That Was Then, Has Now Changed

Well after my Sunday rant it is time to move on with something more progressive.  “Progressive”, something that seems to be fading in the new Canadian political culture.  Time to move on and see if Canada is still open for business.

Of late I have been paying close attention to the whole niqab issue which is actually a non-issue that the current government has done everything in their power to make an issue.  Like the article in the Globe and Mail, I fail to see how this really impacts Canada.  It does however rings bells from my past that to me are very frightening.

To compare my wheelchair to a niqab is a little stretch but it makes my point.  This is the politics of fear.  Having grown up during the height of the cold war I know the politics of fear very well.  It was used effectively then and is popping its ugly head up again.

During that same time period it was considered “humane” to sterilize persons with disabilities.  The government of the day was doing me a favour while helping me become a better member of the “Canadian family”.  In 1928, the Canadian province of Alberta passed legislation giving them the ability to sexually sterilize disabled individuals.  Prior to its repeal in 1972, more than 2,800 people were sterilized in the province of Alberta with women extremely overrepresented.

The politics of fear
The politics of fear

However it could only be accomplished because of a piece of paper majestically referred to as “legislation”.  A piece of legislation that used fear as the motivator and that fear was build on the premise that the disabled would only mess up the gene pool.  When you start using the “gene pool” as your argument you are moving into the territory of tyranny not good governance for all.  When you have legislation that takes away the rights of any individual because of their life rather than the process of breaking the law it becomes tyranny.  My parents or doctor couldn’t decide to sterilize me, it had to be the Alberta Eugenics Board that made that decision.  So when I got home from school in September of 1966 and found the letter in the mail from the Alberta Eugenics Board I knew right away what it was about and to me there was an act of tyranny being aimed at me.  Based on Mr. Jefferson quote it would appear to be an act of tyranny which is exactly what the niqab issue represents.  We allowing this non-issue to slip into a form of tyranny in Canada.Continue reading “That Was Then, Has Now Changed”

And that’s the way it is…

I have sat down (kind of redundant statement considering I’m wheelchair dependent) numerous times in the past couple of weeks to put some thoughts to paper but to no avail.  Traditionally when I’m writing I have CBC News World on in the background, a practice I have now stopped.  It was becoming to difficult to stay focused on writing with all of the  political commentary and spin going on in the background.

Some of the crap I hear coming out of Stephen Harper’s mouth is beyond amazing and it is very obvious that he lives in the great nation of Denial.  Unfortunately I can’t afford to live there so I maintain my place in reality.  To that end I have created my own hashtag #CanadiansAreNotIdiots so please feel free to use it.  For today I want to focus on a couple of different but related issues, a national seniors plan and affordable housing.

I have mentioned numerous times that I am part of a generation that represents the largest social experiment in our countries history and it wasn’t planned.   As a baby-boomer I am one of thousands who survived the polio epidemics of the early 50’s and went on to be integrated into mainstream society, sort of.  I say “sort of” because many of us went on with our life’s while the more severely affected lived out their remaining years in institutions.Continue reading “And that’s the way it is…”