Recently, Earl Dreeshen, MP for Red Deer, sent around paper Maple Leaf flags for residents to post as part of his campaign to show Canadian pride and patriotism around Canada Day. I suggest some other signs of Canadian pride and patriotism we may also encourage the government of Canada to support.
• Medicare and the Canada Health Act, elements of Canadian pride in all public surveys and polls. May the government return to enforcing it.
• Quality and safety of our food and drugs. May the government no longer promote downgrading standards to those of the USA.
• International peacekeeping, another element of Canadian prestige. May the government no longer send our troops into colonial resource wars, subservient to foreign military commands, nor support arms bazaars like the CANSEC weapons sale event held in Ottawa at the end of May. Do we really want to be known abroad for killing civilians with shrapnel bombs and spent uranium weapons exported by Canadian corporations?
• Right to water. May the Government of Canada no longer shame us all by voting against human right to clean water at the UN.
• Child care. When will the government of Canada actually support child care with a real, stable, financially secure national program?
• Seniors’ programs. Living income pensions and public long term care would be good recognition of those who built a country to be patriotic about.
• Pharmacare. Can we expect this government to set up a prescription drug plan that is fair and equitable, costs less, is efficient and does not hand over research and distribution to private foreign corporations?
On Canada Day, we can all probably think of other things we would like to support as proud and patriotic Canadians — fair treatment of Canada’s First Nations, protecting the environment and enforcing laws about it, fair trade rather than so-called “free trade” which undermines government ability to act on behalf of citizens, ending homelessness.
Maybe our government of Canada members can go beyond US-style flag-in-your-window false patriotism campaigns.