Canada, a nation known for its diversity and inclusivity, may not be broken, but it is increasingly becoming more fractured and isolated within its own confederation. We find ourselves constantly divided, whether it's right vs. left, north vs. south, East vs. West, francophones vs. anglophones, or, as we are witnessing now, the LGBT+ community vs. the Anti-LGBT+ community.
These divisions are eroding the unity and strength of our nation.
The truth is, we aren't as different as we might think. The issues faced by the people of British Columbia are often the same as those encountered in a small town in Prince Edward Island. Food insecurities in the Northern Territories mirror those in some communities in southwestern Ontario. Social issues in Edmonton and Calgary resemble the ones in Quebec and Montreal. We share common challenges that require collective solutions.
Regrettably, instead of working towards these solutions, our politicians and keyboard warriors seem more interested in dividing the population than coming up with tangible, quantitative measures to address our problems. Our federal and provincial politics are broken. As Erin O'Toole, the former leader of the Conservative Party, pointed out in his resignation speech, "We are becoming elected officials who judge our self-worth by how many likes we get on social media, but not how many lives we change in the real world." This observation rings true in our society, where popularity and social media metrics often overshadow the actual task of governance.
O'Toole further remarked, "Social media did not build this great country, but it is starting to tear its democracy down." This statement also holds. Our heavy reliance on platforms like Facebook and Twitter has inadvertently damaged our society. Those who used to dwell in the dark corners of society now have a platform to spread vile and unconscionable ideas. People with reprehensible views find like-minded individuals and can elevate their toxic perspectives.
Moreover, we have become a nation isolated in our thinking. We surround ourselves with people who only echo our views and avoid engaging with those who hold different opinions. This isolation leads to a lack of understanding and empathy, exacerbating the divisions within our society.
As a society, we must be willing to listen, learn, and accept that people are different. We must strive to educate ourselves about the beliefs and perspectives of others, even if we disagree with them. If we dismiss and exclude a portion of society simply because we disagree with their views, then we are no better than they are.
Before anyone jumps on their soapbox to attack me for my beliefs, as a gay man or wishes harm upon me, I want to emphasize that I am on a journey of self-education. The education of myself and those who listen to my show is of utmost importance. If we only care about our circles and refuse to engage with differing opinions, our communities, cities, and counties will suffer.
Right now, we need strong leadership willing to engage in meaningful conversations across the aisle. We need leaders who are open to saying, "I hadn't considered it from that perspective." We need leaders who educate themselves on the issues they are passionate about and why others may be less passionate or even opposed to those issues.
In my conversations with municipal leaders, I have noticed something remarkable. They don't care if you're on team blue, red, orange, green, francophone, anglophone, straight, or LGBT+. They care about the best interests of their community, city, or town. It's high time that we adopt the same mindset and prioritize the common good over our allegiances.
It's time to stop fixating on the teams we belong to and start caring about the one team we are all on Team Canada. If we continue down the path of further isolation, even within our own country, the Dominion of Canada will become a failed experiment that started in 1867 and ended in 2023.
So, let us work together, set aside our differences, and strive for a stronger, united Canada.