Canada enjoys a reputation at home and abroad as a generous nation. The legendary acceptance and support of the red maple leaf internationally was built over decades, with a general performance from governments to match the image. Those Canadians are fair and understanding folk. They are willing to help. How long has that reputation been riding on history rather than recent actions?
Globally, according to recent studies, it seems Canada is not pulling its weight at home or abroad. Despite hearing how the economy is leading the G-7 club in growth, how well we survived the 2008 crash compared to others, how our history will not allow us to forget those less fortunate, social spending has been on a steady decline in Canada since the 1990's.
With a rapidly aging population, a near zero net birth rate and immigration being used to decrease the average age of the workforce, the logical and prudent steps required with social programs to enable and support a 21st Century Canada are not keeping pace. Neoliberalism has established itself as the way forward but statistical evidence says otherwise. Productivity, physical and mental health and educational opportunities are all part of the same picture. They take a steady and constant hand to improve a nation's overall health. Not a hand that offloads, downsizes and cuts funding for more than a generation. Canadians hear talk of Pharmacare, Child Care, Dental Care, Guaranteed Income. But other nations have moved past the talk into delivery, with positive results.
Why the disparity within Canada itself? Why do politics become the method of discourse instead of evidence and solution? Why has inequality increased in scope and pace? What cost will Canada pay in the future for neoliberal decisions today?
The View Up Here welcomes back Greg Fingas, a lawyer/blogger/freelance political commentator from a progressive humanist viewpoint, to discuss Canada's social program outlook