Saturday, December 23, 2006

Delivery delayed, but not abandoned

The saga of the missing social assistance cheques came to a successful conclusion by the start of Friday morning. Missing Welfare cheques originally scheduled to arrive in Prince Rupert on Wednesday, finally showed up late Wednesday night and were distributed on Thursday, with any missing recipients hopefully re-united with their assistance by the close of business on Friday.

While the cheques were being distributed, local schools banded together to ensure that elementary and high school students could at least count on a meal or two as they finished off their week at school.

The Daily News had the happy conclusion to a troubling story in their Friday edition.

Missing cheques turn up just in time for Christmas
By James Vassallo
The Daily News
Friday, December 22, 2006

Page one

Missing cheques for local welfare recipients that were apparently bumped from an Air Canada flight and then lost have been found and delivered to Prince Rupert.

“The cheques came in by late truck (Wednesday) night, and they were distributed (Thursday),” said Marty Bowles, Prince Rupert District Teachers’ Union (PRDTU) president.

“I got a phone call at 7 a.m. (yesterday) morning from the postal workers saying that they had arrived and they’d make sure they got out.

“Those postal workers did a job I’ll tell you, I’m impressed.”

The school district also stepped up to help out any children that may not have had adequate food.

“Every school I visited (Thursday) had something in place. They were just going to do it in a general way so that nobody was centered on,” said Bowles.

“(Principal) Marcy (VanKoughnett) did a great job at Conrad school, she went out and bought some extra stuff herself to distribute school-wide, (Principal) Sheila Wells at PRSS had some food she had been putting away from another situation that she got out today.

“The schools did a magnificent job.”

According to Barbara Stewart, communications manager, Ministry of Employment and Income Assistance, staff in the region are closely monitoring the situation to make sure everyone gets their cheques before offices close for the holidays.

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