Saturday, April 21, 2012

Federal Aid for Victim's Families'

Yesterday, Stephen Harper announced the new Federal aide program for the families of victims of homicide and disappearance. It is a start but in my opinion no way near where it should be. The program  will help families for a period of 35 weeks who have lost a child under the age of 18 to either homicide or  a disappearance. The person applying must have an income of  over $6,500.00 per year which would entitle them to  receive $350.00 per week and be assured that their job  awaits them at the end of the period.

Firstly,  the government  has forgotten all those who have been victims of homicide or who have disappeared who are over the age of 18. Also the government has not taken into consideration that 35 week is hardly enough to get over the loss, deal with the police and crown. Nor will any court proceeding be held during this period.

I had proposed to government officials a few years ago that a program under the  compassionate leave program with the E.I. act include families of those murdered or of disappearance. It would have included all  and not just victims under 18 years old. Also, my idea would have give have possibly given  more income to the families based on 55% of their salary for a period of one year providing that they would have been contributing to employment insurance benefits.  Don't forget, here in Quebec our labour standards allow someone to be absent from their job for up to a  year without  pay. They also would of had job protection. I felt that the program through E.I. would of complemented our Quebec program.

What  Harper does not understand  is that  families still have to pay bills, feed and take care of  the rest of the family members and live through the grief, post traumatic stress, court and eventual return to work.

Imagine a family where the father is the only bread winner. His regular  earnings are $80.000. 00 a  year and now faces this terrible trauma in his family's  life. He is unable to go to work and decides to stay home. He is not going to be able to survive on $350.00 a week. This is where  many employers will allow the employee to go on a absence management program. With that, and company insurance benefits accompanied by a doctor's certificate would be far more beneficial to the worker than any government run program.

It is only those families who do not have company benefits  that will  use the government program. For me,  the government is  not giving up alot. It is not everyday thank goodness that  someone under 18 is murdered or disappears.

I feel that Harper  has no choice but to finally step up  to the plate and help victims.He has Pierre- Hugues Boisvenu  as a Senator and I am sure that Pierre- Hugues has educated Harper regarding victim's rights.

All this being said  however, does not influence  how I will vote in the next eventual federal election. Harper still has a long way to go before convincing me of his worth.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

New Life, Renewal and Family

It has been a busy winter, with endless projects and transitions. I am forever grateful that the snow has finally disappeared and that the winter boots are cleaned and put away. Easter is upon us, a time for renewal, a time for new life and new beginnings.

Easter will be quiet this year with Kim living out west. However, she texted me several times today as she prepared to create her Easter feast. What is cream of tartar? What is lemon curd? Eventhough we are not together for Easter, I still feel that I am apart of her dinner preparations as I coach her on the how to's. We spoke today on my drive home from work about the technical aspects of preparing lemon curd.

Kelly-Anne is always is on my mind. Somehow,I feel she keeps us all on an even keel. My husband soon will begin a new transition in his career. I have never seen someone so cool, calm and collective about moving forward. He inspires me with his confidence. He continues to support me in my career goals.

Another person in my life is my boss of almost nine months. What a joy and pleasure it is to work with him. He allows me to be me and make the decisions that I need to to in order to keep the place afloat. This man is kind, compassionate towards others and a great teacher. He tells me that I have a soft heart, but in reality he has the softer one. He just won't admit it! Most mornings I feel like a kid again. With my lunch packed, I skip out of the house, hop on the bus with the excitement and anticipation of the day ahead. It's such a good feeling. On days like that, my thoughts bring me back to Kelly-Anne. She,as a young girl skipping her way to school in the morning with that smile and her bouncy curls waving in the breeze. The image of her never leaves me. This job is my renewal and my new life. Seeing expectant mothers with smiles on their faces delights me in ways one cannot imagine.

My,have things ever changed since my days of work accidents,unions and steel capped shoes.....full circle I would say. I told someone recently,that I would never go back to my old career. It seems like another life, another time and another me.

Wishing you all a Blessed Easter!