Tuesday, 8 November 2011
That brings me back to sleepy little Ottawa. On the way home from church on Sunday I rode my bike to Confederation Park. We have a little copy-cat encampment here too. Lottsa tents, not so many people. If the goals of the New York or London encampments are unclear, the realities of the injustice and inequity in those countries certainly are. Here in Canada we, with the shameful exception of our native people, are enjoying the top 2% quality of life from a global and population perspective. I'm not an apologist for our governing parties, but I don't feel our system has let us down.
This all brings me to the sketch. I suppose you have to live here to understand how incongruous tents are in an Ottawa park. On Sunday all was quiet. The campers had organized a free food kitchen and the park was very orderly and tidy - how Canadian. That cynicism aside, I think we are in the very early days of this movement and I believe in time, issues will be refined, leaders emerge and goals clarified. My suspicion is that this will take years to mature. Wish I could drop in on Wall Street more often, but the proxy will have to be Confederation Park. The irony of the drawing is the eagle sculpture in the background, This is the Aboriginal War Vetran's monument. They are the ones who should be camping here. Instead they organized themselves to raise money and commision a sculpture commemorating their contribution to our nation.
Sunday, 6 November 2011
In 1984, shortly after I moved to Ottawa, the covered bridge over the Gatineau River burned down. The province replaced it with an eminently more practical and functional high speed steel and concrete structure, but the community still felt an emotional loss. There was nothing else to be done but raise the funds, form work parties and replace the 1915 wooden structure. Old log boom logs were sawed for structural bridge timber and 'town lattice' walls were constructed. The roof and pine sides followed to keep structure dry and lengthen the life of the bridge. The new, old bridge, was opened in1997.