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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Let’s build opportunity, not prisons

From Saturday's Globe and Mail
With Canada poised to spend untold billions of dollars expanding its prison system, it’s worth looking at what else that money might buy in national projects that invest in the country’s most important capital, its people.
Assuming Canada had extra billions in a time of large deficits, consider the birth bond – a government investment to be made each time a child is born. The investment would be held until the child turns, say, 18, and then made available for postsecondary education or an apprenticeship program. Canada has 370,000 births a year. How much could it afford to put into an ambitious investment for each newborn, instead of into jail expansion?


  1. Elizabeth Rosenau
    to David
    Comment by Elizabeth Roseneau
    show details 10:07 PM (9 hours ago)

    Hi David;

    I just wanted to let you know how much I loved your piece on the connection between poverty and prisons. These are huge issues and I'm so pleased to see someone connecting the dots the way they should be connected. Prison inmates also have mental health disorders, addictions and cognitive issues such as fetal alcohol syndrome. Prison is pretty much the worst possible place for people with these types of disorders, since therapy is almost non-existant.

  2. Comment by Boyd Adams: Boyd Adams Yep. And THAT mentality is PRECISELY what has turned every major city in the U.S. into a major war zone. I walked around Hastings and Main in Vancouver, used the washroom at First United Church homeless shelter/church, and stopped at a restaurant to eat. I did not look over my shoulder ONE TIME. If you hear snow crunching behind you in an American city, not turning around fast enough could cost you your life. Years of CONservative, religious freak-controlled, militarist "government" has DESTROYED The United States.