I DO NOT, HAVE NOT, WOULD NOT ever suggest throwing money at a problem. I am a REALIST, believing in examining a problem to understand what the situation IS. I am not an Ideologue who, wearing the blinders of ideology, looks at a situation and sees what they want to see, not what really is. There is NO perfect solution. A system dealing with people demands flexibility and denies neat, easy answers. Rigidly applying Ideology guarantees failure. How I came to homelessness: click Backstory below.
Watching the news during the first weekend of February was disquieting, raising questions and concerns about the
Two years ago I wrote that if the Campbell government continued to suffer from a lack of ideas, leadership and some boldness they would be digging in the archives for the old plans to the World War II camps used to intern Canadians of Japanese ethnicity.
No leadership, no ideas, no innovation, no boldness and you find time ticking away creating political pressure to DO SOMETHING! Anyway of rounding up the homeless and getting them out of sight before the eyes of the world turns to BC for the Olympic Games in 2010 begins to look tempting.
Sounds a little farfetched?
Until you have Health Minister George Abbots talking about reopening Riverview to begin getting the homeless mentally ill of the streets and interned out of sight. Of course this is for “their own good”. Given the number of homeless estimated in the report for mental health it is clear that just Riverview could not house all 15,500 homeless. You would have to find other “accommodation” for the balance.
The government did talk about using old prisons or other such facilities in the interior as places to set up residential programs that would help people get a trade and ready to get back into society, “for their own good”. I heard the other day about just such a two year program running right now although of very limited space.
You would have to come up with some sort of plans for camps to house the residents of a program expanded to 15,500. Perhaps the archives …
Politicians, political pressure and political expediency have me remembering the caution that “the road to hell is paved with good attentions”.
The government’s plans to look at reopening Riverview to house the homeless “for their own good” is a plan to step onto a very steep, very slippery slope. It is a slope that as someone who has suffered homelessness and mental illness fills me with disquiet and foreboding.
Lies, damned lies and statistics.
Mr. Redekop certainly provided an interesting piece of evidence about the fact statistics can mislead without an understanding of the context of the statistics. His letter, with its blatant attempt to beguile the reader and obfuscate the underlying implications and reality of the income numbers, clearly demonstrates that without context statistics and numbers are meaningless.
Citing figures ”…not totally accurate but close enough”; comparing apples and oranges (the underlying economic realities of “some decades ago and of today); then choosing what incomes to include in the “statistics” in a manner guaranteed to generate the desired “proof” as to the high level of income in Abbotsford; Mr. Redekop’s argument would appear to have no other purpose than to “massage” the numbers into the form and level he wants them to be.
Why Mr. Redekop feels it necessary to be an apologist for those whose ideology requires the level of income in Abbotsford to be high and thus deny the true levels of poverty and economic hardship in the city I do not know. Perhaps denying the unacceptable, and rising, levels of poverty and economic hardship allows Ideologues to continue to turn a blind eye to the reality of life for our most vulnerable citizens. In not seeing, or at least refusing to acknowledge, the levels of suffering they can continue to live in denial of any need to redress this unfairness and pain.
I always recommend “How to Lie with Statistics”, Darrell Huff’s perennially best-selling introduction to statistics for the general reader to people.
One of the reasons I did not join Mr. Chapman, Judith Isaaks Sol et al and “pile on” Mr. Dimanno for his mathematical slip, was that without the detailed underlying data I could not definitely conclude any of his or their statements were wrong.
Mr. Dimanno may well have misstated what he meant to say, but his underlying point about the extreme folly and blindness of the economist’s statements contrasted with the realities of life for the poor was valid.
I would like to draw reader’s attention to the important second half off Mr. Chapman January 18th letter citing the BC dieticians 2007 cost of eating report contrasted with the giving provincial government grants to those who own million dollar homes. I would like the reader to further consider this “’aid’ to the property wealthy (within government ideology) with the failure to adequately deliver needed support, services or aid the homeless (outside government ideology).
I leave you with one interesting statistic from the Cost of Eating in BC 2007. Paying for shelter plus food to meet the minimum
Perhaps Mr. Campbell, his fellow ideologues and apologists would care to enlighten us as to how one spends 107% of your income. Assuming one is not a politician, ideologue, apologist or economist.