NBoD Report (Feb. 2-5, 2010)
REPORT OF THE REGIONAL EXECUTIVE VICE-PRESIDENT PRAIRIES
TO THE NATIONAL BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Feb 2 – 5, 2010
This report covers the period from the last NBOD meeting.
The Prairie Region Council met Oct. 15 – 16, 2009 in Saskatoon. The minutes of our meeting can be found on the Prairie Region web site. During this time, Brother Gordon was in Saskatoon for the staff meeting. While there, a very successful town hall was held and you can view Brother Gordon’s speech on the Prairie Region You Tube. The Prairie Region Council was very pleased to have Brother Gordon attend on the afternoon of the 15th. The morning of the 16th was a joint Prairie Region Council – Staff meeting. After the “Stand Up to Make Poverty History” pledge the Council and Staff worked together in sub committees to discuss their ongoing work.
Political & Social Action
The Prairie Region Women’s Forum was held in Winnipeg on Dec. 7th and 8th. Sisters Andree Cote and Patty Ducharme were joined by 24 Sisters from across the Region. We were very pleased to have Sister Maureen Morrison from CUPE on the issue of Pay Equity and Professor Susan Prentice from University of Manitoba on the issue of Universal Childcare. At the end of the 2 days the Sisters were ready, willing and able to lobby their MP’s and to take these campaigns back to their respective Regional Women’s Committee for action through 2010.
Many members of the Prairies have been active in the campaign on Bill C-391. There were vigils held across the Region commemorating Dec. 6th and calling attention to the Harper Governments stand on the Long Gun Registry. Sister Ducharme and Brother Rebeck (President of the MFL) spoke in front of Shelley Glover’s (Conservative MP) office at a vigil sponsored by the PSAC and the CLC. You can view this on our “You Tube”. In Regina we co-hosted a vigil with the Prairie Lily Feminist Society that was well attended. Our members across the Region attended forums and / or vigils.
In October members of the Winnipeg RWC joined with members at large to collect school supplies at the Blue Bomber game. Close to 20 boxes of pens, pencils, note books, erasers, duo- tangs, paper, markers, crayons etc were delivered to Winnipeg School Division #1. As well, we collected $772.00 for the breakfast program. On Dec. 6th the RWC sponsored a one day seminar on Pensions and Human Trafficking. Our members also participated in the “Take Back the Night March” and the 3rd Annual Grandmother’s “Protecting our Children” Sacred Walk. Over the course of the summer and fall members collected toiletries that were packaged and delivered to local Women’s Shelters.
1The Winnipeg and Westman Area Councils met over this time frame and continue to support the PSAC campaigns.
The Winnipeg Human Rights Committee held an open meeting on Nov. 17th with guest speaker Liz van Reenen who had an excellent interactive presentation on Person’s with Disabilities.
The Regina RWC is currently working on a project to recognize the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day 2010. The project will be a short presentation of pictures, sound bytes and original music dedicated to the Southern Saskatchewan PSAC women. The Area Council continues to support local charitable initiatives and spent the latter part of 2009 working on a project with the North Central Christmas Fund.
The Regina Human Rights Committee gave a donation to a Botswana Orphanage and has received photos and updates on the project. This is one example of social justice work that the committee is involved in.
In an effort to assist our members in choosing city officials whose visions are to make Saskatoon a better place to live, the Area Council and RWC organized a mail out to all PSAC members residing in the Saskatoon area, to advise them of the Saskatoon District Labour Councils Municipal Matters campaign and their endorsed candidates for the Oct. 28th elections.
A booth was set up at the University of Saskatchewan Women’s Center’s Dec. 6th memorial service for attendees to sign the CLC’s postcards asking the Prime Minister not to do away with the Long Gun Registry (Bill C-391). The Area Council laid a wreath on behalf of the PSAC at the Remembrance Day Ceremonies.
The Prince Albert Area Council and RWC adopted a family, a senior and a class of 30 students at Christmas. They have planned and held several lunch and learns over this time frame.
The Calgary RWC held a one day seminar on Nov. 28th. There was a full agenda including; a speaker from the City of Calgary Police Family Violence Unit, a presentation on Gender Oppression in the Workplace, Alberta Friends of Medicare and the Alliance to End Violence against Women. Post cards were distributed to the participants with respect to the Long Gun Registry.
The Calgary and Lethbridge Area Councils held meetings to develop plans for the possible federal election and continue to work on membership involvement.
The Calgary Human Rights Committee has put forward a proposal to the Social Justice Fund. It has been approved and the plans are well underway for “Project Dignity”. The Mustard Seed is an organization based in Alberta and our members will be volunteering to prepare and serve meals, collecting personal items such as clothing and household goods and raising awareness about poverty issues. The committee had a guest speaker from the Calgary City Police diversity and disability office and plan to continue to have guest speakers as this was very well received.
The Edmonton Area Council and Friends of Medicare sponsored a presentation at Canada Place on “Health Care” in Alberta and why we need to defend it. They worked on their federal election plans and budget.
Members of the RWC attended the brunch hosted by the Federation of Labour to commemorate the Prevention of Violence against Women. They are working on a project for National Children’s Day.
During this time frame we organized leadership/local development meetings in all of the Regional Office areas. In total 151 leaders attended 2 day sessions to discuss membership mobilization and renewal, political action, education and revitalization of the regional committees. The evaluations indicated that this was a much appreciated initiative and that if at all possible we should look at this being a regular event.
We are in the process of preparing our 2010 education plan based on input from our members. It will be posted on the web site once it is finalized.
We had a very successful UDP and I want to congratulate all of the graduates and look forward to our continued work together.
Regional Executive Vice-President Prairies