Dear Prime Minister, MP, Premier, MLA, Opposition Party Leaders, BC Ombudsperson, BC Seniors’ Advocate, Publishers, Editors, Reporters, Columnists, Talk Show Hosts, Mayors & Councillors, Michael Marshbank, CEO/FRASER HEALTH, Mr. David Black, CEO & Mr. Rick O’Connor, President Black Press, Police Boards/Assn/Commissioner/Chiefs, Political Associations, Seniors’ Advocacy/Activist Associations, Seniors’, Animal Advocacy/Activists Associations & General Public:
“IN THIS EDITION” – “Remaking Canada in our own image” – The sense of “CHANGE” is in the thoughts of most VOTERS and once started this momentum is unstoppable. Foremost, all Canadians need to agree & focus attention on being good “Citizens” and secondly, “Good Citizens” pay “Taxes” and “VOTE” – to regain status as a “full Citizen” is our common and collective goal of all Canadians…Deliberately Stupid points fingers at more outlandish incompetence…Seniors are starting to mobilize from grass root Communities, pro-active Advocates who can fight overwhelming odds and win, soon at the polls more than ever….Focus upon Mission & Abbotsford Future…..Never forget how the powerful can fall, fickle voters, fickle shareholders & surprise more people with integrity speaking-out finally, can end bad governance, like the “untouchable BOSS one day fired the next” – RECALL LEGISLATION may soon be on the horizon at Municipal, Provincial & Federal levels? Vetting “Candidates”, retaining “most qualified people” & myths, “pay more to get better people, don’t hire more competent than the Boss”; Government deceiving Citizens’ is grounds to be tossed out and equally Opposition supporting, should lose votes, like “what’s this Bill C51 if not harmful to Democracy”? Bullying & now cyber-bullying “isn’t restricted to schoolyards”, rather often mentored by Parents, Authorities, Military, Police, Students, Politicians or equally worse, a Mayor, such as at District of Mission, BC, with entitlement & power exacerbating the cause of a “bully” & reflects some in “denial” making remedy a higher priority than just isolating to small segments of Students….An MLA claims the Premier is a “bully”, others believe “Attack Ads” are bullying, the simple answer is likely yes but often “Politicians” hide behind Legislative privilege & feel entitled to bully which makes remedial action difficult.
Please understand, this “News to You Newsletter” is sent to you under the premise we sincerely believe you care and wish to be part of the solution, we state factual, effective & wise resolutions to causes & issues identified and are eternally grateful so many agree with our conclusions.
To the thousands receiving this “News to You” who have Seniors’ in your Family or as Friends, or who are so-called “Pet Lovers” and Guardians of a loved Companion Animal, we hope you will agree and embrace our proposals to Politicians, notably Candidates in the upcoming October Federal Election, that you will ask our questions and convey our demands, that hopefully you share as well. We accept some may be more eloquent in your writing or wish to add more details and thus encourage your participation, the gist of our initiatives are to create awareness and seek your agreement to engage Politicians, as we are part of an estimated 5 million Seniors’ and equal or greater “Animal Lovers” so if we focus our votes on Candidates who support our ideas, we hold the power to elect Government – Think about it!
News To You Newsletters will be published quarterly, December/January, March/April, June/July & September/October and we are seeking to reduce to 8 pages. Primary objectives will be upon Federal & British Columbia causes, issues & Legislation, with major Focus upon Seniors’ and International Animal Welfare & Cruelty issues and (related) local Fraser Valley initiatives, commencing with creating age-friendly & inclusive Citizen Engagement, Communities & Seniors’ Activity Centre at Mission.
Some Important dates to remember
- Thursday March 5, 2015, 10:30am, Mission Seniors’ Centre Association Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Election
- Thursday April 2, 2015, 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 always needed. But as a sign of solidarity and strength in numbers, ALL Seniors’ need to, at the very least, join the MSCA and become known as a supporter of Seniors’ needs.
- Note: Please email me any important Seniors’ dates throughout the year, that recognize any Seniors’ accomplishment or issues.
One of the most serious pitfalls facing Society are “Community Leaders who do not lead, remain moribund by their silence, yet cling to their status albeit often shallow. Significant issues could be resolved if more people would speak-out or get engaged, some to not rest upon their laurels of the past. Do you ever have cause to ask yourself, “why don’t I speak-out” OR “Why don’t I VOTE”? Maybe too conservative and do not like to draw attention; maybe too scared and fear repercussions; maybe too comfortable, so why help others; maybe too indifferent so who cares about others? Fear not, The Council Advocacy & ECAC via “News To You Newsletters” will speak publicly for you in all matters of civic, political, health, seniors’ or Animal cruelty & welfare issues BUT, in return we need your individual & collective VOTES to elect Municipal Councils, Premiers & Federal Governments that will respond to our demands for improved lives of Canadians.
