LETTER: Certain irony in Castle cartoon mocking socialism

Dear editor,

I was taken aback by Bob Castle’s cartoon in your March 22, ridiculing the City of Cumberland’s intention to name a street in honour of social activist, Ginger Goodwin.

Being relatively new to the valley, I read with interest your article in the March 15 edition noting that Goodwin’s “political radicalization” began with what he felt were the “appalling” conditions in coal mines at the time. The article also notes Goodwin was a union leader and dedicated socialist who was involved in the mining strike that took place between 1912-1914. While attempting to evade conscription, Goodwin was killed by Constable Dan Campbell, who was found not-guilty of manslaughter after claiming he shot Goodwin in self-defence.

I sometimes marvel at our ability as a species to engage ourselves in what I call oxymoronic thinking. Nations of this world are regularly rated for how well they take care of their citizens.

Canada consistently ranks high on these lists for having programs like employment insurance, a minimum wage, labour safety codes, OAS, a guaranteed income supplement, family benefit programs and, often regarded as the crown jewel of these programs, socialized medicine.

What I find oxymoronic about Castle’s cartoon is that by linking the fictitiously created “Socialist” Avenue with “Draft Evader” Street, he derides Goodwin and many other Canadian “socialists” who helped establish these social programs.

This is not because those more disadvantaged than others are getting a hand-out from the wealthy, but through a society’s recognition that we all contribute to Canada and no one gets wealthy on their own.

Castle has surely taken advantage of these programs and will likely do so in the future and should, in my opinion, be thanking “socialists” not attacking them.

James Miller

Courtenay

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