As we draw near to the day when everyone feels bubbly and expresses their love for the person that they love I think that I shall look on our fair country anew and set the record straight. I love Canada, like a spouse loves their mate and their children. I love Canada in spite of its faults, but like a good parent, or a mate I can’t help, but want what is best for it and so I, push admonish and yes even brow beat and nag, with the one hope and desire to see my family and my country be all that they can be. I want a healthy, wealthy and wise Canada.
Canada is like any other family and it has it’s good and it’s not so good sides of the family as well as good and not so good family practices. I guess like ones immediate family we seem to see and work for the betterment of the worst in our family, often forgetting to praise and acknowledge the good in it feeling that maybe it is best to leave well enough alone.
I have been preoccupied lately with trying to bring to the attention of the rest of Canadians, (who I consider my brothers and sisters) what I see are the faults that we need to work on as a family, if we are to be all that we can be for ourselves and our neighbors that share this planet with us. I must confess that in so doing I tend to get some what carried away,(smile) and may come off like there is nothing good, or of any use in this great country of ours, and so today I would like to apologize if I have offended, or given you the wrong impression. For the moment I will look at Canada as a glass half full, instead of half empty. The good side of our nation that may need work, but is still one of the best places in the whole world to live.
As with all nations that came to be out of European conquest, we the modern Canadians with our European ancestry have inherited the baggage of having conquered the land from someone else and short of giving it all back we struggle at how to put things right, or if there is a need to do anything at all and to the victor go the spoils. We have made some progress and in fact I think that most Canadians believe we ought to be doing something, even if we are not always certain what that something is, or how to go about it. The land grants and the cash settlements are starting to be heard and decided on and that is something. I guess my senses of frustration will always be with the politicians, who never from my point of view get the urgency of a given situation, or if they do put it aside with what seems like a brutal callousness and prioritize the issue of the day that gives them the greatest political gain. We have had and still have some very caring thoughtful politicians, who do try and make an honest effort to do the right thing. I chose the story below because to me it is a great example of what happens when an honest politician stands up and is heard and the Canadian people work hard in a Canadian way to do the right thing and the end result is something that makes all stake holders happy and we have at the end of the day a promise kept, a peaceful solution to an ongoing problem and a feeling of pride for a job well done.
I remember watching on television a female politician(a member of the New Democratic Party) stand up in the house of commons and take a stripe off another politician for saying that the natives of this country were asking for way to much in terms of land and financial compensation. I do not remember all of her words but it went something like this, ” We have taken all from them that is possible; their land, their culture, their language and even their Gods and you think that they ask too much for financial compensation and some land that no one else wants? We stripped them of their dignity, separated them from their children and families and placed them on reservations and you think that they ask for too much in compensation and that we need to debate this further at a later date? I say to you sir and all who think as you do, that you should all be ashamed of yourselves! Let us stop the delays and stop the debating and begin the healing process by making this small restitution to a debt than never be repaid, or that could never be enough, to these we have so unjustly treated”. It was shortly after their exchange of words that the people of the great north received their land settlement and got their cash settlement, The Territory of Nunavut became more than a dream it became a promise fulfilled. Canada had finally taken its first step in the healing process.
With ownership of about 18% of the land in Nunavut, including mineral rights to 2% of these lands was part of the deal. A cash settlement of $1.773 billion was part of the deal. The creation of the Territory of Nunavut, with an elected government to serve the interests of all Nunavuuiut was the other part of the deal. It was not a perfect solution, but it was a solution achieved in peace and a solution that all parties and stake holders could live with. It was a Canadian solution to a Canadian problem.
Yes we are a good people, a diverse people, but we must never let politics and politicians take us away from what we know to be good and righteous; so we endeavor to persevere. This is but one story of promise and hope that shows for me the true meaning of the Canadian spirit and our true nature. It shows that we can work through our difficulties in a peaceful manner when we act and do things in a Canadian way with our values of honesty, fairness and a deep-rooted sense of wanting to do the right thing simply because it is the right thing to do. It was these values and traditions that made us one of the most respected and envied and loved nations in the world. It had nothing to do with power, fighter jets, or helicopters.
We are blessed with more than enough land to satisfy the needs of all of our people and nature, we have an abundance of water and are blessed with the four seasons that assure that all of the country gets all of what is required to see everything grow. We have all of the minerals that it takes to make us both self-sufficient and wealthy and our soil is good to grow all that we need to eat and import only the delicacies if that was our wish. Although people go hungry in Canada there is no need for any Canadian to do so, but there are shelters for the homeless if not enough so we are working on these things as well. We in Canada are so much better than most, but I just hate to see that we are still not doing our level best and that we sometimes get complacent, so I begin to make noise in an effort to bring attention to a problem within my family and if I feel that the situation warrants it I can get down right ugly, but my love for Canada has never wavered.
We have all types of people from every race creed and country living in Canada and as Canadians. At times we lose site of what is important and give into fear of the unknown, we can generally be found getting along. So on this day when we all are confessing our love, let me confess my love for you Canada and all you Canadian brothers and sisters of mine in it. We may fight and argue and sometimes it may get nasty, but I do love this country and truly want it to be all that it can be. I still believe that the average Canadian needs to stand up to the government no matter what party is in office and fight for our rights given to us under the law. We must stand up for our neighbors rights as well, because if their rights are taken away ours are soon to follow. Our political leaders are supposed to be representing us and we must ensure that the message they give out to the wold is truly representative of what we feel. Do we want to be loved, or feared is the question and the answer used to be loved.
I listen to a conversation talking about how Barak Obama and his staff handled the calling for Hosni Mubarak’s departure and was amused at how the people discussing the matter, (all former white house press secretaries) thought it was okay for all of the different department heads to give different versions of the truth on the American position being made public at the same time addressing this matter. They said straight out that what the embassador to Egypt said to Hosni Mubarak, was a different message than what the Secretary of State said to her counter part and that the Presidents message to the people was yet different as well. What made it okay is that they were trying to reach and convey a different message in private than the one they were trying to convey to the American people. Sounds hypocritical at best to me and at worst a deliberate attempt to lie to their people, or at least keep their true intent a secret from them. These are not the values and principles I want to see this country adapt.
It is with this in mind that I will ask your indulgence, patience as well as your understanding after today, when I once again will drop the gauntlets and begin the fight again in earnest to bring to your attention to what I think we are lacking and what I think makes us less of a country and less of a people in the hopes that you and other Canadians will make this country we love and the values we hold dear the priority of whichever political party wishes to represent us.