|Committee Chair||Lynne Rodier|
Seniors will be looking to Friday's speech from the throne for immediate steps that the Liberal government will take to address income inequality and pressing health needs. (read more)
The Province's DriveABLE program tests drivers with a computer touch screen and has resulted in people having their drivers' licence cancelled. We believe recent efforts to improve the DriveABLE program's image and accessibility are simply wrongheaded. The program is not "misunderstood" – it is simply wrong: poorly conceived, unsupported by current science, a violation of our charter rights and tainted by conflict of interest. Improved access will only bring more harm.
During its 2014-15 term, the Social Concerns Committee (SCC) worked on the following issues,
Ø 2015 Federal Election: In preparation for the 2015 Federal Election, the SCC collaborated with the Health and Housing Committee on the development of an information booklet for the BCRTA membership. The issues of Dementia, End of Life Care and Palliative Care were researched by Margaret Sutton, Stefan Cieslik and Alf McLean, respectively. In collaboration with the entire SCC, for input and fine-tuning, papers on these topics were submitted to the Health and Housing Committee for final approval and inclusion in the booklet.
Ø Heart Rescue Skills: Stefan Cieslik submitted an article to Liaison Priorities, informing the BCRTA membership of the Heart and Stroke Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Registry programme and encouraging members to bring the registry to the attention of any businesses, public venues, etc., which have an AED in their community.
Child Labour: As a continuation of the SCC‘s concern regarding Bill 37 (Child Labour in B.C.), Gail Montgomery crafted a letter to the B.C. government seeking changes to the current bill to better provide protection for children who work.
Ø Palliative Care and End of Life Care: Stefan Cieslik and Alf McLean gave a 30 minute presentation about Palliative and End of Life Care to the committee at the March meeting.
Ø Living Wage: The SCC invited Steve Bailey, BCRTA representative to First Call, a child advocacy group, to speak on the Living Wage matter, at its January meeting. The Living Wage issue will be the focus of the SCC informational table, at the 2015 BCRTA AGM and Conference.
Ø Involuntary Separation: The committee responded to a request, from a BCRTA member, for input regarding the prevalence of involuntary separation by couples who are faced with a spouse going into Residential Care. The committee advised that many of them knew of instances where couples were forced, for financial reasons, to seek an involuntary separation.
Ø BCRTA President’s Meeting with the Seniors Advocate: In recognition of the scientific validity and widespread acknowledgement of the importance of regular physical activity to the well-being of seniors, BCRTA President, Bob Taverner and SCC members, Val Dyer and Gail Montgomery, met for discussions, with the Seniors Advocate, Isobel MacKenzie, in July, 2015. Val Dyer crafted a ―meeting agenda which asked the Seniors Advocate to use her influence, with the provincial government, for a tax credit for seniors, who engage in an organized fitness activity.
Ø B.C. Health Coalition Call for Letter Writing Campaign: Pat Wright submitted an article for publication, to the Editor of Liaison Priorities regarding the plan of Island health to farm out approximately 55,000 procedures to for-profit clinics, over the next five years, and encouraging the BCRTA membership to write Minister of Health Terry Lake (c/o e-mail: HLTH.HEALTHgov.bc.ca) and the President and CEO of Island Health (c/o E-MAIL:email@example.com) calling for affordable, safe, public solutions to wait times.
Looking back over the year, it is clear that the SCC undertook a proactive and committed stance to a myriad of issues that impact the well-being of the BCRTA membership. Definitely a busy year!