In my non-virtual life, I like to think that I am a reasonably pleasant fellow who enjoys the small pleasures life has to offer, has a decent sense of humour, and can see the good as well as the bad of this world.
I sometimes fear, however, that in my blogging life I am turning into one of those grim, overly earnest and shrill presences for whom the political apocalypse is at hand. I wish I could say that this blog entry was going to be different, but that would be untrue.
The truth is, I find little to celebrate on this Canada Day, the latest reason blazoning forth on the front page of my Sunday Star with this headline:
The Star exclusive reveals that the Harper government has slashed 20 per cent of federal funding for youth justice programs in Canada, cutting $35.6 million used to supervise and rehabilitate young offenders....
In typically Orwellian fashion, Justice Minister Rob Nicholson made no mention of the drastic cut Wednesday in a news release that trumpeted “continued support” for the Youth Justice Services Funding Program.
Apparently there are three components to the programs that are now in jeopardy:
- measures to target violent young offenders,
- measures to rehabilitate and reintegrate youth in trouble with the law,
- measures to deal with less serious types of offences outside the formal court process.
Given their predilection for seeing the worst in human nature, I suspect the Harperites were most offended by the rehabilitation and reintegration elements of the program.
So, while the Harper regime continues to target the most vulnerable amongst us, and while it continues to attack and try to dismantle traditional Canadian values that emphasize the primacy of the collective over the individual, I shall not be celebrating Canada Day.
Now, time for a bike ride to try to restore my equanimity.