For the full report, see here.
by Lindsay Larios
As Manitoba has welcomed many newcomers over the last few years, it has developed services to help these individuals and families adapt. Refugee families and individuals struggle with multiple challenges such as language, literacy and trauma-related mental health issues. A coordinated, integrated approach is needed to assist newcomers to navigate social systems and receive the support required to transition successfully to Canadian society.
The Family Centre of Winnipeg has endeavoured to address the unique needs of this population. Its Family Supports for Refugees (FSR) program provides extensive support services using a unique client-centred model for refugee families facing multiple barriers or challenges. The program is set up to be flexible in the services it can provide and is able to adjust those services to its clients’ needs. The Family Centre support coordinators work closely with families, helping to identify their needs and appropriate resources.
by Kirsten Bernas and Shauna MacKinnon
It was a welcome change to hear politicians of all stripes talking about poverty in the lead up to the 2013 provincial budget and in the analysis that followed. Unfortunately much of the chatter will serve the interests of politicians more than those most affected by government decisions.
The anti-poverty community has long advocated for a comprehensive plan to end poverty. In 2009, approximately 70 organizations endorsed a comprehensive plan in The View From Here: Manitobans call for a poverty reduction plan. It included a package of recommendations that would go far to reduce poverty in Manitoba. Since that time the Manitoba government has made some progress through its All Aboard Strategy.
by Andrew Stevens
Sweeping changes to Saskatchewan’s labour relations and employment standards legislation are on the verge of being passed. Bill 85, the Saskatchewan Employment Act, will dramatically transform the laws governing trade unions and industrial relations in the province. The Saskatchewan Party government, led by Premier Brad Wall, insists that the changes will simply modernize and simplify a dozen pieces of existing legislation into a single, omnibus employment act. But workers and trade unions are justified in thinking otherwise. In 1998, Saskatchewan’s current Minister of the Economy, Bill Boyd, unsuccessfully attempted to pass Bill 218, “An Act respecting the Right to Work (RTW) in the Province of Saskatchewan”, while the Sask Party was in opposition. In fact, debates over right-to-work style reforms and union financial transparency have already been contested in Saskatchewan as Bill 85 developed. But why is Saskatchewan so important in the national context?
Filed under Labour, WorkLife
by Lynne Fernandez and Monica Adeler
As we digest the news coming out of Europe, with millions of people out of work at the same time as austerity measures are shutting down the social programs they need more than ever, it is hard not to be worried about the future.
Closer to home, the economy remains sluggish and household debt is at an all-time high as workers struggle to stretch stagnant wages as much as possible. Locked as we are in the aftermath of a global recession we all feel powerless: how can we take control of our lives? How can we put a sense of purposefulness into our work? What happened to community and how can we get it back? Bad as the news is, we can take hope this May Day that another world is possible.
Filed under Labour, WorkLife
Free event on participatory budgeting: April 30, 2013, 7pm, Carol Shields Auditorium, Millennium Library
by Laura Rempel
Citizens are becoming more aware of the importance of equitable and accountable city management and development. Attendees at a recent forum organized by local non-profit and community groups expressed concerns about land development and other decisions being made by city council in Winnipeg. They noted frustrations such as difficulty accessing information, token public participation and a general concern with the culture at city hall.
With current forms of representative democracy, multi-level governance structures, isolated sector-based policy and limited revenue sources, Canadian cities struggle to meet their citizen needs. This leads to skepticism, distrust of leadership and seeking more responsive and relevant governance processes and solutions. CCPA Manitoba has long noted the importance of city budgets as critical policy tools. Through our Alternative Budgets we have demonstrated how our city government could make different choices leading to a budget that is more equitable and just. A next step would be for the City of Winnipeg to fully engage citizens in budget making through a participatory budgeting process.