Oak Bay writer tackles inequality

A Better Place on Earth launches Tuesday in Victoria

Oak Bay author Andrew MacLeod explores the reasons for

Depending on how you look at it, Oak Bay author Andrew MacLeod’s book A Better Place on Earth either took a couple months to complete or a lifetime based on past experience.

“I remember being a child seven or eight years old and walking around with my dad and there were people who were panhandling,” he said.

His father’s reply boiled down to, “Hey this is Canada, everything’s OK”.

“I accepted that to some degree,” MacLeod said.

During his stint writing for Monday Magazine from 2002 to 2007 he delved into the issues as welfare rates stagnated.

“At the same time we saw this explosion of homelessness,” he recalls. “For years I would write about poverty issues … When you reframe it as inequality, it brings everybody into it.”

A Better Place on Earth provides tangible suggestions to reduce inequality and increase political will to change public policies on taxation, benefits and services to battle inequality.

“We’re at a point where inequality has been going up everywhere, it’s a worldwide thing … In B.C. it’s been going up faster,” he said. “A lot of the decisions that get made happen at the provincial or local level. As far as I know, this is the first [book] to bring it down to ‘what are the factors at the local levels that drive inequality?’”

His perspective comes from growing up in a home with a decent income, and now heading his own double-income family living in Oak Bay.

“I come from a background of privileges … so my interest comes from there, wanting for others what we want for ourselves,” MacLeod said.

“It’s a middle-class response of looking around my city.”

A Better Place on Earth explores the reasons for, and consequences of, inequality. Featuring interviews with economists, politicians, policy-makers and activists, it also gives voice to those living on the edge: a single parent whose child support payments are clawed back by the government; a 25-year-old struggling to live on disability payments; a security guard who isn’t given bathroom breaks.

“It’s solutions oriented,” MacLeod said. “It lays out things we could do if we were serious about reducing inequality … It really is optimistic about the options.”

The book launches on Tuesday, April 28 at Bard and Banker in Victoria.

 

cvanreeuwyk@oakbaynews.com

 

 

Just Posted

Our Place Society asks for men’s clothing donations

Victoria non-profit short on men’s clothes, has 80 per cent male clientele

MISSING: 64-year-old Victoria man David Atkins

Atkins was last seen downtown on Dec. 2 and now could be in Sooke

Saanich councillor tries his hand at design with cycling T-shirt

Positive response has avid cyclist considering making more to share

Missing kids a common occurrence during large events, VicPD says

Children often reunited with parents quickly

Langford Fire Department seeks fresh batch of volunteer firefighters for 2020

Open house takes place at Langford Station 1 on Dec. 7 from 10 a.m. to noon

Fashion Fridays: Ethical and sustainable gifts for the season

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Greater Victoria 2019 holiday craft fair roundup

Get a jump on your holiday shopping

Residents in B.C. city could face 133% tax hike in ‘worst case’ lawsuit outcome: report

An average home could see a tax increase of $2,164 in one year

POLL: Will you be donating to charities over the holiday season?

Many here in Victoria joined others around the world to take part… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 3

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Many of Canada’s working poor can’t afford lawyers, don’t qualify for legal aid

One lawyer says many people earn too much to qualify for legal aid, but not enough to really live on

Economy lost 71,200 jobs in November, unemployment rate climbs to 5.9%

Jobless rate is at its highest since August 2018, when it hit 6%

VIDEO: Rockslide closes part of Highway 93 in Fairmont Hot Springs

Geotechnical team called in to do an assessment after rocks fell from hoodoos

Petition calls for appeal of ex-Burns Lake mayor’s sentence for sex assault

Prosecution service says Luke Strimbold’s case is under review

Most Read