Middle of the week and middle of the year. Halfway through. But still in the first inning of this COVID bad-dream game.
Feeling flung into the future, while simultaneously, government misdirection and humans acting unwisely leave us without a gyroscope or guidance system. With regard to staying safe and safely distanced, it feels like we are flung backward into times of ignorance and intolerance.
We need each other.
We need each other to behave responsibly.
No matter what house you live in, no matter what shade of skin you live in if you live on earth, we need you now.
We need all Canadians, to paddle this collective canoe in one direction.
These are not provincial times or national times – these are humanity times. And it is time for our collective humanity to lift those who need our help, and to ignore the ignorance of the ignorant. Yes, dismiss the stupidity – and those who propagate inhumane and unwise actions. It’s not about politics or policy posture. It’s about how we treat each other in the best of times, but more importantly, how we treat each other in the worst of times.
Things we counted on cannot be counted on.
People we counted on, proved themselves to be misguided, ill-intentioned, or just plain wrong.
We can count on ourselves to take care of ourselves.
But is that what life is about?
I don’t think so.
We need to be a proud country by being valuable citizens – and that includes lifting our fellow citizens who have stumbled and cannot get up. That includes helping misguided people to see in a different direction – it is not or job to tell everyone how we think, but our challenge to change how they feel.
That’s tricky because we cannot hide what we believe, or are reluctant to admit.
We are systemically many things – conditioned by our history, our family, our culture, and our country.
Our county is billions of years old, but our human presence here is about 12,000 years old. When I say ‘our,’ I mean every Canadian. Some were here first – they were guardians of this land for millennia before white conquerors from Europe came calling, colonizing, and collecting wealth. And then all those who came later – and nearly all of us were born here without any connection to the places our ancestors came from. And we are all here.
We are either members of one family – Canada, or we are not.
Which do you think we are?
I believe we are not, but that we could be.
No matter how long we wait – no matter how many July 1st we celebrate, governments will not fix this. Call it systemic racism, or call it surreal, it is reality.
If COVID-19 has taught us anything of value – nations and peoples can make and handle enormous amounts of change in a short time, and come out striving and thriving. I believe that is true for so many things, and I feel this will prove true for Canadians.
But, the title of this piece says oh-oh Canada, which means I believe serious mistakes are being made, which will prove more harmful than COVID-19, and I’m convinced we are inappropriately served by our government.
And, I think we are sitting politely on hands – and we should start making some noise.
Being Canadian is more than knowing about canoes and caribou, it’s about wearing a toque, and being proud of what we’ve all done, and what we all have the potential for whether we’ve stood tall or been stood upon – we can change it all.
But before we change the person next door, let’s change ourselves so that next July 1st, we can feel better because we’ve made a contribution to making Canada better for all Canadians without regard to anything but their equal right to thrive here.
My grandparents came here.
My parents were born here, as was I.
I love Canada.
We are the envy of many countries – people love to come here to visit or to live. Lots of land, resources, and relatively few people. Free health care, freedom of expression, freedom to be mobile within our country. But now, right now, we cannot leave our country – and COVID-19 is the reason. That’s a good reason, and I support the travel bans … but one part of it unsettles me. Parliament isn’t making decisions – it’s deliberately not in session. The Prime Minister’s office – the PMO, is running our country without oversight or opposition. That’s plainly wrong, and clearly not democratic.
True north, strong and free, implies a moral compass, not just one with a magnetic needle pointed north.
Canadians of every political stripe should be outraged right now at the undermining of our democracy at a time when we are all looking to Ottawa for steady and wise leadership.
I’m pleased to see our Prime Minister is discontinuing his daily press conferences, which have morphed from giving guidance and information into unpaid free political advertising, something the opposition would surely roast him for if parliament was sitting.
During the most significant crisis in our country’s history – our lawmakers are not in session, not in parliament, not in their seats exercising their elected duty.
These are unprecedented times, and our Prime Minister should return us to democracy, or he should resign. I don’t think we should protest in the streets like our southern neighbors – because it’s just too dangerous in this virus-is-everywhere time, but we need to shake things up.
I’ve talked to two friends this past week, smart Albertans and proud Canadians. Both think the Prime Minister is doing a good job. Perhaps in contrast to leaders in some countries, but he’s not living up to the standard of democracy Canadians expect. It’s our right. By birth, by naturalization, and by ancestry, we are entitled to a government that has the consent of the governed. While we may be locked-inside our country for health reasons, the way it is being done is undemocratic.
Call the house back into session Mr. Trudeau, and every day you delay democracy, you are stomping on my birthright and the rights of all Canadians.
What can we do?
We can stand up, speak out, and write to our Member of Parliament.
Or to our newspapers.
If someone breaks the law, we call the police, but when our government is lawless, who do we call?
As we sing O Canada today, we should use a falsetto voice, and sing oh-oh-Canada.