SK Libraries: re-instated (for 1 year at least)

SK Libraries: re-instated (for 1 year at least)

Postby Oscar » Tue Mar 28, 2017 8:18 am

Regina chapter rallies in defence of public libraries

[ http://canadians.org/blog/regina-chapte ... -libraries ]

March 25, 2017 - 9:29 pm

The Council of Canadians Regina chapter rallied today against the provincial government cutting funding for public libraries by nearly $5 million.

CUPE activist Tria Donaldson writes, "Today we rallied for Saskatchewan libraries. Over 150 people came out on very short notice because libraries are more than brick and mortar. They are the hearts of our community. We are going to keep the pressure up on our politicians, and keep building awareness in our communities."

The provincial government of Premier Brad Wall delivered its budget on March 22.

That budget announced the Regina Public Library would lose $600,000 in funding through the elimination of its provincial grant. The provincial budget also eliminated $651,200 in funding for the Saskatoon Public Library. The seven regional libraries - in Chinook, Lakeland, Palliser, Parkland, Southeast, Wapiti and Wheatland - are to be cut by $3.5 million.

CBC reports, "The latest chapter in budget cuts is bad news for Saskatchewan libraries. The province has eliminated funding for the public libraries in both Regina and Saskatoon — a move that will shave $1.3 million from spending. The seven regional library systems are also seeing a cut in provincial support — $3.5 million less, resulting in operating funding of $2.5 million."

The Regina Leader Post adds, "For most library districts in the province, provincial funding has been cut between 50 and 60 per cent. The funding decrease will now result in staff cuts and an impact on services to many rural libraries."

And the Saskatoon Star Phoenix notes, "Helen McCutcheon, director of the Parkland Regional Library that oversees branches in eastern Saskatchewan, said the budget cuts will mean job losses, decreases in services and fewer materials purchased for the regional library’s 55 branches."

Rhonda Heisler, CUPE library sector coordinator, says, “The Saskatchewan Government’s cuts to libraries will have a devastating impact on the many people who use library services and the many hard working and dedicated public servants who work in libraries.”

The Saskatchewan Office of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives provides this important context: "Despite the provincial government’s insistence that its budget cuts would 'strike a balance' among those effected, Wednesday’s budget sure seemed to favour some over others. While the government’s budget cuts and tax increases landed disproportionately on the shoulders of the poor, it simultaneously lavished multiple tax breaks on corporations. [Among the corporate tax cuts], the Corporate Income Tax (CIT) rate will be reduced from 13 percent in 2008 to 11 percent in 2019, giving Saskatchewan the lowest corporate tax rate in the country."

#skpoli

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Re: Regina chapter rallies in defence of public libraries

Postby Oscar » Sun Apr 09, 2017 11:09 am

Prince Albert chapter takes part in 'Drop Everything and Read Saskatchewan' day of action

[ http://canadians.org/blog/prince-albert ... day-action ]

April 7, 2017 - 7:54 pm

The Council of Canadians Prince Albert chapter participated in the "Drop Everything and Read Saskatchewan" day of action today.

CTV reports, "More than 70 'Drop Everything and Read' (DEAR) protests took place in front of libraries and MLA offices across Saskatchewan on Friday. Participants were encouraged to drop everything and read a book outside the offices for 15 minutes over the noon hour." Save Sask Libraries adds, "Thousands of people participated to ask the Saskatchewan government restore funding to libraries."

The action in Prince Albert took place outside Joe Hargrave's constituency office. Hargrave is an MLA with the governing Saskatchewan Party and is the Minister of Crown Investments Corporation, Saskatchewan Government Insurance, and Saskatchewan Transportation Company.

The provincial government of Premier Brad Wall delivered its budget -- which included an almost $5 million cut to public libraries -- on March 22.

That budget announced the Regina Public Library would lose $600,000 in funding through the elimination of its provincial grant. The provincial budget also eliminated $651,200 in funding for the Saskatoon Public Library. The seven regional libraries - in Chinook, Lakeland, Palliser, Parkland, Southeast, Wapiti and Wheatland - are to be cut by $3.5 million.

The Regina Leader Post reports, "For most library districts in the province, provincial funding has been cut between 50 and 60 per cent. The funding decrease will now result in staff cuts and an impact on services to many rural libraries."

And the Saskatoon Star Phoenix notes, "Helen McCutcheon, director of the Parkland Regional Library that oversees branches in eastern Saskatchewan, said the budget cuts will mean job losses, decreases in services and fewer materials purchased for the regional library’s 55 branches."

Rhonda Heisler, CUPE library sector coordinator, says, “The Saskatchewan Government’s cuts to libraries will have a devastating impact on the many people who use library services and the many hard working and dedicated public servants who work in libraries.”

