Social Issues

Social Issues

Whenever people think of Canadians, they most likely think of them as educated and friendly. With its welcoming nature and topmost quality of life, Canada appears quite like one of the best places to visit, work and live.
However, as is the case with many other seemingly flawless places, Canada too has many social issues that must be looked at if it has to become a true ‘heaven on earth’.
Let us understand some of them here.

Abortion

Abortion is a controversial topic. While many western nations have settled abortion-related issues and constructed laws accordingly, Canada remains among the rare few that are still on the fence.
The reason behind this could be the dominant religion practiced here. More than 40 percent of Canadians are Catholic and thus it stands to reason that abortions would be a contentious social issue here.
The debates are endless and this topic is a passionate one. Most people refrain from discussing it in public as invariably it leads to a confrontation or argument.

Gambling Addiction

Canada legalized gambling in 1969. Soon, this country saw a proliferation of casinos, video lottery terminals, slot machines, and related activities.
This, over time, led to serious gambling addiction in people. The situation worsened with the advent of online gambling which brought this menace right inside people’s homes.
To counter this widespread nuisance, many support groups have sprung up to help the addicted. Several rehab centers too have opened to provide treatment and counseling to severe addicts.

Mental health

Canada can easily be called one of the most liberal and advanced countries in the world. Yet, mental health problems are still stigmatized here and are quite often overlooked.
It is believed that one in five Canadians faces mental health problems each year. And the number is only rising. The stress and problems of today’s living have taken a severe toll on the mental health of people. There are several commonly diagnosed mental health problems, such as:

  • Depression
  • Bipolar, substance abuse, eating, and anxiety disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Schizophrenia

While the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) is trying its level best to extend help and support to the affected persons, it simply does not have the resources and funds that are usually allocated to physical illnesses. There is a sore need for more counselors, social workers, and psychologists to meet the mental health needs of millions of Canadians.

Violence

This is a sad, complex, and disturbing issue that plagues many families in Canada. One aspect of this problem is family violence – towards children and the youth. Around 25 percent of violent crime is related to family abuse in Canada. The distressing part is it is only increasing with time. The consequences of violence of this type are far-reaching and disastrous.
The second aspect is violence against women. It is estimated that more than six thousand women and children seek shelter in help houses every night and some are even turned away due to lack of space. According to statistics, every six days, one Canadian woman is killed by a partner.
This is a clear indicator of the burning need for addressing this social concern. Lots of work needs to be done in this field and early intervention is key to reducing the number of crimes against women.

Drugs and alcohol

In the times of today, most societies around the world have been grappling with the twin demons of drugs and alcohol.
Canada too has been battling these two for a long time. There are quite a number of restrictions on alcohol sales. However, on the other hand, possessing marijuana has been legal since 2018. Many Canadian urban areas are replete with pot shops. While this has led to an opioid crisis with around 1500 people dying of an overdose in 2020, the government in Canada does not appear to be eager to control unlicensed marijuana sales.
This has made drug addiction a serious social problem in Canada, one that needs to be addressed on an urgent basis.

Poverty

Whenever you think of Canada, you always would consider it a prosperous and thriving nation. You will never associate it with poverty and destitution. But the sad fact is nearly five million people are living in poverty here. They are struggling incessantly to meet even their very basic needs. 4.9 million Canadian people live below the poverty line and around 1.7 million live in abject poverty.

Prostitution

Yet another stigmatized social issue in Canada is prostitution. Considered the domain of the poor and the addicted, this problem is one that is considered quite offensive and most people avoid talking about it.
Pimps regularly abuse sex workers, physically, mentally, and financially, and while many charitable groups do try and help them, many consider this as a step towards normalizing a disgusting trade.
All the issues explored above often intersect. This adds several layers of complexity and contributes to the challenge of resolving them.

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