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The here & now

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The fire chief replied to my letter and warned darkly about the dangers of “firing burning things up into the sky.” But no, he said, there isn’t any local bylaw preventing a non-politically-correct guy from lighting the night on July the first.

So I will. From the roof of the wee bank which, thankfully, is built out of limestone with a copper lid. Perfect for the zombie apocalypse. Or, in this case, taking a last stand against the social justice warriors, history erasers, culture cancellers and others who are choosing to dump on the nation. They can turn out, watch the fireworks and share a can of Bluenose Beer. Or they can blame me (and you) for the actions of people long since dead.

I’m ready. And Dorothy is patiently waiting to get her laundry room back…

Did you hear that Victoria (of all places) just canceled Canada Day? Councillors voted unanimously to scrap a planned event after a native dance group pulled out. In fact the Indigenous protest movement “Idle No More” has been flooding social media lately trying to get the country’s 154th  birthday nixed (#cancelCanadaDay). This has also led to the toppling of statues like that of 19th Century educator Egerton Ryerson in Toronto a few days ago. His decapitated head now sits atop a pike on a ridge on disputed land in Caledonia. It is an arresting and brutal sight.

Idle No More is planning anti-Canada Day rallies in several cities because, “Canada was built on 500 years of genocide and that genocide continues to this day as cited in the report by the national inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA people.”

Without question, we all regret residential schools existed. That’s why there was a commission formed and reparations paid. The apologies have been legion. We also regret the killing of the London family last weekend. Humans can often, inexplicably, do what animals never contemplate – be evil, hurtful, hateful and murderous without reason or threat. The last residential school closed decades ago. The Muslim folks perished days ago. We’re unable to change the past. We can certainly improve the here and now. Maybe that should be the focus.

Why celebrate a nation state?

Well, this one works. Big, roomy, gorgeous, normally peaceful, usually tolerant, diverse and, by global standards, rich. Most people own no guns, are educated, productive and decent. Yes, real estate costs too much, politicians spend irresponsibly and the weather can suck, but there’s a reason so many want to come here. Canada is better than most everywhere else. Not perfect. Just an upgrade.

My patriotism (different from nationalism) amped the day I set foot on the green carpet of the House of Commons. Our system of government has serous flaws (detailing them got me kicked out, actually) but I wish everybody could wander around Centre Block for a while, touch the stone walls, look up at the library ceiling, walk the Hall of Honour or see the depictions of WW1 above the Senate chamber. As an MP and minister I tried to faithfully represent voters, gaining the chance to traverse Canada and comprehend it. As a political person, I failed. Not a party guy. But my awe for this place swelled.

Since then, more. I spent a decade doing lecture gigs in hotel ballrooms and church halls everywhere. Now my colleagues and I try to help folks from all over the country get some financial peace and stability. Each day reminds what gifts we have in common – searching for the best life in a place where the horizon is endless. You can be angry and self-marginalized in Canada, or not. It’s a choice. Hard to imagine anyplace else where opportunities are greater.

Well, enough gushiness. Let’s just blow some stuff up.

About the picture: ” I have been following your blog since the beginning,” writes David from Mill Bay on Vancouver Island. “My wife and I even attended a speaking event you hosted in YVR over a decade ago!  You have taught me many important financial lessons and I spread the news about your blog whenever I enter a convo with a young soul who is searching for the light. This is Quincy.  She is our 17-month-old English black lab who brings us much love and joy and exercise daily.  The neighbour girls (aged 4 & 2 years) brought Q a new rubber toy today and this is her approach before “El Destructo” appears.    Jekyll and Hyde. Please keep up the great work and thanks for all of your wisdom over the years.”


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