Re: Mr. Epp De Jong’s statement and quote regarding the cost of transit.
It is not about taking from anyone, or expecting those that may have it will necessarily want to pay it.
We all want to keep what we have worked hard for. It is about focusing on tax increases as the only way, not looking for other solutions, new ideas, not thinking regionally, and generally not feeling that it is the responsibility of elected officials to expect staff and planners to explore all options by engaging our community and others when we are faced with these issues that keep coming up over and over here.
In a recent labour market survey of our region, both employees and employers identified a lack of regional transit as a major stumbling block to business and employment growth. These aren’t people looking for a “free ride” on your dollar, they are people trying to build a life here, trying to stay here and be a community.
Count your blessings that you are still in your own home and able to drive, as you too will be faced with a decision about leaving here once you can’t, because the Eagle Valley Community Support Society can’t begin to meet the need of the number of seniors who don’t drive anymore and call us looking for help to get to appointments.
Your ability to pay won’t buy you one bit more consideration when I am looking for a volunteer driver to take you to Salmon Arm. Only the priority of your need and the kindness of those willing to volunteer their time and vehicle will determine whether you get where you need to go.
As to what I am suggesting is wrong with our community’s approach to change and growth, Nobel Peace Prize winner Mairead Corrigan Maguire expresses it well in her words that say, “To enable consensus politics to develop we need to empower people where they live. This means devolving financial resources and political power down to the community level. One of the greatest blocks to movement is fear. This fear can only be removed when people feel their voices are being heard by government and when they have a say in their own lives and communities.”
The quote that I try to live by? It is one by Margaret Mead that reads: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
Janet McClean Senft