“News To You Newsletter”
Special Guest Isobel MacKenzie, Seniors’ Advocate
Speaking as guest to launch Seniors’ Week Friday May 30, 2014 from 1:00pm to 3:00pm
Mission Senior Centre, 33100 10th Avenue, Mission
“Dedicated to seeking and speaking the truth in the face of injustice – perceived or real”
“We bring a strong, loud voice to the thoughts of millions who do not speak for themselves but share our values”
Publishing facts for a discerning public since 1988. Sometimes provocative to stimulate discussion, occasionally “devil’s advocate”, always factual, representing public interests, public opinion and a sincere, informed & forthright approach, that ignoring is at one’s own peril. We have the strength of conviction and courage to do the right thing; no “sacred cows” and “we do not suffer fools lightly”.
Edmund Burke offered “Evil will flourish when good men and women stand by and do nothing”
Mohandas Gandhi said, ”The Greatness of a Nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way in which its Animals are treated”.
Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful concerned citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has”.
- Ask yourself, “why don’t I speak-out”? 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.
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 – SAND the third most significant issue and use in the World today, following issues related to AIR, WATER, ENVIRONMENT – SAND. November 2014 MUNICIPAL ELECTION CAMPAIGN NOW UNDERWAY – SENIORS’ HOLD THE “BALANCE OF POWER” TO ELECT NEW Mayors & Councils!Seniors’ getting organized and ”banding together to fight”; Where are the BEST business for Seniors’ to Shop, read our recommendations for convenience, service & value; SAND WARS; Police tactics out-of-control and too excessive, focus upon City of Abbotsford
Rallying Call “Unity in Challenging Times” rings across the land as the ‘sleeping giant’ “Silver Psunami” responds to Seniors’ needs
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’. Simply, to be amenable to focus our individual and collective might to support a Seniors’ issue that may fall outside our self-interests..
- Advocacy for Seniors’ needs must broach the “political terms of office, notably 4 year terms”, wherein the first 2-3 years, notably first two, Government make all the “tough mean-spirited decisions, think Ferry fares, appointment of Seniors’ Advocate” that impact most drastically upon the lives of Seniors’, then during last 1 or 2 years in office try to “buy back” favour by giving minor handouts to appease the masses. Thus, the challenge to all Seniors’ groups is to achieve the same perceived degree of power in the early years and false, sort of, sense of power that appears prior to an election. This gives a false impression that Seniors’ “have power” but the reality may, in fact, be only the last year in power, fearing re-election, by Seniors’ voting and we do. Hence, our thrust is to convince all Seniors’ to get involved pro-actively.
- 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.
- 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.
- “if a fool can muster sufficient votes, he/she can be elected/re-elected”, so exercise your VOTE, do your due diligence about Candidates and VOTE wisely, not as an uninformed follower. Support Candidates who support Seniors’.
Some Political thoughts for you to consider
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–
- 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), compassion, innovation, high priority to housing first.
o Pertaining to “Mental Health”, it is crucial to identify as a lifelong issue, not stopping upon age 19 years. Thus, regardless of source of Mental Health Patient, whether from Government Foster Care or otherwise, the individual must be assured of continuing care, as required to meet needs and continuity of care, treated as an individual.
“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:
- For a second month, At the TOP of the “stupid” list is “Conservative ATTACK ADS”, one of the most repugnant and devisive, lowest form of politicking, can’t think of words other than insane or desperation to describe such ineptness and for certain, authors of such vile ads ought to be expelled immediately in a small gesture to restore civility to parliament. This form of extreme panic must be abandoned and people who could stoop so low have no place in our political system that has been eroding to become the laughing stock of world powers.
- Several utterly “stupid” issues share the spotlight for a second month,
- Government arbitrary decision to change Municipal Council term to 4 years, such utter stupidity without even a referendum to ask the Voters opinion. Many of the current Mayors & Council remaining 4 years, when they should have been gone in maybe two, at present? We need a “Rob Ford Clause” to rid each level of unacceptable politician. Rethink this silly notion and abandon process to adopt 4 years, regardless of vain and frivolous reasons that have no credibility, at best.
- Government condoning Factory Farms using anti-biotics which is impacting upon creation of “super bugs” and anti-resistance to anti-biotics which is becoming very dangerous for Humans and our ability to combat bacteria’s. An immediate order to STOP using anti-biotics in Animals is desperately needed now!
- Government failure to abandon use and prohibit pesticides that are killing our BEE populations.
- Government failure to prohibit “Trophy Hunting” and in particular “Grizzly Bear hunts” or repugnant ‘Seal Hunts” is perpetuating cruel and inhumane treatment and death of many wonderful wild life creatures, to make a “buck” and is symptomatic of extreme ignorance & no sensitivity. His Holiness Dalai Lama states, “Killing Animal for sport, pleasure, or adventures and for hides and furs is a phenomenon which is at once disgusting and distressing – there is no justification in indulging is such acts of brutality”.