“Unity in Challenging Times” – this rallying call rings across the land as the ‘sleeping giant’ “Silver Psunami” responds to Seniors’ needs
SENIORS’ MATTER – “It is time for all to shake hands & speak as one strong voice”
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. I believe,” The significant challenge to all Seniors’ and by extension Seniors’ Organizations, like major groups, such as CARP or COSCO who boast hundreds of thousands of members and many affiliates, is for all of us to harness our collective energies and influences”. Governments or others need to understand the force numbers of committed Seniors’ bring to the table up to an including their future in Government.
George F. Evens was the featured Senior in October 31, 2013 Edition of Mission Seniors’ Living 55 Plus, that you can refer to as a base, then each month a new Senior will be featured in each Editions of Seniors 55 Plus. Here is a link to the Mission Seniors’ Living 55 Plus, published in the Mission City Record, the last Friday monthly. The e-edition is available athttp://www.missioncityrecord.com/eeditions/
George is an Advocate/Facilitator, founder of the “Round Table” discussion group and an ally you want in your corner. He has a focus upon the “greater good & larger picture” in areas of selected Advocacy, refer www.thecouncilclaw.ca select issue from CONTENTS
- Seniors’ Advocate/Facilitator since 2005
- Animal Advocate/Facilitator since 1995, affectionally known as The “Catfather”
- Civic & Political Advocate, “political pundit & reforms”, Host of “News To You Newsletter”, since 1988
- Archives at www.abbotsfordtoday.ca enter “News To You” or “George F. Evens” click “Search” for numerous reference documents published by this vastly superior Media site.
“EDITORIALLY SPEAKING OF COURSE” BUT DO YOU RECOGNIZE CANADIANS DESIRE TO “REMAKE CANADA IN OUR OWN IMAGE”. FOLLOWING, IN PART, IS THE PLAN ALL PARTIES MUST ADDRESS:
o A sense of vibrancy is starting to permeate our every waking moment, the aura created by People coming together in a united spirit of “CHANGE”, it stimulates your mind, gives a sense of hope, a feeling that our Community, Province or Country can rise to the challenges, overcome obstacles and create a unification of self-actualization if we identify the common good needed, the moral spirit to speak-out and demand Leaders listen and act in the best interests of Constituents. There is an air of excitement, an ELECTION is on the horizon and we, the PEOPLE will create and manage the changes needed to transform CANADA back into the once proud Country we were. Sadly, no current Leader inspires Citizen trust, confidence or assurance they are competent, thus, Citizens must calculate the “risk”, thus at this juncture it is obvious and critical “change is inevitable”, the risk is to “high” to continue under the current Harper plan, as the latest in a long string of poor decisions, notably Bill C51, make the decision for Citizens, secondly The NDP has proven the “best” in “opposition” but clearly not a “Government in waiting” and will likely lose significant Quebec seats; thus “Liberals” are by far the best Citizen ‘right of centre’ choice, the greatest impediment and risk is Trudeau and Citizens’ worry if he will continue his reckless path, unless “advisors” are able to convince him to “mature quickly” but the choice of “Party” seems now clear in most ‘voting’ Citizens’ minds.
o “A commitment by all parties to “rethink remaking Canada” is possibly the paramount universal issue to be committed to by Candidates”. Indeed, “A fundamental shift of National ideology is crucial, that will witness acceptance of responsibility & accountability for unifying Canada, identifying universal plans & funding for critical components that will restore deserved credibility and respect for Canadians and by their actions, Canadian Federal Government to establish National parameters and minimum standards of treatment of Citizens, recognizing lifelong commitment and contributions of taxes and other deeds of service, creating a sound economic environment that whether a War Veteran serving their Country in time of war & conflicts, to that of a Senior serving their Country as a taxpaying Citizen, now deserving of recognition and empathy in time of needs whether health or home related”. Once National parameters are re-created Canadians can be assured of a more successful, healthy and productive life and future for all, elimination of Poverty, Reductions of Crime and then, Provinces can assume certain “administrative roles” to operate within regulations and budgets affording unity and conformity across Canada”.
o The October 19, 2015 Federal Election is our collective opportunity to realize effective results & improve the lives of Seniors’, some of the crucial changes needed include but are not limited to the following proposals of reform, thus each Candidate must agree to vote adoption of the following essential & fundamental Legislation, without exception, to create the National foundation & minimum standards for All Canadian Citizens’ to achieve common benefits to all.
o To adopt and sign an effective National Health Accord, with agreed minimum 6.0% annual increases.
o To restore respect for our Seniors’ & Veterans by increasing monthly payments for Old Age Pensions, War Veterans Pensions, Guaranteed Income Supplements and restore eligibility to Age 65 years for OAP.
o Tax Reforms, such as Federal Pension Tax Deductions increase from $2000.00 Federal and $ 1000.00 Provincial, to a minimum $ 5000.00 over 65 years and increase to $ 10,000.00 over 70 years,
o To supplement Provincial Homeowner Grants for 70+ year old Seniors’ a minimum 50% increase, permitting longer living in affordable Family Homes, in part, by these property tax reductions.
