LETTERS: Stepping back

Many Canadians are enjoying a rare surge of optimism, I’m one of them, although I find myself stepping back to a more cautious mindset.

Many Canadians are enjoying a rare surge of optimism as they welcome a new prime minister, cabinet, and presumably, a new direction, for Canada. I’m one of them, although I find myself stepping back to a more cautious mindset.

After 10 years of oppressive democratic, environmental, and public services darkness it seems almost logical that there is no where to go but up. But it’s important that we keep in mind that “up” comes with a price tag; I’m OK with that, to a degree and for the near term, but discounting costs is dangerous territory. Governments and corporations have specialized in shoving costs down the road with, for example, incremental and now significant cumulative damage to our environment, biological diversity, public and social services, and climate. But with each passing day someone will have to pay with a notch or a chunk taken out of their life, perhaps a lost opportunity or less “on the table” and that “someone” is usually “the people” you and I.

Reports tell us there are at least 100 aboriginal communities without water and sewage services. At this stage in our history that’s insulting, and while I remain suspicious that there is some bleeding going on between government funding and native spending in their communities, this critical situation has to be corrected. It will cost us hundreds of millions of dollars.

The new census forms, of which I strongly approve, will require tens of millions of dollars to process and analyze. Mail services – to homes, and perhaps maintaining post offices in small communities, another correction I think important, will costs tens of millions of dollars.  Resurrecting our Coast Guard, implementing an honest environmental assessment process that ensures Canadians a legal right to be heard without being labeled as radicals, and rebuilding federal science libraries will come at a cost. Reforming our pension system to remove the insult of over half a million seniors living below the poverty line and provide greater payment to all seniors, so they don’t descend into that frightening world, and providing long overdue benefits to veterans and disabled persons will consume hundreds of millions of dollars.

Why then, I question, as do over half of Canadians polled, is Canada rushing frantically to burden our social system, our already stressed natural environment, our overloaded health care system, in a world in which overpopulation and overconsumption are internationally recognized threats to the earths life support systems, to relocate 25,000 refugees?  It has always been difficult for people to link their actions with consequences, particularly when the latter are incremental and diffused. Most humans operate in a short term, visual world. But lack of awareness, or outright denial of impacts, serves only special interests, not society.

Canada can, given our relative wealth, help slow, perhaps some day even stop, the exodus of humans from their homeland, but it will take help flowing from here to their land; relocating refugees simply stalls and complicates serious and essential reform. Failure of this rash agenda is something I would accept. Perhaps then we would concentrate on a collective strategy to preempt forced emigration that already threatens to destabilize critical ecological, social, and political systems.

Dr. Brian L. Horejsi

Penticton

 

Just Posted

Penticton sets cap of 14 cannabis stores, removes buffer zone

The city previously relied on a buffer zone and scoring matrix to limit number of stores

Bucking bulls return to Okanagan raceway Sunday

Bull Riders Canada returns to the South Okanagan with some of the top riders in Canada

Gucci Mane’s May concert in South Okanagan likely postponed to later date

South Okanagan Events Centre marketing manager awaits official confirmation from promoter

Advocate says Penticton bylaw targeting less fortunate

Kristine Shepherd is the community organizer for Monday Night Dinners in Nanaimo Square

Easier to use website and registration coming for Recreation Penticton activities

Penticton upgrading recreation software it uses to manage client memberships, passes and programs

Killer of Calgary mother, daughter gets no parole for 50 years

A jury found Edward Downey guilty last year in the deaths of Sara Baillie, 34, and five-year-old Taliyah Marsman

Nominate your favourite businesses for the Best of the South Okanagan

Join the Penticton Western News as they celebrate the Best of the South Okanagan awards

Raptors beat Bucks 120-102 to even series at 2-2

Lowry pours in 25 as Toronto moves within two games of NBA Finals

Body of missing snowmobiler recovered from Great Slave Lake

Police confirm the body is that of one of three missing snowmobilers

North Okanagan tests out two $10/day childcare sites

Katrine Conroy came to Vernon to tour universal child care prototype sites, including the one at Maven Lane

Okanagan medical cannabis shop shutting doors

Herb’s Health Centre has been operating without a city business licence for nearly a year

Toddler seriously injured after falling from Okanagan balcony

RCMP are investigating after a two-year-old boy fell from the balcony of an apartment in Kelowna

Witness says Kelowna man on trial for murder admitted to the killing

Steven Pirko is charged in the killing of Christopher Ausman in 2014

Cost jumps 35% for Trans-Canada Highway widening in B.C.

Revelstoke-area stretch first awarded under new union deal

Most Read