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.”
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
Award-winning Chef Shane Chartrand is on a journey to discover indigenous food in Canada. He’s one of the chefs featured in the six-part, web series, Red Chef Revival, available on STORYHIVE’s YouTube channel and on Telus Optik TV on demand. Chartrand’s cookbook, Tawaw: Progressive Indigenous Cuisine, will be released this fall by House of Anansi Press. See Notes / Direction / PNG
It’s always a bit embarrassing when foreigners ask what Indigenous Canadian food is. After long, torturous pause, most Canadians might stumble out an answer like poutine, tourtière, bannock, Saskatoon pie or Nanaimo bars.
Of course, none of those is really Indigenous. They came with explorers and settlers who brought flour and sugar.
Yet, long before they arrived, Indigenous people had lived for centuries eating local plants and animals.
Initially, smart newcomers relied on their local knowledge to initially survive in this unfamiliar land. Others like Sir John Franklin and others tragically learned the folly of attempting self-reliance.
But because of colonization much of that knowledge has been lost along with other cultural practices and Indigenous languages.
“Even Indigenous people don’t understand what Indigenous food is,” chef Shane Chartrand told me when we talked recently. “We don’t know our own food. Powwow food is bannock, burgers, gravy and fries. That’s not Indigenous in my humble opinion.”
Recovering those foods, recipes and cooking techniques is something that Indigenous chefs like Chartrand are now in a position to explore.
In the style of Anthony Bourdain, three award-winning chefs fanned out across Canada to Indigenous communities that they didn’t know to help prepare and eat food that included unusual ingredients like cougar, bison tongue and seal.
Answering the question of what is Indigenous food is the premise of a six-part series called Red Chef Revival, available on the Storyhive YouTube channel and to Telus Optik TV On Demand subscribers.
Chartrand visited Nisga’a people near Prince Rupert and was served chow mein buns.
“I thought it was ridiculous. No way is it part of Indigenous culture. But they told me that along Cannery Row, there were Japanese, Indigenous and Chinese and they shared recipes so it becomes Indigenous,” he said.
“I don’t agree. But they think it is.”
He feels the same way about “powwow food” — bannock, burgers and fries with gravy.
But the seal stew prepared by Nisga’a fishing families in Port Edward fits Chartrand’s definition to the letter.
Not only did it taste really good — better, Chartrand said, than the other four ways he’s eaten seal — it’s sustainable and healthy.
One of the tragedies of lost Indigenous food and cooking is that it’s been replaced by sugar-, fat- and carbohydrate-laden diets that have contributed to skyrocketing rates of diabetes and heart disease.
(For the record, the chef is opposed to a commercial seal hunt. He supports sustainable hunting with every part of the animal used.)
The genesis of Chartrand’s personal journey of discovery is a desire to connect with the Cree culture denied him as a child. Taken into foster care at two, he was adopted by a Metis Chartrand’s family at seven.
His father taught him about hunting and fishing. But it’s only as an adult that Chartrand began learning about his own people’s traditions.
By then, he was already a rising star in the kitchen, having apprenticed at high-end restaurant kitchens. He’s competed on the Food Network’s Chopped and, in 2017, was the first Indigenous chef to win the Gold Medal Plates Canadian Culinary Championships and is the chef at the River Cree Resort on Enoch First Nation’s land near Edmonton.
This fall, Chartrand’s cookbook — Tawaw: Progressive Indigenous Cuisine — will be published by Anansi Press. It’s about his life, his travels and includes more than 70 recipes using traditional foods.
Top Chef finalist and Haudenosaunee chef Rich Francis seems less of a purist. While he acknowledges in the series’ first episode that bannock doesn’t really fit the definition of Indigenous food, Francis made both bannock and risotto on his visit to the Osoyoos band.
For the risotto, Francis used sage and cactus gathered on the Osoyoos lands that he described as “the Hollywood of rezs.” Both were cooked to accompany cougar seared over an open fire. The cougar was shot because it was deemed a threat to residents.
Like Chartrand, Francis isn’t promoting commercial hunting. But last year he
did threaten to sue the Ontario government for the right to cook wild game in his restaurant because government regulations are one of the many barriers to Canadians’ understanding, knowing and even tasting Indigenous foods.
Elk, deer, moose, bison, seal and the like can only be served at specially permitted events and not in restaurants. Only farm-raised meat can be served and that requires finding suppliers who can raise enough to guarantee a steady supply.
The idea of eating what the Canadian land alone can produce aligns perfectly with concerns about climate change and a sustainable food supply.
