Why are you running?
This is a question I have heard a lot lately. I have even asked myself this very same question. I read the news, I follow social media, I listen to people when they talk about politics.
Then I look at what is going on around me. I’ve read about fellow veterans who can not deal with the bureaucracy while just trying to get the benefits they were promised when they signed the contract to serve. They reach out to those that are supposed to help only to have their concerns fall on deaf ears: the ears of those that have never had the courage to don the uniform. These veterans have had the pensions they have paid into for their entire career clawed back when they come of age to collect CPP, because of careless government spending.
I see the homeless people on the streets who have served our country but have, like the other homeless, been forgotten. I see our first nations people being insulted, ridiculed, and eventually beaten by the system that is in place. I hear them as they tell me of being ripped from their families and forced to go to residential schools where they were stripped of their identity and their culture, yet no one batted an eye until it was too late.
I see my parents, who have worked hard all their lives, who now rely on CPP and OAS (that they have already been taxed on), lose some of that precious little money to taxes again. They struggle to pay their bills.
I see other seniors who are struggling with two jobs and their CPP in order to make ends meet. I see their families having to deal with red tape after their parents have passed on.
I see the girl who was raped. Her attacker has gotten a slap on the wrist and turned out to attack yet another victim. I see her as she cries and relives the pain and horror she has gone through. I see her as she finds out that she is carrying the child of her assailant and, not sure of what to do or what her options are. If she keeps the child, will her rapist be able to claim visitation privileges? If she decides to terminate the pregnancy, will she be faced with having to explain her choice just to get permission to try to save her sanity?
I see fathers who, through no fault of their own, have to be a part time parent to their children because of unjust laws tilted against him by special interest groups.
I see once proud Canadians now line up at the welfare office, because their jobs have been sent to other countries, and because things are made cheaper in those other countries. Those same people can not afford to buy the products they once proudly made. I see them struggle with the decision between paying rent or buying food for that month and knowing that they can not get their kids those new shoes for school, let alone all the supplies they will need. I see people lining up at food banks because of the high cost of food.
I see people selling their possessions just to fuel their car so they can get to work, because our government gives preference to middle eastern oil over processing CANADIAN petroleum.
To digress…as I sit here writing this, I am trying to make contact with a suicidal veteran across the country who has had enough and feels that no one is listening.
THIS is why I am running. This has to change and we have been shown that the current parties JUST DON’T GIVE A DAMN.