Advocacy, Facebook

My #PersonalResponsibility and #Facebook

Hey folks, let’s take a step back on this controversial topic and situation.  I believe strongly in our right to access, privacy and openness, so do I believe even more strongly in our personal responsibilities for our lives, access to the world around us and to safeguarding our privacy.  Who among us didn’t know that our data shared on Facebook wasn’t ours once we turned it over?  How many posts and email messages have you all seen that make some sort of statement aimed at Facebook telling them that even though we’ve posted our photos, life stories and the like on Facebook they have no right to use said postings.  Really?  Think about this for a minute.


Here is the link to the original story on CBC to which I am responding.


Facebook provides 2.9 billion people around the world a free platform through which we can share with our friends and family members what’s alive in us, and it allows companies, organizations and media outlets to post what they’re up to and offering their services and goods to us, the consumer.  So, based on the fact that it’s free to us, and they still manage to make billions of dollars each year by selling advertising, what did you actually think was going on?  Did they actually steal your info and share it with others, or did you willingly type all that private info in your profile, post all those interesting things about yourself, click Like on all those ideas you resonate with, click Sad on all those posts that saddened you and comment on the posts you both agreed with and ranted against?  Ladies and gents, each time you did any of this you were providing data points they can use to target advertising and articles of interest.  For some that’s creepy, and yet I find that to be just right in my world.  I don’t ever see advertising for Ford trucks, Honda Fits or chain saws, however see all manner of technology, environmental, self-help, health and political stuff that perfectly fits with my particular interests.  I also don’t get bombarded with Right Wing Fake News, because Facebook has seen through my interactions that I am interested in reading that which leans to the Left.  BTW, Twitter knows a lot about you, as does your credit card company, bank, drug store and any other organization with whom you have shared your private info, and if you look at what they’ve communicated to you they too are targeting you according to what you have shared.


So, when you set up your profile and actually shared your birthdate, work history, music and movie preferences and all the other specifics about yourself that others could see on this very public platform, how did it equate that your privacy was to be maintained, let alone desired.  I know some who have not signed up for Facebook, and they’re the folks I know who are truly interested in remaining private.  The rest of us, well we’re open to sharing or we wouldn’t be there either.  I know people who don’t share anything but their name, a fake birthdate and an irrelevant email address in their own attempts to fool the statistics, yet remain able to participate on Facebook for those things they are comfortable and willing to engage with.


Here’s what the article says, “It’s estimated the personal information of 622,161 users in Canada was improperly used…”. Did Facebook do anything wrong?  In my opinion they didn’t, although they should perhaps have made it more difficult for companies like the one in this quoted piece to sell my info if they had any notion of keeping us safe from ourselves:

“That Facebook app, called “This is Your Digital Life,” was a personality quiz created in 2014 by an academic researcher named Aleksander Kogan, who paid about 270,000 people to take it. The app vacuumed up not just the data of the people who took it, but also — thanks to Facebook’s loose restrictions — data from their friends, too, including details that they hadn’t intended to share publicly.”


So, those 270,000 people who received some minor bit of remuneration for taking the quiz from an app they downloaded from Facebook were fooled into it, or they didn’t bother to read the details of what they were participating in?  Either way, I don’t see that anybody coerced them into it, and that the info was sold to political parties and/or corporations isn’t a surprise to me.  After all, if we’re getting Facebook for free and they’re making millions we have to be able to connect those dots.


I think many of us will now go back into our Facebook profiles to set a few more limits on what will be shared and with whom, and I dare say I’ll become a public lire where FB is concerned.  Stay tuned, you’ll now be wishing me a happy birthday on Christmas Day from now on, and you’ll have to guess as to the year I was born.  Hey, 39 was a good age so I think that’ll be my age from now on.  As for all those jobs I said I held in the past, wait until you see what my work history will be on Facebook.  All of a sudden I will have been an Astronaut. Brain Surgeon and a Catholic Priest.  What do those things have in common?  Nothing, however I can’t wait to see how it affects the advertising I’ll receive going forward.  I’m anticipating receiving flight promotions, advertising for really good knives, and offerings of buckets of Holy Water.  After all, I’ve said repeatedly on Facebook that we should protect our water from unscrupulous corporations Hell-bent on dirtying it, fracking with it or selling it to people who have access to good drinking water already.


