Saturday, April 8, 2017

Kira Brisebois Aren't we already paying Social workers to do this job? Like · Reply · 1 · Apr 7, 2017 6:00pm Julie Ali · University of Alberta We are but there needs to be a higher level of spin for the GOA so that we can feel that they are actually doing something about problems that they are really ignoring.

Best to end the illusions that these offices work for us; better to take the money from these offices and put them into the folks on AISH, seniors and the front line staff at the continuing care facilities.

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Placebo solutions to real problems faced by disabled citizens. The same poor history of the PCs continues with the NDPCs who are pondering the creation of a disability advocates office that will cost us yet more cash.
I don't believe this office will be useful based on my experiences with the GOA and the other placebo advocates office.
For example, if you have problems in the continuing care system you go to AHS or Covenant Health Patient Relations. They can't do anything about the problems in the continuing care sector where there are mainly private operators and even if there is a public operator, Covenant Health has also done the banning business so these offices are useless. Then you go to Ethics and Compliance at AHS where you are told to bugger off for daring to ask why there was no appeal process at AHS even though the Nursing Act requires this. The appeal process that is eventually made is internal to AHS. Fat lot of good this appeal process will be when you have an issue. Try then going out of AHS to the Health Advocates office. They tell you sorry there isn't anything they can do-their job is to navigate families forwards so that the media attention is not going to happen. Then you go to the Seniors Advocate who does what? And how long is this office in place? Wasn't it created to simply ensure that discontented seniors could yap to her? If none of these folks help you then you go to the Ombudsman. But again fat lot of good that will do you if the care provider or public agency goes to the court to contest any chatter from the Ombudsman. It's pretty neat how the PCs set up this maze for citizens to run and now the NDPCs are adding to the maze running with the placebo office of a disability advocate who will again have no power to do anything other than yap about some issues.
The set up is marvellous. We pay for the maze, the gauntlet we run and the problems remain hidden. Government and the politicians are off the hook. There is no work done to solve problems faced by families because government is simply a bank that collects our tax dollars to give to themselves and the politicians. What we need to do is cut all these advocates offices and put the money in the citizens on AISH, seniors and continuing care staffing and training. But this won't happen. Shields are the way the GOA has operated, and these shields of advocates are not to help us but to help government pretend to helping us. It's all a waste of cash. Our cash.

Alberta will soon have an advocate for people with disabilities, if a private member's bill tabled in the legislature Thursday is approved.

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Alberta ponders creation of advocate for people with disabilities

Published on: April 6, 2017 | Last Updated: April 6, 2017 6:17 PM MDT
Calgary-North West MLA Sandra Jansen
Calgary-North West NDP MLA Sandra Jansen introduced a private member's bill in the legislature Thursday to establish an advocate for persons with disabilities.
Alberta will soon have an advocate for people with disabilities, if a private member’s bill tabled in the legislature Thursday is approved.
Calgary-North West NDP MLA Sandra Jansen said she introduced Bill 205 in direct response to concerns she has heard from the disability community.
Jansen envisages the position as one that creates a more effective link between people with disabilities and the services they need.
Currently, she said, a lot of people looking for information or transitioning through programs are falling through the cracks.
“What’s happened up until this point is family members have done that advocate piece, but what if you don’t have a family?” Jansen told reporters Thursday.
Jansen pegged the cost of an advocate office at around $900,000.
There’s no cash earmarked for the position in the 2017-18 budget, but with the government currently crunching through estimates, Jansen is crossing her fingers.
“I’m really hoping my colleagues will agree with me that this is money well spent for a potentially life-changing opportunity for people with disabilities in an area where it’s desperately needed,” she said.

The advocate role

Bill 205 outlines an advocate who will identify issues of concern, review programs and policies, and promote the rights, interests and well-being of persons with disabilities through public education.
He or she will also participate in decision-making processes, provide information to government and help people having difficulty accessing services and programs.
After 12 months, the advocate will submit a report about the effectiveness of the office.

