Canada Day, 2020. . . I Miss My Country!
I really miss the country I grew up in. It was called “Canada”. It wasn’t perfect, by a long shot; but it was ’way, ’way better than anything else I knew or had heard of.
Canada in those days was proud of its world-beating record in abolishing slavery: in 1793, in Upper Canada, Governor Simcoe made slave trading illegal. That was 40 years before William Wilberforce in Great Britain, and 70 years before Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation in the United States. That’s why Canada was the northern terminus of Harriet Tubman’s “Underground Railroad”: when slaves reached Canadian soil, they were free, and could not be sent back to their former owners.
That fact wasn’t widely known—it still isn’t—but it tempered attitudes. I had classmates and friends of African origin when I was in school; they were my equals and my peers in the Canada of my youth.
Most people don’t know, either, that the first Thanksgiving held in North America was in Canada (then called “New France”) 85 years before the Pilgrims landed in Massachusetts.
Mind you, there was a lot of conscious and unconscious bigotry against people of Indigenous background in Canada when I was a child; some still exists, but we’ve made a lot of progress on that front in recent years. And there was anti-Semitism, too: in the streets of East Vancouver, among kids who had no idea what they were saying, the word “jew” was a pejorative verb, meaning “to cheat”. We’ve made a lot of progress on that front, too—but today, anti-Semitism is roaring back to life because of bigoted ideas like the “Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions” (BDS) movement (against the State of Israel). It’s immoral, but it enjoys a lot of currency on university campuses and in some churches—anywhere that politically correct (PC) speech is the only speech allowed.
The rise of PC speech, especially in the Education Establishment, is one of the worst offences against the freedoms we used to regard as God-given: if what you said in those days was stupid or cruel, you could expect a rebuttal; today, if what you say isn’t the approved PC party line, you’ll be de-platformed, insulted, or hauled before a so-called “human rights” tribunal, where your accuser will have all his legal expenses paid by the taxpayer, but you will have to bear all the costs of your defence yourself.
And the “judges” in those kangaroo courts will inform you that truth is not a valid defence.
There was also some anti-Christian bigotry in the days of my childhood. That has not gone away; it has grown much, much worse ever since prayer and Bible-reading were excised from the schools. Now anti-Christianism is the default “norm” of public dialogue, in the schools, in the universities, and in the media. In 2004, an American named Janet Folger wrote a book, The Criminalization of Christianity. And many of the examples she used came from Canada.
Since 2004, many things have become much worse in Canada. Crime has escalated beyond belief—and beyond rational calculation, because official crime statistics have been radically modified to eliminate the counting of certain crimes. Rape is now subsumed into a broader category called “sexual assault”—so statisticians can now say that rape is far, far less than it used to be. But sexual assault has skyrocketed.
So have other forms of assault. Common courtesy has become uncommon. Rudeness is the only form of humour many people know.
The PC mode du jour today is transgenderism. A small percentage of pre-pubescent children become confused about their gender; they need and deserve care, comfort and counselling. But what’s happening instead is that the vast majority of children are being fed lies about gender. And the rising tide of acquiescence to transgenderism is having negative effects: because official records are being altered to list biological males as “women”, health statistics are being skewed and rendered useless; women’s sports are being eradicated, since biological males can compete unfairly against true women, by merely self-identifying as female; and women’s prisons and shelters are being rendered unsafe by being required to take in males who self-identify as “female” or something in-between.
And then there is immigration. Apart from our Indigenous brothers and sisters, we’re all from immigrant roots. And contrary to what our Prime Minister and his Liberal Party have said, Canada has—or had—a national culture. My parentage was Austrian and German on one side, Scottish on the other. But when my forebears came to Canada, they knew that they had to speak English; or, in Quebec, Eastern Ontario and some maritime regions, French.
But today, many immigrants—whom we welcome as residents and encourage to become citizens—tend to congregate in cultural enclaves; some even try to re-create in Canada the very culture that they left behind in order to find a better life. The culture of Canada is (or was) a “high trust” culture, which is what made this country one of the most desirable places on earth to live.
But as enclaves of people try to re-create the culture and social norms they left behind, Canada is being changed—and not for the better.
Make no mistake, cultural imports such as food, music, art, and clothing enrich Canada. But cultural imports like misogyny, cultural or violent jihad, anti-Semitism, anti-Christianism, violence, bigotry and dishonesty do not.
I miss the Canada I grew up in. It wasn’t perfect, but it was headed in a much better direction than this one is today. We can do better. We must do better. Canada Day is meant to be a day of celebration for the freedom, the prosperity and the moral standards for which we were once known. With God’s help, we can return to the foundations, the principles and the heritage that make those things possible. Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord. Ps. 33:12
Other Commentary by Ron Gray:
- A Trillion in the Hole!
- Canada Day, 2020. . . I Miss My Country!
- Don’t Mix Religion and Politics? Why Not?
- A Leaders’ Debate Commissioner?
- Will the Trudeau Liberals Give Themselves a DPA?
- Religious and Philosophical Dialogue is Vital
- A Sensible Solution to Supply Management
- We’re Being Colonized—With Ottawa’s Help—Part 3
- We’re Being Colonized—With Ottawa’s Help—Part 2
- We’re Being Colonized—With Ottawa’s Help—Part 1
- Trudeau’s Gift: Unequal Rights
- They’re No Different Than Us