The earthquake in Nepal is tragic. It's hard to prepare for something like that when you're barely surviving day to day. Earthquakes and tornadoes tend to create total destruction, so even if you have a 72hr kit, you might not be able to access it, and well, it's only going to last 72 hours.
On one hand, I subscribe to the socialist Canadian view. Help for everyone, for the good of the country. We're all people, we all need help at some point. What goes around, comes around.
On the other hand, I cringe when I hear that the Canadian government is contributing $5 Million dollars to the relief efforts.
"Our biggest concern for them right now is going to be access to clean water and sanitation, we know that water and food is running out."
(This quote was just grabbed from a news sidebar).
What about all the people in Canada who don't have easy access to quality food and water? Anyone remember the Attawapiskat First Nation crisis? What about the children here who rely on school breakfast programs for the best meal of their day? What about the people living in Toronto Public Housing? Where's the money from our own government to help them?
I know there is a lot of wastage in Canadian programs. Attawapiskat was ordered to repay a large amount of the money the government gave them. Many people claim there is wide spread abuse of the social assistance program. I know people in the system, and it's not easy to get, and to stay on. For a small number, perhaps it is easier than "getting a real job", but that's not a huge number. You hear complaints about someone on welfare having their nails done or using a newer cell phone. Sometimes you'll find out that the cell phone is their home phone, their computer, their TV, their only contact with modern technology. It's pretty hard to get by without access to the Internet these days, or not having a phone number. Sometimes someone else is paying for it. Whatever. I do think financial awareness classes should be mandatory. However.
I think it's awesome Canada can send some money to Nepal. It's "only" 17 cents per person of Canada. Just imagine, though, what that $5 million could do to help Canadian people. But we're all people. Is helping those that have barely anything to start with, more important than helping those that payed into that money and could help generate more revenue for the government? Imagine if hospitals didn't have to charge for parking just so they can buy new beds or a CT scanner. Imagine if you didn't even have a hospital to go to. Imagine if post secondary education was a little more affordable for all Canadians. Imagine if you were fortunate to get educated through grade 8.
I don't want this $5 Million to supply bottled water and nutritionless rice. I hope Nepal has some plans in place. Katmandu was a growing hub of business, I hope it can recover and improve. I really do hope that. I just can't help thinking of those, though, that are squashing cockroaches in a TPH apartment, with leaky windows and no hot water, at the same time.