To Seek An Equal World

FTLComm - Tisdale - February 28, 2001


The picture above is of Main Street in Tisdale Saskatchewan, a rather sleepy agricultural community in the vast emptiness of rural Saskatchewan. There is little unemployment, people are kind and courteous to one another and all of us are proud to live here and call it home.



of society

But there is a shadow that hovers over us, a shadow that grows and continues to make us wonder what is happening to our world, and why is it changing, not for the better, but for the worse? On this morning's radio news (CBC 540) there were four apparently unrelated stories that seemed to be troubling and yet they are not new stories, we all know about them and we seem to be hapless bystanders watching the deterioration of society.




The four news stories were the continued unpleasantness of a child of eleven kidnapped in Washington State brought into Vancouver, given drugs and forced to work as a street prostitute. The second story involves the Regina Health Board and its crusade to balance its budget which includes the announcement of reducing its nursing staff by sixty nine. While the third story talks about a study that found that housing in rural Saskatchewan communities is the most affordable in all of the country. The fourth story tells us that a Regina taxi driver is being charged in the freezing death of a Regina Indian woman who could not pay for her taxi ride, he took her coat and she died.



of wealth

All of these stories link directly to one simple factor, a factor that we can see demonstrable evidence of every single day, be we in Tisdale or Sudbury and that is that the distribution of wealth in this country has failed. There are more and more people with little or no disposable income and smaller and smaller numbers of people with more money than they can spend.



faced with

The story about child prostitution makes most of us just plain sick to the stomach. The fact that the country, and national news is suddenly aware of this horrible crime in Vancouver is appalling. It is appalling because such activity is an everyday occurrence in Regina and Saskatoon where children even younger than eleven are provided to sexual consumers often by their family members, or by us as an uncaring society. The gut wrenching depravity and hopeless poverty that is present in our major cities and is being perpetuated, will produce acts of abuse and exploitation that we as a society have simply been ignoring. When life is worthless, people will sell their children, their bodies and whatever anyone wants to do with them, what does it matter when faced with extinction.




We have adequate laws, sex with a child is against the law, yet the police and prosecutors ignore the crime and even as in Alberta, concentrate on the child victim, the exploited one, rather than the criminal exploiting the poor and defenseless child, sold as so much meat.



its budget

The Regina Health Board has a priority, it is not to provide health care to the people of Southern Saskatchewan, it is to balance its budget. Money, not a matter of life and death is the top priority.




The story about low housing values in rural Saskatchewan is perhaps the most telling. A farm house no matter how well built, or a house in a small Saskatchewan town, is where it is, with depopulation and the drastic reduction of all manner of services from hospitals, ambulance, roads and education, is being priced at its real value. A great house in Mistatim or Sylvania may only bring $20,000, while if that house were located in Melfort would be sold for $80,000.




The rural economy of Saskatchewan is under attack, it is not just losing the battle, the war is over and all that remain are the derelicts and refugees of what once was the real society of this province.




It really isn't necessary to comment on the taxi driver who has turned failure to pay for a taxi ride into a capital crime. The more than 50,000 unemployed impoverished people of aboriginal descent in Regina and perhaps even more in Saskatoon have become ghettoised. The horrors of India where the impoverished outnumber all others one hundred to one are now becoming a part of Saskatchewan's way of life.




Poverty, just like wealth, is a commodity. It can be created or diminished by a society, it does not just happen, it is a conscious structural organised activity. Fifty years ago this situation was not the case and fifty years ago there were more people in Saskatchewan than there are now, all were better off, all earned more relative to the conditions we now see today. The situation at the beginning of the twenty-first century has been created out of a much better and much more equal time.




It is not a difficult task to make accusations and hurl blame at those who created this intense devaluation of quality of life as that is counter productive. What has to occur is the realisation that poverty, perpetual welfarism and multiplication of the working poor, is a direct and deliberate creation of this society. The middle class has been decimated as most of its numbers are being reassigned life styles in the working and lower class, while at the same time this society has created a cast system with what soon will be half the province's population as "untouchables."



of the

This writer is one of those who does not like this new world, the simple reason is that he like so many others knows better, because he has lived in much better times. If a society can create poverty and all that goes with it, it also has the capacity to create a society without poverty and all that goes with it and the sooner we realise this concept the more quickly we can set about repairing a ruined social structure. During the repair process we have to divest ourselves of the dogma and ideological pretensions that interfere with restoring 'EQUALITY'.



for all

The function of the Regina Health Board is not to balance its budget, it is to provide adequate health care to about one third of the people of Saskatchewan. The function of taxi drivers is to provide transportation not seizure of property and executions. The function of government is to look after the needs of a society not cater to the interests of those individuals to make contributions to political parties. The function of a healthy society is to create fairness and equality for all, socially, economically, emotionally and spiritually.