At any rate, I won’t be disconnecting from Facebook, and I’ll be operating differently from now on.  All those apps I use on my iPhone and computer where I log in through Facebook will no longer be used in that way, and just in case, I will be changing my Facebook password soon in order to force me to disconnect those third party apps when I use them again.


I do find it ironic that the Facebook Founder is being asked to appear in front of the American Congress to answer for his wrong-doings, and the NRA and those who sell asault rifles to Americans get a pass on answering for their actions.  It’s a weird world we live in folks.  JMO.



Advocacy, Independent Living

Fellow Canadians with Disabilities, Please Support the Opportunity for Workers with Disabilities Act

On Tuesday, February 27, 2018 at 10:46 AM
The Honourable [] said:
Support the Opportunity for Workers with Disabilities Act

(French Follows / Le Français suit)

To Whom It May Concern,

Groups like yours work hard to maximize opportunities for people with disabilities. Yet sometimes, government seems to stand in the way. As you know, when people with disabilities start earning income, they not only pay taxes, but also face sharp clawbacks of their income, medication, housing, and other supports — meaning they can lose more than they gain from getting a job, earning a raise, or working more hours.

It is a story Linda Chamberlain knows all too well: “After three decades of battling schizophrenia and homelessness and poverty, Chamberlain finally got a job,” wrote former Toronto Star reporter Catherine Porter. As a reward, the government boosted Linda’s rent almost 500% and cut her disability payment, making her $260 per month poorer because she got a job. So she had to quit her job and remain poor.

She is not alone. “According to Statistics Canada’s 2012 Canadian Survey on Disability, there were over 650,000 disabled individuals aged 15 to 64 who were not in the labour force at the time of the survey and either used to work or indicated they were capable of working. Of these, roughly 94,000 reported that if they were employed, they felt that they would lose additional support. About 82,300 individuals reported that they expected their income to drop if they worked,” according to Statistics Canada.

The Bill
The Opportunity for Workers with Disabilities Act would allow workers with disabilities to gain more in wages than they lose in clawbacks and taxation. It does this through three steps:

The bill would require that Finance Canada calculate how much people with disabilities in each province lose in taxes and benefit clawbacks as a result of each additional $1,000 of income earned up to $30,000. Calculations of the clawbacks would include lost benefits like income assistance, housing, medications, and so forth, and would use publicly available tax and benefit rules, not any person’s private tax and benefit information.

2. Action If the calculation finds that people with disabilities are losing more than they gain due to clawbacks, the Finance Minister would have to consider changes to the Working Income Tax Benefit Disability Supplement, the Canada Pension Plan Disability Pension, or any federal tax measure that would ensure people with disabilities always benefit from their work.

If the Minister deemed that provincial taxes and clawbacks were the cause of the problem, he would consult with the province to remedy it.

3. Enforcement The Opportunity Act would attach another condition to the Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Act requiring provinces to arrange their taxes and transfers so that people with disabilities never lose more than they gain from working.

This bill will only pass with the help of respected organizations like yours. So, if you agree that governments should reward rather than punish the work of people with disabilities, please add your voice to the Opportunity Act.

Here are three things you can do to help pass the bill:

Please encourage your local Members of Parliament to vote for the Opportunity Act. And ask your friends, family, and supporters to do the same.
Use #OpportunityAct on social media when endorsing and discussing the bill.
Please email my office a few sentences endorsing the bill that we can use for social media and other communications that will build momentum towards its passage. You can email

Thank you for your help. Together, we can empower Canadians with disabilities to get ahead through their talents and work — because, as Dr. Martin Luther King put it, “all labour has dignity.”

I ask for your organization’s support to make this bill law.


Hon. Pierre Poilievre, P.C., M.P.

Madame, Monsieur,

Les groupes comme le vôtre travaillent fort pour optimiser les possibilités offertes aux personnes handicapées. Pourtant, le gouvernement semble parfois leur mettre des bâtons dans les roues. Comme vous le savez, lorsque les personnes handicapées commencent à gagner un revenu, non seulement elles paient de l’impôt, mais elles doivent aussi faire face à une forte récupération de leur revenu, des mesures de soutien pour les médicaments, le logement et autres. Cela signifie qu’elles peuvent perdre plus qu’elles ne gagnent à décrocher un emploi, à obtenir une augmentation de salaire ou à travailler plus d’heures.

