Monday, 12 August 2013

The Monday Camburger: Numbers can tell a story — even if we don't like it


Pure numbers alone say the petition against the Disabled Adult Transportation System to revoke the new two-hour cancellation policy is on life-support. In a Aug. 1 Edmonton Journal reporter Andrea Sands wrote there are about 10,800 DATS users in Edmonton. On Monday morning, 354 names were on the petition, representing three per cent of the DATS ridership; and all of those names are not people who take DATS. My experience as a newspaper reporter tells me this is not a story at all. And we can’t expect under media outlets to cover it with it with such numbers.


We had plans to deliver the petition to Edmonton City Hall next week and we were hoping for 1,000 names. But I am seriously re-thinking that position.  One thousand names makes a statement. Groups and causes need to carefully pick requesting time with polititians. Such numbers do not make a strong case and I would be uneasy asking to meet with the mayor or councillors.

But perhaps there’s a greater issue—one that I have seen for the past decade. People with disabilities in this province have not been very vocal. (I have cerebral palsy.) Only in the past few months have there been demonstrations at the Alberta legislature in Edmonton protesting provincial government cutbacks. It has been quite a long time since Edmonton city hall has seen a protest over services for Edmontonians with disabilities.

I am at a loss why this is. Clearly, I don’t know. There isn’t a movement for Edmontonians with disabilities. So, perhaps when an issue such as the new DATS policy needs to be challenged, people are shy. Or don’t know what to do. Or maybe even scared. And it takes time for that mindset to change.

I will re-access the position numbers Friday and will offer my thoughts. I know one thing for sure: public polls do not lie. But we can learn many things from it for a future protest.


YOU CAN SIGN THE PETITION HERE




COMING UP THIS EVENING ON TEA WITH TAIT: The first part of a series of my time with Wayne Gretzky, just before 9 p.m.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Monday's Cam 'n Eggs with baseball players Colton Girard, Davis Pratt, David Richards

David Richards and Davis Pratt of St. Albert along with Edmonton's Colton Girad at the airport 
last week leaving for the 2013 Cal Ripken World Series in Aberdeen, Maryland. 
The three teenagers have been selected among 15 to play for Team Canada's U13 team














(Thanks to Steve Richards for sending an order into Cam 'n Eggs.  
If you have a short story and picture to start the day off right, please order up
Cam 'n Eggs by clicking right here.)  

ORDERING CAM 'N EGGS!



COMING UP ON TODAY'S CAMBURGER@NOON: The story within the story on the DATS petition










Thursday, 8 August 2013

Gone fishin' til Aug. 12

Thanks for stopping by the Cam Tait Blog!

We are taking a little break but will be back with an all new Cam 'n Eggs format to start your days off with a smile, the Camburger at 12 noon to sink your teeth into an issue, and a gentle way to end your day with Tea with Tait in the evening.


We'll be back Aug. 12 after a short vacation.


Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Tea with Tait - Tuesday evening


Some great advice for what could be the most exciting day of your life: tomorrow.





(We're looking for 1,000 names on a petition against the Disabled Adult Transportation System implementing a new two-hour policy Sept. 1. We are questioning how the new change was communicated to users and the potential lack of independence. To sign the petition please click here.)

The Tuesday Camburger: Why I was a lucky man last weekend


I just enjoyed one of the best weekends I have had in years and there were many great things about my time in Meota, Sask. — 30 km north of North Battleford: the spectacular weather, sitting in the cabin’s deck right above the beach of Jackfish Lake, and then going for a two-hour cruise along the parameter of the lake; watching motorboats and waterskiers weaving back and forth; only looking at the clock once a day when I got up; looking at my computer bag for three days and not opening it once because, I assured myself, work could wait; and looking through an opening in the spruce trees, just to the left of the deck, for a spectacular Saskatchewan sunset.

Sharing the weekend with people added to its magic. My brother Brad and his son—my nephew, McLean Cameron—and cousin Terry and his wife Carolyn, a couple we have hung around since we were all in high school and their three kids: Dylan, Kayla and Meagan. My good friend Bob, who heard the stories about Meota, got a chance to experience it himself.

Just south of the cabin and a little east is the cemetery where our parents and grandparents along with many other relatives and friends are buried. I thought of them—my heritage—as the waves slowly rolled onto the beach and the sunlight gently danced on the water. It was one of the most soothing feelings I have had in a while. I was exactly where I wanted to be on the weekend. I  am, indeed, a lucky man.


(We're hoping for 1,000 names on a petition by Aug. 19 against a two-hour cancellation policy the Disabled Adult Transportation System is implementing. As on today at 12 noon we're sitting at 172 signatures. Click here to sign!)


Wednesday Cam'n Eggs with CRAIG SMIPSON














Congratulations to CRAIG SIMPSON of Hockey Night in Canada who is hosting the 25th anniversary of the Never Say Never Golf Tournament today at the Belvedere Golf Club, a fundraising event for spinal cord research.
Top of the mornin' to you, Craig.

(If you have a great community event to start the morning with, please send the details and a picture, if possible, to by clicking ORDERING CAM'N EGGS!)

Friday, 2 August 2013

Tea with Tait: Who is more inspiring: the coach or the player?

My friend:

This gave my shivers down my spine, and, reminds us ask ourselves: what is our very best?






