Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Here There Be Heroes

No matter what age we may attain, I doubt that we ever lose our need for heroes. Certainly, as we grow up, the definition of hero must mature, changing from someone with superpowers who fights evil and injustice, to someone who looks very much like we do, has no special abilities affording protection from the negative vicissitudes of life but who, when put to the test, show all of us what humanity is ultimately capable of.

Who may be considered a hero depends to a large extent on personal points of view and values; from my perspective, a hero is someone who takes actions while aware that those actions will likely lead to real problems and suffering in his or her life. The one true hero in my life is Nelson Mandala, a moral giant whose story needs no retelling here, but whose life is a testament to integrity, courage, and, for me, the existence of the transcendent.

Although perhaps not of the magnitude of Mandela, I do believe that we have heroes among us in Canada today, people for whom integrity is paramount. I have written in the past about Munir Sheik, the former head of Statistics Canada who resigned that position rather than to go along with the Harper-perpetrated lie that the elimination of the mandatory census was just fine with the statisticians.

Currently, another person showing all of us the stuff he is made of is Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page, a man appointed by the Harper government but who has already incurred its anger exposing lies that government has pedaled to the public. His latest foray into fortitude is reported on in today's Star, which outlines how Harper's acolytes are breaking the law by refusing to provide details of the government’s spending cuts to Page.

Rather than 'going along to get along,' Page said his last recourse is go to Federal Court to seek disclosure of the information though he added that “nobody wins” under that scenario.

“That said, we have to draw a line in the sand with respect to the Act of the Parliament and the provision of information,” he said.

The very existence of the aforementioned individuals must be an affront to our craven politicians, the ones who, for example, have aided and abetted the Harper omnibus budget, Bill C-38, forsaking their duty to their constituents and their country in the hopes of promotion within the government, something worth about 30 pieces of silver by my measure.

Given that the Harper mandate doesn't end until 2015, Kevin Page will likely lose his job in the near future, something I'm sure he is very much aware of. Yet despite my very cynical nature, it is the people like him walking among us who keep me from ever making a final submission to absolute despair.


  1. Don't give up Lorne and Owen. There are allies out there.