Our hearts and prayers go out to everyone whose property and lives have been impacted by the Alberta flooding this week… especially those who lost loved ones in the High River flood. A man was on Facebook yesterday seeking word on his father an elderly man in a wheelchair who had refuse to evacuate his home. This presents me with something of a quandary; I support the individual’s right of self determinations up to and including the right to assisted suicide. I suppose that reasonably would include making stupid decisions which put your life at risk (all plummeting sports come to mind). Here comes the, “but” an evacuation is much easier to do then a rescue operation which could actually jeopardize the lives of rescue workers and would unnecessarily divert resources. Also the person refusing evacuation is not acting from a full understanding of the risks, in as much as the Flood of the Century could only be experienced twice by someone well over 100. Guess I’m just saying at times like this it should be illegal to refuse evacuation and anyone who won’t go willingly should be charged with interference and removed by force. Sorry ACLU but they can come home and die on their own time.
The devastation in Calgary effected the city’s richest and the city’s poorest without prejudice. With everything in downtown Calgary hit by the flood 3000 or more homeless people have been displaced from shelters. Calgary had a unique situation which evolve from the rapid boom and bust economic cycles. The shelter providers operate independently and in competition with each other; a friend from the CHF (Calgary Homeless Foundation) referred to them as empire builders. Perhaps with all the rebuilding which needs to be done we will also see some rethinking on the part of the 3 major providers of shelter services. Perhaps it is time for a merging of the kingdoms. Working in collaboration could provide a much better and more productive system for all the stakeholders in Calgary’s shelter industry.
Working with the downtown homeless for so many years leaves one the impression that Calgarians hated the homeless. This is clearly a misperception as witnessed by my friends who were moved to the DI’s as yet unfinished location on motel row. It seemed like everyone one with means to travel, rushed over to aid our homeless friends; bring food, water, blankets, clothes and man power. Hundreds maybe even thousands of people caring and sharing in this time of crisis.
Bless you all and thank you.