An Open Letter to Prime Minister Harper

To the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, the twenty-second Prime Minister of Canada, as written on June 16th, 2015.

I have retained your rank of “right” and “honourable” despite not agreeing that you are either because I hold my beloved country in an esteem that transcends petty words and ranks; our laws and designators stand for something more than profits for corporations and the slithering propaganda your party is privy to. I respect our laws where you do not and I believe in the history of this country where you do not.

Others call me a nationalist and I respond in the affirmative because Canada is something to be proud of. Yes. I am from Canada. Yes my country is great. Yes I am indeed proud of it. … At least I used to be. This emulates an average conversation I used to have with an American or a European… used to, Right Honourable Stephen Harper. I used to but no longer. Now I laugh when others, under your tyrannical hand and clever propagandists, say Canada is great. I laugh until I find myself weeping with despair at what my country has now become. The center for violations of human rights and privacy and the environment; you have made us a nation of death that bleeds black.

Why? Your assistant is thinking after having read and vetted this letter before handing it to you if at all; I wonder if your eyes can even read something other than hefty bank account balances and corporate tax-break forms.

Every day I take the VIVA blue from Yonge and Finch northbound to visit my mother and sister in Richmond Hill. I've been taking this route for nearly a decade; I know every tree, every storefront, every bus driver, every shade of grey of the pavement, and every snowflake that weaves through the sky during our long lasting winters. Every day, I see a Canadian flag perched high during this route and every day, I bow my head for a moment and contemplate it. I muse upon its historical significance, from the Union Jack variation in 1957 to Lester B. Pearson's monumental decision to shift away in 1964 and establish the flag that represents our home and native land, the symbol of pride and dignity and grandeur. Every day I fall in love with this flag, this symbol that I would happily bleed for to make sure the maple leaf stays red, every day except today. I shudder when I see it behind you when you speak in a press conference.

Today you made me a second-class citizen, demoting me to the ranks of Egyptian slaves and brutes and animals that wake up every day with plans to threaten our way of life. Today you stand apart from the rest of our prime ministers as one that I am not proud of, but am ashamed of. You hold in your hands the power to guide our nation to a light henceforth unseen by any other in civilization and yet it seems you are content with settling for the easy way out… since when did Canada become a nation to adhere to such values and take the easy way out? Since when has Canada shrunk in the corner in shame because our citizens can no longer hold up their chins with their fists in the air and scream the slogan of our most famous lager? Since when have I stopped screaming "I AM CANADIAN" at other travellers I meet in Europe or in the United States like a person insane and drunk with a love of his own country? Since today.

I ask you, what is next? Am I now to have a designated drinking fountain at parks and restaurants separate from yours? Do you seek to establish Canada as a bigoted, extremist, and separatist state rather than the one we have been known for until you came to power? One of inclusion, plurality, progression, and prosperity? I inquire why you are to against the great pluralism of our nation that has made us who we are. Have you forgotten the 3rd Canadian Division on that fearful day on the sands of Juno Beach on June 6, 1944? Have you forgotten that our divisions had penetrated further than all of the other allies? These were Canadian too, Right Honourable Stephan Harper, how many of them of them under your law are now second-class citizens? The soldiers that have bled for you? Have you forgotten the Battle of the Scheldt and our liberation of the Netherlands? Our great drive and hospitality to the Dutch Royal family, especially on January 19, 1943 where their flag was hung proudly atop our Peace Tower to celebrate the birth of Princess Margriet, the only time a foreign flag was waved on top of one of our parliament buildings, a place I am sure that you pass every day on your way to work to ostracize our country from the rest of the developed world.

I am well aware that you are not ignorant of the history of our nation, but I doubt whether you are interested in keeping Canada progressive and educated, rather than passing laws and speaking like the enemies you seem to despise; enemies that seek to destabilize our values and support systems… do they not segregate those they have lived with for so long? Do they not destroy the identities of those they could've called their friends had someone not labeled them as “different”? They are succeeding, and it is by your hand. A single law that oppresses us guarantees their victory.

Am I Canadian? You seem to think I am not and have been working with passionate disdain to make sure of this. Am I not Canadian despite having lived in this near-perfect nation for two decades? Have I not met and loved people? Have I not learned from the learned? Have I now experienced the infinite joys our country has to offer? Are those moments destroyed now that I am no longer Canadian? I serve the country and not you. I am at its beck and call and I will gladly wear an armband on my bicep or a stamp on my passport to segregate me from the woman I have loved, the friends that have now become family, and the flag I'd gladly die for if it means my heart remains Canadian. A Canadian’s heart is a red Maple Leaf and not a black oil drill or a shaded drone plane, Right Honourable Stephen Harper. You will never change that no matter how hard you try.

A first-class Canadian no matter what you or your ignorant and indoctrinated supporters think.

With cordial respect and eternal belief in the Maple Leaf,

Bruce Crown, a Canadian patriot.

Cc. Chris Alexander: the Shameful Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.