Image from Home for Hope
Every society’s greatest resource is its people. Yet it seems when it comes to determining policy; be it government or economic; decisions seem to have little to do about people. In Manitoba Schools we operate under a ‘Philosophy of Inclusion’ that guides our efforts towards ensuring that ‘everyone is safe, valued and accepted’. Schools in Manitoba must submit ‘School Plans’ that have outcomes that indicate what each school is going to do to improve student achievement academically and socially. Schools are supposed to include parent, community as well as student voice when developing their plans.
WHAT IF local, provincial and federal governments were held up to the same standard and level of accountability?
WHAT IF our government operated under the belief systems that everyone is safe, valued and accepted?
WHAT IF the people of our city, province and country were given a voice in developing policies that improved the outcomes of the people in every community across Canada?
In Canada and globally we see an increasing number of people in poverty. We see an increase in the gap between those that have and those that do not have or are not fully included in the benefits of citizenship. We have a large number of Canadians that have given-up on looking for work. Given-up on being included into our society. The long-term cost of ignoring poverty is staggering.
WHAT IF the people mattered and investment by business was into the people and families who worked for them. Their portion of tax was determined on their re-investment into their workers and communities.
WHAT IF a company’s goal was to create full-time work, pensions for employees, and have workers who were able to be contributing members to our economy?
WHAT IF we taxed corporate ‘dead money’.
WHAT IF University Education, job training was free or affordable so that it was accessible to everyone.
WHAT IF people could find work, pay taxes, support their families and communities
In Winnipeg we are having a Municipal election occurring in the fall and like most places we get stuck on the little things rather than the creation of a long-term vision. When you are stuck on the issue of the day it is difficult to connect it to people. We actually have one candidate’s whose campaign seems to be centred on fixing potholes. Fixing potholes although a problem it is not going to take this city forward to where we need to be in 5 years, 10 years and moving forward to a sustainable future.
WHAT IF people mattered more than potholes?
WHAT IF cities were designed to be people friendly? Where we could have places to meet, get to know our neighbour, every part of our city was not only unique but connected to the city as a whole.
WHAT IF we put efforts into reducing poverty, homelessness and creating a society that no matter what circumstance you found yourself in, you mattered?
WHAT IF we listened to the voices of those people who are currently not included in decisions? Imagine what the poor, the young, the disenfranchised would tell us what our city, province and country needed.
There are countless WHAT IFs but we need to have local, city, provincial and federal policies where people matter. Focusing on the economic and social well-being, health, education, safety and inclusion of every citizen no matter race, culture, gender or social circumstance is the only way to create a society where everyone is safe, valued and accepted.