Yesterday, a human being was lying on the boulevard of the Esso station at the corner of Barnet Highway and Ioco Road.
While waiting for the light to turn left onto Ioco from St. Johns Street, I watched the man get to his knees and fall back to the ground. He tried to raise himself up on his arms and fell back again.
No one stopped, no one noticed him struggle — or maybe they assumed he was a substance abuser. The gas station on the corner was busy. People crossing at the crosswalk coming and going to the transit station. It was as though he was invisible.
Traffic was heavy so a drive around the block was needed to get back to the Esso. He was still lying on the grass trying to get up. Too weak to even sit.
His name is Ron.
Ron was discharged from Royal Columbian Hospital earlier in the day and trying to make it home. He still had his hospital bracelet on. His strength ran out at this location after getting off the SkyTrain. Frail, coherent, pale and soft-spoken, he told me he had called a friend to come after he fell. We waited together and, after a short while, a young man arrived to take Ron home.
This is my Port Moody. We stop and check on people when something looks amiss. We help when our neighbours reach out. Our community is full of caring people.
Sadly, during this election season, tensions are running high. The negativity of the past few years regarding the future of our community is affecting many people. Despite that, this is who I am and what I believe is important. These are the small things I care deeply about.
Ultimately, the man on the boulevard is just as important, if not more so, than all the politics and politicians. When we no longer care or stop to help, we have truly lost that small-town feeling everyone says is so important.
It’s not about traffic or towers or density. It’s about supporting one another, about looking for the good in one another.
Even during elections, it is about respect for those who have served us in the past and those who have the courage to step forward to serve us in the future with integrity.