Edmonton Human Rights Committee Meeting Minutes (April 20, 2020)

The Human Rights Committee discuss issues and plan events relating to PSAC’s Indigenous, Persons With Disabilities, LGBTQ2+ and Racially Visible caucus members. Check out these minutes for current actions and events!

APRIL 20, 2020

In Attendance:

Steve Sukhbir, Chair     
Mildred Ncube, Vice Chair
Addie Greer, Treasurer                                                                                           
Dragana Ristivojevich, Secretary     


Neha Channan, PRC Racially Visible Persons Rep
Denise Gugel, Member
Carol Morrison, Member
Reena Desmond, Member


Carm Chan, Regional PSAC Rep         
Karoline Klug, PSAC Reginal Education Officer

Call to Order Meeting was called to order by the Chair at 5:52 pm.  Steve Sukhbir welcomed everyone to the meeting.   The members in attendance were through skype conference call.

Approval of Agenda:  Agenda was approved by all.

Approval of Previous MinutesMarch 03, 2020 minutes were approved. 

Financial Reports:  Addie Greer has a copy of last years financial reports.  Bank statement dated February 29, 2020 has an opening balance of $2,178.26.  The March, 2020 bank statement has not yet been received due to Covid-19

Signing AuthorityHas not been done to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Previous Business:   Due to COVID-19, the 2020/2021 budget is still pending on approval by Marianne.  The budget package still has to be audited by another committee and to be approved by Neha Channan when complete, but due to Covid-19 restrictions it is on hold.  Marianne Hladun will hold a conference call with PRC on how to handle this.

ReportsNothing to report at this time other than the Financial Report (see above).

New Business:  

Edmonton Pride Parade (June event):   

There is no official word whether the Pride Parade will take place or to be cancelled.  In past years, we handed out goodie bags (candy, stickers, etc).  We also helped decorate the AFL float and marched alongside them.  The committee at this time cannot purchase items for the goodie bags as the budget has not been approved. Due to Covid-19  the parade may be cancelled. Note that the postcard to be sent to the locals for 17th May for the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia was also put on hold

Human Rights

We still plan on providing the Charter of Rights to the Components.  Discussion on costs were discussed.  Addie suggested that we have them done as poster hangers (using wood, string and glue).  Addie’s husband volunteered to cut the wood for us.  We could have them laminated.  The cost for 50 posters would be approximately $180.00.  The finished product would allow us to roll it up like a scroll.  The posters would be light in weight if we had to mail them out.  We could hand them out from the Regional Office when the component president comes into pick up the calendars.  More discussion to follow.

Social Distancing Due to COVID-19

Carm:  She is doing fine.  Her concern is with Nova Scotia.  Also, the impact on mental health which she finds alarming and shocking on how it is unfolding.  Carm recommended to sign up for the Health and Safety webinars that are being offered which gives tips on how to cope during this pandemic.  She also suggested that the Human Rights Committee could also do some webinars with the assistance from Karoline.

Karoline:  She is feeling very fortunate and has an elderly parent who is doing well in Montreal.  Karoline hears and recognizes the concerns raised from the regional committees that they cannot be together to participate in events and celebrations.  Karoline is offering her assistance in helping us to create webinars.  She feels that the webinars can be educational and could have celebration content in them as well.  The duration of the webinars would be 45 minutes and have guest speakers.  These webinars could possibly be held on June 23rd for Public Service Day.

Mildred:  Is very supportive of the webinars being offered.

Addie:  She is doing good and her family is trying to keep healthy.  Schooling for her children is on-line.  Like others, finds it challenging to communicate as the seasoned individuals are technically challenged.  She has been approached by Heather Poitras in helping her sew masks for the Indigenous community.  Addie shared that she loves the idea of being able to contribute to the Indigenous peoples. 

Dragana: Is living day by day. Trying to stay safe and only goes out when necessary. She has been impacted by one death due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Steve:  Steve is appreciative of the hard work and dedication displayed by the health care workers in the hospitals.  He participates both in the PRC and LGBTQ2+ conference calls.  Steve also volunteers with the Men’s Health Society where pamphlets are distributed on proper hand washing.  He stated that the Doctors in Alberta did not have a contract and were not being paid properly.  He is very happy to hear that Addie will assist in sewing masks for the Indigenous community.  Steve encourages us and others to forward anything related to Human Rights so he can post it to the Facebook page.  Steve thanked Karoline for participating in our meeting and her offer to assist us with webinars.

Actions:  None at this time due to the COVID-19.

Round Table:  

Steve – The Winnipeg Human Rights Committee has reached out to Steve and they would like to work together with our committee.  Steve reminded us that May is Asian Heritage month.  Steve is hoping that the restrictions will be lifted as he would like to hold face-to-face meetings.  Until our budget is approved and the changing of cheque signing has been done, we cannot hold any events.  Marianne will be holding a PRC meeting soon where she will provide the committee with more guidance.  Webinars has a limit of 10,000 people who can participate where Skype doesn’t have the capacity for a large number of participants.

Addie – Will create a sample of the Charter of Rights Poster and forward a picture to us so we can visually see the completed product.  Addie is open to suggestions.

Mildred – Is there a deadline on social justice? Carm responded by stating that we can do a webinar but nothing in person.

Carm – A webinar should only be 1 hour maximum.

Karoline – Reminded the committee that she is here to assist us whether if we want to create a webinar, etc.  She thanked the committee and enjoyed being part of the meeting.

Dragana – Thanked Karoline for expressing her condolences for her loss.  

Next scheduled MeetingTo Be Advised @ 5:45 pm (MST)

Meeting Adjourned at 7:10 pm. (MST)