments “Bad Leadership” and additional characteristics of behavior, include but are not limited to, “Incompetent – lack will/skill to sustain effective action and they do not create positive change”; “Rigid – stiff & unyielding, may be competent but are unable to adapt to new ideas, new information or changing times”; “Intemperate -lacks a self-control and abetted by (followers) who are unwilling/unable to effectively intervene”; “Callous – uncaring or unkind, ignore and discount needs, wants and wishes of most others”; “Corrupt – may lie, cheat or steal, put self-interest ahead of public interest”;“Insular – minimize or disregard the health and welfare of those outside the group for which they are directly responsible”; “Evil – use pain and harm that can be physical or psychological”. Generally, a “manager who bullies, threatens, yells, whose mood swings determine the climate of the office workday”, often backbiting and belittling or “Boss from hell”.
- It is curious to find out why (followers) continue to follow and remain loyal to “toxic/bad leaders”; why followers may vigorously resist change and challenges to these leaders often to the detriment of the followers. Simply, one explanation is (things) of a deeply psychological nature are going on. Such as, the need to feel safe, specialness and in a social community are part of the psychological phenomenon (the Rob Ford, Toronto Mayor case comes to mind).
- Most persons elected or appointed to Leadership positions are not qualified Leaders, rather it is by popular vote, longevity (reached “Peter’s Principle”), no-one-else qualified; many are “taught leadership skills” and some possess natural abilities. In Politics, just attaining the needed number to be elected will suffice, hence so many inept Candidates/Incumbents in politics, usually following some ideological criteria gets you started. The current Private Members Bill by Hon. Michael Chong (www.reformact2013.ca) is a small but positive step to start dismantling power in the PMO as Political Leaders are destroying the reputation of Canada and Provinces by their inept and self-serving approaches vs National skills & deeds and ironically, a perceived inability to remove unacceptable Leaders, like Toronto Mayor comes to mind, which is an untenable unacceptable position for a Province or Country, let alone Municipal Government to endure, the best interests of the whole must again prevail to eventually succeed as a Country.
- A Mission Seniors’ Dream, “An Activity Centre within my lifetime”. Two BEST SITES, either adjacent Leisure Centre incorporating low-cost & market housing or to be part of a vibrant CIVIC CENTRE (Downtown). – what is in store for Mission Seniors’? The recent purchase of property downtown may be a start if visionary & innovative minds prevail and a modern development ensure, which may include a dynamic Seniors’ venue.
- Seniors’ at Mission but across Canada hold the key to their future in their hands but sadly they are “their own worst enemies’ insofar as far too many are complacent & self-absorbed in that they are too comfortable. But a large segment of Seniors fall outside being wealthy and with means, most require some forms of assistance from financial to medical. Some need Care-Givers yet no formal National program of high performance standards exist. We hear lots of talk about “keep Seniors’ in their homes for as long as possible” and when ill, return home after Hospital stays at the earliest opportunity. Unfortunately some silly fools in the Health system take this to mean perceived abuse of discharging from Hospital at any hour, in a recent case in pyjama’s by cab in the middle of the night. We learn of physical abuse and some Seniors’ killed by a fellow Senior suffering some mental illness, yet in the same facility or room. Like at Mission, Municipal Councils lacking compassion and when too many of the same ilk govern in a non-profit Association, likes a Seniors’ Association or an Animal Welfare Association, particularly any dependent upon a level of Government for significant funding or needed amenities, we find a lack of diligence and fear to speak-out. If serving in a Municipal Government the Community will lack amenities and often the foolhardy “save & spend” mentality prevails, that again, if not in a balanced structure the Municipality/City goes into an endless time warp. Some leaders believe “because they said it, all should believe” and this characteristic prevails. Thus, Seniors’ must abandon their ill-conceived indifference, they must immediately agree to band together and hear our rallying call, “Unity in Challenging Times”. Seniors’ must act prudently and expeditiously to identify leaders from across Canada who will be responsive to Seniors’ needs but equally, to form the advocacy needed to stand firm and in opposition to any level of Government actions that is harmful to Seniors’ and attainment of their needs now. Immediate action is needed, including but not limited to the following initiatives:
- When BC Provincial Government cut Ferry savings and increase rates for Seniors’, we must say no way!
- When the much touted and needed Seniors’ Advocate is relegated to a position within the Health Ministry and not be an Officer of the Legislature, we must say no way!
