Talk is cheap. Canada is showing itself to be the exceptional North American country
Watching Canada's new Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, welcome a plane load of Syrian refugees likely brought tears to the eyes of many. It is wonderful to see a people in need for no fault of their own get a helping hand from a country that has the wherewithal to do so. It is however sad and demoralizing watching our smaller fellow North American neighbor display a more grown up attitude toward problems than we do.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's statement says it all. It said what we use to say but can no longer say as we have balled up into irrational fear of the others.
This is a wonderful night where we get to show, not just a plane load of new Canadians what Canada’s all about, we get to show the world how to open our hearts and welcome in people who are fleeing extraordinarily difficult situations. They step off the plane as refugees, but they walk out of this terminal as permanent residents of Canada. With social insurance numbers, with health cards and with the opportunity to become full Canadians. This is something we are able to do in this country because we define a Canadian not by his skin color or language or religion or background, but by a shared set of values, aspirations, hopes and dreams that, much like Canadians, people around the world share.
While we, Americans, fight to keep out some immigrants, while we ensure some immigrants are denied substandard health insurance, every refugee enters Canada with Canadian residency and guaranteed healthcare. That goodwill cannot be quantified. However it reaps intrinsic rewards.
It isn't that Canada does not have its problems. After-all, the decline in oil revenues is negatively affecting their economy. It is that they are willing to solve problems. When their politicians fail they vote them out. When their Right Wing politicians (who in our parlance are really moderate Democrats) attempted to be more American in their policies, they were summarily voted out en masse as happened with the election of Justin Trudeau this year. He has promised a liberalization to promote middle-class centric policies that are more equitable.
The way many feel about America today was encapsulated perfectly in this Newsroom snippet. One hopes we will grow out of our second childhood .