ParkTales on the 'middleclass'

ParkTales

An open letter to Prime Minister Trudeau

on his concern for the so-called middle class

By Frances Sedgwick
True North Perspective

Frances Sedgwick's keen eye and ear for the human condition reveals the heart and soul of Parkdale in southwest Toronto, one of the country's most turbulent urban areas where the best traditions of human kindness prevail against powerful forces that would grind them down. True North Perspective proudly presents a column by writer Frances Sedgwick. Her critical observation combined with a tender sense of humour will provide you with something to think about ... and something to talk about.

It is not just the so-called middle class, (I think you mean middle-income earners) Prime Minister Trudeau, that is suffering.  Give me a break. As I move around my community and observe my neighbours I get a picture of what is happening with those of us who comprise the rest of society. The homeless, the seniors, young families looking for affordable daycare, single parents, those on social assistance, those looking for a job. Those fully qualified for jobs that are now obsolete. Those students with loans only to find there are no jobs out there after they graduate.  Families doubling up because they cannot afford the escalating rents that the government does nothing to control. Lineups for affordable housing, among other promises not fulfilled.

When I was in Shoppers Drug Mart the other day, I asked a young cashier, working at night to get money for his education, what would you do if you won in the lotto 649? He said I don’t play but if I did and won I would pay off all my friend’s student loans. One friend who is studying to be an engineer has a 60 thousand dollar loan another has 30 thousand and so on. This brought not only an awakening  to me about what students face today but tears to my eyes at the response of this young person to the economic pain of his fellow students. 

Wake up Prime Minister Trudeau! The so-called “middle class” if they exist, are not the only ones out there.

As I walked along Queen Street West in my Parkdale, I passed a fast food Mr. Submarine. An employee was sweeping the street, I said how is business, he replied not very good, no one has any money that is why we have a sign in the window “sub for $4 plus.” Sad, he said.

When I came home I texted my neighbour, “I turned down my TV when I heard you come home,“ and added,  “How are you?”

He replied,  “Okay except when I get stressed out.” I replied, “Oh! Well, hope you don’t get stressed out too much.” His reply, “Only about money.”

You see Mr. Trudeau there are people out there who need help, who are not evading taxes, glad to pay if only they had a job. There are people out there who, when they had a job, contributed to the wealth of the 1%. How else could there be a 1%?

My Parkdale


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