Where was/is everybody?

As a non-fiction book editor, I worked in Canadian publishing from 1971 to 1986. The first book I rescued from the unsolicited manuscript pile was Geniesh: An Indian Girlhood. There, Jane Willis described being ripped away from the bosom of her loving family and sent to residential school. Although Willis wrote with humour, the message was clear: residential schools dehumanized the children there, in the name of civilizing the ignorant savages. Children died from mistreatment and cruel punishment, at the hands of the Anglican church (Fort George, Quebec). Hers was not the first expose: The Only Good Indian (is a dead Indian), had already been published. Then in the mid-seventies came a spate of books about Grassy Narrows. The residents of Grassy were suffering from mercury poisoning. A couple of years ago, I was astounded to learn that nothing was ever done to alleviate the problem. The Only Good Indian was still a dead one.
David Lewis Stein wrote Toronto For Sale in the seventies too. Guess what–it’s still for sale. I watch the parade of condominiums sweep through Kingston Road, destroying the ravine, without a murmur from anyone in local government. We need more high density goes the argument. Bullshit. Toronto taxpayers are subsidizing private developers who are making windfall profits while trampling our ravines, clogging our roads, and blocking the sun. If a sucker is born every minute, we must have added a few million suckers to our population since the seventies. What a brilliant scam the the condo is, built on the old timesharing model: get the suckers to buy ahead, use their money to build your project and take off before the glass starts falling from the sky.
My only question is whether our councillors are in on the deal or just stupid.

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