Q – Does Canada have a Right Wing Extremist Problem?

Q – Does Canada have a Right Wing Extremist Problem?

Before the pandemic and 2020, I would have answered this differently. I would have said we have a few wing-nuts, like any Euro-centric country. But mostly Canadians are pretty good at knowing we live in a global village.

If you’d asked me before, I would have said something about the rare events of synagogue and mosque vandalism. Isolated rare events from what I heard on the news, that were distressing at the time, but soon over and everyone pitched in to help clean up.

I would have said that Canadians are more civilized than most countries….

But are we?

Then we had the convoy happen and I saw the hate symbols I would never have thought would be carried openly in Canada. Yet here they were, being carried bold as brass while news cameras were on them.

Well when things go pear shaped, you find out where the wingnuts gather, don’t you?

In history, when there are extreme events, you get a rush of anti- govt, xenophobic, bigots out making a fuss. It’s always been that way. And I tend to think of these displays as something along that line.

And now with Russia/Ukraine bringing this issue to a head, while everyone else has been looking outward and doom-scrolling, I’ve been looking within again. What is it that they have that is same or different to Canada?

Xenophobia and bigotry aren’t the same thing exactly. When people feel they are under threat, they tend to develop an us vs them mentality. They become protective of their own. They at least become wary of the other.

When people think they do something well, they tend to brag about who they are and think the other is lesser than. ie Canadians think we’re pretty good at hockey. And we are. We don’t expect people from Africa, South America and Asia to play hockey well. Sure not like us! How could they? I mean we have winter, we have rinks with ice and we invented it dammit! National pride isn’t necessarily a bad thing then is it? We wave flags, wear our team shirts and sing our anthem. There’s nothing wrong with that, is there?

Maybe those are normal levels of othering. But when does it cross the line into bigotry? Well we can’t claim to be saints as a country, can we? We are a fairly young country and aren’t that aggressive in the world theatre. And most of the blood on our hands was done under the British or French flags. It did take some time to clear the muck out, far longer than it should have, and we’re not sure if we still have muck or not.

Are our world attachments positive? No. No they’re not. Our primary attachments are with nations who are well known to be bullies in the world power games. We don’t do or give enough to those who just have a need. We aren’t as anti-racist as we could be. Is that us or our allies and attachments?

We do better under the liberal govt than we ever will under the conservatives. But the fact that they are known to be a racist/racist adjacent party and yet so many voters pick them is an issue. But both these parties are part of our heritage, as are the republicans and the democrats in the USA. They’re very similar in their history to their comparable party. LIB/DEM, CON/REP. And some people believe the financial claims of the CONs that they do better with money. They believe that the CONs are more ‘Christian’ than the LIBs who seem to want to be more progressive. Yet get stuck at the neo-liberal state. Both positions are wrong. If we want a better world that is.

Is our status quo what it should be? No! Do we want to be better and truly lead the world? I think we are starting to make new attachments. Have more of a global influence. But it’s not where we should be.

I guess we have some thinking to do in Canada.

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