Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The New Canada and the Two Justins

As I try to remember all the things that happened in this wild and crazy year that was both our nightmare and our salvation, two things keep jumping out at me.

One, how low Stephen Harper and his ghastly Cons did drag us and our democracy, and shame us in the eyes of the world.

And two, how quickly Justin Trudeau has been able to improve our image abroad. 

By letting the world know that the Canada they once knew and admired is back, and just as good as they always imagined...

Or at least heading in the right direction again.

And to make things even more amazing, there's another Canadian out there who is also winning us millions of new fans.

And he's also called Justin !!!!

Yes it is indeed Justin Bieber, and no I'm not losing my mind, and it is a great story.

On Christmas eve in Britain a song by group of doctors and nurses known as the NHS Choir was in second place in the race for the much coveted UK's Christmas day number one song...

They were hoping to raise money for charity, and send a message of support to the country's National Health Service which has been under savage assault from David Cameron and his Cons.

But since it was up against Bieber's new single Love Yourself its chances of winning looked bleak, until our pop prince intervened.

In the final hours of the race, when the choir was just 662 units behind Bieber’s Love Yourself, the Canadian singer tweeted: “I’m hearing this UK Christmas race is close… but @Choir_NHS single is for charity … So for 1 week it’s ok not be #1. Let’s do the right thing & help them win. It’s Christmas. @Choir_NHS good luck. This is what it’s all about. Merry Christmas.”

Asked his 73 million Twitter followers to download the NHS Choir song, because among other things he's a big medicare supporter.

Bieber has been an unexpected champion of state healthcare from a young age, once telling Rolling Stone, when he was 16, that the US health insurance system was evil.

So the gentle song won, the message got out...

Now many in Britain are crediting Bieber with reminding them of the importance of their medicare system, why they need to defend it. And pointing out that he thinks that way because he's a Canadian.

Leaving me with my mouth wide open, and my head feeling like it's going to explode.

But yes, isn't it great that after living so long in the darkness of Harperland, we are coming out into the light, and starting to act and be seen as decent people again?

As a compassionate people.

Decked out in scarves and tuques in Canadian reds and whites, Alan Kurdi’s uncle, aunt and five cousins – all members of a family that has come to symbolize the struggle of millions of Syrian refugees – sprinted out of the customs area at Vancouver’s airport after a flight from Germany to embrace their relatives and begin their new lives.

And celebrated for just doing the right thing.

Before the Kurdis addressed reporters, they and their supporters chanted: “Thank you, Canada! Thank you, Canada!”

You know, It will take the efforts of all of us to build a New Canada.

There will be huge challenges ahead, and it will take more than one Justin or two to overcome them.

But as this rollercoaster of a year draws to its close I can't help but believe or beliebe.

That we're definitely heading in the right direction...

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  1. Anonymous12:46 PM

    That was an amazingly thoughtful thing to do by the Biebs. Actions are what caused him much disdain in the past, and as he matures, actions are what will garner him respect and acceptance from all.
    I wish our two Justins much health and happiness in the new year.

    1. hi JD...yes it was a nice gesture, and I have to say it's in line with how our little terror has been behaving recently. Bieber like Trudeau has been subjected to an enormous amount of abuse, which having been a bit of a rowdy teenager myself I never thought he deserved. But he has been toning down his act, performing at concerts to raise funds for food banks etc, so he does deserve some credit. I must confess that I have never listened to one of his songs, until I watched a video of the song that was in that UK contest. An acoustic version of Love Yourself on an outdoor stage for the Ellen show. And I must say he really is the master of his domain. I wouldn't download the song, but it was quite a performance, and his career is a huge Canadian success story...

  2. Watching Tima Kurdi last night I was reminded of Liz May's comment about having more class than the entire Harper cabinet. Thanks t Canada and Trudeau and not a word about the evil Alexander and Harper. These two pieces of pond scum claimed there was nothing they could do because Tima screwed up the paper work. Her own fault, just like a woman, other nudge, nudge ,wink, wink say no more.

    Alex ended him diplomatic career for fleeting glory then screwed up his new political life with lies and insults from his own mouth. I hope that he has burned so many bridges he will never get another job and ends up begging for spare change outside the Empire club in winter.

