Jul 1, 2012

Oh (sigh) Canada

We tried to be patriotic at dinnertime, listing things we like about Canada. A kids kazoo band buzzing out "Oh Canada" at The Hub should inspire optimism in our big little country, right? So why do I feel like the core things I'm proud of about Canada are slowly (or not so slowly) being eroded away?

Canada cares for the environment.
Canada is a Peace-loving, Peace-promoting nation.
Canada believes in reformation, not just incarceration.
Canada is deeply committed to free universal health care.
Canada has a great public education system.
Canada contributes significantly and effectively to international development.
Canada doesn't have the huge disparity between rich and poor.
Canada promotes and honours its cultural identity.
Canadians are willing to sacrifice personal wealth and comfort to help others.
Canada is a model of democracy.

Regardless of whether Harper is the architect or just the symbol, every one of those statements is becoming less true. We are a nation going backwards, reneging on our commitments and our beliefs and our values, losing what has truly made us special and unique and respected and valued in the world. We are increasingly ruled by fear instead of hope, self-interest instead of love, growth instead of prosperity.

I'm still proud to be Canadian. Proud of our history, proud of our identity, awed by our potential. I just wish I could feel hopeful and proud of the direction we're going.

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