By Ashley Beaudin
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is being accused of being homophobic after refusing to fund Toronto’s gay pride festival this year, after the festival received a hefty $400,000 from the government in 2009. Ironically, this is on the heels of Harper’s controversial move within the G8 to not fund abortions in developing nations.
As a young woman in Canada, I applaud the Harper government for its bold move on both accounts. Whether the decision was motivated by economics or by morality, it was a decision aimed in the right direction. I am interested in a Canada that represents the majority of Canadians and is not trying to submit to the intimidation of the minority. So often I have watched the Canadian government be manipulated and intimidated into promoting and protecting issues that are not core to the Canadian population. Not only is that a matter of integrity, but it is a matter of Canada knowing her authority.
It has been said so often that issues of sexuality should stay in the bedroom and not in our policies. It is funny how the issues of abortion and divorce are dismissed as “issues of the bedroom,” thus those circumstances are not worthy of protection. But the moment we begin speaking of homosexual activity and funding, protection is demanded with an elusive sense of entitlement. It is a total contradiction to in one breath say, “Keep the government out of our bedrooms!” and then in the next breath, demand government to fund them.
Canada has become this monumental space for human rights to be explored and protected. But what is alarming is that this concept of human rights has become flighty and flaky in the name of protecting anything, as long as it is covered in the makeup and the garments of, “This is human rights.”
There are many policies I support; mostly ones which bring us back to our purpose -for instance, any policy that defends our children is worthy of my attention, worthy of government funding and worthy of society’s affirmation.
In these debates that have such loud opinions, let’s get back to what we were made for; to raise a generation to be safe and to be great.