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New Report Says Some Falling Further Behind In Sask's Booming Economy PDF Print E-mail
Written by Fraser Needham   
Friday, 17 October 2014 12:15

A new report says not everyone is benefiting from Saskatchewan’s booming economy.

Poverty Costs Saskatchewan: A New Approach to Prosperity for All is commissioned by the Upstream Institute.

It says the rate of poverty for those who experience it is deepening in the province.

Charles Plante is one of the co-authors of the report and he says the provincial government needs to set specific targets for reducing poverty and implement a poverty reduction strategy.

“One of the first steps we need to do is set targets and timelines and that’s one of the essential components of a comprehensive poverty reduction strategy,” he says. “Saskatchewan needs to say, ‘We want to reduce poverty and to XYZ level.’”

Plante also says Aboriginal children are one of the groups most affected by the deepening poverty rates in the province.

“One of the most frightening figures that comes out that we mention in the Poverty Costs report and which resonates the most with me when I think about the future of Saskatchewan is the level of child poverty in First Nations communities. The levels exceed 50 per cent and in some places over 60 per cent, they’re definitely the highest in Canada.”

Overall, he says while Saskatchewan’s booming resource economy has raised the overall standard of living, it has also caused other basic needs such as rental and food costs to rise rapidly.

The report notes in 2002 the average poor household reported incomes below the poverty threshold of roughly 27 per cent while this number increased to 38 per cent by 2010.

Saskatchewan is only one of two provinces in Canada that does not have a poverty reduction strategy.

The report says in 2011 the incidence of low-income in Newfoundland fell to five per cent from 12 per cent in 2004 as the result of such a strategy.

It also says poverty costs this province about $3.8 billion per year.

New Venture Aims To Mentor Aboriginal Musicians PDF Print E-mail
Written by Fraser Needham   
Friday, 17 October 2014 12:13

Marty Ballantyne knows it’s a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll but hopes to make the climb a little easier for Indigenous artists starting out in the business.

The well-established Aboriginal musician has gotten together with Juno-award winning musician Derek Miller and multimedia house Thru the RedDoor to form a new venture called 6 Arrows Media.

6 Arrows Media will offer video, recording and photography services to new Indigenous artists from their base on the Six Nations reserve, near Toronto, as a way of helping them to get their careers off the ground.

Ballantyne says one of the primary goals of 6 Arrows Media is to help Aboriginal musicians get the maximum value out of the money they are investing.

“We have the cameras to make a music video and we want to make the kind of music videos with artists where it costs nothing but a million people will watch it,” he says.

He says a big part of 6 Arrows Media will also be mentoring young Indigenous musicians and teaching some of the lessons the partners have learned along the way during their many years in the music business.

“I didn’t recognize my value. What I mean by that is I focused on trying to write good songs and I focused on trying to preserve my integrity but I operated out of fear in the sense that I didn’t really want to become rich doing it or I didn’t have aspirations to be monetarily compensated and I think that’s the wrong way to look at it because I think it goes against realizing your full value.”

Things get underway on Nov.1 with the official launch of 6 Arrows Media with a webcast.

For more information and updates, go to the website http://www.6arrowsmedia.com/.

Saskatoon To Celebrate International Day Of The Girl On Saturday PDF Print E-mail
Written by Fraser Needham   
Friday, 17 October 2014 12:12

Saskatoon will host a special event Saturday to celebrate International Day of the Girl.

The event will take place at the Emmanuel Anglican Church on Dufferin Avenue and will feature a number of activities.

Local IDG organizer Paula Bruckard says one of the highlights will be a screening of the award winning documentary Girl Rising.

“It’s focused on nine individual girls and those girls worked with a local author, a famous author from their country each, to write their stories,” she says. “And then an internationally known actress is giving voice to their stories, so they’re the narrator.”

International Day of the Girl is a global movement targeted at educating and empowering females 19-years-of-age and under and Bruckard says this particular demographic often gets overlooked.

“The Canadian government and Plan Canada are instrumental in lobbying the UN to get it established,” she says. “It’s primary focus is on developing nations because they’ve found that if they fund women, then the money obviously goes to women who are over 19 and if they fund children, then the money tends to go to boys.”

The event will also provide an opportunity to make donations to sponsor five girls for a year through World Vision, Egadz Baby Steps and Michael’s House program for young mothers.

It runs from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

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