Day Eleven – Us? Really?

Head in sand

What do you know about Belarus? Until I looked up some history yesterday, I knew very little. I did know that more than one million Belarussians had died during World War 2 and that 209 of its 290 cities had been destroyed. I did not know that it took until 1971 for the population of the country to reach the levels it had previous to World War 2. This is an old country that goes back to ancient times. It has been invaded by the Mongols, The Russians, The Poles, and Germany twice. They were a part of the founding of the United Nations under the hammer and sickle of the old USSR. It wasn’t until 1990 that they declared themselves an independent and sovereign nation. It’s a country with a long, bloody and heartbreaking story which today is again faced with brutality and oppression.

You see there was an election when they declared independence and since then a dictator has been in power. This man has been accused by every major reputable human rights organization of fixed elections, abuse of the population, and in recent days unleashed the apparatus of the states security forces on its people. The people of Belarus rose up in protest when this tinpot dictator declared he won the elections again. The people demanded proof of his win and his response to tell his police and security forces to aim their weapons at the protesters and fire.

Now before you shake your head and say wow that’s terrible and sigh in relief that this could never happen here let me remind you of the fact that we are not that far away from these kinds of actions where you live. If you are blessed enough to live in one of the western democracies, then consider the following. The President of the United States ordered his security forces to arrest and detain protesters in Seattle. The Black population of the United States is detained by security forces and locked in prison at a rate so much higher than the white population that ti is in itself a crime of oppression. Oh, and we can’t forget The Presidents efforts in the last few days to make sure the postal service can no longer treat mailed in ballots as priority mail. You may vote by mail, but it may not get to you and back to be to the ballot counters in time. to make a difference.

Now some of you in Britain my shake your heads and think wow I’m glad we don’t have any of this here, but I need to remind you that you are the most video surveilled nation on the planet. The United Kingdom also has had the interference in your elections that was suppressed until after your current Prime Minister was elected. And lets not forgetting that the ruling party bald-faced lied to you about what would happen if you didn’t vote to leave the European Union. Now in Canada, we often feel pretty smug about how we govern ourselves, but my fellow inhabitors of the Great North let me suggest to you that things are not what they seem.

Of course, you’re aware of the pathetically low turnouts we have for our elections especially given the issues we face, but we must also remind ourselves that we incarcerate our indigenous populations at a shamefully higher rate than our white populations. You may also be aware that our Black communities are stopped by the police twice as often as whites, and have a lower life expectancy than the white population. Also, when it comes to our leaders they, as the current Prime Minister has demonstrated on multiple occasions, lie to us again and again and again. So let’s not feel to smug here in maple leaf world.

Ok, so what’s your point, man. Well my point is is that we, the electorate allowed this to happen. We allow the lower class to become homeless, we incarcerate non-whites, we allow the lies to go unpunished from our leaders, and we allow the rich to get richer and the poor to get poorer. Now for those of you who say there’s nothing I can do about this let me remind you of two vast and powerful tools you have at your disposal. The first is the power of your voice. If you want our society to be more just, more equitable, and for people to have a great chance to succeed in their lives, then speak up and say so. Democracy allows us the freedom to use our voice in criticism on the streets and through the written word. The other powerful tool you have is your vote.

If you show up and vote, then you have moved your words of change to actions that will change the way we are to the way we want to become. It’s not hard, and it’s undoubtedly a clear way to make progress in a world that seems to be moving backwards rather than toward the future we all hoped for.

But, if we continue on our current path, then the future could one day very soon look like that current reality of Belarus. So take the time and join something that leads to change: a political party, a community group, a church. Join them in the conviction that you are using them to change the current trajectory of our democracy rather than let them slide with a whimper into a much more hopeless future.

Day Ten – Salt of the Earth

  • the-salt-of-the-earth

Just got off the phone with my father in law. He’s a salt of the earth kind of guy. He’s so proud of his kids that he can’t sit still when he’s talking to you about them. He has dedicated years of his life to working with his church and community on projects big and small. He’s not the kind of guy to be at the front of the stage on the mic telling you how great he is or giving you some speech on whatever the topic de jour is. He is not the leader, the generalissimo, the grand poobah, the boss, the chief, the numero uno. No, not him.