o To adopt a National “Age in place” plan for Seniors to remain in their homes but augment this goal with provisions to enhance quality of life, health & independence, thus removing traits that will create loneliness, isolation, inability to access Community venues, therefore it is incumbent upon creating a National strategy and operation funding for outreach and social programs for Seniors’, integrate health promotion & educational services into existing Seniors’ Activity Centre’s, create a central transportation agency to assess Community needs for appropriate Transportation to meet Seniors’ mobility needs, to augment Community Seniors’ Activity Centre’s wherein programs are established to
o To create a National Long-Term Care bed strategy commitment and funding, an actual commitment to open and operate more long-term care beds thus freeing Emergency ward beds, including improved Home Care & Home Support within the National Medicare Plan within a sustainable health care system.
o To create a National Pharmacare Program, to compel Drug Companies to continue research to replace anti-biotics being rendered ineffective, in part, due to excessive over-prescribing, excessive use of Anti-Biotics in Farm Animal production and to combat advent of “super bugs”. Great Britian study has demonstrated an estimated 10 million Citizens may die as a result of anti-biotic resistant bacteria’s and Drug Companies have become negligent in research due to a criminal mindset that places portfolio stakeholder dividends above prolonging Human health or causing possible death.
o To commence a National Health Care component to embrace Lyme Disease parameters of diagnosis and treatment within the National Medicare Plan.
o A national commitment to refinance and make financial plans to accommodate co-op housing where leases have and/or will be expiring, thus assuring security and ongoing homes for Seniors’ suddenly caught in this dilemma, of losing homes or facing exorbitant costs
o To create a national strategy in conjunction with Provinces, to compel Provinces to mitigate impact of frequent, inclusive increases upon service fees that “fixed income” Citizens can ill-afford, that often places Citizens in an untenable financial dilemma dramatic impact incessant and exorbitant increases on near every service or commodity dramatically inflicting stress, hardship and financial ruin on most who can barely survive and continue to absorb each and every cost incurred to do so, with no sane reasoning engaged by Government, just some blind abusive uncaring decision to increase cost with no thought of consequences, thus, an annual corresponding cost of living adjustment is imperative to restore and/or retain an acceptable standard of living and not find fixed income people fall into despair or homelessness.
o Government needs to amend the Criminal Code to recognize Animals as sentient-beings capable of feeling and fearing pain, that cruelty will be an act recognized and punishable without needing to prove intent or willful, as it is an obvious act; to prohibit inhumane Factory Farming methods now, as not accepted practices, such as eliminate Battery Hen Cages, Pig Farrowing Crates, Fois Gras, Veal Crates, experiments on Animals that are unnecessary for any scientific values, cruel treatment of “downer” Animals and a venture into compassionate farming methods, like free range hens; prohibit breeding, capture and confinement of sea animals, such as Killer Whales, Dolphins, except for rehabilitation needs to save lives; last for this issue, to demand all Genetically Modified Products (GMO) be labelled describing product, alterations made and why any side-effects; simply a vast change to current unacceptable practices that have endured an indifferent and ignorant animal husbandry practices under some preconceived means of maximizing farm production and lower costs of foods that was in reality a falsehood perpetrated upon Consumers who are now much more informed and compassionate, thus discriminate Consumers demand improvement and a new found respect for all Animals immediately.
“OUR SERIES ON MEDIA CONTROL CONTINUES & FOCUS IS ON LOCAL MUNICIPAL NEWSPAPERS
o CENTRALIZED MEDIA & WHAT ARE WE GETTING in our Communities – This alarming phenomenon of too few owners of our Media, thus placing a perception of censorship, control of information and opinion bears repeating and public scrutiny. While Media is at an all-time low in “dumbing down” media coverage, with notable exceptions, one being the progressive www.abbotsfordtoday.com online media who provide all facts. Whereas too many traditional media follow a “censorship model” and remain in denial, often only portraying local Government in “good light”, so as to “not bite the hand that feeds them presumably”. As well, some local media sadly has succumbed to an at any cost mindset “revenue prevails over all else” and too often papers become an extension of the massive content of flyers by bringing advertisers to overpower the print paper with ads. As well, denying often, public opinions and informative columns and stories. Increased scrutiny by the Competition Bureau, CRTC and local Press Councils addressing local print media conforming to standards needs refinement and more accessible Public interactions.
o Focus upon local Community Newspapers should witness a sincere effort by Owners to direct local Publisher/Editors to ensure the Company “Good Corporate Citizen” image is retained, as a tendency by some egotistic and dictatorial minded Editors place themselves upon a pedestal beyond reproach and compromise, thus arbitrarily and unilaterally deciding, thus rendering Citizens impotent. Hence, as a universal standard of Community standards of effective communication, each local Paper ought to afford a minimum of one-half (1/2) page of Opinion Page Letters. Some Editors fail to realize the significant impact and benefit local writers have and how large a following each achieves, thus they can contribute to Newspaper profits at no cost and will increase readers. But a lot of autonomy and self discipline not controlling and censorship by Editors must prevail in order to create a vibrant and dynamic communication hub and Citizen engagement. Our initiative is starting with local Community papers but is planned to expand gradually throughout Greater Metro Vancouver by apprising Publisher/Editors of our goal. Next, each Advertiser on the upper half of Opinion/Letters page will be contacted in the vein of convincing each to cease advertising in otherwise requested dedicated Public space. Last, subject to compliance and achievement of goals, a plan to Boycott Advertisers would be contemplated. We find from consultation with other Organizations who have resorted to similar methods, a minimum 20.0% of profits can be impacted, whereas, the Good Corporate Citizen may willingly being of sane mind understand and agree to working in-concert to a mutual benefit which makes more economic, business and good corporate citizen sense, possibly used by many or most, that, in the first instance, ought to have been the business goal to start, by all, except of course when dealing with inept Editors.
