By the silver anniversary of the end of the Second World War, Canadians saw the War Measures Act implemented by Pierre Trudeau in an attempt to capture a Quebec terrorist who had kidnapped a British diplomat and a Quebec cabinet minister.
By 1975, it was necessary to adopt wage and price controls to curb inflation.
Twenty-five years more brought many more changes. We had watched a man walk on the moon and describe its beauty. We thrilled to such movies as The Godfather and Airport in 1970. Also, that year, a strong and strange aroma was blowing into Canada from a dairy farm in New York State. It was caused by a four-day gathering of 400,000 at a rock and roll concert. As often happened, disapproval of government is expressed through song and music.
In these articles, I have tried to express the feelings of the horror of war – especially a war which killed over 50 million of the world’s people and left countless others wounded in body and mind.
Canada now faces a new and different war – a moral war of hate, greed, discrimination, exploitation and other human life issues. They are many and complex without black and white answers. Like Hitler’s philosophy, these issues breed and thrive on indifference.
As Canadian citizens, we are called upon to understand and to meet the challenge like we did when the war was started. We must make reasonable decisions on each ethical issue and then defend our chosen position.
“The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.” – Albert Einstein.
This is the reason when I disagree with something government is doing, I sit down and demand answers. I don’t complain, and I hope you do the same. I may have to write five or six letters. Stamps are not required but eventually they send a letter, because if not, a little old lady in Minden is going to hound the hell out of them until someone is accountable. And I never let go. Complaining to friends won’t get you anywhere.
Recently, we are faced with diseases unknown in the past. Decreasing Medicare funds have to be allocated fairly. There is the ethical dilemma of caring for the elderly with the numbers in this group increasing, and the family caregivers decreasing. Abuse of the elderly happens often, and the abuser is often a family member. Further, there is the issue around medical assistance in dying and moral challenges of controlling reproduction, and the continual debate on abortion. These are only a few of the issues today.
Those who gave their lives in the Second World War provided the opportunity for all Canadians to work together for a better country.
This is the last column in this series.
For the purposes of the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, the names of those who died from Haliburton County are listed below: Jack Anderson, Lyle Boice, Leslie Burk, Arthur Carhochan, Elmer Covert, Vern Cowan, Ross Davidson, Richard Dawson, Burt Fielding, Jordan Gainer, Mervin Harrison, Lyle Horsley, Elgie Henderson, Irwin Hout, Russel LaRue, Max McCracken, James Nicholls, Donald Pasquino, James Redner, George Swanton, Walter Winn, James Wright.