Thursday, April 24, 2014
15 Hot-Button Issues
Macdonald's open letter to MP Jason Kenny
Submitted by Myrtle Macdonald, Chilliwack
es, I heard this news you sent to me on the CBC News today also. It does not impress me. Let's compare ourselves with what we were a few years ago, not with other countries. The problems and the real truth are as follows:
1. A large proportion of middle class people have become poor in recent years. Go back sir and look at the percentage of the total population who are poor, as compared to previous years and decades.
2. The top 1% of the richest people earn much more than the 99% of middle and lower classes people, all together.
3. The wealthy are becoming wealthier exponentially.
4. Most of the new jobs our government is proud about are part time and casual. Paid by the hour, they do not get any housing, dental, sick leave or vacation benefits. They do well only if they have worked many hours overtime or have several jobs. That used to be common, but is becoming unusual.
5. They are employed seasonally so that being unemployed or underemployed for much of the year, they do not even qualify for Employment Insurance.
6. Many of these underemployed people are skilled paraprofessionals and professionals. Many do not earn enough to be considered middle class.
7. Income tax deductions are offered for sports and other benefits. However, if you earn so little that you have no income tax to pay, you receive nothing. Many parents suffer this way. Besides few people can pay for fees, uniforms and skates up front and have to wait a year to get a refund.
8. A very large percentage of children live below the poverty line and receive no help to be in sports, music lessons or camp.
9. Skilled people paid by the hour, receive no allowance for transportation, tools, equipment or vehicle repairs. Some have to go to two or three different locations every day, long distances apart, and they are not even paid travel time.
10. Many skilled technicians and paraprofessionals are unable to get a line of credit or overdraft at any bank, so if their vehicle is vandalized or stolen, or simply requires repairs, they cannot get to work so lose their job. They are one pay cheque away from being unable to pay the rent on their apartment, so are evicted. Many landlords live in another city and their representative has no mercy or authority to wait.
11. Many young men and women return home to live with their parents and delay marriage. Others move in with their girl friend in a temporary relationship, leaving single mothers bringing up children without a father. Many university graduates are unemployed or trying to survive on minimum wage jobs. Even $20 per hour jobs do not get them back into the middle class.
12. Many professional people who have a full time job have such a heavy work load that they do not have time to keep standards high. Nurses run from patient to patients who are the sickest, especially at night. Once when I was a patient after hip surgery, my thigh ached and was turning purple, but the nurses only looked in briefly. Patients are sent home too soon because there is not enough funding to hire enough nurses. Eleven days later my incision burst open and I was found to have a serious infection, was readmitted and received more surgery and powerful expensive new antibiotics for three months. All this because the hospital was understaffed.
13. People with chronic illnesses who receive home care, get only one bath a week, because not enough Care Aides are hired. The same is true in other disciplines - forestry, fisheries, Child Care, social work, education. Stop paying salaries more than $60,000 per year to supervisors and administrators. With fewer levels in the hierarchy of administrators, there will be enough money to hire more direct care staff. In an Annual General Meeting let employees elect and vote in peers to provide leadership. This is the democracy needed to balance the budget, and raise standards and morale.
14. We need a Senate, but after 65 they do not need a salary, any more than other retired Volunteers do. The committees of Senate are valuable. Every service club, lodge, advisory committee and church enjoys the free labor of many very talented volunteers. A modest travel and expenses allowance is enough.
15. MPs do not need a pension. Why not leave it up to them save for their old age like anyone else? By far the majority of Canadians have no company or professional pension. As for the stress of being in leadership, almost everyone suffers from great amounts of stress.
I know all of the above very well because my son and grandsons had many years of such suffering. Having worked in 6 provinces and 4 countries overseas, I also know first hand all of the above.
Yes sir, think again and share this information far and wide. This is Canada as it really is. I am ashamed of the Canadian government. I write to you hoping for thorough change in government behavior and ideology. Which party is capable of the sincerity needed? There is no time to waste.
About the Myrtle Macdonald
She is has a M.Sc. Applied (in Nursing Research and Education), McGill University.
She is a retired registered nurse living in Chilliwack and now working with the local chapter of the BC Schizophrenia Association. Myrtle was a street nurse for many years in places like India and Montreal. She turned 92 in June and is one of the Voice's most popular contributors.
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