Another child has died under the “protection” of our system. And it’s tragic that this isn’t the first time I have heard such disturbing news. A child who was taken away from her mother died in the hands of foster care; that is, in the hands of a system supposedly meant to protect children. If this child was removed from her own family for her safety, then how is it that she is dead? I have many questions in that regard? Don’t you?
The mother was very young! Was there enough support for her? Any help with proper education, housing or other supports before the decision was made to take her child away? I do not know about those preceding details, but the fact that the child ended up dead is devastating; and more importantly it wasn’t the first time.
In this recent case, the mother reported that her child was not safe and had complained that her baby girl was injured and had bruises. I have heard a few similar stories reported about children perishing in foster care. How does this happen repeatedly? Where does the problem lie? And as this is happening again and again, why hasn’t the problem been properly dealt with? How is this happening in Canada, said to have one of the best standards of living country in the world?
Another important incident: A couple of weeks ago, employees of Future Shop went to work like any other day; except on that particular morning they found themselves before locked doors, unable to enter their workplace. Behind closed doors, the owners decided it was best to shut things down without any concern for the livelihoods of their employees. So as not to have to deal with messy commotions and criticisms from a worried and upset workforce, everything was set up nicely for the moneyed class that matters, and then the hammer was dropped without warning.
Assurances were made that some of the employees would be transferred to their Best Buy stores, but of course not all will stay on, and you know that even if the calculations had meant that they all had lost their jobs, the ownership would have easily done that to preserve the only thing that matters to them; that bottom line.
This has become yet another new norm in our society. People lose jobs, others watch, worried that it could happen to any of us, though we say or do nothing. The owners of these huge companies assure us: “Oh, no worries, in the long run these actions will eventually benefit us all.” But do they? The only concerns of the CEOs are their own ideas of a simplified “Global Economy” which most efficiently works in their best interest, not those of employees and their families.
The world corporate leaders hold before us their vision of the Global Economy as an idealized integrated structure with unrestricted and free transnational movement of goods, services and labour. They have worked hard at creating an increasingly interconnected world with free movement of capital across borders. They describe this work in progress as one where the regional economies, societies, and cultures become integrated into a global network of commerce through communication, transportation, and trade. And we are seeing that people are just one part of this chain of money making; a tool like any other in service to the Global Economy. One day you have work, the next day you are out.
Should this be a natural phenomenon in our society? No! The consequences are huge. People have families to support. That young mother who lost her child to foster care is not part of the calculation and is of no concern. People first: that would involve a caring community concerned with whether she could support herself, and providing the tools to get back on her feet if she has fallen.
We daily hear of or face adversities such as the two small examples I have discussed here. The best standard of living means nothing if those in power cannot protect their citizens from harm or loss of jobs or hunger. Thus the “Global Economy” decision makers are the ones controlling our way of life and the “Best Standard of Living” is lost in translation.
- Nasreen Pejvack, author of Amity (fall 2015)