Month: June 2017

Safe Space

Some constables of the Region of Waterloo paid my place a visit, and they were not smiling like these folk. Source: Waterloo Region Police Flickr page.

Update 11/17/2017: I revised my position on shelters since I wrote this post, but the points raised here are still valid. A shelter is not a 100% secure and safe place to reside in. You still need to lock up your stuff to prevent theft, and you still need to be careful not to get into a fight with others who have anger management issues or have a drug or alcohol addiction.

I’ve been asked by a few people why I won’t go to a men’s shelter, as I’ve stated in previous posts and during my “David Needs A Job” videos on YouTube. To answer, I need to tell you about something that happened this morning (Wednesday June 21st, 2017).

We had an incident this morning at the group house I’m staying at. One that involved the police being called and I having to give one constable a report.

My neighbour across from me often has friends over, and some of them are pretty sketchy. Now, I admit I shouldn’t be so judgemental: I did say in a previous post that the tenants and I who live at this house are not at their Sunday best, and would rather be at a better point in life. So, people in glass houses, after all…

One particular visitor of hers is borderline schizophrenic. He will sometimes swing from polite and friendly to berserker lunatic without warning. He’ll start using the F-word so many times he sounds like a helicopter. A screeching shrieking one at that.

When this happens he’ll hit my neighbour, issue death threats, and start damaging property and scaring the crap out of the rest of us. If it happens in the afternoon, I’ll grab what I can and stay at a Tim Horton’s or a library until I get the all-clear to come home.

If this happens overnight during a stayover, it’s different. I can’t just go out in the middle of the night because nearly everything is closed in the Region of Waterloo, and the buses don’t run overnight. This isn’t Toronto after all. The best I can do is lie in my bed and wait until the screaming and hitting stops and he leaves, then go back to sleep.

I’ve talked to my neighbour about this on several occasions, gently suggesting that maybe she shouldn’t let him stay overnight any more. My neighbour agreed, yet he still came over and acts up yet again.

Now we get to the present. This morning, he stormed into the basement and charged into my neighbour’s suite. After hitting my neighbour…again…he goes into the main hall and sings (yes, sings) about killing his neighbour, killing police and firefighters, and ranting about what a genius he is and he’s smarter than everyone else. How he got in is anyone’s guess. I always lock the back door before I go to bed : I know it’s locked because I always have to unlock it in order to leave for my job search or any temp work the next morning.

I don’t know who called the police but they came to detain him. Because I knew about the past incidents ┬áinvolving him and how he behaves, I was asked by one constable to fill out a three page report. I did so, as well as showed the constable a record of the times my neighbour and I talked about this. This included some Emails.

So why am I sharing this, and what does this have to do with why I won’t go to a men’s shelter?

I told you before most people like myself who are in need of social assistance and affordable housing usually are not at their Sunday best. You go through depression and mood swings which could lead to having a mental disorder, assuming you already do not have one.

It’s no secret that fights, assaults, and thefts happen at men’s shelters. Imagine what happened at my place magnified by a factor of 10 or more. That’s what goes on in these places. That’s why we need affordable housing that bring dignity, stability, and privacy to the individual who is trying to get back on their feet. Band-aid solutions like group homes and shelters are not the answer.

Everyone deserves a safe space to eat and sleep in.

Thanks for reading.


The Fast Track Right Over The Poor

From, that has an article about the new Global Talent Stream program which allows the fasttracking of foreign worker hiring.

I want to bring to your attention a new program that will be great if you are looking for work in the Region of Waterloo’s growing technology market, as well as other parts of Canada.

Before I introduce it, there’s a catch: you cannot be a Canadian citizen. You have to live outside of Canada to qualify.

On June 12, 2017, Canada launched its new Global Talent Stream (GTS), offering fast-track, two-week Canada visa and Canada work permit processing for employers seeking to hire specialized high-skilled foreign workers.

Communitech, an example of taxpayer-funded corporate welfare that does little to address poverty and homelessness in the Region of Waterloo, and instead make the rich technocrats even richer, will be an agent of referral for those who qualify.

I do not qualify because I am a native born Canadian citizen, nor do I have a Canada work permit which is what Communitech and other agents of referrals ask for.

This program, in a nutshell, helps businesses find global talent to fill vacant job positions in the technology field at the expense of local talent.

Businesses claim they cannot find local talent so they must hire abroad. While that might be true, it does not address the WHY of it. In other words, why can’t they find local talent and that is something I want to address today.

Let’s start with the cost of getting the qualifications in order to land that job. It’s no secret that the cost of post secondary education is quite expensive, with technology diploma and degree programs being especially so. I’ve argued in a past post that we are in danger of having the working class being synonymous with wealthy class because only that economic class will be able to afford training programs.

We’ve also entered an era where very few entry level positions are available in most professions. Back in the 1980s, the information technology field had many entry level jobs (such as computer operations, data entry, help desk) that not only required very little qualifications but gave one a chance to get in-house training and rise up the job ladder. Those positions are now either automated or rolled into other job descriptions through right-sizing/downsizing and credential creep.

These two points do reduce the number of local applicants, but this problem is one of our own manufacture. We chose to hire governments that did not make post-secondary education more affordable for our young people and those in need of retraining during a career transition due to obsolescence. We allowed businesses to implement policies that laid off many people, even to the point of violating certain employee rights and all in the name of increasing profit. Human Resources is now the equivalent of a line item on an expense report, where salaries are lumped in with toilet paper, office supplies, and coffee vend machines.

Had we invested more in local human capital, not only would this lack of local talent issue not exist, the country as a whole would be more prosperous.

In closing, hiring foreign workers to fill those positions does not address the problem of the local underemployed, unemployed, and the homeless. They will STILL be around and drawing from social assistance programs while they struggle to get out of poverty. Whatever tax revenue increase that will come from the success of GTS will be offset by the ever increasing social infrastructure costs needed to help Canadian citizens who live below the poverty line. Even worse, their number WILL increase as a result of GTS.

On the eve of Canada’s 150th birthday, it seems downright unCanadian to look outside our borders for workers. It’s time to start helping our own by getting them back on the payroll.

Thanks for reading.