Tisdale - August 8, 1999
By: Timothy W. Shire
This morning's news is filled with hardship and a good deal of despair; murders in Regina, shortage of nurses in Montreal, toxic waste in Nova Scotia, fighting in Southern Russia, safe house for Saskatoon's child prostitutes and the Premier begging his fellow premiers to ask Ottawa for farm aid. As I listened to these tales of woe, it struck me that all these folks need are pancakes.

Simple flour, eggs, and milk toasted up and served hot with a little fruit and syrup and all the troubles of the world vanish. I am not so foolish as to suggest that complex issues can be treated in a trivial manner, but I am suggesting that if we concentrate on the basics, the good things, we can see a way of solving some of the thorny and less pleasant problems that face us.

The premier should talk less and do more, he should sit down to some steaming pancakes and consider what he can do to assist the farmers of his province and perhaps when he tastes the simple and nutrious pancakes, he will realise that action on his part would go a lot further then complaining about the Federal government's inaction. The best leadership is by example.

The grim reality for Saskatoon's children who work the street is that they do so because they have to live and for them selling their bodies is the only option they have to sustain themselves. If ever there was someone in need of pancakes, they are the ones. There has been a house opened for them to live and repair their lives, double the number who are housed there have asked for a place and the government is "considering" expanding the programme.

The fighting in Southern Russia is so severe that some of the country's top ranking military leaders have taken over the battle against criminal and rebel elements. Russia is a country that needs pancakes big time. The economy is in a shambles, the free market system has simply replaced communism with rule by terror of the society's criminal element, armed to the teeth, with nothing to lose, as life in Russia is pretty cheap. Food is scarce and people are desperate, while our Canadian wheat is going unsold, we could see it made into pancakes, that would tide them over until they can sort out an economic and political system that will work for them.

There were twelve so-called notables who toured the Sydney tar pits in Nova Scotia this morning. The news guy told us how important these people were, but only mentioned one name, that of Mike Harcourt, the former major of Vancouver and premier of B.C. Apparently, this impoverished part of Canada has served as a place to dump off millions of tons of bad stuff where it lies oozing on the beach. The fact is that that stuff didn't get there by itself. Business and government worked together through omission and commission to create a major mess. The problem was created by people who failed to recognise the importance and wholesomeness of their pancakes. Instead of recognising what is good and trying to keep it that way, they set about contaminating. As mentioned yesterday in Ensign with the environment's protection largely left in the hands of the polluters, things are not going to improve.

Montreal's shortage of nurses is a symptom rather then an actual problem. Governments in Ottawa and across the country have tried to balance their budgets and their cut backs have left the health system of the country reeling from shortages of all kinds. These problems are not naturally occurring, but were caused deliberately by the politicians of the country. They have chosen to find money to bribe big business with tax cuts and hand outs, while letting the health of Canadians suffer. And, don't go "tisk tisk," you the voter, and tax payer, are the short sighted and people totally responsible for this situation. You should have had some pancakes, savoured the flavour and appreciated what good things are and realised that when you voted for foolish politicians, and their foolish policies, you were denying others of ever tasting a pancake again.

CBC Saskatchewan's local news this morning lead with three stories of murder or suspected murder in the streets of Regina, with a whole section of the city, once again under siege this morning. Isn't poverty just great. Instead of eating their pancakes this morning, Regina's policeman are blocking streets and setting up sniper positions around one of the city's ghetto neighbourhoods. Neighbourhoods where no one has a job, welfare, grim sadness and destitution are the norm. No pancakes here folks, just the unsettling reality of thousands of people who have come from their reserves looking for something better for themselves and their children, and now live amidst break-ins, domestic fights, senseless drinking bouts and damn short lives. Nearly half the people in Saskatchewan's two major cities live in such conditions. Most do not vote and in the election later this year, a government which has worked hard to create these conditions, will be re-elected.

So my solution is simple, think of the good things, savour them and realise that it is our duty, our responsibility and our mandate to do something about those who can not enjoy pancakes Sunday morning.