They say that reading the news is a good way to get depressed. I’m usually a ‘the glass is half full’ type of gal, but after picking up one of the daily papers I was beginning to see the emptiness above the water. As bad as the global problems are, it’s the stuff that hits close to home in my native province of British Columbia where we have the highest child poverty rating, our premier Christy Clark is tripping over herself to welcome a pipeline to export liquefied natural gas to China, and on a federal level we are CONSTANTLY at war with the Harper government about oil ‘opportunities’ for our province. To say all this makes me as nervous as the one lap dancer in a room full of drunken sailors on shore leave is an understatement…
But I feel to just outwardly attack these problems from my soapbox/ivory tower (or tower made of Ivory soap boxes) without attempting to find some sort of resolution for my people is not helpful. I’d like to see British Columbia find a way to take care of itself, it’s citizens, and operate on a federal level which will give us more political sway in Ottawa. So, people of BC, please pay attention, I feel I’ve come up with some creative solutions to a few of our problems.
LEGALIZE MARIJUANA/PROSTITUTION: We have some options here. If marijuana is legalized, taxed, etc the way tobacco is for recreational use and ALSO regulated by pharmacists and doctors for separate medical use, then we can take the revenue from that and invest in research as well as open doors to tourism and cultural events surrounding marijuana. Cultivate it in our province and make BC a destination for not just craft beer and wine but marijuana. Hearing a place is wine country is grand. Hearing that it’s ‘wine and weed’ country is amazing. Besides, much like wine makers, anyone can grow grapes; but not everyone produces a nice wine out of it. Most plants are the same way so it might not be as easy as people think, thereby creating a culture around people interested in the plant’s husbandry.
By legalizing prostitution your helping with harm reduction to workers, helping the economy by taxing and regulating the workers. The bonus to BOTH of these is it frees up the police to go after white collar crooks, people who are defrauding seniors, and child predators. I’d just rather see my tax dollars doing that than arresting consenting adults for a reefer or a hand job…
CHILD POVERTY: BC has the highest child poverty rate in all of Canada. That means other provinces with higher unemployment rates are taking better care of their kids than British Columbians are. Which kind of makes me think that we should get our shit together. Part of the noticeable way we’ve seen children stricken with dealing with these living conditions is that they come to school hungry. While there are a few programs in place to help kids from lower income families get a morning meal, this doesn’t help address the problem on a larger scale. A lot kids in general are also having both parents working or one working so food is highly processed and easy to serve. They think food comes from plastic pouches or a drive-thru. In order to nourish the kids and give them a connection to where food comes from, I’m looking at the playground.
While most schools have at least one field, there are a lot that have multiple fields. I’m going to say let’s take one of those fields, till it up, and get a school garden going. Teach the kids to plant, grow, cultivate and how to eat the food grown there. Seriously, if my school had taught me how to not only grow squash but how to prepare it, it would have saved me some kitchen disasters. By giving these kids the chance to work on the garden, learn to cook/prep the food there, nose to tail eating AND the bonus of them getting a healthy, regular meal… might do future generations some good, no? I like the idea of passing along folk wisdom/life hacks.
BC FERRIES: Okay first of all, what the shit? I’m not really certain why we have systems that are fundamental to our province ticking along run by one private corporation who has an utter monopoly and not handled by the government… my only conclusion to this is that if your CEO catches you skimming from the company, you’ll get hit a hell of a lot harder than if the government is fumbling the ball around, even though you would think that the book would be thrown at provincial gov’t if they were to fuck us up. But such is not the case. So this is why hilarious (and ridiculous) things happen such as slashing a ferry route to cut costs. Even when doing so a) will bankrupt businesses on the route and commuter traffic and b) even though that would be shooting yourself in the foot as a corporation. “If you take into consideration the provincial taxes generated by Route 40, [they] offset the deficit that BC Ferries claims that route is incurring,” TIABC executive director Ian Robertson said on Monday. So how are we going to convince the nasty ol’ ferry corporation to keep the route AND costs down with rising fuel costs?
A two part solution: let’s get those casinos onto the boats. If your worried your loved one is riding the routes because of a gambling addiction then they likely are spending more money on the fare than the slots. And to pearl-clutching parents, if you’re worried about your kids, think about how many quarters the arcade swallowed and how this at least has a potential return on it. Personally, with all the money I’ve spent on Golden Axe and Tekken on ferry rides, I’d at least like to think I’d have won the cost of the ride back by now…
Second part of the solution: sex and awareness tourism. By legalizing bawdy houses, we can take our thriving West Coast yoga culture and health options and combine them with Tantric healing practices as well. Retreats can be offered to couples as well as singles to do cleansings, spiritual and body work. With marijuana legalized students can go ‘crop clipping’ and earn money for their educations. Crops can include marijuana, bamboo (to replace the original forestry industry as a sustainable option) or maintenance to coastal wind farms (thus helping negate the demand for oil based fossil fuels). All these people, attracted to the ferry route’s destination thereby increasing ridership and allowing the company to get more boats and further expand.
So while this isn’t solving ALL of British Columbia’s problems, I feel that this could be an effective start to help us get up to where we can be in the economy and be resourceful and sustainable for future generations. Just putting it out there.
Hugs and hisses,
Little Miss Risk