He is the guy you ask to help you when you need a hand to get that large thing off the truck and into the back yard. He’s the kind of guy who never complains about the chores his wife gives him. Ever. He’s the guy that works diligently in the background, and without whom no project big or small would get done. He’s not flashy and never demanding. He’s just a very decent man who is grateful o God every single day for his life and his families success. He’s a salt of the earth kind of guy without nothing happens.

I love him and deeply respect his commitment to his family, community, and faith. Perhaps it would surprise you, or not, to know I am a non-believer and if I am non-believer why respect this mans faith? Because it is honestly earned over years of prayer, faith, and thought. He doesn’t have a hateful bone in his body and really, really loves his fellow human being as he would be loved by them. Open, honestly, and with a significant depth commitment and faith. Again he’s a salt of the earth guy.

While I have much clear criticism of the Boomer generation one of the things I can not fault them for or the best of them as evidenced in the life and work of my father in law, was their commitment to his family, community, and faith. Often with the courage to question about their views and assumptions. Without these best examples of their generation so much would not have gotten done and so many rights we take for granted would not exist.

So after hearing his voice this morning and taking the time to hear his stories and opinions on the world and its effect on his community. I am forcefully reminded by his decency and compassion. His life has been far from easy, his challenges personal and in work have been at times overwhelming, but through all of that he soldiers on. Not for himself but for those he loves.

If I achieve only a 1/10th of his life work, then I will count myself lucky, and if I can reach the back 20 of my life and be as wise as he is, then I will be blessed indeed.

He’s a slat of the earth kind of guy without home nothing gets done and without him, change for the better never happen.

Day Nine -Apportioned Blame


ON CBCs Ideas last night I heard Anand Giridharadas (@AnandWrites) brilliantly lay out the argument around the 1%, Charity, and how they have corrupted the process of Government. An amazingly brilliant articulation of a problem I have been thinking hard about for several years. It drove me to buy his book Winner Takes All which I started reading last night. Again brilliantly and cogently written so far. Anands writing feels good for me to read. It reinforces and illuminates much of what I have been thinking for decades. But in his interview on CBC he forgot to include a more critical group than the wealthy and powerful in his criticism. He forgot you and me.

The 1% got rich and kept getting richer, by changing tax laws and infiltrating college and universities. Whose fault is that? If we have believed that Government is a force of good in the world to the now of business is more efficient at solving problems than Government then whose fault is that? If we think that social investment bonds are the way to solve societies, most pressing social issues rather than the spending our taxes whose fault is that?

Wages have not increased significantly for the average Canadian in 2 decades. Whose fault is that? Young people can not afford to buy a first home. Whose fault is that? There is a 20% child poverty rate in my community. Whose fault is that? Rich people fought against more transit locally so that those with our cars couldn’t ride the bus with more ease and reliability. The wealthy won. Whose fault is that? We think that Government is untrustworthy, the system is rigged against us, that we can’t get ahead, our media is corrupt, and that our leaders are not to be believed. WHOSE FAULT IS THIS?

We allowed our social safety nets to be degraded, our infrastructure allowed to crumble, to let the elderly be abandoned in homes during a pandemic, our leaders to act in corrupt ways, allow the rich build their wealth to heretofore unthinkable levels while the lower 50% of us have no longer a clear path to fulfilling the promise of our children having it better than we did. Whose fault is this?

We used to charge the wealth a 90% tax rate. When did we let that change? We used to tax corporation appropriately. When did we make that change? And when did we believe the still unprovable drivel that business was more efficient than Government? We need to stop believing in the hype, like social impact and social enterprise, that I am more important than we, and start remembering that the only power we have to make our world better for our children is through hard work and a fair chance to build our children future. Well, we’re working harder than we ever have before but a fair chance? No, that we don’t have. Because we let those with money and power bamboozle us with ideas that are provably untrue.

It’s time to correct the course we have wandered down these last 40 years and begin a process of self-correction where our children and our neighbours are more important than wall street, corporations, and what the wealthy think. They only way you can do this is with your ballot at the voting booth during an election. You will be amazed how fast those elected folk will change their tune if you forcefully demand it as an electorate.