Rediscovering traditional foods with Indigenous chefs guiding the way seems a perfect way to learn how to do that.
Beyond that, there’s reconciliation. So many attempts at it are so earnest, so political and so difficult for some people to swallow, that sitting down and eating together may provide a new pathway because who doesn’t love a good meal?
Changes to WorkBC will offer better services for people who need support to re-enter the workforce, access training opportunities and find good jobs.
“Many people trying to find work face barriers to opportunity. They need a hand overcoming those barriers to take the next step to meet their goals,” said Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “That’s why we are refocusing WorkBC on delivering results for people. Improving accessibility and moving to more personalized supports will make it easier for more people to find good, stable jobs so they can provide for themselves and their families.”
WorkBC provides employment services to people at centres throughout the province and online through WorkBC.ca. People can find local and provincial job listings, workshops, skills assessments and targeted programs that include training, work experience and wage subsidies.
Service improvements under the new model include:
increasing the number of WorkBC centres to 103 locations, up from 84;
moving to an outcome-based funding model that makes people’s success in the job market a priority for service providers;
extending eligibility for specialized WorkBC services to anyone who has paid into employment insurance (EI) for five of the last 10 years and removing EI eligibility barriers;
helping people find a better job if their hours are unstable, or if the work is not in line with their skills;
providing an additional $9 million in direct supports like skills training and helping people access tools so they can pursue a career in the trades; and
improving services in rural communities by consolidating administrative catchment areas and freeing up funding for direct supports for people and more WorkBC centres.
WorkBC centres are operated by not-for-profit, for-profit and public organizations that specialize in employment services. More than 150 organizations deliver WorkBC services in B.C., supporting more than 50,000 people each year.
Improving access to training and employment services is a part of government’s work to reduce poverty and increase opportunities for people in B.C., and is a shared priority with the B.C. Green caucus and part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement. The Province’s first poverty reduction strategy will be introduced in early 2019.
In addition to the changes, two WorkBC programs will now be offered provincially, providing consistent, reliable services for people no matter where they live:
The Neil Squire Society will deliver assistive technology services through a resource centre, in partnership with WorkBC centres and online. The program offers adaptive technology to people with disabilities to open up employment opportunities and help them thrive in the workplace.
Douglas College will deliver apprentice services provincially. Services include processing financial support applications and help for apprentices to collect employment insurance benefits while in school.
Queenie Choo, CEO, S.U.C.C.E.S.S —
“S.U.C.C.E.S.S. is honoured to be selected as one of the service providers to deliver WorkBC employment services. We look forward to collaborating with the ministry, the business sector and community stakeholders to deliver inclusive and client-centred services that support British Columbians to achieve sustainable employment.”
Tom Burnell, CEO, Open Door Group —
“Open Door Group is excited to continue our work in partnership with the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction in helping British Columbians prepare for, find and keep employment. Building on the foundations of the past seven years, WorkBC will continue supporting diverse job seekers and local labour market needs through flexible and accessible services.”
Val Meaney, executive director, North Island Employment Foundations Society —
“The focus on job sustainability under the new contracts will make a big difference for the people accessing our services, as well as for employers in our community who will benefit from a more stable workforce. The new model also allows us to be more flexible in how we respond to community needs as they change over time.”
Jocelyn Carver, executive director, Kootenay Community Development Centre —
“Kootenay Community Development Society is pleased to be the WorkBC contractor serving the Boundary, West and Central Kootenay region, and we’re excited to deliver WorkBC services with our partners — all of whom have been successfully delivering the program since 2012. Our clients will benefit from this continuity of service, our organizations will benefit from the expanded community of practice and our whole region will benefit from the continued provision of this critical program.”
A request for proposals for WorkBC employment services contracts was issued in July 2018 and closed in September 2018.
The new model is the result of an evaluation of WorkBC services that included consultation with clients and WorkBC contractors as well as an independent review.
The proportion of WorkBC contracts and funding delivered by the not-for-profit sector will increase by 8% beginning April 1, 2019.
Each year, the Province invests $249 million for employment services offered through WorkBC centres. In total, more than $287 million will be invested through WorkBC programs in 2019-20, which encompass WorkBC centres, assistive technology, apprentice services and the Community and Employer Partnerships program. Funding is through the federal government’s Labour Market Development Agreement, along with $29 million from the Province.
For information about supports available through the WorkBC employment services program, visit: www.workbc.ca
Now in its 27th year, The Wellness Show is once again offering up experts to help you do a better job at almost everything; from getting off carbs, getting your morning off to a good start, and, well, getting it on.
