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Saturday, July 02, 2005

A Canada Day Guest Editorial

One June 29, Sean Holman’s Public Eye Online website reported that Victoria federal Conservative director-at-large Eugene Parks had criticized fellow director Norm Fiss for circulating his sister's views on aboriginal property issues. Mr. Fiss's sister is Tanis Fiss, the director of Canadian Taxpayers Federation's Centre for Aboriginal Policy Change.

However having recently corresponded by email with Mr. Parks, he provided to me the following Canada Day editorial that happened to coincide with many of my views and feelings as well. So here is a Canada Day Guest Editorial by Eugene Parks, which is posted here with his permission:


As a conservative thinker, on Canada Day my thoughts turned to the righteousness of Trudeau's call for a "Just Society". When I was a child growing up in Canada, blacks were still called "niggers". If you knew a Jew you probably didn't know it. Metis were still hoping that their children would be white enough to blend in and have the same chance as any other Canadian. Women worried about destitution when their marriages broke down. That was the backdrop of Trudeau's cry for a "Just Society".

Canadians responded to Trudeau's call for a better society in a way unlike any other political campaign in Canadian history, and maybe world history. Racism, bigotry, and mean-spiritedness was called into the light and given a bruising. So powerful was the message, and the response, that a majority of Canadians forgave Trudeau all his many other sins; just because of the strength of his one truly righteous and lasting message.

At Canada Day celebrations people were wearing "No to racism and hate"buttons. My heart just said, yah. Trudeau, your message obviously made it into me. I was helping out at my company's booth at an event and two aboriginals came up, asked questions, shook my hand and said, "thanks brother". It moved me because there is no way that they could tell by looking at me that in my heart I was thinking, my great ancestor would beproud of us for seeing that we are brothers even though on the surface our common heritage is beyond simple recognition.

So strong was Trudeau's passion for a "Just Society" that it propelled him to become a truly global figure. Here at home support for Trudeau's message became support for establishing a made in Canada constitution. Profoundly, Trudeau's just society is the central theme of Canada Day celebrations and still the central rallying cry behind politics in Canada.

As a conservative thinker, my only regret is that our strong belief in a "Just Society" has been mixed up with the concept of over-bearing government. Government waste is the central economic driving force behind environmental damage. We work and consume environmental resources to pay for over-sized, self-important, government. Justice does not require big wasteful government. Alas, despite the sound of it: "economic socialism and justice" are not natural allies.

Today's society still has many social issues to resolve and Trudeau's call for a "Just Society" must not end. However, today's work must also include eliminating government waste and corruption. A society cannot be truly free and just if its government is corrupt and wasteful.

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