Hope for non-partisan support

Jansen has been pondering the creation of a disabilities advocate since the summer, when she drew up a private member’s bill while still in the Progressive Conservative caucus.
People with disabilities reside in every riding in Alberta, Jansen said, so supporting the creation of an advocate role should be a non-partisan issue.
She said it’s all about sitting down and listening to productive amendments to make sure the legislature can “get to the finish line with the best bill possible.”
“This is one of those bills where we don’t have to bicker about it at all,” she said.
The PC party said it’s supportive of the idea and looking forward to participating in the process. Wildrose couldn’t be reached for comment.
Leah McRorie · 
The Disability Advocate is necessary for Albertans who live with Disabilities. I don't know of any other 'group' of innocent people who are still being institutionalized, segregated, and warehoused in Michener in 2017.

PwD are still fighting for fundamental rights. Inclusion in community, education, employment, and accessibility. No other minority endures the layers of systems and policies pwd must go through to get help.

An advocate will make a difference for PwD in Alberta not only disabled folks with family.
LikeReply12Apr 6, 2017 6:58pm
Kathy Geiger
I think a lot of people do not understand that the group remaining at Michener Center, if they are still there, fought to be there. Against all odds, they found a way to build a community and a family within this institutional setting. It would have been cruel to force them away, perhaps separated, from what they considered their home. Thank God, the PC listened and respected their wishes. You can't say that very often about any government.
LikeReply5Apr 6, 2017 7:53pm
Barry Moon · 
It was the parents and guardians with the background assistance of the staff members who fought a good fight to keep Michener open for their loved ones. It WAS NOT the Conservative gov't at the time who called a meeting of parents and guardians on an hour notice to inform them of a meeting to announce closure. I know..I worked there at the time.
LikeReply2Apr 6, 2017 9:37pm
Leah McRorie · 
So it's ok if we institutionalize black folks? How about women or LGBTQ people? If it's not ok to segregate everyone than it's not ok to segregate anyone! Check your values. Imagine your family advocating to keep you isolated, lonely, and segregated from society. How gross!
LikeReply4Apr 6, 2017 9:44pm
Don Chartrand · 
Not that the Michner has a great reputation..... but sometimes community services are inadequate for this population. Some institutions are necessary. A lot of these places are shutting down in the name of community living, a lot of times it doesn't work and they're just being shuffled into other places like Alberta Hospital. But yes, an advocate is badly needed.
LikeReply5Apr 7, 2017 2:24amEdited
Kathy Geiger
Barry Moon That is true but they did back down. They got the message.... eventually. It is/was horribly expensive to run, needed work and they did not want to spend the money.
LikeReplyApr 7, 2017 8:56am
Christina Sefton
If its so bad why were the people and their families fighting to stay there. No longer taking admissions by the way. There comes a time when some disabled kids want to move from home because they know its normal, but they require support.
LikeReplyApr 7, 2017 9:30am
Sharron Stevens · 
Barry Moon Amen to was the families, guardians, staff, etc....and it only changed because of the uprising...not because it was the right thing to do.
LikeReplyApr 7, 2017 12:35pm
Brenda Lee · 
Why are they inadequate for "this population"? Shame on our society for not providing for all
Citizens. Like Leah stated we don't institutionalize other groups of people. Sheesh.
LikeReplyApr 7, 2017 6:20pm
Brent Hanna
It costs $264,000.00 for each inmate at Mitchner Center. Imagine spending that kind of money to keep someone institutionalized!!
The unions got to Prentice merely weeks after he took office he reopened it. It was closing and the people there were being reunited with families and were being valued in the community.
