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Commentary :: Human Rights
Rent to die for!
19 Sep 2005
Rent to die for!
Things do change in our world mostly because of consciousness raising ! For instance today everyones more aware of pollution and toxic substances than we were,say in the 1940's and 50's.Theres been a major initiative and effort over the years prohibit and eliminate dangerous toxic substances and carcinogens from the home and workplace where they once unfortunately were quite common.Why did this change take place? Because our consciousness was raised to the dangers these toxins and pollutions posed to our safety,health and longevity.

In fact we now know that our governments knew that these industries were blatantly producing toxic products and putting them in our homes.Our government for the sake of big business and capitalism decided to look the other way.Consumer enlightment and resulting legal actions forced governments and industry to set new rules, regulations and restrictions on toxic consumer products.

This logic is now easily understood: why should we be forced to put up with toxic substances and environments that are maiming,crippling and even killing us? Of course we still
have lots of toxic and polluted environments to deal with like air pollution and acid rain but at
least we're now more aware and informed and able to do something,to raise our voices against it.

Still there are other important areas where we need to have our consciousness raised.Lets take for example the exteremely important issue of our basic living conditions.We live in a society where we think we have personal power and control over our lives because we say we live in this wonderful "democracy" where one person equals one vote.But what good is that democratically guaranteed "one vote" when it comes to ensuring any good or even adequate
standards for our basic living conditions?

Then again what constitutes our basic living conditions? Well getting down to basics it means a decent and healthy place to live and food to eat.Shouldn't this be one of our rights in our great country with our great riches and our great "one person - one vote" democracy? Shouldn't we all then share in the power and wealth producing resources of our democracy which Canada was and is built on? Although in reality we don't - we should and we easily could.We could in this democracy ensure that everyone has a right to food and decent living conditions.One of the major blockages to decent living conditions for a majority of Canadians is the fact that they can't afford to buy a house and instead are forced to pay high rents which in turn keeps them from accumulating enough money to afford a house.A majority of workers in Canada are forced to pay rents that take more than half of their pay checks because landlords are setting the rents as high as they possibly can.
What these renters find is that after 5 or 10 or 20 years or more of paying high rents, that they don't own any part,not a floor tile or a kitchen cabinet of the apartment they paid high rent on all those years.

If you look at it in another way consumers purchase a lot of different products from food to clothing to electronics to automobiles.Renters are consumers of all these products too but the difference is that when they buy a loaf of bread or a television or even a second car they then "own" that product and can use it and dispose of it as they wish.All the money renters pay over the years for their apartments doesn't get them any ownership what-so-ever of their apartment and the only one who does financially benefit and retains ownership is the landlord.Why should Canadian consumers be allowed to buy and own (even with credit financing) almost all other products but decent housing?

Why should the majority of Canadian workers be manipulated,enslaved and put on this grinding,gouging tread mill of paying high rents that takes most of their hard won earnings but gives them nothing in actual ownership or security in return and which is in reality only temporary housing? Renting an apartment is "temporary housing" too because if you somehow can't pay your next month's rent your landlord, who you payed rent to for years,and whos' reaped all the profits, can then legally be evict you.
Canadians are being victimized;held back,stressed-out and impoverished in an unfair system of paying high rents for basic housing that in the end only enriches and gives financial security to a minority of monopolistic landlords.The profits are only to be had by the property owners,meanwhile the workers can be forced into drudgery and minimum wage jobs just to provide property owners (landlords) with those profits.

We need a fair system in Canada,based on income, where the money people spend for rent goes to pay for and buy them ownership of secure and ongoing basic housing.Why should Canadians,because they need a decent place to live be forced to secure their basic housing by paying most of their wages to landlords who are only offering them "temporary housing"? As it is now landlords and giant apartment rental companies control large and prime housing sections of our towns and cities. Because of this a majority of Canadians have become like propertyless medeval "serfs" in our own country.Plus our towns and cities are a defacto remake of the old style "Company Towns" where the company owns all the land and housing etc..

The right to basic housing for a majority of Canadians should not be exploited or left to a minority of profit driven Land-Barons and their rental companies! There are already some co-op apartments where your rent is paid towards ownership of your apt. and also your rent there is based on your income - but theres very few of them available so far.Again what we need in Canada is a "Consciousness Raising" on our needs for basic housing and the morality,fairness and justice of being forced to pay most of our incomes in high rents for temporary housing that enriches and progresses no-one but a minority of wealthy landlords!

k.hawley
corporats (at) yahoo.ca

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