By Letter to the Editor on February 6, 2020.
In response to Robert Budd’s letter of Feb. 1, “No need for city to pay for a go-between,” the municipal government must have felt sufficiently pressed and overwhelmed by the severity of the ongoing opioid epidemic to invest in some sort of workaround at the provincial level, since requests through the usual channels were falling on deaf ears. (This perception could conceivably be more than just a figure of speech when it comes to the UCP, who found it hilarious to actually distribute earplugs while sitting in the legislature.)
Also, the mayor and council had already obtained a provincial agreement to fund needed housing a year ago, particularly important in a harsh climate like ours. Then enter the hyper-partisan UCP with an entirely different perspective best explained by MLA Neudorf when he said, “No one wants to commit for someone else’s work.”
But apparently this “work” has now been deemed admissible, after a year of uber-stringent vetting by the UCP; their august attention not only bold but unique in its stubborn insistence on ignoring revenue completely when preparing budgets! Cuts only, all around, even in existing, essential revenue! So there’s no balance in their balance sheet. It’s almost like they enjoy punishment for its own sake, like fire-and-brimstone preachers.
Some here seem to take weird pride in being rogues and outliers, riding that boom/bust roller-coaster like true cowboys, despite the known, cumulative cost to our society. But to them, as conservative hero Margaret Thatcher famously said, “There’s no such thing as society.” Hard to argue that when people are literally dropping in the streets though, you would think.
The fact that the workaround did work begs the question, why? Since compassion obviously wasn’t a consideration, we’re left with pure political usefulness. The UCP must have decided to throw a bone to all the misguided fools bent on “practising sociology” as Harper once put it, by allowing in, albeit grudgingly, one of those “bright” NDP ideas right out of left field. I suggest it was damage control to deke us all out, and away from the growing perception of the UCP administration as simply, coldly cruel. And cheap. Showing us every day how cheap runs deep.