CALGARY, February 5, 2016 – The YWCA of Calgary welcomed Rt. Hon. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Minister of Veterans Affairs and MP for Calgary-Centre Kent Hehr, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, and MP for Calgary-Skyview, Darshan Kang this week highlighting the important role of the nonprofit sector as a voice for community needs.
“In the midst of this economic crisis in Calgary, it’s exceptional to note that the Prime Minister and the Premier are engaging with many sectors,” says YWCA CEO Sue Tomney. “Nonprofit organizations have insights about the experiences of people who are struggling and it’s vital that we bring those to the fore with policy makers and elected officials.”
During the Thursday visit, the YWCA highlighted the need for affordable housing and financial support for women and families who are struggling. The elected members also helped to assemble basic hygiene kits which include essential items such as shampoo, soap, and a toothbrush and are provided to women entering YWCA Mary Dover House transitional housing, a short term housing and support program for women who have experienced abuse or homelessness.
The Prime Minister, Minister and Premier participated in a tour of the YWCA facility visiting the YWCA Winter emergency shelter program which accommodates up to 50 women who are homeless each night. The tour also included a visit with one of the YWCA’s 29 Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) classes.
“The opportunity for newcomers in one of our English language classes to meet and be welcomed by our most senior elected representatives was truly remarkable,” says Tomney. “Some have been in Canada just a few weeks and they were deeply honoured.”