My first post is a reaction to a comment by a certain “Wrayton” who wrote on the Warktimes (https://warktimes.com/), a blog by our talented journalist Mr. Bruce Wark (article posted on July 5th, 2019 and entitled “Mohawk Grand Chief speaks out against installing Cougar in Sackville’s Memorial Park”).
I tried to publish my comment below on the Warktimes on July 8, 2019 unsuccessfully. This person calling himself/herself Wrayton wrote that my words were “ignorant, racist or both” twice in a raw, the first time impolitely calling his own login name “Roll up Rima”:
“Some thoughts come to my mind, after reading Wrayton’s words, and I feel like sharing, if I may:
First, when Louis Béliveau’s legal saga with our town about the old beautiful white church downtown began (i.e., the false permit of demolishment), I told him from the beginning: if those parishioners themselves do not want to preserve their own church (its architectural heritage), the battle will be hopeless, I am afraid; despite all the best efforts of the devoted heritage board volunteering members, including himself. I said what I said whilst eventually supporting Louis all the way until the Supreme court, of course.
Second, 2-3 years later, I will say the same about our beloved Canada: If (some) Sackville citizens do not want to stand up for their OWN legion of veterans/army and country themselves anymore, I am afraid there is not much one can do to save OUR Canada… from ourselves. Pride usually emerges from within. Sadly, pride can be also “killed” from the outside in.
Extreme social justice activists did not care about our town’s local matters to the point of missing the news about the Hussars’ gift in February. Suddenly they woke up in June and, because of lack of leadership (too much political correctness or stakes at hand), our authorities listened to them, instead of the majority. Sackville became the laughingstock of not only the rest of NB but also of Canada, including Québec (along with Kanesatake).
By going to this extreme in our noble social justice obsession, we have ironically let down hundreds of Native families of Kanesatake who live in fear (a former Chief and his family had to escape to Ontario because their house was burned down; another Chief moved to the nearby Oka; https://urlzs.com/XaFkz). Guess what? We have naively invited their current Chief to also interfere in our small town’s municipal affairs. Is this a wise move?
I will also add the following saying— meant for the vocal minority that imposed its views on the VAST majority AFTER a democratic process had taken place months earlier: «Qui sème le vent, récolte la tempête». [= He who sows the wind, reaps the whirlwind].
I hope history will prove me wrong in the years to come but, if this wind is to become a hurricane one day (who knows what can happen in the world one day), how could we “stand on guard for Canada” if we have collectively already stopped feeling proud of our past/heritage, historic achievements as well as future endeavours?
In addition to the Memorial park saga, sad public matters happened lately. For instance, on Canada day, unless I missed it, I did not see any single flag of Canada in our town. Furthermore, we have even been virtually lectured by our MLA (on twitter) about what it means to be Canadian whilst raising some philosophical questions. Why this turn off when all what people wanted was to simply have fun with family or friends, celebrating Canada’s day? In my non-expert citizen opinion, there is a time to celebrate and a time to be political. Any lecture or deep question could have waited until the next working day, it seems to me.
To conclude, will Wrayton (“the Mysterious– yet impolite– Wrayton on the Warktimes”) accuse me again of being “racist or ignorant or both” for loving my country?”
Addendum (added on Bambi’s Afkar on July 21, 2019):
The irony of all our Memorial park saga in Sackville, NB, is that, on July 11, 2019, the disputed piece of land that provoked the Oka crisis in July 1990 was offered by the Oka developer as an “ecological gift” to the Mohawks in the nearby Kanesatake (https://tinyurl.com/yxlyqlxk). A new chapter seems to be opening in Oka. Despite this piece of (apparently) wise news, one can sarcastically wonder why the whole tragic crisis, 29 years ago? Could we have prevented the past crisis simply with an earlier gift?
Furthermore, if people are able to put the past behind them in Oka itself to move forward together, why are we bringing the ghost of the past to our small town here in NB, which is located miles away from Montreal? Are we truly genuine in doing so? Or are we just being a bit too “illuminated” (as I like to say)? Are we using Native issues (or other issues eventually) to score ideological, virtue signalling, points? Is this yet another sign of disrespect of our past and of the memory of the dead? I cannot help not to wonder. Why don’t we try to learn to draw a balance between our illuminated aspirations and the pride of our heritage? Is it that complicated? Can’t we integrate the two aspects? Or should we go to the extreme, yet again, by self-attacking our own civilization/country? Will this make us better Canadian citizens?
A couple of days ago, we started to read/hear about increased tensions in Oka (the same old conflict ☹). We can wonder if all this new development is a true coincidence or an orchestrated saga behind the scenes for unknown reasons? Who knows? Who cares to know? Regardless, it is dangerous to play with fire. Words are not innocent. Words have weight. We need to be wise and restrained in using them, as politicians or Chiefs. However, words are sometimes all what people have to express themselves or name things. All words deserve to be said and listened to, even and especially those we say in conflicts. Just like spouses who argue, some truth often comes out in a moment of anger.