Round Table with Premier Christy Clark & Pamela Martin!

When I walked into Premier’s Office to attend an intimate round table discussion I saw two chairs in the hall with the word hope inscribed on the pillows in bright pink. I knew this was to be the picture for my post immediately!

Let me rewind…A couple of weeks ago I was delighted to receive a personal invitation from Pamela Martin, Director of Outreach from the Office of the Premier, asking me to join a special round table discussion. When I arrived to the Premiers office I was pleasantly surprised it was an intimate group, which translated to my voice being heard. In attendance was Pamela Martin, Premier Christy Clark, Christine Pilkington of Vancouver Mom.ca and a group of Vancouver based Mom Bloggers. My name was recommended by the lovely Christine for being someone who is actively involved in the BC Mom blogging community. I was honoured to be invited! Thank you Christine and Pamela for extending this invitation!!!

When Premier Christy Clark arrived she went slowly around the room shaking everyone’s hand and thanking each one of us personally for attending. The Premier wanted to meet with other working Moms and discuss what support we felt BC families needed from government. I think by connecting with the female blogging community the Premier is indirectly addressing the recent concern of not having a huge female following. We are a vehicle that the Premier is able to use to get her word out. We are connected by a network that extends globally! We regularly share, relate to one another, stand up for what we believe in and create change where we can. We all have a voice to be reckoned with. Brilliant strategy!

Women generally view our gender as nurturing, soft motherly types so when a women takes a position that requires strength and power, some women perceive that as hard and aggressive. Women who are willing to go head to head with our male counterparts have a confidence that not everyone is comfortable with. Mix that demeanour with politics and you get some heat. Regardless if you agree with or like Premier Christy Clark her position in government should either inspire you to join forces or stand up and oppose her, both will help facilitate or influence change. I admire any women who has the courage, confidence and perseverance to use her voice to create change whether it be in government or a community circle. You have a voice…use it!!

Down to business…

The Premier extended her concern right away in regards to the death of Amanda Todd. She has always had a strong platform against Bullying and hopes that this tragic loss can be the instigator of dramatic change in every community, helping kids feel safe at school and on the internet. She recently spoke at We Day in Vancouver and expressed her concern to thousands of young leaders all wanting to be the change. A tough task we have all been reminded of lately!

Childcare was brought up several times as it is such a difficult issue to find a resolution to. There are not enough regulated childcare services available in the city and waiting lists don’t allow part time care because of the demand for full service. The consensus was we needed more before and after school care within schools so parents didn’t have to worry about the safety of their kids. Families who required childcare were concerned about the cost taking a good portion of their wage. The Premier didn’t feel government would move toward a National Childcare Program.

Tax breaks for stay at home Moms were suggested. I joined the conversation here having been a stay at home Mom for 10 years. My family moved from the North Shore to the Fraser Valley so I could stay home with my kids and we could afford a home for our growing family. I didn’t want someone else raising my family and I wasn’t willing to miss out on milestones from working outside of my home. I made the choice to leave a career in film and television to be an at home mom. I have never regretted my choice but face a different problem now wanting to re-enter the work force. I believe kids need even more guidance as they enter into Middle and High School so my issue is finding a challenging creative job with flexible hours so I can continue to be present in my kids lives. I was given the link to Women’s Enterprise Centre which looks very helpful. Micro-loans were a suggestion by the Premier to get women back into the work force which I am a strong supporter of through Kiva.

Housing was a hot topic! The general consensus was that it was not possible for a family to buy a home in the greater Vancouver area if one parent stays home. Even with both parents working full time it was a difficult task to do anything but eat and sleep.

GMO’s (genetically modified organisms) were brought to our attention. The point was made that buying Organic was simply out of the question for most families because of the expenses. Buying local was becoming a stretch for the everyday budget as well. It doesn’t make sense with obesity growing each year that feeding kids fast food is cheaper than buying fresh healthy food. However the school systems do have a program where kids are getting fresh produce and vegetables in school at no extra cost. Labelling our food in Canada was also brought up and the importance of being able to make the choice to buy a product that is genetically modified. The Premier wasn’t concerned about GMO’s but did agree it should be our choice with proper labelling.

