Habitat build positive for St. Albert
Saturday, Aug 09, 2014 06:00 am
Hindsight is indeed 20-20, but perhaps some St. Albertans really have come to realize the controversy over Akinsdale’s Habitat for Humanity project was much ado about nothing.
Several years ago the Habitat development was proposed for St. Albert, giving affordable housing options to those on the lower end of the income scale. Regrettably, the issue became bogged down in nasty “not in my backyard” confrontations, and even included a lawsuit. Not only did the backlash cause a lot of anger, frustration, and, for those moving into the Habitat development, considerable consternation, but the community of St. Albert itself got a black eye from the controversy as the elitist brand was trotted out again and again.
With the neighbourhood now developed, passersby can see the homes were built tastefully and the neighbourhood is as well-designed as any in the city, and it gives St. Albert more housing options.
Aurora Place is part of a vibrant neighbourhood, with children playing and home owners paying mortgages and taxes. The people who live there are part of the community fabric of St. Albert.
A lesson learned about knee-jerk reactions. St. Albert needs a variety of housing, and people, to be successful. Aurora Place fits that bill.
Cause for cocnern?
A man with a camera. In some cultures around the world, a man seen in public with a camera is hardly noteworthy. But here, it’s seen as a threat.
It’s an indictment on our society that a man taking pictures in a public place where there are children is immediately thought of as a pervert; some sort of sick child molester. Why do so many of us jump to that conclusion, yet a woman taking pictures in the same place is thought of, well, as simply a woman taking pictures of kids?
It’s certainly a double-standard, and it’s unfortunate that our society has somehow marginalized males when it comes to the care and safety of our children. The Paul Bernardos and Clifford Olsons of the world have certainly helped to carve our perception of males as threats, and they’re somehow more dangerous than the Karla Homolkas and Charlene Gallegos who walk among us.
There is, however, a rather easy solution to ease the collective minds of a threatened public – at least in some instances. Men with cameras in public facilities simply need to make their intentions known. If Dad is there to take pictures of little Johnny’s first jump off the diving board, it would be a simple matter for Dad to let the lifeguard or pool management know. For that matter, women should afford the same courtesy to the public. Communication goes a long way to alleviating misunderstandings and misperceptions. And the rest of us need to use a little more common sense before we go jumping to conclusions.