As winter approaches and the chill begins to enter the air I can not help thinking once again to the street people. Winter may represent the coming of Christmas, hockey, skiing and having fun in the snow for most of us, but there are thousands of Canadians living on the streets, or tying to heat their homes with barbeques, or find enough food and winter does not signal the coming of Christmas and fun in the snow for them. These unfortunate Canadians know that the coming of winter for them means another challenge in their constant fight of life and death against the elements. Many will not win the fight and for those who do, the suffering will be almost unbearable. Many will lose limbs, fingers, or toes to frostbite. Others will be disfigured, losing ears and noses to frostbite. It is the same every year all across the country and nothing changes, no matter what government is in office.
I have said it before that winter in Canada breaks my heart, because of the unnecessary suffering and death that is allowed to go on by every government on all levels in Canada. Canada is supposed to be so strong economically, but yet the suffering continues, why is that? Montreal suffers some of the most bone chilling temperatures in winter and I can not imagine the cost of treating all of the damage done to limbs and digits, but I would hazard a guess that it is not good for the economy since this is all the present government seems to feel is important. I did not major in economics so I do not know the logic, or math that makes a tomato worth more today than it was worth yesterday, or the price of gas jump 30 cents a liter over night, but something tells me that it is just plain greed and a non caring for others that causes the spike in essential services and life sustaining products.
We have hundreds of homeless people living and dying out on the streets year round in just Montreal and thousands in Canada, but the worse time for these people, these Canadians is in the winter when there is no respite and no protection from the cold. If the cold does not kill them, it cripples many with frost bite , but there will be no money to open more shelters, or the building of low-income housing units, because Mr. Harper and the Conservative party of Canada has cut the funding to such projects and has made its priority our economy. There are simply not enough shelters and on some of the most frigid days with temperatures dropping to -40 below zero with the wind chill there are many homeless sleeping out doors with only cardboard to protect them from the wind, but nothing stops the cold and the government on all levels does nothing, but pick up the dead bodies. You will not hear about this on the news, because a dying homeless person is not news worthy, because it does not sell ads. As Canadian citizens we do not want to know and are glad that the news does not ruin our supper with such unappetizing stories. Better to hear about who is sleeping with who in Hollywood, then who died on the street from being exposed to the elements.
It is said that we are a country of seniors, because people are living longer thanks to the benefits of medical improvements and treatments, but this puts seniors a bad situation. There is no infrastructure to house, and feed them. Many who would have died are now living and the government finds them to be a strain on Canada’s economy. These seniors having retired are on fixed incomes with everything that they need to survive in life sky rocketing in cost, like affordable assisted living; the cost of having a care giver; the cost of their medication and the cost of heating and food. In the winter heating becomes a problem, because as we speak hydro all over Canada is rushing to cut off anyone behind in their bill before the November 1st deadline. This causes so much hardship on all less fortunate Canadians, but to the seniors with medical machines, like breathing assistance and heart monitors it is nothing but government sanctioned murder. Hydro Quebec will make no deals when it comes to cutting a person off, it is payment in full or adios. Seniors have been known to eat cat food so that they can pay their hydro bill and not freeze to death. We know that seniors are not as able to tolerate drops in temperature due to poor blood circulation so they will try to heat their homes with bar be qs causing fires often killing themselves, others in their building and causing millions of dollars in property damage, but again all levels of government sit by and do nothing because it claims it does not have the money and the media says nothing because suffering seniors is are not worth much weight in advertisement revenue.
I have watched an elderly black man who lives on the street in my area, who does not beg for money, food, or anything else, for three to four years now and every year, my partner and I wonder how he made it though the winter when we see him again still alive in the spring. We do see him in the winter walking the walk of the homeless, but not as often as when the weather is nice. I have asked why he is there on the street and his story is that he does not want to burden his family. The government has decided to take money off of his pension for money he owes to them for various things and this leaves him unable to afford a place to live, if he is to eat. This is our governments way. This is how we treat our seniors. If you owe money to the government come pension time, no matter how hard no matter how hard you tried to pay it back, no matter your circumstances, they will take it back even if it causes you to be homeless in the dead of winter. No one makes the choice to freeze in the winter, these choices are made for them by greedy Hydro and Gas companies owned and operated by the provincial governments of this country and not challenged by the federal government of this country. Isn’t it ironic that all privately owned companies go out of their way to make deals when it comes to unpaid, or in the rears bills, but that government-run companies do not?
I would think that in these hard economic times the government of Canada and the provincial governments would have passed laws even if temporary to force crown corporations to ease up on the automatic closing of services deemed essential, like hydro, gas, heating oil, telephone and such. Increases in rent and food as well should have been covered and frozen. Afterall who is responsible for the predicament that the world finds itself in if it is not the governments of the world, of which Canada is one?
- Homeless People Are Everywhere (thehomelessguy.blogspot.com)
- Budgets bite as EU homeless go hungry (rt.com)
- 85 Percent of Homeless Canadians Have Chronic Health Conditions (sciencedaily.com)