RAGING FIRES, BUILDING BRIDGES

Open Letter to Canadians


January 11, 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Red Deer – Mountain View, AB


“We’ve been conditioned to think that only politicians can solve our problems. But at some point, maybe we will wake-up and recognize that it was the politicians who created our problems.”


“We, the American people are not each other’s enemies. The enemies are those people behind the curtain jerking everybody’s chains and trying to divide us up by age, by race, by income.”


- Dr. Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon and a 2016 Republican Party presidential candidate.


While the quotes are tailored to the American political climate, both should resonate with Canadians.


Many Canadian politicians have stated their shock in response to the events that unfolded in Washington, DC on January 7, 2021. Sadly, anyone paying attention to American political discourse over the past number of years likely isn’t surprised.


Right vs. left. Conservative vs. Liberal. Poor vs. rich. Black vs. white. Old vs. young. Identity politics has become mainstream in recent years. What happened to the term “Canadians”?


Each time a crisis unfolds, politicians are quick to stoke the flames of division. Sides are drawn, guards put up and the fires rage out of control. A political system rooted in division benefits no one and is not sustainable in the long-term. In this political climate, we all lose.


We have given up a significant amount of autonomy and freedom over the past year in the name of the “greater good”. But have we stopped to ask why politicians are in a better place than us to make decisions that impact our families?


Reliance on government to make personal decisions and provide basic necessities is detrimental to our society. It creates a culture of dependence, increases corporate lobbying and results in larger, more inefficient government. It creates winners and losers and further stokes raging fires. Politicians leverage this division to maintain power. This needs to change if we are to regain trust within our communities and return to prosperity.


The backbone of a prosperous society is freedom of speech and debate. We cannot look to silence those whose opinions we disagree with.


Instead, we must bring all ideas to the table and rationally determine which ideas bring the most benefit to the largest number of Canadians.


We must embrace our differences and learn that there is no single path to success. It is through a balanced approached that we will find solutions to our most challenging problems.


We must learn to build bridges. To meet on common ground. To think of others.

We must realize that no one political party or politician is our saviour. The problems we face can be defeated through our own merits. We do not need government to solve our problems, we are born with that inherent capacity.


How can we accomplish this? How can we tackle all of the major problems that plague this country?


Self-reliance and personal responsibility.


We all have talents and abilities to be contributing and successful members of Canada. We do not need government to dictate the path we take. We do not require approval of establishment politicians in order to decide what is best for ourselves and our families. We are free citizens of a free nation and we can succeed if we come together.


The road forward is not easy. The devastation many have seen over the past year will not soon be forgotten or repaired. Now is not the time for economic experiments or utopian dreams.


We must be grounded in the principles that have benefited us in the past; hard work, innovation, determination and a spirit of resiliency. We must expect the same from our elected leaders.


Canada is the greatest nation on earth. But this badge of honour does not come without hard work and sacrifice. Together, we can overcome the challenges we face and the obstacles in our path. We can calm raging fires. We can build bridges.


In closing, I urge Canadians to come together. To realize that your neighbours’ success is ultimately your success. When Western Canada prospers, Eastern Canada prospers and vice versa. We are all inter-connected and interdependent. We are Canadians.


Sincerely,


Jared Pilon

Candidate for Red Deer – Mountain View, AB

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