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Tag Archives: Canadian Politics

This weekend, Brantford, Ontario hosted its second annual winter festival, known as “Frosty Fest”.  The MC s of this event are two home grown super heroes known as  “Captain Kindness and Kid Kindness”.  They’re both affiliated with a local church and can be found at most events held in the downtown.  While speaking to festival – goers this afternoon, he thanked all those for attending and explained how this festival brought people in the community “to celebrate winter, instead of hiding from it”.  He then went on to express how important it was for the community to come together a “because as a city we’re stronger together than we are apart.”  The Captain has really raised a valuable idea.Captain Kindness

Communities, which could include anything from a classroom of students to the entire global population, are stronger when they work together or when citizens take an interest in their communities.  This is why the Captain’s quote and the concept are of such interest to this blog.  On issues of unemployment or poverty, the strength and cohesion of communities is a major factor on experiences of those facing poverty or unemployment.  Many issues need to examined not just by politicians, but by community as well.  An informed and connected community member is able to assert more influence or gain a greater stake in their community.  Politicians don’t always know what issues in a community need addressing or the unique and complex challenges of addressing major problems.

Community members, on the ground, should be able to solve more issues in their own community; the first steps towards achieving this higher level of citizen input and involvement is through knowledge and bringing citizens together.  These two things could happen in the same place.  This blog is part of a larger citizen journalism project.  It is also somewhat experimental as while this blog and all other EDG Media properties are guided by theories, scholarly literature, and journalistic practices, it also blends in many new, untried and unproven practices and ideas.  Citizen journalism, along with many other sites of information exchange and community member interaction, are great ways to foster the needed citizen knowledge and togetherness.  Citizen journalism could be an effective tool for gaining greater agency for community members when trying to attain this greater level of input and involvement in community matters.

If citizens are able to exert greater influence and involvement in community affairs, they could then possibly be in a better position to tackles issues such as poverty and unemployment.  A top down heavy approach can be useful, but some matters are better left to those who have actual lived experiences within these matters.

Communities are just one type of social organization.  They are also just one factor among many in the seemingly impossible task of solving poverty, unemployment and other social and economic issues.

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Disclaimer: Evan’s Daily Grind in no way endorses or supports the notion that asking politicians about old age benefits is better than asking seniors.

Stephen Harper has confirmed that there may be some changes on the way for OAS.  Is it time to sound the alarm on a right wing ploy to roll back the state or is it a way to make a government program sustainable for future generations?

First, read this:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2012/02/03/harper-old-age-security-eligibility.html

The first point to be considered (and focus of this entry) is a possible raise in the age of eligibility.  This is a reoccurring and very contentious issue among modern industrialized nations.  It’s caused protest and civil disobedience in Europe and elsewhere.  Massive dissent in the form of protest occurred in France when this idea of raising the age of eligibility was floated.  Fortunately, this is Canada and most people have jobs or other commitments to attend so the likelihood of some sort of “Euro Dissent Fest” occurring in the near (or likely distant) future is relative low.

Well, should we ask people to put in two more years of work?  This is where people tend to split off into different ideological camps.  However, this issue is not a simple matter of right or left, liberal or conservative, coffee or tea.  It’s a complex issue with many intervening variables to be considered. The first (and perhaps most obvious) issue to look at is the type of job one holds.  A sanitation worker or heavy manufacturing labourer will have a much different experience than someone who works in a less physically demanding job such as something in administration, service, etc.  This concept raises yet another concept: who is to say that one job is ultimately harder than another?  While a worker in a factory may have a position requiring greater physical dexterity, someone in a service or retail position may be faced with intense emotional or stress related pressures.  Furthermore, someone who holds a management position and sits at a desk all day may also have an equally demanding position resulting from the intellectual requirements and massive responsibilities and workloads.  When trying to compare one job to another in this frame is very hard.  One question only leads to another. How can an accurate and objective of assessment of jobs come about in regards to OAS age eligibility?  Who really worked the hardest?

What is needed is an objective and replicable scale; something similar that might be encountered in sociology for analyzing social topics, units or aspects.  Who would create this? Government, industry, both?  Deciding on this is yet another issue to which would need to be addressed.

The only thing that is clear is that any decision regarding age of eligibility for Old Age Security will be a tough one.  It will make some happy and some very upset.  Some people will reap the benefits, others will be screwed.  In other words, it will be just like any other political decision.

Disclaimer: Evan’s Daily Grind in no way endorses or supports the notion that asking politicians about old age benefits is better than asking seniors.

Stephen Harper has confirmed that there may be some changes on the way for OAS.  Is it time to sound the alarm on a right wing ploy to roll back the state or is it a way to make a government program sustainable for future generations?

First, read this:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2012/02/03/harper-old-age-security-eligibility.html

The first point to be considered (and focus of this entry) is a possible raise in the age of eligibility.  This is a reoccurring and very contentious issue among modern industrialized nations.  It’s caused protest and civil disobedience in Europe and elsewhere.  Massive dissent in the form of protest occurred in France when this idea of raising the age of eligibility was floated.  Fortunately, this is Canada and most people have jobs or other commitments to attend so the likelihood of some sort of “Euro Dissent Fest” occurring in the near (or likely distant) future is relative low.

Well, should we ask people to put in two more years of work?  This is where people tend to split off into different ideological camps.  However, this issue is not a simple matter of right or left, liberal or conservative, coffee or tea.  It’s a complex issue with many intervening variables to be considered. The first (and perhaps most obvious) issue to look at is the type of job one holds.  A sanitation worker or heavy manufacturing labourer will have a much different experience than someone who works in a less physically demanding job such as something in administration, service, etc.  This concept raises yet another concept: who is to say that one job is ultimately harder than another?  While a worker in a factory may have a position requiring greater physical dexterity, someone in a service or retail position may be faced with intense emotional or stress related pressures.  Furthermore, someone who holds a management position and sits at a desk all day may also have an equally demanding position resulting from the intellectual requirements and massive responsibilities and workloads.  When trying to compare one job to another in this frame is very hard.  One question only leads to another. How can an accurate and objective of assessment of jobs come about in regards to OAS age eligibility?  Who really worked the hardest?

What is needed is an objective and replicable scale; something similar that might be encountered in sociology for analyzing social topics, units or aspects.  Who would create this? Government, industry, both?  Deciding on this is yet another issue to which would need to be addressed.

The only thing that is clear is that any decision regarding age of eligibility for Old Age Security will be a tough one.  It will make some happy and some very upset.  Some people will reap the benefits, others will be screwed.  In other words, it will be just like any other political decision.