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Megan-Myles-FeatDear Editor,

Over the past nine months, I've been living outside of Canada. There is something about being abroad that brings you to reflect on what it means to be Canadian. In meeting and talking to people from around the world, naturally we discuss similarities and differences between our home countries. While I'm grateful for my Canadian citizenship and the freedoms it entails, my national pride dwindles as I think about the "achievements" of the Harper government over the past nine years.

The economy isn't stronger – while inheriting a surplus, the Conservatives have run seven consecutive deficits. Meanwhile they have cut funding (thus jobs) to important government agencies, such as Parks Canada. Thanks to changes to the Navigable Waters Act in 2012, now 98 percent of Canada's waterways are unprotected. The Anti-Terrorism Act not only cracks down on terrorism, but it also violates Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms. As the first country (of 192 signees) to remove itself from the Kyoto Protocol and the only UN member to reject Indigenous Rights Declaration, Mr. Harper has tarnished Canada's international reputation.While promising asylum to 20,000 refugees, it has only deliver on this promise to 2,300. Because of these decisions and more, the Canadian flag stitched on my backpack is losing its credibility.

Even more unsettling...

niqab-regThe Postmedia Network's Opinion as published in The Sun Times on September 28th is that women who wear niqabs should be required to show their faces when taking the oath of citizenship in Canada.  This opinion is largely based on polls showing that a majority of Canadians support this requirement.  I am sure that at one time there were polls opposing same-sex marriage.  Thank God that the Supreme Court does not base its rulings on polls.  The second leg their opinion stands on is that "it is not in our tradition".  When there is no logical argument against something people say things like, "We are going to do it this way because that's the way we've always done it.  It's a tradition."  The Postmedia Network Opinion has no reasonable basis in MY opinion.

kellymoon-featureWe do not usually post anonymous lettes, but we have made an exception.


Dear Editor,
   A small enthusiastic group gathered in Owen Heights Park to watch the lunar eclipse on Sunday evening . The sky was clear  as the moon was gradually erased from view by the earth's shadow to the delight of onlookers. There were tall tales told and lunar themed songs sung but all agreed the highlight of the night was Winston dancing naked under the blood red moon.

typewriter-featureDear Editor,

A few years ago Canada's government debt stood at about 500 billion. Now it is at about 600 billion. This makes the recent grandly announced 2 billion surplus (which temporarily reduces that debt to just 598 billion) appear to be somewhat paltry. As well, this 2 billion surplus only took us up to March 31st of this year. Has there been any good news since then? Budgetary surpluses in good times are due to an expanding economy (because they result in increased revenues). Budgetary surpluses in bad times are achieved on the backs of the poor and disadvantaged. (People might want to help but they can't afford it because they are suffering too, Right?) The real problem is that the poor and disadvantaged think it is their fault, which it ain't.

Bill Moses

Owen Sound

typewriter-featureDear Editor,

Democracy has officially died in Canada.
According to a recent Toronto Star article, the Harper government has forbidden its MPs to talk to any media or take part in any all-candidates meetings. The senior party officials feel that that is not a good use of a candidate's time and that they should be knocking on doors to explain their "wonderful economic plan and tax breaks''.
I, for one, don't buy the reasoning. They are not allowed to talk to the media or attend debates because...


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