The Mayoral Debate at RRC

Today was the Mayoral debate between two of the four candidates…I’m not exactly sure why only two showed up; it was never really explained to me.  I’ve heard conflicting stories about not being invited, or just not bothering to show up.

All in all I felt that, while entertaining, the debate lacked any real substance and at times seemed rehearsed.  There were some amusing one-liners and condescending talk-backs.

My favourites were: “It’s not in a bunch of boxes in my garage, I can tell you that.”

“My dear Sam Katz…”

“Thanks, Mom.”

You don’t really need context, there didn’t seem to be a lot of context in this debate.  Maybe I’m apathetic, or cynical, or whatever, but I feel as though the discourse is totally lacking real initiatives and new ideas.  It seems to be the same tired arguments again and again.

Here’s an idea…MORE COMMUNITY CENTRES…ack!

Here’s a REAL idea:  Decriminalize ALL drugs; stop sending people to jail for non-violent drug offenses, spend the money that you WOULD have spent incarcerating the person instead on drug rehabilitation programs.  Portugal did it and their overall crime rate has dropped significantly.  It would also take the money out of the hands of gangs and drug dealers and if you tax it like you tax Cigarettes and Alcohol (LEGAL drugs) you’d easily be dealing with surpluses while also solving crime problems.  Plus the surplus money could be funneled into revitalizing downtown, Light Rapid Transit and still have money left over for “community centres”.

I’ve been told that it costs anywhere from $35,000 to $140,000 (for maximum security) a year to keep an inmate in prison.  That’s insane!  Think of all the money that could be better used helping communities and infrastructure…maybe I’m a hippie idealist, but I think that the government shouldn’t tell people what they can and can’t ingest; especially when nicotine and alcohol are legal. Doesn’t make any sense to me.

What do you guys think?

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2 thoughts on “The Mayoral Debate at RRC

  1. The cost of keeping someone in jail is absolutely appalling, and could definitely be used for something better. As for community centres, you heard what was discussed in class, they’re doing fine. At the risk of sounding inconsiderate, there are community centres that aren’t in the inner city that are in dire need of some funding. I tried having a soccer practice at Riverview CC last night but couldn’t because the lights didn’t even work. They have a broken air hockey table, a tiny gym that is never open (and is totally unsuitable for ANYTHING), a couple old couches that are probably infested with something and that’s about it in the there. Oh ya, and a guy working the canteen who looks like he’s gonna kidnap the poor children that venture into that hell hole.

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