Transcript of Youtube Video: PIAT Thanks Premier Wall for SAID Announcement

<this description was too long for YouTube but it is necessary for some of our clients to have access to a transcript, we have posted it here for their convenience, the video relating to this transcript can be found here:>

“MLA’s, cabinet ministers & friends of the disability community, it is a wonderful day to be here, and I think the announcement speaks for itself and it’s a wonderful announcement, but there is another really wonderful part about today, there’s a wind in Regina. How many days in the last five years can you say the wind didn’t blow in Regina? It’s a beautiful day! So on behalf of the disability community let me personally thank-you, Premier Wall for your leadership on this particular initiative. It’s one thing to say that there are many people with shoulders to lend, and there are, Minister Draude is certainly going to be a part of that, but your leadership, your government’s leadership has been critical in this process and we thank-you very much for that. Not only for the development of the SAID program but in allowing the disability community to join with government to help develop the program. We’re full collaborators in this process and I think the benefits are for the individuals who will receive benefits and the benefits are to government as well, so on behalf of the disability community thank-you very much for that.

Secondly, I would like to thank-you for re-appointing Minister Draude, <laughing> I can tell you there were some sighs of relief as the way I heard it described at one point. But again it’s good work that Minister Draude has been doing. I’ve heard comments made about the effect of lobby as an advocate for this SIAD program that Minister Draude has taken with members of cabinet and other MLA colleagues, and that lobby, that advocacy on behalf of this SAID program and the investments that are required are very much appreciated so thank-you for that as well.

I was struck by a quote, or a line in a song, that I thought I would make reference to. Music is one of my other, I guess, passions you would say. SAID is a passion, music is as well. It’s from the latest album that Bruce Springsteen produced and wrote and it’s a phrase from one of his songs that’s entitled “We’re Alive,” and in the chorus the line says: “To stand shoulder to shoulder and heart to heart.” I think that’s what it is we are doing here today we’re standing shoulder to shoulder and heart to heart. Shoulder to shoulder not only with your government, Premier Wall, but also shoulder to shoulder with the ministry with civil service that have helped us get here.

So I want to thank some people, and I want to thank first of all through Deputy Minister [Ken] Acton and Assistant Deputy Minister Bob Wihlidal, or Robert as I should more formally address him, that’s a bit of a side joke. For all of the work that your staff have brought to this particular initiative and I’m sure the Premier and Minister Draude are well aware of the excellent of quality of capable civil service that you have working on this initiative. I want to though, and I know it’s always dangerous when you lift a couple names from the page to recognize because there are so many people who have done so much work, but I want to publically thank, on behalf of the disability community, the work that Jennifer Clark has done on this particular file. Perhaps we should be sure to extend that thanks to your family who I gather have not seen much of you in the past several months but it has been work well done and very much appreciated. The other person I want to single out just for a moment is someone who is retiring in a couple of days, a gentleman who used to have red hair but now white, his name is Jim Brown and Jim thank-you very much. Jim I know that you have spent your career working within the disability community but I remember in particular, sorry, I remember in particular when you guided us in early 2009 through that discussion around the impact of disability, when we were working at committee , and how you helped shape the discussion to the focus of what ended up becoming a significant piece of this SIAD program, which is still to be developed but it’s there and it will come, and so for all of the people you’ve had contact with, whose lives you have improved, I thank-you for your contribution to SAID, and to the province of Saskatchewan <clapping>

I would be remiss if I didn’t thank Gayle and David and some of the other people, who have been part of supporting this initiative through DISC [Disability Income Support Coalition] and through PIAT [Program Implementation Advisory Team], I think we often take great pride, and we should take great pride in providing support for persons with disabilities that need that support, but I think in many respects your work, particularly at DISC, has been to support us, to support us by telling your stories, by letting us know and being patient and supportive while we said “it’s time, it’s time,” and as the Premier mentioned it was an election promise but at that point it was still just an election promise, but we knew that the day would come and so we’re very happy for that and we thank-you very much for your support.

I want to thank the people who have been part of PIAT; I’ll just read some names: Dave Nelson, Michael Richter, Cindy Leggott, Linda Badger, David Swan, Amber-Joy Boyd, John Coflin, and our most recent member of PIAT Doug Conn, the work that you folks do directly and through sub-committees is wonderful. I had the opportunity to take part in a couple of sub-committees and at the eligibility sub-committee there were times when, this is research based so they’re talking “Standard Deviation” and “Bell Curve.” Holy boy am I glad someone understands that stuff, <laughter> but what’s important is that at key times when that discussion required focus around which direction we move or how do we determine the numbers that the common theme throughout it was “to the maximum benefit for those people who are eligible,” we want as many people who are eligible who have a significant and enduring disability to be in this program. I just thought that is so reassuring, to hear that kind of commitment coming to the table from within the ministry. So hat’s off to all of you folks, its wonderful work.

I also want to thank through Kevin [McTavish] who is here on behalf of SACL [Saskatchewan Association for Community Living] and to Judy [Hannah] for her work. SACL receives some grassroots funding that allows for some of the background work within the DISC group to happen. That is critical for us, and so Kevin if you could pass along to the board of directors of SACL our thanks for that work and hat’s off to Judy as well, it’s wonderful stuff and you keep us together and focused and that is great.

As the Premier indicated there is more work to be done. We’ve made a huge step forward with today’s announcement but there will hopefully be several more in the next several years as we continue to advance that envelope and move forward, so, again thank-you Premier Wall, thank-you Minister Draude for the support of this program, and thank-you all for attending. <Clapping> “


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