- Lying by any Politician, Harassment & Intimidation by Law Enforcement personnel, or Lack of “Regulation” of Investment personnel,
- initially, must not be condoned and thus a severe penalty imposed for any violation. Other positions may be added as deemed requiring regulation.
- In all instances, a civic oversight department needs to be created, to investigate with full enforcement powers. As well, included in (enforcement) for example Law Enforcement personnel, it is crucial to abandon perceived or real “undue force implications”, such as killing a perpetrator, except for uncontested self-defence proven unequivocal cause beyond doubt, thus, the apparent excess use of personnel and force, in any less than severe matters is to be abandoned immediately, such as meet force with necessary force, stop the ridiculous situation of, for example, one unarmed person being surrounded by some forty officers including ERT members, or more or less, armed and, clearly dumbfounded about what they ought to do as they muster about.
- Proposal to Law Enforcement – each serious incident reported, in particular involving “Mental Health”, is to have a senior incident negotiator present controlling events, possibly accompanied by a trained mental health practitioner, as well, such as in Abbotsford (or elsewhere available) a local Pastor, who in this example has first- hand knowledge of players, so may be able to diffuse situation but at all cost, STOP this incessant (show of force & extreme ignorance & insensitive lacking empathy interference by officers). Thus all unacceptable incidents, like ten officers shooting an unarmed man on a Bus or but recently in City of Abbotsford, responding to an alleged “man with knife and shouting complaint”, at least seven City of Abbotsford Officers commence harassing & intimidating a Homeless person, with possible mental conditions, eventually shooting with “rubber bullets” but adding insult to injury, previously this man’s belongings were (stolen) from a homeless site which apparently was the prelude to the “shouting incident” giving rise, (this incident is a continuation of Abbotsford ongoing abuse of human beings, from the spread of chicken manure to control homeless settlement location, now a group of obvious bullies exacerbate the situation with unwarranted (force & intimidation) that begs reason and explanation of such vile actions against a fellow human, and worse, under some perceived sanctioning by Mayor & (some) Council members, but issues are not limited to such incidents. Then, to add insult to injury, we have a Media Liaison Officer, complete with smirk upon face, rationalize events, justify Police force and exacerbating public perceptions instead of pro-active measures to abandon unsuccessful poor training techniques deployed to date, it’s time to start working in-concert and in doing so, abandon perceived bullying tactics used.
- critical steps must be established, as priorities, like rebuilding trust, respect and lawful enforcement of all Officer involved cases must become a paramount goal. Therefore, honesty and good character must be the goals to be accepted.
- Federal Government plan to reduce Health Care transfer payment from 6.0% to 3.0%at a time of increasing needs but on the positive, another nail in the coffin of not being re-elected, as Citizens continue to be ignored and offended
- Provincial Government plans to increase Ferry Rates, MSP premiums and complicity in BC Hydro rate increases, rather than innovative plans that would realize reductions in rates. This perpetuation of increased cost, particularly to fixed-income residents is repugnant and indeed is a self-inflicted wound to a Government devoid of caring about families, less fortunate and a further reason to retract voting support.
- Bill 24 Agriculture Land Reserve (ALR) proposed changes, with the intent to “reduce independence of Agriculture Land Commission (ALC)” begs a second look and some sane decision making beyond political ideology motivations by apparently inept body undertaking the current review – stop and start again with honourable objectives to strengthen this important Act.
- Federal “Fair Elections Act” a clearly visible Government ideology inspired act to stymie opposition, the proposed changes are seriously flawed and ideological driven process. Steps advocated will make it more difficult to investigate wrongdoings, too low penalties for violations and results in a weakened and more undemocratic voting system. Thus, stop and revisit the objective and effective application needed, by restoring all components to existing act and then work to strengthen the act going forward.
- Trinity Western University silliness to impose a covenant upon Students but in particular being accredited as a law school, which seems to fly in the face of ethics of Lawyers generally, so, no, the Law Society should not grant this distinction under these regressive conditions, so rescind considerations now!
- Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) epitomizes the phrase, “and estimated 12 Countries participating, a Free Trade area covering much of the Pacific Rim. Fear exists toward censoring content of one component to centralize control over Internet, what you can watch and share online. For more information view the “Stop the secrecy plan” at https://stopthesecrecy.net. US President & Canada Prime Minister need to rethink their role in this potential travesty and start to represent the democratic entitlement of Citizens, stop “TPP” in present form.
- Greedy & unscrupulous Developers for their role in, contributing toward the demise of Sand, used in most production and development projects in the World, from buildings, roadways, some cosmetics and electronic appliance, to name a few. Time for Citizens to demand a stop to the insanity that will impact all around the World, at the loss of Sand, just so some can get rich in the short-term.
