Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Let us end the apology binge

"The idea of apologies is demeaning of those at whom it is directed," according to Andrew J.M. Wheatcroft of Stirling University, Scotland. "They also deny the notion of the past and simply extend the present backwards."

Prime Minister Justine Trudeau recently issued an apology for Canada's denial of entry to a boat-load of Asians more than a century ago. He said, in part, "Canada's government was, without question, responsible for the laws that prevented these passengers from immigrating peacefully and securely."

A Toronto Star columnist complained that law was discriminatory because it prevented their entry.

Of course, the government was responsible for our immigration laws. Of course, the law prevented their entry. Of course, laws are discriminatory against those who seek to violate them.

The legislation was enacted for the benefit of Canadians, not would-be illegal economic migrants.

Let us hope this ends the recent binge of misguided apologies.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Real Canadians and others

The current debate over certain wording in O Canada has attracted many letters to the Toronto Star. Among those published on May 14 was mine:
Yes amend the national anthem to include both sexes. One thing more is necessary to make it totally inclusive. For millions of Canadians, Canada is their home but not native land. The words should offer the option and read "our home and native (chosen) land". 
Exercising rare restraint, I omitted a second suggestion:
We need also delete the word "home". To Canadian citizens living permanently in a  foreign land, such as Lebanon, Canada is not their home. Yet they feel free to call on Canada whenever trouble lurks. Such occurred during a crisis in 2007. These 15,000 Canadians of convenience waved their moth-riddled maple leaf flags and demanded safe evacuation to Cyprus. They were, at a cost of $80- to 100-million to tax-paying Canadians whose real home is Canada. 
These freeloaders, and plenty of others in Hong Kong for example, pay no Canadian taxes and have pseudo-Canadian addresses in order to fleece our healthcare system whenever needed.
To discourage this mischief, the residency requirement to qualify for citizenship must be increased from three years to ten. Passports must show a minimum of six months' Canadian residency every three years. 
Prime Minister Justine Trudeau has proclaimed, "A Canadian citizen is a Canadian citizen. is a ..." 
Not so, Mister T.  

A real Canadian citizen contributes to Canada, not some foreign country.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Mercy killing

The Canadian media are all agog these days in promoting mercy killing. Ethicist Margaret Somerville urges restraint and some safeguards against abuse by the victim's family and doctors. My letter to the Globe and Mail. Unpublished.

Margaret Somerville deals with deep truths while outlining ethical problems in the matter of doctor-assisted dying (Why judges should have the final word, May 4). We can discuss ethics, legalities, rights, demands, conditions, immunities, and safe guards as much as we wish with regard to mercy killing as we once termed it. It will in no way affect the ultimate application of the proposed legislation. 

Human rights tribunals have the authority to override Bill C-14. They have the final word, not our legislators, not our judges. Someone refused a hastened death by the courts need only petition with a sufficiently heart-rending plea to one of these tribunals to qualify for death on demand. The history of these unregulated agencies in dealing with the vulnerable, as they themselves define the word, points in only one direction.

It's curious that the final arbiter of this issue is not even mentioned in the debate.