Two years ago when I was in Quebec City on vacation I took a trip up the Saguenay to view the whales. While waiting for the boat I spotted this young man on the dock and snapped this picture. His jacket made me think about this country I live in.
I had forgotten this picture until I came across it the other day. It seems fitting that it should come up now because my partner and I have spent a great deal of time recently talking with people about this very issue.
Twenty years ago I would proudly have stated that Canada was indeed free and indeed the best place on earth to live. Today I am not so sure. Today we have a government system that punishes their MPs for voting the way their constituents want. Today we have thousands of people living on our streets for want of proper housing. Today we have young men and women dying in Afghanistan for a war that is not ours, can't be won and for people who don't want us there. Canada used to be a country of ordinary folks. Working men and women who took pleasure in raising their children and tending a small home. They were proud of the work they did and their only expectation was that they would earn a living decent wage to provide for their families. Today, especially here in British Columbia, many workers are living below the poverty line as government has torn up work contracts and privatized many industries that are now run by huge corporations whose only concern is the bottom line.The gap between rich and poor is getting bigger every day.
When I grew up voting was considered a privilege and a duty. Now we have government parties who are clones of each other - vying for votes where 52 % of the population in some areas are so disillusioned they don't see a reason to vote anymore. Today it is considered normal and expected that politicians will lie to us to get us to vote. It is considered normal for the politicians to base their policy on polling rather than on what is best for the country.
Strong and free.... I am not so sure anymore. I once heard that a country is only as strong as how well it treats it's weakest. How well are we treating our poor and elderly? How well are we treating our working families and our children? Are we doing the best we can?
In my opinion NO!
In my opinion NO!