Oleksandr (Sasha) Kondrashov
BC has an election this Saturday. It is a snap provincial election, and many newcomers to Kamloops might not know how to vote as it will be their first elections. This post can help newcomers to exercise the highest privilege Canadian citizen has, the right to vote. First, make sure you meet the eligibility requirements:
- Be 18 years of age or older when they register to vote, or 18 years or older on general voting day
- Be a Canadian citizen
- Have been a resident of B. C. for at least six months before they register to vote
- Have either lived or owned property in the jurisdiction in which they intend to vote for at least 30 days before they register to vote
- Not be disqualified under the Local Government Act, or any other enactment, or by law from voting in a local election
Next, make sure on October 24th you will vote in one of the locations around you. Find the location here: https://wheretovote.elections.bc.ca/
To register on voting day, eligible resident electors are required to show two pieces of identification, the identification must prove who they are and where they live — including the person’s name and residential address. If neither piece of identification shows the elector’s residential address, they may make a solemn declaration as to their place of residence.
Kamloops has two electoral districts (North and South). I have contacted all candidates from two districts (8) and asked them the same three questions.
I started all my messages the same:
“Thank you for being part of the BC elections. My name is Oleksandr (Sasha) Kondrashov, and I have recently moved to Kamloops and looking forward to my first voting experience in BC. I recently attended the social debate organized by TRU social work and human service students and was encouraged to contact you via social media. I hope to write a short article and to share with newcomers to Kamloops and my Facebook and wider social media community on Friday about Kamloops candidates and their responses to three questions”
Only one candidate responded to the Facebook message, and I have included Thomas’s answers at the bottom of this post. I want to say thank you to Thomas for taking the time and answering the questions as it helped me to make a personal connection with one of the candidates that I value a lot as I want all candidates to be responsive and represent all the constituents. I also translated Thomas’s answers into Ukrainian so Mama can also make an informed decision.
If you do not know yet whom you will vote for, take your time and research each candidate’s Facebook profile, read Thomas’s response to questions I asked all candidates and vote. Each vote counts!
Some Additional Helpful Links:
Social Issues Debate from Kamloops This Week.
Thomas’s responses to my questions:
What is your (your party) position on providing adequate supports to long-term care residents? What do you plan to implement during the next four years? Will you support legislation changes to ensure that there will be a dedicated social worker position in every long term care in BC to advocate for every long-term care resident. More information on the critical role social workers play in long term care in Ontario can be found here: https://krasun.ca/2020/10/06/in-the-eye-of-the-storm-pandemic-social-work-during-covid-19-in-long-term-care-ontario/
The BC Green Party’s position is that seniors are not a commodity that should be earning some investor a profit—they are our parents, our grandparents. It’s time we shifted our tax dollars away from for-profit long-term care in BC, and instead build a high quality and accessible system of senior’s care in this province.
Over the next four years we want to:
· Shift away from a for-profit model to a mix of public, non-profit, and community-based care
· Ensure that caregivers are a recognised profession with the salary they deserve
· Ensure that public funding is only being used to support direct care they deserve
I would support any legislation that supports health and care outcomes for seniors.
What is your (your party) position on creating adequate programming to integrate newcomers to Kamloops (any city in BC) and adapt successfully in their new communities? What steps do you plan to take to ensure newcomers’ needs are met? How will you share the critical information to newcomers about access to the services? In Kamloops, there is a guide to newcomers (https://krasun.ca/2020/07/04/welcome-to-kamloops-e-book/ ) that will be updated annually. How will you ensure that similar resources are available in other cities in BC?
I found moving to a new town within BC incredibly difficult – I can’t fathom how difficult it is to move to a new country.
One thing is found incredibly useful is living in a vibrant neighbourhood including walkable communities, adequate amenities including community centres and park, and flourishing small businesses. Of course, this is a long-term goal of the BC Greens that will take more than four years to achieve.
I believe the official forecast for Kamloops is another 30,000 residents by 2039 – so if we want our community to thrive we have to start seriously thinking about making these newcomers welcome in our town.
This could be viewed as a municipal responsibility and there is a long history in BC of the province downloading costs and responsibilities onto municipalities. I want to reverse that trend. Our platform calls for rethinking municipal finances, reforming property taxes, increasing funding for community health centres, increasing funding for basic municipal infrastructure, and increasing funding for walking and biking infrastructure. These sounds like boring administrative policies (they’re not boring to me!), but it would really help towns and cities to focus on becoming the place they want to be rather than struggling to pay for basic services.
