A TUNE CAME TO MIND …

In the comedy business timing, and the precision use of it, can make or break a bit — timing is also an unwritten social grace: saying the wrong thing at a sensitive time can be uncomfortable and, honestly, not respecting the moment —so, when Premier Jason Kenney announced today in Calgary, the hardest hit provincial city by COVID-19, the province was giving a … not ‘m’ but ‘b’ … $6 billion loan guarantee for a pipeline project, while laying off close to 20,000 educational support staff, as the pandemic’s stranglehold tightens by the hour, a tune from 1993 by Jim Cuddy and Rodeo came to mind.

A TWEET. TO REMEMBER.

Latest posts A TWEET. TO REMEMBER. EDUCATION MINISTER NEEDS TO DO HOMEWORK AND ANSWER THE BELL – Column, CTV Edmonton — and a poll WHAT SHOULD I NAME MY NEW PONYTAIL??? PLEASE PICK ONE TO HELP ME BEFORE SUNDAY AT 4 P.M. I AM SO PROUD TO CALL THIS GENTLEMAN A FRIEND – Mr. Jamie Campbell THE THURSDAY EVENING TAIT, CAM: Comfort food

EDUCATION MINISTER NEEDS TO DO HOMEWORK AND ANSWER THE BELL – Column, CTV Edmonton — and a poll

It begins with the unsung heroes of this province’s education system. The people who, very quietly, go about their job — which is so much more than a job — to support our province’s youth, its most valuable resource, the best opportunity to succeed.

  • I’s Saturday afternoono when the provincial government’s department of education’s public relations machine hits the send button. 

Newsrooms — radio, television and newspaper — are working with a skeleton staff, and are quite busy with the hourly COVID-19 story, so it seems the perfect time to drop some unfortunate news.

Their unfortunate news comes as a press release.

It’s Saturday afternoon when the provincial government’s department of education’s public relations machine hits the send button.

Newsrooms — radio, television and newspaper — are working with a skeleton staff, and are quite busy with the hourly COVID-19 story, so it seems the perfect time to drop some unfortunate news.

Their unfortunate news comes as a press release.

It’s Saturday after all. We cannot disturb Education Minister Adriana LaGrange from her personal weekend activities, can we, to host a press conference and ask potentially awkward questions, can we?

It is, after all, a sensitive story: slashing funding for educational assistants, substitute teachers, bussing and other services not currently used since Alberta school doors were closed.

I have tried, for hours, to come up with a diplomatic and professional adjective to adequately describe this form of communication.

I failed.

By not having LaGrange available to the media is a public relations blunder beyond logic.

It’s an insult, too, to Alberta taxpayers.

Sending out a release and tweets on such a significant announcement is not only lazy — it’s disrespectful to taxpayers who, please do not ever take for granted, dig in their pockets and shell out for six-figure salaries.

And cabinet ministers can’t have a Saturday press conference during a historic time to, personally, address a major issue like this?

But — more sadly — the minister’s public relations, or lack of, is not the meat and potatoes of this tale.

Hardly.

It begins with the unsung heroes of this province’s education system. The people who, very quietly, go about their job — which is so much more than a job — to support our province’s youth, its most valuable resource, the best opportunity to succeed.

It might be driving a bus.

It might be helping a student with autism in a very intimidating situation find just the thinest slice of hope to fit in, and experience the priceless feeling of being included.

It might be custodial staff, arriving before classes start and staying for hours after the ringing of the last bell, to make sure classrooms, gymnasiums and lunch rooms are clean, and ready for the next day.

Ken Valgardson is a retired teacher with 36 years under his belt and, most notably, an Excellence in Teaching award.

“Teachers need the school to do the distance learning so if we don’t have it clean and maintained it wont be safe to educate our youth in these tough times. That one autistic child that smiles and only communicates with that special person in the classroom has nobody,” Valgardson said Saturday evening.

“Minister LaGrange is going to take this away from students.”

It is most disturbing, really, the provincial government is taking things away from Albertans when we need it the most.

Minister LaGrange: it’s about time you did your homework.

