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Recommendations in for Saskatchewan’s anti-poverty strategy PDF Print E-mail
Written by mbcnews   
Monday, 24 August 2015 14:54

The province will sift through ideas to reduce poverty in Saskatchewan, now that it’s received recommendations from an advisory group.

The government, led by Social Services Minister Donna Harpauer, will consider the input, which focuses on six key priority areas, in its future Poverty Reduction Strategy.

Plans to create the Poverty Reduction Strategy were first made public in last year’s Throne Speech by Premier Brad Wall, and the 11-member advisory group was announced in December.

On Monday, Harpauer stated the strategy should be ready before the end of the year, and that it will contain “our government’s commitment to actions.”

In April the Advisory Group on Poverty Reduction (AGPR), comprised of six community members and five representatives from government, sought public input from people sharing their stories and perspectives on poverty.

Aboriginal representation on the committee was provided by former RCMP commanding officer for Saskatchewan, Russ Mirasty, and director of the Indigenous Peoples’ Health Research Centre, Jo-Ann Episkenew.

The group’s recommendations will be used to formulate the strategy in six areas.

These areas are: income security; housing and homelessness; early childhood development; education and training; employment; and health and food security.

Many of those topics directly addressed obstacles for aboriginal people that lead to poverty, and addressed solutions that could be implemented in the strategy.

For example, one recommendation is for the province to “partner with First Nations and invest in education on-reserve to help achieve the same graduation rates as young people off-reserve.”

Officials say the recommendations build on other major initiatives related to poverty reduction.

Those initiatives include the Mental Health and Addictions Action Plan, the Saskatchewan Disability Strategy, and the Joint Task Force on Improving Education and Employment Outcomes for First Nations and Metis People.

“On behalf of the AGPR, I would like to thank Minister Harpauer for the opportunity to advise government as to how we can all work together to best meet the needs of those experiencing poverty in our province,” AGPR Community Co-chair Alison Robertson said.  “We urge government to act quickly, as we know that addressing poverty as soon as possible will translate into better outcomes for people and families, and ultimately for the province as a whole.”

To read all the recommendations, follow this link.

The Poverty Reduction Strategy will be meant to guide Saskatchewan's actions until 2020.

The NDP criticized the government for failing to provide a timeline on when it will move from recommendations to actions.

“Too often, this government announces that a report has been received, then puts the report on a shelf to collect dust and doesn’t take meaningful action on the recommendations,” NDP social services critic David Forbes said in a news release.

Last Updated on Monday, 24 August 2015 15:05
Helping the homeless in Regina PDF Print E-mail
Written by Manfred Joehnck   
Monday, 24 August 2015 12:52

The executive director of a homeless shelter in Regina is providing heightened awareness of the plight of the homeless by camping out on the roof of the building for five days.

It has become a yearly ritual for Joe Miller, the executive director of Soul’s Harbour Rescue Mission. The aim is to raise money and to raise awareness. He is hoping to raise about $62,000. That would provide about 2,500 nights of shelter for one homeless person.

Miller climbed onto the roof of the mission during the noon hour on Monday, and will come down on Friday. He said he expects it will be a grueling, but worthwhile, week.

“Well, we hope to hit our goal, this year is our 25th anniversary,” he said. “It costs us $24.88 to provide one night of shelter and that includes not just a safe place to sleep, but a meal and a shower and company and hope.”

Joe will sleep in a pup tent, and his food will be hoisted up in a bucket. He’s got a porta-potty to take care of his needs when nature calls, and he will be on the phone pitching his cause through media outlets and pushing for donations.

A recent homeless survey in Regina found there were 232 homeless people in the city.

Of that, 75 per cent were aboriginal, and 37 per cent were under the age of 18.

This is the sixth year for the nights of shelter homeless fundraiser at Soul's Harbour.

You can find out more about Joe Miller’s fundraising drive by checking his web page or on Twitter.

Last Updated on Monday, 24 August 2015 12:57
No links to 2014 Key First Nation dog shooting, Prince Albert police clarify PDF Print E-mail
Written by Chelsea Laskowski   
Monday, 24 August 2015 12:48

Prince Albert Police want people to know they're not linked to last year's dog shooting.

An online petition saying police used excessive force against a dog on the Key First Nation, near Kamsack, is nearing 200,000 signatures.

Part of the RCMP incident - in which they arrested Adam Cote, who was wanted on warrants relating to assault - was captured on video. A recent re-posting of the video led to an onslaught of criticism against Saskatchewan RCMP.

The petition says "Prince Albert K-9" were involved, and Prince Albert Police Service (PAPS) is clarifying its service has no relation to what happened.

A social media post by PAPS says one of their own is incorrectly being named as an officer involved.

Here is an excerpt from the post:

“The Prince Albert Police Service would like to confirm that no members of our Police Service were present during the incident.

Social media comments identifying Prince Albert Police Service Sergeant Clint Rudderham as being associated or responsible are incorrect and completely false.”

Saskatchewan's RCMP has confirmed public complaints were made at the time of the dog's death.

The RCMP is currently investigating, and started investigating long before this recent resurgence in interest relating to why the dog was shot, according to RCMP media relations officer, Sgt. Craig Cleary.

Even with the petition calling the shooting an abuse of power, the RCMP will only comment further if formal discipline results.

Last Updated on Monday, 24 August 2015 12:57
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