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Posts Tagged "British"

13Sep

Ross Chilton: Untapped talent pool is key to British Columbia’s future

by admin

https://vancouversun.com/


Persephone Brewing Co. CEO Brian Smith in the brewery’s hop yard in Gibsons in 2016. The company grows hops for its beer and has several acres dedicated to eggs and vegetable crops as part of a social enterprise that employs people with developmental disabilities. (Simon Hayter/PNG FILES)


Simon Hayter / PNG

All British Columbians deserve a meaningful job. We all want to be happy and proud of our workplace culture. We want our employers to thrive and succeed.

That is why it is good news that more and more B.C. businesses are employing people with intellectual disabilities. September is Disability Employment Awareness Month and Community Living B.C. has found that in 2019 more than 5,000 adults living with intellectual disabilities are now reporting an income. That’s up from 2,200 in 2013, although it still represents only 25 per cent of people who Community Living B.C. serves. This is an issue we continue to address with our partners through our Community Action Employment Plan.

This progress is thanks to the hard work of many, including change-driven business champions such as those in the B.C. network called the President’s Group. It’s due to visionary service agencies like those in the B.C. Employment Network. And it’s because of individuals who live with disabilities who are changing perspectives about what is possible.

Positive, dramatic change — the kind that moves businesses and communities from good to great — happens when we become aware of the biases that hold us back. When we see what people, businesses and communities can do, rather than what they can’t. When we see possibilities, rather than limits.

Daynna is the mother of a son who lives with autism and receives services from Community Living B.C. Last year, she was thrilled when a B.C. software company saw the potential of her son. “Soon after, we got the call: Tyler had a job! A paying job!,” recalled Daynna. “This was so amazing for Tyler and our whole family. It was hard to hold back the tears.” Inclusive hiring has the power to transform the future for individuals and their families.

It can also have a dramatic change our workplaces. The facts show that employees who live with disabilities are dedicated, loyal and perform as well as their colleagues. They foster a learning culture, enrich staff connections and improve workforce skills. They help create better, happier workplaces.

And according to accessibleemployers.ca, inclusive workplaces are two times more likely to meet or exceed financial targets, six times more likely to be innovative and six times more likely to effectively anticipate change. How can that be? It’s because companies that see possibilities are the companies that succeed.

Employment is a key element of the government’s poverty reduction strategy and there are resources to help B.C. companies make it happen. The government provides services and supports through Work BC and Community Living B.C. funded agencies for those looking for work and for employers seeking to hire inclusively. Programs like Ready Willing and Able and networks of leading B.C. businesses like the President’s Group, provide other resources and mentors.

This is important, because there are still large numbers of people who live with disabilities whose talents remain untapped. With clear evidence of their potential, and many helping hands, what’s holding us back? We have it within us to drive dramatic positive change for people, businesses and entire communities. It’s just a matter of seeing the possibilities.

Ross Chilton is CEO of Community Living B.C., the provincial Crown corporation that funds supports and services for adults with developmental disabilities, as well as individuals who have a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder or fetal alcohol spectrum disorder and who also have significant difficulty doing things on their own.

17Jul

572 British Columbians died by suicide in 2017, including 22 youth

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The BC Coroner has released its updated suicide report from 2007 to 2017. The report shows 572 people took their own life in 2017. Of those 22 were under 19.


The B.C. Coroners Service has released its updated report on suicides in the province between 2007 and 2017.

The report shows that 572 British Columbians took their own life in 2017, down slightly from 603 in 2016, 615 in 2015, and 644 in 2014.

Most were men and more than half were aged 30 to 59. Twenty-two youths under 19 years old died by suicide in 2017, up from 20 the year previous.

The coroner report shows the highest age-specific suicide death rate was among 40 to 49 year olds in 2017, and the three most common means of suicide were by hanging, followed by poisoning, firearms and falls. The number of SkyTrain suicides went up to four from three in 2016, while railway suicides in 2017 fell to four from six the year before. The number of CO poisonings also fell to 13 from 20 the year before, while the cause of 42 suicides was still under investigation.

The Fraser and Interior Health Authority had the highest number of suicides in 2017, with 157 and 130 deaths, respectively. The Northern Health Authority had the highest rate of suicide deaths at 18 deaths per 100,000 individuals.

Overall, the rate of suicide deaths in B.C. was 12 deaths per 100,000 individuals.

Suicide rates are highest in Northeast, Kootenay Boundary, Thompson Cariboo, East Kootenay, and Northern Interior Health Services Delivery Areas, according to the report.

