#skvotes 2016

Are we THIS hardup in Saskatchewan?!

The Saskatchewan NDP having been asking their “where’s our money” question in their latest, not that effective ad campaign.

But seriously, WHERE IS OUR MONEY?

Maybe that’s too broad, so how about – where is the money that has supported this absolutely fantastic event for the past 27 years?

“A dance for senior citizens that’s been at Regina’s Balfour Collegiate for 27 years appears to be coming to an end — but there’s hope it may make a comeback… Hosted and organized by 150-plus students at the high school, seniors night runs once a year. It gives older Regina residents a night out on the town for entertainment and dancing. However, it looks like this year the May event isn’t happening, because there’s not enough money for it.”

This is outrageous.

Not only should Balfour Collegiate be receiving government funding for this event – every high school in Saskatchewan should be receiving government funding and a mandate to hold this event.

The benefits, just off the top of my head, would be worth every penny.

The empathy gained by the students for senior citizens. The wisdom the students gain by spending this time with the aged. The sense of teamwork, the organizational skills, the morale-boost that comes with a feeling of accomplishing something that is just simply good… I could go on and on. If you’re an educator, I bet you could go on even longer.

The mental and physical health benefits to the seniors in attendance, who undoubtedly look forward to this for months, if not year-round. One story says that some seniors even show up early, just to soak up the atmosphere as the students set up the event. Many of them are low-income, and this is one of their only nights out of their nursing home in the entire year.

You know what, instead of me ranting, let’s let the pictures tell the story:

regina-balfour-high-school-senior-s-night.jpg

Students at Regina’s Balfour Collegiate escort seniors into the school’s event in 2015. (Raeleen Fehr-Rose via CBC Saskatchewan)

 

 

balfour.png

Look at how much beautiful, heartwarming fun this is! God, I want to go. Can I? Call me. (Indiegogo)

 

Today the Sask Party are announcing their campaign promises to seniors. So I’m just going to go ahead and leave this here.

In the meantime, just a few years after our province earned record natural resource revenues, these Regina high school kids are now appealing to the general public to raise funds in hopes that they don’t have to cancel their 2016 event.

Let that sink in.

Updated: Since I posted this an hour ago, the Balfour students’ IndieGoGo page has received $2000, so they’ve reached their goal and the event will proceed. That does not make any of this less outrageous, nor the questions raised less valid. That said, so pleased for everyone involved.

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3 replies »

    • I still think this is a wonderful event, on which I imagine we both agree, and that the school funding it is appropriate, on which we don’t.
      However, you definitely made me think, and I shouldn’t have responded to you the way I did on Twitter, and I’m sorry about that. Let me explain better on here, where I have more room.
      My thoughts on this story immediately went to my now passed family members’ experiences in nursing homes; how little the things were that brought them joy; how much they enjoyed have something to look forward to, and how disappointed they’d be if this was abruptly cancelled on them.
      Which should tell you a lot about the optics of this.
      If this event was being founded today, for sure it should be funded using solicited cash – in fact, this thing was perfect for crowdfunding.
      If we are cutting funding from schools for altruism, my first choice would be WeDay, or as I like to call it, a two-hour informercial for PotashCorp. WeDay teaches kids the worst kind of altruism: that they should be rewarded for doing good with visits from celebrities and astronauts, instead of, you know, the feeling that arises from doing something good for other people. That the Balfour event is doing just that – there’s no ‘reward’ in it for the kids – is one of the reasons that I think it’s a positive educational experience, because there’s no guarantee they’ll learn that anywhere else.
      On perception – when I’m on a tight budget (and this is rhetorical, because I’m always on a tight budget), I’m cutting out shopping sprees, travel, and eating in restaurants multiple times per week. If I’m piss-poor broke, I’m not stopping at the corner store for a Diet Coke. To me, cutting off the paltry amount going to this event is like cutting out that Diet Coke – which yeah, concerns me.
      If it was a matter of principle – like I decided I just don’t want to ingest aspartame anymore, that would be one thing. But I don’t think this government, or the school board, reduced funding to Balfour out of principle, as opposed to necessity.
      I just don’t see how we can be in this position, so soon, to be having to make paltry little cuts to survive.

      Like

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