- The North Pacific Humpback Whale protections downgraded by Federal Government is not only wrong but a retrograde step to further Government interests in Oil transport. Thus, this insane decision ought to be reverses and protections continue under SARA as a “threatened species”. Further, individuals manufacturing this travesty ought to be terminated for ineptness and misleading Canada to achieve Government and Oil Companies self-interests, not meeting objectives of their respective position to protect species & habitats, thus, to have such lack of conviction to do what is right thus exacerbating public perceptions toward Government as lacking confidence and trust in Government judgment and decision making. Hence, people in Government agencies that, instead of observing principles and good judgment, succumb to “stupidity” and make decisions along some ideology inspired Government platform, deserve to be terminated at not fulfilling their departmental mandates and indeed expectation of Canadians, who demand protections of our land, air, water and species that habitat same. Thus, placing oil interests above whale protection is repugnant, at best.
- Media conglomerates that seek to “control and censor” public opinion and/or information imparted in a bias or ideological inspired manner, that restricts public input/expression, that in doing so, if suspected or found, the CRTC is encouraged to conduct investigation of any and all complaints to this extent. A glaring anomaly in the media ownership entails restriction of space for the Public to express opinion, such as Opinion Page article, Letters to the Editor that may witness a preoccupation toward revenue generation, at all cost and bumping any or all Public Letters in the overwhelming desire to sell ads. A good corporate citizen will afford the Public a page to express opinions or publish Letters in a not too restrictive manner, so as to cause the item to lose integrity or purpose. In this electronic age with online space a paper ought to graciously publish all Letters online, with no editing needed, due to no space limitations online, such as found in print media, thus affording the Public a sense of expression and in doing so, this will encourage public involvement and in so doing, contribute to newspaper success.
“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, “about not being responsible for my neighbours children”, is unproductive, unacceptable and “in my opinion” may be the catalyst to destroy such bodies with these mean-spirited views.
- Worldwide Citizen warning, a need exists to start protecting “Sand” around the World, as excessive use & continued supply is not sustainable and is heading toward depletion if action is not taken to remedy. An estimated 95% of World citizens do not realize the value of sand nor its multitude of uses across the World. Some very disturbing facts are emerging and the excellent Documentary “Sand Wars” (refer to Knowledge Network on Google Search) to listen to the informative documentary online and be prepared to be scared. Not for the feint of heart but SAND, after AIR & WATER is the most used commodity on Earth, that sadly has reached catastrophic state, as civilization desperately is struggling to stop or reverse the threat of loss.
- Sand,, the dominant building material around the World
- Beach Sand and complete Islands are receding or disappearing, causing flood threats
- Dredging sand is killing off complete sea life habitats
- Greedy developers have been careless, in places like Bombay, using inferior sand components that will witness cement structures collapse earlier
- Sand is used in most every day products, from roads, buildings, glass wear, computers, some cosmetics and on and on, beyond our comprehension or knowledge
What is Council of Senior Citizens’ Organization of BC (COSCO) doing for Seniors’ – Recently COSCO concluded a “Passing The Torch” series of two day workshops across the Province, of which six of us from Mission attended but EVERY Seniors’ Association Board, Politician for example, ought to have participated, to gain common perspectives. We have requested COSCO to consider placing the complete two-day workshop on their web.site, that all Seniors’ or others, may easily access and use as a form of on-line workshop to learn valuable lessons on Leadership.
FOCUS MISSION & ABBOTSFORD ELECTION NOVEMBER 2014
“We are only limited by the Imagination, Vision & Competence of our Leaders”
- The Mission “CRMG Slate” came to Mission but after a transitionary two years, stabilizing of core services/Budget at no increase, the “Slate” developed serious cracks, Campaign Manager and four (4) Councillors resigned from CRMG, the Mayor’s ineptness and Councils general demeanour started to strain and has imploded.
- Mission VOTERS need to carefully select a new Mayor & Councillors but two crucial aspects of the election are obvious
- Seniors’ hold the balance of power and if we band together we will elect the new Council
- Seniors’ VOTE, thus watch News To You Newsletter and follow The Elder Citizens Action Coalition guidance.
- Several issues stand out this election, included but are not limited to (refer #3 and #4 below)
- To borrow up to $ 50,000.00 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.
- To borrow up to $ 6 million dollars to build a cement slab structure, parkade & 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
- 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. Candidates for Council ought to place this need as a high priority in their election campaign platform.
- One potentially viable alternative site would be to incorporate a Seniors’ Activity Centre into a vital and dynamic Civic Centre downtown redevelopment at old Buy-Low site, now District owned property.
- 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!
- “New Feature” – What ever happened? Remember the law suit against then Councillor P. Horn, we recently learned the suit was dismissed with costs incurred to the District just under $ 6000.00.
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
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 May 1, 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.
- Seniors’ Week June 2, 2014 – June 8, 2014 – Do you know a Senior? Plan to take to one of the interesting events or enjoy a leisurely lunch, to show you care.
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,
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; post comments on Mission Voice Community Facebook www.facebook.com/missionvoice
- 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
- CARP “ – A new vision of aging for Canada www.carp.ca – 60 Chapters, email@example.com Possibly your Association may benefit joining CARP?