Recurring situations never appear to change

Letters to the Editor (The Guardian)
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Letter of the Day

Editor: Since 1956, when I arrived in Canada, three recurring situations are often discussed by politicians and in the media, deplored by all, and never appear to change significantly.

No. 1: Child Poverty - It is astounding and shameful that children must go to school hungry in this land of plenty where everything is available if you can pay for it. That parents must choose at times between paying rent or buying food is tragic. That most of us can afford to give a little more to help but don’t feel responsible and choose look the other way is sad.  

No. 2: Granting Canadian professional status to those immigrants already qualified in their former country. My first encounter with our country’s prohibition on granting professional status to most who are well qualified to continue their careers here, was in Montreal, around 1960.  An acquaintance and long time dentist in her own country, Lithuania, had to acquire yet again all the courses necessary to continue to work at her profession in Canada. Surely this was a time-waster, expensive, and in some cases a permanent loss to our community since trying to survive and at the same time acquire the necessary professional qualifications yet again could be to some overwhelming, exhausting, and beyond their financial reach.

No. 3: Sufficient available education in the trades for men and women. As for the trades, many of my male school friends in England went automatically into the trades if they chose, or did not or could not afford a university education.

The trades education was available freely and encouraged. Most of these friends did extremely well financially, raised their families, and contributed to their community in truly useful ways. All of them were employed. That does not seem to be the case for many Canadian university graduates for whom there are no jobs.  Personally I am always grateful to the tradespeople I have employed over time. They are highly skilled and effective. Imagine if they were not available, a situation our government often threatens may happen.

Working for the provincial government part of my assignment was to help promote the potential suitability of women who chose to work in the trades, who with great difficulty and often treated badly by some of their male counterparts had a constant struggle to survive in their chosen field.

My wish for 2014 would be for these three conditions to be rectified so that our beautiful country could flourish even more, be proud of our achievements, and in true Canadian tradition, help those who cannot always help themselves. It is indeed our duty to be our brothers’, and I might add, our sisters, keepers.

Hilary Prince,

Stratford

Geographic location: Canada, Montreal, Lithuania England

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