Larry, Larry, Larry, what have you done?
You certainly haven’t done Canada’s reputation as a peace-loving, tolerant and inclusive country any favours; that’s if it ever really had such a reputation, except in the mind and imagination of Liberal leader Justin Trudeau and his ilk.
I confess I, for example, have indulged myself right here in this space often enough in such possibly wishful thinking. I’ve said Canada is still a work in progress, but it works: it has become in just the past 50 years or so perhaps this troubled world’s best example of a country where people of every different racial, religious, and cultural background can live together in peace.
And, like Trudeau said just last week in a speech in Toronto, that’s important for the world, as well as Canada. It proves there’s hope at this critical time in world history when the extremes of religious, cultural and racial intolerance are threatening to tear the world apart as never before.
I read the transcript of Trudeau’s speech about how he believes the tolerant, inclusive nature of Canadian society and its democracy has become an integral part of our identity as a country. And that’s despite terrible mistakes that were made when the country was far less tolerant and inclusive, when people of certain races and cultures were treated badly by the dominant white culture.
But as I read a nagging worry kept coming to mind: maybe it’s an illusion, maybe Canada isn’t anywhere near as tolerant even now as some of us would like to think. Maybe an undercurrent of racial and cultural intolerance that has long run through “traditional” Canadian society culture persists.
Then Tuesday just after noon, a little later than usual, I Googled my daily check of news headlines.
I was certainly surprised, to say the least, to see Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MP Larry Miller’s name right at the top, in the space normally reserved for the biggest, national or international breaking news of the day.
It just took a moment to find out what it was about: all the coverage from the various news media sources from across the country understandably focused on the most inflammatory and controversial of Miller’s comments on last Monday morning’s CFOS phone-in show. Continue reading