After the flag waving is over, what does it mean to be Canadian?
In answer, many would likely resort to noble ideals we were taught as children, such as freedom, fairness, and compassion. Like all things idealistic, in practice as adults, we discover the difficulties that arise to complicate the reality of living up to the ideal.
We learn there are times to keep our mouths shut; that life is not fair; that compassion is too often the weaker sibling of fear, anger, and greed. Yet, without an effort toward the ideals what do we become?
Some weeks ago, the Courtenay Legion was shut down for a night by the Liquor Control Board. The fact that undercover inspectors cooked up a rather elaborate scheme banging on the back door of the Legion to see if the bartender would serve them seems, to me, disturbing.
In 25 years as a bartender I have never heard of such a thing.
I thought everyone knew the Legion raises charity money for Canadian veterans. When Canadian veterans serve their country, isn’t it this notion of Canada as a defender of ideals that they serve?
Who is served by this extended effort to catch the Legion out on non-compliance to the membership conditions of their liquor licence?
Some might say, “Well, rules are rules.” OK, but the rules are being relaxed all across the board for other liquor licensees.
Are the values and fundraising of service clubs such a threat to our community that it has come to this?
Where I work, also, at a local service club I, too, had an interesting visitor last week. This rather charismatic lady claimed she was working and going to be travelling through town frequently and was a member from another town.
Then she proceeded to prod me for chips, beer, and for my other patrons to “just sign” her in. With apology that I could not just take her on her word, I asked if she had a membership card.
She rummaged in her purse and quite a bit of cash was made visible to me as she did this. Finally, she smiled and said, “Oh my other purse, I’ll go to the car.” I never saw her again.
Disturbing. I hope I am wrong.
In Stalinist Russia, actors were hired to play out dramas intended to catch people out on their non-conformism. Surely, we would never do this in Canada.
No, people wouldn’t be asked or take it upon themselves to lie so creatively and call it an honest job.
Our brothers and sisters would be reasonable. They would hold to the principles of weighing in on the greater good to uphold the allegiance to freedom, fairness, and compassion. Inspectors would do their due diligence and draw the line at sophisticated drama.
Of course, it is easier to go to the dollar store and just buy a flag: no membership required.