Friday, March 30, 2012

Local Advocate Responds To NEDC Head

The following is a response from local advocate for social change, Mr. Gord Fuller, replying to comments made and reported in the press by new NEDC head, Susan Cudahy. His reply appears on his website which you can visit HERE.

Editorial: Nanaimo could use return of civic pride
As one of those that frequently speak my mind I want to say I contend the vocal minority aka. naysayers actually care a great deal for this city and recognize its potential to become great.

Should we sweep our opinions under the rug, gloss over the facts, or like the three monkeys; hear no evil, see no evil, and speak no evil? I think not. In recognizing potential one must also recognize flaws. Only then can we work to make things better.

Statements like Ms. Cudahay’s ‘the idea we have a lot of unemployed or that people can’t find jobs here is a bit of an urban legend,’ are a perfect example of what raises people ire. Perhaps Ms. Cudahy would like the newly created position of Communication Manager with the City.

Some not to pretty truths about Nanaimo; 18th worst of 92 health areas for Economic Hardship in BC; 15th – More than twice the provincial average - for those on Income Assistance and E.I.; 15% of the population of Nanaimo receiving some form of Income Assistance; 11th highest for youth 19 – 24 on income assistance; 40% of the workforce has only part time jobs; 7.8 percent of families live on less than $20,000 per year; 26% of wage earners earn less than $15,000.00 per year, $3000.00 below established poverty levels.

Sifting through spin there is much the new Economic Development Corporation is doing that makes sense and can have a positive impact however let’s not gloss over the reality. I am proud to be associated with those that are willing to speak out; I am proud to call Nanaimo home; I am proud to be working towards making the community a better place for ALL.


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