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2013 - The year WE STOPPED being 'Canadian'

(SNN)It was wonderful to watch the Prime Minister passionately defend the rights and actions of a country this week. Sadly, it wasn’t his country. In another ‘brick in the wall’ of Canada becoming something else entirely, Stephen Harper hand-dug the grave of a Palestinian future of any kind, and left the dirt on all of his citizen’s hands. Of all the countries in the World that can use its own past and present as a model for a successful and wealthy two state system, featuring two sides that had spent Centuries at war, he single-handedly decided that only Israel has ‘a right to exist’, and wasted a great chance to become another Lester Pearson.

Perhaps this is another chance for him to prove that Canada is not: “A naturally left leaning, first world, compassionate, and friendly country”, but rather some Conservative, bottom line obsessed, American lap-dog type of country that is reminding me more and more of the ‘Monopoly Politics’ of Thatcher’s Britain in the 1980’s. It is the Prime Minister’s eighth Anniversary as Head of State for this country, but it seems to me that it took until last year to reach a tipping point, and became something else. These changes have been reinforced this year, until the whole is becoming unrecognizable.

Of course, the bottom line here is the attempt to dig up Alberta, and turn it into a vast Oily Slurry – a kind of muddy ‘Saudi Arabia North’. We are then going to run pipelines across the entire country to make sure we sell this liquefied land as cheap as possible to the rest of the World. We will forget all of the Treaties with First Nations we ever made, or indeed any of the countries’ passport holders (whatever THAT is worth – the Canadian Passport is the ‘Canadian Tire money’ of the diplomatic world.), concerns and disagreements, and ensure that we would rather run these lines over the Trans-Canada highway than miss a few cents. If we can do this with oil, how will we react when countries start invading us for our water? We'll react with typical Canadian deference, I guess, unless we will have changed our complete personality by then. Taking our cities’ daily infrastructure failures as a precedent, I doubt whether we can keep up any kind of ongoing maintenance long enough to make money without a third of the country being covered in Band-Aids.

Of course, Science has the answers on all of this… and more. It’s a pity that we can’t get a fact and figures-based rebuttal to some of these Future Shock items, because this Government is the same one that has not only gagged science, but is doing its best to re-invent Science as a bunch of Left-Wing Nutcases holding us back somewhere in the 1780’s. Without a dissenting voice, how will we know the possible risks of climate change, coastal water poisoning, and the loss of Forests and Ice has on this country? We won’t. We will be more interested in the make-up of the Canadian Olympic hockey team, Justin Bieber, Rob Ford’s promise breaking, Drake, The Bachelor Canada, and the rest of the celebrity culture that is based on the reader’s individual own lack of worth.

Even the vaunted Social health-care system we enjoy is more and more being looked at as: “I have paid into this for thirty years, and I want my money’s worth”, rather than “How can this continue after I am gone?” It is now a land where Kevin O’Leary can call the fact that the globe’s 85 richest people have as much money as the poorest 3.5 Million as ‘Fantastic’, and no-one will slap him on live television: Where a Government Cabinet Minister can state that urban starving children are not the concern of his Government, without there being Ukrainian-style rioting in the streets.

If we don’t wake up and smell the Tim Horton’s, we are going to go so far on this road that there won’t be a way back. Whatever you feel about voting for a party headed by a glamour boy with a famous name, or the perennial Orange-hued bridesmaids, we have to do something to at least slow down our journey down this path. I have spent time in the land of our neighbours to the South and there’s a reason there are more Americans up here for the rest of their lives, than Canucks down there.

Steve James is an Actor, Stand up, and Comedy writer in Vancouver BC. He has visited Israel, and doesn’t understand all the fuss.

Photo:  Some rights reserved by pmwebphotos Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his wife Laureen learn about the old city from Dr. Haim Cohen at the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, Israel, January 19, 2014. PMO Photo by Jason Ransom, The Sage nor this article endorsed. Original image can be found here.


DISCLAIMER: The above article is OPINION.The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the authors of The Sage Opinion and forum participants on this web site do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the The Sage News Network or the official policies of the The Sage News.
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