This letter is written out of a sense of shame and embarrassment over the current state of Canada.
I am ashamed that many environmental laws have been slashed, that huge omnibus bills have included undebated legislation, that scientists and technicians have been silenced and many fired (over 800 at Environment Canada alone), that the living wage in Canada is so low that last November our local Salvation Army Food Bank had 2,200 visits.
I am embarrassed by our poor international reputation and at the level of child poverty in our country. I am ashamed by the reluctance to fully engage our First Nations. The list goes on….
Our government seems to believe that I am primarily a taxpayer who wants “more money in my pocket.”
Fiscal responsibility and jobs are important, but I am more than a taxpayer – I am a citizen and that means caring about the world around me. If our collective moral compass is primarily pointing at the money each of us can keep, I fear for our future.
The emphasis on individual profit over wider social responsibility has isolated generations and caused serious problems. We need a vision where citizens are concerned for a broader world, where elders are supported and a younger generation freed from a crippling $15 billion student debt, where a healthy environment is protected and loved, where we think more about compassion than about building bigger jails, where we listen more closely to our First Nations and where refugees are warmly welcomed.
We have tremendous freedoms and a high level of collective wealth.
As citizens we can work together to make for a more compassionate society. That includes spending tax dollars, remaining informed, and maintaining a deep sense of caring for others. We need to choose leaders that will embody and fight for these principles. And that, in a nutshell, is what this election is about.