It was only five years ago that former U.S. President Barak Obama, while addressing the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa declared: “The world needs more Canada.” Highlighting our acceptance of refugees and immigrants, our kindness, our tolerance and our trademark politeness — that ‘shout out’ from the most powerful man in the free world made me proud.
Originally stated by U2’s Bono —“The world needs more Canada” — validated all those “best country on earth’ declarations by the United Nations (five years in a row!) and even this year, 2021, that Canada is the number one ranked nation on the planet according to US News and World Report.
Yet slowly, the rot from within has been tarnishing this brilliant international reputation. It did not take the discovery of the remains of 215 children assigned to a residential school in Kamloops, B.C., to illustrate the fact that the treatment of our Indigenous peoples across this country has been abysmal.
From the children ripped away from their parents to make them less “Indian” to the 4,000 murdered or missing Indigenous women over the last three decades and the casual ineptness with which the RCMP and city police departments have handled these crimes — abysmal, atrocious, unforgivable. Quick to use the word “genocide’ against Turkey’s Kurds and China’s Weegers — Canada’s day of condemnation is coming.
Please! The year is 2021 and we still have dozens of First Nations communities in Canada that still do not have drinking water!!!
After our worst mass murder in Nova Scotia that killed 22 people, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Public Safety Minister Bill Blair – formerly the Chief of Police in Toronto where shootings have become a daily event — these two “massaged” the Firearms Act into a complicated, Swiss cheese piece of legislation that pleases nobody and protects not many more. Missing an opportunity to entirely ban handguns which are designed to kill people and to completely outlaw assault-style rifles which are designed to kill people faster than handguns — Trudeau and Blair revealed themselves to be consummate compromisers and clever politicians instead of tough and decisive protectors of the people.
After the feds announced this bill I remember seeing an interview with Nathalie Provost, who was shot four times in the Ecole Polytechnique massacre, crying out of sheer joy that her 31 years as an advocate for gun control had finally paid off. A day later, after she’d read the devil-like details of this flawed and feeble document, she was crying in anguish.
The minute I heard just three details of the savage attack on the Muslim family in London — that the driver of the truck was male, white and young — I immediately knew he was uneducated, poorly parented, angry and radicalized by hate mongers on social media who target immigrants and refugees. In The States this lunatic would have been a Trump loyalist shooting up an Asian massage parlour or storming the Capitol wielding an American flag. Here in Canada he’s a member of a growing group of racists being brainwashed by burgeoning white supremacist organizations which, from The Proud Boys to the Nine Angles neo-Nazi organization, now number over three hundred. That’s not 300 diehard racists in Canada. That’s 300 hate-filled organizations that cater to the ugliest instincts man can possess as witnessed by the recent and alarming violent acts against Jews, Chinese, Muslims and First Nations people on our once-safe streets.
Lost in all this fervour are 3.7 million Canadians living below the poverty line probably thankful to be wearing masks when they have to visit the food bank or begging on street corners. That’s 10% of our citizens unable to feed and clothe themselves properly in one of the richest nations on earth! If countries had countenances, Canada’s face would be the same colour as our flag — first pale white from shock and then red from shame.
Connecting the ungodly dots — six dead and 19 wounded in the Quebec City mosque shooting, the caretaker of a Toronto mosque stabbed to death and now, a nine-year-old orphan who will be forever damaged and haunted by witnessing the senseless murder of his beautiful family — folks, we have serious and dangerous racists in our midst who choose to follow QAnon conspiracy theories instead of Canada’s rules of law.
By contrast, New Zealand has the best, most co-operative relationship with First Nations people than any country in the world. They did not isolate or browbeat the Maori but instead integrated them into their society by giving them protection and authority over their own affairs and resources.
By contrast, days after the attack on two mosques in Christchurch which killed 51 people, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern outright banned military-style weapons and assault riffles. Done. Gone. No more.
Arden also slayed the COVID-19 virus with a no-nonsense, air-tight lock down that was so effective, 50,000 Kiwis attended a sold-out rock concert in Aukland last month… no masks, no distancing, no problem.
So no, sadly the world does not need more Canada. In fact, Canada needs more New Zealand with its decisive, not-for-show, practical leader.
Trudeau has become a kind of head waiter trying to please all provinces all the time while quite keen about image and photo ops. Case in point, while our prime minister was dressed like a Bollywood star, playing Mr. Dressup on a state visit to India, Jacinda Ardern was breast feeding her baby during the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
I used to tell anybody who would listen that I’d love to see every Canadian kid, late teens or early 20’s take a year off, travel and work in an undeveloped country. Do good, meet people who don’t look like you and eventually kiss the tarmac at Pearson Airport when you land back in Canada. This, the greatest country in the world. Honestly, I can’t sell that patriotic line anymore. We’re shifting to the darkside, so quickly and in such great numbers — I’m starting not to love this country.
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