I was sitting here last night just catching up on some news items when the alert regarding the Minneapolis riots came across my screen. I flipped on CNN to see what was going on. I wasn’t surprised, I understand the frustration that comes from years of broken promise while being told that change would happen, the life events would improve, that the days of being marginalized were behind us. It is sad when you know something like the George Floyd murder and, regardless of your belief, it was murder. Anybody who was around when the Rodney King event happened would know the potential that this powder keg could turn into a battle-zone. It has been coming and people shouldn’t be surprised.
I have a life time of being subject to “broken promises” so I am well aware of how frustration can be like a metastasizing cancer. Unfortunately this also plays right into the hands of the actual perpetuators of these atrocities. The Minnesota demonstration was repeated in other cities across America last night as well but the crux was Minneapolis.
Sadly, the actions of that bend up frustration, having reached its limits, provided the ammunition for those creating so much of this unrest. It’s frightening to think we could be going back to the Rodney King days or even worse all the way back to the times of the Kent State massacre. I fully support a persons right to protest and I can certainly understand their anger fuelled frustration, however turning a protest into a riot just hands their oppressors more tools. In Canada we can no longer sit back and say “well that’s America” when this same type of oppression is taking over our political “temples”.
That same level of frustration is being felt by the marginalized of Canada. COVID19 is forcing us too recognized that. The most recent report done on the appalling conditions of senior care in this country is, in my mind, a “crime against humanity” and it took the involvement of the armed forces to raise the alarm. So for our Premier, the same one who is waging a war against healthcare professionals in the midst of a pandemic, stands up in the House and make this ridiculous statement I just can be quiet anymore. At first I thought it was just a meme taking a political shot at an out of control Premier who prefers to rule through fear and intimidation until I did some “fact checking”. From the broadcasting system right in our own Legislature.
And what is this Premier doing to improve issues for seniors in Alberta besides making ridiculous comments like that one above, he’s phasing out the Office of the Seniors Advocate . God forbid there should be any oversight on an issue this sensitive. Then this morning this same Premier, the one who has never been able to graduate from an accredited university, despite all of the science and medical input Kenney has decided not to extend the protections of the current public health emergency status that expires June 15. And he did that with no medical input.
At the same time his UCP party is busily attempting to push through as much legislation as possible, most of which would never survive a Charter challenge. Bill 15 effectively uses tax payer money to fund more Charter Schools while removing funds meant to provide the additional costs of education assistance for “special needs” students. Charter schools are not mandated to accept students with disabilities so back to my childhood when the only place to access education was in an institution. Bill 10, which would have given the reining Party unfettered legislative authority, is being reviewed before any further attempts to push it through the House. Bill 21 which has the potential to deprive anyone with a disability equal health services due to what is called the “complex needs”.
In two days I enter a new decade. My birthday is Sunday and, as a polio survivor, I have a lifetime of broken promises fuelling me. Over the years I have tried to be reasonable. I have overcome many obstacles in my attempt to be cooperative. I have ignored my own accomplishments in my attempt to accommodate a system that keeps telling me “change is happening”. I have spend forty years on a wide variety of committees, advisory panels, working groups, focus session, evaluation teams, etc all in the name of advancing life options for the marginalized but in particular the disabled.
And now Kenney is stripping services to the disabled. He is removing 47,000 seniors from the Blue Cross for Seniors prescription program, he has increased barriers to the Alberta Assured Income for the Disabled, as stated above he has created barriers to education by moving more tax dollars to Charter schools, and again the list goes on. An $800 wheelchair cushion that I had qualified for but not yet received before the COVID19 crisis arose through the Alberta Aides to Daily Living has been removed from the list of equipment. I no longer qualify. And again the list goes on. I’m a senior, I’m disabled and I try to be a nice guy. There is no reward for being a “nice guy” and I’m not going to take it anymore. Those days are now behind me, now I’m pissed and people that know me prefer me when I’m not pissed (which has nothing to do with alcohol consumption). It is time to riot and my riot tool is social media so bring it on Kenney, Shandro, LaGrange, or the UCP in general. I am not going into the night quietly…