- When Mission Council fails to establish a Seniors’ Activity Centre we must say, unacceptable and pose, for example, a “Financial Borrowing Referendum” on the next election ballot to expedite building of a Seniors’ Activity Centre with a maximum of two years, from today.
- When a Senior wishes to remain in their home, Government must accommodate and such innovation as “increases to Home Owners Grant, by a minimum 25% for over 65 years and 50% over 70 years of age, to dramatically reduce monthly debts.
- Government ought to abandon the current BC experiment in failure by ridding the Health Ministry of various Health Authorities. Clearly, some centralization of specialized services or Governance is needed, some decentralized community accessible services, with local Health Boards and Hospital Administrator will seek to address more aptly community needs.
Not unlike some of the First Nations People gains, we the Seniors’ of Canada, must garner the same strong organized voice and similar recognition, that we can elect Governments and get rid of them. To attack one Seniors is to attack all of us, we cannot any longer be the recipient of abuse, of any nature or to be disenfranchised. Seniors’ must not accept any disrespect from any source, let alone opportunist Government, particularly MP’s, MLA’s or Municipal Councils we elected. Government is elected to represent Constituencies, many of whom are Seniors, so it is time to organize and speak-out in solititary of purpose in order to gain attention and benefits we deserve. Seniors’ must not continue to be abused and be seen as weak members of Society, we are not week. But at all cost, to our collective success the key to progress & success is in Seniors’ hands, thus, the more strength in numbers. The more perceived power and right to exercise our votes, that Government witness, the greater our collective credibility and success will be enjoyed, whether dealing with an intransigent & indifferent Mayor & Council lacking compassion or the PM or a Premier. We will move forward when we learn to be socially active, to speak-out for our peers and Government learn to take us serious – stay tuned and be prepared to support Senior movements in your Community.
What do Politicians like the most about VOTERS? Given most (Politicians) have an established group of “follow at any cost mentality supporters”, they love to witness low voter turnout, a thriving apathy and when the eligible VOTERS become aroused, seek “change” and a higher voter turn-out is anticipated, we occasionally find the “weak leave the sinking ship and not seek re-election”. Last election witnessed 7363 voters (30.0%) permitting riddance of Mayor Atebe and most of Council. This was up from 2008 – 5681 voters (25.1%). So the question may be, can we increase voter turnout to ensure a change? Why yes we can, if you get involved NOW and start by listening to ECAC!
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.
Federally, to replace the Conservative Government may be the greatest contribution to Canada all VOTERS may give. To this end, adding to reasons like Senate Scandal is outlined in a new book by Chris Turner, “The WAR ON SCIENCE”, non-fiction “Harper Government getting rid of inconvenient facts”: Author, Canada is becoming a ‘narrow, mean place,’ the book argues. “This is a government that does not simply ignore the best evidence but attempts to destroy the source of it, a government that does not merely disregard the advice but prohibits experts from speaking. Further, it is a government who do not know enough about science to know the value of what they are cutting; it has hobbled entire departments the ability to fulfill their mandate and do their jobs. Lastly, it has blinded Canadians to who we are, where we live, what our government is doing and why it matters, but it takes a particular kind of willful ignorance not to believe one’s own eyes and the operational process is “policy determines the facts and evidence is shaped to fit political goals” which ought to make all Canadians angry.
“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:
- 1. MEDIA CONGLOMERATES WHO, INDIVIDUALLY, SEEK TO CONTROL PUBLIC INFORMATION, FORM Public Opinions, Censor Freedom of Speech and through arbitrary, unilateral and self-centred perspectives deny the Public, most of whom pay the media conglomerate for (some) service and/or purchase from some Advertiser, are betrayed by intentional (control of information) that similar to recent initiative of the Conservative Government with presumed malice aforethought, to eradicate facts troubling to the Government and in this example, Scientists who uncover such truths. Hence we implore Principals of such Media Conglomerates to first “soul search their own personal motivations of ownership”, is it to “control & manipulate Public opinions for self-interest and political gains”? if yes, please abandon such reckless abandonment of Investigative Journalism and Public rights to freedom of speech and to know true facts. Second, to review Editorial practices of, for example, Print/Electronic Media, to ascertain if implied or outright censorship is at play, to not be in denial, but honestly avail yourself of public facts and exercise initiatives to direct, for example, Publishers & Editors to conform to acceptable public information and imparting varied opinions to the Public, such as via Letters to Editors, that may, for example, hold opposing views to the Editor, to not engage “Sanitizing information to make a Politician look good regardless”; to embrace an Opinion/Letters page for public expression, not preoccupied with revenue generation. The Council Advocacy raise the spectre for self-examination first, that you may consider heeding any hint of Public anger or suspicion of foul-play afoot, losing the arrogance of Ownership and replace with honest journalism. More on this important subject in future editons but we encourage all readers of this Newsletter to view the enlightening documentary video from CBC titled “LOVE, HATE & PROPANDA” which embraces World War II Media implications that to the careful viewer may prompt worries about perceptions of some Media today, just as (fears) may arise from some perceived unwise and unjustified Federal Government actions.