“COSCO SAYS “PLAN & WORK WITH SENIORS’, NOT FOR THEM”
All Seniors’ should consider to JOIN COSCO AS AN INDIVIDUAL OR YOUR ASSOCIATION AS AN AFFILIATE – THIS IS YOUR VOICE!
o SENIORS’ must respond, get involved and offer collective support across British Columbia to the “Council of Senior Citizens’ Organizations of B.C.(COSCO). A growing (117,000 member Seniors’ organization) who need the support of all Seniors’ and Seniors’ Organizations.
In my humble opinion the BC Government has not ventured far enough toward recognizing the Seniors’ importance and contribution to our Country. Thus, I am not one to graciously accept, with respect, a “token” Seniors’ Advocate and now go away for a few years to witness what may or may not unfold, so, I wish to clearly state my opinion and acceptable conditions, simply, “go back to the table” and ‘rethink’ and agree to address the complete issue now:
o The Seniors’ Advocate must be an Independent Officer of the Legislature, in keeping with the appointment of the Ombudsperson, Auditor General or others, of this importance and needed independence. Typically, as now Government failed to make a wise & deliberate decision to address the needs of currently 15% of population but growing significantly, the Seniors’ of BC but similarly a hierarchy ought to be established Federally and in each Province, to address Seniors’ needs. That said, we find BC appointed a Senior Deputy Minister level position, established within the Health Ministry and thus, the Minister of Health controls the destiny of Seniors’ per se. To cloud the issue in minor fashion we witness some personality trait applications emerge insofar as the Incumbent is a perceived nice and caring person with Long Term Seniors’ Care Home expertise. As well, ongoing speaking engagements to capitalize on the publicity of “first in Canada” claims but let me hasten to add, all the public persona is superficial window dressing and with respect, I find no initial objection to the person, the review process as far as it may go or the perceived duplication of sorts, agreeing to follow-up on the some 176 recommendations by the Ombudsperson, that had Government acted wisely and swiftly to adopt, Seniors’ would have progressed into a more stable environment. Thus, my first and paramount concern and recommendation, at this time, is to rethink the notion and appoint the Seniors’ Advocate to an Independent Officer of the Legislature immediately.
o The Seniors Advocate “revisited” to vet the Candidates selected as member of the “Advisors Council”. At first blush, I suspect this body will be as effective as Individuals and must complete some assessment of the 30 or so selected from a pool of approximately 385 Candidates, against criteria & impartial considerations used. Simply, I wonder if the most qualified, pro-active and progressive Seniors’ Advocates were retained absence of all bias or political implications?
o The 2018 Municipal election has started but the important lesson all must learn is “the bigger you are the harder you fall”, don’t be lulled into some false sense of power & popularity, look at how many major Companies and CEO’s have failed; total Governments tossed out Federally and Provincially and yes Municipally. Typically, we make a few recommendations, observe responsiveness by new Mayors & Councils for approximately six (6) months. If unacceptable we commence a public awareness campaign, thus assuring “no reelection” but should a “Recall” plan commence we would be active participants, such as with rid BC of the HST, as moribund, arrogant, unresponsive and inept politicians are redundant and the Public needs public recourse to embarrass into action or replace.
“There is nothing that Politicians fear more than an engaged and informed Canadian Citizen”
In my Opinion all Citizens can benefit more from an open-mind than an opinionated closed-mind
- We must get beyond the myths that dinosaur Management learning has seen prevail lo these many years with hope on the horizon in that gradually enlightened people are overcoming the “enablers” by “speaking-out” and creating “Citizen engagement” and discussion and acceptance of more sane ideas. Some of the more “stupid” ideas that flourish, include but are not limited to
o “If you pay more you will get better people”. Simply, the criteria is to “pay a competitive compensation & retain competent “Recruiters” who understand the particular industry and needs, to match best Candidates, which will more guarantee the “right person” and “seek to eliminate turnover”, in the process enhance Human Relation values and productivity of the organization. Typically, excessive salaries guarantee arrogant and aloof Candidates and will achieve failure compounded by exorbitant severance, at best (be wary the psychopath characteristics and tainted by narcissism).
o “Some people when “vetting Candidates” lack competency in the crucial areas of commonsense, judgment, knowing criteria to succeed in position, too influenced by intangible charasmatic behaviour or influenced by personal friendships of one sort or another or wrong impressions that the Candidate has held office thus must be qualified.
