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

West Shore residents hold forum to voice frustration with Goldstream Park homeless camp

Some 200 residents fill local pub pointing fingers, claiming crime on the rise, safety at risk

Monterey Centre overflows at Oak Bay’s first 2018 all-candidates meeting

Large hall could not contain the abundant resident turnout

Burn survivor camp an ‘eye-opening experience’ for Langford firefighter

Burn Fund also provides housing for firefighters, families for treatment at the Burn Fund Centre

Two to hospital after University of Victoria sailing mishap

Wind gusts capsize boat of recreational club sailors

City stamps rezoning approval for Merridale Cidery expansion in Victoria

Owner expects doors open by fall 2019 in Dockside Green neighbourhood

Environment Canada confirms Ottawa area hit by two tornadoes Friday

At one point more than 200,000 hydro customers were blacked out

5 things to do this weekend in and around Greater Victoria

Sooke Apple Fest returns, Saanich lights up with lantern festival and anarchists unite for downtown book fair

Whitecaps see playoff dreams fade after 2-1 loss to FC Dallas

Goal in 87th minute seals Vancouver’s fate

B.C. students send books to displaced students of Hornby Island school fire

Maple Ridge elementary school teacher says students learned about acts of kindness

Trump drains oxygen from Trudeau foreign policy with PM, Freeland bound for UN

A lot has changed since the Liberals came to power in Canada in 2015

Emergency crews investigate small sulphuric acid spill in Kootenays

IRM states a small volume of less than one cup and three dime-sized drips were leaked from carrier

Victoria resident barred from trading securities for fraud

Larry Keith Davis used money from an investor to pay personal bills

Most Read