- Demand Federal Government restore funding to the CBC pre-election date, keep CBC free of all Government interference, abolish Bill C-60that professional and well-researched information may (again) be broadcast across Canada & the World. Government cuts have been ill-advised, self-serving and wrong minded by a Government scared of the facts.
- CRTC ought to resume investigation into Media ownership. A particular focus needs to be upon local Newspapers, notably where only one Ownership may now exist, having purchased and closed competition papers. To lift the veil of Editors who seek to censor information to the Public, with an emphasis upon Letters to Editors; expression of the (Newspaper view) and others curtailed or censored.
- A healthy Community will be reflected by dedication of Local papers to providing a full page of Letters by the Public. Indeed, prolific letter writers often enhance a Newspapers image and credibility, they often provide impartial insight and identify flaws in local Government and Reporting, that may be counter-productive to good stewardship & governance, by elected official, often augment the paper shortage of good Columnists by informed Residents fillign the void of information provided for public consumption and knowledge.
- 2. Persons as an “Individual” but more notably, as a Leader, whether “Political” or frankly, in any walks of life, who take the route of “denial” and equally, to “lie”, rather than be honest, forthright and take the consequences of their action, as such individuals bring shame upon themselves, their families and their Country, as applies but for some uncertain reason too many fall into this category.
- 3. Failure of the Federal Government to create needed “safety-net” to deal with common national interests, that once established Provincial & Municipal Governments may avail themselves of services available, such as but not limited to
- Establish National “End of Life” guidelines & rules to govern how Canadians may elect to die in peace & harmony, free of pain & suffering, indignitaries, at their choice, time and location, by prescribed means and with any needed assistance.
- Establish National Long Term Care Standards & Safety measures in all Care Homes
- Establish a National Alzeheimer/Dementia program
- Establish a National School “Breakfast Programs” that any Student may avail themselves of if in need, to assure no child goes to school hungry.
- Establish a National anti-bullying program
- Federal Government failure to abolish and prohibit further use of Neonicotinoids that are killing our Bees, these toxic pesticides kill other pollinators, such as amphibians and insects too, thus must be stopped immediately.
- Federal Government ideology inspired approach in conflict with Canadian values to provide a more compassionate and caring Canada, such as universal Health Care & some needed Standards and more universal approach, as stated above, to create the overall foundation and framework, then govern via Provincial stewardship efforts. Thus, James Moore, Industry Minister remarks were not “out-of-context” rather, it is perceived, a “slip of the tongue:” to in fact strengthen the Government ill-advised and unwise/unpopular version of how they would govern, except contrary to Canadian values, hence, he is believed to mean what he saId as (a) Government belief but he had to quickly retract his remarks but, let us hasten to add, given the opportunity with no (political) backlash evident, “Canadians are on their own under the Conservative Government”, such as “I made it, you can too ideology”, hence don’t expect compassion or broad based and funded program to enhance all Canadians in such a dogma inspire government.
“In My Opinion” – The “Political” future is unfolding with cautiously optimistic opportunities
- Simple & fundamental change is needed, to “Political Parties & System”, abandoning “Leader dictatorship” and “creating effective Recall”, reinstating the Constituent as the primary beneficiary.
