Government – Empowerment over punishment

In Victoria, the Hartland landfill is filling up faster than we thought it would. Talks about charging by the pound for trash are floating around the municipalities. This system would be in the millions of dollars and not really address the issue. But this local issue is just a microcosm of how government is dealing with its people. Too often the governments resort to laws that punish people for bad behavior rather than trying to implement systems that empower the people to change their behavior. Rather than spend millions on a trash management system, how about we invest in composters and expand the recycling system. Apartment building could create community gardens, people could learn how to garden at home again and unwanted compost could be used by local communities to have food co-op program. In short, communities could create other initiatives to better the neighborhood around them rather than waiting for the government to drop the big stick.

Matteus Clement: I am the external executive for the Camosun College student society (CCSS) and have been for the last year and a half. I will be graduating from the applied communications program in May. In my roll at the CCSS I have lobbied government for more accessible education through lower tuition, eliminating interest on student loans and bringing back the grants program that was eliminated in 2004. I truly believe that most problems can be solved through a collective consultation process that results in an outcome that is both socially beneficial as well as economically sound.

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