#DEARsask #saveSKlibraries

Tags: chapters
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Brent Patterson's blog
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Re: RALLIES: In defence of Saskatchewan Libraries . . .

Postby Oscar » Sun Apr 09, 2017 11:22 am

Quill Plains chapter takes part in 'Drop Everything and Read Saskatchewan' day of action

[ http://canadians.org/blog/quill-plains- ... day-action ]

April 8, 2017 - 12:51pm

(PHOTO: Back Row (L-R): Betty Nickolayan (Insinger), Penny Swartz (Fort Qu'Appelle), Margaret Lewis (Theodore), Elaine Hughes (Archerwill) Front Row (L-R): Sophie Jankowski and her mother, Kate Althouse - both of Kelvington
Photo Karen Anderson )


The Council of Canadians Quill Plains (Wynyard) chapter participated in the "Drop Everything and Read Saskatchewan" day of action yesterday.

CTV reports, "More than 70 'Drop Everything and Read' (DEAR) protests took place in front of libraries and MLA offices across Saskatchewan on Friday [April 7]. Participants were encouraged to drop everything and read a book outside the offices for 15 minutes over the noon hour." Save Sask Libraries adds, "Thousands of people participated to ask the Saskatchewan government restore funding to libraries."

The Quill Plains (Wynyard) took part in the action at the library in Wadena, a town of about 1300 people located 200 kilometres east of Saskatoon. Chapter activist Elaine Hughes tells us, "We had about 20 'readers' there and a good representation of people from the huge area our chapter covers."

The provincial government of Premier Brad Wall delivered its budget -- which included an almost $5 million cut to public libraries -- on March 22.

That budget announced the Regina Public Library would lose $600,000 in funding through the elimination of its provincial grant. The provincial budget also eliminated $651,200 in funding for the Saskatoon Public Library. The seven regional libraries - in Chinook, Lakeland, Palliser, Parkland, Southeast, Wapiti and Wheatland - are to be cut by $3.5 million.

The Regina Leader Post reports, "For most library districts in the province, provincial funding has been cut between 50 and 60 per cent. The funding decrease will now result in staff cuts and an impact on services to many rural libraries."

And the Saskatoon Star Phoenix notes, "Helen McCutcheon, director of the Parkland Regional Library that oversees branches in eastern Saskatchewan, said the budget cuts will mean job losses, decreases in services and fewer materials purchased for the regional library’s 55 branches."

Rhonda Heisler, CUPE library sector coordinator, says, “The Saskatchewan Government’s cuts to libraries will have a devastating impact on the many people who use library services and the many hard working and dedicated public servants who work in libraries.”

#DEARsask #saveSKlibraries

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Re: In defence of Saskatchewan Libraries . . .

Postby Oscar » Mon Apr 24, 2017 5:33 pm

WIN! Saskatchewan chapters celebrate government backing down on cuts to libraries

[ https://canadians.org/blog/win-saskatch ... -libraries ]

April 24, 2017 - 5:43 pm

(PHOTO: The Quill Plains (Wynyard) chapter at a protest to keep library funding, April 7.)

Council of Canadians chapters in Saskatchewan are celebrating the government of Premier Brad Wall backing down and cancelling its plan to cut almost $5 million in funding for public libraries.

CBC reports, "The provincial government is turning back the page on its budget day cuts to Saskatchewan's libraries by restoring $4.8 million in funding. That's the same as last year's funding levels. Education Minister Don Morgan made the announcement on Monday. 'As I've indicated earlier, we're not afraid to admit we made a mistake on something', Morgan told reporters. 'We've heard from people pretty clearly that they value the library in its present form.' ...Premier Brad Wall had asked Morgan to review the cuts last week after public protest as well as new poll results that showed the budget was hurting the Saskatchewan Party's popularity."

The article highlights, "Earlier this month, read-in events were planned across the province as a way to protest the library cuts. Library supporters went to the office of their local MLA to read for 15 minutes. The Opposition's education critic, Carla Beck, [said] she did not think the government was expecting to receive the pushback it did. There were close to 6,000 people who showed up to read at 89 locations across the province during the read-ins, Beck said."

On March 25, just days after the budget was tabled, the Regina chapter joined a protest of 150 people to rally against the funding cut to libraries.

On April 7, the Prince Albert and Quill Plains (Wynyard) chapters participated in the 'Drop Everything and Read Saskatchewan' day of action. The action in Prince Albert took place outside Joe Hargrave's constituency office. Hargrave is an MLA with the governing Saskatchewan Party and is the Minister of Crown Investments Corporation, Saskatchewan Government Insurance, and Saskatchewan Transportation Company. The Quill Plains (Wynyard) took part in the action at the library in Wadena, a town of about 1300 people located 200 kilometres east of Saskatoon. Chapter activist Elaine Hughes told us, "We had about 20 'readers' there and a good representation of people from the huge area our chapter covers."

