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I want my Canada back

The Telegram by Carolyn Emerson 17 October 2015

I am a white, Canadian-born, 68-year-old middle-class woman. It seems I am the ideal focus for the three major parties in this federal election. But I don’t want you making promises that would benefit me at the expense of others.

I want to hear what you will do for First Nations children, women and unemployed youth. I will judge you on how you express generosity to others here and in the world, including those in grave danger who want to provide for their families, perhaps in Canada.

I want you to tell me how you will support young Canadians to have opportunities for education, training and employment. But equally as important for their futures, I want you to demonstrate how you recognize the effects of climate change, our collective and individual responsibilities, and how you will support transformation of our energy resources to protect the planet.

I want you to stop trying to make me fear and hate “the other,” especially because they are neighbours. I want you to stop suppressing information and viewpoints that could help us understand current realities and offer solutions for our future. I want to live in a country that aids those who are damaged by the effects of war (including our veterans), mental illness and a lack of rehabilitation services.

I am your ideal voter, having cast my ballot in every election during my adult life. But as others have said more precisely, I am a citizen, not just a taxpayer; I live in a society, not an economy. I want my much admired Canada back. And to those who will be elected to serve as MPs and to form government and opposition, you are there to serve all of us, not just the wedge of voters whom you courted. It is our House of Commons in which you will have the privilege and responsibility to serve.

Carolyn J. Emerson
St. John’s