by Harmen Boersma
Response Part 1 noted the inflammatory title which can lead to dissatisfaction and possibly disruptive action among citizens; ultimately, causing disruptive populist movements, kept in check by a dictator who curbs freedoms and creates fear to comply. Then it demonstrated that Stephen Hammond may have assumed that fairness to all jurisdictions deserves equal $ value per capita from federal and provincial transfers. Such a centrally controlled system across the country and each province would create serious inequities. Is government the heart of the nation? Is an individual (per capita) the heart of the nation? Neither is meant to be.
Consider a different assumption. In order to bring it forward, I need to reach far back first. A nation is made up of many components: land, water and air; landscapes with varying surfaces, moving water systems with lakes, rivers and bays; moving atmospheric systems causing weather conditions and climates. Being one of the largest countries on earth, Canada hosts a great variety of each. Further, plants and animals were distributed according to their nature, living in their accommodating habitats. There is ongoing interaction and interdependence among all these components.
Originally, none of this was the result of the arrival of Canada’s three founding Peoples. Rather, we may contribute the physical existence to the Creator of the universe, which includes planet Earth with all its riches. Its origin is outside of human accomplishment.
Rather, people are created in the likeness of the Creator, giving them unequaled responsibility to inhabit and manage the earth. Society is the shared habitation of people in a selected territory, such as Canada, organized into essential institutions – for worship, marriage, family, art, language, governing, health, education, work and more – and voluntary organizations – for recreation, sports, travel, conservation and many more.
All human activity in Canada is characterized by the physical nature of its land, plants, animals and people, resulting in a Canadian culture. The most intriguing and qualifying characteristic of the Creator’s master plan of creation must be the uniqueness of every grain of soil, drop of water, gases in the air, variety in fauna, fish, fowl, mammals and humans. For this reason, the Creator nudged the first people to start naming – cataloguing – everything around them. Does it not surprise us that the uniqueness in naming is continuing with each new discovery, new development, new organization and, most of all, with each new-born human being? This uniqueness is the basis for cultural flourishing in a democracy like Canada.
North Grenville, as a named community, is unique in Ontario and Canada. We advertise it for its outstanding features and showcase it to other jurisdictions. We became who we are today by creating and managing individually and together our visions for living on its land. There are so many variables to describe our community and its ‘habitat’: physical and human differences, individual and institutional visions, variations in leaders and followers. As a community we take responsibility for its well-being and flourishing. We assess needs and wants and find creative ways to make them reality.
In the context of uniqueness, fair and unfair diminish in glare, don’t you agree? We may assess communities and determine why one can accomplish something that another jurisdiction has not been able to. We may learn from others and consider if their way is a path we can follow. We can strive to understand the differences in accomplishment. Ultimately the needs and wants for our unique community determine whether we will go after getting them or not. It is our ingenuity, determination and skill set to visualize, create, plan, design, connect, apply, negotiate and more to enhance our community. Then we will reap the satisfaction, the approval of our neighbours, and the recognition for something well done. Being content with the abundance we already have all around us and in us, is where happiness lives. It exposes best the heart of our community, don’t you agree?
If federal or provincial funding is offered, go for it in this spirit.