Canada Day 2013

Had to go down to my accountant’s office this morning – Revenue Canada doesn’t seem to like me any more… last couple of years, they’ve found reasons to harass me…don’t know if that’s related to the fact that I’ve become rather more mouthy political over that time but certainly has crossed my mind.

Anyway … the parking lot was far busier than it normally was, and it wasn’t long before I figured out that it was because people were starting to gather for the Victoria Harbour Canada Day Parade. Right… it is the Canada Day long weekend … make sense, of course. The parade looked quite a bit smaller than it was the last time I attended …. there is a photo essay of the 2007 parade over here … like everything Gather.com related it’s a very slow load now; sorry ’bout that. I am, actually, very sorry about Gather.com. They had something special and killed it… and yes, I’m wandering rather off topic … but not really.

Because that’s pretty much the way I feel about Canada these days… we had something special and killed it. With – again, like Gather.com, some really bad decisions and actions.

I am not celebrating Canada Day again this year. I remember writing about this topic before – some time ago … ah… here it is: also on Gather.com (2010)… but I think I shall reproduce that one here in WordPress so as to speed up the loading time in case anyone is interested in actually reading it.

In any case, not much has changed re: my overall opinion of being Canadian. I am not – right now – a proud Canadian, and I would, if I were attending any sort of celebrations, be participating in this black armband campaign.

There are so many things that continue to frustrate me, and to make me not only not proud, but also ASHAMED.

We – Canada – continue to not only tolerate, but in many ways, encourage, racism & violence against Aboriginal peoples in Canada. If you don’t know what I mean, check out pretty much any comment section of any newspaper article related to Idle No More.

We continue to value money over people & the environment….life.

We continue to refuse to fund & support early intervention strategies in health care and  especially mental health.  We don’t seem to have a grasp of the notion that if you fix problems when they’re little, they don’t become big (and expensive!).   I can not wrap my head around the Harper Cons’ apparent preference for locking people in prisons. It doesn’t make sense to me on any level.Harper's Mental Health Care strategy

And once we have people in our prisons, we don’t jump up and down and throw tantrums or hold protests or anything when they die. Or are beaten by the very people who are paid to ensure their safety. From reading comment threads it seems pretty clear that those of us who do care are considered bleeding heart lefties – the rest fall into the they are criminals, they deserve what they get camp.

I don’t understand the decisions we – Canada – make about where to put our – Canadians’ – money. We don’t have any objections at all, it seems, to homelessness… poverty… violence against women ….   we can’t “afford” to deal with those problems.  But we have money to throw away all ’round the world…and on idiotic advertising, and uh… maybe anti-terrorism? but we don’t ‘xactly know where that $3.1 billion went… and fighter jets, of course.

I could go on and on … but I won’t.

Prime Minister Harper promised us that we wouldn’t recognize Canada when he gets through with it – and, if nothing else, he certainly has accomplished that goal …and far worse, if you ask me.

BUT I am less depressed and discouraged by the Harper cons’ destruction of the country I  and many others hold dear than I was in 2010, actually.

The Occupy movement, ShitHarperDid.com, Canadians Rallying to Unseat Harper and many other groups – and most of all the Idle No More movement – all of these give me hope that at some point, we might just get back to working towards the sort of Canada that I know we could be.

Have you signed up for Idle No More yet? What are you waiting for?

Idle No More is, I think, going to be a huge part of the solutions we need – not only for Aboriginal peoples in Canada, but for all Canadians.

While a few of my concerns are perhaps not explicitly reflected in Calls for Change, all reflect concern for respect for people, for the environment, and for good government… all of which are, of course, exactly what are needed to get Canada back on track and working toward being a country that we can be proud of and really celebrate.This picture broke my heart when I saw it posted on Facebook this week – it so accurately reflects how I feel about Canada right now…. but there are a great many Canadians who are willing to work towards a better Canada. And I too am continuing to do what I can to work towards positive change… not only through my participation in Idle No More and other groups, and my attempts to effect change by writing letters and articles, promoting others’ work, and so on … but also by becoming increasingly involved in politics.

And yeah, that can be incredibly frustrating too, as a matter of fact – but I would much rather be at least trying to work towards fixing problems I see and making Canada the country I want it to be. If you’ve stuck around this long… thank you for reading … and even though I will not be celebrating Canada Day again this year, I do hope that you enjoy a safe and happy long weekend.

Comments are welcome… would love to know what you think about any of the issues I’ve raised here… or any that I missed…

This entry was posted in Aboriginal Issues, Ashley Smith, Attawapiskat, Canada, Idle no More, Kinew James, Politics, Prison, Victoria Harbour and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Canada Day 2013

  1. As I wrote on Facebook, “I’m celebrating this weekend–but I’m not celebrating our current situation. I’m celebrating what Canada has been in the past (BH–Before Harper), and my belief and hope that Canada will one day be a great nation again. I have never identified with the line ‘We stand on guard for thee’ in ‘O Canada’ more than I do now.”

  2. francyne dufault says:

    I am not proud of what many of our politicians have done to our society. I am also not proud of most twenty-somethings and many thirty-somethings I come across. I am also not proud of many of our younger population. I am not proud of the «all about me and I don’t care if I impact ANYone around me attitude». I am not proud of the «it’s EVERYone for himself attitude». This has, in a very short while, created a pack mentality — which has no moral standing and no compassion — and the direction it is heading in, scares me to the core. I am not proud of all those things. But I am still proud to be Canadian, and if we continue to stand up and make some noise, then maybe, just maybe, we CAN make a difference and bring OUR Canada back to OUR standards.

    • LProudfoot says:

      I teach young-ish twenty-somethings … can’t be too hard on ’em … they behave as if they were raised in a neoliberal society where $$ is more important than people, and individuality is ever so much more important than the common good. Some are so disengaged that I worry they will never learn to see things more critically – constantly amazed at how few follow any news streams never mind read a newspaper or watch the news – but some do eventually begin to take an interest and pay attention and learn to think critically … look at the many young people involved in SHD and Idle No More!

    • Shawn Mohr says:

      I really don’t think we’re well-served by getting into the divisions between the generations, because that gets us away from the issue of poor governance and at one another. Essentially, it lets the actual decision makers off the hook and points the fingers at people who have not been setting the course for our ship of state. But I would ask the baby-boomers who are inclined to lament the attitudes of young people to consider the role they played in shaping the worldview of the millennial generation. You practiced an economic theory of limitless expansion. You created a media market obsessed with youth and individuality. You told them to follow their dreams at any cost. You personally may not have done this with your kids, but that’s the message which was sent to your kids by the corporate world. If you think kids are over-entitled brats, remember that you told them what they could expect.

      That said, we all have a lot of work to do in decoupling self-interested, dictatorial ass-hats from the power which is rightly and truly ours.

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