I have to say that I am feeling decidedly "bah-humbug" about Canada Day this year. Maybe it's because it's a "long weekend" and people started posting about it on Wednesday. ON Wednesday I was following the situation in Elliot Lake and couldn't give a God damn about Canada Day. It's a DAY people, one often used as an excuse to get ridiculously drunk in public. Whoo hooo. Cue the nationalism.
I love Canada too, but this year I can't help think about how much it's changed in the last year. Harper got his majority, and Canada has changed. And if we are not vigilant it will change forever. The idea behind death by 1000 cuts is that they are so small and painless you don't even know you're dying. That's what happened over the course of 6 years of minority government, and now with a majority, the blows are coming faster and harder. Changes in the budget bill affect a huge swath of law and policy, non of which was properly debated, non of which the government ran on and certainly by making these changes in an omnibus bill, they hoodwinked the vast majority of Canadians who barely looked up from Facebook and Twitter to notice.
Happy Canada Day indeed. Enjoy poverty in your old age. The government had a unique opportunity to make the Canada Pension Plan bigger and better. Something all the provinces were clamouring for. What did we get? Some bullshit half baked contribution program. Canadians are already no contributing. I would pick putting additional resources in CPP over any other option every day of the week. It's one of the best run pension funds in the world, and as a government program it is envied and copied around the world. But let's not do that, and you know what else, while you're down here's a kick in the groin - you won't get any benefits until you're 67. A change that fiscally was not required. We did it cause we hate old people and our pensions are golden tickets. So fuck you.
Wake up Canada. Pull your head out of your ass.
The Canada we KNEW and LOVED is dying. And only an engaged population can fix it and get us back to where we need to be. Canada used to be the envy of the world. We might not have had the sexiest of reputations internationally but we had respect. That has been squandered.
I'm not advocating one party over another, I'm advocating getting involved. And I don't mean help a party or candidate. Be informed! Know what your rights are and what they aren't. Know how a change as monumental as retirement affects you and your family. And be ready to say no, you won't put up with it. Want to celebrate Canada Day today? Read a newspaper, follow journalists and news outlets on Twitter. Get INFORMED.
Oh Canada, we stand on guard for thee. Sometimes that means we have to stand on guard against ourselves. If we don't we won't notice the 1000th cut until it's too late.