Month: October 2015

Drama Time

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Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau waves while accompanied by his wife Sophie Gregoire as he arrives to give his victory speech after Canada’s federal election in Montreal, October 19, 2015. (REUTERS/Chris Wattie)

Up until last night, Canada was at a crossroads.

Canadians were given a choice of three different futures for this country: NDP leader Tom Mulcair’s, who first began political service in the Quebec National Assembly in 1994, Conservative Party Leader and Prime Minister Steven Harper’s, who has been an MP since 1993, and Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau’s, who has been an MP since 2008 and was a former drama teacher.

This country was at a crossroads because of a poorly performing economy and a jobless recovery with over 1.3 million Canadians out of work (including myself). I would have assumed steadfast fiscal responsibility over unattainable campaign promises couched in flowery language would have prevailed and either Harper or Mulcair would have won the election.

Then again, I was sure the Ontario Liberals, a scandal-ridden and incompetent provincial government, would have never been re-elected only to discover to my disgust that Ontarians are either very forgiving or suffer from memory problems.  Looks like the rest of Canada are the same way. We now have a majority Liberal government that campaigned on a platform of spendthrift promises that deliberately ignores the seriousness of our fiscal deficit and debt.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m all for job-creation and affordable housing. I am suffering from a lack of affordable housing and chronic unemployment after all. Despite this, as a jobseeker I know the importance of watching your dollars and cents and living within your financial means. I have to because I have very little dollars and cents coming my way with what little work I can find.

The Liberal way, as it has always been for as long as I remember putting up with their governments is to throw money at a problem and hope it goes away. That’s not how it works. Call Steven Harper a control freak, call him whatever for Bill C-51 and his handling of refugee claims, but he knew lowering taxes put more money back into the wallets of Canadians was the right way to go, especially in this Age of Austerity and the jobless recovery.

Make no mistake about it, our new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will claw that back from the middle class and tax the wealthy more. That will put the breaks on hiring and impact consumer confidence as everyone starts to hoard their money after the taxman cometh and taketh away.

The backlash from this hoarding is that tax revenues will fall, not rise. He will not have the money for his platform and I and everyone else who are stuck in the hind end of this poor economy and sluggish labour market will not see more jobs and more affordable housing. We’ll just be taxed more and wondering why we elected a teacher to do the work of responsible leaders.

Canadians, you wanted a drama teacher to run this country? You’re about to get a heaping helping of drama. Expect no prosperity for this country for another four years.

Thanks for reading!

David.

Update: For those out there who think I’m being too critical or overly harsh, I’m pulling my punches. THIS (language warning), despite it being bang on right, is not pulling punches. Did I mention it was bang on right?

On The Street Again

My cell phone, which I never expected to get me into an argument with others about. Picture by David Gay, permission to use provided credit is given to the author.

In a previous blog post, I wrote that I was able to obtain shelter for the wintertime thanks to the assistance of family members. It did not, however, solve the problem on why I have no place to stay in the first place. The failure to resolve that issue has undermined my stay and as a result I will be out on the street again on December 1st, 2015.

Confused? Allow me to explain.

I wrote in a blog post a while back that being unemployed does not just affect me but also my friends and family in the form of personal friction. We’ve argued about my methods to get out of the hole I’m in such as the type of temporary jobs I take or the cutting of services that are necessary but make it harder to reach me. I never had these arguments when I was working but now these arguments are here and they have been ongoing over the last few years. I won’t go into the details about what happened because I don’t think anyone is at fault but the end result is that my stay at the place I am at is done on November 30th.

As I said before, no one is at fault here. I still love my family. I’ll always love my family. What happened was the symptom of a disease was treated instead of concentrating on finding the cure for it. To quote Kevin Barbieux, who maintains a blog describing his current homeless situation:

Homelessness is caused by a lack of money

Every single person who becomes homeless does so the same way, they all follow the same basic path. They all ended up in a situation where they didn’t have enough money to pay for a place to live. Either they lost a job, spent all the money they had, or they left a home where someone else was paying the bills. That’s ‘how’ they all become homeless.

That’s the problem that should have been addressed rather than take the paid-for shelter: LACK OF MONEY. If I didn’t lack money, I wouldn’t be so depressed about not having enough money for this or that or these or those. I wouldn’t be getting into arguments over petty things like being unable to afford a cell phone or spending too much time taking the low-paying but easier to find gigs and temp jobs when I should be trying to get back into I.T. again which is impossible without going back to school. If I didn’t lack money I’d pay my own rent and be financially stable instead of letting others pay for me, which makes me feel like a moocher.

The TL;DR of all of this is that I need a ###king job so I can afford to pay for my own ###king home and I’m not the only one. As  wrote in the Huffington Post, “on any given night, 35,000 Canadians are homeless, and in any given year, 235,000 Canadians have been homeless.” We have an affordable housing shortage yet somehow there’s no problem building expensive condos for wealthy Canadians.

On the unemployment front, as reported on the TradingEconomics.com website, “unemployment increased by 18,400 to 1,364,500 from 1,346,100 in August (2015), while employment was little changed for the fourth consecutive month in September (2015) rising by 12,100 to 17,978,100, as part-time employment rose by 74,000, being largely offset by a decline of 62,000 in full time.”

On top of this, Canada recently slid back into a recession.

How is this possible in a country as wealthy as Canada? This is practically a national crisis and yet Ottawa does nothing about it.

Maybe there is someone to blame for this after all, but it’s neither me nor my family. It’s politicians who overtax and over-regulate us yet do not ensure basic essentials such as housing and employment are plentiful. My family should not be doing this for me.

Something to remember this election day. In the meantime, I will keep you up to date on my preparations on returning to the street in the weeks to come.

Thanks for reading!

David.