This is a rant. I am disappointed, utterly disappointed with the way the press has chosen to respond to the Canada-China Investment Treaty issue. I admit to getting passionate about things I believe are worth fighting for. This is one of them. It is for the first time that I am so affected by a political decision but this a decision that we will pay for, and a high price at that, long after the present Prime Minister will be done with his commitment to Canada. A betraying one at this point in my opinion.
People like me can idiotically hope that the treaty pitfalls are just imaginary and nothing bad will happen for the next 31 years. Gulp. A long time. Wait, they said we can think about it for a bit after 15 years or so. See, it already sounds better. It’s not like forever. Always see the glass half full. Blah blah… if I had a dime for every time I heard that.
Now, if you’re ready to say “Come on, lighten up” I will politely ask that you don’t. It’s upsetting to see numbness around me regarding this issue. Not complete numbness, in all fairness, some people have tried very hard to raise awareness, but the situation would have required way more intervention than it got.
I was born in Romania during a time when communists ruled and freedom of speech was not in fashion. During those times, many people including one of my grandfathers, chose to trade their freedom for hard years in communist prisons just so they can have a shot at bringing change. And they thought it was worth it. And they exercised it.
The revolution, which was or was not a political coup – but that debate is not taking the front seat in this particular discussion – made it possible to talk without fear. A huge thing which many take for granted. I was too young to remember the relief brought by knowing that you won’t be taken away for speaking your mind and flexing your democratic muscle. A weak one in many, still, at the time… Strong in others.
It took me a while to “grow” enough to speak my mind. To say what I believe in and express it as such. And then I was told that’s nice and sweet but you know, actions without words don’t do much. And then I added actions to my words. There is no going back, I know that much. I am to speak my mind from now until. Until. I always tell my boys that we don’t live just for ourselves, we live for those to come. For those who are already here and are too innocent to see the shade of gray on the horizon. We live in a society.
Now, for the record, I am an optimist. Ha, you’ll say, really? Who, how, when? Me, like this, here. Until a few hours ago I thought it was still possible to somehow stop this thing from being signed until a public scrutiny would take place and the provincial governments would be in accord. And the opposition parties too. Oh, no, it’s not the party where everybody smiles and nods, you might say. And I will say that it actually should be, this kind of treaty that locks Canada and Canadians in for the next 31 years. That’s 31. A long time by all accounts. So everybody should be informed and should agree to it.
So. The deal will be done. Tomorrow. Unless some miracle happens. Which it won’t. So there. Happy 31st and see you next year when we’ll celebrate the 30th!