Wednesday, May 16, 2012

An open letter to Jason Kenney and Stephen Harper

So here's an editorial piece on the issue that has spawned this rather spontaneous episode of blog-dusting-off:

Picard is pretty on the money with his thoughts on the issue, but I'm not really writing about his article, but about the issue in general. Let's say I've been inspired by his piece, although I haven't finished reading it yet...

And so, without further ado, my open letter to Kenney and Harper.


Dear Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney and Prime Minister Stephen Harper:

Thanks for continuing to do your damnedest to turn Canada into a xenophobic, heartless, douchebag-ic wasteland. I first heard about this on The Current the other day, and it's truly depressing that this crap is continuing to happen.

The quote that I heard Kenney spew out of his face-hole when asked why these things were necessary was that the government had been hearing from lots of Canadians that they were tired of paying for healthcare for refugees that they don't receive themselves.

Apart from the fact that you could almost hear the air quotes he was putting around the word "refugees" when he said it, I'd like to meet or hear from those Canadians myself - those who know little enough about refugees to assume that most of them are actually wealthy/wealthy-ish immigrants who are cleverly pretending to be poor/mistreated/abused/at-risk in order to move into our country and occupy a precious place at the very bottom of the socio-economic ladder, but know enough about the refugee system to know what kind of healthcare they were getting.

I'd also like to have a chat with them about a medical appointment my son had today. They "paid for it" but they didn't receive it, because presumably they didn't need a neo-natal ultrasound this morning. Should they therefore call the government to complain? Maybe I'm just gaming the system and shouldn't take so much advantage of their generosity.

Everything about this is contrary to just about everything I like most about Canada, and like so many more of the actions taken by this stupid, fear-mongering government, it's taking those things and telling the world that Canada's not like that at all after all - that we're just as closed-minded, stingy, selfish, suspicious and xenophobic as the worst of our American policy-making neighbours.

You got voted in by a little more than a third of Canadian voters (who turned up, that is - which was only 61.4 per cent of those who could have possibly voted) - stop bandying around like you have this supreme mandate from the masses, or that you could possibly know what "most Canadians" think.

In fact, even if you started using the word "most" when you touted your drivel about what "Canadians" want, it'd be an improvement, regardless of how grotesque a twisting of the facts it would be, which gives you an idea of how misguided your current practices really are. Just stop pretending that there are people banging down your doors begging you to advance their hateful and malevolent agendas toward foreigners.

Stop pretending that it's some average Canadian who wouldn't blink an eye before denying an epileptic teenager from Iran, Mali or El Salvador access to therapeutic and preventative medication "unless they could pay for it".

Stop pretending that you've had letters and phone calls from Canadians who found it really unbearable that an unidentifiably miniscule portion of their federal taxes went to giving an elderly Ghanaian man a pair of prescription eyeglasses or checking a Sri Lankan toddler for TB.

Just stop.


A Canadian.