Oh, Canada…

Today was a remembrance day… well… to remember.

The lonely poet of rock’n’roll, Leonard Cohen, is dead.

A Hamilton Judge showed up for work with an accessory that showed an ironic lack of good judgement.

Vancouver gave Trump Tower the finger, or a few hundred fingers over night in solidarity with their American cousins.

A bunch of Windsor teens showed Canada is not immune to bigotry and hateful actions.

And, Quebec went under scrutiny for it’s own borderline Trump-ian bill, that aims to ‘encourage’ people on social assistance to enlist in programs to find a job or get more training, after being passed into law yesterday.

I know it’s hard to look away from our neighbours to the south right now. And I know it’s equally tempting to dance an ice-dance of happiness knowing we are not in their shoes.

Before we bust out your skates and start making maple-syrup cocktails to congratulate ourselves on our newly raised last-vestige-of-openly-multicultural pedestal on the world stage, however, let’s remember our work isn’t done.

In fact it’s more important now than ever to be the best possible people we can be. We have to give the world hope and show that an inclusive country is a happy, healthy and prosperous one.

And while that’s all well and good to say, we Canadians have our work cut out for us. We have a lot of immigrants and refugees to welcome, we have a lot of people in the LGBT community looking for support and understanding, and we have the people who are afraid of all the rapid change that is happening in our country and the rest of the world.

It isn’t always enough to tell people to shut up and get with the program when it comes to how they react to new things and people they don’t understand or haven’t encountered before.

The responsibility falls to the people who know that LGBT lives don’t threaten straight lives, that black, brown and Asian people of all faiths and/or lack thereof are not trying to take over a predominantly white country – they’re just looking for their place in one.

A lack of whiteness is not scary. A transgender person in your bathroom is not a problem. Gay people are not dangerous. An atheist won’t take your god from you. A woman who is comfortable with her self and in control of her body is not a threat to your manhood.

No one group can get through life without encountering another, and while it’s scary to get used to something or someone new, we can’t let fear drag us back to the dark ages of tribes divided by endless war and anger. We have to find a way to come together in love and respect.

We have to find a way, Canada to show the world that we can all live together with dignity.

Don’t get lazy, get to work.

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