The sad story of Lewis Kearney of St. John’s pushed its way to the forefront of the news last week and this. Carney was found guilty in court for stealing food and he tumbled down an escalator when his case was finished, causing some minor injuries.
It turned out he’s not your average shoplifter, and he had a compelling story to tell, one that likely could be told by others who are getting government assistance of some kind.
Kearney has difficulty walking because of lingering problems after a stroke and he has a bachelor of arts degree from Memorial.
He says the money he gets from government doesn’t cover his expenses and he just had no money left to purchase food.
He says his cheque is the same as it was 10 years ago and the price of food has continued to increase over that time.
We can all — employed or not — understand that financial truth.
Some fleeting good has come from Kearney’s story. He has gotten lots of donations of food from good-hearted people and even donations to the food bank in the capital have increased in the interim.
But that is not a solution to the shortcoming in the system this story has brought to light.
Society has a duty to look after its most vulnerable citizens and apparently we aren’t doing that in some cases ... maybe many.
No one in this beautiful and bountiful province should be in a position where they feel compelled to steal to eat.
We’re better than that.