The recent posting on the website, YouTube, of a video clip highlighting some neglected areas in Thunder Bay was shocking to see.
As you know, I am a strong advocate for Northwestern Ontario. I always stand up for the best interests of our communities and emphasize the positive rather than focusing on the negative.
However, the abandoned buildings and images of decay shown in the video must be seen as a wake-up call.
We know our young people are leaving without intentions of returning and we recognize our main industries have experienced setbacks.
The Thunder Bay-Rainy River area needs revitalization—and we must work as a team to create change.
We live in one of the most unique and beautiful areas of Canada, yet we take it for granted. It is a common reflex to blame others for the state of our communities.
As citizens, I believe we are all are accountable. When new initiatives are proposed, we need to rally behind the people or the cause to show our support.
There are many programs and community groups taking the lead in community revitalization. For example, Action for Neighbourhood Change is supporting the Simpson-Ogden area with an ongoing beautification program and the results have been positive.
Anti-crime programs have been developed, substandard housing is starting to be addressed, and after-school programs established.
Also, Trees Thunder Bay provides a great opportunity to beautify your yard or sponsor a tree to do your part for the environment.
As a community, we need to support projects that benefit all aspects of the community, such as the waterfront development.
An initiative like this will create jobs, spend money in the community, build an attractive space, develop spin-off businesses, and build community pride.
individuals we can:
- express ourselves (share your ideas for improvement);
- join a community group (be part of the solution);
- shop at our local stores and buy made-in-Canada products;
- attend local events to support our community groups;
- donate to or volunteer for local initiatives; and
- take pride in your neighbourhood
Participation is the best way to make our area vibrant and attractive.
Things are happening—get out and get involved. A community does not build itself; it is the people who build a community.