Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Just Keep Your Mouth Shut

On this past Sunday afternoon, I found myself at the Factory Theatre, Bathurst and Adelaide, watching "Apple", a play written by Vern Thiessen and directed by Ken Gass. I thought it was really good, and if you're interested in Canadian theatre, I recommend you check it out. On Sundays, this theatre offers pay-what-you-can, so complaints about the price are no longer valid.

After the play let out, Jenn and I hopped on a 501 car and headed towards the Eaton Centre. On board, we noticed that someone had left bags of clothing and newspaper on three seats at the front of the streetcar. Passengers suggested that it was a homeless man who was still on board, but was (at that time) somewhere in the back. At Spadina, an older man boarded, who took offense to the mess, asked the operator to have the man fix the problem. This gentleman was fully in his rights to make such a request, but it resulted in an unforeseen consequence. Up to that point, the operator didn't care, but he instructed the man to clean up or he would not go any further. It took the man several minutes to return to his seat and gather his belongings, and we were soon off. In the end, the man didn't even clean up his stuff. He just organized it - and caused a delay.

This blog isn't really about homelessness, but having worked for a public housing agency during the summer, it's an issue which needs addressing beyond the "build more public housing" cries. We as a society need to ask ourselves a question:

What is the lowest level of existence we will permit someone to live? In my opinion, we need to raise the bar.

A little while earlier in the day, I overheard some kids at Bathurst Station discussing the difficulties they had getting home the night before. They were travelling in the hour when daylight savings time changed to standard time, which no doubt causes havoc with scheduling. He claimed that the TTC driver told him that service is normally suspended during that hour. Frankly, I don't buy that. More to come on that one.

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