Canadian values could be distant memory

By the next election or the one after that, Canadian values of honesty and fair play could be a distant memory

I’ll be 75-years-old this Christmas, and as long as I can remember, Canadians have been respected around the world.

I recall an air force friend of mine who was stationed in France some years ago, telling me how the Americans used to put little Canadian flags on their backpacks, because the Europeans held Canadians in such high esteem.

We have a history of trustworthiness and fair play, something we’ve been pretty proud of.

I have six grandchildren, and as I look forward to what kind of country we may be leaving to them, I’m concerned.

We don’t expect to always agree with what our leaders do, but we have always, or perhaps until recently, expected them to be guided by Canadian values, and practice Canadian standards of behaviour.

Prime Minister Harper and his team, evidently hoping to gain an advantage from all their big money supporters and well stuffed ‘war chest’, pulled a fast one on the other parties, and dropped the writ earlier than usual…so much earlier, that it is predicted to cost us, (the Canadian taxpayers whose interests our government is supposed to protect), about $141 million dollars extra this time around.

We will evidently be paying, not just for the increased administration costs of the election, but millions more in election expenditure reimbursements to the parties.

Imagine what those millions could have done for needy Canadians.

I saw Prime Minister Harper and his team on the news the other night, climbing onto their big airplane, as one of the other parties was shown leaving in a bus. It saddens me, and I couldn’t help but wonder if it’s possible for a party with such an obvious advantage  in funding, to actually buy a federal election. It sure wouldn’t be very ‘Canadian’.

I guess in this modern world, some folks will be laughing and congratulating the Conservative planning committee for that ‘early writ drop move’.

It just makes me sad, and worried that by the next election or the one after that, Canadian values of honesty and fair play could be a distant memory.

As we sit down to our dinner tonight, these politicians, these people that we have trusted to keep our country strong, have already begun to dismantle our public healthcare system, and to use Bill C-51 to legalize unprecedented powers of intrusion and confinement, on the pretense of protecting us.

We might not notice because we might be busy, listening to the news about how a Conservative Senator (one of our trusted holders of the ‘power of sober second thought’ in our government), is on trial for ‘questionable’ financial activities and breech of trust.

It seems there is an issue as well, regarding an apparent attempt at a coverup by the right hand of our prime minister.

This is a crucial election for our country. Our government has already begun abandoning its responsibility to adequately fund our public health in favour of a ‘healthcare for profit’ policy. Privatization of our hospitals and seniors’ care facilities is already well underway. The Health Accord that has historically guaranteed provincial input regarding the funding for our healthcare has been abandoned by our Conservative government. Adding in other cuts to the CBC, Canada Post,veterans, scientists, coast guard, environmental controls and Destination Canada etc., makes me wonder where all that money is going, and how much impact its loss has had on all of these crucial Canadian services.

Let’s go to the polls in greater numbers than ever before, and when we do, let’s remember that no country can stay strong if its government abandons responsibility for the health of its citizens, fails to protect us from theft and dishonesty from within its own ranks, and places our all important trust in our government at risk.

-Kathy Turnbull, senior citizen and hopeful Canadian