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6Jun

TELUS grows Internet and Mobility for Good programs to support 25,000 more British Columbian families and youth

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More low-income British Columbian families will now have access to low-cost high-speed Internet, and more youth leaving foster care can now stay connected to their vital support networks through the expansion of TELUS Internet for GoodTM and TELUS Mobility for GoodTM, in partnership with the Provincial Government and Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada.

“Across our province, there are countless families and children in need of support. Through programs like these, and in collaboration with the Provincial Government and Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada (CAFC), we are changing these realities to ensure that more British Columbians are connected to the tools, people and resources they need to be successful,” said Darren Entwistle, President and CEO of TELUS. “To date, we have offered thousands of families across British Columbia access to low-cost, high speed Internet through TELUS Internet for Good, and today we are proud to expand this program to more families receiving income and disability assistance through the Province, ensuring more kids have access to the Internet at home and to the same digital opportunities as their classmates.”

TELUS Internet for Good offers low cost, high-speed Internet to families with children currently receiving income or disability assistance from the provincial government. Eligible families will receive a letter from the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction with a unique PIN code, enabling them to activate TELUS’ offer of Internet 25 for $9.95 per month for two years. The program also includes access to a low-cost refurbished computers, and online safety training.

“Many people can’t afford the basic technologies we often take for granted, like Internet access. We know that children who live in homes without Internet access have a lower graduation rate,” said Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “Through TogetherBC, BC’s Poverty Reduction Plan, our government is working in partnership with companies like TELUS to help people access technology so that they have the tools they need to be successful and participate in their community. Partnerships like this one are an important way to reduce poverty and connect people with opportunities.”

“We are also expanding Mobility for Good, which began in partnership with the provincial government to provide kids aging out of foster care a free smartphone and plan,” continued Entwistle. “Now, in partnership with CAFC, we are extending this vital lifeline to more than 9,300 youth in British Columbia, better preparing them to begin their independent lives feeling safer, more connected and better prepared for a successful transition to independence. Together, by leveraging technology, social innovation and human compassion, we are making a meaningful difference in the lives of underserved and vulnerable citizens across the province.”

TELUS Mobility for Good first launched in British Columbia in 2017 in partnership with the Provincial Government, followed by Ontario and Quebec in partnership with CAFC. Today, TELUS and CAFC also announced they are expanding this program to Manitoba and New Brunswick. With this expansion,TELUS and CAFC can provide 20,000 youth transitioning from care with the opportunity to access a smartphone and two-year TELUS mobile plan at $0 per month, including unlimited nationwide talk and text and up to 3GB of monthly data usage. While TELUS is providing the service to youth for free, the bills will appear in the youth’s name to help them build positive credit and gain the skills required to manage their finances in the future. At the end of the two-years, they will have access to a low-cost $35 per month plan for an unlimited duration. This program is administered by Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada, the country’s leading charity dedicated to improving the lives of children and youth growing up in the child welfare system.

“With the touch of a screen, smartphones can connect you to a whole world of possibilities,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Children and Family Development. “We want youth aging out of government care to share in those opportunities. It’s why we have programs and partnerships like this to give them the tools they need to find a job, home or college, stay connected to their friends and support networks and succeed as independent adults.” 

“Without the support of permanent families, youth transitioning out of care are often ill-equipped for life on their own and a smartphone is critical to helping them stay connected and achieving independence,” says Valerie McMurtry, President and CEO, Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada. “Working together with TELUS, we will be able to reach more vulnerable young people in British Columbia and meet an urgent need that enables youth to search for somewhere to live, look for job opportunities and stay in touch with friends and vital support networks.”

For more information on the TELUS Mobility for Good Program or to apply, please visit: www.cafdn.org/for-youth/telus-mobility-good/. For more information on TELUS Internet for Good and other giving initiatives, please visit telus.com/community.

About TELUS

TELUS (TSX: T, NYSE: TU) is one of Canada’s largest telecommunications companies, with $14.5 billion of annual revenue and 14.0 million subscriber connections, including 9.7 million wireless subscribers, 1.9 million Internet subscribers, 1.2 million residential voice and 1.1 million TELUS TV customers. TELUS provides a wide range of communications products and services, including wireless, data, Internet protocol (IP), voice, television, entertainment, video and home and business security. TELUS is also Canada’s largest healthcare IT provider, and TELUS International delivers business process solutions around the globe.

In support of our philosophy to give where we live, TELUS, our team members and retirees have contributed over $690 million to charitable and not-for-profit organizations and volunteered more than 1.3 million days of service to local communities since 2000. Created in 2005 by President and CEO Darren Entwistle, TELUS’ 13 Canadian community boards and five International boards have led the Company’s support of grassroots charities and have contributed $72 million in support of 7,000 local charitable projects, enriching the lives of more than 2 million children and youth, annually. TELUS was honoured to be named the most outstanding philanthropic corporation globally for 2010 by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, becoming the first Canadian company to receive this prestigious international recognition. For more information about

TELUS, please visit telus.com


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28Nov

‘This is only a test’: British Columbians receive 2nd emergency alert test

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Phones across B.C.’s Lower Mainland emitted a blaring alert tone in unison on Wednesday at 1:55 p.m.

