Thirty years ago, you’d be hard-pressed to find a Food Bank or the need for Affordable Housing in this country. Today, there’s hardly a community anywhere throughout this great land without a Food Bank and/or a desperate need for Affordable Housing.
Where does the fault lie with respect to how Canada has shamefully dropped the ball in dealing with peoples very real, desperate, and basic needs? Some say it is with right-wing governments and the current flavour of the month by the 1%ers towards austerity measures (for us, only), cost and program cutting, and a perceived and diabolical need to victimize the needy while rewarding the greedy.
The poor and even the lower middle class have become less of a priority for the powers that be and therefore have found themselves marginalized and ignored. I could provide all sorts of statistics here to back up what I’m saying but in today’s information age most people I imagine are acutely aware of what is going on, even though at the same time they consciously try to ignore it (if it doesn’t affect me it don’t count attitude).
No matter who you blame from politicians, to corporatocracy, conservative ideologies, or the tragic decimation of liberalism as we once knew it, the bottom line is the current trend over the last three decades has been to download to different levels of government i.e. from the federal to the provincial to the municipal. Interestingly enough this last layer of government is the least able to address these national concerns (with constitutional & signed and agreed upon UN federal responsibilities that are being ignored) as they are the ones with the least means and ability to do so. Unlike the feds and the provinces, municipalities really have only one major revenue stream: property tax.
Municipal leaders today need to advocate strongly to both the feds and provinces to stop abdicating their responsibilities and take back that which belongs to them. We have several national crises on our hands from starving people, to homelessness, being only two of them. Joblessness, is another one that our community is only to well aware of.
I believe municipal leaders need to be at the forefront advocating on their local residents behave to get these issues addressed.
Establishment councils that go with the flow, ignoring in large measure issues that are both controversial and somewhat insurmountable, accomplish little to nothing for working families these days. More and more as time goes by status quo has to give in to more radical means to get the job done. We must be more proactive and vocal in demanding better while working with what we have in our own back yard to see what in our own limited way we can still get accomplished.
Such as, for example, working collaboratively with the new Crowsnest Pass Builders and Developers Association which I’ve spoken about here on this blog before, along with the newly formed Crowsnest Opportunity Development Cooperative organization, in conjuction with Community Futures, and see what we can get done in the area of Affordable Housing.
We have the land, we have the study, we have the grass roots organizations, and both provincial and federal participation through Community Futures. The only thing lacking is the local political will, which I intend to provide.
Anyways, its Saturday, I got things to do. More on social justice for all as we move closer to the election.
With realization of one’s own potential and self confidence in one’s ability, one can build a better world.