Saturday, July 2, 2011

A July 1st Canada Day Letter

One-hundred and forty four birthdays is nothing to be trifled about. After all in that time a nation was built. The nation’s history is not only the 144 years since confederation, but it is the history of the First Nations Peoples who were here for millennia before confederation. For a very large part of the 144 years since confederation the well being of the entire society was a priority. It is also my understanding of First Nations peoples that the well being of the entire society is a priority.

I am extremely proud to be a Canadian and I know I have a lot of company. In our history we have given the world medical and technical breakthroughs, amazing statesmen, the lives of our sons and daughters as we never shirked the call to fight the good fight and for much of our existence the visible record of trying to make our home the envy of the world. In that struggle to be the envy of the world Canadian workers and a progressive political inclination secured sound legislation that entrenched rights for all people that enhanced their work and personal life and empowered people. Further to that this same inclination said let’s be good member of the community of nations, but we must take the same collective will that built the nation and translate it into ensuring the collective well being.

In reflecting on Canada on the 144th birthday of confederation we abound with nature’s gifts, wonderful people and a pride in our identity that is as strong as any. What seems to be missing is the collective good as a priority. Legislatively we are subject to needless attacks on public sector workers and unions who have managed to bargain a piece of the wealth while those that are in the non-unionized workforce attack these same people instead of embracing their recipe for success and demanding their rights to unionize and bargain collectively. Somewhat contrary, in my opinion, to the foundations that Canada was forged by there seems this recent inclination to push for the rights of the few compared to securing and enhancing the rights and well being of the collective body of the country. No clearer example of this exists in electing Harper in Ottawa, Ford in Toronto and perhaps Hudak in Ontario. Each of these married to the failed policies that caused the most recent global economic meltdown and each is vociferous proponent of attacks on workers and the rights of workers.

If we all take a minute to think of our roots in the weeks after our July 1st celebration and in this light seek to abandon the free market mentality that seeks out survival of the fittest and destroys an inherent civility that has existed from our earliest days and instead look to support and empower each other then the time of collective well being should hopefully return and we once again will ourselves aim to tell the world that we are the envy of all who gaze upon us.

Dave Trumble
Grey-Bruce Labour Council