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Monday, July 03, 2006

Happy (Be Vigilant) Canada Day

Nelson City Band on Canada Day

Okay, July 1st has come and gone and I enjoyed the feel-good Canada Day Focus. In fact, in the small town I live near (Nelson, BC) we have a visit-to-nostalgic-times celebration. It starts with the singing of Oh Canada at the flagpole in Lakeside Park (begun with a bagpipe entrance) - then we eat a huge cake (made in sections and joined together before icing). After non-partisan and sometimes even good speeches, there's a day of face-painting, sand sculpture competitions, kids entertainment, music & dancing, boat rides, hot dogs (okay, veggie dogs too, this is Nelson after all) and more. Some years there's even a dunk tank to splash local bigwigs into with a well-aimed pitch. It all ends with fireworks over the lake - courtesy of the local fire department.

Now the rant (you were warned by the title):

Canada has elected a minority Conservative government with a Prime Minister who is slick, smart, power-hungry and very much from the neo-conservative (with a touch of Jesus) background. Here are some things to keep in mind as we praise this country for its tolerance, reasonableness, compassion and beauty (which it has).

- We have removed ourselves from the Kyoto climate change accord with no replacement policy and lots of sucking up to oil interests.
- Same sex marriage is legal across the land - our new PM will bring it back to Parliament in the fall and offer the chance to reverse that.
- Decriminalization of marijuana was to be legislated this year (no criminal charges or record for possession of small amounts) - gone now.
- Big budget increases for police, borders, military, spies and customs... cuts to the budgets of the arts and culture, CBC, the environment, First Nations accord, childcare programs and more.
- The UN Human Rights Council worked for 10 years to bring forward a Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This important work was led by Canadians. Last week, when the Council voted to take it forward to the General Assembly, only 2 nations voted against it. You guessed it - Canada was one of them.
- Canada continues to have its own version of Anti-Terrorism law (Bill C-36) and it uses it. A number of men have been imprisoned now for up to 4 years - no charges, no trials, no information to them or their lawyers, indefinite imprisonment.
- Outcry against US 'torture planes' flying kidnapped prisoners through Canada's airspace? Not yet. We probably bring the coffee on for the pilots.
- Government protest and outcry against Guantanamo Bay Gulag? Not lately.

Be vigilant. Think of your children and grandchildren and don't fall asleep under this regime.

Still happy in Canada...but keeping an eye on the gnomes at the wheel,

Your Canadian Friend


I'm gone 3years and this is what happens?!

you have got to be kidding (aside from losing all my smug bragging rights down here) this IS NOT my Canada. not the one I am so proud of... not the Canada my father taught me to be proud of.

what is happing to my country? thanks Gary -

I think....
Hey Callooh - it is a minority government! We need to vote the buggers out as soon as we can.

However, they're pretty good at making people afraid and pushing the right vote buttons. They're controlling information now too (questions in advance or no answers for eg).

Don't despair, just be sure you vote.
They been taking lessons from us?

I'm an egyptian and i advice u to gather up all the people u could and fight it or else your government will turn just into one of ours... weak, dominant and with no particular interest in its people!!!!
Oh Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
At least, I hope we do.
you have a day?! we don't have a day.

i guess we've had our day... :o(
This is very predictable.

Harpers policies are Howards sway!
as I did portray

Look for new signs
New minders lines !!

Just a govt Farm and mineral state
Talent sleeps, deny creative break

Back to conservative fate
Enlightened thoughts dont rate

Best wishes
Ian, yes you Brits had your day :)

Very nice poem Lindsay - and everything you told me Harper would do (because of his nice Aussie coach) has come true so far. It's actually amazing.

He has a minority so far, so it's not clear that he'll be there for the long run. TIme will tell.

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