It was part of the Alert Ready program, a collaborative initiative between federal, provincial and territorial governments to warn the public of imminent disasters.

Wednesday’s warning was the second time the system was tested.

The first alert went out in May and revealed several glitches. There were reports that many British Columbians did not receive the alert on their phones.

Jennifer Rice, Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Preparedness, said more people were reached during Wednesday’s alert, but there’s still room for improvement.

“There’s no perfect system where we’re going to hit 100 per cent of the people we need to, but we want to keep expanding and reaching as many people as possible.”

Jennifer Rice, Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Preparedness, says the government has been working on fixing glitches with the emergency alert system. (CBC)

For the alerts to work, phones should be running on the latest operating system and must be connected to an LTE or 4G network.

Concerns over accessibility

The alerts also air on television and radio.

Jeremy Hunka, spokesperson for the Union Gospel Mission said not everyone has phones, particularly homeless and elderly people.

“Some will receive these alerts. But not everybody will, and just like poor air quality and extreme weather, our guests will be most at risk in the case of an emergency,” said Hunka.

“And they may not get the warnings everyone else gets.” 

Jeremy Hunka with the Union Gospel Mission said there are concerns about the accessibility of B.C.’s emergency alert notifications for the elderly and homeless. (CBC)

The system will be used to notify people of potential tsunamis, with plans to expand to other emergencies in the future.

The B.C. RCMP will also be able to use the system to notify of Amber Alerts.

CBC BC asked viewers on Facebook and Twitter to weigh in on whether they received today’s notification. Here’s what some of you had to say:




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26Nov

Tentative deal reached for 44,000 nurses across British Columbia

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File: A woman wearing hospital scrubs walks towards the ER at Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, BC, November, 27, 2013.


RICHARD LAM / PROVINCE

VICTORIA — The Health Employers Association and The B.C. Nurses Union bargaining group have announced a tentative agreement for the province’s 44,000 nurses.

The agreement falls under the B.C. government’s sustainable services negotiating mandate, which in 2019 includes a general wage increase of two per cent in each year of a three-year deal.

The mandate also allows for the ability to negotiate conditional funding, but no details of the agreement will be released until after a ratification vote.

The tentative deal covers registered nurses, psychiatric and licensed practical nurses working in hospitals, long-term care facilities, and home-support and mental-health facilities.

A union spokeswoman says ratification votes will be held around the province until Jan. 21 and the results are expected to be announced by Jan. 22.

The government says in a news release that nearly 155,000 public-sector employees are covered by tentative or ratified agreements under the sustainable services mandate.


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18Nov

Stepson of British Columbia’s agriculture minister dies of overdose

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Lana Popham


Vancouver Sun

British Columbia’s agriculture minister says her stepson has died of an accidental drug overdose.

Lana Popham posted about Dan Sealey’s death on Facebook.

She says her partner’s 23-year-old son was caring and smart, and some who knew him may not have realized he struggled with addiction and mental health issues.

Popham encouraged people to donate to an online fundraiser in Sealey’s honour instead of sending flowers.

As of Sunday morning, the fundraiser intended to help people with addictions had raised more than $6,000.


Dan Sealey

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29Jun

Government of Canada announces funding agreement to give British Columbians the tools they need to find and keep good jobs

by admin


By investing directly in Canada’s greatest asset — its resilient, hardworking people — the Government of Canada is helping to ensure that the economic growth Canada creates is the kind of growth that works for everyone.

The Honourable Harjit Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, on behalf of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Canada’s Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, announced that the governments of Canada and British Columbia have signed agreements that will see Canada provide the province with over $2.5 billion over six years to invest in their workers. These agreements represent an increase in funding of over $250 million over the period, compared to previous funding levels. This increase means an estimated 84,000 more British Columbians will benefit over the six-year period.

Speaking at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) in Burnaby, Sajjan said these agreements will significantly increase the jobs and skills training available to people in British Columbia, including assessments, skills training, work placements, job search assistance, upgrading, certification and employment supports.

Through these new agreements, the Government of Canada is ensuring more people benefit from these programs than before — including people from groups typically under-represented in the workforce, such as people with disabilities, women and Indigenous peoples.

