I've been spending the last few days trying to figure out why I haven't been reading commentaries like the one I'm about the make. Is there some risk to one's social license? Is it politically dangerous or unpopular? There must be some reason because surely I am not the only one critical of the current wave of temporary green and blue garbage covering the Island in the name of the Canada Games.
In a province crumbling under a health care crisis, dealing with their first real experience of a significant community of folks suffering from homelessness, still very much in recovery from a hurricane and shaking off the weights of pandemic restrictions, it is truly astounding that no opposition politician is asking a single question regarding the budget for the Games and how any (inevitable) overages will be managed.
One oil truck driver claimed that he has been dispatched to the nordic trails every day since November, to fuel up a generator for a snow-making machine, which made the snow onto a wagon that hauled it into the woods by a Games-purchased tractor, only to melt over the following days. Like some kind of manic, oblivious manifesting would keep this mild winter at bay and continuing to throw money at the problem would solve Mother Nature's shortfalls in the snow department.
That is but ONE tiny part of this massive undertaking, so lauded as the saviour to the local economy. A local economy that is seeing a VERY significant portion of its population gone to the tropics, taking advantage of the unnecessary extra week of holidays as a result of the Games.
But my questions about foolish choices and over-spending are nothing compared to the shock I'm experiencing from the lack of empathy or consideration for the folks hardest hit by this whole show of fiscal foolishness. Working parents who cannot afford to take one or two week's vacation and must now find child care that they also cannot afford for the extra time their kids have off school. And those lower and middle income kids for whom even the $10 entry fee to any of the events is cost prohibitive.
So essentially, we've asked the folks who are already hurting, to take on just a little extra financial stress in the name of the goddamned Games, that are not even accessible to them.
Perhaps the thing that irks me most, is that rather than standing up and giving me a hint that any of the politicians share even one of my concerns, they're all too eager to get big toothy photo ops with the Games mascot, Wowkwis, causing one to wonder which has more stuffing in their head. With the writ expected to be dropped before the green and blue banners have even been taken down, or the jackets taken to the Value Village bin, there is a drunken energy in the air around any incumbent, no matter the colour. The tone-deafness of politicians celebrating about taking in multiple events, during most people's working hours while for many families, even one event would exceed the entertainment budget of many households, rather than taking the opportunity to take the government to task is a bit of a shock.
If I have to see one more picture of a local politician with their arms around that fuzzy, big-headed fox, grinning like fools, expecting that their enthusiasm for this show of money and mismanagement will impress me, they can Wowkwis me arse.
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