Lillian Eva Dyck: The
Saskatchewan Literacy Network has acted as a voice for
literacy for 17 years. The network is an umbrella
organization that brings together hundreds of people in
Saskatchewan with an interest in improving literacy for all
people. The Saskatchewan Literacy Network applies for
funding each year to the National Literacy Secretariat in
order to promote and support literacy in the province. Last
year, the Saskatchewan Literacy Network received $170,000 in
coalition funding from the National Literacy Secretariat to
support the Saskatchewan provincial literacy work. On
September 27, the Saskatchewan Literacy Network was notified
by a phone call that this funding had been eliminated.
Honourable senators, the long-term and
short-term implications of such cuts are horrendous for the
people in Saskatchewan. In the short term, after calling an
emergency meeting, the board has decided to use the
Saskatchewan Literacy Network's limited reserve funds to
support significantly reduced operations until August 31,
2007. Unless other dollars are secured, this will mean an
immediate reduction in service and support in four key
service areas. The first area, called "learner involvement,"
will no longer be able to support regional learner groups.
Second, in terms of field development, the Saskatchewan
Literacy Network will no longer be able to provide
subsidized family and adult literacy training. Third, the
communications department will no longer be able to publish
printed resources. Finally, resource development will
attempt to continue to voice and bring forward issues and
concerns expressed by the literacy field.
In the immediate future, the
Saskatchewan Literacy Network will be moving to smaller
office space and staffing will be reduced from eight
full-time equivalents to only four full-time equivalents.
Honourable senators, in the long term,
if financial resources are not secured for the Saskatchewan
Literacy Network and within the next 10 months, it will be
forced to close its doors on August 31, 2007.
I hope that in the long-term plans of
the current government there will be ways found to ensure
that the Saskatchewan Literacy Network continues to exist
and provide its important services.