Bringing that bit of Buddhism to the bedroom is University of B.C. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology professor and psychologist Dr. Lori A. Brotto, who is also the author of the book Better Sex Through Mindfulness.
Brotto’s book and Wellness Show presentation is the culmination of 15 years of incorporating mindfulness into her sexual health research and clinical work with patients.
“It is just a powerful strategy for teaching people to be in the here and the now,” said Brotto.
“So many people with sexual problems talk about a disconnect with their body.”
Brotto’s accessible and interesting text — the book is not an expanded academic paper — moves between hard research, anecdotal examples and practical exercises to help make the sexual experience more enjoyable and engaging for women.
Of course the big O (orgasm not Oprah) is a major player in the conversation about better sex.
“In every study we have done there’s been a significant improvement in ease of reaching orgasm and intensity. It makes a lot of sense,” said Brotto.
“What is orgasm? It is extension of arousal. Because in mindfulness you are really paying attention to the body sensations and really paying attention to when arousal is increasing and mounting and where in the body the arousal is. It’s completely logical then that orgasm would be a natural result of that.”
If you have been awake at all in the last few years you will have undoubtedly heard about mindfulness. The practice has surpassed its spiritual realm and set up shop in the mainstream.
“It (mindfulness) is not just something Buddhist monks do in a cave,” said Brotto.
“It’s hot Western health care, big time. Not just mental health care but also medical health care. Cancer agencies run mindfulness groups because of the data showing mindfulness slows tumour progression. Healthy heart programs run mindfulness groups because of the affects of mindfulness on regulating heart patterns and arrhythmia, etc. So it has hit big time.
“I think one of the big strengths is that it isn’t just a passing fad because the science really stands up to the claims,” added Brotto.
“We have strong data that shows how it works and why it works and also where in the brain it works, too.”
You know what else works? Talking about sex. But sadly we don’t do it enough as women. There still seems to be a shyness or shame factor that stops women from seeking out conversations about sex.
Brotto says data shows men who develop erectile dysfunction do not hesitate to ask their family doctor what’s up with their non-performing penis. She says, after all, “we live in a culture that prizes men’s erections.”
One of the reasons women may balk at talking with their doctor about bad sex is that women often just accept it.
“I think women do need to be a bit more intolerant of difficulties at least as far as talking to health care providers and saying: ‘is this normal? Is there anything I can do? Or should I just accept it?” said Brotto.
“We have so much more comfort having sex than we have comfort talking about it.”
Brotto hopes her book and public appearances will nudge women towards more open dialogues about sex and female sexual dysfunction. It really can be a big factor to enjoying a healthy, happy life, she says.
“The sex conversation is critical, because sex isn’t just this isolated thing that people do recreationally. It is so heavily intertwined with sense of self, mood and relationship satisfaction, fundamentally self esteem,” said Brotto.
“We know countless studies have shown that when there are problems sexually all those different domains start to take a toll as well. It is a fundamental aspect of quality of life, and so in the same way we take very seriously our physical health we have to pay attention to sexual health, too.”
While Brotto is encouraging more women to talk about sex, she says health professionals may not be giving enough attention to the topic of female sexual dysfunction. But she hopes that as more women take ownership of their sex life and ask questions more doctors will look for answers, and conversations will occur.
“But what we are not seeing though is an improvement in doctors talking about it. Doctors getting trained in it,” said Brotto.
“Accessibility to treatment that’s what we’re not seeing. So that will probably be a downstream affect but definitely the conversation around this and also around agency is important. Women saying: ‘I value my sex life. It’s important to me.’ And consent and conversations around pleasure are very important. That is where things like the #metoo movement have really benefited that conversation.”
Brotto hopes attendees of her lecture at the Wellness Show, and those who pick up her book, will benefit from her research.
“Sexual desire, all of the science has taught us it is responsive,” said Brotto.
“It’s something that can be cultivated. It is something that can emerge. It’s not that you are born with a set level of desire and you’re just sort of stuck with that for the rest of your life and so if it goes down you just have to learn to live with it.”
Brotto says we need to get through our heads that desire, like happiness, can be cultivated. So if we really pay attention in the moment in a non-judgmental fashion we can make our desire more responsive to our environment.
Brotto is just one of 100 or so guest speakers/chefs/fitness demos that are on hand for show goers. The Convention Centre floor is also teeming with around 250 vendors.
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.
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.”
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.
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