Sunday, July 1, 2012

Canada Day? Really?

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:

Tories slash funding for young offenders by 20 per cent

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.


  1. You're not alone Lorne, many are struggling to strike that balance in the face of the total dismantling of Canadian civil society.

    Perhaps we have entered a time where the balance between reasonableness and earnestness is impossible. At the risk of sounding overly dramatic, we are in a fight for this nations very soul

  2. I couldn't agree more, Kev. This government, whose only strategy seems to be the promotion of polarization and division, must be fought at every opportunity with everything we've got.

  3. Now that its illegal to bang pots in Vancouver..........

  4. People will be in the streets celebrating today. But tomorrow they'll be banging their pots -- and their numbers will grow.

  5. I sincerely hope so, Owen.

  6. I feel ya, Lorne. I just came back from the Canada Day parade my community holds every year. Things went swell until harper sycophant stella ambler got hold of the mic. I wouldn't have had a problem with her mentioning our troops, but to mention them while thanking steve harper in the same breath! Well, I'll just say I lost my appetite and forwent my piece of cake.

    There were quite a few people there, and at best she received polite applause. But man, did I want to yell out something unflattering.

    Anyway, Lorne, I appreciate your voice, and Happy Canada Day!

    1. Thank you, Christian, and the same to you. Let's hope for a really great Canada Day in 2015!