I heard the Prime Minister of Canada speak on Canada Day. Steven Harper repeated the same old lies, in the same non passionate manner and I knew that nothing would change in Canada for the better as long as he was in charge, of the government. I listened also to the Canadian people too when asked randomly what made Canada special to them and listened carefully as they answered with the old standby answers of yesterday like, “Our rights and freedoms; our social programs; our environmental record and stands”, just to name a few and wondered to myself why they were talking as if we were still using the same values and ideals as pre Harper government? Are we as a people so brainwashed by our leaders that we actually believe that we are the Canada of old that conducts itself with dignity, honor and compassion as we used to before Harper Kenney And Toews? I wondered how many United Nation condemnations will it take for the rose-colored glasses to come off and before we see that Lisa Raitt, Bev Oda, Peter Mackay and John Baird are wrong and so I wrote this post. I wrote this and waited before posting it. I waited, so that those of you who felt the need celebrate Canada Day and that you had something to celebrate, could celebrate whatever that was in peace, as it was your right to do. The celebrations and the back patting are well over now and as the country hangs up its Sunday suit it is time for Harper and company to start the governing of the country with their usual arrogance and begin once again to force Canadians to bend to Conservative will. As heads clear and the patriotic zeal that accompanies such spectacles fades, I hope that those heads will rise up out of the sand and discover what Canada has become and ask themselves, “Is this new Harper version of Canada something that Canadians should be proud of? This is my opinion and why we should not be so proud and you need not agree.
Canada is not a country in spirit it is a group small dictatorships pretending to be a country, that scream separation every time a province does not like what the feds are doing, or how it affects them. My goodness when we are not trying to rip the country apart with separatists thoughts, words and deeds, we are trying to be American. I believe we have lost our identity and really do not have a lot to celebrate as a nation. I think that we have become a nation of hypocrites and phonies so what is there to celebrate about that?
We claim to be multicultural while we make laws to keep certain people from immigrating here, while we continue to make laws and adopt some of the most racist countries in the worlds ideologies like Australia, who kept up a form of immigration designed to keep whites in power and a majority for years. Should we be proud of our Canada Nationality Law?
Maybe we should celebrate how we have managed as a nation to keep our native people in poverty for all of our years as a country and could not muster the political will or the public will to give our first nations people even the very basic of needs like clean drinking water, decent housing, or the guarantee of a higher education? Maybe we can celebrate as a nation not keeping one agreement or treaty right since becoming a country? Is this what we are so proud of today? It does not make us unique at all when you think about it, most democratic and supposedly free countries are guilty of the same type of cruelty to their Aboriginal people and it is shameful.
Maybe we should celebrate losing our right to strike and in the process our right to collectively bargain for a fair and just wage? While we are at it let us celebrate the loss of our rights to privacy as we adopt laws that will let everybody in any police force amass data on our personal conversations on the internet and our phones, whether we are a suspect in a criminal investigation or not. Maybe as Canadians we do not think that losing our rights is such a bad thing, because we have lost so many over such a short time that we are getting used to it and even desire it, so that we can claim it is not our fault, it is the government’s fault?
Perhaps if none of the above has given you a reason to celebrate being a proud Canadian, maybe, you can get a sense of where we have come to as a country by the treatment shown by us to our seniors, veterans and poor? We have systematically reduced, or gotten rid of all independent oversight and have allowed for the government to reduce the aid and the quality of service in all of our social planning and programs across the board unchallenged. Is this what we are celebrating today?
Well if nothing else works most countries can beat the drum and toot their horns about their efforts to save the worlds environment, by cutting drastically their green house gas emissions, but not so Canada, we can be proud of backing out of an accord that we were a key player in the founding of, namely the Kyoto Accord? Okay well we can look forward to the making right all the wrongs of the past concerning our trashing of the environment with the abolishing of the environmental control board and forcing through laws that will put our water, air and land in danger of catastrophic oil spills, acid rain falls and melting polar ice caps, for the love of money right?
Last, but not least we can at least be proud of our humanitarian efforts arround the world; our spreading of democracy and the fact we are entering into trade agreements with countries who employ the highest standards when it comes to human rights as we have signed treaties and made laws to the effect of right? Big deal if our policies have led us to be soldiers and not peace keepers; big deal if our policies have shifted so that we deal with countries that employ child labor and abuse their peoples civil rights and so what if we have abandoned giving aid to those countries that need it the most, so we can give it to others who have something we want in terms of trade?
I will say it again Canada does not need to be so proud that it has gotten older, but not wiser. We as people have given up the very things that made us special all over the world and yes we do better than most, but is that really good enough? If the rest of the world is taking all of their citizens rights away and shooting them for protesting, can we be proud that we only put our people in jail? We were known and trusted for being honest and an advocate of diplomacy, now we seek accord at the end of a gun. We have allowed ourselves to be drawn into a gang mentality and are now just simply gang banging around the world. Hardly a cause to celebrate, hardly a reason to cheer and hardly a reason to be so smug and so proud.
I would say that this day should be more of a day of reflection, rather than a day of celebration. We as Canadians should reflect upon our image and of what we have really become and figure out how to get back to the time when all we say we have to be proud of was true and not just empty words said by a people with their head stuck in the sand.
Would the Canada of old even thought of deporting a women due to have brain surgery back to India, a person who posed no threat to this country and would Canadian citizens of old have allowed it? Would the Canada of old and her citizens have imprisoned refugees without due process of law, while changing the laws to make it legal? Would the Canada of old deny its veterans benefits, while sending its soldiers off to one war after another? We are not the Canada that we were all so proud of anymore, just because our government and some citizens claim, we are better than most. When talking of being proud enough to celebrate ourselves as a nation, better than most does not seem good enough to toot ones own horn as loudly as we do.
Reminder: Our government is a democratic institution, or so we claim it to be to all other nations in the world and as such are saying that it is representative of our values and our beliefs. Whatever it does and says, our government is seen to be doing what is doing on behalf of us, its citizens and with our approval. We do not have the luxury of people living under a dictatorship, or other oppressive regimes, being able to blame the government and take no responsibility. We can not say to the rest of the world, none of this is our fault, we were powerless to do anything about it. When our government is seen as doing bad or unjust things around the world, or becomes hated, it is a reflection on Canadians as a whole. We have the power to change the government if we want, or show our disapproval of it, if we chose to and not to do so makes us as guilty as the government when it does the unthinkable wrongs both at home and abroad.
- Statement from the Honourable Peter MacKay on Canada Day (sys-con.com)
- Ministers Kenney and Fletcher Celebrate Canada Day With New Citizens (sys-con.com)
- ‘Denounce Harper’ Twitter-trending hot on Canada Day (theprovince.com)