If you are used to hiking you probably have seen wild mushrooms grown in the jungle under trees and everywhere else, depending on where you are. Some of these mushrooms are toxic and not edible of course. Trying to eat them raw or cooked has no consequence less than a painful death. You have to know how to distinguish toxic mushrooms from the good ones. Then you can go and pick mushrooms. F. F. told me once that a colleague, an old East European, possibly a Russian lady once told that they normally go to pick mushroom. Although she never told her where they usually go, she said that they could tell good from bad because where they lived there was basically nothing to eat but wild mushroom and what they would do, in the few mild months of year, was mushroom picking and storing them for winter because the winter was so cold they could not find anything to eat and had to live on mushroom. I don't know what part of Russia or Eastern Europe she comes form but this story is the story of many Eastern European, African and South American, as well as other places who come to Canada. Many get labour jobs and live their life that way, a few make or join gangs and or other illegal activity groups, a few, a very few of them get really easy well-paid jobs.
But I am going to connect this story to the mushrooms that have been grown increasingly in the small city of Calgary which has recently reach the population of 1,000,000.
This new wild mushroom that I am talking about and we are going to decide if its toxic or not is called Calgary Police Service. When I left Calgary in early 2007 the following were the Police Stations that I knew about and existed:
1- Downtown, 6th Ave. The headquarters. Still up and running.
2- MacLeod Tr. South and Heritage Dr. I am not sure if that one still exist.
3- Possibly few other locations that I never knew about.
Then I came back in early 2011 and realized the following locations are added:
1- The former Nortel Network building in north east Calgary is now a huge CPS yard.
2- Chinook Center Shopping Mall.
3- Beyond Stampede Grounds there is a new and modern building.
4- Market Mall in northwest Calgary which I noticed just yesterday.
5- Who knows where else!
So someone tells me why the hell a small city which actually in transformation from a town to a city at the moment and its population hardly senses the number of 1 million needs this many police stations!? Who pays these many officers' salary!? What is the effect of hiring these many police officers and occupying these many buildings on the city? I know when I wanted to write the examination, what the recruiting officer told us, after explaining the usual about the examination, was that there was no guarantee that we would get hired by CPS because the City just has a new topic to discuss about on his next agenda and that was cutting back on the CPS's budget!! None of us did ask the officer why the hell CPS gathered all of us in that room for the exam while they were still not sure about the possibility of hiring more officers!! There is no doubt that when population grows, that requires more enforcement but a proactive plan always works much more effective than a reactive plan. These new projects of Oil Sands have attracted a big number of people to this city and this is something that can not be denied and at the same time stopped but bringing more police force to the scene where many of the newcomers are from a totally different society is not going to do many good. There is absolutely no way to change someone at the age of 30 and over. One someone enter a new society which is different from the one that he was born in and grown up, it will be very hard for him to change himself of herself. He or she is still the same horrible reckless driver, rude person, careless individual. I am not saying that everyone who comes to the city is hypothetically an outlaw but I'm saying that adding a whole arsenal of cops is not going to solve any possible problem and is a waste of money and other resources just like many other spending of the City like the stupid Peace Bridge!
After all I barely see any police officers unless I am in Downtown. There is no doubt that the police pays special attention to the center of the city because of the population and key places but other corners of the city may lack proper and prompt service while does not necessarily implies that we have to have these many locations.
(Photo: CPS office in Market Mall in northwest Calgary)