SUBMITTED BY MICHAEL EAGEN, NOTL.
I would like to compliment Hermine Steinberg on her timely article on the present economic trend regarding the very uneven distribution of wealth in most Western societies which claim to operate under democratic forms of government, “Society can’t move forward by going backward,” op-ed, The Lake Report, Aug. 15).
We often have a romantic view of our economic success and Steinberg has aptly pointed out that slavery in the United States and indentured servitude in Canada have not always been factored in to our cumulative society’s wealth.
We in Canada are increasingly recognizing the contributions of the many waves of newcomers who have worked for poor wages and in deplorable living conditions without much historical reference.
The Irish and the Chinese built large tracts of our national railway system and the reward for the Chinese was a federal Head Tax applied to any family member a Chinese worker wished to bring to Canada.
It is important for citizens of any country to be proud of the achievements but, as Steinberg pointed out, it is also imperative to appreciate the ongoing contributions of the many newcomers and be confident that they also will contribute to the fabric of Canadian society.
I do hope we will see more such thoughtful opinion pieces from Steinberg and others.