I am part of a petition to the City of Edmonton to reverse a decision for a new two-hour cancellation policy the Disabled Adult Transportation System wants to implement Sept. 1. We are looking for 1,000 names by August 19 so we can deliver it to Edmonton City Council: so people with disabilities can have greater flexibility, so we, too, can continue to inspire ... and give our very best.
Please click here to sign the petition.


Challenge Insurance is the title sponsor of the blog. Please click here for an on-line quote.

The Friday Camburger: A sneaky move by DATS Administration


I smell somewhat of a rat with the Disabled Adult Transportation System and their new two-hour cancellation policy. Especially the timing of implementation: September 1. The civic election in Edmonton falls on Oct. 21 So I have to seriously wonder if they picked the Sept. 1 date so this wouldn’t become an election issue. And, from where I sit, it shows another form of disrespect and heavy handiness. Whoever made this decision should come forward and issue a public apology.

I sent mayoralty candidate Kerry Diotte an email Thursday to ask his stand on the new two-hour cancellation policy. Kerry took part of the Canadian Paraplegic Chair Leaders event and spent a day in a wheelchair. Here is Kerry’s response.

"I believe we must make DATS the best it can be and if there are issues, I,as a mayoral candidate, want to understand them and make sure we have a DATS system that truly works for the clients. I'd be eager to hear concerns and I want to see them addressed.
"Let anyone who takes DATS let me know how we can make this service better."

Contact Kerry through is website kerrydiotte.com

We will be asking other candidates for their responses in the upcoming weeks. For now, we’re at 153 names as of 11:30 a.m. Think we could reach 200 by the end of the day. Because, unlike DATS administration, we are not trying to fly under the radar.


Cam 'n Eggs


Thursday, 1 August 2013

Tea with Tait - Thursday evening



The Thursday Camburger: "Survey said ..."




On Sunday we petition  against the Disabled Adult Transportation System and the new two-hour cancellation policy be introduced Sept. 1. As of 11:30 a.m Thursday we have 130 supporters. Folks have also shared their thoughts on why the signed the petition. Here are some examples …

Sandra from Calmar:

“My mother in law has short term memory loss and changing this policy is going to confuse her again.
  
Shauna-Lee from Edmonton:
“I work in a day program for people with severe developmental disabilities. This will almost eliminate our ability to access the community. I am thoroughly disgusted with the lack of consideration and the lack of dialogue. Have any of the powers that be even considered what this really does to the individual who use the service? I'm sure it looks great on paper but how about talking with the users to figure out the reality of the situation.”


  

Vickie from Spring Lake, Alberta
“I have many friends who use DATS, I stand in solidarity with them.”

Moyra, from Edmonton:

“Services for persons with disabilities must undertake consultation with the people they service - if transportation services for persons without disabilities underwent changes without consultation the public would be outraged, and rightly so. Public policies and public services MUST be developed through consultations and cater to those with the most needs. I have witnessed mistreat of people with disabilities for far too long. Politicians must support services for those with disabilities and speak out against discriminating practices. DATS has a responsibility to educate themselves and realign their services for those they intend to serve! Edmonton politicians we are depending on YOU!”


Cindy from Edmonton:

“For 30 years I have watch the disabled community make leaps and bounds in their efforts to live their lives in the community as we all do. In the past 5 years I have been watching all this hard work be abolished by government agencies and other who make changes without consulting the people it directly affects. DATS needs to understand that their clients have serious health issues and cannot plan their lives 24 hour ahead of time. Unfortunately medical issues arise unexpectedly and cannot be planned 2 hours ahead of time; this is a fact that cannot be changed no matter how much DATS tried to punish people for canceling 30 minutes prior to their pick up. DATS needs to speak to their clients and deal with issues on a one to one basis.”


Teresa from Edmonton:

“The new policy infantilizes people with disabilities. They need to be able to accomodate their work and personal transportation needs just like any other citizen - with access to reliable public transit that is as similar as possible to that provided to the general public.”


Ken from Edmonton:
“It is very disheartening to watch all the hard work done for persons with disabilities over the past 40 years be discarded and ignored by those who are not directly impacted. DATS is a wonderful service and needs to remain caring, compassionate and understanding that their clients deal with daily struggles relating to their health and cannot plan like most individuals can. It is unfortunate but they need more time to cancel as last minute health issue arise on a daily basis and are unavoidable. DATS, as with all government agencies and providers need to educate themselves before trying to change policies and procedures.”

Nicola from Edmonton:

“People need to be able to get around. Sometimes plans change within less than 2h, and scolding disabled adults like they are naughty children over it doesn't solve the issue and is just disrespectful and compromises the dignity of these people.”
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Rosalina from Edmonton:
“As a caregiver, I am responsible for making and cancelling trips for my clients. I cannot determine when they are going to be sick or have a need to be toileted and cleaned up 2 hours in advance. Would DATS prefer that we send the clients on the bus sick &/or smelly?”


Jamie from Edmonton:

“The worst form of imprisonment doesn't come from committing a crime. It happens when our government(s) and our society fail those who are living with disabilities.”








Thursday's Cam 'n Eggs — words from John Lennon





HERE'S A CHANCE TO START YOUR DAY WITH A CHANGE BY SIGNING A PETITION TO INCREASE INDEPENDENCE OF EDMONTONIANS WITH DISABILITIES