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Houses Page 23

Great Canadian Houses

Maud Lewis House, Nova Soctia - 2

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Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Living Quarters, Maud Lewis House - Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Halifax, NS
Orig. Great Canadian Historic Site
Found - Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Halifax, NS
Canadian naif painter Maud Lewis (1903-1970) lived, for decades, in this room... All this famous Canadian painter owned, in her entire life, is on display in front of you... A reminder that, nearly 40 years after her death, the gap between rich and poor continues to grow in Canada, and the middle and lower classes are bearing a bigger load of the tax burden - not to mention being subject to increasingly draining fees, for medical services to middle men, that were once paid by tax funded government agencies - than the rich and super-rich, who are having greater success getting governments to reduce social services for others, and to reduce taxes for themselves. So next time Maud, come back rich and connected, not talented and poor, and die at 67...

Smile the While...

An achingly sad image of a great artist, but a greater heart...

And something that happened in one of the richest countries in the world to one of its most talented citizens.

The photo left was taken in this very room. Maud spent most of her life in this one room of her house, going upstairs only to sleep. It was where she painted all the paintings which are loved by so many today.

Below the house in its original location in Marshalltown, Nova Scotia with the outbuildings behind.

That's Everett, her husband who lived on alone after she died in 1970. It's the house in which he was killed by burglars, an example of the poor victimizing the poor in an impoverished rural Canadian community.

How can this happen in such a wealthy country? The rich and powerful control government spending for the arts and for social support for old people and children. Because they have plenty to take care of their own they don't want tax money to be wasted on lesser people's safety net.

In 2007 the rich and powerful increased Canada's defence spending by a whopping 27%, all for guns, planes, and tanks, to kill undesirable people. Canada is now the sixth biggest arms exporter in the world. Now you know why Canada has its Maud Lewises, living in hovels...

The house stood empty after Everett died until it was transported and renovated and put into the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in Halifax.

Guns not Butter - Canada has astronomically jumped its spending on war materiel, in fact the biggest increase in the fifty years since the Korean War... and Canada is not even at war...

Odd, isn't it, when General Hillier, the Chief of Canada's Defence Staff, says, aw shucks gosh, the Canadian Forces are only doing a little Afghan army training exercise, to help the poor people of Afghanistan...

But the good general does not explain - and certainly has not demonstrated - how the billions of dollars spent on killing machines and exploding ammunition helps the poor people of Afghanistan...

Nor how this helps the poor people of Canada? People like Maud Lewis...

Defence contractors, though, are making billions from Canadian taxpayers, and Canadian military lobbyists have never gorged themselves so much as their cut for getting to the right government bagmen...

It makes former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, taking his "retainer" of $300,000, for services rendered to a defence contract lobbyist, look like an inept buffoon in the lobby game.

Today literally billions are being expended, by one of the most isolated and safe countries in the world, blessed to be as far as it's possible to get from any aggressor on this planet, for an enormous outlay on machines of war whose only job is to kill people... in far, far, distant lands...

New Leopard tanks, and monstrously huge C-17 Globemasters, which are reputedly so big a single one can carry virtually the entire Canadian Afghanistan Contingent in one hop. Now aren't those useful purchases for Canada in 2007? These planes are so huge and were such spur of the moment purchases - you've got to show appreciation to the Americans instantly - that they have no building in Canada big enough to shelter them from the ruinous effects of cold, rain, and snow of a Canadian winter, so they will sit outside exposed to all the elements and rust away the tax payer's money at the rate of $55,000 a day.. (One conservative estimate.) Not to worry; ten years down the road the defence contractors can bill Canadian taxpayers multi-millions more for the resulting "upgrades necessary so they don't endanger the lives of Canadian men and women in uniform."

Oh, but there is one saving grace in all this, say Canada's uncharacteristically meekly quiet liberals...

They're only using them to kill foreigners...

So there you have it Maud, why things are the way they are in Canada...

So you can see, for people like you, things are rapidly getting much worse than they were when you died forty years ago...

Go to Maud Lewis

A Canadian Tragedy - In homage to Maud Lewis, in 1996 a group of private citizens from Digby, Nova Scotia, near Marshalltown, using their own money, launched the initiative and effort to save and preserve the house for posterity, getting some contributory funding from government.

Today it's one of the most popular stops at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia as thousands stop to look in at the room where Maud spent all her adult life in abject poverty.

And wonder, how can this be allowed to happen in Canada...?

The answer is simple enough... To government she and Everett were losers - like the rapidly growing number of poor people and children raised in poverty in Canada - and architects of their own misfortune.

Politicians believe government spending should be used to support the productive members of society, like Canadian and American corporations, and help them to expand and protect their business interests overseas.

Some claim this is not a Canadian house at all but a shack, or shed, or hovel, and should never have been an all year round residence for any man or woman in modern Canada.

It's a one and a half storey, with a loft for beds, but virtually no light, upstairs.

It has shingled sides and roof for keeping out the Atlantic gales and Canadian winters, that is, if you keep getting up all the time during the night to put wood in the huge cast iron appliance which was cooking and heating stove all in one. When it became freezing inside it was time to add wood. Oh, and mind your step, in the dark, as you clamber down the steep stairs on your creaky sixty year old legs...

Oh, Canada...

The old photos of Maud Lewis and her house were taken in the 1960s by old friend and colleague Bob Brooks CSC, an esteemed elder of Canadian cinematography excellence, who passed away too soon in Feb. 2005, much lamented by all who knew him.

 

 

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