Monday, June 21, 2010

I read the following "Reflections of a Retiree" on the NRPC website. It was written by an old friend and colleague Stan Lamontagne from Montreal. It shows the remarkable wisdom and grace of the people who are being hurt by the ridiculous pension and bankruptcy laws of Canada. Stan and I go back a long time, and we sure don't recognize the Nortel that has dumped us into this awful predicament. Yet Stan has had the ability to speak out with constructive ideas and support to help us all weather this terrible storm. We need many more people like Stan to put their ideas and thoughts into words and letters and protests so that the good Canadian people waken up to what a travesty we Nortel retirees and disabled people are facing.

Reflections of a Retiree
By Stan Lamontagne

To our politicians

Yesterday evening I was watching the late evening news. On the news, there was a story about a mudslide in BC and a number of residents who lost their homes and farms in the slide.

The first thing that comes to mind is how these people will cope, probably not very well in the short term. However, with time and the assistance of the various governments, various agencies, friends and family they will pull through and rebuild their lives. As an example, the BC government will provide$300,000.00 in disaster relief.

This got me thinking about the fires in BC a number of years ago, the various floods, the ice storm in Quebec, the drought in the prairies and the floods in Manitoba etc. It seems natural disasters are part of our landscape.

Therefore, what happens! Canadians from the four corners of our land pull together. We mobilize our resources and we give generously of ourselves. Some lay sandbags, while some fight fires. Others provide shelters for families, some provide food and clothing and many give financial assistance and ultimately the various levels of government provide some form of disaster relief.

There is one theme that permeates these events one chain that binds them all together governments step up to the plate and provides help and financial assistance.

Where do these funds come from? Well the funds come from our paycheques .From retirees some of whom have paid taxes for up to Seventy Years. Let's not be fooled, we provide the assistance through our taxes the government is the vehicle used to provide relief

Ironically, a bankruptcy is not a disaster but one such as Nortel probably affects more people than many natural disasters. We have not asked for a hand out. We have not asked for money. We are only asking the government to do for us what they did in the Karol Homolka case push bill 501 through parliament.

From today ‘s news, the Federal Government forced a change in legislation to prevent Karol Homolka from receiving a pardon it just goes to show the government can rush a bill through parliament quickly to gain political points.

If we are not asking for money, what are we asking for? The answer is simple as we are not complicated. We want to live out our remaining years in dignity and with pride. We want to walk down the street with our head held up high. We want to pay our own way not depend on family and friends for food and shelter.

Moreover, most of all, we want our governments to recognize us as people who deserve at the very least equal status to an entity called brick and mortar sounds ridiculous?

I pray that sanity becomes the norm in Canada and the people take precedence over corporations.

Now it is up to you to get out, to see your MNA and MP, to speak to them to let them know what the reduction in your wages and loss of health benefits means to you and your family. Tell them if they want your vote, the vote of your friends and family they need to support our cause in parliament.

Do not take NO for an answer from your member of parliament a YES to our cause is the only answer

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