I have being giving this a lot of thought lately as our economic world falls into the abyss. Everyone is touting that Canada is doing so good in terms of economics, saying that we will weather the bad times and continue on without any devastating crashes compared to the other countries that we stand beside. But for some strange reason, I feel we are not doing as well as our elected and non-elected official are saying.
My doubt is from seeing more and more people on the streets, in and around the Langley Township area, where I live. Sure, the police and public do a great job of forcing the homeless off of the streets, from plain view, during the day, but this is a totally different story when out at night. Every now and then I like to hike the trail called the “Fort to Fort Trail” that follows the Fraser River from where Fort Langley is located. It is a great trail to walk and run, and it is used a lot, both day and night. However, at night, in the bushes along that path, you can expect to see one or more homeless people camping out.
So, in these tough economics times, and living in a country with so much wealth, why are there homeless people, when, according to our leaders, we are doing so well? Yes, I know the answer(s), but I like asking the question.
I see two classes of homeless now. I see those with mental illnesses, who cannot manage themselves in normal circumstances, and I see people, young and old, who can work, who have education, but are unemployed. Both groups are of great concern to me.
Why do I care? I care because in a country like Canada, we seem to have lost something in our identity, in ourselves, and in our national fabric of how we see ourselves. We seem to have replaced liberalism with something dark and bitter. This started way before the economic meltdown of 2008-09. This was an escalating problem back when times were booming, and Canada was facing a labour shortage. I saw “something” thrown out with the bathwater, as the saying goes, and our good name went with it. The “haves” and “have-not” gap grew in the last decade, based on my own observations, and this really made me ask questions.
I really believe that this issue must be kept up on top of our list of problems socially, so that it is not something that slips down to the bottom of the list of priorities that are of least important. I somehow wish the media would report this message ten times a day, rather than the petty crimes that get front page status all of the time.
Sadly, I believe that Canada has changed, and this change is not something that is totally pure and beneficial to all mankind. Or, maybe Canada was always like this, and I was naive in the lenses of the rose coloured glasses of liberal ideology?