This new year of 365 days, collectively referred to as 2017, is my home and native land’s 150th birthday.
I know, right? Canada doesn’t look a day over 80. Must be all the cardio and apologizing. Nevertheless, here are a few things I would like to see happen in the North side of North America over the next twelve months.
THREE-HUNDRED AND SIXTY-FIVE) Fewer selfies from Justin. Don’t get me wrong, as a Grade-A Canadian smartass myself, I think Prime Minister Trudeau Mark Two isn’t doing a bad job overall. Of course, he has put the country in the hole to the tune of three billion and change. But you have to spend money – alot of it – to make money, apparently.
I just wish he would sharpen his political focus instead of his phone’s. I agree that Canada needs to polish it’s world image (we’re viewed as the nice old uncle in the sweater vest you ignore at reunions) and social media has become a tool whose awesome power cannot be ignored, but a balance needs to be struck. It won’t be long before America’s new “leader” comes calling, either on our soil or another, and Heaven help us if we look weak or vain.
(Insert irony here.)
THREE-HUNDRED AND SIXTY-FOUR) Perspective and strength for those who need it most. I’ve lost two colleagues in six months to despair. This. Just. Isn’t. Right.
We can’t always see the signs of clinical depression. We can’t always know just how close someone is to the edge. So why take chances? If we listen a little more, if we spend the next year being just a little bit nicer to one another, who knows what the result could be?
THREE-HUNDRED AND SIXTY-THREE) An end to the “Canada is a frozen wasteland” theory. I accept that some of you may have never had the privilege of venturing beyond your borders and discovering new lands… but come on, my Yankee friends! Take a nanosecond break from the cat videos and type “Is Canada a frozen wasteland?” into Google!
No, this isn’t Niagara Falls in July…
THREE-HUNDRED AND SIXTY-TWO) A pass from the Celebrity Grim Reaper. It appears that 2016 was the Year of the Star Killer. Granted, most of the stars were American but we lost Leonard Cohen, man! Sure, he wasn’t exactly a cheerful soul to say the least, but true prophets rarely are. I just hope Heaven appreciates his genius.
THREE-HUNDRED AND SIXTY-ONE THROUGH ELEVEN) Economic prosperity for all Canadians. The divide between rich and poor has never been more visible. The nation’s broadcaster, my beloved CBC, is in under attack from multiple forces intent on slashing its funding as though the network is a child on an allowance rather than a vital source of Canadian content and cultural identity.
We have far too many people on social assistance – even though 70% of those people seem to always have money for Tim Hortons coffee while their kids are forced to wear sacks of flour for pants.
Never before (in my lifetime at least) have so many had to do so much with so little. And there appears to be no proof the PM’s spending spree is going to pay off. In my opinion this situation warrants the lion’s share of my wishes and so I shall happily donate them. It really is too bad Canadians aren’t eligible for sainthood, isn’t it?
TEN) Chocolate eclairs on the menu at every Timmies! I know I’m not the only Canuck that loves choco eclairs, but sadly, finding one at a Tim Hortons (even though they’re on the menu) is a challenge, to say the least. In fact, you’d have an easier time finding a coherent thought in President-elect Trump’s consciousness than an eclair at Timmies.
Hey, they can’t all be “Save The Planet” wishes…
NINE) Respect and equality for Canada’s film and TV production companies. The CRTC is under fire from Canadian short-sighted politicians and regulators who simply refuse to grasp the stakes. Take away Canada’s ability to share its cultures through the voices of its people and the country itself will vanish. Period.
Yes, I am as surprised by this demonstration of emotional depth as you are. I’m sure it will pass eventually.
EIGHT) A stronger Canadian adult film industry. Where are our Canuck adult super stars? Where’s our Kenna James or Mercedes Carrera? We need our national identity represented in all corners of the pop culture arena. And we need it now!
And there you go. I’m back…
SEVEN) A legal system with actual teeth. In Canada, you can abuse the living hell out animals and walk away with barely a slap on the wrist. You can sexually assault another citizen and if you’re female victim, a judge will tell you to try “keeping your knees together.” (This actually happened in a Canadian courtroom 2016.) You can pretty much get away with murder in this country.
This needs to stop. Yesterday.
SIX) Cellphone curfews. Take a walk around any major Canadian metropolis and you’ll see them: “Cell Zombies”. Some are sexting, others are tweeting or checking stock quotes; but all of them are in serious danger of walking into a bus. Or my luggage cart. (Especially since I stopped moving for them years ago. I just let the collision happen now.)
Kids are especially prone to catching the Cell Virus. They’re literally clicking their lives away; half of them don’t even know what grass actually feels like. Limits have to be established- STAT! We should start a website or something…
FIVE) A public declaration of Superman’s true heritage. This should’ve happened decades ago. He’s Canadian, gosh darn it!
By the way, my apologies for the salty language. I get carried away.
FOUR) A friend for every man, woman and animal that wants one. Loneliness sucks. Friendship lifts our spirits and can sometimes mean the difference between life and death. It sounds corny as hell but the most heroic thing you can do is be the wind beneath someone’s wings. It sure beat the hell out of being the wind in front of them…
THREE) Parental figures for every child. Blood, or for that matter, other bodily fluids, do not make a true parent. As a bellman of twenty years I’ve seen more deadbeat Moms and Dads than I care to remember. Being a father is the greatest gift – and responsibility – I’ve ever been blessed with. If only everyone felt that way. And yes, I screw up more than I succeed but luckily for me, the effort is what counts.
TWO) A breakthrough in my writing career. Hey, it’s my list; I’m entitled to wish for a publishing deal! Besides, I think this country needs my special brand of smartassery now more than ever, don’t you?
ONE) A stronger, greener Canada for everyone. Xenophobia isn’t simply an American problem at the moment, sadly. We need to remember that Canada is the great global melting pot. And while this country’s air is cleaner than most, it has a long way to go. The time to choose life over feeding the industrial machine has long since passed, people. The clock is ticking… but for how much longer?
And on that uplifting note, I am out of here. Happy new year, everyone.
See you in the lobby, kids…