Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Where's My Canada?

Today was a good day at work, whichover is to say I was not stressed out by overload of work.


This afternoon I got a call from my friend Lisa, asking me if I'd like to go on a roadtrip with her up the Central Coast this weekend in her new car! Um...YES!!!!!! She & I will be heading 2 hours north to a little town calle Budgewoi, which is where her boyfriend's family lives (he isn't coming along on this trip). We'll be stopping along the way for a wee lunch and shopping at a little lakeside town called Toronto.

We'll be taking off early Saturday morning. Hopefully I will not be comatose from a Friday night filled with free food booze and partying Citibank style. It's the Global Consumer Bank Christmas party down in Darling Harbour. I splurged on a cheap dress (when you have v. little money, even a cheap purchase is a splurge). It's really cute and not at all my normal style. First of all, it's YELLOW. (Thee only person I know who regularly has the confidence to wear yellow and pull it off is Jen MacPhail.) It's a strapless piece with an empire waist line and a poufy bottom - remniscent of 50's style dress.I'll have to get pictures - can you tell how excited I am to have a dress? Too many race events where I found myself borrowing skirts and the such.

So, as to the title of this post. Today I had a bit of spare time at work, so decided to do some research into possible opportunities I can take advantage of when I go back to Canada. One thing I was really keen to do was the Youth Internship Program - this is for university graduates that are underemployed or unemployed and seeking an international work experience within their field. The placements are with non-profit organizations and can range from jobs such as economic develpoment officer in Bolivia to Environmental Researcher in Switzerland to Technology Development Officer in Ghana - endless and meaningful opportunities. I

I was SOOO disappointed to find a message on the website stating that the FED GOVT had cut funding to this program because it was identified as a non-core program. I am curious - what defines a CORE program? Is investing in our Canadian forces really more essential to Canada's future than providing opportunities for our university graduates to become competitive, valuable members of an aging workforce? And really, why the need to whittle out all these 'non-core' programs anyways? Canada's budget has been in surplus for the past four years! There are so many programs that have been cut by the Harper government, it genuinely makes my stomach turn. It seems to me the new federal gov't is only looking out for hte interests of a few elite citizens of Canada..oh, and Alberta of course.

So I decided to fill in the feedback form on the Government of Canada website, which, by the way, is quite sickening in and of itself what with its focus on recruiting for the forces and focussing on 'protecting' Canadians freedom. When did we turn into America?!??!

Here's what I wrote - it's not the most amazing prose - I just wanted to get my point across:

As a 20-something Canadian with a university degree and a desire to see and
learn as much about the world as possible while I still can, I departed Canada
shortly following the 2006 election. To say I am disappointed with the
direction that the current federal government is taking with our country would
be an understatement. I've never been passionate about politics until now. I
watch with great sadness as many of the core programs and policies that provide
support to average Canadians and those that need help the most are cut
completely. Literacy, the environment and opportunities for woman and young
people - thesee are apparently not important issues to Harper.

Now when I go to the Canada site, instead of finding a focus on
health care and social programs, I find banners encouraging Canadians to join
our forces, work for the RCMP and move to Alberta to work on the oil fields. Are
these really the only career options that we should be promoting to young
Canadians? What of opportunities to work in our social system as nurses? What of
chances to perform important research for he NRC?

The news items seem to focus on 'security' and 'protection' issues, which I've
never believed to be at the forefront of most Canadians' minds. It seems that
the migration to 'fear creation' is now being implemented - a blueprint from the
American administration I believe.

Program cuts to literacy, youth initiatives, environmental initiatives and many
other areas are not indicative of good financial management, particularly when
Canada has been in budget surplus for at least the last four years. These
actions strike at the very foundation of what makes Canada the country I am
proud to call home. Now I feel as though, when I return to Canada, I will be
returning to a place that is foreign, a place that, in too many of the wrong
ways, resembles the country to our south. Know that you have made at least one
Canadian, and I suspect many more, much less proud to be Canadian and much more
intent on actively getting involved in politics to ensure that this government
does not remain in power long enough to completely destroy the values that our
nation were built on.


Jen said...

Woohoo, I got a blog shoutout! I'm getting all up-to-date on people's lives and reading blogs all over.

I'm applying for jobs on PEI. Needless to say I'm a little worried for myself, but I have all the jobs I applied for elsewhere as my backups ;) Have fun on your holiday this weekend!

Anonymous said...

The CIDA internships weren't cut! If you want to live in a developing country for 6 months, maybe not as posh as Switzerland, but probably more life changing.


Anonymous said...

Jen - did you get my email from Citibank address about the liquor store positions?

Thanks Rae Rae - I knew there were a number of different internship programs but couldn't remember which depts ran them.

Rob said...

Your tell em Shannon - by the way Cynthia Dunsford will run as a liberal MLA on PEI. She needs a good woman to help

Rob said...

Would it be OK if I posted this?

Shannon Courtney said...

Rob, you are welcome to post it even though it was just an off the cuff rant!