Take your beliefs by the scruff and drag them into the light of day and give them a good looking over. Then reclaim the franchise of the old and ignored democratic process. Dust it off, give it a shine, and use to it to make the world a more just place with an equal opportunity for all—a better place for you, me, and our children.

After all, we need a better tomorrow, don’t we?

Day Eight – Neither Fair nor Fowl




Is my town like yours?

My town, London, Ontario, has a population of about 400,000 people who politically either lean right or left depending on the mood. We have a river that runs through our town. We have a hockey arena downtown and a sort of chic market. Our main branch of the library is pretty cool but resides in a failed mall. We do not have a particularly inspired set of political leaders. They go from the petty and corrupt to the genuinely caring and engaged. Our wealthier neighbourhoods are hotbeds of NIMBYISM where they will drop a few bucks in the Sally Anne kettle at Christmas, but you try building something in, or at the edges, of one of their neighbourhoods to help the neediest in our city and you can expect an avalanche of opposition. Charity and helping people is all well and fine but keep it out of our sight seems to be the message.

Our city has 20% of our children living in poverty and a Food Bank that grows and grows and grows in response to the demand from our citizens. We do not have a very strong local arts scene. We have some amazing visual artists in London, for which we a have a world-class history, but generally, we import our talent, and almost all of our young artists go elsewhere to train and live.

Our transit system was the focus of a 3-year battle that really was a proxy war for two different political tribes in our community—the Progressive and Conservative. The result was one of the most brutal arguments, filled with lies and deception, that resulted in a kind of kludged solution that will ultimately serve no one, especially those that need transit the most. It was likely the most divisive political event to happen in our community in more than a decade that was full of sound and fury ultimately creating nothing.

Our town has a history of serial killing.

No, really it does. London, Ontario was at one time the serial killer capital of Canada. Weird eh?

We have, at times, an incredibly generous response from Londoners to emergencies. Like the time the whole town came together when a drunk driver rammed into a house that caused a fire and almost destroyed an entire neighbourhood. Hundreds of people came together to offer food and comfort and their own homes as a place to stay. We also volunteer almost more than anywhere else in Canada. We are the longtime champs of volunteerism as a matter of fact.

Parts of our town are so pretty they take your breath away. We have some of the most gorgeous neighbourhoods in the whole of our country, and the Thames Valley Pathway System is and treasure that needs to be protected and enhanced. We have these collections of natural parks and sites that are unique, and the neighbourhoods that surround them are stalwart wardens for them. They have driven off many a developer. And our downtown recently went through a transformation that was both inspired and will lead to a more robust downtown.

My town is ultimately directionless when it comes to longterm thinking. Its political seasons are filled with arguments for or against taxes. Candidates and incumbents jostling for position and advantage but rarely talk about big ideas and bold visions that chart a course to economic and community growth. When those people come along and propose a bold vision or clear path, there is inevitable a feeding frenzy on local radio, or from former reporters, that shoot it down. Not a good place to have an idea and stick up your hand, London Ontario, lest it is chopped off and shot down.

In the end, my town is neither fair nor fowl but a directionless beige that doesn’t dare to be something more but can still show flashes of brilliance now and then. It is a place of the middle. A place that is and is not.

Is my town like yours?

Day Seven – Economics you Don’t Know

audience auditorium bleachers chairs

Photo by Tuur Tisseghem on

Many have a sort of bi-polar view of the life of an artist. On the one hand, they think they are starting in foreign garrets, serving tables, doing menial jobs, yet, on the other hand, they believe they live a jet-set glamourous life. People also have a bi-polar view of the arts as a sector. On the one side, we shouldn’t pay for it form tax dollars and on the other that it’s nice to have around. There is then the bi-polar view of those that attend the arts. On the one hand, they’re rich, snobby one-percenters on the other weird druggies dancing to thumping music at 4 in the morning. None of these descriptions is accurate. None of them tells a story of being an artist, being an arts supporter, or the benefits we get as a country when we invest in it.

