Don't just live in the world

An open letter

August 16th, 2010 | Posted by Amy Boughner in Canadiana | Issues | Personal

Dear Mr. Harper,

I am a Canadian patriot. I understand what a privilege it was for me to be born here, to have been educated here, to be able to present myself as a Canadian. I plan on teaching my daughter about this great nation, it’s history and geography and what Canada has done for the world.

I believe that you too, Mr. Harper, are a Canadian patriot, but I always thought that acceptance of other views, beliefs and cultures was part of being Canadian. Clearly you don’t share that view.

To you, it seems, I am a dirty socialist – a word you spit out of your mouth with venom. I am less than you because I am a woman. More than that, I’m a woman who doesn’t know my place. I also believe that a Canadian is a Canadian whether they were born it or chose it, and that title should give us all the same rights.

Unlike you, Mr. Harper, I believe that Canadian citizens should be told how their Parliament actually works, not lied to. They should know that they elect MPs not the government and that they certainly don’t elect the Prime Minister, because part of democracy should certainly be knowing what you’re voting for. Knowing what I know about our system, I also believe a majority vote in Parliament should mean something. I also believe that the government cannot just decide to ignore decisions by the Supreme Court.

I believe that countries like ours need good census data, especially when such data often affects where the money flows. I don’t believe that a majority or even a strong minority of Canadians considered the long form census an invasion of privacy. Until it became an issue, I really don’t believe anyone thought twice about it.

I do believe that this whole census thing is another one of your distraction techniques while you do something more sinister much more quietly.

For a little while, Mr. Harper, you had me believing that we may disagree with each other, but we both want what we think is best for this country. Now you have me wondering if you ever understood what this country represented to those outside of it. We are supposed to be peacekeepers, aid workers, a sane voice in a crowd of superpowers trying to get their own way. We are a safe haven, a leader in ideas, a country that takes care of its own and others. Right now I can’t even be sure I will be protected by the Charter rights I hold dear if I say or do the wrong thing.

I am a Canadian patriot. I love this country, its history, its geography and its people. I hope I will still be able to proudly state my citizenship at the end of your term.

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