Situations where I can muster up a grudging respect for something the Harper Cons have done are few and far between, but I have to say this latest Citizenship Guide (Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship) from the Immigration Minister is one such case.
Certainly it’s not perfect. From my perspective I would like to have seen a clear statement concerning the separation of church and state. And I think that even though some would argue that our national identity was forged at Vimy the military focus (especially the links to the web sites) is a bit overdone. But those quibbles aside I think it’s generally pretty well balanced and quite comprehensive.
As predictable as rain in April, folks from all walks of life and political bents are lining up to cast stones and criticize. Some have ranted that there is no specific mention of the legality of gay marriage, or that there’s a photo of a crucifix in the document, or there’s too much emphasis on the Christian origins of the country. Others have complained that the English is too hard for a non-English speaking immigrant to understand. Still others have moaned about the fact that our health care system isn’t splashed up in neon on every second page. About the only folks who haven’t weighed in is PETA protesting the Calgary Stampede photo (or perhaps they already have and I’ve just missed it because I’m inclined to ignore anything they have to say).
Let’s get real. To include every wish of every special interest group would have resulted in a massive tome unreadable by anyone but rabid historians and bureaucrats, so compromises were made, and I for one, am willing to accept the results.
No, it’s not perfect, but it’s a damned good start.