* I’ll preface this by saying I have zero affiliation with political blue, orange, red or green. I hate politics. I’m just looking for answers to a confusing question.
Federal Conservative leadership hopeful Kellie Leitch has asked that would-be refugees that come to this country be screened for anti-Canadian values.
This got me asking, ‘What are Canadian values?’ I’ve never seen a book in a library listing Canadian values, and I’m sure it’s not a subject taught in schools. So please explain to me Canadian values.
*I doubt swastika tattoos or affiliations with white nationalist or Klu Klux Klan groups are approved Canadian values. However, I think it’s safe to assume Leitch’s lone Canadian value centres around the colour of a person’s skin – with white being the desired colour.
But for argument’s sake, here are a few thoughts on Canadian values:
*Canada has two official languages – English and French. I would guess that 70 per cent of Canadians are not bilingual. And perhaps that percentage is higher. I don’t know. Does this mean unilingual Canadians are not practising Canadian values?
French is the predominant language spoken in Quebec, a province that has on a couple of occasions asked its residents to vote on whether they wanted to remain a Canadian province or separate and become an independent state. This, of course, has resulted in severe animosity toward Quebecers and French-speaking folk.
It’s evident there’s a heavy eastern slant when it comes to media coverage in Canada. Always has been. Perhaps this is why many people in western provinces despise those in the east. Perhaps it’s a jealousy, or maybe it’s an over-inflated feeling of self-importance. Who knows? But there’s definitely a feud between east and west, which has created a divide in our country. Is this a Canadian value?
*The premier of Saskatchewan has routinely engaged in a war of words with premiers from Alberta, B.C., and Quebec, in addition to his obvious dislike for the prime minister. Is the Saskatchewan premier practising Canadian values when he uses a disrespectful tone with colleagues?
*Canada has two official national sports – hockey and lacrosse. Hockey is king in Canada and likely always will be. Lacrosse is an exciting sport and is growing in popularity. As much as Canadians love their hockey and lacrosse, it’s fair to say that these two sports mean very little to millions of Canadians. In fact, sports in general do not register in millions of households from coast to coast. Are these people failing to practise Canadian values?
Personal note: I played hockey for several years but quit the sport in grade school because of the politics, increasing violence and to distance myself from some of the awful people you’ll see and hear at rinks. Does this mean I’m not adhering to Canadian values?
*A majority of Canadians celebrate Christmas and refer to the holiday by that name. But Christmas is not specific to Canada and is celebrated in several countries around the world. Does ignoring Christmas mean you’re ignoring a Canadian value?
*This may be a stretch, but Tim Horton’s is a hugely popular fad in Canada. For those who don’t drink coffee (myself included), or for those who prefer Starbucks or McDonald’s coffee, are these folks expressing anti-Canadian values?
Here’s what I do know:
*Saskatchewan is the murder capital of Canada; owns the highest rate of DUI deaths in Canada; leads the country in domestic violence crimes; has the most smokers and gamblers per capita in the country. Are these Canadian values?
*The current Saskatchewan government somehow has piled up a debt in excess of $1 billion. The average Canadian is $24,000 in debt (not including a mortgage). Do Canadian values include greed and mismanagement of money?
*There has been an extreme racial divide in Canada for decades. Remember residential schooling? Canada was a racist country before refugees arrived and remains a racist country. Is racism a Canadian value?
Canada is a flawed country and was and still is dealing with its fair share of problems, problems that existed before it opened its borders to refugees. Sure, this country is better than most, but it’s far from perfect. In fact, we’re falling more in line with our dysfunctional America friends every day.
Are we blaming refugees for our problems?
Is passing the buck another Canadian value?