One hundred and forty years of growth. A country that had risen to be known among the world as one of tolerance, peace and respect for human rights.
Canada still had issues to work out but was on it’s way to being a progressive society.
The rise of radical right wingers in the states started affecting Canada for the worst. Social programs were deemed too costly, yet any savings were not realized as tax cuts for corporations further eroded government income.
As the tax income became more stretched, more was expected from the average citizen and yet tax cuts for the corporations and the wealthy continued.
Quite conveniently bringing to fruition the prophesy that social programs including health care were costly and unsustainable. Calls for “smaller government” resulted in the loss of hundreds (thousands? ) of government jobs. Resulting in frustration for those trying to access government services and contributing to the shrinking of the middle class.
Fewer and fewer jobs now come with union protections or benefits.
Government programs which were developed in recognition of the needs of those who had been marginalized, and which showed our commitment to growth and opportunity, now are being discarded.
Even attempts to engage the youth, are hijacked by the radicals and extremists to further their agendas.
My parents immigrated to Canada shortly after WWII. They did not come to a country that believed that theocracy was preferable to democracy. They did not come to a country that believed in an unfailing acceptance of and allegiance to a self proclaimed authority, in fact they had just fought against that. They came to Canada because they recognized a country that was growing towards a society based on freedom, human rights and justice.
So this Canada Day while I celebrate the strides we have made as a country, I also mourn the backward steps. I mourn for the possibilities being destroyed. I mourn for the families unable to feed and house themselves. I mourn for the people who identify as either LGBT as they still fight to be recognized and accepted as normal, and I cannot believe that after so many years those who would defile them with their epithets of hate, still do so without censure or self loathing. I mourn for my sisters. Though it is a short time historically since the women’s movement first made gains, too many have forgotten the indignities that women suffered, and ignore those still being suffered. I mourn for the children growing up in poverty, no child should lose the light of hope in the future in their eyes, no child in this wealthy country should go to bed hungry or to school cold. Our young people should not have to mortgage their lives for an education. I mourn for the seniors living out their lives in warehouse conditions as they are no longer deemed useful, their stories and knowledge dying with them.
My wish for this Canada Day is that the silent majority speak up. Those who believe in what made this country great. Those who believe in the worth of all humans. Those who believe we are all entitled to our rights and freedoms. I want those people to start speaking up, phoning in, VOTING!
Lets take our country back from the extremists.
Happy Canada Day!