To be a professional artist, you have had to study with the intensity of an engineering student while allowing yourself and your work to be criticized in class and in public daily. When you’ve finished studying, formally or informally, then you have to be an entrepreneur and sell a commission or land a gig. Landing the gig will often mean surveying a series of predatory, humiliating, and distracting people who know what’s best for your career but will lead you down a path of pain and woe.

In order to make a professional arts organization work, you have to be continually applying for funding, engaging the public, trying not to offend the politicians, competing against the other acts orgs in your own, and keeping the lights with an overhead cost of less than 6%. Not something a so-called “real business”. could do. And then you will always be facing the kinds of questions from funders that many other non-profits don’t have to face. So you’re expected to have answered to a faceless bureaucracy to a level of detail most non-profits never have to.

Then there is the funding itself and the views of the politicians and their woefully uninformed opinions. Using there limited understand they then engage in decisions that have life-changing consequences on individuals and an industry they have not even the remotest understanding of. As opposed to what many politicians say, that the arts are a luxury, The Ontario Arts Council shares that “Ontario’s arts and culture sector represents $26.7 billion or 3.5% of the province’s GDP and almost 300,378 jobs. This “industry perspective” measures all of the culture sector’s output – including both culture and non-culture products (e.g. a theatre company may generate GDP from both ticket sales – a culture activity – and food and beverage services – a non-culture activity).” 

Further, they do us the favour of comparing this to other major industries and, in what will be a surprise to many, the Arts outperforms numerous Ontario economic sectors. For example “Ontario’s culture GDP is larger than that of the accommodation and food services industry ($16.2 billion), the utilities industry ($14.6 billion), the agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting industries combined ($7.4 billion) and mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction ($6.9 billion).”. In my home town, our local Arts Council created a report and shared that culture generates “$540 million per annum”. So lets put to rest the ridiculous notion that the arts are a luxury but is, in fact, an economic engine in Ontario.

Yet during this pandemic where is the support for the Arts and its vital economic and community contribution to Ontario. Our government gave some money to the most significant arts org in our town, one by the way that has its own foundation, but there was not a penny for the small and medium orgs. Not a penny from a Federal Government for the ongoing support of artists who will not qualify for unemployment benefits. Nor supports for all those professional Arts teachers at the post-secondary and community level who do not qualify for EI. No support from any level of government anywhere I can see that steps into the breach and supports the cultural industry during this time of pandemic in the same way other economic sectors are. 

No, there is a double standard for to the arts; be it from politicians or arts funders or you the public. Artists add more than so many other parts of our economy in terms of real dollar for dollar impact, but that doesn’t matter does it?


After all the Arts is a nice to have not a need to have. 

Isn’t it? 

Day Five – Hearth and Home

bed bedroom blanket clean

Photo by Burst on

I woke this morning anxious. Many of you may how woken up the same way. Anxious about our children, anxious about our finances, anxious about friends and family, and anxious about the state of the world. I awoke this morning anxious. What I was not anxious about this morning was that tonight I would not have a roof over my head and a bed to sleep in.

But for many in Ontario this week that was not the case. Ontario’s Ford government decided that they no longer needed to use their power to protect people who were economically devastated by the Covid pandemic. Decided that landlord could now evict those people who had no way to pay their rents. Decided that despite the worst economic hit to our country since the great depression, the people in Ontario who couldn’t pay their rent could be kicked out onto the street.

Last night I wondered how do you respond rationally to a leader who allows this to happen? How do you give a party which marches in lockstep with that leader a fair hearing? How do you not see them as indifferent and callous? How do you not see the Ontario Conservative Party, Or the Republican Party in the United States, as a moral threat to Human Decency? I don’t know.

We here in the little berg of London, Ontario, see homelessness every day. We also have our share of indifference to homeless people as evidenced by the crackdowns our city governments have had on homeless camps. We don’t have a solution to housing in our town either. But as much as I disagree with our Major and a number of our Councillors, they did not actively create a law to make it easier to evict people onto the streets. Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario, did just that. And in our town, and your town as well, we will be left to inadequately pick up the pieces of Mr.Ford and The Conservative Party in the desperate form of more homeless people.