Exploitation of women was a topic touched on briefly because it was the passion of one of the bloggers. She felt connected to our ‘sisters’ who are not as fortunate as each of us sitting around the table with the Premier. She was a voice for formerly prostituted women and women who were in the process of exiting prostitution. Women taking care of women, regardless of where they stand in our community! I love it!

Job Sharing was also touched on. Women are wanting to be present in their kids lives but also want to work part time and find it difficult to find an employer who would allow it. I job shared in the film industry which was generally not done, but with the right employer I do believe it is possible.

Autism was also discussed, cutting programs for kids with special needs was brought to the Premiers attention and how it affects working parents. A struggle I am aware of having a friend who has been fighting that fight for many years!

Women working together finding solutions to key issues was what this discussion was all about. Having the voice of government was an added bonus, we can only hope. We banded together listening to one another brainstorming and connecting as women do.

One voice can make a difference! Whether you use your voice to inspire, provoke thought, stimulate conversation, create change, be relatable, or try to influence your government, it is your duty to stand up for what you believe in.

To conclude my post I will say that although I have never been passionate about politics I feel as though I have the desire to get more involved after this discussion. It piqued my interest and by meeting Premier Christy Clark and Pamela Martin it made me want to become more aware of what government in general is doing to make our Province and Country a more affordable place to live. By using your voice and exercising your right to vote for who you believe will move the change we need forward is a great way to be the change!

Hope…we can never give up hope, even in our government!

“You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us. And the world will live as one.” ~ John Lennon

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all.”
~ Emily Dickinson

Hope is a waking dream.” ~ Aristotle

quick tweet before the Premier arrives!

 

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Svaha Spirit Series ~ Another Great TEDTalk

I think this video, a tongue-in-cheek analysis by Sebastian Wernicke could also be translated for bloggers. He show how statistical information can help you create the optimal TED Talk. We use Google Analytics to see what content is viewed more, which days and times have more traffic on Tara Cronica. I like to check it a couple times a week and find it really useful information. Google Analytics stopped working for about three weeks and it drove me crazy! I love seeing what draws more readers in regard to content ect. Bonnie introduced me to TED Talks last year, they are so varied and it’s easy to get lost in them as I did here. Enjoy!

Lies, damned lies and statistics (about TEDTalks)

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This is who I am…take it or leave it!

I have been questioning my writing style lately, which is really just my opinion but it is also more often than not what’s going on in my life. Not all writers express their true life through their written word, it depends on what type of writing you do. Musicians write lyrics that we can all relate to at some point in our lives, romance novelists take us away from our day to day to live in bliss for a moment suspended in time, bloggers write about what interests them and the list goes on.

I wear my heart on my sleeve and if you look at most of my posts, they reflect just that. Sometimes you may have to read between the lines, I certainly wouldn’t throw anyone under the bus but lately I’ve been seriously considering changing how open I have become. Too late? Better late than never? hmmmm. My quandary!

I’ve been on my own for awhile now, and have considered my writing therapeutic in the process. I have always had plenty of time between relationships in my past and believe its necessary to redefine who you have become before you put yourself back out there. I have recognized some profound changes in who I am and what I think of myself. That alone I think has been worth it!

When you meet someone who you find intriguing, you naturally want to savour the process and take things slow in getting to know each other. Unless of course it’s just about sex, then who really cares about their opinion on…anything! (I’ve not met that guy yet! lol) You don’t just want to put everything out there in one big pile. That is one of the best parts of meeting someone, letting a little bit out each time you’re together. The anticipation of making you wait elevates the excitement!

When I meet someone new the conversation eventually leads to “What do you do?” I suppose I could leave out the blogger part and just divulge that I am a ‘Silpada Rep’ but more often than not without even thinking Tara Cronica rolls off my tongue and I can’t get it back. Too much information is not always a good thing when you want to date someone.

When I started the whole writing process I decided to be an open book with my life, I had nothing to lose. It felt right. Say it out loud and hope for the best! That all seemed fine and dandy when I didn’t care what anyone in particular thought of me, not that I reeeeeally care now but 10% of me kinda does.

Tara Cronica has been my therapeutic outlet, like running but with words. I write, or run, chew on the words or thoughts for a while to be sure their mine, and I usually come up with a solution to my quandary! My solution this time…continue being true to myself, use my authentic voice to share my opinions and thoughts about life and love, don’t create circumstances that go against myself and be open to change.

