described in an
e-mail from my MP, this legislation to be alert for terrorism, does
seem to be a good step forward.
However, I wonít vote Conservative because of other policies that make
the rich richer and the lower middle class poor.
They have no control over multinational corporations that make huge
profits by oppressing the poor and downplay the installing of solar and
geothermal energy. Canada was highly regarded for starting the light
blue beret Peacekeeping forces, but we have lost that respect through
As you probably knew, I have worked overseas in four different
countries. I have worked with Muslims and know that there are many
different sects among them. Canadians need to be warned not to look upon
them as all similar. That said however, women in most of the sects are
not given freedom, rights and education. Sharia Law is very oppressive
of women. Many uneducated women feel loyal to Sharia Law, not knowing
anything better. In Pakistan for two years I knew several Christian
lawyers and met their Muslim professor at Christian weddings. I was a
welcome member of several nursing and public health societies and was
invited to Muslim social events and weddings. One of my friends was a
lady who taught Persian at a university.
Fifteen per cent of the population of India is Muslim, far more people
than in Pakistan. I worked closely with some Muslims during 16 years in
Nearly fifty per cent of the people now living in Lebanon now are
refugees from adjoining countries. Vast numbers of refugees overcrowd
many illegal ships to seek refuge in European countries. Many are
Canada ought to accept more refugees. I do not like the policy of
favoring only educated, skilled foreigners to immigrate in Canada. Many
poor countries are losing the cream of their population. They are needed
in their homelands. We should not mind allowing poor people to
immigrate. They are usually intelligent and resourceful. However, to
allow McDonalds and other companies that pay minimum wages, to hire
temporary foreign employees was a very wrong policy.
As the world population increases, Canada is going to have to allow some
densification of population, but not allow them to settle in cities
where many are unemployed and where youths get into gangs. It would cost
much less and bring about happy settlement to provide jobs in rural
projects. Our mountain valleys and river banks can be cleaned of rubble
and the stones used to build terraced fields. The bushes and grass can
be composted and used to fertilize the fields. Marginal lands can also
be made productive. Streams can be directed to run gradually through the
new terraces to irrigate them.
Cutting down trees to make paper and lumber must be curtailed and done
selectively of only pine beetle damaged wood. Tree planting of a variety
of locally indigenous species should be required on hillsides. Ads in
newspaper for cars and hearing aids take up half the space. The
advertisers should have to pay twice as much for ads one-quarter the
size they are now. Then our forests would not be wasted and destroyed.
In the 30s, I saw a large desert forming in Saskatchewan and southern
Alberta. I remember well. Thousands of people lost their topsoil in sand
storms. A remarkable transformation has taken place by doing strip
farming diagonally and not cutting grain low to the ground. Long stalks
of wheat kept the wind from taking away the land. Instead of deep
plowing, the stubble was harrowed into the land to compost it. Dust
storms of the 30s by wise farming, came to an end.
If we donít take care, our mountains and foothills will all soon become
bare downs as in large parts of Africa, England and the middle east.
Many years ago all were heavily forested and full of wild life. However
there are successful reforestation projects. Amazingly, after trees,
vines and bushes grew again, dew and rain returned, and animals and
birds returned. What a thrill to have seen such success! Floods are
prevented by proper forestry practices.
The government should provide benefits that make rural living attractive
with nearby high quality schools, high schools and university/colleges,
health care facilities, and events that are enjoyable for professionals,
libraries, music and drama classes, auditoriums and railway networks. If
professionals get their education, or at least their internship, in a
rural town, most will stay in small towns after they graduate.
I was a child in the days when we had a one room school every 6 miles.
We got a good education in a rich cultural mix. We had multicultural
neighbors and classmates. We had delightful Christmas concerts, school
and agricultural fairs and music, elocution and drama festivals.
Separate schools and private schools lead to sectarianism and racism. So
when you settle newcomers in rural areas make sure to mix different
languages and religions and provide ESL teachers. We had a district
Agriculturist and Home Economist who were very mobile, bringing
demonstrations and fresh ideas to meetings of many small groups. There
was an experimental farm where new methods were tried out and farmers
saw and copied those that made a difference. The School Nurse tested
eyes, gave vaccinations and did much else in every school. An Anglican
Padre came on Fridays to teach us about heroes of the Bible.
Let Canada again become a country of immigrants as it was for our
grandparents. All, whether peasants or high born, brought/bring with
them wonderfully diverse skills and interests. There were even
libraries, photographers and Shakespeare plays in mining towns.
Myrtle Macdonald, M.Sc. Applied (in
Nursing Research and Education), McGill University.
She is a retired registered
nurse living in Chilliwack and now working with the local chapter of the
BC Schizophrenia Association. Myrtle was a street nurse for many years
in places like India and Montreal. She turned 93 in June and is one of
the Voice's most popular contributors.
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