Friday, January 3, 2014


Season of Change

An open letter to Tory party president John Walsh

Submitted by Myrtle Macdonald, Chwk


eing upper middle class you probably have never suffered like the growing number of underemployed skilled and semi-skilled population of Canada. When they get only part time casual work, they suffer as follows.


1. They have to supply their own tools; these are often stolen; they cannot carry their numerous heavy tools on public transportation.

2. They must provide their own transportation, so they are unable to move about the city, and do not earn as much as people on Welfare. They have frequent huge car repairs. Adequate public transport is not provided.

3. They rarely qualify for Employment Insurance.

4. They receive no benefits for dental care, housing, sick leave or vacations.

5. They are eligible for food from the Salvation Army only once a month.

6. Soup kitchens and second hand stores are far away.

7. Many landlords live in another city and the caretakers of apartments show no mercy when rent can't be paid on time.

8. When evicted they have no one to move and store their furniture and tools, so they lose most of it. They double up with "friends" in overcrowded unlocked rooms, to avoid being homeless.
9. When employed part time, they do not qualify for any help from Welfare.

10. Income tax credit for sports equipment and music lessons for children, is only available as a deduction from income tax a year later. If income is low, there is no income tax to pay and therefore no refund. A large percentage of children cannot be in sports or music so gangs and crime escalate.

11. There are many unemployed and underemployed nurses, agronomists, nutritionists, meteorologists, environmentalists, oceanographers, forestry guards, park wardens, professionals and para professionals in every ministry, and even teachers. The cry that there aren't enough nurses is largely a false cover up of lack of funds allocated to hire them.

12. A large percentage of educated youth cannot earn enough to afford marriage and a home of their own. They live with or off aging parents who themselves have a dwindling income.

13. Those professionals and paraprofessionals who have work, have a huge work load, so they rush through their work without giving high quality care.

14. Whistle blowing means loss of a job and/or slander and character assassination, so there are many employees who allow corruption and inefficiency in their ministries.

15. Maintenance and research to improve and ensure high quality service are seriously inadequate.

16. The percentage of children growing up in poverty is very high.

17. Home Care for the elderly and disabled seldom provides more than one hour per week. Help with a bath and with self care should be three times as often.

18. Help with house cleaning and dusting should be provided for the elderly and disabled. Many of us can bathe and cook for ourselves, but cannot do adequate house cleaning.

19. The cost of living, especially for food has at least doubled in the past two years.

20. There is much bad nutrition in processed foods, tinned soup and vegetables, and white bread, pasta and chips. This is the main reason for the obesity epidemic and increase in Diabetes. We have hidden hungers so overeat. Much synthetic glucose and fructose is added to almost all food, and it deadens our ability to recognize when we have had enough.

21. All buses, but especially school buses, should have a conductor to support the driver and passengers.

22. Employees should receive shares in the business they work for, and have a say in decisions made.

At the other end of the spectrum are:

1. Banks making billions for executives and shareholders.

2. Administrators and CEO's getting a bonus on top of an income of over half a million. That would be enough to hire, at $30,000 per annum, many paraprofessionals to provide service in all ministries.

3. I do not believe that high salaries ensure that the best CEO is hired. The reward for high quality service is job satisfaction and worthy goals accomplished, not money.

4. There are too many hierarchical Administrators and Supervisors, who quickly lose touch with the grassroots and do not keep up with skill trends.
Rotating peer supervision by peer elections annually, or alternate years, would provide more skilled and less expensive service.

5. In both the civic and the private sector the rich are allowed to become extremely rich. The middle class is becoming poor and even disappearing.

6. Senators are needed for their valuable committee work and sobre second thoughts, but they do not need a salary. All the lodges and private sector churches and service clubs are run by volunteers over 65 years of age. We don't even receive travel and accommodation allowance when away from home. Maybe we should.

I plead with you to do something concrete immediately please about all these flaws in the Conservative Government. Meanwhile I am ashamed to be a Canadian. I am 92 years old and hope and pray to see great changes before I die.

Myrtle Macdonald, M.Sc. Applied in Nursing and Research (McGill University)


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