My Canada commentaries are usually aimed primarily at the Federal government activities with a splattering of Provincial and other political problems, issues and other happenings. Perhaps it is time for a change of venue. This article titled Tim Horton’s Coffee Shop Discussions will touch on a variety of subjects currently or recently brought up at morning coffee club meetings. Most of the gatherings consist of seniors with in-depth knowledge and opinions on all facets of current affairs. Some are even elected members of municipal councils. Almost all are active charity or social club committee members trying to figure out why the younger generation is not stepping up the fill vacancies on the committees as the original member’s age. It is a situation that threatens the very livelihood of many social, community and brotherhood club organizations.
This initial item will begin with a few comments based on a recent column in Macleans news magazine related to an article stating worry affects most people in Canada. It is hard not to agree since most people do worry. For some worry has to do with family, others are hyper over finances and still others over health and longevity. Those following world events and even politics tend to worry about the future according to the article. Most people regardless of age worry about the current trend that seems to block young people from getting jobs. The fact that many under 30’s are living at home, some with grandparents and others on the street and homeless, will undoubtedly have an impact on Canada’s future. Starting a family later if at all, marking time until savings can become a reality, and the necessity of taking any job after completing school instead of finding one in your chosen field is worrisome.
The experts claim worry is a human habit that is more associated with anxiety in recent times than it was in the past. The magazine article delving into many aspects of why we worry, the effect of worry on the population and possible methods to control worrying suggests it is of epidemic proportion. Worry the article claims has a devastating effect on people’s health, jobs and even family security. The solution seems to be finding a way to prevent people from worrying so much if that is even possible.
A subject that arises almost every day during coffee shop meetings is the weather. Depending on whether a person believes David Suzuki and the environmentalists or politicians in full support of extracting, shipping and burning fossil fuel the majority of people seems to believe pollution is a nuisance but not a crisis. Some discussion points out the recent surge in weather situations that have headlines in recent years. The new term Arctic Vortex keeping a great deal of the northern hemisphere is a deep freeze all winter is a discussion point. The unexpected High River Alberta flood last spring, rapidly melting arctic ice, more frequent wide spread severe storms, tornados and other unusual weather phenomenon often leads to speculation that climate change might be responsible.
The Keystone pipeline discussion gets mixed reviews. Those with stock market investments and shares in major corporations suggested by financial advisers are mostly in support of the oil sands development with its environmentalist protectionist’s disaster predictions. Those living closer to the poverty line dependent on government and company pensions are less enthusiastic about the issue. The Lac Megantic train derailment disaster and continuous reports of pipeline and other train derailment oil spills have a great influence on the degree of support.
A recent discussion due to news reports was about the unrest in the Ukraine after the civil protests, Egypt and a civil war in Syria. Participants wondered how long Canada can remain isolated from similar people rumblings. The Idle No More movement festering in the background, escalating fuel prices combined with skyrocketing hydro rates and constant tax increases by every level of government, is a recipe for unrest. Will Canadians begin to pressure elected officials that are under daily scrutiny for illegal and unethical practices leading to large demonstrations? Most discussions suggest crowds could demonstrate over such issues once the arctic vortex allows people to venture outdoors. But then again Canadians do not demonstrate in large numbers as a rule. Maybe it is the minus 20 to 40 daytime temperatures than keeps head cool.