o “A perception to hire people “below the skill level of the Boss”, thus aleviating fears subordinates may know more or possibly embarrass the Boss”
- The Arts, whether as part of the School curriculum or comprising a significant place in daily Community Living must be given greater prominence by levels of Government, for our immediate purposes we address only Public School and Public Funded Art Galleries. Each Public School ought to embrace and be funded for students desiring to pursue the learning of playing an Instrument through to forming a School Band, to visual and performing Arts, each forms an integral part of our Society and an ongoing everlasting legacy that bodes Society well in all manner and aspects of creating an inclusive Artistic inspired and motivated Community, the cost and intangible benefits are immeasurable in dollar terms. Public Art Facilities are critical components of any Community, and worthy of Public funded structures for Artists of every skill level to participate, to operate workshops & seminars, to feature works of all Artists equally, all who have any desire to participate in the world of Art, to be free of “elitist” dominance or criteria to be “juried by peers” in order to participate in public art shows (leave these characteristics to the private sector artists & galleries). Mission Artists have suffered the same indifference as “Seniors’, Animal Welfare proponents, Youths and Artists, to name a few categories, that while certain pro-active “Champions” have been diligent and made some improvements the fundamental structure to conduct operations is still missing, in large part, by moribund Mayors & Councils, hampered by “silos” and too many “clique” operated endeavours. Two recent ventures, one a successful venue by local Artist at Kariton Gallery, Abbotsford and locally the exciting and successful “Pop-Up Gallery” Art venue, in a rented venue, that witnessed approximately fourteen Artists displaying and selling works but the point is many talented Artists exist but have lacked the MOTIVATION,co-ordination, venue and adequate facilities needed to spawn this exciting and dynamic bunch into similar consecutive long term action that will translate Mission into a renowned tourist and local designation to partake in the vibrant arts community that exists and “new blood, new ideas, renewed enthusiasm” will generate more success. Not to forget, “the opportunity to buy and renovate the old Canada Post Office into a vibrant Public Art Gallery will create the hub of excitement needed”.
“DELIBERATELY STUPID AWARD”
This ‘infamous’ increasingly popular broad category distinction, the recognized recipients are the most deserving, the misguided, arrogant, self-centered, truly ignorant, those bringing shame and embarrassment to Canada or their Country of origin, the cyber trolls and bullies living among us – sadly, the lowest form of Humanity living among us but the “deliberately stupid” category is a truly heartfelt distinction not that many, fortunately, can aspire to & attain this award. People who know better and/or (once) being informed “should know better” but instead make a conscious decision, often greed inspired or self-interestideological motivation but totally devoid of conscience and often outwardly narcissist or psychopathic behaviour.
1) Translink “Congestion Improvement Tax” .5% sale tax increase – VOTE “NO”. This additional tax is being added to the likes of .17cents a litre gas tax, Hydro levy, 3% annual property tax and what else will be extracted from Citizens and go into this growing insatiable appetite large and growing black sink hole, that, sadly governance and funding methods lacks credibility and thus Citizens must be wary. Simply, Federal & Provincial Governments need to establish appropriate budgets to fund needed infrastructures, such as this “Transportation” and collectively decide how to fund, thus, stop placing onus upon inexperienced “Politicians” and lacking credibility Mayors and “unelected Trans-link Boards”.
2) Ferry service needs to be added to the same infrastructure budget as Translink, funded and governed, treated as an extension of the Federal roadway to farthest western points of the Country; reduction in ferry fees will dramatically increase revenue whereas any increase is a negative motivator to Ferry users.
3) Government failure to amend building code provisions & Insurance Regulations to protect Renters, notably to make all structures for Seniors’ Housing to be of cement with sprinklers and up to three levels public rental space to be cement and above three levels wood may suffice with sprinklers, that in each case mandatory “blanket Tenant Insurance” with Tenant optional coverage available, to assure any persons displaced may receive funds to cover transition while renovations are completed and replacement of belongings, so no Tenant is left destitute in these unfortunate times.
4) Municipal Government, specifically City of Abbotsford and District of Mission failure to establish integrated no-kill Animal Shelters for Dogs & Cats(Mission has a Dog Pound) but each Municipality, including, in part, other FVRD Municipalities, is remiss establishing appropriate comprehensive Animal Welfare Bylaws and Shelter. As well, Elizabeth’s Wild Life Centre is drastically under-funded, yet plays a crucial role in the complete FVRD region rescuing and rehabilitating injured wild life relying almost totally upon volunteers & donations, which like lack of Shelters is a travesty perpetrated by indifferent and moribund Councils, which each Municipality ought to undergo introspection to commence some 21st Century thinking and action to remedy needs of Animals.
