Photo: Bill Metcalfe

LETTER: In praise of activism

From reader Charles Jeanes

It is customary at this season to reflect on a year gone by and express goodwill to one’s community, and I warmly wish to endorse the custom. Nelson is fortunate indeed that we see more “hugs” than “slugs” offered up in the pages of your paper, demonstrating locals have a good habit of counting our manifest blessings and feeling gratitude.

That said, with the prospect of a municipal election a year from now, I would still wish to press home the point that Nelson’s social inequities are not in decline, but rather the reverse; over the 30 years I have called this wonderful town my home, Nelson has drifted into the same social pathologies as elsewhere in the world’s richest nations. Local politicians have a leadership role to play in making Nelson a model for our country in finding solutions to homelessness, poverty, unemployment, and environmental deterioration.

We have some inspired people here. Their energy applied to our social problems is making a difference.

Still we are not doing better than other places, and our low income levels are a cause for concern in a town where housing costs are unfairly elevated by “market forces” [re: strong demand from people with money to buy into a ready-made high quality of life, and business, beginning with developers and retailers, actively seeking to attract new gentry to town].

I say to anyone who is considering a run for election to Nelson Council or the RDCK board: think hard about the social issue and come to the campaign in November 2018 with serious, credible ideas for change.

Wishing every reader of these lines a fine holiday at the Yule turning of the year, I say a special thank-you to those most active in the community in our social and cultural sectors. Nelson is no longer “a well-kept secret”(as former mayor Gary Exner told me in 1995), and our popularity as a great lifestyle place to live is piling up difficult challenges. Our activists are the first line of defence against declining quality of life.

Charles Jeanes


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Work begins on new affordable housing building in Nelson

The 39-unit project is expected to be complete by July 2021

‘I knew what he wanted’: Man recalls black bear chasing him up tree in Slocan Valley

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

No passenger flights at West Kootenay Regional Airport until at least September

This is the third time Air Canada has announced changes to flight operations out of the airport

Morning Start: 180 different bird species exist in Kootenay National Park

Here is your Kootenays’ morning start for Friday, May 29

VIDEO: Injured bald eagle rescued in B.C. First Nations community

Bird suspected injured in fight, whisked off to Coquitlam rehab

Help the Nelson Star continue its mission to provide trusted local news

Black Press is now accepting donations to keep its papers operating

Toronto Raptors’ Ujiri says conversations about racism can no longer be avoided

Thousands have protested Floyd’s death and repeated police killings of black men across the United States

‘I’m afraid’: Witnesses of wolf attack on senior near Prince Rupert worried about safety

Frank Russ shows where the unprovoked wolf attacked his father

Protesters prepare to rally against racism in front of Vancouver Art Gallery

Rally is in response to the deaths of black Americans and a Toronto woman

Protesters rally against anti-black, Indigenous racism in Toronto

Police estimated the crowd to be between 3,500 and 4,000 and said there was no violence

Feds earmark $1.5M to support recovery of B.C., Indigenous tourism

B.C. money will be split between Vancouver Island and Indigenous tourism

‘We’re sick of it’: Anger over police killings shatters U.S.

Tens of thousands marched to protest the death of George Floyd

Join Kootenay family in virtual walk for Ronald McDonald House

“We always described it as our oasis in the middle of the desert,” Brigitte Ady shares.

Most Read