Guest Blogger - Welcome to Canada?

I was sent this from a friend who was disturbed by the words used and sentiments conveyed by the Government of Canada that serve to perpetuate our tendency to ‘other.’    This tendency to be unable/unwilling to view the world through the lens of another happens with all groups of people so it is incumbent upon leadership in all societies, those with the power to make a difference,  to have courage and move away from the prejudice and the marginalization that we so easily embrace to ‘protect’ ourselves.  To Kill a Mockingbird is #13 on the Martel inspired Prime Minister’s reading list.  Perhaps a few minutes a day could be set aside during question period for some quiet reading so that our leadership might reflect upon that which is already known.


Welcome to Canada?  By Margaret Opazo-Baer


I read with dismay your editorial (Friday, November 13, The Ottawa Citizen) praising the Conservatives’ new Citizenship Guide. In particular, you lauded the reference to a multiculturalism that rejects “barbaric cultural practices such as honour killing” and other forms of violence against women. Such a statement implies that immigrants are in some special way responsible for such violence.


Statistics consistently and clearly show that there is no difference in the rates of family violence between people born in Canada and immigrants, or between rich and poor.


Health - Creating a Concept

Somewhere on this website I must have mentioned that I am in the business of health – or that I ‘care’ both in an active and passive sense.  I ‘care’ that people have equitable and equal access to health care, I ‘care’ that people consider what health means to them and I ‘care’ that they are motivated to lobby for and demand of their society that which is necessary to live full lives.  I am also compelled to care.  To give care.  It is not just my job, it is my privilege.  Yet deciding what ‘health’ means is a difficult task.    In keeping with the philosophy of this website, I don’t actually have to decide.  I choose to create it.  Health is not a science which when performed right can be achieved but rather a way of going through the world – of learning, of becoming and always becoming something new.


We don't always know the other side...

The Journeythe other side of the bridge

Pornography of the Virtual

Last evening my daughter asked me a question taken from the book she had on her lap.  “Is it the road that chooses us or do we choose the road?”  I answered that I suppose it is neither…or both.  But in the end a road cannot really choose.  We are responsible for our public highways.  

Uhmmm…. So what am I ‘doing’  or ‘thinking’ now...

I, like so many others, have been lured by the excitement, the immediacy, the ‘comfort’ that comes with email, text messaging and social networking. I have meaning because someone is there to confirm at any moment that I am and I do. And I am part of a community.  I might get a brief comment, a thumbs up for my thoughts or simply be ignored; acknowledgements easily made in front of a screen, with no real commitment, little thought and no active engagement.   It is, I suppose, a social network but without giving of ourselves, can we really claim to be social beings?  Or are we becoming virtual, a generation of ‘almosts.’


Education – Not Just Books

This week I have been helping out Cheryl’s Children’s Home with a proposal to build a high school. This high school will be their home, so delivering formal education for these kids is something different.  Based on the notion that education is not just what we get at school but all that is offered to us and modeled for us, this high school is to be set in a village atmosphere. For the orphaned and abandoned of Nairobi to grow up knowing that they are part of something that is good, something vibrant and a place where they can have hope, they need a family and a community.  It is hoped that Cheryl's Village will be that.

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