Over 1000 beds that could be used at a moments notice. This place has got to go and now!! Every second it is open it is a reminder of all the horrible things that were done there
LikeReply10 hrs
Leah McRorie · 
Premiers Council mandate is not advocacy support. All the reports from PC are on-line maybe read them, then bill 205 there is no comparison. Opinions hurt pwd when you comment on something you know little about. Are you a white person with opinions for black folks too? This is not about nondisabled. It's about pwd.
LikeReply1Apr 7, 2017 1:39pm
Julie Ali · 
This is pretty much a placebo office much like the Health Advocates office in my opinion. These offices are expensive, do not have any power to enforce their recommendations and provide the screen between the government and the people that allows the whitewashing of problems. Most of the work of the health advocates appears to be mapping problems and guiding patients through the system; this work could be done by AHS itself so why are we paying for GPS for the health system? If the government wants to pretend it cares sure-go ahead and make another placebo office but we're not going to believe this junk until these offices actually are independent of Alberta Health and can enforce their decisions. Right now for example the Protection for Persons in Care Office (PPIC) reports to the Minister of Health and in my opinion this means that there is no independence. It's a pretty neat set up that we pay for and all these offices including the newly minted Seniors Advocate are simply pointless exercises in covering the exposed behinds of government and public agencies when problems enter the public realm. It may be that citizens will wake up to the set up and fire this crew that has not done anything to change the set up of the Tories with even an independent appeal process at AHS. Such a poor performance and yet we are supposed to applaud this junk?
LikeReply1 hr
Leah McRorie · 
Maybe because 'family' did not want to take responsibility & accountability for their loved one to have a meaningful life in community with real friends and support. It doesn't make segregation right. Check your values.
LikeReply2Apr 7, 2017 9:56am
Harvey Bishop
If it was the Alberta PCs, they'd be laughing at and mocking the disabled. Ralph Klein and his colleagues were laughing at and mocking the handicapped on T.V. The Alberta PCs in the last 30 years, didn't care about the disabled. There was the $100 million A.I.S.H scandal. This is a good move to have an advocate for the disabled.
LikeReply12Apr 6, 2017 4:11pm
Kathy Geiger
I think you have Ralph mixed up with Trump. While Ralph did remove a lot of people on AISH on the grounds that he believed they did not qualify, he was not one to make fun of people who are truly disadvantaged and/or mentally challenged. Unlike Trump.... As someone who had a brother dependent on AISH, I am very grateful for the program. I believe that the PCs for the most part, supported the program over the years, Ralph perhaps being the exception. You are right though, the program needs an overhaul, and much improvements. If any group of people deserve a "living wage" it is this group. Not certain though that I trust the NDP to do a good job on this as they have bungled most everything else, IMHO. I am proud that Albertans though for the most part are very supported of people with developmental disabilites. I thank Wayne Gretzy for this to this day. He took Joey Moss and Down's Syndrome out of the closet and make it ok for mentally challenged people "to walk among us" as they should. Far cry from the doctors in the 60s who advised my parents to "bathe my brother on a cold winter's day and leave him naked in front of an open window...."
LikeReply5Apr 6, 2017 8:06pm
Peter McClure
He sure was. Ralph was the worst of the worst.
UnlikeReply11Apr 6, 2017 8:18pm
Terry Mayer
Hey Harvey, wahhhhhhhhhhh.....
that's all I hear. You are a broken record.
LikeReply3Apr 7, 2017 7:41am
Julie Ali · 
Kathy Geiger Mr. Klein was not a good premier in my opinion.
LikeReply39 mins
Peter McClure
Finally, a government that is listening to the people who mist need help!

