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Does Maclean's still think homelessness is 'Canada's Gangrene?'
Tonight my Twitter feed showed me the 12 election issues that Canada's 'national' Maclean's magazine deemed important to name and cover in the 2015 federal election. In case you haven't seen them, they are: terrorism, defence spending, truth and reconciliation, jobs, crime, democratic reform, marijuana (?), climate, coalitions, pensions, taxes, childcare. Good, I agree with many of these.
But...the homelessness and housing disaster/crisis is not there. I likely will cry in a few minutes and I don't mind saying so. Am I surprised by the omission? No. I'm just desperately disappointed. I often use this Maclean's article in my presentations on hate and discrimination towards homeless people in order to show how mainstream media have not really "investigated" the issue and in some ways have added to the discrimination through their labeling around homelessness. Although the content of this 10-year-old piece is kind of okay -- it goes a bit light on: 1) the cause of the problem (cancellation by Conservative and Liberal federal governments of national housing programs and social program spending with additional cuts from the provincial level) and; 2) it is super light on the necessary solution (a national housing program instead of charity).
I'm a Street Nurse, and it's the Maclean's headline I've hated with a vengeance: "Canada's Gangrene." When I tell students about this article and its title, they gasp. The gangrene, if anywhere is surely in Ottawa.
Today, I gasp as I see Maclean's ignore such an important national issue that affects families, women, children, youth, seniors, First Nations, the ill and the dying, vets, immigrants and refugees, the precariously employed.
Some of us have progressive candidates running in our ridings. Let them know you want to hear them talk about a national housing program. Encourage your friends to 'friend' me on FB or follow me on Twitter @cathyacrowe, as I will be launching actions to do over the next few months. Your voice can make a difference!
Housing is a human right. We need investigative, truthful media to cover the issues that matter to politicians and us that will speak to this. Homelessness was declared a national disaster in 1998. It still is.
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