Sometimes we say the right things. But we don't put them into action. This came to me last evening as Diana and I were canvassing not too far from our home...a walkable distance really.
We've been in the Clair Hills area for about 13 years. Prior to that, we were on Ashby Court in Waterloo. When we moved there almost every one of the 37 houses was filled by the same people, White, Early to mid twenties,,just starting with their kids. Our daughters, while they went to schools such as WVI, Resurrection, and SJAM , had friends of varying backgrounds, and even that struck us. Diana and I spent our teenage years just north of London, at that time hardly a quilt of diversity,
Clair Hills was much the same when we moved here, But that has changed. One of our next door neighbors is from Nigeria, Others are from Afghanistan, Just a couple of doors down there's a young couple from China. I helped them out last winter with my snowblower, when they were struggling with a plastic shovel (the snowblower might be the universal tool in bringing people together)
During our canvassing last night we met people who had chosen this to be their home, from many corners of the world. Some were very excited to be getting the chance to vote, others are still unsure about it.
For the most part though, especially if they are younger, these are people who want to fit in, and be part of the fabric of the community.
It must be terrifying for many people to come to a place where you don't speak the language, where every part of every day is just different, Diana and I felt a little bit of that several years ago during a trip to Japan, but we had a daughter to shepherd us through....and we were hardly coming from a hardscrabble existence,
What does all this have to do with the election? Well, we are a community of neighbourhoods, and we have some excellent neighbourhood associations, But I think we need to work harder to reach out more to those people who have picked Waterloo as their home, That's why I support an increase to the matching dollar program currently provided by the city, Changes, and understanding will only come if we reach out to our new neighbors, welcoming and helping. It will be good for them. It will be good for us. And it will be good for the city.