I’m seeing a fair bit of smugness and crowing from we Canadians following the UK’s same-sex marriage laws coming into effect. It’s unearned, and you need to stop.
Yes, we’ve had this kind of legislation for a decade, but we’ve been stagnant on social justice for this government’s last two terms. We’re being outpaced by every other western power on social development and we have nothing to be smug about on this front. Even America, who we tend to look at as our backwards big brother, is making waves where we’re still. Gay marriage where there was none and legal marijuana. Health care. Sure, these are things we’ve already taken care of, but we haven’t moved forward very far since.
Safe injection sites? Missing aboriginal women? Access to information? Education? National mental health strategies? Ensuring violence and poverty and sectarianism doesn’t follow refugees when they immigrate? Trans rights? Quality of life on reserves? Pick one. Hell, pick three. Fix them. Demonstrate to the world that the job of the progressive is never done, and that we understand that. Demonstrate that we have the capacity to keep moving forward, and remind people that they used to look to us as an example of how it’s done.
We need to stop resting on our laurels. This isn’t Pearson’s Canada. It’s not Trudeau’s. Hell, it’s not even Chrétien’s. We’re not a middle power. We’re not a beacon of social progressiveness. We’re not ahead of the curve.
As we muddle through this overlong winter, it’s becoming increasingly obvious just how stagnant Parliament has been. We’re frozen, Canada.
It’s time for spring.
As always, folks, paddle your own canoe.