STAND ON GUARD FOR THEE
Friday, July 1, 2022 (Canada Day)
Living in a free country is something most Canadians take for granted, and I would assert this is the same in most democratic countries. We sleep easy. We walk our streets and drive our highways with freedom in our nostrils and liberty in our bellies.
Today is our Dominion Day, our Canada Day, when we say Oh Canada!, and sing Oh Canada with bravado and pride. We celebrate one day a year the incredible rights of citizenship we bask in 365 days a year.
And then we have Ukraine. And NATO. And the UN. And the U.S. Supreme Court. And in Canada, we have the Liberal party and the PMO (Prime Minister’s Office) effectively governing by fiat.
The pandemic is over, but its ramifications are not. The power/standing of Russia/Putin is diminished, but that land-grab and global economic ramifications are far from over.
The rulings of governments, the rhetoric of politicians on their way in or on their way out, and the trends/movements and lobbying are rarely rooted in facts, science, or fairness — but more rooted in maintaining a perception of those things while less visible agendas of the power-hungry play out behind the dust and haze.
Every rule and law of any government, religious dogma, the scripture of any holy book, or today’s headlines — are all created by humankind, not by nature.
Our landscape as a country is primarily determined by nature. Wars, treaties and politics have blurred and altered the natural contours of our maps and cut the continent into pieces. I like our Canadian pieces, mainland and islands, provinces and territories and enormous bodies of inland water and offshore rights/boundaries.
We perceive our Confederation will hold.
We perceive those boundaries will not change.
We believe the magnificence of our resource-rich and those mostly underpopulated regions of our country will remain intact.
We typically don’t question those perceptions — we take them for granted just as we take our landscapes, wilderness, forests and mountains for granted. We take our clean air and rivers, our lakes and seashores for granted.
Canadians are a trusting people, but we should not be blind to threats of competition from adversaries just as certainly as we should be vigilant about threats to our natural environment.
If it were up to nature, there would be no roads, bridges, airports or dams on rivers other than those built by beavers. Those same beavers who, along with our codfish, were why Europeans came here — for trade goods to acquire, for lands to conquer and native populations to exploit and denigrate.
A few centuries forward, despite progress, much more is wrong with this country. None of it caused by nature, but all of it caused by the nature of man, including once revered builders of the country whose actions are now viewed through a different lens, and we must denounce their wrongful actions.
While so much is right about Canada, much is far superior to the ‘rights of citizenship’ of many other countries. We have resources, food, freedom, medicare, hockey, a pride worthy flag and population.
There is still far too much wrong with this country, so many issues to address, redress, and solve — and we trust in ourselves to make progress — and despite our democracy’s many unresolved problems, our personal and collective values as a society are celebrated today and envied worldwide.
We are in control of our collective destiny in a world with a population of 8.5 billion people. Will we enjoy the same peace and freedom when there are 15 billion competing for food, shelter, clean air and clean water?
We are true north strong and free, not by accident, and we’ll only remain that way if we are committed to retaining our peace and freedom. We cannot do that in weakness or by coasting on-accident — we need to make it happen and provide for future generations but doing wise things on-purpose.
We should not be complacent.