(Hell N)oh Canada

On the eve of Canada Day and our national celebrations, one city is conspicuous for its lack of celebratory activity. Toronto, the city that often declares itself the center of Canada (if not the universe,) will not be holding Canada Day celebrations due to the ongoing municipal strike. I find myself at an absolute impasse; do I use this opportunity to take a jab at a city I already find repulsive and annoying, or do I take a run at the union behind the strike? Oh, decisions, decisions.

Canada Day is supposed to be a celebration of our nation’s history and our love of country. You’d be hard pressed to find even the smallest of town that would not be celebrating the 1st of July in some manner. It stands to reason, then, that Toronto should be leading the way, even above and beyond Ottawa, the nation’s capital, rather than falling silent. As a matter of fact, the list of events that have been cancelled should admirably represent an impressive dedication to the day, if, well, they hadn’t been cancelled.

Cancelled Events

Amesbury Canada Day, Amesbury Park
Ashbridge’s Bay Fireworks
Canada Day Event, Earlscourt Park
Somali-Canada Day, Earl Bales Park
Ontario Australian Football Championships, Colonel Samuel Smith Park
Peanut Town Festival, Oriole Park – North
East York Toronto Canada Day, Stan Wadlow Park
MPP Canada Day Event – Don Valley West MPP, Flemingdon Park
Shomoy Mela, Detonia Park
Canada Day Celebrations, Thompson Memorial Park/ Miliken District Park
Canada Day Celebration, St. James Park
New Country Canada Day Jam, Woodbine Park
16th Annual Neighbours Together, Riverdale Park East
Canada Day Festival, Kew Gardens
Canada Day, Mel Lastman Square

I have very little use for unions, as I have made abundantly and painfully obvious in previous posts. The fact that Toronto is already two weeks into a strike that has seen 24,000 municipal workers walk off the job, leaving mountains of garbage and trash strewn throughout the city, certainly doesn’t make me feel any better sentiments towards them. I mean, I find it gratifying that it is without doubt that the city stinks now, what with the massive amounts of rotting garbage everywhere, when I’ve been saying Toronto always smells like a diseased asshole. But, the fact that the diseased assholes that decided to walk off the job have left such an enormous city drowning in filth and vermin on the day we celebrate Canada really does seem to be the epitome of selfishness.

I had serious problems with the transit workers striking in Ottawa, because it was an example of selfishness overriding common sense and common decency. I had a problem with the York University strike, because I think it is the primary responsibility of professors to teach and show concern for the academic advancement of their students, first and foremost. But, the fact that municipal workers are whining and moaning and making demands when the global economy has resembled a turd left long in the sun for many months now, and the fact that so many other people have lost their jobs, makes me really wonder if these people have respect for anyone but themselves.

Is this what it is to be Canadian? Should we be celebrating, tomorrow, the self-evident fact that we, as a people, are staunch believers in holding each other hostage to better our lot?

Municipal workers could have come to some sort of arrangement, even if it was only temporary, that would have made Canada Day celebrations in Toronto possible. I mean, show some creativity. Go back to work for a couple days to allow city residents to participate in our national holiday. Surely something could have been done as an exception to the rule.

Instead, Toronto will be mostly quiet. New York, on the other hand, is planning all sorts of celebrations for the birthday of “their neighbour to the north.” How pathetic is it for us to realize that an American city is likely going to match our largest in celebrating our national holiday, and all because a bunch of selfish union members want more money?

I maintain that if people don’t like the job they have it’s up to them to do something about it. Doing something about it doesn’t mean inflicting your dissatisfaction on the public, or submitting them to inconvenience and hardship. The day some union putz impedes my progress on a sidewalk is the day I put my boot solidly through his ass. I’m sure as hell not going to congratulate them and pat them on the back when their hostage-taking wins them whatever they are demanding.

Think things are rough? Try being laid off from your career because the company you work for is bankrupt due to the economic implosion. I guess you can’t strike your way out of that.

That said, I have never heard a thing the Toronto mayor has said that didn’t leave me feeling certain that he is an arrogant, self-centered jack-ass. That’s pretty much just par for the course in a city of people that tend to think they are better than everyone else because they are Torontonians. But, it means that the city probably isn’t helping itself out of its messes, literal and figurative, in solving this strike. Negotiation takes more tact than I have seen so far from anything Miller has let fall from his mouth.

Hey, maybe this means that we’ll have a little bigger celebration here in Ottawa. Maybe some of those arrogant “my city is better than yours” Torontonians will make their way down here, where there will actually be a celebration. Maybe for once we’ll stand tall in Ottawa because the pretentious snobs from Toronto won’t be able to say they did it bigger and better.

Yeah, I know, not likely.

One thing is for certain; rain or shine, I’ll be able to open my windows here and breath the fresh, clean air and celebrate Canada Day with a smile. How many of you in Toronto can say that on a good day, let alone a strike day?


CBC.ca: “Toronto’s Canada Day Celebrations Cancelled”

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