January 8, 2003 minutes
MINUTES - REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING, NORTH OKANAGAN LABOUR COUNCIL
JANUARY 8, 2003 AT VERNON
Judi Filion BCGEU 707
Pat Bulmer CEP 2000
Trudy Ames BCGEU 307
Ron Bobowski CUPW 760
Kathy Dunn HEU
Louise Turner HEU
Cathy Seagris BCGEU 607
David Doran Carp 1346
Mary Malerby BCNU
Debra Critchley Vernon WomenÕs Centre
Don Main Carp
Gordie Larkin CLC
David Porteous UFCW 120B
Chuck Puckmeyr BWDW
Doug Bellerne BWDW 300
Fred French BWDW 300
Bart Eacrett BWDW 300
Tony Heisterkamp Carp 1346
David Mitchell TWU 16
CALL TO ORDER
The meeting was called to order by President David Doran at 7:30 p.m.
ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA
M/S/C to adopt agenda of January 8, 2003
Debra Critchley - Vernon Women's Centre - The Vernon Women's Centre is sponsoring a benefit performance of the award-winning The Vagina Monologues, Feb. 15 at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are $32.75 apiece, available at The Ticket Seller Box Office, phone 549-SHOW (7469). All proceeds go to the Vernon Women's Centre for its work in the prevention of violence against women and girls. The centre is also hosting a wine and cheese at 7:30 p.m., Feb. 1 at the Vernon Art Gallery. This is a free event with some special art on exhibit and for sale - come and meet the cast and artists. Also, a letter thanking the NOLC for its support during the Vernon council election has been submitted.
David Porteous - Lesson from just-past civic elections: We need to start planning two years in advance. NOLC needs a campaign committee. A lengthy discussion of the elections followed.
ADOPTION OF THE PREVIOUS MINUTES
M/S/C to adopt the minutes of December 4, 2002 as circulated.
17 present with 9 delegates and 8 guests
OBLIGATION OF NEW DELEGATES
M/S/C to to adopt financial report as circulated
EXECUTIVE BOARD REPORT/ACTION CORRESPONDENCE
REPORTS OF LOCAL UNIONS, COMMITTEE REPORTS, CLC REPORT
David Doran: On Dec. 18, David Doran, Louise Turner and Debra Critchley of the Vernon Women's Centre made this submission to Okanagan-Shuswap Member of Parliament Darrel Stinson:
Three out of every four Canadians want a Public Health Care System.
The vast majority of Canadians endorse the Romanow report, which is a clear rejection of the status quo and a pragmatic step in the right direction to secure the future of public health care.
The Prime Minister has repeatedly said that his government was awaiting the findings of the Romanow Commission before acting. Romanow has discredited the for-profit, private sector health care delivery model. The way is now clear for swift action.
Every day in Canada, the public health care system delivers, effective, quality health care to millions of people.
Some provincial governments claim Medicare is in crisis, so that they can justify massive cutbacks in health care funding, jobs and services. And corporations promote this myth, because they're looking for lucrative business opportunities.
But the facts are clear. Health care spending in Canada is not out of control. Canadians get much better value for their health care dollar than our neighbors to the south. It makes no sense to divert precious health care dollars away from medical services and into profits for the owners and investors of big medical and insurance companies.
We all get sick. And like it or not, we're all getting older. So we all have interest in improving health care. We don't want two-tier health care. And we don't want privatizers, trade deals or Enrons to destroy Medicare. We want to reform public health care so that it meets our changing needs.
The key questions are whether we're going to pay for it fairly through our taxes, and whether we're going to protect health care budgets from corporate profiteers.
Where will it comes from?
The budget surpluses accumulated by the federal government since the late 1990s total more than $46.7 billion.
The federal revenue voluntarily forgone, through the many tax cuts made by Tory and Liberal governments since 1984, totals about $250 billion.
The largest single set of tax cuts came in Paul Martin's budget in 2000, which will deprive Ottawa of about $100 billion by the time they all kick in by 2005.
