Right in the centre - Optimistic, but longing for a change


Ken Waddell

Neepawa Banner & Press

As spring bursts forth with bright, sunny days and fast running creeks, it’s easier to become optimistic. That is in spite of all the problems we face. There is no doubt we have problems and some pretty big ones. Be it worldly in nature or personal, there are always problems.

In Canada, we definitely have a problem and that is with the attitude of our current federal government. I find it incredible that the federal Liberals can be so deaf and blind to the needs and mood of Canadians. The deafness and blindness regarding the carbon tax and then the whole climate change scenario seem puzzling to me. It can certainly be argued that the climate is changing but I still doubt that curbing Canadians activities will help.

But there are bigger problems in my view. I think everyone knows we have a drug, crime and violence problem in Canada. The police know it, property and business owners know it, farmers know it too. The politicians know it, everybody knows there’s a problem. But what to do about it? That should be reasonably simple. We need more mental health help, for sure we do. We also need more policing, maybe even more jails and we need a lot more courage in our leadership. It’s all too common to read that offences are being foisted on an innocent population by criminals who have records as long as your arm. Can anybody defend releasing known violent sex offenders back into the general public? They actually post notices that person B is being released into Community C and is “likely to re-offend”.

The re-offending may be murder or rape or other brutal actions. Are we out of our minds? Why is a known, convicted person who is likely to re-offend, ever being allowed to go free? They can be in custody, they can take college courses, they can become a writer or musician or whatever, but they should never be out in the general public, ever.

I have long been opposed to capital punishment, and I still am, but the way some criminals don’t respond to treatment or jail time is enough to make a person question bringing back the death penalty.

I am still opposed to the death penalty for two reasons. One, there is always the chance of wrongful conviction and that has happened all too often. The second reason is that the Bible clearly says. “Thou shalt not murder”. To me, murder is taking another human’s life and and capital punishment is just that, taking another person’s life. In my mind, as tempting as capital punishment is, the death penalty, because of the above two stated reasons, make it incumbent on a society to put convicted killers away forever but not kill them.

The federal government, as  well as provincial and some municipal governments are also having an awful time coping with housing. It’s not much wonder. Housing is so expensive, land acquisition is expensive. To fill all the jobs, we have welcomed many thousands of immigrants. To fill our colleges and universities, we have brought in many thousands of international students. In response to the refugee crisis, we have brought in thousands of refugees.

Those moves are all well and good, but where on earth did the governments ever figure where they were going to house all the extra people?  It’s not like you can live in a tent (at least not safely) in Canada. 

So all of the above are problems, but they can be solved. I am optimisti,c but to remain so will require a lot of changes.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this column are the writer’s personal views and are not to be taken as being the view of the Banner & Press staff.