As innovation and technology continue to change how people live and work, British Columbians, and all Canadians, are met with new challenges and new opportunities. This government investment in jobs and skills training will help British Columbians prepare for the good, well-paying jobs that will be created by British Columbia’s growing economy. Everybody deserves the opportunity to benefit from an innovation-driven economy — and that means ensuring that both employed and unemployed people have opportunities to acquire the skills they will need for the jobs of today, as well as the jobs of tomorrow.

The agreements announced today are the new Workforce Development Agreement (WDA) and the Labour Market Development Agreement (LMDA). In the first two years, British Columbia will receive approximately $844 million — more than $211 million through the WDA, and close to $633 million through the LMDA.

Results matter. That is why these agreements include a commitment to performance measurement. That means that Canada and British Columbia will be able to measure how these programs are increasing people’s earnings, helping them get jobs that last, and breaking down barriers for under-represented groups, like Indigenous peoples, people with disabilities and women. The Government of Canada will be reporting to Canadians on the impacts of these programs, so that they are transparent and can be continually improved.

The WDA will help British Columbia deliver training and services, such as:

  • Bridges for Women in Victoria, with a goal of helping women impacted by violence or abuse break the cycle of abuse and trauma through education and employment training.
  • Blade Runners, a program that helps at-risk youth obtain and sustain full-time employment with life skills and job readiness training, job placement and monitoring, and ongoing support.
  • Indigenous Peoples in Trades Training that assists Indigenous peoples explore and develop trades specific skills in urban areas and in home communities.

Funding under the LMDA will allow British Columbia to help more people and more employers meet their needs through:

  • 84 WorkBC Employment Services Centres throughout the province that offer training and employment supports to people who are unemployed or underemployed. Supports include job-search resources, employment planning, skills training and work experience placements.
  • Customized assistive supports and employment training, offered through WorkBC centres, that help people with disabilities re-enter the workforce.
  • The Community and Employer Partnerships (CEP) program that helps people get back into the workforce, through projects that offer skills training and work experience.
  • The Single Parent Employment Initiative (SPEI), in which single parents on income or disability assistance can get the supports they need to re-enter the workforce.

Every Canadian deserves a fair and equal chance at success in the workforce. Through investments like the provincial agreements announced today, the middle class can be strengthened, and help more of the people working so hard to join it.

Quotes:

The Honourable Patty Hajdu, federal Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour —

“I know that our greatest asset as a country is our people. Through investments like today’s agreements with British Columbia, we’re ensuring our people can continue to be competitive, resilient and responsive as jobs evolve and as our economy grows. When we give people the tools to succeed, our middle class grows stronger, and our workers and their families thrive.”

The Honourable Harjit Sajjan, federal Minister of National Defence and Member of Parliament for Vancouver South —

“To drive the kind of economic growth that is inclusive, we need to invest in people. Our government committed to do just that, and we are delivering with $250 million more in funding to help 84,000 more people get the skills they need to succeed in today’s changing economy.”

Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction —

“The new Labour Market Development Agreement expands eligibility to people who are underemployed — someone in a job with unpredictable hours, little long-term security, or that doesn’t match their skills. By increasing employment opportunities and earnings potential, we can help lift more people out of poverty and build a better B.C. for everyone.”

Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training —

“Our government is investing in people so they can get skills and retraining employers are looking for, with a specific focus on under-represented and vulnerable groups. The Workforce Development Agreement also means we can better respond to the skills training needs of communities and employers with more flexible and timely programming. We want everyone to be able to participate in and prosper from B.C.’s strong, sustainable economy.”

Quick Facts:

  • Until recently, the Government of Canada transferred nearly $3 billion annually to provinces and territories to support employment and skills training programs. Through Budget 2017, the federal government is investing an additional $2.7 billion from 2017-18 to 2022-23:
    • $900 million over a period of six years (in addition to the $722 million provided annually) in new WDAs that consolidate the Canada Job Fund Agreements, the Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities and the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers (expired in March 2017); and
    • $1.8 billion over six years in amended LMDAs to provinces and territories.
  • In total, from 2017-18 to 2022-23, the Government of Canada will invest approximately $20 billion in WDAs and LMDAs with provinces and territories.
  • Through these agreements, provincial and territorial governments will have greater flexibility in the design and delivery of programming and services to respond to the diverse and emerging needs of Canadians.
  • The LMDAs and WDAs include a commitment to strong performance measurement. Canada and British Columbia will work together to measure how programs are increasing people’s earnings, helping them get jobs that last, and breaking down barriers for under-represented groups, like Indigenous peoples, people with disabilities and women. Canada and British Columbia will report to Canadians on the impacts of these programs to support continuous improvement.

Learn More:

Workforce Development Agreements: https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/programs/training-agreements/workforce-development-agreements.html

Labour Market Development Agreement: https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/programs/training-agreements/lmda.html


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