Cette situation, Linda Chamberlain la connaît très bien. « Après s’être débattue pendant 30 ans contre des problèmes de schizophrénie, d’itinérance et de pauvreté, Mme Chamberlain a enfin décroché un emploi1 », écrit Catherine Porter, ancienne journaliste du Toronto Star. Pour la récompenser, le gouvernement a augmenté son loyer de presque 500 % et a coupé sa prestation d’invalidité. Au final, elle avait donc 260 $ de moins dans ses poches chaque mois, parce qu’elle travaillait2. Elle n’avait donc aucun autre choix que de quitter son emploi et de continuer de vivre dans la pauvreté.

La situation de Linda n’a rien d’unique. « Selon l’Enquête canadienne sur l’incapacité réalisée en 2012 par Statistique Canada, plus de 650 000 personnes handicapées de 15 à 64 ans qui ne participaient pas au marché du travail au moment de l’enquête ont indiqué qu’elles avaient déjà travaillé ou étaient capables de le faire. Environ 94 000 d’entre elles étaient d’avis qu’elles perdraient une partie de leur soutien additionnel si elles travaillaient, et environ 82 300 personnes étaient d’avis que leur revenu baisserait3 ».

Le projet de loi
La Loi sur les perspectives d’emploi des personnes handicapées vise à garantir aux travailleurs ayant une incapacité qu’ils ne perdront jamais plus en prestations et en impôts que ce qu’ils gagnent grâce à leur travail. Pour ce faire, le projet de loi propose trois étapes.
Le projet de loi obligerait Finances Canada à calculer le montant que les personnes handicapées dans chaque province perdent en impôts et en récupération de leurs prestations pour chaque tranche supplémentaire de 1 000 $ de revenu de travail qu’elles gagnent, jusqu’à concurrence de 30 000 $. Le calcul des dispositions de récupération comprendrait les pertes de prestations comme celles liées à l’aide sociale, au logement, aux médicaments et ainsi de suite. Pour faire ces calculs, le Ministère utiliserait des renseignements publics au sujet de l’admissibilité aux prestations et des règles fiscales plutôt que des renseignements personnels ou privés sur l’impôt et les prestations d’une personne.

Si le calcul confirmait que les personnes handicapées perdent plus qu’elles ne gagnent en raison des récupérations, le ministre des Finances devrait évaluer s’il serait opportun de modifier le supplément pour les personnes handicapées de la Prestation fiscale pour revenu de travail, les prestations d’invalidité du Régime de pensions du Canada ou toute autre mesure fiscale fédérale pour s’assurer que les personnes handicapées profitent toujours de leur travail.

Si le ministre jugeait que les impôts et les dispositions de récupération provinciaux sont à l’origine du problème, il consulterait la province pour tenter de remédier à la situation.

La Loi sur les perspectives d’emploi des personnes handicapées assujettirait à une autre condition la Loi sur les arrangements fiscaux entre le gouvernement fédéral et les provinces : elle exigerait des provinces qu’elles gèrent leurs impôts et leurs transferts de manière à éviter que les personnes handicapées aient plus à perdre qu’à gagner de leur travail.

Ce projet de loi ne sera adopté qu’avec l’aide d’organismes respectés comme le vôtre. Donc, si vous croyez que les gouvernements devraient récompenser plutôt que punir le travail des personnes handicapées, faites entendre votre voix dans le cadre de la Loi sur les perspectives d’emploi des personnes handicapées.

Voici trois choses que vous pouvez faire pour contribuer à l’adoption du projet de loi :

Veuillez encourager vos députés locaux à voter pour la Loi sur les perspectives d’emploi des personnes handicapées. Et demandez à vos amis, à votre famille et à vos partisans de faire de même.
Utilisez le mot-clic #OpportunityAct sur les médias sociaux pour appuyer le projet de loi et en discuter.
Veuillez faire parvenir par courriel à mon bureau quelques phrases appuyant le projet de loi que nous pouvons utiliser dans les médias sociaux et d’autres communications et qui donneront un élan en faveur de son adoption. Écrivez à
Je vous remercie de votre aide. Ensemble, nous pouvons donner aux Canadiens handicapés les moyens de progresser grâce à leurs talents et à leur travail. Car, comme l’a dit Martin Luther King, « tout travail a de la dignité ».

Je demande l’appui de votre organisation pour que ce projet de loi soit adopté.

Agréez, Madame, Monsieur, mes salutations distinguées.

L’honorable Pierre Poilievre, C.P., député

Advocacy, AEBC

AEBC 26th AGM Awards, April 27-29, 2018

Dear AEBC Members:


The AGM Awards committee is pleased to announce that there will be three additional awards presented at this year’s AGM on the evening of Friday, April 27, 2018 during the “Opening Ceremonies”.


