MLAs Talk AISH at McCauley Apartments
On October 1, I attended a special event at McCauley Apartments regarding an issue that is very critical to its residents – and 70,000 other Albertans. MLAs Janis Irwin and Marie Renaud were going to come and speak about AISH.
Janis Irwin is the MLA for Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood, serving most of the people who receive this newspaper. Marie Renaud is the MLA for St. Albert and serves a key role in the Official Opposition as Critic for Community and Social Services.
Janis Irwin said how important it is to keep the UCP accountable for things like possible cutbacks to the AISH program. She said that letters and emails get action, and encouraged us to use these tools to make our voice heard. As well, we should involve our family members because together we would make quite a large vote block.
One woman told a heartbreaking story of how she believes that if AISH is cut, she will soon be on the streets and in terrible health. People with mental illnesses are not lazy; they are people who face incredible barriers to being employed and need every cent they can get. The fact that Jason Kenny de-indexed AISH (meaning it will not be tied to the cost of living), and the fact that one of his cabinet members referred to people on CERB being “Lazy people who sit at home smoking pot and eating Cheezies and who don’t want to work” had a lot of people fuming.
Both MLAs were very interested in what we had to say as recipients of AISH. Their talk was informal and informative.
Leif lives in McCauley. You can learn more about him and his work at edmontonwriter.com