It is not OK

Recently I went down to 17th Avenue in Calgary. A homeless man chattering mildly to himself approached the blue bin close by.

Recently I went down to 17th Avenue in Calgary. A homeless man chattering mildly to himself approached the blue bin close by. He brought to mind the severely developmentally disabled men I’ve encountered over the last 43 years where my sister lives at the Michener Centre in Red Deer. The men chattering to themselves, wandering the safe, clean halls of their home at Michener. This man put on a pair of disposable gloves to fish through the bin.

I leaned back into my car in search of food, but by the time I got back out, he was down the street, talking and gesturing to himself. It made me want to cry. I’m not used to seeing homeless people where I live. Nor am I used to seeing uncared for mental illness, which is the overriding factor in being homeless. When the Conservative government tried to force the closure of the Michener Centre years back, I received numerous calls from mental health care workers employed at Alberta Hospital before the Conservatives shut that down. The workers said it tore their hearts out to see their former male clients homeless on the streets of our Alberta cities.

I’m not ok with our mentally ill rifling through blue bins when I know for a fact that we have space and empty buildings at Michener that could be repurposed. Yes, I understand we are in the worst recession that Alberta has yet to face. What I fail to understand is how we can be okay with the status quo, when the government solution could provide yet more employment for AUPE workers, and in turn allow our mentally ill currently wandering our cities to wander the safe, clean halls of their home at the Michener Centre.

Don’t be ok, make some noise, call an MLA, write to Premier Rachel Notley, ask for better caring in our Alberta nation.

Lee Kvern, Calgary

Just Posted

Trans Mountain CEO says shovels could be in ground on pipeline by September

CALGARY — The CEO of the Crown corporation building the Trans Mountain… Continue reading

Alberta government looking to speed up job accreditation for foreign workers

EDMONTON — The Alberta government wants to ensure that foreign-trained professionals and… Continue reading

Tax credits, penalizing big polluters, key to Conservative climate plan

OTTAWA — Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer says his climate plan will be… Continue reading

Trudeau promises to legislate implementation of UNDRIP if re-elected

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is promising that a re-elected Liberal… Continue reading

Make passports free to ease new no-fly list measures, federal panel suggests

Ottawa should consider making passports free to everyone for a year to… Continue reading

WATCH: New RDC president has three decades of experience working at colleges and universities

Peter Nunoda says he’s ‘excited’ to help transition the college into a university

Trans Mountain CEO says shovels could be in ground on pipeline by September

CALGARY — The CEO of the Crown corporation building the Trans Mountain… Continue reading

Alberta government looking to speed up job accreditation for foreign workers

EDMONTON — The Alberta government wants to ensure that foreign-trained professionals and… Continue reading

Tax credits, penalizing big polluters, key to Conservative climate plan

OTTAWA — Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer says his climate plan will be… Continue reading

Trudeau promises to legislate implementation of UNDRIP if re-elected

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is promising that a re-elected Liberal… Continue reading

Make passports free to ease new no-fly list measures, federal panel suggests

Ottawa should consider making passports free to everyone for a year to… Continue reading

Canada resettled more refugees than any other country in 2018, UN says

OTTAWA — As the number of displaced people worldwide reaches modern highs,… Continue reading

Trudeau to meet Pelosi, McConnell, as well as Trump in Washington

WASHINGTON — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will meet Nancy Pelosi, President Donald… Continue reading

Acts of kindness emerge at chaotic Raptors rally derailed by shooting

TORONTO — When gunshots sparked panic and chaos at a massive outdoor… Continue reading

Most Read