Wednesday, July 01, 2015

O Canada (on Canada Day)

If you're not sure who Louis Riel was, click on his name for a one-minute history lesson. Sadly, a lot of those words -- especially the ones about government -- are just as true now as they were then.

Although I'm one who considers him a hero, not everyone does (nor obviously, considering his end, did).

For several years while I was attending Simon Fraser University, I was lucky enough to live in what was called the 'married residence' even though few of us were actually married. The other, more important name for that building was Louis Riel House.

Because the university didn't look after the building as well as it might have, conditions there have made the place uninhabitable. It will be closing at the end of August. What this means is yet another chapter of affordable housing closing.

Many of us who lived there were single parents, trying to raise our kids and complete a degree. We found the building a place that enabled us to fulfill both roles.

With closure of the Louis Riel House, education will become just that much more difficult for the students (and their families) who have been living there.

It's more than a little ironic to consider these words from the man himself, Louis Riel, about the battle being "...for homes and human rights."

He understood the importance of access to housing.

If only our politicians did.

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