We Are All Canadian #ableg #abpoli #cdnpoli

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but not their own facts. ~ Daniel Patrick Moynihan

It would be nice to say this is just a weekly theme but it’s become increasingly important.  Quotes about lying politicians are centuries old but in the age of social media, those who require a public platform no longer require a personal connection within journalistic circles as tweets are given as much attention as their content requires.

Michelle Rempel, Conservative Party of Canada MP for Calgary-Nose Hill railed against a Canadian Press (CP) journalist for fact-checking her commentary without requesting her inputThe Sprawl, Calgary’s newest independent media source, posted an excellent editorial on what it means to be a journalist; and why politicians who lie do not deserve the opportunity to place politically-self-serving spin on factual evidence.  Journalists and news organizations with integrity do not need to give liars a platform on their pages.

As in Rome there is, apart from the Romans, a population of statues, so apart from the real world there is a world of illusion, almost more potent, in which most men live.  ~ Johann Wolfgang van Goethe

Jason Kenney really likes statues and homages which further the Conservative agenda.  It was he who envisioned the Memorial to Victims of Communism after seeing a small statue in a private park entitled “Crucified Again” that depicted a tortured man on a hammer and sickle.   And also he who has consistently defended the homage to Canadian politicians like John A. MacDonald.

@jkenney on Twitter

One would almost think a Conservative Christian like Kenney would empathize with children who suffered horrors of residential schools enough to condemn statues and homages to creators of Residential Schools; but alas, no.  Between his faux outrage over the updated school curriculum (which began under the former Progressive Conservative government and is being developed by teachers with input from professors, subject experts and even parents) intended to more accurately teach the history of Canada’s First Nations and his peculiar choice to ignore the injustices pursued by the first Prime Minister against First Nations people… it is difficult to square this circle.

Some believe residential schools were about the “Lord’s work”, or even politically-sanctioned social cohesion.  Even with such a lofty intention, we shouldn’t expect a statue to be erected of any of the 30 priests in Pennsylvania who may have done any good in their communities.

We should accept that even those who do some good do not deserve to be venerated in the eyes of those unto whom they did harm.

Aspire to decency. Practice civility toward one another. Admire and emulate ethical behavior wherever you find it.  Apply a rigid standard of morality to your lives; and if, periodically, you fail, as you surely will, adjust your lives, not the standards. ~ Ted Koppel

Those of us who were raised within a traditional conservative household will know the phrase “mind your P’s (peas) and Q’s(queues)“.  Peas is short for “peacoats” and queues, was apparently in reference to “ponytails”, but could also be reasonably be referring to “your place”.  Mind your appearance and your place as a guest.  Also, as I always understood it,: “mind your manners”.

Maxime Bernier, in his apparently official capacity as a Conservative backbencher in the Official Opposition, offered the following on Sunday afternoon: “I hereby officially declare the death of political correctness in Canada”.

Political correctness (n): conforming to a belief that language and practices which could offend political sensibilities (as in matters of sex or race) should be eliminated ~ Merriam Webster

End the practice that we should seek to use language which is not overtly offensive to others?  Because it’s much too difficult to have to self-regulate your ability to phrase things in a way which is not overtly offensive to others?  Please.

Understanding that not everyone has been employed in a customer service position, “political correctness” is also known as “common courtesy”, “civility” and “politeness”.  Try Bernier’s “death of political correctness” in the world in which the majority of us live and see how well that works for you.  Just because incessant political-incorrectness might get clicks or likes, doesn’t make it useful. “Mind your P’s and Q’s” as an “old-stock Canadian” of my bloodline would say.

Why?  Because it’s not actually difficult to not say things that are unduly insulting to others.  Because you have the capacity to determine whether what you’re about to post on social media is “appropriate”.  It’s “compassionate”; it’s the ability to think about what it would feel like if you were the legitimate target of your vitriol.  Chances are, you wouldn’t want to be your target.

Have some compassion, have some civility; we are all Canadians.

This article contains a whole lot of facts and someone’s opinion; maybe mine, maybe someone else’s.  If it speaks to you share it to spread the word.

Deirdre Mitchell-MacLean
Content Director/Writer


Alberta government posts proposed curriculum changes online