Thursday, November 11, 2010

This is Not My Father's Canada Either

James Travers has an excellent column today that articulated how I have been feeling lately.

This is not my father's Canada. Nor is it his father's:
My father’s Canada was big-hearted at home and away. My uncle’s country was a known force for good when evil wore fascist uniforms and built gas chambers. This country is no longer their country. Canada’s wrenching blood and money sacrifices in Afghanistan, the struggle throwing the most immediate of today’s dark shadows, falls short of sustaining a once brightly shining image.

There are many things my father and uncle wouldn’t recognize. They wouldn’t understand a country where patriotism is partisan, where men and women in uniform are used as political props or where death and sports are shamelessly conflated on Hockey Night in Canada. Left behind by marching time and rising cynicism, they would be rattled by the deconstruction of duty into small, mean, marketable pieces. Reduced to anachronisms, they would be confused and saddened by even greater change.
My dad would absolutely hate Stephen Harper and his desire to tear us apart fighting over silly issues. He would wonder what he went to war for. What his cousin, who enlisted with him, and never returned, died for.

He was so proud of this country and instilled that pride in us. What do we have to take pride in now?

My husband's grandmother was one of the most interesting people I ever knew. She died at the age of 99 after falling down and breaking her hip, while shovelling snow. She loved John Diefenbaker and proudly showed off a scrap book filled with probably every photo and print article ever published of the man.

She loved his vision for this country, in direct contrast to Harper's. She would hate what he has done to the Conservative brand and how he has defiled "Her Dief's" memory.

This is not her Canada either.

I have a link under What are you doing for your democracy today: For My Democracy Today I am Paying Homage to a Hero

I think the best thing we can do for Remembrance Day is make a commitment to restore what our soldiers fought for.

And when you take your two minute silence for the fallen, take another two minutes for the country formerly known as Canada.


  1. That last paragraph got me crying again, Emily. I thought I had done all my crying just before 11am.
    My mother lost two cousins in WWII.
    One of them was a pilot, and his plane went down in France. Recently, a group of men in France, using information passed down by their elders, found and retrieved parts of Cousin Harry's plane. They found the engine, and lovingly cleaned it up until it shone.
    The people of France have been on the alert for the wreckage of Canadian planes for 55 years.
    My husband and I are going to France in the spring. We're going to visit Harry's grave in the cemetery where those men want to place the engine as a memorial to Harry and all the other Canadian men and women who died for France.
    I wonder what the people of France think of us now. They are doing more for our fallen than our nation's government is doing.

  2. That's wonderful Kay. My husband wants to do the tour in Europe when he retires next year.