More on from …

CTV EDMONTON

[socialpoll id=”2617222″]

Latest …. EDUCATION MINISTER NEEDS TO DO HOMEWORK AND ANSWER THE BELL – Column, CTV Edmonton — and a poll WHAT SHOULD I NAME MY NEW PONYTAIL??? PLEASE PICK ONE TO HELP ME BEFORE SUNDAY AT 4 P.M. I AM SO PROUD TO CALL THIS GENTLEMAN A FRIEND – Mr. Jamie Campbell THE THURSDAY EVENING TAIT, CAM: Comfort food A LITTLE TO CLOSE TO HOME TODAY’S TAIT TOPC MY 8 MINUTES OF COMEDY — WITH MY WEDDING NIGHT SECRET 3 P.M. – WORRY FROM Washington State (MONDAY – 4:15 P.M.) W.H.L. ON PLAYOFFS 12 NOON – PLEASE: STAY HOME You Ken be entertained today at 11:30 a.m. CAM N EGGS – MARCH 23, 2020 Dear Dr. Hinshaw: Cam Ties One On … Without One Drink A CONVERSATION WITH OUR GRANDSON Cam Tait — Edmonton Sun – March 19 – Scary, or caring times? CAM ‘N EGGS – 3 FRIED WELL DONE, PLEASE A small gift from Cam and Joan A REALLY FRANK AND, EVEN SCARY, COMMENTARY FROM A MAN WITH CEREBRAL PALSY AND COVID-19 COVID-19 AND PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES MENTAL HEALTH, TOO STEP. BY. STEP. A day Taiter: Jason Kenney – Edmonton Sun – by Cam Tait CAM’S COMEDY COMEBACK CAM ‘N EGGS – SCRAMBLED, HARD TALES ‘N TUNES: You pick the tune to describe Thursday’s provincial budget TALES ‘N TUNES: Transparent masks TALES ‘N TUNES – TRACK 3: THE GRAND PIANO CAM ‘N EGGS SO MUCH MORE THAN $5 TALES ‘N TUNES — Track II: Why —- do we continue to do this?

WHAT SHOULD I NAME MY NEW PONYTAIL???

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Latest News
WHAT SHOULD I NAME MY NEW PONYTAIL???
PLEASE PICK ONE TO HELP ME BEFORE SUNDAY AT 4 P.M.
I AM SO PROUD TO CALL THIS GENTLEMAN A FRIEND – Mr. Jamie Campbell
THE THURSDAY EVENING TAIT, CAM: Comfort food
A LITTLE TO CLOSE TO HOME
TODAY’S TAIT TOPC
MY 8 MINUTES OF COMEDY — WITH MY WEDDING NIGHT SECRET
3 P.M. – WORRY FROM Washington State
(MONDAY – 4:15 P.M.) W.H.L. ON PLAYOFFS
12 NOON – PLEASE: STAY HOME

I AM SO PROUD TO CALL THIS GENTLEMAN A FRIEND – Mr. Jamie Campbell

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A LITTLE TO CLOSE TO HOME

Listening to the weary and increasingly rasp as the voicemail message played on Wednesday morning caused great concern for me on several levels.

It is no longer close to home … it is, in fact, knocking at the front door knocking to come in.

The voice was that of Joyce, a health-care aide who said she wasn’t feeling well and, after two hours, she was heading home.

Four mornings a week, Joyce comes into our condo to help me kick-start my day. She makes a great cup of coffee, a gourmet fried egg sandwich with just the right amount of cheese, and toast and jam. Joyce folds my clothes and washes the floors.

But where Joyce perhaps shines the most is helping me shower, shave, brush my teeth and get my dressed.

 I live with cerebral palsy and need assistance for many tasks. My wife Joan and I moved into our home in 1997. Several other folks with physical disabilities got together and pooled our funding so we each are allotted home care.

We formed a non-profit company and hire health-care aides to assist us. We schedule, administer and have just put the finishing touches on a strategic succession plan. We plan to be around a while.

With our close to 20 members, and just as many staff, we have become not only friends but family … a very tight family. So when a member of our family isn’t well, we share the concern.

But this — this is different.

When COVID-19 hit Canada, we hunkered down and tried to prepare ourselves — physically, mentally and organizationally — for not if the virus would invade our community But, more solemnly, when. Our community is at risk.

I was told Joyce has a cold, and no signs of COVID-19 at this time. But the potential domino effects of health-care aides becoming ill and missing work — most likely up to the 14-day standard — is far reaching.

Health-care aides — and, let’s all share some time to say God bless you all for the compassionate work you do — are the very lifeline for my neighbours and myself. Without them we are at great risk.

The same can be loudly pronounced for staff in extended care centres, assisted living communities, group homes and, certainly, hospitals.

Moreover, the health-care profession and the way it works personify teamwork. So when one member of the team is unable to contribute , others step up. And that deserves applause.

Yet, the warning bell must be rung.

As we are heading into uncertainty, the potential of more people to be able to work in health care is no longer a threat but a stark reality.

Finding an answer is going to take a collective effort. As COVID-19 and its distrustful path continues, so does its unscripted tale.

The story is developing and changing hourly. The health of those we love is the highest concern.

So, Joyce, get well. It won’t be up to your standards but, when you get back, I’ll have a cup of coffee waiting … just for you.

TODAY'S TAIT TOPC

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