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I realize this is politically incorrect but…

June 16, 2014

Last night as we watched the CTV Evening news two separate reports were so frustrating, I felt I had to blog about them this morning. I realize the “rant” below is terribly politically incorrect but I believe we may have come to the point on both topics where someone has to speak the truth, even if it not really nice to hear.

One news item described a Canadian journalist trying to bring attention to the continually horrific situations affecting the people of Syria because of their ongoing civil war. The CTV report on If Canada were Syria included a couple sound bites from WorldVision Canadian Director Dave Toycen who said, “anything we can do to focus people’s attention on this serious issue would be wonderful.” After this sobering report, and as they transition to a commercial break before their last story, Sandi Rinaldo reports “When we come back, an exciting update on [name], the orphaned orca (killer whale) we first reported on in 2002.”

I turned and said to my wife, “They just answered their own question….” and most scarily, they did not even realize it. On one hand, they wonder why people do not remain focused and attentive to the plight of displaced civilians leaving Syria by the millions. On the other hand, they report a “happy” story to end the day about an orca whale, giving each “news item” an equivalent three minute feature… although the whale gets the final report (aka last thing you remember) in the broadcast.

Earlier in the newscast, CTV also featured a report indicating the federal government may give the go-ahead to the Gateway Pipeline as early as tomorrow (Tuesday, June 17). Of course, there are multiple areas of concern and many people from various “groups” opposed to the pipeline. While not debating the merits of the pipeline either for or against, what shocked me was the BC First Nations chief interview and the corresponding report that “we are providing training to our aboriginal groups in participating in civil disobedience and knowing their rights in a protest.”

Hello! We see almost weekly reports on how the federal government is not providing [something] for our First Nations communities – clean water, education, health care, etc. We have seen and continue to see working-age adults marching to parliament in the “Idle No More” movement (an ironic name, I think – people who don’t seem to have jobs and so with nothing constructive to do so, they spend their “idle” time protesting). Yet this “oppressed” and “mistreated” people group who the federal government is constantly berated for not doing enough, have time to offer classes on civil disobedience!

Yes, I realize there are multiple cultural and structural issues in the Canada and First Nations/Aboriginal people struggles, currently and historically. However, I think it is time we expected as much from our First Nations people as from any other citizen. Instead of helping people protest [whatever], how about spending the time, energy and resources training people for gainful employment and good citizenship in whatever community, society they are a part of?

I warned you this was politically incorrect! Let’s not me so smug that we fail to see the obvious answers right in front of our faces on these two topics!

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