And on April 8, the Regina (chapter) participated in a 'Rally to Stop Bill 40 and Stop the Cuts!'. Bill 40 would allow the government to sell off up to 49 per cent of provincial Crown corporations. That rally, organized by the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour, took place in front of Finance Minister Kevin Doherty’s constituency office.

Saskatoon-based Council of Canadians Board member Tracey Mitchell comments, "This is welcome news and I offer my sincere congrats to those that have worked hard for this! However, the government has made a lot of other mistakes in this budget that they haven't yet owned up to. Please keep speaking up. If libraries are the issue you were most passionate about, please recognize that many folks that are more passionate about other issues supported your fight and don't leave others behind by walking away now. We need solidarity. Please advocate for a total repeal of the budget and show the Sask Party that this as a step in the right direction but not enough to appease us!"

The Saskatchewan Office of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives has noted "While the government’s budget cuts and tax increases landed disproportionately on the shoulders of the poor, it simultaneously lavished multiple tax breaks on corporations. ...There are the mean-spirited cuts to funeral services for social assistant recipients, that will save the government a mere pittance. ...The government is also reducing the already meagre allowance of social assistance recipients. ...[And the government plans] to increase the provincial sales tax [including removing the PST exemption from children's clothing]."

The provincial government also intends to axe the STC. That's the Saskatchewan Transportation Company, a provincial Crown corporation created in 1946 by the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) government of Tommy Douglas. Its mandate is to provide bus services carrying people and freight between major centres and to as much of the rural population as possible. Its freight service is now scheduled to end of May 19 and its passenger service is to stop on May 31.

#skpoli

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Re: In defence of Saskatchewan Libraries . . .

Postby Oscar » Thu Apr 27, 2017 6:49 am

Calling library funding cuts 'a mistake,' Sask. government restores $4.8M

[ http://thestarphoenix.com/tag/saskatchewan-budget-2017 ]

The Canadian Press The Canadian Press Published on: April 24, 2017 | Last Updated: April 24, 2017 4:35 PM CST

REGINA — The Saskatchewan government says it made a mistake and will restore $4.8 million in funding for the province’s libraries.

Money for regional branches was cut 58 per cent in last month’s provincial budget and was scrapped altogether for libraries in Saskatoon and Regina, prompting a number of protests.

“While there were many difficult decisions taken in the budget, the reductions in library funding without giving libraries any tools to meet the new challenge was a mistake,” Premier Brad Wall wrote in a Facebook post Monday.

Funding was cut as part of the government’s plan to reduce Saskatchewan’s nearly $1.3-billion deficit.

When the cut was announced, libraries said transfers of material between branches across the province would be eliminated and staff were laid off.




Thousands of people held read-ins at legislature member offices, wrote letters to politicians and more than 6,100 joined a Facebook group called Save Saskatchewan Libraries.

Education Minister Don Morgan said restoring the funding means the inter-library loan service allowing people to borrow books from any library can remain operational.

“We’ve heard from the people pretty clearly that they value the library system in its present form,” Morgan said.

“It’s important to them, not just to have the electronic capability, but they also want to have the physical space to go to. And what I think we heard most from them was that the inter-library system has got to be maintained.”

Morgan said the $4.8 million could come out of a contingency fund in the provincial budget or from other efficiencies within the ministry. But there won’t be other cuts made to libraries, he said.

He also said the government will consult with libraries, municipalities and the public to develop a long-term strategy.

That will include reviewing the Public Libraries Act and working with libraries to find efficiencies, including options for transportation and location.

Christine Freethy, one of the founders of Save Saskatchewan Libraries, said the group is ecstatic about the decision to restore funding.

“Of the 312 Saskatchewan libraries, at least 50 per cent of them are in towns that don’t have schools, that don’t have any community services. And in those towns the library is the community hub. People have a tremendous emotional investment in the one remaining service that’s left,” said Freethy, who lives in Rabbit Lake, north of North Battleford.

“We don’t have access to the Internet everywhere in Saskatchewan, unless you go to a library. It’s very expensive and a lot of people don’t have it in rural Saskatchewan. It is an absolutely essential service.”

Freethy said Saskatchewan’s one-card, one-province library program is world class and to take that away “was enraging to people.”

Local library support groups will be formed to help advocate for libraries in the future, she said.

“These groups are going to be very actively campaigning and attempting to inform the government about what we, as citizens and library patrons, expect going forward. We’re not stopping.”


Related

Complete coverage: Saskatchewan Budget 2017
[ http://thestarphoenix.com/tag/saskatchewan-budget-2017 ]
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