Sunday, February 28, 2016 

 

Opinion

Myrtle's Top 8 Items that Clean up the Country

Plus, her experience with lack assistance for basic living requirements

Myrtle Macdonald, M.Sc.A, Chilliwack

 

ear Tom Mulcair and NDP Leadership:

I have lived in 10 provinces so have broad perspective. I would love to go to the NDP convention, but lack funds. Please take my letter seriously.

 

Across Canada  and especially in the west and east, very few farmers voted for you in the election. Stop ignoring them please.  There are millions who need your thorough understanding and attention.
 

I ask you to enable interprovincial trade of fruit and vegetables, grown on small farms, in plans for the future in meetings across Canada,
 

Please emphasize alternate energy for infrastructure and support of small family farm families

 

Please develop a platform to correct all of the following injustices:

 

1. Because of high prices, few people go to our local Farmers’ Market (May to Sept one day a week). California and Mexico grown fruit and vegetables are cheaper in our grocery stores than locally grown.  Therefore small farmers have to go into indoor agribusiness, get a second job or grow hedging cedars/shrubs to make a living.  Youth who love farming have to get a different career.  
 

2. Severe highway pavement damage is caused  by the many massive refrigerator trucks. Therefore both highway maintenance costs and capital expenses for widening, and new bridges are excessive.

 

3. Beautiful scenery is hidden by air pollution caused by refrigerator trucks on the highways. Therefore few Canadian and USA tourists are traveling on our highways.  There is no pleasure “getting there”. The relaxed Sunday drive is no longer enjoyed.
 

4. Driving is dangerous because of crowding of highways with much traffic by trucks and commuters.
 

5.  Wind drives air pollution up the valley, so inland populations have more illness than those living near the ocean.  Their pleas for action fall on deaf ears.  In Chilliwack BC where I live, and on the Ottawa River in Ontario-Quebec, nearly everyone has a continuous runny nose, tearful eyes, cough, hearing problems and headaches with sinusitis and laryngitis. The incidence of asthma, long lasting pneumonia and other respiratory diseases is high and increasing.
 

6. Air quality monitoring lacks enough stations inland and does not check for very small particulates.  Therefore reports of good air quality are false.  It is the smallest particulates that get into every microscopic air sack of our lungs, inner ears and sinuses.
 

7. It is nonsense to import fruit and vegetables from the USA and Mexico. Ours are far tastier. Even with a University or college education, youth who love farming cannot get a job. They could feed the world if our arable land were properly used and not wasted.  Federal marketing skill is needed.  The farmers themselves lack time and know how.  Provincial governments also lack those skills and there is rivalry rather than cooperation.  Farmer needs don’t interest municipal and provincial governments. Due to lack of frequent public transport in the city and none in the rural areas, every little family needs two or three vehicles to get father, mother and youth to second jobs and college.
 

8. Saskatchewan and much of south eastern Alberta have less air pollution than the rest of Canada, because of less traffic, so some of the above is not acute for their farmers, but they did not vote NDP either. Why?  It is time to investigate and to discover their needs.

 

I have lived in 10 provinces so have broad perspective.  I would love to go to the NDP convention, but lack funds.  I am 94 years old and living in my home below the poverty line. Home Care is inappropriate and inadequate.  I need help with cleaning and house maintenance, not with personal care and meals.

 

My disabled brother and sister live in Assisted Living, subsidized.  Most of the 1/3 of their income that is supposed to go for recreation and clothing gets taken back for TV, phone, hydro, foot care and tai chi. My brother can’t walk to the laundry so pays $60 to $75 per month to have his done.  There is not enough for hair dresser, travel to appointments, shoes and clothes or tickets for a concert.  They have to buy their own urinary incontinence supplies, so I hunt around for sales, since the prices have risen because of exchange rates on our low dollar. Most varieties do not fit well or go lumpy. 
 

They both spent nearly $4000 for hearing aids and after three years the guarantee ended for my sister.  The Assisted Living LPN and staff are not familiar with maintenance of the many varieties of hearing aids. The hearing aid people won’t visit them. I don’t have a car.

 

My sister has lived in Assisted Living for 11 years and needs a change of her stained off-white carpet, but is repeatedly refused. No one does carpet shampooing or high dusting, so I  did it myself in the past.  Now I need to hire someone to do that, but lack funds. 

 

News today that all MPs will get a raise in salary is heart breaking.  Cost of food has almost doubled in three years.  My retirement income is going down not up. 
 

Could you plan to tax the top  or have the top salaries cut back to $200,000. Also find some way to cut back on the number of rungs in the hierarchy of administrators and the wide spread of increments in income for experience and status, in both public and private leadership positions.  The Unions should take heed.  Supervisors might at one time have been professionals, but they are not up to date or familiar with the grassroots.
 

Hire more professionals and paraprofessionals for direct service.  Have them elected and rotated for a year or two for leadership roles, but keep them also part time in their profession, so that they will not get out of touch with reality.

 

 

 

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