5) Several noteworthy issues need repeating, namely since 1995 I and other likeminded Advocates/Activists have pleaded with successive inept Governments, both Federal & Provincial, to adopt Legislation that will address and/or remedy identified concerns but each Government has displayed a steadfast ignorance, arrogance and reluctance to act, in part, a major component is greed inspired by proponents of the issue, an indifference to massive harm caused to Consumers, Environment and the few we select for publication, at this time, include but are not limited to; Open Net Fish Farms, with most evidence favouring to abolish and replace with inland containment ponds ; excessive use of anti-biotics both in unnecessary prescriptions but moreso use in Farm Animals, a practice that must cease immediately, with the advent of “super bugs” anti-biotic resistance strains Humans are at major risk; denial feeding one species of Animal to another can transmit disease, paramount feeding “sheep scapies” to Cattle but equally failure to increase Food Inspection by Federal authorized Inspectors, rather a move to decrease and wrongly place in hands of Producers, practices that must change immediately; over-crowding of Poultry Farms is a serious ingredient of spreading disease, such as Avian Flu outbreaks but greed inspired producers still persist doing so and security precautions pale in comparison to need. Finally, an immediate ban on the use of “Microbeads” in Personal Care Consumer Products is critical to prevent the spread of this plastic material into Fish and subsequently Human food chain.
6) Federal Government intentions to deceive, penalize and obstruct compliance to Constitution and Charter of Rights & Freedoms under Bill C51 flies in the face of Democracy in its simplest basic forms and must not be condoned and in fact, Politicians who would stoop to infringing upon Citizen Democratic Rights under the fear-mongering terminology of “Terrorism” a perceived “catch-all phrase to intimidate and lie to Canadians” is a fool and ought to be replaced. Let me hasten to add, “Terrorism in all its perceived forms must be abolished and persons complicit punished”, but this must not be at the sake of Democratic rights, nor an attempt to deviously broaden surreptitiously under this fear to snare any who may oppose some aspect of Government as threatening, nor must CSIS be granted powers beyond current and certainly not in any manner obstructing or circumventing an Democratic Rights or Freedoms, under the “guise of Terrorism” and must in all cases be subject to a more comprehensive Civilian Over-Sight body and the Courts that have 100% autonomy to prohibit or punish any Agency or Government member guilty of denying Citizens Constitutional Right & Freedoms, no exceptions. https://secure.avaaz.org/en/canada_secret_police/?tYYGLab
7) “Bullying & Cyberbullying, in all its many locations, from hazing, sexual abuse, intimidation, Internet & Social Media sources and all other forms, whether in Military, Police, Industry, Schools or Politics, notably in our case study a Mayor, are all “wrapped in a pretty “pink” T-Shirts”, that, with respect, is gaining attention and creating awareness but does it yet address varied causes and offer solutions beyond the hoopla? If “offenders” are not identified and/or remain in “denial” or some incidents are dismissed as “cultural”, such as many “hazing” events, the issues become an overwhelming dilemma and tend to dissuade needed legislation, penalty and much like the “dangerous dog attack” garner sporadic Media attention then fade Away until the next serious incident, like a Teen suicide. Simply, due to space constraints, at this writing, to be continued, we will simply state “Bullying needs a high profile, high priority and pro-active legislation & programs, by informed legislators, not photo op politicians. Recently, Mission Mayor Hawes displayed his traditional “bully tactics” as portrayed clearly by his long-time colleague, the late Bryan Fawcett ” so, in mean-spirited rude behaviour, Mayor Hawes intentionally tried to insult, demean and disgrace his office, by personally attacking my wife and by association myself, a person he knows absolutely nothing about and his insulting remarks made him look the total fool he is at such outlandish and unfounded character assignation, that while I have responded, my other salient point, one may expect a community leader to express dismay at such behaviour from our Mayor, but the silence is deafening. Thus, as stated elsewhere, when Community Leaders are mute, it, by extension signals offenders to proceed and thus, the “bullying” dilemma in all its forms is yet to receive sufficient public awareness and query.
8) Government & Business steps to eliminate/reduce Seniors’ Discounts are foolhardy and short-sighted, at best, as “Discounts” may be the single motivator to many Seniors’ to buy the product or service, to augment otherwise “tight budgets” but just think, removing the 10-15% discount not only dissuades the Seniors’ to purchase and thus the vendor thinks they may have saved the (percentage) but in fact, they, as well, lost the 85-90% purchase price that would have been paid. Incentives are used widely by retailers “sales” to attract consumers, so the same logic must apply to Seniors’. Sadly, most will complain in silence and/or Advocates will not challenge, as with many other issues I have stated, the lack of pro-active advocacy and co-ordination of all Seniors’, the massive numbers of Seniors’ are unharnessed and thus, as the theme I have captured to “have strength in numbers to achieve progress” is often lost or minimized by too few speaking-out on any given issue, with “one strong voice and/or many voices from different origins, speaking consistently in support of each other”.