In a month or two, you’ll likely forget about this issue, but those people who were evicted will still be without a home. And so we go on. And so this cycle continues; A cycle of politicians, emboldened by the people who elected them, cutting services and protections for the most vulnerable in our community while the rest of shake our heads and wag our fingers for the prescribed amount of virtue signalling before moving on.

I woke up Anxious this morning, but I did not wake up homeless. This week thousands of Ontarian’s will and you and I allowed it to happen.

To say shame on us somehow feels pathetically inadequate, but it is all I have.

Shame on us.

Day Two – The Activist


climate sign outside blur

I know some people who think that Activist is a derogatory term. That an Activist is someone that cannot be worked with. That an Activist is a person or persons blocking progress to community-wide goals. So are activists really a problem when trying to solve big problems like food, or housing, or addictions? Yes, Activists can be part of the problem but as equally to blame are often the local Governments, Nonprofits, and Funders. But it’s easier to blame those without power than those with.

The Activist in our community is there to make you feel uncomfortable. Is there to make you recognize there is a problem you have been ignoring. Is there to force an issue, long-buried, into the light of public awareness. They are the persistent voice prodding at us again and again. Prodding at those in power and in the public that there is a serious problem that needs addressing. Activists are an inconvenient pressure that something is wrong.

As I said, I know a number of those in power, and with access to power, who find the Activist a roadblock to solving community problems. I have been told that they are unwilling to work collectively. Unwilling to work with institutions and governments. Unwilling to look at any solution but their own.

I think there is a lot of truth to this. I have known activist leaders who will not work with anyone with power or at the very least distrust those with power to do what they say they will do. I have to say though I have been lied to, or been disappointed by, those in power more often than by activists.

Activists or institutions though aren’t the real problem. No, the real problem is power. Those that have it, or have access to it, don’t want to give it up and those without want it. The result is those community problems that could have been fixed end up in disputes and bad feelings that degenerate into no solutions at all.

Someone told me recently that they thought that the Activists should publicly apologize to those with power in order to resolve the rifts of the past and get to the solutions that could help our community. What I found ironic and troubling about that statement is that there was never a mention of those with, and who have access to, power doing the same thing.

I, unlike some, want the activists in our community That have infuriated me at times. Still, they are there, day in and day out, insistently raising their voice and demanding that the decision-makers, influencers, and the public do something about the serious problems we have. After all wasn’t it the insistent voices that created the civil rights movement, women the vote, and freed India from colonial rule?

They may be inconvenient and as intractable as those with power, but I say bless the Activist. Long may they continue to be an irritant to the powerful and the comfortable. Long may they continue in their underappreciated but critical roles to our communities and long may they be recognized for what they are. The persistent voice of our collective conscious.



“Not knowing when the dawn will come I open every door.” Emily Dickinson

It seems that with the U.S. presidential election so many of us have been struggling to make sense of what happened and to shout our opinions of the result in the spaces we have available to us. Why did he win? Why did she loose? How could this happen? Why is there such racism, classism, misogyny, hatred, spite? Are all those people who voted for him that clueless?  Are they all rednecks? Are they all stupid? Why? Why? Why?

Myself? I think I have the answers, but really I don’t. I think I know the solutions, but really I don’t. All I have are half formed opinions that are bursting to get out of me. Frankly I simply don’t know. I don’t know why he was elected and she wasn’t. I don’t know why I feel powerless. I don’t know why I have such a huge energy to do something but with no idea of what to do. And if I am really, really honest with you dear friends this has been the state of things for a very, very long time.

I am adrift in a directionless fog of what to do, and have been for years. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I know what I want. I want justice and mercy, equity AND equality, I want anyone was left behind brought to the front, I want kindness, I want the sharing of knowledge and freedom, and most of all I want love to infuse everything all the time. But knowing what you want is one thing. Knowing how to get there is another. With people I know casually and those who are close to me I sense they are lost as well. I sense they want the same things. If what i sense is true then why can’t we get there? Why isn’t there more love, more equity, and a sense that the world is bending toward the light?

