Column: History repeats itself

Bad news first. Once again Williams Lake ranks low on a survey.

Bad news first. Once again Williams Lake ranks low on a survey.

This time we are the second worst city in Canada for livability, according to the Windsor Star. The magazine Money Sense has ranked us second least livable a number of times. It could be worse. Since the federal government eliminated the long census form, Stats Canada has dropped some entire communities. We’re still on the list of top crime cities too. Sigh.

***

I was looking through some 1930s and 40s newspaper stories recently and some of the issues from back then are still with us, like wolves killing domestic stock, forest fires, even refugees, only then the refugees were orphaned English children.

History really does repeat itself. Columnist Rafe Mair wrote recently that as an older person, he’s faced most of today’s issues before. Me too. I’ve survived government deficits and surpluses and a few balanced budgets along with government overspending, cutbacks and corrupt politicians. I’ve lived through prosperous times, recessions, even a depression as well as wars, peace and whatever it is we have now. Canadian warplanes have conducted 29 air strikes against Islamic State positions and units the last update on July 9. Isn’t that war?

I’ve also been through a lot of elections and each is different. This time around many issues aren’t getting much attention, like climate change and reconciliation with First Nations. Former BC Liberal Attorney General Geoff Plant was referring to the latter when he said there was a “failed ethic of denial” but that could apply to the attitude many politicians have on a number of things, like climate change.

Then there are the red herrings, like the foofaraw over Muslim women’s headgear. Do we really want to lose our religious freedoms along freedom of speech and assembly as threatened under Bill C-51? And if it’s a woman’s issue, what about an inquiry into the hundreds of missing and murdered al women, 70 per cent of them aboriginal?

Diana French is a freelance columnist for the Tribune. She is a former Tribune editor, retired teacher, historian, and book author.

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