Postby Oscar » Sat May 03, 2008 3:26 pm

Sent to Star Phoenix and Leader Post for publishing on May 3, 2008


To the Editor.

Two announcements on CBC have demonstrated the thinking of the Brad Wall government.

The first, concerning Station 20 West, took away $8 million already provided to help to improve the neighbourhood and lives of low income citizens. Station 20 West had already raised part of the necessary funds for low cost housing, a medical centre, a much needed grocery store, and a community centre.

The second, a few days ago, said that Mr. Wall and Mr. Harper would jointly put up for grabs $50 million of taxpayer's money to fund entrepreneurs high risk venture capital schemes. If and when these get rich quick schemes fail, the taxpayer's money is lost. I seem to remember a scheme called Gigatext not too long ago.

How well these announcements portray the Harper/Wall view of which citizens are important and deserve to receive taxpayer's money, and which citizens are of little value, and should be refused help.

Add to that Bills 5 and 6, designed specially to destroy the right of Unions to bargain in a balanced way, and thus destroy the Union movement itself. Essential Services legislation which allows the employer to designate which workers are essential is very close to giving the employer the right to tell all workers how many hours each will be required to put in each morning on arrival at factory, office, or nospital. Even those who do not belong to a union should recognise the power that would give to the employer.

The Wall Government has also scrapped the Disability Council, formed to advise on key issues which affect those with disabilities, such as transportation, or accessability problems. Why is the advice of those with disabilities being silenced?

In the March Budget, $12 million was cut from Social Assistance in order to "modernise" the Department. This modernisation involved the client services being axed, with massive worker lay-off, and help being offered from a call centre. Just how 10,000 people with cognitive and health problems could have received any worthwhile personal help from a call centre was not explained. The Minister later cancelled the cuts, saying that she had not authorised it - an unlikely explanation for a Budget item.

On the other hand, Enterprise Saskatchewan is already in operation, charged with "removing barriers to growth in all sectors," and having only one representative of labour in its ranks. Will, for example, the Labour Laws which protect the immigrant worker from exploitation in wages and working conditions be classed as one of these barriers to growth?

Incidentally, Bill 2, which makes Enterprise Saskatchewan a legal body, has not yet been passed in the Legislature, so at present it is operating illegally.

The Wall government, and its ideological partner, Stephen Harper, seem to have declared war on ordinary people trying to make their lives, and neighbourhoods, better, on Unions and collective bargaining, on those with disabilities, and on those on Social Assistance.

At the same time both are giving millions of dollars of taxpayers money, for example, to private corporations to subsidise the production of ethanol, even after it has been proved to be of little value. This year, it is planned that the ethanol corporations across Canada will receive over $3 billion in taxpayer subsidies.

Words may sound fine, but actions speak much more loudly.

It seems that in Mr. Wall's opinion, to mis-quote George Orwell, "Some people are very much more equal than others".

Phil Bladen,
Box 235,
Preeceville, SK. S0A 3B0
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