Bonnie’s Svaha Spirit Series The Power of Vulnerability was the icing on the cake for making me decide to continue down the path I started on…

I will continue to let myself be seen, love with my whole heart, practise gratitude and joy and know without a doubt that I am enough! This is who I am, take it or leave it! 🙂

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Shame on YOU ‘Little Flower Academy Catholic School’

I had another post ready for today but while listening to the radio I caught wind of a story that I felt so strongly about I had to take a break to get my thoughts down. Private Catholic Girls High School Little Flower Academy’s music teacher Lisa Reimer was asked to finish up her year from home through electronic means so that she wasn’t in contact with her female students in person. Seriously? We are in 2010, are we not?

Apparently it was made clear by the Principal (Marcelle DeFreitas) and Vice Principal (Diane Little) not to tell any one of her partners pregnancy and if the word got out the school may be forced to dismiss her! I am embarrassed and ashamed of all parties involved in this! Some parents are worried that their daughters will be lead ‘astray’! Really? Are people that ignorant! I understand this is NOT the opinion of ALL the parents at Little Flower Academy but enough to have influence for this measure to be taken.

Lisa Reimer is founding artistic director of Zing! Children’s Choir, whose honorary patrons include Maestro Bramwell Tovey of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra! Check out Lisa’s credentials and background, she is obviously passionate about music and a GREAT teacher, and that is all that should matter. This behaviour just blows my mind! Parents are concerned about their daughters becoming Lesbians at a Private Catholic Girls High School?, that strikes me as humorous because you know what they say about Catholic School Girls! (not all Catholic School Girls) Sorry but seriously? Is this really happening?

Mr DeFreitas and Mrs Little, do the right thing! Do parents really think they can shelter their daughters from all the lesbians of the world? Lisa Reimer is just one you know about! Ooooooo doesn’t that scare you, what about the millions of others you don’t know about because it’s NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS what their sexual orientation is! There is always the Scarlet Letter idea but instead of an ‘A’ for Adultery we could make them all wear a ‘L’ for Lesbian! ~ Wait a minute (insert ignorant pause here) is that what the ‘L’ means on the back of all those cars driving around, that you’re a Lesbian? Sheesh! I thought it meant ‘Loser’, who knew!

Lisa Reimer is in a committed relationship with a beautiful newborn recently added! These parents need to go back to school themselves for a little education! Somehow they missed something or didn’t get the update! It’s no longer through persuasive subliminal music lessons that you take on Lesbian traits, a Lesbian has to actually sneeze right in your face to have Lesbianism passed onto you! Or was it through air molecules? I can’t remember, either a sneeze in the face or through the air, one of the two. To be safe just stay away from a Lesbian with a cold if you don’t want to be one.

Did the parents even consider why a teacher would want their daughter to become a Lesbian? What benefit would the teacher get? More Lesbians in the world, which gives them what? Power! There are ALREADY lots of Lesbians in the world! I am horrified that any of them have to hide that fact in order to keep a job? This is another human being we are talking about who is just living their life the way they want to, embracing who they are, loving each other, and now a beautiful baby! How is that bad? These parents just might learn a few things about love and acceptance if they tuned in to the world a little more often!

Good news, while researching Lisa Reimer, I found a great site called homorazzi.com ~Where Homos Judge Everything~

Homorazzi.com is a glimpse into the lives of a gaggle of gays and how we view the world – one day at a time. We’ve all been friends for several years, and now we’ve come out of the closet and are sharing our reality with you. As the paparazzi of our own lives, we’re capturing the good times and bad and we’re not holding back”.

Patrick one of the bloggers had a great point at the end of his take on this story…“Another great example set for Catholic children to be fearful that God doesn’t love everyone, and if you’re gay, God doesn’t love you. Hatred and discrimination by this religion towards gays by the Catholic religion are what drove me away from it. I’m glad that Lisa Reimer is standing up for herself and letting her music be heard”. Makes you wonder doesn’t it? Change should not be feared!

What do you think Tara reader? Give it to me straight up! Or gay up which ever you prefer! We’re not fussy here!

Click here to listen to Zing! The Children’s Choir ~ 05 Inch by Inch

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