ST. JOHN’S, NEWFOUNDLAND – Spent the day with various groups of students from Memorial University discussing international development. It’s part of a cross-Canada tour that began in Montreal last week. Again today, students expressed their frustration and anger at the recent government cuts to CIDA. But it was more. There was the pulling out of African countries. The government’s loss of its commitment to the poorest of the poor. Canada’s loss of face in a world that once respected our stands. These students are sharp and follow these developments just as keenly as any policy analyst in Ottawa. I was delighted to see they are coming together in way I haven’t witnessed before. Groups are now meeting together to determine how to make Canada stand tall again. In that light, a new Facebook group has been established. Called “I Want My Canada Back,” it’s a call to action, a gathering, if you will, of all those who say enough is enough. Read the Facebook group’s prologue below and you’ll get the gist. Join up at I Want My Canada Back
We’ve traveled the world and seen the vacuum where the great country of Canada used to be. We want the image we once had on the world stage back.
We want the kind of Canada that would allow a person who had a bit of a lisp to go out and fight for peace around the world, win a Nobel Peace Prize in the process, and return to this country and be elected Prime Minister. We want the Canada back that treats such leaders with respect.
We want the kind of Canada that visualizes students as our ambassadors around the world, sending them into all countries to energize it with Canadian compassion and ingenuity.
We want the kind of Canada back that has the word “equality” placed at the centre of the charter on the Status of Women, both here and around the globe.
We want the kind of Canada that says “no” to imprisoning fourteen-year-old Canadian citizens for life in other nations. We will fight to get that Canada, and its citizens, back.
We want the kind of Canada that in front of the entire world will bring aboriginal Canadians to their full and equal status in the mainstream of Canadian life. We will fight with them to provide that space.
We desire the kind of Canada that fights for the rights of all unjustly treated in this world, including at home. We want that Canada back.
We want the kind of Canada that treats both the Kyoto and Copenhagen accords seriously, realizing the importance of climate change to the world’s poor, the natural order, and to our sustainable economies. Enough with going it alone. We want Canada to fill its historic place of working through world bodies to make this world a safer, more prosperous, and ultimately a more sustainable place. We want that Canada back.
We want the kind of Canada we used to have, before we gave ourselves over to the politics of division, pitting one group or one region against another. We’ve had enough of that. We commit ourselves to fighting for the public space that calls us together to tackle national complexities.
We acknowledge clearly and for the world to see that we are members of one of this planet’s most successful social triumphs – and it’s called “Canada.” We will continue to learn of this great place until our dying breath. For the sake of our families, our citizens and our world, we will continue to pursue the kind of Canada that has brought out the best in us. We want our Canada back so that we can leave a proper legacy of peace, environmental stewardship, human rights and prosperity to the world
We want our Canada back. The world wants our Canada back. We will achieve that end with everything that’s great and noble in each of us and all of us collectively.
We want our Canada back.