My Little Corner of Canada
The kids need a place
One day last week, a couple of my young neighbours came over to me on the street and told me that they needed a place to go during the evenings after school.
This is nothing new. Year after year, everyone — young people, parents, teachers, social workers, the police, politicians — have all been saying the same thing. Young people are bored and need a place where they can exercise their bodies and occupy their minds. Everyone agrees with this.
But nothing ever happens. Young people between the ages of 14 and 18 have nothing but the streets. No wonder they get bored, get involved in crime, and sometimes worse. There are a few organized activities for them, but these often require money. Sometimes that is always in short supply.
Younger kids are relatively easy to entertain and it doesn’t take much to occupy them. Adults have their jobs, their bingo halls and their bars. Teenagers occupy the void.
Here in the new capital, millions of dollars are being spent to build the infrastructure for the new government. Almost nothing new is being built for the direct use of young people. Community leaders, politicians, parents, teachers and religious leaders need to put their collective heads together and start doing something. We need facilities and we need people who will organize and supervise activities for our teenagers.
The teenage years are probably the most complex and confusing time of a person’s life. It is during these years that they need the special and caring concern of society.
The honeymoon is over
It has now been five months since the new Government of Nunavut was created. The leaders of the new government have had enough time to get comfortable in their offices. They have had time to assess the books and to begin some planning.
It is now time to tell the citizens of Nunavut what some of those plans might be. It is now time to start articulating a vision of the future.
How will they begin to deal with the expectations of a population that has been patient for so long? How will they be different from the Northwest Terrified Government. How will they relate too the ordinary people?
The honeymoon is over and its time to make the marriage work.