I read with some interest the letter published June 14 entitled “A balance is required” by Coun. Scott Anderson.
What struck me the most was the tone and direction of his commentary and it reminded me of a recent opinion piece he had written elsewhere which similarly showed a wanton lack of respect for the life experiences of individuals within our community, province, and throughout Canada.
He details his opinion that a claim to “victimhood” is becoming all too common in today’s society. He shows total disregard for those who have suffered or are suffering from things like bullying, patriarchy and residential schools.
His contention seems to be that these so-called victims are merely seeking attention or compensation for their perceived mistreatments or at the very least making a lot of noise while seeking a sympathetic ear. He is not having any of that. His perception appears to be that people need to just forget about what has happened to them regardless of the circumstances they found themselves to be in, lest it become an entrenched ideology.
In effect, he is telling them that their reality is not acceptable, at least in his eyes, as an experience that society should be sensitive to or they should expect any compensation for.
Regarding the use of city parks, “We have to find a balance between the needs of the marginalized and the rights of the taxpayers (Anderson).” Rights of taxpayers? Not rights of all citizens regardless of their ability to pay?
There are many in our society who for one reason or another cannot pay taxes, as well as many who are wealthy enough to hide their money so that they do not pay taxes. This differentiation between the marginalized and the taxpayers reveals deep ideological and political divisions that only serve to drive wedges between people. In my opinion, it’s right up there with the “they should just get over it” mentality.
Expecting the benefit, pleasure and use of a public park space to accrue only to those who pay taxes is disingenuous at best.
Meanwhile, Anderson does appear to be suggesting that there is one kind of acceptable victim — people who pay taxes. Does that make them elites? A special interest group? A subgroup? Is this the mind set he brings to council? Is he an exclusionist?
The list is long of people who legitimately do not pay taxes. Is he suggesting we ignore their right to participate in public spaces?