Monday, 12 October 2015

Canadian, eh

I have recently become much more political, more socially conscious, more outspoken about governments, poverty and all that controversial stuff I rarely discussed in my more formative years.  It's not that I didn't think about these topics or hold opinions about them before.  I think I just believed I lacked a receptive audience to my one-woman debates on the topic of the day.  Now I don't care so much about who listens, who comments, who disagrees or if there is even an audience listening.  Because, in Canada, that is what we care about more than anything else - freedom to believe, share and just be - without fear.

Every day of my life I have breathed in freedom.  I have lived in the relative safety of a country whose citizens respected the rights of all.  I have been overwhelmed with thanksgiving for the life I have been dealt. But, now, well, now I have begun to have a healthy fear that this could stealthily slip away from me in the covert blink of an eye.

Canada, oh Canada - these days, I see poverty seeping into your towns and villages - far outside of the down and out alleys of the cities.  This is not a poverty dictated by droughts or war.  It is one founded in the murky depths of greed and political intrigue.  People are hurting, struggling and becoming frustrated as they observe the top ten percent of your population gaining more and more wealth while the other 90% slowly dwindles in their ability to make ends meet.  I see your people taking minimum wage jobs to be able to support themselves only to discover they can't afford a roof over their heads or decent food on their table.  I see the gap widening between the have's and have not's - a gap that includes reasonable access to a good education, secure housing and medical care. I see your government building monuments immortalizing politicians instead of building a road that would provide a First Nation community in Shoal Lake, Manitoba access to the basic needs of life.  I see your politicians cry "terrorist" when mentally ill people kill innocent citizens and then ride that wave all the way through a parliament that passes a Bill to give that same government more power to act against your own citizens if the government decides they are the terrorists and now has the right to throw them into prison, no questions asked.  I see you sending your soldiers  to countries to fight a war that is not based on any principle other than greed or political intrigue and then your government dares to call it fighting oppression against a people.

Canadians, oh Canadians.  You are still decent, law-abiding citizens who love your families and your country and are filled with pride whenever you see the red maple leaf snap to attention in a windy prairie town.  Canadians - you - are those who were born in our home and native land and also those who have chosen to adopt Canada as your new home.  You still care about the poor, about education and health care and, yes, even about greenhouse gasses and our environment.  But your government - our government - does not.

I stand proudly today and wave my personal flag of respect, love and belief in humanity in a country I call home.  It does have a red maple leaf emblazoned on it and it flies high into the heavens as an emblem of hope, freedom and justice for all - for now. Vote with your heart as well as your head and bank account. Be alert. Be courageous. Most of all, be free and exercise that freedom in what you say, believe and, soon, in how you vote.

Oh Canada, Our home and native land.....


  1. Hi Eileen:
    As a fellow Canadian, I share the concerns that you expressed in this post. It was great to see the extent of political discussion on social media prior to the federal election. It also was wonderful to see the increased voter turnout on October 19, and especially from young people and First Nations voters. I think a lot of people were ready for a change!


    1. Well, change we got! and so far, I am liking what I hear and see. Of course, the honeymoon has only begun but a change will definitely help clear out the cobwebs and old boys club - for awhile! Thanks for your comment!


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