It’s really quite traditional for me to post something about the wonderful country I live in on Canada day, but with the limited computer stuff I’ve got going on since the unfortunate demise of my laptop (we have a plan. All will be well) I’ve sort of got limited ability to make a post work today. I’d like to invite you then to re-read (or read for the first time, if you’re new here) the posts from the last seven years. (Wow. I’ve been blogging a long time.)
For this year, since Canada’s Birthday coincides with Pride week here in Toronto (and because if I play my cards right, I can get the "if you love your country you hate mine" people and the "I’m not reading you anymore because you think that gay people should have the same rights as I do" people to all leave comments at once and get it done.) I leave you with something that makes me very proud to be Canadian. It’s a quote from then Prime Minister Paul Martin’s speech in 2005 about the Same-Sex marriage bill. If you have time, do read it all. It’s a remarkable argument for freedom, human rights and the way Canadians do things.
I urge those who would oppose the bill to consider that the core of the issue before us today is whether the rights of all Canadians are to be respected. I believe they must be: justice demands it, fairness demands it and the Canada we love demands it…
There are times when we as parliamentarians can feel the gaze of history upon us. They felt in the days of Pearson and they felt in the days of Trudeau. We, the 308 men and women elected to represent one of the most inclusive, just and respectful countries on the face of this earth, feel it today.
There are few nations whose citizens cannot look to Canada and see their own reflection. For generations, men, women and families from the four corners of the globe have made the decision to choose Canada as their home. Many have come here seeking freedom of thought, religion and belief, seeking the freedom simply to be.
The people of Canada have worked hard to build a country that opens its doors to include all, regardless of their differences; a country that respects all, regardless of their differences; and a country that demands equality for all, regardless of their differences.
If we do not step forward, then we will step back. If we do not protect a right, then we deny it. Together as a nation, together as Canadians, let us step forward.