Coming home

A weekly column from Mel Wilde.

The best part of every one of our journeys is coming home. We are blessed to live in a country in which folks are free to live and work in peace. A place that has institutions we can rely on and not be afraid of. The kind of country in which the dignity and friendship of your neighbors becomes something to be relied on and cherished.

I almost always subconsciously compare life in the many countries we visit with our lives here in Canada.  On my scorecard Canada is the best place to call “home.”

Sometimes I have to stretch to keep things in honest perspective, but so far, I have been able to manage that.  We did leave behind thirty degree Celsius sunshine and fantastic beaches to return to bloody cold weather.  On the positive side of that challenge is that we never have to listen to David Suzuki and Elizabeth May spout super greenie stuff when it’s this cold.

Sure, I know we will get our fill of their propaganda of fear when the weather starts to warm up, but in the mean time, their silence is enjoyable.  We live in a viable, healthy democracy and that means we must suffer fools from time to time.  Better that, than the frightful lives of people in North Africa and the Middle East.

Talk about fools, I read about the Edmonton MP, New Democrat Linda Duncan, who wants the oil sands shut down because two hundred birds died in a freak ice storm and fell into the tar ponds.  She finds their death reprehensible and it is sad.  But, putting thousands out of work because two hundred birds died is a bit much.

A great national writer and pundit Ezra Levant correctly spoofed her for forgetting the number of birds that are killed so we can enjoy buffalo wings at our pubs.

Talking again about foolish stuff, Duncan’s fearless leader Jack Layton wants to ban oil tankers on our coast permanently.  He evokes the story of the Exon Valdez oil spill.

In that case a ship’s captain was drunk and ran the ship onto the rocks in Alaska.

The spill was a bad one and it took a lot of money, effort and battles to clean up the disaster.  I have visited the site a number of times in the last few years and I know that it’s back to being a beautiful place with wild life and spectacular scenery for all to enjoy.

As well as the return of beauty to that environment, tanker technology has improved a great deal with double hull systems and navigation tools, which will further protect the environment.

Bad things do happen and mankind has always risen to the challenge to pick up, clean up and move forward. Stopping life and prosperity by putting our economy and welfare at risk in fearful reaction has never made much sense.  I guess there will always be some who believe these fear mongers, but as long as most Canadians use common sense we should do well.

Another nasty event that took place while we were away was the incident at the National Archive in Ottawa.  The National Archives was set to show the film “Iranium,” which is a documentary critical of Iran’s nuclear game plan.

The Archives received complaints about their intent to show the film particularly from the Iranian Embassy.  Based on those complaints the Archives staff decided to pull the film.

When our Heritage Minister James Moore was informed he ordered the film re-instated. This is after  all Canada and we have the right and responsibility to do what we want rather than what Iran wants.

In the end the film was not shown because someone (guess who) phoned in a bomb scare.  From my perspective it appears the Iranian Government doesn’t like democracy anywhere in this world.

In spite of having to suffer fools and differences of opinion, we live in a country that stands out as a beacon of tolerance and decency.  That’s why I am always so proud to introduce myself as a Canadian everywhere I go in this world.

Most people in this world envy our nation and they share that view with those of us who call this land home.

It’s feels so very good to be back.

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