Premier Don Getty has passed away. I was fond of him. I remember back in the
late 1980s, I had the first home-office in the federal government. I wanted to
showcase this disability employment option (in my new wheelchair accessible
home). I was so proud of it!
I sent out invitations to various disability groups, organizations and
government to come to an open house. Premier Getty and his minister overseeing
disability issues accepted the invitation to come see the new idea of work and
residential accessibility. (It seems so silly speaking
about a government home office today, but it really was novel back in the 1980s). At
the time, I also chaired a national disability advisory committee to the federal Deputy
Minister of Employment and this was an illustration of employment and
residential options for Canadians with disabilities.
inexplicable reason, which I still don't understand, senior management in the
Edmonton Regional headquarters of the federal Employment Commission put a kibosh
on the idea and ordered me to cancel the open house. Alberta’s Premier Getty (provincial government not federal where I worked) sent his regrets at the cancellation and said he found the idea interesting for disability employment, and also LaRee's and my approach to wheelchair accessible housing.
Was I ordered to cancel the event because they did not want some junior level bureaucrat hob-nobbing with the Alberta Premier about a federal initiative? I'll never know. They are all gone.
It is ironic that after my own forced medical retirement, the same Commission nominated me for a Governor Generals medal for community service. After I received the medal, one senior bureaucrat for the federal Commission said, "Mark always looked outside the organization to build community relationships. He helped us work more cooperatively with public organizations. He was dedicated to the community."
|My Governor General's|
medal for community
Odd, very odd. But is all so old and I've been medically retired for over 20 years. Back to my original point: It was sad to hear of Don Getty's death. He was a good and decent man of integrity and compassion.
 The Governor General is Queen Elizabeth's official representative to Canada.
 Steven Gallagher, "A medal for making a difference" Edmonton Journal, 29 June 1995, B-1.
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