Monday, August 06, 2007

B.C. Day

My grandfather, George Hobson, moved west to British Columbia in 1888, just seventeen years after B.C. joined Confederation. Clever fellow, he raised his family in the best province in Canada!

Today is B.C. Day and I can't think of another place I would rather live. British Columbia has the most moderate climate in Canada, making it appealing to every Canadian retiree. Our population therefore is probably quite a bit older, on average, than those of the eastern provinces. The influence here has always been strongly British but in the last twenty-five years or so there's been an influx from Asia (primarily Chinese and Indian I think.) The community doesn't seem to be any the worse for it; we all get along very well. That's one of the wonderful features of this country - we don't describe it as a 'melting pot'. We are, instead, 'multicultural'. An example - A television channel I frequently watch has daily broadcasts of news in Mandarin and Cantonese.

There are some problems that concern me. B.C. is also a magnet for indigents, given our good climate and excellent social services. Here's an item from yesterday's news that highlights the danger of professional panhandlers . Unfortunately there have been quite a number of similar incidents. I don't know if there's any reasonable solution... I'm not planning to move though.

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At 10:00 PM, Blogger Tom P. said...

And let's not forget the public urination issues!

At 10:55 PM, Anonymous Susan said...

That's right, Tom! And the safe-injection sites where they provide clean needles for drug addicts. Now they've decided that just one safe-injection site isn't enough because it concentrates crime in one area - they're lobbying to open more sites.

At 9:17 PM, Blogger Tom P. said...

So if all the crime is concentrated in one region, wouldn't that make it easy for the police. It would seem to me that one concentrate area would be better than 10 diffuse areas.

At 2:56 AM, Anonymous Clare said...

Is panhandling another word for begging? I suppose I could look it up in a dictionary but I'm too lazy.

At 12:27 PM, Anonymous Susan said...

Yes, it's begging, Clare. Our relatively good climate seems to attract an inordinate number of rough customers - not just the 'poor', but young men and women who have chosen not to work. Tourists might think there was abject poverty here, but there isn't. This is a very affluent province. The concern these days is that there are no longer any vagrancy laws so the police seem powerless. Aggressive beggers with pitbulls and other large dogs are commonplace. A man on his lunch hour recently spoke harshly to one of them and wound up stabbed to death. "Highwayman" might be a more appropriate designation than "panhandler".

Moderately amusing anecdote: My son worked in a service station while going to school. A fellow ran through, grabbed a bucket and ran away with it. Later the same fellow was seen with bucket and squeegee, begging at roadside, all the while affecting a handicap - complete with limp and cane (probably also stolen).


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