It’s been a big week for Canada. We know that to be true because not only did we get a mention during CNN’s primetime news coverage but we also got made fun in John Oliver’s opening monologue on his HBO show “Last Week Tonight” as well as on the Daily Show where Trevor Noah referred to us as “fiscally sound-minded moose bangers”. The event that got all the attention was Canada’s ousting of our nine year incumbent Prime Minister, Stephen Harper and replacing him in a landslide election with Liberal Party Leader, Justin Trudeau.
Our outgoing Prime Minister committed his own coup de grâce in the final months of his campaign by running on a platform of ‘fear’. Fear of ISIS. Fear of immigrants “barbaric” practices. Fear of losing the election… oh no, that was just him.
On Election Day, I learned first-hand just how this platform of fear had backfired on Prime Minister Harper while I spent the afternoon and evening volunteering in Delta B.C.
I showed up at the campaign headquarters of Carla Qualtrough, Delta’s Federal Liberal Candidate, to offer my assistance. I was quickly tasked along with two other ladies to “door knocking” at a subset of homes to help remind the residents of the hours and locations of their nearest polling stations (and also offer them information about Carla if they were still “undecided”).
We must have knocked on at least 30 – 40 doors and each person that greeted us, for the most part, was respectful and polite. Many responded that they had either voted in the advance polls or had already been out that morning to vote. Several mentioned that they were either on their way to the polling station or they were just waiting for a spouse to come home so that they could go together.
But my key point, is that we were greeted by many different nationalities. And the common theme that resonated with me was each time the door was opened by someone that wasn’t necessarily a natural born Canadian citizen, they would exclaim with pride that ‘yes!’, they had voted and not just them but they would say that their husbands, wives, sons and/or daughters had joined them. Each time this happened it would make me smile – which was a reflection of their smiles. These were people that took their right to vote seriously and something they shared with their entire family.
One of my fellow door-knockers was also not a natural born Canadian Citizen. When we were chatting, she shared with me that she was originally from India, had moved her family to Canada from England 25 years ago and that she has 3 grown sons who all have very successful careers here in Canada. I said that she must be very proud and her response to me was this; “I worked very hard for them. Very hard.” At that point I realised that this was what immigrating to Canada likely meant to her – she had the opportunity to work hard and send her sons to school so that they would go on to become successful adults. That’s it. End of story.
When we are talking about our immigration policies, this is the image that we should be focusing on.The immigrant that lands on our shores looking for a better life, she works hard, she ensures her children get educated and hopefully they go on to be successful, productive citizens and she herself responds in kind by spending hours out in the rain encouraging others to get out and vote to keep this type of prosperity continuing for her children’s children and all other Canadians that are in search of a better life. And let’s face it, aren’t we all in search of the very best life that we can live?
On a side note, my husband wanted the Title for this post to read ‘Knockers From Around The World’. Feel free to chime in on which title you prefer.