Winnipeg Human Rights Committee Meeting Minutes (September 27, 2021)

Winnipeg & Area Human Rights Committee Virtual Meeting Minutes Monday September 27, 2021 @ 6:00 – 7:30 PM
Attendees: Jennifer Chieh Ho, Gus Mardli, Debbie Leaman, Nicholas Catalano, Laura Chabot (phone) & Tina Matias Bouchard (PSAC Rep)

Regrets: Khalid Ahmad

Guest Speaker: Ruby Langan, Chair of PSAC Vancouver Human Rights Committee

  1. Call to order at 6:08pm by Jen
  2. Land Acknowledgment by Jen
  3. Jen read the PSAC Statement on Harassment with Tina being the Harassment Coordinator
  4. Round introductions
  5. Adoption of Agenda: M/S Gus Mardli / Jennifer Chieh Ho
  6. Minutes (deferred to wait for Khalid for quorum)
  7. Activity Report:
    – Jen reported on the pre-convention informal resolution debate led by the Committee and coordinated with WAC
    – Pharmacare initiative: Lobbying training was done with the WAC and facilitated by Tracy Thor
    – Jen volunteered and canvassed for a Labour & Human Rights Friendly MP Leah Gazan who was re elected.
    2021 – 2023 PSAC Prairies Regional Council: https://prairies.psac.com/prc-members/

    Marianne was acclaimed as the REVP, Krysty Thomas from Lethbridge was acclaimed as 1st alternate REVP and Jennifer Chieh Ho was acclaimed the 2nd alternate REVP.

    The four Equity Representatives elected are as follows: Racially Visible Representative – Jennifer Chieh Ho, Winnipeg LGBTQ2+ Representative – Steve Sukhbir, Edmonton Persons with Disabilities – Tim Hubick, Regina Indigenous Peoples Representative – Janette Husak, Regina

    Former secretary, Deanna Ng attended the AGM at Siloam Mission on June 21 and provided the following report:

    Volunteers and covid: Must answer WRHA questions before each shift, wear masks, have temperature checks on premises, if ill stay home, sanitize, kitchen volunteers to wear shoes, pants, and masks and necessary PPE. Volunteer positions cut due to restrictions. Reopening is recruiting new volunteer positions – e.g. donor drive. 2,000+ volunteers in the registry, but there are more as casual volunteers or group volunteers. Upon reopening, others encouraged to apply for positions and requires screening. Adding more volunteers to kitchen. The outreach will hire more volunteers once reopening. Volunteers are screened. Training is virtual. Tours are also held virtually. This year was difficult due to the pandemic, the issues in the media, Madison closed, cuts to the health services except the mandatory heath services during lockdowns. They work with the Goverment on reopening safely. They are looking for a new CEO, and leadership. They are working on Reconciliatio, have an Elder on staff, an Indigenous Relations expert, and adhere to the calls to action by the TRC.

    Volunteer Appreciation: Individual volunteers were appreciated for their service during the
    panemic. Siloam recognizes volunteers with Volunteer Manitoba and Manitoba and Canada Government Awards. The organization has a unique position in the community helping community members get back on their feet and find housing. They have secondary housing programs after community members who faced homelessness and attend rehabilitation programs live in transitional housing while finding a more permanent place of their own within the community at large.

    Drop-In: Community members register and have to adhere to covid rules to access resources, meals, services, higiene and laundry, clothing, connection for community members.

    Exit Out: Youth who were fostered, transitioning into living on their own get assistance by Siloam to transition to their own housing.

    Health Program: During lockdowns, the secondary health shut down e.g. massage, hair salon, esthetics. Basic health is offered as essential.

    Madison: Has 85 residents in their own room with shared accommodations. No visitors or volunteers during lockdown. Plans for it to reopenin in the works.

    Community Outreach: Part of the drop-in that helps community members with resources and forms. Limited volunteers and not recruiting during restrictions. Waiting for reopening to recruit more volunteers. Resources are in the new trend of searching for scattered site housing – look for individual apartments or housing withing the wider community.
  8. Treasurer’s Report: No expenses occurred since the last meeting.
    – Treasurer shall print out monthly bank statements to help with the treasurer’s report and to keep for year-end.
    – Removing from signatories the outgoing Executive Members and adding the new Co-Chair, Treasurer along the Chair
  9. Electing a Secretary: There was no one interested in letting their name stand for the position.
    – Tina indicated the need of personally inviting union members from locals
    – Jen mentioned some of the activities the committee gets engaged in
  10. Ruby Langan:
    – A great Power Point presentation
    – Spoke about the history of The Truth & Reconciliation and shared her personal story which was empowering
    – Summing up with some Reconciliation Ideas that union members can do to help out with social justice
  11. Events:
    Jen: Sept. 30 will mark the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. In June, Ottawa declared it a federal statutory holiday that is meant to give public servants an opportunity to recognize the legacy of residential schools. The designated paid holiday for federal employees also addresses one of the 94 calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission: “We call upon the federal government, in collaboration with Aboriginal peoples, to establish, as a statutory holiday, a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to honour survivors, their families, and communities, and ensure that public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process.”
    Indigenous Reconciliation Minister Alan Lagimodiere announced Friday that Manitoba will observe the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Sept. 30.“We all have a role to play in reconciliation,” Lagimodiere said in a news release.“We can all listen, learn and support the healing needed to address the intergenerational trauma caused by the residential school system.”
    – September 30th is the National Day of Truth & Reconciliation Healing Walk which will start at the Muzeum of Human Rights and end at St John’s Park
    – October 2nd : A Rally for Reproductive Justice organised by Women’s March Winnipeg and Nahanni Fontaine, NDP MLA for St John’s Oct 4th Sisters in Spirit Virtual Vigil at 2 pm EST honouring the lives of MMIWG, support grieving families and create opportunities for healing. United, we will demand action on an issue that impacts us all. Visit our Facebook page on the day of the Virtual Vigil to see the livestream. More information will be posted leading up to the event.
    – Canadian Labour International Film Festival dates were discussed and the committee will pick a date to present a CLiFF film showing event for our membership
  12. Round Table:
    Minutes of June 7th moved by Gus seconded by Jen – approved.
    Everyone voiced their appreciation of the presentation put forth by Ruby Langan
  13. Next meeting: Thursday October 14th at 6:00 PM
  14. Meeting adjourned at 8:11 PM