Thursday Tidbits

Posted on October 24, 2019 under Thursday Tidbits with 2 comments

Red Flags?


Oh Canada.

The people have spoken but no one is gloating over the results of the Federal Election. At least, they shouldn’t be. Like so many other countries, democracy seems to be under siege in the “true north strong and free”. I’ll leave the analysis to political scientists but there is something happening globally that is unsettling. Divisiveness and acrimony have replaced civility and compromise.

I have been fortunate to have lived in three of Canada’s provinces and have had the joy of traversing the country by car at least eight times. I haven’t walked it yet but the thought has crossed my mind. Hey, maybe I’ll walk for Canadian unity!

We can’t ignore the feelings of our friends and neighbours in other provinces. We do so at great peril. No one said that Canada has an inalienable right to stay together as a country and until such time that we figure out a way to co-exist, keeping our federation together is not a given. I am not pessimistic but I am very concerned.

I chose to ignore the rhetoric of the recent 40 day election campaign. So did many of you. However, the tone of the election was inescapable and this is troubling. Must we denigrate ourselves and get down in the dirt, slinging mud and invective? Surely we are better than this.

The threat of Quebec separation has reared its head again. Yes. I can see you nodding your head saying “Here we go again” but if we choose to ignore the alarm bells, one of these days we will find ourselves requiring a passport to get into “La Belle Province”.

Western alienation is real. I lived in Alberta in the late 70s (the 1970s, not the 1870s!). Even 40 years ago, there was a pervasive sentiment that Alberta was being taken for granted. The frustration in Alberta is palpable and if we’re not careful and thoughtful, we might be carrying another passport. I know this sounds alarming and it’s meant to be.

Lost in the shuffle and the noise is the ongoing embarrassment of our country’s treatment of our indigenous people. I continue to read and learn about the north and it is an ugly, brutal story. How can we call ourselves a nation that cares when there are still people living in the most atrocious conditions? Doesn’t every Canadian deserve the same opportunities, the same living conditions and the same access to education and health services? We have made a mess of the north. May I strongly suggest that everyone reading this go and pick up a copy of Tanya Telaga’s sobering book called “All Our Relations”. If you want a quick overview of the plight of our founding people, this book provides an excellent explanation. It is very depressing and disturbing. As a country, we are quick to pony up money and other resources when a crisis happens somewhere in the world. We have a crisis in our own back yard.

Is Canada too big to govern? Personally, I don’t think so but we must be very vigilant. This is a very tricky time in our history. I believe that we need to do a lot of listening and exhibit understanding and empathy to those whose views we do not share. If we don’t, trouble is on the horizon.

“We stand on guard for thee”.

Have a great weekend.

P.S. Hope you won’t mind if I puff out my chest just a wee bit. Our daughter, Betsy, ran for the NDP in Central Nova. It takes courage for anyone to put their names forward. While she didn’t prevail, she conducted herself in a dignified manner. I have been told that Central Nova had the highest voter turnout in Nova Scotia which speaks to the calibre of people who let their name stand. It also speaks of the people in the riding who cherish their democratic right to vote.

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