9) Government & Canada Post ludicrous decision to cease home postal delivery, flies in the face of increased Canada Post profits and opens the door to significantly increase community crimes, as this picture is worth a thousand words. Government & Canada Post utterly foolhardy notion to cease Home Delivery is a retrograde action that first demands the CEO be terminated and if not rescinded sufficient to change the Government, creates undue hardship for shut-ins, Seniors’ with health complications, increase criminal activity with unsecure boxes and given Canada Post is a profitable monopoly it is a nonsensical stupid decision, at best. http://www.carp.ca/2014/01/23/89531/
In My Opinion” – The “Political” future is unfolding with cautiously optimistic opportunities
- Political Reforms have commenced but many “Politicians” still lack the “political will”, given changes may impact upon their own self-interests. Some of the issues gathering traction include but are not limited to
- Proportional representation voting plans need to be given further due diligence and thoughts how to adopt into our voting system to make more fair.
- Implementing “Recall Plan” at Municipal, Provincial & Federal levels, to restore equality and Constituent powers to ensure Politicians demonstrate competence and represent Constituents, not solely as in Provincial & Federal election parties, the Leader as “Dictator”. Politicians, particularly at Municipal level, but otherwise, as well, who are elected by minor numbers over nearest candidate, often lack competence and thus Constituents ought to have a second opportunity, rather than waiting a full four year term to rid the Community of inept and unresponsive representatives.
- Political opportunists, while a minor commodity still plaguing the political party system, are typical self-serving opportunists without conviction or loyalty to the electorate, only themselves. They may be (newly) elected but at the first opportunity to improve their own lot, by seeking a higher level political position, they plan to “jump ship” but again, they do not resign their current elected position, no, they retain that set while seeking election at the higher level, first to get the nomination then the actual election and if unsuccessful, they simply feel entitled to resume their former position, in the interim leaving Constituent to wonder if they will be losing their representative Mayor, Councillor or MLA and if so, how much will the by-election cost the Community? Legislation ought to prevent seeking higher office until elected term is complete, at the least resign position to seek another, thus accepting the risk personally.
- Other political opportunists of self-interest enter the “double-dipping” syndrome and improve their standards of life receiving pension from former position, notably MP or MLA and now seek pay from the new position. Legislation ought to prohibit “double-dipping”, at the least no pension ought to be received while gainfully employed in a Government level position.
- Politicians elected by less than 50.0% of eligible voters do not warrant the perception of achieving a “mandate”. Thus, at best, they may be deemed to govern existing hierarchies and budget but any significant changes to Culture or Budgets, ought to demand a referendum, to receive Citizen/Taxpayer authorization to proceed. The lower the actual percentage votes the more significant need for Public or Civic Engagement, Advisory Councils to work in-concert with Mayor & Council to afford guidance and establish parameters upon issues and how best to proceed to benefit the Community.
- Political positions can be achieved by any person merely “getting the vote out” and achieve the highest number of votes, regardless of number and no qualifications exist, so the “bar is far too low”, resulting in any “fool” being able to beat a more competent, but less (popular) candidate possibly.
- The 2018 Municipal election has started but the important lesson all must learn is “the bigger you are the harder you fall”, don’t be lulled into some false sense of power & popularity, look at how many major Companies and CEO’s have failed; total Governments tossed out Federally and Provincially and yes Municipally. Typically, we make a few recommendations, observe responsiveness by new Mayors & Councils for approximately six (6) months. If unacceptable we commence a public awareness campaign, thus assuring “no reelection” but should a “Recall” plan commence we would be active participants, such as with rid BC of the HST, as moribund, arrogant, unresponsive and inept politicians are redundant and the Public needs public recourse to embarrass into action or replace.
“There is nothing that Politicians fear more than an engaged and informed Canadian Citizen”
Focus upon the Fraser Valley
- “The District of Mission – On the Fraser”….. BUT Mission has a major failing that needs to be addressed, first by a “NEW” Mayor & Council but a total overhaul of all Citizen services to formulate a more inclusive Community. The “Branding” Project underway needs a Terms of Reference and Budget to be established, in-conjunction with the District Council but equally Stakeholders in the Project. It is perceived a lack of organization seems evident, judging by the Presentation to Council January 19, 2015.
- A simple definition of “Insanity” is “to keep doing the same things and to expect a different outcome” and thus, there lies part of the cause of problems, even though it has been stipulated Mission is rife with “silos” and “cliques” prevail in the governing of many organizations, not the least of which pitfalls including losing membership and not attracting many new members, successive Boards re-electing the same persons, which sadly exacerbates solutions, most remain firmly in denial and this only perpetuates the status-quo, to the chagrin of many. It is my sense failure to establish measurement, such as, for my purposes, while other yardsticks may exist, I use the “eligible voter complement” and measure, for example, attendance to any public event against this statistic, similarly, elected Council members as a percentage of this number and so forth, which may not be scientific it is consistent and realistic, rather than just saying “hundreds attended, well attended and other equally redundant measurement, not the least of which it reflects the number, thus success or failure, of a community-wide Citizen engagement, that may assist in developing more effective future planning.
o Focus upon Mission “The FUTURE – the age of the dinosaur is given a reprieve to the chagrin of most Citizens’ but that is what “apathy, disenfranchisement, divisive political environment and community division and little or no engagement to create an inclusive community” to name a few issues that ail the District of Mission lo these many years. At the risk of some repetition, some years ago a Consultant retained found Mission rife with “silos”, add to this “cliques” dominated most organizations and a compounding factor all were aging and it is perceived ageism was prevalence. Further compounding, many organizations were governed by many of the same people. Indeed, still today, rather than witnessing strong, active member participation and growth, new members joining and active leadership, it is largely the opposite. Having identified Community problems and causes, for example, “silos”, there was no appetite by players to make improvement, as, for example, this may erode a political power base, which, for a major part was the greatest opposition to creating an inclusive community, so Citizens’ were destined to live in failure of this important goal.
