An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure – unless you are in government

607

ounce of prevention

THUNDER BAY – Editorial – “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” That old adage, attributed to Benjamin Frankin, it seems is one not many MPPs, or MPs have remembered. We are all going to end up paying more in the long run as a society because of that attitude in governments.

Maybe when one starts cutting like a scalpel, after a while it seems everything you see needs to be cut?

Cutting programs seems to be the fashion in government today. For governments trying to reduce spending and get deficits under control, the goal is making cuts to services and programs. At the federal and provincial levels of government here in Ontario cuts are being made to many programs that are seen by many in our community as very important.

The BIWAASE’AA Outreach Program and the Creighton Youth Services for the provision of the Community Support Team are two of the programs that are being slashed in our community.

The BIWAASE’AA Outreach program offered programing both during school and after school. The Aboriginal Affairs Minister says regarding referencing programs, “We will be realigning the program to meet our current needs for skills training development and job readiness for aboriginal youth. We are putting the train back on the tracks”.

The BMO Financial Group is stating that one of the issues that will potentially boost Canada’s economy is raising the bar and making sure that our country’s growing Aboriginal population narrows the education gap that is currently growing.

“Canada’s rapidly growing Aboriginal population has the potential to fill the country’s looming skill and labour shortage but only if a widening post-secondary education gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people can be stemmed”, according to BMO Financial Group.

“As the youngest and fastest growing segment of Canada’s population, Aboriginal youth represent a large pool of talent for Canada’s workforce. The Aboriginal population is growing at a rate of 1.8 per cent — almost twice the growth rate of the general population at 1 per cent”.

The funding for Aboriginal education in Ontario for youth on reserves is half of what it is for a student living off of a reservation. That is making the situation harder for young people to gain an equal footing education wise once they head to high school.

The cuts to the Creighton Youth Services for the provision of the Community Support Team mean that high risk youth in our community will no longer receive the support needed to attempt to re-align those young people.

Perhaps the partnership between the provincial government, building a half billion dollar court house in Thunder Bay and the federal government putting billions of tax dollars into building prisons makes sense.

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” That old adage, it seems is one not many MPPs, or MPs have remembered.

In the rush to cut programs, that don’t cost nearly as much as courthouses and prisons, not to mention the cost to the victims – both the provincial and federal governments are earning failing grades.

Passing grades would be earned by government leaders taking the time to look at finding savings that won’t impact those in our society most at risk, and planning the way forward to make real sense.

Can it happen? Maybe it can, but it is going to take you, as citizens to raise your voices and start making sure your voices are heard.

James Murray
Chief Content Officer