According to the OECD (Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development) our effective personal average 18% tax rate is now lower than those of all other G-8 nations except Japan. In Britain it's 23.5% in Germany and France about 22%, in Italy 25.5%.
The number of our largest corporations with revenues of more than $250 million that pay no tax at all in any given year ranges from 29% to 41% of them. In addition, close to 40% of the subsidiaries of these corporations, along with other smaller firms - as many as 700,000 of them - pay not a single cent in income taxes.
Clearly the problem is not one of revenue insufficiency, but of revenue maldistribution. Thanks to needless tax breaks and various governments handouts to our richest individuals and companies, we now live in a country where Statistics Canada tells us that the wealthiest 10% of family units hold 53% of the personal wealth, and the top 50% control a shocking 94.4% of the wealth.
By the same token, if our federal and provincial governments really believed that a war on sickness or poverty or homelessness, or any other social problem, was a priority, the money for such an initiative would also be quickly found or raised - and without increasing taxes or taking money away from other needed services.
We know that access to health care and the provision of health care services under a private for-profit system are directly connected to ability to pay. The bottom line is people who can pay will get health care and those who can't won't.
Accountability is key.: In a public system, the patient is the top priority and the costs of the treatment at the bottom. In the for-profit system, investors and profit are at the top of the priorities while the patient comes last.
Public money should not be funneled into private for-profit systems. The federal government has no mandate to sell off our public health care system to the lowest bidder. The discrepancies between access to services in rural and urban communities will widen. Today we know that rural communities are already without enough doctors, emergency rooms, operating rooms, nurses and doctors. Under a for-profit system this will get worse not better. Corporations will only invest in communities that have the population base to turn the profits.
Canadians strongly support national principles in health care and Canadians want standards in health care to be country-wide, public and accessible for all.
Don Main, EI Board of Referees: All earnings paid or payable to a claimant by reason of a layoff or separation from employment shall be allocated. No of the above earnings can be subtracted from the total by transferring all or a portion into an RRSP or any other fund or trust. All earnings, including severance, holiday pay, sick days, retroactive pay etc. All earnings will be allocated according to your average weekly earnings until the balance is zero.
Nominations for executive positions. All those nominated accepted at the meeting or had indicated acceptance. Nominations will reopen and voting will take place (if necessary) at the February 5 meeting in Kelowna.
President - David Doran
Vice-Presidents - Cathy Seagris, Ron Bobowski, Trudy Ames
Treasurer - Judi Filion
Recording Secretary - Pat Bulmer
Sergeant at Arms - David Porteous
Northern delegate - Tony Heisterkamp, Louise Turner
Southern delegate - Karen Abramsen
Motion to amend bylaws to change meeting start time to 7 p.m. - M/S/C
Spring school - March 29-30 at OUC north campus. Sign up soon. Don't delay.
GOOD AND WELFARE
Council of Canadians: Maude Barlow, national chairperson, is coming to Kelowna on Monday, Feb. 10, 2003, 7:30 p.m. at the Immaculate Conception Church Hall (839 Sutherland Ave. between Richter and Ethel). Don't miss out on this opportunity to meet the woman often called "Canada's official opposition." The C of C has 100,000 members nationally. For more info, contact 769-1977 or 763-6040.
New Democrats: On May 10-11, 2003, a southern regional interior council is holding a policy conference. It will take place at the OUC north campus and will be open to participation of both members and supporters from Williams Lake to Revelstoke to Princeton.
The Jenny Kwan fundraising dinner in December was a huge success.
FINAL CREDENTIALS REPORT
17 total, 9 delegates, 8 guests
Meeting adjourned at 8:50 p.m.
Respectfully submitted by Pat Bulmer, acting recording secretary.
The next meeting will be Wednesday, February 5, 7 p.m. at the BCGEU
office, 1591 Sutherland Avenue, Kelowna. NOTE NEW EARLIER START TIME.