I have been talking to one friend on great number of things for a number of years now. Through the these conversations we explore ideas Ideas about democracy, morality, beliefs, politics, friendship, institutions, government, and who we are. We agree on many things and disagree on others and I like that. I like the struggle, in our time together, to define an understanding. To create a kind of common compass with which we can chart our way through the times we are in.I love compasses for they are miraculous things. By using compasses humans created the means to chart the world, find the undiscovered country, and expand the horizons of what we thought was a certainty to what we see is possibility. The ability of a needle to point north is not only an absolute in an uncertain world, but also comforts us with guidance when we are lost.

That needle pointing north is what we seem to need right now. The thing of it is though that no one can tell you where your  internal needle is pointing. You have to, and will know this within yourself, like all great explorers who have followed the compass north, face some moments of truth and some moments of sacrifice to get there. We know what is necessary to achieve equity and justice. We know what is needed to make the least amongst us first. We know what justice and fairness looks like. We know what is needed to develop education, healthcare, wellness, and create a decent standard of living for the world. We know what is required to achieve the world we all talk about but can’t seem to get to. We know which way is north and may have to, like those explorers following a compass , sacrifice some of what we have in order to balance the scales so we all can stand in a place of possibility rather than the grim certainty we have experienced in the last few weeks.

We can all sense within ourselves where true north is as much as we know where the sun is when our eyes are closed and turn our faces into its warmth. I sense, rather than know, that there are answers to this feeling of being lost in the world. I sense, rather than know, the direction we might take in order to get to that undiscovered country. I sense, rather than know, that the rest of you sense this as well. Perhaps we all should work on a shared compass and follow that sense of true north.

Doing it Right – The North East Community Conversations Group


In the last 6 years much has been made about citizen engagement in our city. Hack the Vote, Citizens Panel, London X, The London Plan, Shift, and now an idea to change our cities name. All interesting, all needing attention, but one group , The North East Community Conversations Group, has been unique speaking to issues and coming from a unique place. The grass roots of average citizens.

I first became aware of their efforts in the last year and a half and since then have sen them engage the community in elections, ability and disability, and poverty. They recently held a large forum on poverty for The Mayors Poverty Panel and have been asked by them to continue this important engagement work. Gabriel Marcel , french philosopher and playwright, said ”On a grassroots level we say that man can touch more than he can grasp.”. This has been very true The North East Community Conversations group as their efforts at engaging in issues do not come from governments, business, or the non-profit sector, but form citizens wanting to gather and exchange ideas and concerns over what are important issues. Their reach extends beyond a mandate and extends into what we think about as a community.

At a meeting I attended recently the group was talking about the role of schools, the needs of students, and what our education system could be. It covered the gamut from  students with special needs to where our focus needed to be to help students develop so they could confidently face the challenges of the 21st century . My wife was at another conversation last week about ability and disability and what are our collective responsibilities as participants in a community that espouses to be inclusive. The results of the conversation were illuminating and posted out that we had more work to do while celebrating what we have accomplished.

I have been involved in the sometimes frenetic initiatives of community engagement a lot over the last 6 years but I am impressed at the way this group comes together and works. There go about it in a quiet and thoughtful way without pushing an agendas, with out massive social media campaigns or fancy websites, they go about it not for gain or attention, but because they are called by a need to connect to their neighbours and community and discuss the issues that effect is everyday.

I have always believed that conversations lead to relationships that then lead to action. The North East Community Conversations group do this. It is built into their DNA and those of us who are , or have, been involved in various engagement exercises could do a lot worse than to pay attention on how this group does it. It was born from community and continues to be be rooted there. They’re lesson for us is that they don’t need meetings to discuss engagement burnout, they just do it and as you know great changes are created the doing. Engagement is not a product  or an outcome but , as shown by this group, something we should just do.Take some time and do, and do it with the North East Community Conversations.

A Culture of Division? Yes the CPC created it

Someone I like great deal was hurt today by my anger at his party. He’s a good man and a much needed engager in this community but I stand by what I said. The Conservative Party of Canada has creatied an environment of racial intolerance, hatred , and division. Today two candidates , one liberal and the other conservative, had their signs defiled by racial hatred and I pointed the finger for creating the environment where this could happen squarely at the source. The Progressive Conservative Party of Canada and the their leader Mr. Harper.

