elitism alive and well

To understand this post, one would need to be familiar with a fateful letter posted in our local paper on April 3, 2010. The following is my own personal response.

This last week, it became apparent to the people of St. Albert that elitism is alive and well in our community. At first word of this I had no comment, but I have come to realize that this is an issue that will affect all St. Albert residents.

My family and I are homeowners in a 40 year old home in Lacombe Park. We moved to St. Albert to be close to family. The list of amenities made the decision easy; some examples are excellent schools, a fantastic park system, great neighbours and, above all, wonderful citizens and an admirable sense of community. We have been blessed by this town. It is a great city with great families.

The pompous superiority that was recently displayed is a bad sign. If left unchecked, current residents will have to deal with potential arrogance in our schools and self-aggrandizing adults in our community. Our cost of living will increase as we will have to pay for the demands of entitlement by people who are simply too good to accept average. We won’t feel comfortable taking our kids to community activities for fear that there will be rich kids on cocaine, or, even worse, adults who scorn our attendance. We can try to assure each other that common courtesy and citizenship will prevail, but that’s not what seemed to manifest this last week.

We don’t want fashion-snobs in our neighbourhoods. We don’t want to worry about illicit drugs at elaborate parties, or open displays of materialistic jostling at the high schools. We don’t want to worry about superior and impatient stiffs driving their hummers and sports cars, possibly running over our kids. What we want is for St. Albert to remain as it is with a wide range of backgrounds and diversity, a place for all, no matter the number of digits on your T4.

Plus, if arrogant social climbers infiltrate our fine city and claim ownership of it, they will start a landslide that will turn higher-end developments of St. Albert into places of scorn instead of wonderful communities to live. Good people of high-income status will have difficulty when their low-brow braggart neighbours embarrass them, and in turn bring down the reputation of the surrounding houses.

When we first moved to St. Albert our children found it typically challenging fitting in to a new community. Their status was accomplished once they found their peers were friendly, accepting and welcoming, and our house and other possessions were nothing to be ashamed of, because love lives there. It sounds idealistic but that is how it is; ask your children, they will tell you.

Sports activities in St. Albert are another problem area. Expensive and “high class” recreation events and facilities are what elitists expect, and the more demands made by people who expect perfection, the more the teams will feel pressured to ask for financial support from families. There are many choices of expensive activities that high income families can choose from. If they want to increase the costs for recreational activities in St. Albert, while refusing to pay for subsidies so all children can participate, we don’t want it. Our family enjoys the vast system of parks and playground across this fine city, and we are proud of the sense of community when we share this with other St. Albertans. Putting elitist families in this situation is not reasonable or fair — it would be like giving a freshly baked meatloaf and a Welcome Wagon gift to someone that only eats steaks and refuses to use coupons. They would be better off with a worshipful bow at every street corner.

I am all for snobs and stuffed shirts living in the remote areas of Edmonton, but I believe more low-income housing is required in St. Albert and would be better suited than this pretentious invasion of our safe and wonderful city.

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