Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 38 > Page 49 - A Social Worker Visits Cape Breton, 1925

Page 49 - A Social Worker Visits Cape Breton, 1925

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1985/1/1 (215 reads)

that and three years' previous, and have starved. Besides that, years of future earnings, through debt, have been mortgaged merely to keep body and soul together. With little variation these are the conditions to be found in every district in the mine regions of Cape Breton. Everywhere families are weighted down with heavy debt to the company and others, some to the amount of $600 and $800. Then there are those who have extra hospital debts, funeral debts, debts for births, for protracted illnesses, etc. For years they could think of nothing but how to get the food for the next day. Little wonder that they now are found starving, naked, and their homes bare! For more than thirty years now there has been fe? verish activity in Cape Breton to exploit the min? eral wealth there. The Dominion and the Provincial Governments, proud that we have these resources, have heaped up bounties and subsidies, amounting to date to $94,500,000 to companies adventuring in the ore fields. And through protective tariffs, through tax exemptions, and trade regulations, have assisted the successful growth of the iron and steel industry in Nova Scotia. The above fig? ures and facts are inventory evidence that their efforts have been well rewarded; that the industry has grown to enormous proportions; and that a doz? en or so individual directors, and other absentee shareholders and investors, have profited inordin? ately. But during the same number of years, several thou? sands of workers, investing their leisure, their lives and their limbs, have not had bounties, or subsidies, or tax exemptions offered them for en? couragement; no material or cultural wealth has been accumulated; instead they now own--sickly, rickety, under-nourished children; anaemic, over? worked wives, piles of debts, and do not own, but simply find shelter in homes with bare camp out? fits, homes which offer no relief after the day's toil, homes which have no civilized standard of sanitation. There is nothing laid by in the form of clothing or bedding for the sake of health, let alone decency and pride of housekeeping. Life a- round them is drab, comfortless, unorganized. No? body has ever cared! Nobody cares! Legislators are the fathers of the people. The cit? izens of a country pay taxes, and the money is used intelligently and wisely by them for the bet? terment and development of the community. In Nova Scotia, so far as the miners are concerned, this enlightened practice does not obtain. The physical surroundings of the miners are of the meanest and rudest; the proper development and fu? ture of the children unplanned and unprovided for; the investment of the citizen body is unprotected. But the people pay taxes, the province is being ex? ploited, wealth is being produced. Where then does the money go? The answer is, to the Adventurers in the coal and ore fields. Again it may be asked, since the province is the basis and ultimate owner of the mineral resources, who then is the ultimate gainer from the production of its wealth? Again the answer is, THE ADVENTURER! CONTINUED GILUS iCURZON'S IV WHERE HUNGER STALKS IN CAPE BRETON MINING DISTRICTS AN APPEAL NO NEGOTIATIONS UNTIL '}f MAINTAINANfF MFM C(MV ?? :i(49)
Cape Breton's Magazine
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