My friend wrote this:

“Take a look at a few of the hot button issues:

1.       Second class citizens- this is a media interpretation and used as hyperbole by other parties. If you take issue with parts of the bill then go after them but do not use such a general phrase for changes to a bill that is so complex.

2.       Conversion therapy- vetting over three hundred candidates is less than a year is complex process. He was removed as a candidate as was appropriate.

3.       The Niqab has been a highlighted debate by the media but let’s not forget, the court ruled on this. It has been named unlawful and is the reason that such checks and balances are in place.”

I can’t agree with his interpretation here and I want to outline exactly why I disagree with his take and why I  blame the growing climate of intolerance on the actions of the leader and the PC party.

Over the course of this very long campaign what have we heard from the Conservative party week after week?

  1. That if a woman where’s a Niqab to the citizenship ceremony and does not uncover her face then she cannot take the oath of citizenship. Many in the CPC blame media or liberals or ndp or anyone else for this being an issue but the PM is the one who has made ,and continues to make even yesterday, this an issue. Also what most people fail to understand is that women who chose to wear the Niqab during the ceremony have to remove it for identification before they sign their citizenship papers. So they have been clearly identified. But the CPC continues to make it an issue. Also our courts have continually overturned this law by the CPC but they continue to fight it so they can create media attention.
  2. Barbaric Practises Tip line is simply another tactic for devision. We are expected to call this special line created by the Conservative Government if we see a “barbaric practise” being perpetrated against women or others? This has been clearly linked to our nations Islamic community by the CPC as has the Niqab. But i wonder why we needed a special line when we have 911 and our countries excellent police forces. Here in London our police force take domestic abuse  and racial crimes seriously. We don’t need a special tip line that is focused on a specific part of our population.
  3. The removal of Citizenship from immigrants convicted of serious crime is in fact one of the most worst actions by the CPC government. They are creating a second class of citizenship for Canadians. if you’re an immigrant you no longer have the same protections under the Citizenship Act , unless this is challenged in court, or under the charter of rights and freedoms. if you come from another country you’re citizenship is worth less than an “old stock” Canadian. I have always believed that citizenship is citizenship and the rights and responsibilities of citizenship are equal to all who hold that status. If someone is convicted of , as the conservatives point out, terrorism as recently happened in Ontario then they should be tried in Canada, Judgement found in Canada, and sentence carried out In Canada. Our country is wise and strong enough to deal with anyone who wished to commit crime and the case is no different for these convicts. If an “old stock” Canadian committed the same crime then he or she would not be stripped of citizenship and deported. So the Conservative Party has created a second class of citizenship with a different set of rights than the first. Again it’s devise and racist.

So we take all of these and the PM’s use of the phrase “Old Stock Canadians” and what do we have. A clear campaign to create division and intolerance based on religious and ethnic differences. Now some on twitter have accused me of being a sensationalist, hypocrite, party hack. I don’t belong to a political party nor do I support one leader over the other at this point with the exception of Mr. Harper ,whom I don not support at all. Others have said this is all driven by the media. This is rubbish plan and simple. It was The PM who has continued to bring these issues out during the election campaign again and again. it is the CPC party who puts out mailings like this:


So to blame the media is at best simplistic and at worst and clear act of deception. The CPC can only look to itself for the attention this continues to generate in this election because it is they who continually bring it up in interviews.

We have seen in newspaper articles in Ontario and Quebec a rise in attacks on Muslim women who are wearing Niqab’s . We have seen pominent Muslim Canadians say in interviews that there is a real fear in their communities. We have seen in London a clear racial hatred displayed against Muslim candidates. And the Prime Minister of this country has created the environment where these acts and this fear is fanned. To suggest that the Conservative Party is not to blame is either blind partisanship at any cost or is an unwillingness to confront the actions of their leaders. Either way it cannot be simply rationalized away as a few bad apples, complex issues, or media/partisanship bias. There is a clear pattern here and it is one of them vs. us with the CPC pointing to muslim immigrants as them. it is unrcontionable in our country in the 21st century.

Benjamin Franklin , The American President and slave owner, said “All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression.” . We have now in our great country of Canada an approach and laws that have created fear, inequality and oppression. This must not stand or be rationalized but must be expunged for what it is.  A cynical calculation of fear and division.