Minister of Social Services
P. O. Box 2405, Station Main
Regina, SK S4P 4L7
It has been quite a while since we have talked. Congratulations on your political success. You might remember that when I taught Political Science and Sociology at the University of Regina it was as a sessional or contract instructor, which meant low pay ($4000 for a course), no pension program, and no other benefits. Precarious work, it is now called.
I am retired and living on CPP, OAS and GIS which comes to $1933 per month. This is tough for seniors for as we age we need new glasses, hearing aids and dental work. In Canada these are not covered by Medicare.
On top of this I have a serious health issue. For seniors this is common. Three years ago I started to have control problems with my left foot and leg. Neurologists I consulted in Regina suggested that I might have a neuromuscular disease. But more tests were needed.
I spent the winter of 2016-7 in Ontario. While there a physician referred me to the ALS Clinic at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, University of Toronto, the best in Canada. They did numerous tests, and the group of doctors and scientists concluded that I have a variant of ALS. This is a terminal illness for which there is no cure.
Canadians know more about this disease due to the national publicity given to the case of Sue Rodriguez and her friend and supporter, MP Svend Robinson. She committed suicide, as do many in her position today.
While in Ontario all my doctors and health support workers urged me to take out an Ontario health card in order to benefit from the Ontario Disability Support Program and the Community Care programs. I did so. I am 83 years old. I am not as sharp as I used to be. I was preoccupied with my health and living problems. I did not adequately research this issue.
However, when I returned to Regina in April I was informed that my Saskatchewan health card had been cancelled. I was cut from the Seniors Income Plan (a loss of $240 a month) and was presented with a bill for “over payments” from the plan. This was because I had “moved to Ontario.” This was not the case. I have been a permanent resident of Saskatchewan since 1986.
It seems to me that a Minister of Social Services should be a very compassionate person. They have to deal with the weak and the poor, the most vulnerable in our society. And there are choices to be made.
Yes, there is a big budget deficit. But why go after the weakest and most vulnerable?
Why not go after all those corporations and individuals who use offshore tax havens to avoid paying taxes? Why not start with Cameco? The Canadian Revenue Agency has concluded that they have used intra-corporate transfer pricing to avoid paying $2.4 billion in taxes. How much of that should go to the province of Saskatchewan?
John W. Warnock