One thing that was brought to my attention this campaign was a proposal championed by the North Shore Business Improvement Association. The content was strong, but what really struck me was a local group saw an issue in their community and developed a plan to address it. I think that’s where the role of local MLA’s come in; to be the champion of this local ideas and fight for their implementation at the provincial level.
Social workers are essential service providers to support the needs of vulnerable populations. How you (your party) plan to support the promotion of the social work profession in BC? Are you planning to support legislative changes to ensure that the professional social workers serve vulnerable groups in MCFD, and children and families receive adequate services from professionally educated social workers? More information about the necessary change in the legislation can be found here: https://www.change.org/p/bc-ministry-of-children-family-development-strengthen-professional-social-work-in-british-columbia
Probably the best way to describe our support for social work as a profession is to describe our view of social services in BC. To quote directly from our platform:
“We entrench people in poverty with programs we have right now, but it doesn’t have to be this way. The purpose of our social safety net should be to help people get out of poverty”
For example, there was a question about the CAR 40 in the recent forum put on by TRU’s social work faculty. Yes, the CAR 40 program is good. Yes, expanding it would help. However, we need to go much, much further.
I don’t think I have the time or the expertise to answer in detail all the changes that are required to our current system. I would encourage you to read our platform in full and especially the sections “Income Security”, “Public Education”, “Housing Affordability”, “Equity and Inclusion”, and “Indigenous Reconciliation”.
Thomas Martin (he/him)
BC Greens’ Candidate for Kamloops-North Thompson
BC Greens. Sign up to learn more
Ph 250 319 5996
The main office of the BC Green Party is located on the territory of the Lekwungen-speaking people. I work on the territory of the Secwepemc
In the eye of the storm: Pandemic social work during COVID-19 in long-term care Ontario.
Pandemic affected all social work practice areas and allowed us to uncover multiple extreme inequities in service delivery for vulnerable populations. In summer 2020, during the first global offering of the pandemic social work course at Thompson Rivers University, a practicing social worker from one of Ontario’s Long Term Care Home, Candace Hind, visited our class. What was initially scheduled to be a short overview of social work practice in long term care during pandemic became a four-hour presentation on the challenges long term care social workers face on multiple levels of practice. There is a shortage of social workers in long-term care. Not enough PPE, inadequate response from the Government of Ontario, “military savour operation” instead of having adequately trained professionals with adequate resources providing critical services to Canadian seniors. We listened to stories of resilience, teachings 100 years old Canadians shared with us through Candace quotes. It was always powerful, sometimes it was frightening, but we needed to hear social work perspective to think about future actions. Candace shared with us a new assessment tool developed to identify residents’ needs in pandemic and changes in how we practice in times of physical distancing. The need to reform current long-term care in Canada is critical to allow residents to live life with dignity before, during and after the pandemic. We learn that social workers went from being considered non-essential to essential workers of long term care. We had an active discussion throughout the lecture. It was a unique opportunity to connect literature to everyday practice.
In October 2020 we decided to record the presentation as part of the Voices Social Work (VSW) project. Those “AHA” moments pandemic social work students experience in June now can be shared with the broader community and bring necessary changes to long term service provision in Canada and globally. I will keep adding more Youtube links to this post so everyone who reads it can learn about ageing as a continuum of care and how “silence” was an initial response when the pandemic was announced on what happened next. The chronology of changes and policy responses. The first positive COVID experience. The stigma frontline workers face in providing care on who will be considered essential and who is not. The recordings are influential. I am incredibly grateful for Candace to share the time, so we will remember what it means to provide services during a pandemic and the critical role social workers play in the global public health emergency.
Part 1 of the lecture https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCbBCcDYY-U covers a period from March 11, 2020 when WHO declared global pandemic to April 9 when the first COVID-19 positive case was recorded in the long term care where Candace was working, and social worker role was moved from being essential to being a critical service provider. Please feel free to share the recording with social work students, practitioners and everyone who want to promote necessary changes to ensure that every Canadian in long-term care is supported by a social worker to receive the best possible service in pandemic and beyond.
Part 2 of the lecture https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIUJwqgQYMg focus on how social work role was changed from essential to critical. Candace Hind will share the change happened on April 9, 2020 when the first positive case was recorded in the long term care. Candace shared how safety plans were developed and what worked and what did not work and the critical role of the social worker during lockdown. Very passionate part of the lecture and lots of learning point on why social workers are required to be present in every long term care.
Part 3 of the lecture https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xot8OOt7vA8 summarizes key learning points and provide an overview on what happened in one of the Ontario’s long term care facility after first outbreak and how social worker role was changing to respond to the needs of the residents. Candace offered three key lessons every student who plan to work in long term care need to learn. A great way to summarize the lecture and highlight the social worker role in long term care during pandemic March-June 2020.