Meet Me @ the Bell Tower – Air

Meet Me @ the Bell Tower - Air

This Friday join the Bell Tower movement as we complete our cycle of the four elements with…AIR.

We have spoken of Mother Earth, Water, Fire and now we talk about what we can do to protect the air.

Do you have any wisdom to share with our group?

more info on facebook

City of Winnipeg’s 2013 Operating Budget – response from activists required

A letter from Dave Sauer

Dear sisters and brothers,

Time is of the essence and a solid response for organized labour, community groups, and citizens is required. On January 9th, 2013, the City of Winnipeg simultaneously released its 2013 Operating Budget and 2013 Capital Budget. In previous years, these had been released at separate times (Capital Budget earlier than Operating Budget) to allow for a sufficient amount of time for public input. City Council will be voting on the budget on Tuesday, January 29th
Why do we need to defeat this budget? Here is what’s included:

· $13.6 million in Vacancy Management. The city is estimating it can save this amount by refusing fill vacant positions and eliminating certain positions all together. This means less civic services available to the public.

· 0 dollars for improved transit security. Early in 2012, The Winnipeg Labour Council and Amalgamated Transit Union local 1505 revealed that transit workers had experienced a 300% increase in the number of assaults since 2007. Despite this increased risk to passengers and transit workers, the city has refused to invest any operational funding into increased security measures

· $300,000 committed to accelerating the Alternate Service Delivery (ASD) review and implementation process. ASD is a euphemism for outsourcing, contracting out, and privatizing city services. The city used this process for the outsourcing of the ill-fated solid waste collection currently being undertaken by Emterra. The ASD committee wants to use these funds to outsource custodial work for the City of Winnipeg and contract out the management of the city’s golf courses

· Cuts to public grants for museums. This amounts to 5% cut to the following museums:

-$22,500 cut to the St. Boniface Museum
-$6,000 cut to the Manitoba Children’s Museum
-$7,750 cut to the Transcona Historical Museum
-$1,411 cut to the Seven Oaks House Museum
-$1,554 cut to the Ross House Museum
-$2,750 cut to the Western Canada Aviation Museum

· Cuts to United Way of Winnipeg:

-$40,000 cut to the ‘Peg’ Community Indicators System which monitors Winnipeg’s well-being in eight different areas: basic needs, health, education and learning, social vitality, governance, built environment, economy, and natural environment. It also looks at poverty indicators. This is a 100% funding cut.

-$45,000 cut to the Poverty Reduction Strategy on eliminating poverty in Winnipeg. This is a 100% funding cut.

If these cuts weren’t bad enough, the City’s Operating Budget also proposes a 50% increase in councilors ward allowance giving each councilor an additional $40,000/year for a total of $600,000. Councilors who support this increase claim the money will be used for staff and discretionary spending however this is nothing more than a smoke screen. These tax dollars will be used by councilors to promote themselves in 2013 and 2014 right before the 2014 civic election.

Finally, Mayor Sam Katz has called for $722,000 to be used to fund the Executive Policy Committee Secretariat. Basically this is a cash infusion to create political staff for the mayor. This is another attempt to use taxpayer dollars to promote the mayor and his ideas leading into the 2014 civic election

This budget calls for a determined response from organized labour. The budget is cutting millions from services Winnipeggers depend upon. It is seeking to use public money to investigate outsourcing and contracting out of city services. It is refusing to address the dire security situation on Winnipeg Transit buses and allow passengers and transit operators to experience greater threats to their well-being. It is gutting funding grants for museums which are there to tell our history to the world. It is cutting $85,000 from United Way initiatives set up to address poverty in Winnipeg.

Why are these cuts being undertaken? So councilors and the mayor have additional funds to promote themselves. Shame on this city council for gutting our services, refusing to provide transit safety, and refusing to address poverty.

Please contact your city councilor and tell them programs and services are more important than shameless self-promotion. Contact information for you councilor can be found below.

in solidarity,

brother Dave Sauer,
Winnipeg Labour Council

City of Winnipeg contacts

Jeff Browaty
E-mail: <>
Phone: 204-986-5196
Fax: 204-986-3725

Ross Eadie
E-mail: <>
Phone: 204-986-5188
Fax: 204-986-3726

Scott Fielding
E-mail: <>
Phone: 204-986-5848
Fax: 204-986-4320

Jenny Gerbasi
E-mail: <>
Phone: 204-986-5878
Fax: 204-986-5636

Paula Havixbeck
E-mail: <>
Phone: 204-986-5232
Fax: 204-949-0566

Grant Nordman
E-mail: <>
Phone: 204-986-5920
Fax: 204-986-7359

John Orlikow
E-mail: <>
Phone: 204-986-5236
Fax: 204-986-3725

Mike Pagtakhan
E-mail: <>
Phone: 204-986-8401
Fax: 204-986-3531

Devi Sharma
E-mail: <>
Phone: 204-986-5264
Fax: 204-986-7806

Harvey Smith
E-mail: <>
Phone: 204-986-5951
Fax: 204-986-7000

Thomas Steen
E-mail: <>
Phone: 204-986-5195
Fax: 204-986-3725

Brian Mayes
E-mail: <>
Phone: 204-986-5088
Fax: 204-947-3725

Justin Swandel
E-mail: <>
Phone: 204-986-6824
Fax: 204-986-3725

Dan Vandal
E-mail: <>
Phone: 204-986-5206
Fax: 204-986-3725

Russ Wyatt
E-mail: <>
Phone: 204-986-8087
Fax: 204-949-4530

January 11th – Idle No More Events Winnipeg

IDLE NO MORE LOGO – not our picture, we got it from google


Ottawa-January 10th, 2013-

First Nations children linked to the Idle No More movement will gather at Victoria Island on Friday where Chief Theresa Spence from Attawapiskat is having her hunger strike. 

AYO! (Aboriginal Youth Opportunities) is calling on First Nation and Aboriginal leaders to unite and join their goal of defeating Bills C-38 and C-45. Children’s group held a press conference Friday in Ottawa to urge the children of Canada and their parents to join them and request the immediate withdrawal of C-38 and of C-45. The children and their parents will point out that this legislation concerns all Canadians, not just First Nations. Among other things, C-38 and C-45 would:

•Modify over 160 laws and regulations in numerous areas where hard-won treaty and
aboriginal rights have been recognized by the courts and governments;

•Scale back the legal protection of the water and environment that have evolved over the past three decades;

•Open the door for foreign corporations to exploit Canadian territory for its natural
resources. Children and future generations also have the right to live in a clean environment and to have access to clean water.

We need a critical mass of Canadians to join us in opposing and defeating BillsC-38 and C-45 for the sake of fall children and of their grand-children. Please join us & organize public request in that effect for your respective region!

For Manitoba, Please Join us at the Canadian Museum of Human Rights on Friday 11th @ 12:00 noon.


There are also Idle No More events planned throughout the City on January 11th 2012 (we have been watching the WPG Facebook page)