The disabled were marginalized and ignored by the PCs for 40 years. The bureaucrats that have power over the disabled are still prone to the same ideologies.

Give the advocate some real authority to intercede, and to demand some answerability. The very real threat to anyone with a disability who objected to abuse was having their benefits cut off. That is unforgivable.
LikeReply12Apr 6, 2017 8:29pmEdited
Brian McNary · 
The pcs increased aish to best in ghe country
LikeReply2Apr 7, 2017 2:24am
Darryl Stewart · 
NDP haven't listened to Albertains since they been in office ....
UnlikeReply3Apr 7, 2017 8:41am
Salman Choudhary · 
This comment is marked as spam. Undo
Julie Ali · 
Darryl Stewart I agree with you. The reason for this lack of interest is very puzzling to me. Only way I can explain it --is that they got bad advice or were always self centred and uninterested in voters. Best to fire them in the next election. It's ridiculous that they could be such poor representatives of the people in just one term in office but certainly I have not had good service.
LikeReply1 hr
Braden Hirsch · 
This has some potential. I applaud Sandra Jensen. It is very difficult to navigate the disability services network but the reality is that some disability groups get services and others do not all based on diagnosis. Childrens services are very open and based on age but many qualify for no services when they reach adulthood. Access to The Persons with Developmental Disabilities (PDD) program is based on IQ scores and does not take into account the needs of individuals. Perhaps the Advocate can help or at least illuminate the problems.
LikeReply4Apr 7, 2017 8:47am
Meagan Houle · 
This gives me hope, but this advocate, if they are indeed chosen, will have quite a lot on their plate. Disability is vastly complex, so coordinating the differing needs of Albertans with disabilities will be an enormous challenge. Further, not all of us with disabilities agree on how things should be done, so that will be another stumbling block. Dealing with the many "authorities" on disability, especially nonprofit orgs and parental groups, is going to present its own challenges because again, there is no universal ideology linking everyone with disabilities together. As a disabled person, I find it incredibly stressful `even to participate in the disability community at all, let alone try to lead. A provincial advocate will have to be an exceptional person indeed. Still, this is encouraging and I'm confident most Albertans will get behind this.
LikeReply3Apr 7, 2017 10:45am
Robert Watson · 
I agree with helping the disabled but creating more government is all the NDP do... with jobs vanishing in Alberta where will the money come from to pay these appointments and in the end will it do any good... I agree with a previous comment give more money to the elderly and disabled and don't create a bigger money pit by hiring people to do with what can be done with a stroke of a pen... these guys are clueless when it comes to simplicity .. everything they do raises taxes and people are tapped out now... bring back common sense and stop blowing your own horn
UnlikeReply3Apr 7, 2017 10:16am
Mike King
Jobs are not vanishing in Alberta.
LikeReplyApr 7, 2017 11:20am
Deryle Mullaney
What do you call the 100,000 out of work, vacationers!!!
LikeReply2Apr 7, 2017 3:29pm
Rick Smith
Mike King: So you missed the report today that the unemployed in Alberta are fast running out EI eligibility and that they're now filing for welfare and thus the numbers on Alberta welfare are escalating rapidly?! You must be talking about the Government of Alberta union jobs not vanishing, the Notley protected government workers that will only lose their jobs when lenders to the NDP demand the government implement austerity measures before they'll keep lending them cash to operate the government!
LikeReply3Apr 7, 2017 3:32pm
Julie Ali · 
Mike King They may not be disappearing in the GOA but they are everywhere else.
LikeReply58 mins
Ken Chapman · 
This is a good idea so long as our Govt looks at avoiding historical oversights, ignorance and errors of past initiatives like Children's Advocate. Must report to Legislature not through a Ministry.
UnlikeReply2Apr 7, 2017 12:12pm
Julie Ali · 
I agree. The PPIC Office reports to the Health minister and is useless. The Health Advocates are also similarlly useless. I don't know what the Seniors Advocate is doing but this office seems to be a short term response to seniors becoming restive with the NDP folks who have not delivered on the 2,000 long term care beds. These offices cost us a ton of money simply to move families forward -problems are charted so the GOA can create appropriate spin but the problems are not solved. Just consider the banning business in continuing care. We still have no independent of AHS appeal. The NDP folks did not introduce an amendment to the Trespass to Premises legislation. It feels very much like all these offices are to keep citizens busy in a maze without problems being touched.
LikeReply55 mins
Laura MacRae · 
How about we stop creating more government bureaucracy and just give those on AISH the equivalent of $15/hour. Albertans are kind and generous to those in need. We can find the money by actually cutting unnecessary layers of bureaucracy and boards, commissions, committees, govt communication analysts, policy analysts and actually let the people who do the jobs do the communication and analysis.
LikeReply2Apr 7, 2017 7:27pm
Julie Ali · 
I agree with you. The advocates are pretty useless and the money is better spent on the folks on AISH.
LikeReply54 mins
Mark Nicoll · 
What about the Premier's Council on the Status of Persons With Disabilities? We haven't heard much from them for quite a while. Is this not their role?
LikeReply4Apr 7, 2017 6:59am
Lori Updike
We do need this!! The vulnerable people of our society need someone to advocate for them and be their voice!
LikeReply4Apr 7, 2017 12:46am
Mark Nicoll · 
Let's not also forget the Council's Secretariet, Alberta's short-lived Office for Disability Issues. What happened there?
LikeReply2Apr 7, 2017 7:01am
Murphy Gallant · 
How about an advocate for unemployed ?
Oh that's right, Alberta doesn't have an
But they need to learn how to screw in a light bulb.
UnlikeReply2Apr 7, 2017 10:48am
Julie Ali · 
This is very accurate. For some reason everyone is of the belief that jobs are increasing in Alberta. Where are these jobs? I don't see them. Our kids are leaving Alberta to find jobs. It's troubling.
LikeReply1 hr
Brian McNary · 
Give that million dollars directly to the disabled. They need money not bearacracy
LikeReply1Apr 7, 2017 2:23am
Julie Ali · 
I agree with you. Based on our family's experiences with Patient Relations at AHS, Covenant Health as well as Ethics and Compliance at AHS; based on the inability of the folks at the Health Advocates Office to do anything when families are in trouble; based on the lack of any sort of activity of the Senior's Advocate that I can detect; based on the lack of independence of the PPIC office which is pretty useless and under the boots of Alberta Health--well this is just an extra placebo cure for many problems that the GOA just ignores by saying go here--go there and you enter the maze.
Its been the good old Tory way to create these offices iwth legislation that does not give them any power to do anything in terms of enforcement but now the NDPCs are continuing the same junk. Shameful.

