Two recent issues in this province are showing just how much we like to hurt our selves both on a provincial level and on a municipal level.
Whether these issues are slid out to distract the public from other problems that are ongoing or whether the attempt to set two groups of this province or city against each other serves a different purpose I do not know for sure. However the issue is we are damaging ourselves to serve someone else’s needs and i am not sure who or why.
The two issues that are so contentious at the moment are the bilingualism issue and the removal of lanes on two Moncton city streets to introduce bike lanes. I will endeavour to look at both of them.
This issue first started in Hatfield’s era when bilingualism was put into the constitution at Hatfield’s request and was completed in McKenna’s era when laws were put in place to support this.
However the laws were weak and vague and left both groups feeling unprotected. And the truth is they were unprotected and because of this both groups made an attempt to solidify their positions trying to make sure they were not taken advantage of. The end result was a mess. All because when the initial framers made the laws they chose to make them vague rather then making certain that everyone had equal rights and protections under the law.
Now any attempt at creating just and equal laws is frowned on because Anglophones see it as stealing rights they are fighting for or not going far enough and Francophones see it as taking things they feel are their rights and not going far enough to promote their side.
Equality is what was indicated as the intent of the original law and equality is what we need to see. However the law even put into place a review system designed to draw the issue out into public and create harsher fights every so many years when a simple straight forward equality guarantee and protection for both linguistic groups was and is the ideal situation, any less then that and we are creating a long term tension to lawsuits to “correct and recompense the injured parties”
There is no question bike lanes improve the opportunity for active living however removing lanes of a busy street to add on bike lanes is not going to cut it.
This is actually causing a fuss as those complaining about the way this is handled are being labeled as being against bike lanes which is not actually true.
However the division between those who are looking to improve active transportation and those who are trying to keep our traffic situations from becoming a bottleneck are being caused largely by a city council who does not really want anyone looking closely at the way the council does business. If the people of this city actually banded together and demanded that these bike lanes be done right then the council would be facing a bill that they are realistically trying to download onto a future council (something this council has done before, In the Assomption Blvd fiasco)
We need to create an environment where bikers and drivers can use the space fairly this means that realistically the only options were to increase the size of the road to allow for addition of bike lanes or to create a separate bike trail near the roadway to allow the bikes a safe alternative option to using the road
Eventually we as a people are going to wake up and call a spade a spade when the government tries to create these divisions between it’s citizen, because it is obvious they are doing something slimy behind the scenes and are trying to create a major uproar amongst the community so that no one sees what they are doing until it is to late. There is no other reason for such illogical and poorly thought out behaviour as the bilingual furor and bike lane ruckus that is being caused by two of our elected levels of government.