From George Evens.
In this Edition – “Homeless & Mental Illness 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”; Media ownership & censoring; Volunteering today; WE SPEAK FOR THE HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS WHO SHARE OUR VALUES & EXPECTATIONS OF ELECTED GOVERNMENTS & LEADERS, RANGING FROM SENIORS’ TO ANIMAL LOVERS OF ALL AGES.
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..
· 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.
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 Friday monthly. The e-edition is available at http://www.missioncityrecord.com/eeditions/
EDITORIALLY SPEAKING OF COURSE BUT–
· RELIABILITY – This bears repeating, 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 – This bears repeating, Many 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.
· HOMELESS & MENTAL ILLNESS 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.
o 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.
o In fact, at Mission,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.
o 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.
o Homelessness is a phenomenon created by successive bad Federal & Provincial Management decisions involving inadequate Free Trade and Immigration policies and thus, can be remedied quickly if the “Political Will” and needed “Vision, Innovative, business-sense, Empathy & Compassion” existed. First and foremost, the fact eachjob lost to Canada, so greedy, self-serving CEO’s can achieve unheralded profits, at any cost, largely by going elsewhere to seek goods & services, normally done by Canadians, is a further “nail in Canada’s economic and employment future”. 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 pewrpetuation 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 behavior 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 City, 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 and tends to discredit the businesses behind such a shallow response and frankly, illustrates the mass ignorance and in fact indifference & uncaring that actually does permeate through the Community and that is wrong, at best.
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.
2. Advertisers running their ads more than twice per evening, all week long, same commercial which is not only an insult to viewers intelligence, but an offence to senses, to have the audacity to bore viewers silly & create an alienation with hoped for Consumers who ought to BOYCOTT advertisers, with too much money. A few worst offenders Save-On Foods 5000pts, Folgers Coffee, PGX
3. Pork Producers continuing use of Pig Gestation Crates, those who realizing an inhumane & cruel practice still use, such as Smithfield Pork, Worlds largest, have asked their Farmers to stop by 2022 (cruelty condoned for 8 more years). I suspect the current BOYCOTT is impacting profits, lots of Pork products on sale prices and at least two new products Turkey & Chicken Bacon, have appeared.
4. Government failure to take pro-active steps to create facilities & services to immediately accept any and all mental health patients into remedial care & treatment; to remove the stigma associated with any mental illness by not only affording effective treatment but to educate the public, thus, immediate priority to deal with the issue now is crucial.
5. Premiers perceived personal vendetta to punish Teachers, by appealing recent Court decision, is foolhardy, mean-spirited and not sane governance, stop the silliness and get on with the job of teaching children and restore some credibility to Government objective to help families & children, not spend taxpayer dollars fighting a personal war on Teachers.
“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 lasting 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 exudeempathy and compassion, just as the ideology exemplified by MP, James Moore remarks, is unproductive, unacceptable and “in my opinion” may be the catalyst to destroy such bodies with these mean-spirited views.
FOCUS MISSION & ABBOTSFORD ELECTION 2014
“We are only limited by the Imagination, Vision & Competence of our Leaders”
Bullying is prevalent in “Politics”, often exemplified by Party Leaders and their (dictatorial) bent but in some local Municipalities “bullying” is epitomized by the novice Mayor, like at Mission, quoted earlier saying the “MLA was his hero”, while conducting meetings, veiled threats to speakers, “don’t make me angry” outbursts, to reference to (Council) as “MY Council” and some clearly favouritism toward certain individuals (friends to Council). Outlandish behavior is unacceptable, sometimes it is an inadvertent lack of knowledge or skill but often it becomes a bullying practice by a Mayor suddenly with power and no skill how to exercise. Sadly, it is embarrassing but often such a Mayor is caught up in their own self-importance & ignorance. A stupid remark, such as, alluding to some on Council who previously “opposed restaurant drive-thru’s as being stupid” but now, those, like himself, “supporting return to barge loading” as “smart people supporting business”. Another episode found the Mayor chastising a Junior Management member making a delegation which prompted the Mayor’s ire. This lead to a “Question Period rebuttal by a former Councillor which prompted the Mayor’s terse comment, “I’m the Chair and I will conduct meetings as I see fit”, which goes to the point of (bullying) versus professionally conducting impartial meetings. The former statesperson closed saying “Decorum starts with the Chair” but to a (natural bully) this likely fell upon deaf ears albeit an embarrassment to the Community (refer to web cast January 6th, sections Delegations and Question Period for video of incidents).
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.
New revelation about alleged Conflict of Interest pertaining to Downtown development reported in local papers but the process by Council is flawed, one Councillor absent for the vote is included by phone decides to be “judge & jury” voting against motion because he thinks it may cost too much and may not succeed, seems justice has a price tag, which is folly, at best but this vote halted the process, resulting is four to three, less than 2/3 majority needed. I just learned Councillor Jenny Stevens & Councillor J. Jewellare joining Councillor N. Tilbury and are resigning from CRMG – can implosion be far behind?
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, (Tuesday & Wednesday) 2014 – Council of Senior Citizens’ Organizations (COSCO), Two-day Leadership Skills Workshop at Abbotsford (details will follow) but you can Register at email@example.com. 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?
· Mission Seniors’ Activity Centre new web.site www.missionseniorscentre.com – ALL SENIORS’ 55+ years of age should consider joining MSCA
Leading Edge Advocacy for Humans & Animals
The Council Advocacy & George F. Evens will speak-out with conviction but requires your support. We call 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 Advocacy (Political, CIVIC, Human Issues), CLAW (Animals), ECAC (Seniors’) 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” (publishing since 1988) – Keep in mind, this is not your typical Newsletter. Many complain & do nothing constructive, whereas, The Council (CLAW& 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”, sometimes controversial 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 The Council Advocacy & “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