Project City

…or rather, some towns, it seems. Various members of the law firm find that there are concentrations of criminal and family matters in certain smaller communities, where major industry is long gone. Younger people seem to spend longer periods living with parents and living on some form of social assistance. No aspirations to work. Lots of time on their hands. Lots of legal troubles as a consequence. Lots of time to fight in family files, and not much else to do except go to court in relation to family or criminal matters. With the legal fees all publicly paid for.

Point came up in discussion as to why these people have evidenced little desire to try to find work elsewhere. Comparing the history of the Maritimes, where people would regularly leave communities to obtain work elsewhere in Canada. Except, perhaps, if they were living in fishing villages, and expected employment insurance to cover the months when they weren’t fishing.

If there are no jobs in the town, why does one stay there, year after year, on social assistance, as opposed to having some desire to become economically self-sufficient and financially contribute to family from afar?

It appears that, in some communities, there are values of self-reliance, while in others, there are shared values of sitting around, as long as the social assistance is still coming in.

One person suggested that this provides support for the notion of a guaranteed annual income. Others might say that it is an argument for social assistance being conditional on making efforts towards self-sufficiency, including moving to locations with better prospects.

Then there is the problem of “out-migration” and not coming back.

Take me down…

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About brucelarochelle

http://www.lmslawyers.com/bruce-la-rochelle
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1 Response to Project City

  1. I’ve lived in such communities and have observed such behaviour. It is easy to suggest leaving, not so easy to do in practice. Jobs require skills that may not have been acquired in small town, and there is a huge element of fear of the unknown. Parents, who worked at the local mill for decades until it shut down, as their parents did before them, are in shock that a way of life has ended. They may not know how to motivate the younger generation to reach beyond the local community, partly because they have no experience there themselves.

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