Monday, June 3, 2013


Seniors' Scene

Build a Stronger Country

Some pointers for Harper to consider

Submitted by Myrtle Macdonald, Chilliwack/Voice file photo

his letter from your office is no comfort to me because the statistics about jobs are misleading as follows:

1. Most of the new jobs are part time, casual and pay no benefits, such as sick leave, vacation, tools and equipment, travel to work to carry their own tools, dental care, foot care, physiotherapy, etc.


2. Some of these benefits are promised after three months, but by then the job ends.

3. Employment insurance is lacking for most casual workers.

4. Most casual workers receive less annual income than people on Welfare.

5. The majority of children in Canada live below the poverty line.

6. Single parents receive no child care allowance when employed casually. The amount is inadequate even when they have full time employ.

7. Many people have to work very hard on the job because not enough people are hired to do the direct service work. That applies to many ministries such as Child Care, Social Services, Parks, Fisheries, Health, etc. There have been serious cutbacks in service to Search and Rescue, parks, forestry, agriculture, prisons, mental health care, CBC, the Arts, etc. etc.

8. Most elderly and disabled people, living at home receiving Care Aid service, receive only one hour of Home Care per week. That means they get only one bath per week. They also get no dusting and real cleaning done. What's to be proud of Canada about?

9. There is no need to increase taxes because the incomes at the top are excessive in both the private and public sectors:

There is much money wasted on high salaries for CEOs, Administrators and Supervisors. Their supposed professional skills quickly get out of date, ivory tower out of touch with the grass roots.
Peer supervision elected at Annual General meetings of all staff, is democratric and more effective than by appointees.
There are too many levels of hierarchy, which takes away authority from Directors and wastes their time traveling to and attending many meetings, plus writing reports.
The hierarchy should be offered transfer to direct service positions, and be provided with courses to bring their professional and paraprofessional skills up to date.
Severance pay is excessive in the extreme.
Senators should treated like Volunteers are, all over Canada in lodges, service groups, advisory committees, churches, etc. That means modest travel and expense allowances and no salaries or pensions. They can save money as ordinary people do, through RRSPs, etc.

10. Best Practices drawn up 10 to 15 years ago have been largely underfunded, so have still be to implemented. It is a waste of time and personnel to keep surveying and rewriting them every five years.

11. Most surveys are scientifically unsound as follows:

Individual questions contain more than one point. The answer is yes to some and no to others.
Surveys include leading questions which suggest an answer. Many of my MP's enquiries in the past 20 years have done that. I have objected, but your staff have done nothing to stop that practice.
Random sampling is not done scientifically. There is bias in media poles.
The spread between age groups in surveys is wrong. People over 65 should not be lumped into one age group. The roles and interests vary greatly from 65-74, 75-84, 85-94 and up.
After survey data have been collected, the real research of analysis begins. Do you realize that and provide qualified research personnel time to do this vital work? A superficial reading of findings is wasteful naivety.

Please forward this letter to all MPs, Deputy Ministers, Senators, new replacement for Mark Carney, the Auditor General and people who are influential.



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