Deb Kosteniuk Report July 2017

Since becoming the Women’s Committee Representative on Prairie Region Council, I have been working on a letter to introduce myself to the Regional Women’s Committees. Now that I have my RWC Chairs contact list, I will be finalizing the letter and sending it shortly before PRC meets in July.

In May I met, via teleconference, with our REVP and Dolly Ablitt, the Calgary Regional Rep and reviewed the applicants for the Prairie School for Union Women. Charmaine Nelson from Edmonton was chosen as the first recipient of the Judy Shannon Scholarship, which fully covered her costs for attendance (registration, travel, loss of salary). For this year only, PSAC Prairie Region education budget provided subsidies for up to two active union sisters per province to attend the PSUW. The PSAC subsidy covered the cost of the early bird registration fee of $850 and subsidy applicants were expected to approach their Locals and, where applicable, Components, for additional financial support (i.e. transportation, loss of salary).

I attended the AGM of Awo T’aan Healing Lodge Society on June 7, 2017. Awo T’aan organizes the Sister in Spirit Vigil in October, an event the Calgary RWC is proud to contribute to and be considered a partner.

I participated in the June 14th event organized by Calgary Area Council to boycott National Public Service Week. We served 450 Dairy Queen Dilly Bars to members at the Harry Hays Building, passed out hundreds of stickers and flyers talking about Phoenix. Every one or two member out of ten that we spoke had a story about being affected by Phoenix.

On June 24th I volunteered at the PSAC booth for National Aboriginal Week, along with other PSAC members. There was a family festival and pow wow on the former Indian Village site of the Calgary Stampede grounds. Victoria Norris of the HRC organized the event and turned the Wheel into a beautiful display of Aboriginal Art.

The federal government is handing over the reins of its long-awaited inquiry into Canada’s missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls to five commissioners. They’ll have the power to decide who to call as witnesses and what the review will look like. The commission will also be able to refer cases to the authorities, like the attorney general or police, for more investigation. But they can’t force police to reopen cases or lay charges. I am part of a committee that has managed to secure a meeting with Marilyn Poitras, one of the five Commissioners, in July. Tonight, June 28th I will be in a meeting with stakeholders to discuss the strategy we wish to take when we meet with Ms. Poitras.

When I send out my letter to the RWC Chairs, I will be asking them to let me know what they have been doing since the Prairie Region Triennial. And I will be asking them if they have matters they would like brought forward to PRC. I will also be discussing the national childcare program and how all RWC’s need to plan some kind of activity in support of the program. New initiatives came out June 12, 2017 and we need to show our support.


Deb Kosteniuk

Women’s Committee Rep