After 11 years of bringing you local reporting, the team behind the Vancouver Observer has moved on to Canada's National Observer. You can follow Vancouver culture reporting over there from now on. Thank you for all your support over the years!

More equality needed for all in Canada

Today is Canada Day, and on televised ceremonies across Canada our government will be rolling out the welcome mat to thousands of newcomers. Now consider what that feels like to a Canadian-born, Canadian WWII veteran being told they're not wanted in Canada.  
That's what it's like to be a Lost Canadian.

Almost 50 years ago the civil rights movement was gaining tremendous strength in the United States.  It was about an egregious issue -- an abomination if you will -- called discrimination.  The pressing question was, should all people be afforded equal rights?

We as Canadians readily admit that everyone should be equal, but when Canadians learn about our country's ongoing discrimination in citizenship law, they seem content sitting on the sidelines in silence.

In 1963 President John F. Kennedy gave his famous Civil Rights address.  In 2011 -- on this Canada Day -- regrettably, a lot of his words are just so apropos.  

In what I'm about to say, I'll change a few of President Kennedy's words to make it Canadian specific -- but sadly, his message is as true today in Canada as it was half a century ago in the deep south:         

More legislation is needed,

but laws alone cannot make men see right.

Today, Canada is confronted with a moral issue.

The heart of the matter is, should all Canadians be treated with equality, so that each and everyone of us is afforded the same opportunities.

Should we treat all Canadians in a manner that we ourselves wish to be treated?

Some of the remaining Lost Canadians cannot send their children to a public school.

They cannot collect the pension they’ve paid into for most of their lives.

They can be denied medical coverage.

Or they cannot travel outside of Canada because they can’t get a passport.

Consider:  They can’t even vote against the very politicians allowing these injustices to continue.

More in Canada

The joy of giving

Science is now providing the evidence for what we have long held to be true: that it is better to give than to receive.

Amazing photos of September in Vancouver

Take a look back at September captured through the lenses of our VO Flickr Pool contributors.

A young Iranian helps Syrian refugees adjust to Canada

A young Iranian, himself, new to Canada reaches out to help Syrian refugees settle here. But with the war in Syria, tensions between Iranians and Syrians are rising. How will he succeed?
Speak up about this article on Facebook or Twitter. Do this by liking Vancouver Observer on Facebook or following us @Vanobserver on Twitter. We'd love to hear from you.