This will sound a bit silly, but I won’t apologize for it. Very early on the morning of the federal election, I saw a wonderful sight out my window. It some how convinced me that Canada was about to become a slightly kinder and gentler place.
I live in an older apartment building on a fairly busy street in Winnipeg. When I gazed out into the darkness on October 19th, there were four of the most beautiful deer I have ever seen grazing on the boulevard. Some cars slowed down to look at them, but none of the creatures darted into traffic where something terrible could well have happened. The scene was amazingly calm and peaceful.
The same day, many hours later, we heard from our surprising new prime minister, Justin Trudeau. After a bruising 78 day campaign, this eldest son of a former PM, took a moment to suggest a better future for politics in Canada, a future that is maybe not quite so ‘adversarial’.
(Audio: “Conservatives are not our enemies, they’re our neighbours” )
It occurred to me that he might just as easily have been talking about women who cover their faces, or desperate people fleeing to Canada from conflict zones, looking for a better life. Throughout our history, Canada has been a good neighbour to the world. How wonderful it would be to move back in that direction.
Stephen Harper did his very best during his ten years as prime minister, but the words that all too often seemed to describe him and those around him was ‘mean-spirited’.
The cynical journalist in me can’t help but wonder how long it will be before many Canadians come to despise Justin Trudeau. It goes with the territory I’m afraid. Thousands of westerners already despise him because they never forgave his Dad for things like the National Energy Program.
Here’s hoping Justin enjoys those selfies at the bus stop, and the ‘honeymoon’ which will undoubtedly not last very long at all.
I’m Roger Currie