On Equity

This post was written in response to a number of articles and posts that attacked the ‘discriminatory’ nominations policy of the provincial NDP that requires a constituency to seek a non able bodied white male candidate for the nomination in a seat currently held by theEquality-Equity-Reality NDP. Called the ‘Equity Policy’ of the NDP, it’s meant to ensure the legislature has the benefit of MLAs who come from backgrounds and life experiences that are more representative of the population than the traditionally selected able bodied white males. The attack from local white males, their supporters and some in the media is meant to unseat
the policy and reinstate the status quo…

 

My how times have changed.

When I was young and learning how we care for one another, my grandmother taught me that those of us who ‘can’ are expected to do for those of us who ‘cannot’. She did that in many ways, but the most telling was on the city bus. If I was in a seat I was expected to offer it to someone who was older, weaker, carrying a load, or less able to stand than I was. There were times when she stood beside me.

These days they reserve seats for folk in those categories, but when they’re all filled, I see folk standing for folk who cannot. I see that in many ways, on the bus, in offerings of help to people who are hungry and homeless, in voices raised for a living wage, in concern for refugees, in those who identify and speak out against racism and homophobia. In those who want freedom of religion, and those who want freedom from it. Voices raised by those who can, service offered to those who cannot. It is good to see my grandmother’s teachings still living in our culture.

We see it even in electoral politics. One party has adopted a policy asking those who can stand for office and easily take the day to stand aside and offer their full support to those who could not otherwise stand and take a place of membership in the councils of governance. Those who are socially privileged standing, making way, and offering their strength to the less privileged so that we might all benefit from the wisdom they have earned and won in hard fought lives. Continue reading On Equity

Time to start dancing to another tune

One for the money

two for the show

                three for the lady on the radio

           four might be the one you’ll never know

(you’ll never know)

if only there was another way to go…

Seemed appropriate to open with a ‘Trooper’ lyric.

Canadian band, after all.

One for the money

Pipeline three to the US and beyond. Through Manitoba and Dakota?

Two for the show

Kinder Morgan through the heart of Burnaby Mountain. Concentrate the opposing forces. Set the narrative: Greens against commoners; Elites versus working families. Put the battle here, divert, divide, destroy.

Three for the lady on the radio Continue reading Time to start dancing to another tune

On Gretta?

To read many of the social media comments of folk in United Church 1corinthians13jpeg1-thumb-2circles, Gretta Vosper is the issue at hand, the issue of the moment. But it’s not the issue at hand that’s at the root of my churning. That is almost always the case, is it not? So many commenting and almost no one commenting about the issue we say we’re commenting on. It’s all about us. The eternal ‘I’.

I think some are pretty raw on the whole “United Church has no theology, no allegiance to Christ, no boundaries” calumny that’s often tossed our way by our holier brethren, and they’ve decided to draw the line on Gretta. Others have, well, other things going on. I don’t think a lot of it has much to do with Gretta, or her communication choices. It’s much more likely to have something to do with our own paths, the roads we’ve taken to get to here. Continue reading On Gretta?

Observing Walrus Spiritual Speaking

Walrus Talks on Spirituality

(see them for yourself on or before April 15 at http://ucobserver.org/walrustalks)

What did I think?

Initially I had to get over my pique at the Observer partnering with the Walrus. I’ve had issues with the Walrus taking Enbridge money (constant stream of full page ads telling us how committed they are to the environment while doing all they can to convince small communities that big money and fossil fuel transport needs trump traditional values and concern for the environment). For me it would be like the church accepting funds from the armaments or tobacco or pornography industries because there is no relationship between, as the Walrus puts it, editorial and advertising…as if. Anyway, once past that, what did I think? Continue reading Observing Walrus Spiritual Speaking

Hydro Rates Punish the Poor

A letter I wrote to the Cowichan Citizen sparked an article on BC Hydro rates www.cowichanvalleycitizen.com/news/362865931 and

From the Tyee, find the article at: http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2013/07/09/BC-Hydro-Rate-Hikes/
From the Tyee, find the article at: http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2013/07/09/BC-Hydro-Rate-Hikes/

their effects on the poor. It was a great article, but necessarily left some of the letter out. Here it is, as originally written:

Dear Editor

I am writing to draw your attention to the increasing numbers of people being made powerless by BC Hydro, and, therefore, all of us. I work at Duncan United Church where many people are sent by our provincial government to seek relief from the circumstances thrust upon them by our provincial government.

People come to our church daily seeking food, clothing, shelter and help with their rent and utility bills. The rates of pay, pension and social assistance that we think are acceptable are the direct cause of their plight, but the indirect suffering caused by a steady increase in fees for almost every kind of public service has exacerbated the situation. The most onerous of these has to be the increase in BC Hydro Rates and the punitive collection practices employed by BC Hydro. Over half of our requests for financial assistance come from folk who are under a disconnect notice from BC Hydro. Continue reading Hydro Rates Punish the Poor

Why I Left the NDP

Although really, it’s more like the NDP left me.Leaving

I guess I should start at the beginning. I was a leaflet weight for a CCF campaign in Kitimat, placed there by my leaflet-dropping 18 year old mother. Since then I’ve canvassed, run election campaigns, worked as an assistant to Cabinet Ministers, and served many Constituency and Riding Executives.

I’ve never been what you’d call a ‘standout’ volunteer, or a brilliant strategist, or a gifted anything. I’ve shown up, done the work, given heart, mind, body and soul to the movement that stood for and with people like me. I loved building an image of a better world together, frustrating as that could be in a movement made up of feminists, environmentalists, trade unionists, anti-poverty activists and radical reformists. Sometimes we left more blood on the floor of policy sessions than in the ground of election campaigns. Continue reading Why I Left the NDP