During 2015, Canada took a conscious, introspective turn toward a more progressive journey as voters elected Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Since then, we’ve been making inroads on a significant departure from the attitudes of the prior administration and staying mostly true to this. While there remains a lot of heavy lifting to do in correcting the anti-progress legacy of Stephen Harper, we’re on the road to recovery. There remains a certain faith in government, such that we’ve significantly boosted voter turnout. That in itself speaks volumes.
The change of administration brought with it some very public moments, like the new equality cabinet, the rise of an aboriginal chief as Justice Minister, and the appointment of an internationally respected war hero as Defense Minister.
While these changes are in all respects welcome, and in most cases long past due, it’s the subtle stuff we don’t see going on behind the scenes day-to-day which contributes just as much if not more to the shaping of our character as a culture of many different cultures. The way our politicians behave toward one another, their interaction with the people, their willingness to champion progress and education, their attitudes toward strangers, and their compassion towards the ‘other’ — all of these are the measure of a politician whether that individual is within view of the press or not. One thing I found reassuring about this past election was the conscious rejection of divisive politics by the Canadian people. What we have right now is not perfect by any measure, but it’s a lot better than the alternative might have been.
Posted in News > National, Writing > Current Events
Tagged 2016, canada, carson, commons, congress, democrat, liberal, obama, politics, republican, trudeau, trump, us, usa
On October 22nd, gunshots rang out on Parliament Hill as a single gunman, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, attacked a group of soldiers on ceremonial duty at the National War Memorial, causing the death of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo. The gunman then proceeded indoors at Centre Block, where at the time caucuses were still in session, and fired several more rounds before being engaged and killed by House of Commons Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers.
While the scene initially unfolded like the wild script of a Call of Duty game, with the added horror and panic among a multitude of onlookers, the difficult reality began to sink in as the events left a strong impression on our national psyche. Since that day, Canada as a nation and as a culture has been left to wrestle with the highly nuanced circumstances of these events and the incidents leading up to them.
For those of us in Canada and abroad who have kept an eye to the news, there have been some very shocking revelations in the ongoing Rob Ford scandal, above all else that the mayor of Toronto has admitted he smoked crack cocaine and purchased illegal substances.
This, in and of itself, should rightfully merit charges under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act if we are to apply the law evenly to a holder of office as we would to anyone else on the street. Cocaine is a Schedule 1 controlled substance carrying a mandatory minimum sentence. Due to the recent toughening of Canadian drug laws and drug policy, law enforcement does not look kindly on either simple possession or transactions for the purposes of obtaining an illegal substance.