Here in Canada, in case you haven’t heard, we are in full election campaign season.

So far there’s been a lot of yelling back and forth about what so-and-so is going to do if we vote him into power. Personally, I don’t have a care in the world about this kind of hate,¬†propaganda, attacking style of campaign. What I want to hear is how the parties are going to address the issues I care about.

Today I’m going to address some of the issues I see as important to my own community.

I live in an economically depressed region of the country. We have extremely high unemployment (some estimates are better than 50%), huge dependency on welfare, and drug (and thus crime) problems.

So, if you want my vote this coming election, you need to address these issues for the community in which I live:

1. Access to social programs and infrastructure. The people in my town are trapped in difficult lives. Many are dependent on drugs or alcohol to get through the day. Families struggle to make ends meet, and children are being lost in the battle. This area needs more social workers, more access to support that can help them beat their addictions. I know for certain, the churches would be more than willing to help this cause.

2. Help for low income families. This point falls out of the first point. There are many low income families here. There are many single parent families here. Families who have no where to go and no idea how to get there even if they knew where to turn. There are many children who are struggling to be productive members of society, this shows a lot about their home life.

3. Jobs! As mentioned, this area has extremely high unemployment. But there’s also a problem with motivation. This area has a large dependency on the government providing jobs by giving huge tax incentives for companies to move here. Auto parts plants have come and gone, same with pharmaceutical companies and call centres. Here’s what I would like to see: more incentives for local entrepreneurs to build and keep businesses in their own home towns. Our best and brightest have left for greener pastures, what if we were able to keep them locally and help them build their businesses and hire local people? It breaks the dependency on large corporations who pull out as soon as the tax incentives dry up, and it builds hope and pride in what our own people can do.

4. Crime. These above should help with the crime in the area, but more can always be done. There have been drug battles in our streets, break-ins, and more. Something needs to be done in this area.

These are the areas of concern I have for my community.

Thankfully, when we look at the representatives for the two major parties in Canada, we have two excellent local candidates. It’ll be a shame to see one of them come second in the election.

Stay tuned as in the next few days I’ll address some of my own personal issues for the election beyond our own local community.