Nunatsiaq News
LETTERS: -none- August 20, 2004 - 3:08 pm

You can change your future

NUNATSIAQ NEWS

The greatest injustice done in this country, by our government, was the creation of a welfare state in the Arctic and with the natives on reservations in the South. Unfortunately, there are many who have remained in this mind-set of “give-me.”

This, however, is not a reality for the majority of Canadians. The reality of living in this country is this: if you don’t pay your rent, you get evicted.

If you live with a family member and they die, you must vacate the unit. If you don’t pay your electricity bill, they turn off your power. If you don’t pay your municipal services, they turn off your water supply. If you don’t pay your property taxes, they take your house away.

If you don’t show up for work, you lose your job. If a family member is seriously injured or sick in another part of the country, all the costs involved for going to be with that person are your responsibility.

As harsh as this may sound, this is reality. It is important that everyone learn that not all things in this country are free and that you must work hard to survive.

It is unfortunate that three families have recently received a rude wake-up call to these realities. My heart goes out to them, but I hope that others will learn the valuable lesson that these families are now learning the hard way.

I know what it is like to be homeless. I know what it is to be hungry. I know what it is to be unemployed. I know what it is to have small children and not know where their next meal was coming from. I know what it is to depend upon the government for a monthly cheque.

But I also know what it is to find a better way.

I found a sense of pride as I took that first step out of that endless trap. I learned the importance of education. I learned I could be in control of my destiny by hard work and determination. I received a sense of accomplishment when I was no longer dependent upon anyone except God and myself.

What I have today I have earned and this is far better than any “give-me” the government will ever hand you. Take that first step today. You can change your future.

Theresa Rodrigue
Iqaluit

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