Trudeau’s Canada

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was sworn in yesterday and this country has never been more jazzed. 

trudeau_taking oath

Swearing the oath.

Something amazing is happening in Canada. For the first time in my life, people are excited about politics. Yesterday for the swearing-in ceremony 3500 people crowded the grounds at Rideau Hall to participate. Four cool young dudes from Montreal got up and 4 am to drive 192 kilometers to Ottawa and be the first in line to get in to what they believe was an historic occasion—and trust me, prior to this, “cool dudes and Ottawa” was an oxymoron, though I suppose that depends on who you’re talking to.

Continue reading dream came true

Last night I spent a marathon 6 hours watching the federal election results as the Liberal Party were swept to power with a majority of seats. Thank the gods, change has come! Many months ago I had a vivid dream about Justin Trudeau, so vivid that I convinced myself that soon we’d see the back of Stephen Harper and his retrograde policies. So I started a blog called I Dream of Justin…Trudeau, that is which would compile the dreams that other people might be having of Justin Trudeau — or any Canadian politician for that matter.

There was a fascinating American blog called I Dream of Barack that compiled people’s dreams in those early days of Obama’s rise to the Presidency; I hoped for confirmation that political change was percolating in the Canadian collective unconscious. I Dream of Justin…Trudeau, that is got exactly one hit — from a kind relative offering encouragement. But no matter, it turns out that the people were dreaming, too, because our country now has a leader with vision and courage, my heart is bursting, and we can start to feel proud again.

So..subtle but dirty politics

So I went to vote today at the advanced polling station for my riding. Foolishly, I decided to go right when it opened and many other folks had the same idea and it was raining hard so I was limp and soggy by the time I walked from my distant parking spot to the polling station. I know, First World Problems. Anyway, after the confusion of being misdirected by the wilted signage to a wrong entrance where there was a scrum of other confused voters I/we finally found the location. Inside, dozens of people were crowded inside a tight, L-shaped corridor that had two lines. My line-up had about 20 people ahead of me.

Seated on a chair right next to the line-up at the entrance to the registration booth was a woman. At first glance she looked like my friends’ mothers did when I was in high school, like she had a Thanksgiving turkey in the oven back at home, like she’d make your lunch every day. And yet she’s sitting there in the polling station, quietly doing nothing other than being the last thing a voter will see before going into the voting booth. Then on my second glance I notice that the badge on her sweater says The Conservative Party of Canada.

Continue reading

Notes from the all candidates meeting

October Op-ed for the Bridge River Lillooet News

Some impressions from the all candidates meeting for this new Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon riding:
A welcoming drum song performed by Damian George from the Mission Friendship Society opened the meeting in Mission on September 29th. Only one candidate, Liberal Jati Sidhu, looked comfortable and stood with his hands out, palms up to receive. When the song was over, the MC made a disrespectful joke, suggesting that if anybody needed music for their next party they could hire Mr. George. Of the 300-plus in attendance, nobody laughed.

Continue reading