- “In my opinion”, a new (feature of this newsletter) I believe “COMMUNICATION” skills are the key to success and” TRUST” is the Biggest issue. To this end, Canadians are likely to VOTE Centre-Right next Federal election 2015 and it is perceived the Liberals will move quickly to solidify their position accordingly. Justin Trudeau is perceived a man of “depth, substance and principle” albeit current perceptions may indicate still a little immature as a statesperson but he can be allowed some unintentional indiscretions, in this vein, as not mean-spirited nor malicious in nature, and time will develop skills and maturity needed. By contrast, Stephen Harper has been touted as a “man of depth, substance & principle” but sadly, epitomizes failure to strengthen and create an inclusive Canada, such as until recently the District of Mission similarly was led by divisive Government forces that created lasing cynical and untrusting public persona, that will take time to heal, even when an elected body does mean well, the lack of trust prevails. Thus, it is perceived a new Government will take Canada in the right direction just as locally, in City of Abbotsford & District of Mission new Municipal Leadership will set a new course under more respectful leadership. The current dilemma of Homelessness in Abbotsford is an albatross around Mayor & some Councillors necks, and their inability to remedy, to exude empathy and compassion, just as the ideology exemplified by James Moore remarks, is unproductive, unacceptablke and “in my opinion” may be the catalyst to destroy such bodies with these mean views.
MISSION ELECTION 2014
“We are only limited by the Imagination, Vision & Competence of our Leaders”
For approximately 30 years, under one Mayor, the City of Abbotsford remained in a time warp. Possibly described as a “save & spend Council” Citizens were denied major amenities enjoyed at many other Municipalities. But when one argues about zero & low tax increases, the fickle Voter is often lulled into a false sense of security and cost savings. Whereas in recent years Plan A and other ventures emerged and were costly, some ridiculous, like “Heat Guarantee Revenue” scheme & are opposed by many but in time, will be enjoyed by most. Similarly at Mission successive Councils increased taxes regularly, often with no apparent benefit and rightly so placed incumbent Councils at the mercy of smart strategists. Hence the “CRMG Slate” came to Mission but after a transitionary two years, stabilizing of core services/Budget at no increase, the “Slate” developed serious cracks, one Councillor (the best) resigned from CRMG, the Mayor’s ineptness and Councils general demeanour started to strain and after listening to some of the self-agrandizement rants at the Budget Meeting November 18, 2013 the Public was justly wary. Sadly, not increasing taxes is not sound criteria alone to, in any manner, give confidence and prompt Voters to reelect incumbents, quite the contrary. Balanced Budget Legislation and No Tax Increase to Municipal Budgets is the basic expectation of VOTERS. A tax reduction is desired but few Politicians posses financial acumen and vision to achieve. Smaller amount tax increases that reflect sound financial planning, such as saving for (future) major amenities or to focus upon long neglected amenities that past “save & spend Councils” have neglected, like Abbotsford’s “Plan A Concept”, Recreation Centre, Arts Centre or overdue at Mission, an Arts Centre, Cat Shelter, Seniors’ Activity Centre and detailed planning for Downtown redevelopment or Waterfront Development are reasonable and may justify proportionate tax increases or borrowing.
Two important developments, with life & death factors, that were further neglected include a need for the Voter to become involved and to (possibly) via a Financial Borrowing Referendum, Election Ballot November 2014, direct the new Council to proceed with a degree of urgency & priority, to display some compassion sadly missing from incumbents deliberations. Seniors’ & unwanted Cats have suffered to date at the lack of facilities, incurred the disrespect and failure to acknowledge Seniors’ major contributions & taxes, Seniors’ have given to the Community during their lifetime. We propose a Referendum:
- 1. To borrow up to $ 500,000.00 to renovate & upgrade the Dog Pound and to add a new structure to accommodate Cats as a shelter, in so doing, establish a minimum $ 85,000.00 annual operating Budget for Cat Control.
- 2. To borrow up to $ 6 million dollars to build a Seniors’ Activity Centre on District owned land adjacent the Leisure Centre, including Seniors’ Housing from 300-600 sq ft to other low-cost and market value housing, in close proximity to the exercise and amenities of the Leisure Centre, on a Bus route and parking One viable alternative site would be to incorporate a Seniors’ Activity Centre into a vital and dynamic Civic Centre downtown redevelopment.
v Election Issue – Mission Council have joined Fraser Health Authority to impose pay parking at Mission Memorial Hospital in 5 years. This must prompt expansion of ongoing (current) protest to eliminate pay parking at Hospitals, by adding a protest to prohibit FHA & Mission Council from proceeding with an agreement to add MMH to the list of Hospital charging (unacceptable) parking fees. Ask each incumbent what they will do to change this decision, anyone not agreeing to stop this travesty does not deserve a VOTE.
