…if you catch my drift.
The day after tomorrow is Election Day. You know what you have to do.
Get down to your polling station, if you haven’t already voted. Bring your ID. Enter that polling booth.
Say no to cuts to the public service. Say no to undermining collective bargaining. Say no to weakening health and safety protections in Canadian workplaces. Say no to anti-labour legislation. Say no to deepening corruption. Say no to bigotry. Say no to second-class citizenship. Say no to targeting our veterans. Say no to spying on advocates for First Nations children, or in fact on any activists of any kind in Canada. Say no to muzzling our scientists and even our songwriters. Say no to the persecution of progressive charities by the Canada Revenue Agency. Say no to trashing libraries. Say no to secret treaties that will cost Canadians jobs and money. Say no to incompetent economic management.
Say no to nearly ten years of this stuff. Say no to four more years of it.
But say yes, too, with that same “X.”
Yes to a safe environment, where our waterways are once again protected by law, pollution standards are set and rigorously enforced, and environmental watchdogs are not spied on, slandered and harassed. Yes to workers’ rights and respect for the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Yes to a national childcare program. Yes to improved, quality public services, which benefit all Canadians, and make our economy strong. Yes to a Canada where our veterans are well-respected and cared for. Yes to a genuine partnership with indigenous peoples, an end to trauma, poverty and neglect. Yes to a Canada free of officially-sanctioned racism. Yes to a decent refugee policy that provides a home for desperate men, women and children fleeing war: immigrants and refugees helped to build this country, and will continue to do so. Yes to democracy: proportional representation, a Parliament held in respect, not contempt, and laws that encourage rather than suppress the vote.
We are blessed to live in a country so rich in resources and potential. But we are falling behind: there’s rising inequality, less innovative research, less democracy. The young generation is worse off than their parents were. Secure, well-paying jobs are being replaced by precarious jobs with no security or benefits.
What kind of a future for us and our kids is that?
The good news is that we have the power to do something about it—to turn things around. That’s a long-term project, for sure; it will take some time to repair the damage, and to move forward to the Canada of our dreams, the Canada we are leaving for our children, and for theirs. But, as the saying goes, every journey begins with a single step. Let’s take that step on Monday.