    1. hi rumleyfips...I too saw the pictures of the Kurdi family arriving in Vancouver and I was very moved. Thank goodness they are safe, for I read a story in the Globe the other day about what they have been through, and it really was horrifying.
      And of course like you, I couldn't help thinking of the grotesque Alexander, and how if he had done more to save those Kurdis the other ones might not have given up and headed across the Mediterranean. I too would hope that he ends up badly. But he probably won't. He'll get some cushy job on a right-wing think tank, or go work for some defence company. But as long as he doesn't ever return to the political scene I will be content...

  3. Anonymous3:58 PM

    What a great story, and the last illustration is priceless!


    1. hi TS...thank you, I'm glad you liked the story and my little horsy illustration. I wondered what people might think of it. Most readers know me for attacking every Con that moved, but now I find myself defending Justin Trudeau, as I would have defended any other winning progressive leader, and I'd hate them to think that I was going soft in my old age... ;)
      But I am a bit of a romantic, I am inspired by idealism, and I do defend those who seem noble and decent to me....

  4. NOT a fan of Harper, but he's gone its time to move on.

    And Justin isn't the messiah or a hero, he's just a guy with a famous last name who ended up Prime Minister because the better man, Mulcair dropped the ball several times during the election.

    1. Mulcair was *not* the "better man". As a matter of fact he was the poorest of choices for leader coming on the heels of Jack Layton. Everyone with any sense in the party new it coming out of the leadership campaign. So yeah, blame the campaign gaffs for sure. But also acknowledge the absolute idiocy of elevating the guy to the top job in the first place.

    2. hi Gyor...actually Harper has not moved on, he is still a player behind the curtain. So until he resigns his seat I intend to keep reminding everyone what he did and demanding justice. And although I voted for the NDP, I think Justin Trudeau has done a superb job so far. And I thought he beat Mulcair fair and square during the campaign. And while we're at it, it was not just a question of dropping the ball. Mulcair took the party to the right of the Liberals, which was insane in my opinion. And went out of his way to be as boring as possible and so deserved his fate...

  5. Trudeau is also an extreme misandrist, just look at his discrimation against single Syrian men.

    1. hi Gyor...please don't be so bitter it is clouding your judgement. Trudeau is not a misandrist, they are just bringing in families and single women in first, which makes sense because the children in those camps are very vulnerable. And they are bring in single LGBT men who often have a hard time with prejudice in the camps, even after all they have been through before. So while I wish we could welcome them all at the same time, I'm happy to believe that they are coming in and we are doing the right thing...

  6. It is good to see the NDPs Fin Donnelly at the airport greeting the Kurdi's. (Top right) A lot of work went into trying to get Tima's application through. Fin stuck with the Kurdi's and never made it a political issue even though the attacks which were launched against him as a result of the story cost him over 10% in the polls. Despite that, he stuck with Ms. Kurdi and with his principles and did not go public trying to defend himself. These people were more important than his political future. Had the Cons not secretly made it next to impossible for Syrian refugees to get into Canada and had they not refused to explain their criteria then little Alan Kurdi would not have lost his life trying to escape. The Cons wore that iconic photo and it cemented the disconnect Canadians had for Harper and his Cons. Canadians knew that they were not that collectively mean to other human beings and many were disgusted that this happened as an indirect result of our government's policies.I hope to see the liberals working with the NDP in the House as much as possible to prove that the leading party doesn't have to rule like Harper and refuse to even consult meaningfully with the opposition.

    1. Anonymous12:58 AM

      John, It was up to Mulcair to work with the Liberal's. Mulcair did not deserve consideration. He continually attacked JT every chance he had. Sorry, but that's a fact. The election was his to win, he blew it by his big mouth. Simply because he sided with Harper and was so sure that he was going to win, he simply lost it all by himself.He blew it all by himself. That was very clear. Canadians coast to coast made their decisions based on Mulcair's big mouth during the last few week's,a few months before Oct 18 th.

    2. hi John...yes you're right Fin Donnelly deserves a lot of credit for his role in that tragic story. And I well remember the disgusting way the Cons attacked him. He may have lost some political, but thank goodness he didn't lose his seat, and my respect for him has only grown...

  7. Awesome post, Simon......thank you!

    1. hi Kathleen...thank you, I'm glad you liked it. I had fun writing it. It's so nice to be able to write about good things again, after our long dark nightmare...