They are:


  1. Peer support recognition


  1. Outstanding Community Service Recognition


  1. Accessible Website Recognition


The criteria for each is as follows:


  1. Peer support recognition: Is there a member whom you would like to have recognized for having provided on-going peer support over the years as it relates to the work of AEBC?  Perhaps this person has been a great influence in your life in general?   Please write a summary explaining how this person has been instrumental in providing peer support.


All who are nominated and fit the criteria will receive recognition.


  1. Outstanding Community Service Award: Which business (in the private or public sectors) of your community would you like to have recognized as having gone the extra mile to provide excellent service to Blind, deaf-blind and partially sighted Canadians? This business should be observed as providing its services without any, or very few barriers.  While we know that some businesses are constantly reminded of their obligation to serve members of the public with the thought in mind that we should all be able to take part on an equal basis, we are aware that not all comply nor do they appear to care. Describe the attributes that make this business stand out.



From a mobility prospective, is the building accessible inside and out?

Is the lighting adequate to conduct your business in this establishment?

Have staff been trained to serve blind, deaf-blind or partially sighted persons with respect and dignity and in a timely manner?

Are you able to navigate without concerns at this place of business? Is it safe?

Can you independently complete your transaction satisfactorily?

If requested, would this business provide you with their reading materials in the alternate format of your choice?


These are a few suggestions as to what you might ask yourselves if you were to nominate a place of business which you feel is deserving of this recognition.


All who are nominated and fit the criteria will be recognized.


. Accessible Website: Is there a website that you use frequently that is accessible for blind, deaf-blind and partially sighted Canadians that you would like recognized? If so, please provide the URL and a summary about the website and explain how it is accessible and why you use this website.


All who are nominated and fit the criteria will be recognized.


Remember: We can only know your nominee through your submission, so please be specific when explaining why they should be recognized for the award.


Please send in your nomination to Betty Nobel by Thursday, March 15, 2018 at




Betty Nobel, National Secretary

Advocacy, AEBC, Independence

AEBC AGM and Conference, Burnaby BC, April 27 to 29, 2018

On March 1, 2018 at 4:32:33 PM PST Betty Nobel Nobel via Announcements <> said:

Dear AEBC Members:


The Central Okanagan Chapter (Kelowna) has kindly donated the sum of $500 to National Office, fulfilling their commitment to assist AEBC in its efforts to support members wishing to attend this year’s AGM, scheduled for April 2018.  This offer is available to out of Province members only,  as we are confident there will be several participants representing British Columbia and we would like to assist those who have a greater distance to travel.


While there are already subsidies available to all chapters, this does not preclude a member already accepting such funds from sending in an application.  However, in the event that we receive several requests from those who have not yet been granted a $250 subsidy, preference will be given to those applicants. These funds are earmarked to be used for the conference planned for April 2018 and are to be allocated to one or two members who meet the requirements below.


Your application should include:

Weather you are a member in good standing, (this means your membership dues have been paid 45 days in advance of attending the conference.)

Weather you have attended a conference in the past.

A brief paragraph explaining why  you should be the successful applicant and how you would benefit from attending the conference


All applications should be sent to Chantal Oakes, President, Central Okanagan Chapter

no later than March 12, 2018 giving us time to review the requests and to select successful candidates.  We apologize for the lateness of this notice but we are confident we can make a difference to those who need the added funds.


It is our hope that this will generate interest among those who want to attend the conference and that we are able to alleviate some of the financial stresses associated with the costs of travelling.


On behalf of the Central Okanagan Chapter, (Kelowna) we thank you for your attention to this important matter and look forward to hearing from you.


Chantal Oakes


Advocacy, Independence

BC All Party Discussion With Uber

This is very relevant to Guide Dog users in British Columbia who want fair treatment when using ride sharing services.


I have been alerted about the Province having an all Party discussion with Uber about it starting up in BC. A short blurb was on the CBC recently. Someone contacted his/her MLA and was given a phone number to call to give input. Considering what we have seen about how Guide Dog Teams are treated in the Province, this seemed like a good issue for the Province to be contacted about.

If anyone wants to get involved, the Ministry of Transportation is the relevant respondant, at 250 387 1978. From past experience we know that if you are calling from outside Victoria, you can call 1 800 663 7867 and get them to connect you without having to pay Long Distance charges.


Thx, Albert