By Ryan Dahlman
Remember last year and many didn’t want to celebrate Canada Day? There was a lot of anger towards the federal government for the horrible atrocities with the residential schools, the pandemic and the overall anger created by that and just the poor mental, fiscal and political shape not only Alberta was in but the whole country. In 2021, we hoped we would get a reprieve from all the suffering in the many capacities.
Fast forward to 2022 and while some aspects of pre-2019 status quo have returned, if anything, the resentment has increased.
Who could’ve predicted the uprising and then the subsequent and initial widespread attention the convoys and various blockades received? While those who organized may call it a success, was it really a success? Hard to know as everyone has a different definition of success. If success is determined by causing people to stop and think, then yes, all of that was a success.
People are looking at politics more critically, more are informed and with the explosion of social media, there are far more readily available opinions out there that can aid in either making more informed decisions or reinforcing what already believes in. With $2-a-litre fuel and no one being able to travel unless they already have their passport you are certainly not getting anything renewed right now, people are stewing at home.
However, the convoys have made the west look like we are all out of control and wild, mindless, rude and lawbreaking fanatics. Got the Eastern media’s attention sure, but not in a good way. No policies were changed, petroleum prices as well as food prices have gone through the roof, and other than those with six figure incomes, the rest of us are struggling financially which is causing strain mentally. Besides flexing and bullying, social media has become the new place for mental therapy thanks to our current status quo.
Certainly not suggesting that Canadians walk around like mindless zombies and just accept what we are told from the feds. Vigorous demonstrations are a key part of the foundation of what a democracy is about.
However the balance keeps tipping back and forth between cancel culture and extreme right wing and loutish behaviour.
Nothing will take away the history of the oppression and cruelty the Indigenous community suffered in the creation of Canada’s history and continues to although vehement critics of this will point to all of the financial settlements being paid out.
While there are some definite efforts, the racism, sexism, bigotry, homophobia and various other bullying and oppressive ways still continue.
While some may question their tactics and their behaviour in the Nation’s Capital, there is a lot to be desired by the federal government’s plan of attack regarding the energy section, the seemingly pushing of the electric (is it really truly environmentally better than petroleum)?
There are some who say the government knows no bounds when it comes to pushing an agenda. Less greenhouse gas — raise traditional fuel prices to the point where farmers are going to be driving 9-volt tractors. Enforce strict gun laws, how about making it difficult to get ammunition and gun powder for guns, while eliminating many types of guns. How about decimating beef by having one of its most important organizations Health Canada suggest they put warning labels on ground beef and ground pork like they would on cigarette packages that it has saturated fats and therefore not healthy. While being bogusly laughable in its oversightness of processed food etc, it’s not very smart considering agriculture and feeding the country and the world is profitable.
What is needed to fix the country’s political problems is a mindset change: I.e for both the Liberals and the Conservatives a change of mindset. Instead of doing what is best for themselves, do what’s best for the country. Conservatives should be fighting over what is right instead of who is right. The lIberals just have to get over party arrogance and look past Thunder Bay and the border separating Ottawa/Hull and fight for the country instead for vote and their Lord of the Rings’ level of maintain in their Precious power.
The small c conservatives are in absolute disarray federally and provincially in Alberta. There’s fighting within ranks. As long as you have ultra right motives: separation of a province from Canada and be independent or part of the United States, less government but independent law enforcement and the in-fighting as various levels of fiscal and social conservatism can’t get on the same page. The Conservatives and the multitude of different pop-up parties with a multitude of varying levels of right wing ideologies will keep the liberals in power indefinitely.
While the events for Canada Day may increase, there is growing resentment out there towards Canada as whole.
Because the constitution is set up in such a way that leaving would take so long and be such an arduous expensive process, the chances of Alberta or the West separating are minimal at best.
So, what to do if you think everything is designed to decimate the west or Alberta?
Well, convince Ontario voters that the Liberals are destroying the country as a whole. What does that take? It takes less extremism, a show of solidarity that Ontario and Quebec is in it together with the Maritimes, the North and yes the Prairies and B.C. That means some egos need to be in check and more cooperation within the Conservative party of Canada is needed. The NDP are the Liberals in orange. The Green are green and make the UCP look harmonious.
Yes, things could be worse but oh Canada they could be so much better. Let’s hope that in 2023, the Maple Leaf is no longer tattered.