Letters to The Vancouver Sun, Aug. 11, 2020: Now is the time to begin anew

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Now is the time for changes. We, the whole world, are emerging slowly from a killer pandemic. The government of Canada has been able to create new programs to support the Canadian people to cope with most of the adversities of this pandemic. Now people are asking, \u0026ldquo\u003BWhat\u0026rsquo\u003Bs next?\u0026rdquo\u003B Will we be returning to the same old ways, or will there be major changes to the way we live? Now is the time to decide what stays and what goes, an opportunity seldom before us.

Following this plan for our younger set, we now turn to post-secondary students. They are our future, a future totally different from the past for which students now need the education and skills training to be able to contribute to the new society. Many countries, smaller than ours, can afford free education for all. Why can’t we?Article content continued

One of the outcomes of this pandemic is the fact that “for-profit” companies have used their “bottom line” to determine the level of care for our seniors in long-term care facilities. Where are the regulations to properly govern and monitor these care homes? The large numbers of seniors who died of the coronavirus at these facilities is a tragedy. It proved the fact that the system is broken and needs to be fixed.

The current CERB program has been a life-saver for many families. Generally, people like and need to feel useful, appreciated and able to contribute to their families and to society. When there are jobs to be had, there will be employees to occupy them. This, and all the other programs the government has provided for citizens in this time of disruption, have helped immensely.

Pilot programs have been carried out in many towns and cities over the past decades, including one in Dauphin, Manitoba. A Senate committee in 2009 said it was time to put a guaranteed basic income back on the public agenda, because of growing inequality and poverty among Canadians. The universal health-care program is an ongoing legacy, and a reminder of how lucky we all are to live in Canada. Now is the time to create “a new legacy” — a guaranteed basic income for all Canadians. Of course, it will cost us all more tax dollars, but if we all share in the cost of these programs, including those who deposit their money in offshore tax havens so they don’t have to contribute to our economy, we can do it.

 

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