FOCUS MISSION & ABBOTSFORD ELECTION NOVEMBER 2018
“We are only limited by the Imagination, Vision & Competence of our Leaders”
- Seniors’ hold the balance of power and if we band together better, we will elect new Councils, Provincial & Federal Governments across the land.
- NEW 2018 VOTER TURNOUT TARGET at MISSION 40.0% (2011= 30.0%, 2014 = 33%)
- 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 but when the eligible VOTERS become aroused, seek “change” a higher voter turn-out is anticipated.
- FEDERAL ELECTION OCTOBER 2015 – “In my opinion”, I believe “COMMUNICATION” skills are the key to success and” TRUST, TRANSPARANCY & ACCOUNTABILITY” are the Biggest issues. 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. “CHANGE” is the “buzz-word” of the day and will permit Citizens’ the opportunity to instill “Pride” back into Canadian Culture but equally, for Seniors’ and Veterans, Children and Homeless to be offered new hope, thus “Incumbents” ought to rightly fear defeat as a “change & managed change” will undoubtedly witness new Leaders.
o All Citizens’ and VOTERS ought to read an enlightening paperback book called “Harperism” by Donald Gutstein, “How Stephen Harper and his think tank colleagues have transformed Canada”. Frankly, if you do not understand who and what you are voting for, you ought to but whoops forgot, most Canadians are apathetic and don’t care or do we? As I have stated previously, Governments are elected by “getting the vote out, most votes win, and has no resemblance to progressive objectives for our Nation or the best qualified Candidates overall, a moron can be elected to office, as examples abound.
- In my Opinion, the saying, “Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely” fits too many scenarios, just as too many believe they are invincible to public opinion but these same powerful people time after time repeat history as complete Governments are tossed out.
- “LEARNING PAGE” – Reflecting back to a growing concern of Seniors’ notably need for creating inclusive Communities, from an Age-Friendly perspective…..
….. Some retrospection will identify a road to follow …..BUT, First, (our focus) Seniors’ & a (story) that needs to be told will appear in this section, from time to time. THIS MONTH NO ARTICLE DUE TO SPACE CONSTRAINTS….
- CITIZEN ALERT – ignore & pay the price later
“MISSION MEMORIAL HOSPITAL PAY PARKING” – “Alarm Bells are ringing but new Council are not yet listening to Citizens” – Mission Council have joined Fraser Health Authority in a Memorandum of Understanding that will permit FHA to impose pay parking at Mission Memorial Hospital in 5 years, sometime after March 2017. This must prompt expansion of ongoing (current) protest to eliminate pay parking at (other) Hospitals, like Abbotsford Regional. 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. Like Delta Hospital, it may start with Council adopting a Bylaw to Prevent Pay Parking. I recently had a Letter to Editor published to this extent but Public apathy is astounding, until of course, when in 2017 Citizens visiting Patients suddenly find exorbitant parking fees confronting them, then oh my word, panic will set in.
- SENIORS’ ALERT – support George F. Evens proposals & protect your interests
Mission Council must pick-up the ball and take the building of a new Seniors’ Activity Centre to a touchdown now! The Seniors’ Centre Task Force completed its review and made several recommendations, which we are essentially in agreement with per se, except we vehemently oppose, “reference to likelihood it may take several more years to see the centre built” which flies in the face of some 6-8 years already lost by former Council indifference, which has witnessed too many Seniors’ not being able to enjoy a facility in their lifetime, many having died, illness or disillusionment but enough is enough, we say, so an expedited process and development is demanded, that more Seniors’ will enjoy the facilities within their lifetime. New Council ought to place this “time sensitive” need as a high priority. Some crucial key changes to the Seniors’ Task Force, include a cement structure for safety, a seniors’ only facility with option to rent space, thus (OUR) opposition to multi-generational facility idea, as impractical logistically given a fully furnished facility would not permit shared use, Seniors’ in the daytime and others at night, as suggested, instead it should be Municipally owned Seniors’ governed, a Seniors’ facility to use at their discretion, so, follow the mandated “plan with Seniors, not for them” thus, give the autonomy to govern for themselves; “SENIORS ARE ADULTS & MENTORS” so stop treating as Children & expecting to share space with others. Include 600 sq ft plus low cost suites up to market value varied accommodations, the sale of which will probably pay (most) Seniors’ Activity Centre facility development cost. Preferred location adjacent the Leisure Centre, with a ground level shared parking or above/underground parkade; conversely, incorporate into District owned Welton Commons site, as part of a Civic Complex.