So everyone is clear I am not an expert in any of the following, it’s just a collection of thoughts and comments that has been spinning around my head the last few days. If you find it useful then it’s a good thing.
Over the last 40 years the homelessness problem in Canada has gotten much worse.
In most provinces and federally, governments of all political sides have not been able to solve the problem. I have become much more aware of this issue thanks for the efforts of groups and individuals to let all Canadian’s know. Homelessness like health are seems to be a very polarizing and complex issue that many citizens would rather leave for someone else to try and find the solution for.
After 40 years we need to & tackle this seriously.
We have had countless studies and trials program showing that the simple fact of providing the homelessness with sage affordable house ultimately solves many problems. It’s also been proven to be cheaper for government and ultimately taxpayers in the long run. Why are we not embracing this approach more?
Political parties of all sides have to work together on this problem. This is not a left vs. right issue. This is an issue that just needs to be solved. Just because the other party has an idea to help move this issue forward does not mean it is wrong. Parties have to realize they are working for all Canadian’s not just the ones that voted them into power. At the same time citizens expect their government to be as transparent about moving these issues forward. Sometimes the choices may not be popular, but is that because citizens have been told things that make for a good sound byte but in reality is stretching the truth? We have seen that through all levels of governments and from all political parties, no one side has a lock on being transparent to the people.
In the case of homelessness we have a solution that gives the people the help they need (making the left happy) and ultimately saves money in the long run (which makes the right happy) Why are we not going forward with this?
Some random notes
- One reason we need a national strategy is that if one province or local community does a great job in solving homelessness what is to stop everyone from showing up at their doorstep? It needs to be a national response.
- Some have said there is something about having larger regional hubs.
- There will always need to be some short of shelter system for emergency and crisis issues.
- Cost of rental accommodation is out of proportion to what people can afford.
- Could a basic income strategy help with this and still be cheaper in the long-term?
Thanks to some great people such as Cheryl and Abe there are some great resources to learn more about this issue. And these folks are much more knowledgeable about this important issue then I am.
London Homeless Coalition
The Homeless Hub, state of homelessness report for 2014
City of London Homelessness and housing plan
I’ve have been fortunate enough to know and work with several communications professionals in my personal and professional career. What we saw today from the Paul Cheng campaign would make any of them cringe.
I think I can safely say that any of them would agree with me on the following points.
When a member of your volunteer staff does something extremely stupid and wrong, like post a racist tweet. It’s a good idea to get rid of them. – Paul Cheng did this.
Instead of just moving on at that point instead blame your opponent, the victim of the racist comment or anyone else who brought it to you attention. – Paul Cheng alas did all of this, therefore politicizing the issue. Racism is an independent issue outside of politics. This then made a small issue bigger.
Then his campaign manager accuses a local media outlet for putting words into Paul Cheng’s mouth. Only problem was Paul was recorded saying that and knew he was on the record. Never tell a lie particularly when there is proof out there.
I don’t always agree what is presented in print/radio/tv , but the ones I’ve met are good people and realize that lying would be very bad for their professional careers and for the industry in general. I realize that the media has a job to do as well, and in the era of cutbacks and mergers it’s tougher then ever. I have a great deal of respect for the profession in general.
There are people I agree with and people I disagree with on issues, but if anyone I know ever behaves in the manner that this person did, they will get called out. Racism has no place in civilized society. No excuses.
UPDATE: Just before I hit publish, Paul Cheng has offered his apology to Craig Needles and AM980 for the statements made by his campaign manager.
I’m so pleased that my ward councillor Matt Brown threw his hat into the ring to run for Mayor of London today. Matt’s the sort of politician that will listen to people and thinks through all sides of an issue before making a decision.
I remember first meeting Matt when he came to my door during the 2010 campaign. In the short chat we had then it was apparent that Matt would not just agree with what ever potential voter answered the door. He would listen and would give his opinion on an issue and why he thought that way.
During the time he has been serving the residents of Ward 7 as well as the residents of the rest of the city of London, he has always tried to understand all sides of an issue and tried to find a compromise. I have seen this both on council and at London Public Library Board meetings which I regularly attend. There have been times I have not always agreed with him, but I challenge anyone to find a candidate they will agree with every single issue on.
Politics is the art of compromise. Unfortunately it’s become very polarized. We need people willing to listen and engage. Not just at election time as current people on council have said but throughout the term. And despite what some may say, your behaviour in and out of council will determine how people view your ideas. Gina Barber’s excellent post on becoming a councillor is also quite enlightening. I have found Matt to be hardworking and caring for the citizen’s of London.
I’m endorsing Matt based on my interactions and observations. But don’t just vote for anyone without doing your own research. Elect someone who you feel represents what you most want but is willing to listen to other views. No one is right all the time and there are times that long-held beliefs are wrong and you may have your opinion changed.
In the end we all live in a community and we need to help all members of the community, but doing that we are so much better for it.