Letter: It is high time the nation begins to think and act outside the box

Think of the thousands and thousands of jobs that would be created

To the Expositor:

Your most recent editorial focusses the spotlight on the current malaise in Ottawa and across the country; the crucial need to ensure that a government’s words are followed up by appropriate action. I have been a Liberal all my life, but sometimes I have to shake my head in disbelief and frustration!

Certainly, our first priority must be to contain and beat the COVID-19 pandemic; some effective steps have been taken but we may well need to take even stronger measures if we are to beat this scourge—like it or not we may all have to wear masks when out in public, anti-maskers be damned! But surely we need creative thinking and strong leadership on many fronts and sadly, such leadership often appears to be limited or even totally lacking. 

I understand that two years ago our PM promised Swedish environmentalist Greta Thunberg that Canada would plant two billion trees, but to the best of my knowledge, not a single one has been planted to date. One year ago, the report on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls was released but again, I am not aware of any action taken yet with respect to that report’s key recommendations.

We still have third-world living conditions in many First Nations communities across the country—no fresh water, sub-standard housing and limited sewage facilities, and the list goes on. Is it not time for some creative and collaborative thinking and action by federal and provincial authorities together with Indigenous leadership to put an end to these appalling conditions? For example, might it not be possible for some remote communities to amalgamate and move to more accessible locations? Can we not collaborate in building decent living settlements (or whatever you wish to call them) across our country? Can we not come up with decently-designed and winterized prefab homes for such places? Think of the thousands and thousands of long-term jobs which would be created if we really decided to put an end to the third world as it exists here in Canada. Such a national project might take (indeed would take) many years, but surely it would be worthwhile! Canadians, wherever they live, are surely worth it! I submit that it is high time to begin to think and act ‘outside the box’ and get things underway – pronto!

Sincerely,

Eric Balkind

Gore Bay