I know politics is a highly controversial and sensitive subject. Some people will most likely consider this article offensive, and some people will disagree with me completely. It is not my intention to offend anyone, but rather, to take a stand for freedom of speech and expression. I often hear the saying “there is no right not to be offended.” While it is true that freedom of speech without the right to offend wouldn’t be free speech; I am not one to deliberately offend, and also recognize that people have a right to not be disrespected. This is why I write this article with great care and moral sensitivity. What does being Canadian mean? If you ask this question to Canadians, you will get an answer like: “Canada is a beautifully landscaped country with snow, poutine, and free healthcare; who is politer than our southern neighbour—and we love hockey!” For me, being Canadian means I get to live in a democratic society where each voice is just as important as the next. In Canada, all levels of Government are open and transparent, without media manipulation. As a Canadian, I have the right to be free. Canada is a truly great place to live. Now all we need to do is find that place once again.
“Canada: The Road to Democracy.” As per the Parliament of Canada website, the word democracy is defined as such: “In a democratic country, all eligible citizens have the right to participate, either directly or indirectly, in making the decisions that affect them.” (1) Essentially, democracy means that we, the people, have a right to make decisions as a majority about our leadership. There was recently an online vote about whether or not we wanted to accept Prime Minister Trudeau’s plan to resettle 25,000 Syrian refugees. The result showed that 60% of Canadians were opposed to his proposal with major concerns, and fear that security checks will be limited in order to hit Trudeau’s timeline. Wait a minute. That’s not how this democracy thing is supposed to work? When questioned why he is moving forward with this he responded: “It has nothing to do with politics and everything to do with being Canadian.” But doesn’t being Canadian mean being democratic, and listening to the people? Aristocracy is an autocratic government. Like the nobility era of Kings and Queens, one person or group holds all the power without the participation, or sometimes even the consent, of the people they are leading. This seems to be the Canada we now live in. In my opinion, if we truly want to find Canada, we must listen to the majority as this is what democracy is all about.
We all know that there is a crisis happening in the Middle East. Thousands of people need help. In no way am I trying to deescalate the situation happening over there; I will however express my concerns. According to the Washington times, United States and Canada are not the destinations of choice for Syrian refugees looking to escape the violence within their nation. In fact, only 6% cited North America as the place they would prefer to live in—according to a new Gallup poll of Syrians released a few weeks ago. That means that 94% of Syrian’s who are in a crisis don’t wish to move here! Is it because other countries are offering them more then what we are? The Liberal Government is offering free housing and in some cases a $3000 gift card to accessorize their new apartments. Meanwhile, low income seniors who have paid taxes their whole lives are still waiting for affordable housing.
According to Daily Mail in the U.K, only one in every five immigrants claiming asylum in Europe is from Syria. The European Union logged 213,000 arrivals in April, May and June but only 44,000 of them were fleeing the Syrian civil war. Why aren’t Syrians willing to relocate anywhere they can? If we want to find a free Canada, we must find a government who is open and transparent. There are too many questions still left unanswered.
It is my greatest wish that you, the people, have not just the sense of freedom, but actual freedom. Our government is slowly changing the meaning of freedom at a pace that most do not notice. Social learning theory considers the development of one’s identity to be a learned response to one’s social environment. This theory suggests that your identity is not the product of the unconscious, but instead a result of modeling yourself in response to the expectations of others. That our behavior is in fact developed in reaction to the strengthening and reassurance of the people around us. By concentrating reports in the media about what they want us to think, we slowly conform to what is considered the norm. By creating this “politically correct” society, we are imprisoning ourselves not with walls but with what is accepted.
To find Canada, all we need to do is wake up, listen to our neighbours, learn to accept we may be wrong, demand transparency from our elected government, and break free from our artificial thought parameters. I encourage all of you to write your reviews as it is your right, and freedom of speech that you are exercising. Let’s stand together and be Canadian.
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