Although the holiday season will have a jolly, heartful and joyous atmosphere, my feeling is miles away from a festive mood when I think about the different realities of the haves and have-nots.
Holiday songs, Christmas gift ideas, travel plans and party ideas are the topic of everyday conversation. Store flyers and online ads about Black Friday and Cyber Monday urge us to buy more goods to save more.
But underneath this commercialized Christmas with its constructed festive bubble and shopping frenzies, precarity and poverty co-exist everywhere in North America, including Kamloops.
There is rising inflation and creeping energy, utility and food costs. A recession is looming, chronic underemployment and unemployment are expanding and the affordable and accessible housing crisis is worsening.
In the Interior of B.C., we have experienced a heat dome, an atmospheric river and extensive wildfires, droughts and flooding over the last two years.
One in five Canadians, approximately seven-million people, report experiencing hunger even though more than 4,000 food banks and other agencies are tirelessly providing services.
Many economic, geopolitical and environmental factors impact marginalized groups, including single-parent families, low-income seniors, people with disabilities, Indigenous peoples, immigrant families and homeless youth and adults.
Christmas is a good time to sit down and exchange ideas about political activism with family and friends and discuss how we can revitalize them together.