09 June 2021

Grieving for Canada

Flags have been flying at half-staff in recent days for two horrific events dominating the news reports. First is the discovery of 215 unmarked graves of children who died at a residential school for aboriginal Canadians in Kamloops, British Columbia. These residential schools, often operated by church denominations at the instigation of the federal government, are a stain on the country's history. A Truth and Reconciliation Commission, modelled on South Africa's efforts to bring healing after decades of Apartheid, operated between 2008 and 2015, but we are still grappling with the horrors inflicted on so many aboriginal children from the late 19th century until well into the 20th.

And now in London, Ontario, a young man appears deliberately to have attacked an immigrant family from Pakistan with his vehicle, killing all but one person, a nine-year-old, still in hospital. It is suspected that they were targeted because they were Muslims.

I have no particular wisdom to offer in response to these events, except to say that, along with my fellow Canadians, I am horrified and saddened.

Of course, Canada is by no means the only country to have an aboriginal population living alongside a late-arriving majority. According to The World Bank, between 370 and 500 million indigenous peoples live in over 90 countries, constituting around five percent of the global population. Although many of these have been subject to mistreatment at the hands of majorities over many generations, we can be thankful for efforts to rectify this injustice and to incorporate these groups more equitably into their respective political communities.

As for attacks on minority communities, including immigrants, these are criminal acts which our justice system punishes in accordance with the law. We can be confident in the Crown laying charges against the alleged perpetrator of the London attack who, if found guilty, will be given the appropriate penalty. Sad to say, in a sinful world, we cannot expect a time when such injustices will come to an end altogether. This is why we have judicial machinery permanently in place to address them when they do occur. Nevertheless, as Canadians we can work to make our country a better place for everyone, including the members of minority communities.

No comments:


Blog Archive

About Me

My photo
Contact at: dtkoyzis at gmail dot com