The money from all these useless offices should go directly to the people who need it the most-those on AISH, in the continuing care system and not to the useless placebo advocates who are not working on our behalf but certainly provide damage control for the GOA.
LikeReply1 hr
Kira Brisebois
Aren't we already paying Social workers to do this job?
LikeReply1Apr 7, 2017 6:00pm
Julie Ali · 
We are but there needs to be a higher level of spin for the GOA so that we can feel that they are actually doing something about problems that they are really ignoring.
LikeReply1 hr
Hazel Anderson
What the hell? Don't we already look after our disabled? Crazy woman
Julie Ali · 
We are not looking after the disabled when they run into problems such as evictions from continuing care but certainly we are looking after covering up the exposed behinds of AHS workers, Alberta Health workers and politicians by having a placebo office moving families forwards without resolving the actual problems. The entire history of the PCs seems to have been about handing over problems to advocates who don't have the power to do anything about the problems of citizens but it's a handy dandy way for government to not do its job. After all the advocates aren't able to help, citizens are told to go to the Ombudsman Office which also in the end has not been useful. Citizens spend years in these fruitless appeals and then are worn down to end up worse off than before they began complaining. Shauna McHarg's case is a case study in this placebo advocate office maze running.

Shauna McHarg, ban continues.
Home > Blog > Shauna McHarg, ban continues.
In a precedent-setting decision, Alberta’s Court of Queen’s
Bench Justice ruled that the province’s Health Information
Act (FOIP) protects any information broadly connected to a
patient’s care, even if that information is about another
Last month, the ruling overturned a ruling from Alberta’s
Information and Privacy Commissioner, Freedom of Information
(FOIP) Adjudicator had ruled that Shauna McHarg be allowed
access to Covenant Health documents which cited why visits to
her parents were being restricted.
However, Covenant Health made Application to the court &
challenged the FOIP Adjudicator’s decision.
Both McHarg parents are patients at Edmonton’s faith based Catholic,
Covenant Health, General Hospital Long Term Care facility.
Last month, a Court of Queens Justice declared the FOIP decision
as “irrational” and “unreasonable.” and was equally dismissive of
the Ombudsman’s decision which also had favoured McHarg.
According to this Court decision, when families are banned from
visiting loved ones in health care facilities, there is no way
to challenge those bans.
It strongly appears that both the FOIP and Ombudsman Office have
been emasculated by the court decision.
In 2013, the Ombudsman’s Office cost us, the taxpayer, over 3M
& the Freedom of Information Office, over 6M.
For what?
LikeReply1 hr
Gareth Rowlands
Can't beleive they don't already have one
LikeReply1Apr 7, 2017 3:36pm
Mark Wilson · 
God at BFS
How much government is enough?
Julie Ali · 
Apparently government is never done expanding itself on our children's debt.
LikeReply59 mins

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