We should be our brother’s keeper

It is fortuitous that ’tis the season we dust off Dickens’ most beloved villain, Ebenezer Scrooge.

It is fortuitous that ’tis the season we dust off Dickens’ most beloved villain, Ebenezer Scrooge.

I say fortuitous because Scrooge reminds us to choose between our conflicting natures: we can be cynical and selfish or we can realize we are our brother’s keeper. It is my Christmas wish that Canada would choose the latter, because we have been notoriously cynical lately.

I wonder how many Canadians are aware that CIDA is the only federal department with a frozen budget? Millions of dollars of aid to the world’s poorest are being withheld in the name of austerity, although Canada’s aid commitment is far below that of nations who are struggling with much greater fiscal troubles. You can almost hear Scrooge saying: “Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?” Such appears to be Canada’s attitude to the world’s poor.

This is not just a wishful, Tiny-Tim thinking of a unique Christmas goose. Several programs that Canada has fully supported in the past have proven to be accountable, cost- effective and show proven results. Programs such as the Global Partnership for Education and the Global Fund to fight TB, AIDS and malaria. But it is easy to turn from the world’s poor, as they have no voice in Canada.

We like to think we are being financially pragmatic, but as Dickens reminds us, “mankind is our business,” and we don’t know the length of burdensome chain we carry, forged of the bones of the silent legions that are passing beyond help.

Scrooge had a glimpse of a future where children die because of his inaction and his own name is cursed, and this is the path we are on.

The entire world is watching us; which Scrooge shall we be?

Nathaniel Poole

Victoria

 

 

Just Posted

Saanich’s 20-year-old acting mayor encourages other young people get involved in politics

There is a ‘hunger for young voices’ in politics right now

Designs for Johnson Street Bridge waterfront areas hit delays

Upgrades to the Songhees Park, surrounding area being presented Thursday

Personal health scare inspires Sidney’s newest gym

Arne Jackson said the scare was a ‘wake-up call’

Supplemental information for SD63 students circulates as strike appears close to end

Letters were sent to families of SD63 students late last week

Abortions rights advocates urge Liberals to turn politics into policy

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer was pressed to clarify his stance abortion over several weeks

Greater Victoria 2019 holiday craft fair roundup

Get a jump on your holiday shopping

Closing arguments begin in B.C. case launched in 2009 over private health care

Dr. Day said he illegally opened the Cambie Surgery Centre in 1996 in order to create more operating-room time

MacLean says “Coach’s Corner is no more” following Cherry’s dismissal from Hockey Night

Cherry had singled out new immigrants in for not honouring Canada’s veterans and fallen soldiers

MacKinnon powers Avs to 5-4 OT win over Canucks

Vancouver battled back late to pick up single point

Poole’s Land finale: Tofino’s legendary ‘hippie commune’ being dismantled

Series of land-use fines inspire owner Michael Poole to sell the roughly 20-acre property.

Port Alberni mom takes school district to court over Indigenous smudging, prayer in class

Candice Servatius, who is an evangelical Christian, is suing School District 70

Family of B.C. man killed in hit-and-run plead for tips, one year later

Cameron Kerr’s family says the driver and passengers tried to cover their tracks

Princeton couple pays for dream vacation with 840,000 grocery store points

It’s easy if you know what you are doing, they say

Most Read