No end to need

Similkameen residents show their Christmas generosity once again, as shown by Legion donations

The Christmas season has once again opened the hearts of many in the Lower Similkameen, as donations to local charity drives attest.

A fine example of  the charitable scene this year is the Keremeos branch of the Royal Canadian Legion, who, answering the call, made several large donations to local charitable causes, including recent Cawston house fire victims, and to the Legion’s own charitable venture.

The members decided to fund their own Christmas hamper this year, and called upon Legion Chaplain Jason Wiebe to find a needy family.

As it turned out, generous Legionaires donated enough food for at least two hampers.

Finding another needy family shouldn’t be twice as difficult for Wiebbe. A study by  Emmanuel Saez,  a researcher in income inequity, shows that 95 per cent of all income gains between 2009 and 2012 went to the top one per cent of earners in the United States.

Canada’s story is more difficult to ascertain, as we have limited access to comprehensive and timely public data about the top one per cent. But the data we do have reveal similar  trends to the U.S. In each phase of economic expansion since the 1980s, the top one per cent of Canadian tax-filers took a bigger share of income growth, and less of the hit in bad times.

Income inequality has become an inescapable political and economic issue, as much so in the Similkameen as the rest of Canada.

The bottom 50 per cent has seen a dwindling share of income growth over time, accounting for only three per cent of all income gains since 2009, after having lost much more during the recession.

The statistics apply as much – and possibly even more so – to the Similkameen as anywhere else in Canada. As incomes fall, more and more middle and lower class income earners are finding themselves at the mercy of charitable organizations for that little extra that makes the Christmas season so special.

It’s great to see Similkameen organizations like the Keremeos Legion respond with such humanity. Unfortunately, it’s going to take a much larger and more concentrated public response to resolve the underlying issues behind the statistics noted above.

 

 

 

Just Posted

Okanagan’s smoke filled skies toxic to pets

Pet owners should take extra precautions with pets until smoke dissipates

Air support grounded as fires fill the skies with smoke

Update Aug. 19 1:25 p.m. A majority of air support is still… Continue reading

Crews continue extinguish Snowy Mountain Wildfire

The 13,359 hectare wildfire is classified as held

Smoke cancels Super League Penticton, organizers give pros a gift

Super League Penticton organizers decide to send all pro competitors to championship

Smoky skies means stay inside, according to Interior Health

The air quality in the Okanagan is considered a high risk

Flights from Kelowna International Airport affected by wildfire smoke

Passengers are being asked to check their flight’s status before arriving

Work continues on Monashee Complex wildfires

Crews will be assisted by helicopters if flying conditions improve

Fast food chains look to capitalize on vegetarian, vegan trend with new items

Seven per cent of Canadians consider themselves vegetarians and 2.3 per cent identify as vegans

Gottfriedsen Mountain wildfire continues to be held

Firefighters are working alongside the military to extinguish the wildfire near West Kelowna

B.C. swimmer halts journey across Strait of Juan de Fuca after hypothermia sets in

Victoria MS athlete Susan Simmons swam for eight-and-a-half hours in 9 C choppy waters

‘Hard on water:’ Smoke not the only long-range effect of wildfires

The project began more than 10 years ago after southern Alberta’s 2003 Lost Creek fire

B.C. VIEWS: Genuine aboriginal rights can be misused and discredited

Camp Cloud one of long line of protests falsely asserting title

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to march in Montreal’s Pride parade

Trudeau will end the day in his home riding of Papineau

Most Read