LETTER: Charity must begin at home

It’s hard to see Canada’s PM overseas when people on coast are suffering, says writer

LETTER: Charity must begin at home

To the Editor,

The ferocious wind storm that decimated BC’s coastal regions on Thursday, Dec. 20 claimed the life of a woman in Duncan. The tent that the victim and others were living in was flattened by a tree brought down in the hurricane-force winds. Yes, you read that correctly, they were living in a tent in hurricane-force winds a few days before Christmas in Canada.

A couple days after the tragic death, Canadian media focused on a visit by our Prime Minister to Canadian Forces participating in a year-long peacekeeping mission in the West African country of Mali. Of course it’s important for peacekeepers to have support from the government who sent them into harm’s way, but taxpayers have to wonder how money can always be found for such missions to far-flung corners of the globe.

Then there’s the many months or years of ongoing financial support for many thousands of non-documented asylum-seekers entering Canada at illegal border crossings. Yet we still have Canadians living in tents in the middle of winter. They may be homeless due to mental health and addiction issues, or simply the inability to find affordable accommodation.

The worst part is that this is really nothing new under the present federal Liberal regime in Ottawa and the NDP-Green Alliance in Victoria. A decade ago, when the federal Conservatives ruled in Ottawa and provincial Liberals in Victoria, a body was found burned beyond recognition under an Abbotsford highway overpass. The homeless soul was trying to keep warm in a makeshift wooden shelter, while the powers-that-be were in the midst of spending billions of taxpayers funds on the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and Whistler. Another bottomless pit of money for another international event, but little or none to take care of those most in need at home.

It’s high time that all levels of government in Canada become familiar with a simple dictum that has biblical roots, and can be traced back to John Wycliffe in 1382 : charity begins at home.

Bernie Smith,