PSAC Calgary Regional Women’s Committee General Meeting Minutes, June 09, 2021

PSAC Calgary Regional Women’s Committee – General Meeting Minutes – June 09, 2021

In Attendance:

Josie Halbach UTE 30024, Co-Chair

Kirsten Strachey UTE 30024, Co-Chair

Jennifer Jurca UCTE 30318, Secretary

Alin Ibrahim UHEW 30704, Treasurer

Deb Kosteniuk UTE 30024

Diana Walker UNE 30186

Dolly Ablitt – Local PSAC Rep

Brenda Osbaldeston – MOMs Canada

The Meeting was called to order at 6:03

1. Agenda Accepted

2. Minutes discussed and approved by concensus.

3. Old Business:

Financial Reporting Package – this has been submitted; although it not yet approved. There should be no reason it will not be approved, we are just still waiting to hear.

Bank Signing Authorities – Josie needs to get a hold of Satnam at the bank, but hasn’t yet. She was on vacation once Josie was ready to go in. She has an appointment this week.

Outstanding Financial Commitments – We haven’t paid the artist from the paint night, MJ Stead, as we don’t have any signing authorities, so we need to get this sorted ASAP so we can get the cheque out to her. Jenn to reach out to advise her of our progress.

4. New Business:

a) Delayed to the end of New Business

b) Toiletry Drive: We got word from Marianne that PSAC will match donations up to $1000 for the Personal Hygiene item donations for Awo Taan. We have the wish list of toiletries and personal care products, so we will encourage members to donate these items. (Even just travel sized items are useful) If Members purchase items to donate and provide a copy of the receipt, then our committee would match it with a donation of items or with funds. We have until the end of December, but would like to complete it over the summer so we can collect the items and present them in September. Josie to make a poster.

c) PSAC Regional Triennial Convention: Alin will be attending. There are 3 resolutions that we want to champion. GEN-003A – Increase Employment Insurance Provisions for Maternity and Parental Leave, GEN-002 – Union Representation of Early Learning and Care Providers in Canada, and GEN-004 – Sex Work is Real (Union) Work. Please ask your delegate at Convention to support these resolutions.

d) Plan for Summer Meetings: Do we want to get together over the summer? We discussed that we are on track to achieve the minimum number of meetings to maintain our committee status in good standing, so we decided not to plan a meeting, but to stay open to get together for an event if anything arises.  

e) Back packs and school supplies: Discussed collecting and then donating to a Women’s Centre, but we don’t think that there will be time to focus on this and get this up and going before September.

Can we do something to look at single moms going back to school? It fits with mandate of supporting women leaving domestic violence and childcare, so something to look at. Look at MRU, U of C and SAIT for things. Talk to Student Associations.

f) Fall meetings: Discussed in person/virtual, but we just don’t know yet. Could we do a viewing of Indian Horse? As it can be quite triggering and difficult to watch, we would need to have supports in place. Could we follow up by working through the TRC report, or facilitate some discussion or invite an organization for a debrief. Look at scheduling for the Fall, but it would have to be in person so support resources could be provided.

a) Clothing Drive for MOMS Canada:  Brenda Osbaldeston, Executive Director for MOMS Canada spoke to us. MOMS works with single moms and kids across AB and Canada, and offer a few different programs which Brenda told us about. 1

) Mentorship Program – Designed to empower moms, a single mom is matched with a more experienced lady as a mentor. Mentors dedicate 1 year at a time to walk alongside a mom and support, encourage, and keep her accountable. Program runs for up to 5 years for the Moms, although that can be extended. It is not a social program that gives handouts; it is an empowerment program that gives a hand up. Creating healthy moms so that families and children can be healthy, and the negative cycles can be broken.

2) Empowered Moms Night – Dinner and child care with an instructive session for the moms that includes skills and coping tools (like a lunch and learn)

3) Chat and Connect – started since Covid. Moms get together online so they can share and be in community with each other.

4) Referral Services – Can refer to counsellors etc.

They do not have an office in Calgary but there is a MOMS Canada clothing bin and pick up arrangement, where clothing gets recycled and MOMS Canada gets a financial donation. If we collect items we could also get it picked up from our homes, and they get the money credited from the items donated. See link: https://www.momscanada.ca/clothing-bins/

How many women are involved and what are the demographics? The only requirement to participate in the program is just to be single and living alone. Age range from 23 to mid 40s from all back-grounds and reasons. There aren’t a lot of Indigenous ladies involved yet, but they are working on building relationships with communities. In 2019 they worked with 282 Moms on a 1 on 1 basis.

We agreed to request friends and family to book a pick up for a clothing donation, mentioning that it is for PSAC. Josie will create a poster. The clothing drive will run until Aug 31, then Kirsten to follow up with Brenda.

5. Roundtable:

Discussion: Maybe we can also look at some other nearby, smaller, women’s centres like Bow Valley and Banff to look at other smaller shelters where we could be helpful. Jenn has a friend who could potentially help out with haircuts if we wanted to do a spa night sort of thing. Other suggestions were to volunteer to paint or fix up at shelters. Diana can speak to the women in the Parks local in Banff to reach out to the local community, as that local is very active and organized; they may have already done something, but she will ask.

 Meeting adjourned at 7:18