v Election Issue – “Political Slates”, bring in a group of people of like mind but too often, many slide in under the guise of an (impressive slate) but in due course Public Opinion may form and “weak-links” emerge to be gone next election. Political Slates can be a good vehicle to defeat Incumbents, such as happened at Mission 2011 election, as often Voters like the unity and organization implied by a “slate’, ease of making a voting choice and just as easily (another) slate can replace one. Getting rid of unacceptable (politicians) is crucial and next election November 2014 will witness the City of Abbotsford & District of Mission likely making some significant changes.
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 (Mission) 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. Will CRMG (Abbotsford) be fielding Candidates? Are any incumbents at Mission or Abbotsford not running for re-election? Seniors’ hold the balance of (votes) to elect a new Council.
Some Important dates to remember
- Thursday February 6, 2014, 10:30am, Mission Seniors Centre Association meeting at Mission Community Activity Centre ALL SENIORS’ are encouraged to attend this meeting – JOIN or RENEW MSCA ($10 Annual dues – help plan activities – YOUR SENIOR VOICE, LEADERSHIP, SUPPORT & WISDOM is needed more than ever NOW! VOLUNTEERS are needed.
- March 11 & 12, 2014 – Council of Senior Citizens’ Organizations (COSCO), Two-day Leadership Skills Workshop at Abbotsford (details will follow) but you can Register at firstname.lastname@example.org. Some topics will include Changing demographics, Basics & Hierarchy of human needs, qualities of leadership, effective seniors’ organizations, leading Volunteers, conducting meetings, organizational goals, seniors’ identification & fulfillment, advocacy & referral, searching out talented volunteers, and other topics.
Note: Please email me any important Seniors’ dates throughout the year, that recognize any Seniors’ accomplishment or issues, such as Elder Abuse Awareness Day June 15th, Seniors’ Week, etc.
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 – Possibly your Association should join COSCO?
- 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.”.
- Elder Advocacy & Support (BCCEAS) – www.bcceas.ca (8% or 61,000 Seniors’ in B.C. experience abuse).
- NEW! Mission Seniors’ Activity Centre new web.site www.missionseniorscentre.com – ALL SENIORS’ 55+ years of age should consider joining MSCA
- CARP “ – A new vision of aging for Canada www.carp.ca – 60 Chapters, email@example.com Possibly your Association may benefit joining CARP?
Leading Edge Advocacy for Humans & Animals
The Council Advocacy calls upon allies of people, finances and resources from around the World, in many diverse endeavours, via altruistic & caring measures. Remember, when most complain and do not speak-out, nothing improves but you can always be assured George F. Evens and affiliated entities (The Council, CLAW, ECAC) can be relied upon & will take a position, state an opinion, fight to the wall for Seniors or Animals rights and make all “issues” important and express opinions publicly, in the best interests of Society, we will not be silenced or shirk our responsibility to “speak-out” on issues.
- “News To You Newsletter” – Keep in mind, this is not your typical Newsletter. Many complain & do nothing constructive, whereas, The Council & ECAC, “News To You Newsletters” has established a public expectation to “tell it how it actually is, factual, questioning Journalism, no political correctness, no sacred-cows, no “political “spin” but equally important to be pro-active”. Remember, when progressive Leaders, important (decision makers) and astute VOTERS want factual opinions, they can trust, they consult “News To You Newsletters” as the reliable, informed, compassionate/empathetic source. Read carefully, keep an open-mind, broaden your ‘attention span’ and you will learn something…..
- “The Council Advocacy”, “The Council Animal Advocacy (CLAW)” and now “The Elder Citizen Action Coalition (ECAC)” are private owned, operated, non-profit, apolitical and pro-active organizations. ECAC is 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.
- Elder Citizen Action Coalition (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” *** Passion *** Persistence *** Power *** Progress
- The Sun (most recent on Elder abuse) & Province have done some good articles, thus, each Community paper can augment and help bring information & solutions to the many dilemma’s facing Seniors but caring is the first obstacle or challenge to be met. The Province series Boomerangst gives a good overview of Seniors’ needs, refer to http://www.theprovince.com/news/boomerangst/our-aging-society.html