The issues facing Canada today are as varied as the Canadian mosaic. It appears that what is most important is determined by the eye of the beholder. Issues emerge and grow based upon gender, age, geographical locations, language group, or social status.
Canada is a very complex society. It is large in land mass, but it is small in population. Its needs are great, but its tax base is lacking. It requires a huge infra-structure and support network to function, and we are feeling the strains on almost every level as we attempt to keep growing within the global family of nations.
For some, the economic issues are most important – how do we protect jobs, preserve the value of our savings, deal with debt, and maintain our pensioner’s future. For some, the social needs are the most important – taking care of the elderly, providing for the poor, creating options for the unemployed.
All of our government leaders – whether they are municipal, provincial or federal – need our prayers. It’s a big job, and it requires the Wisdom of Solomon to run this nation. It is no easy assignment, and as I listened to the national debates, there appears to be a wide diversity of opinion among the parties as to how this nation should be governed.
I have experienced the challenge of learning how to budget a household on thousands of dollars. In recent years I have gained experience in learning how to steward the resources of millions. However, our leaders need to know how to distribute Canada’s wealth – billions – to the right people at the right time.
What guides this distribution of wealth? Do special interest groups? Does corporate money control it? Are lobbyists the central force? Is it media driven? Is it polls and public pressure that directs our money? What about unions? Or, is it the proverbial squeaky wheel that gets the grease?
If leadership does not have an internal compass or a guiding light, these external pressures can make governance unbelievably difficult. We are seeing devastation in the financial institutions because leaders lost sight of the line between right and wrong, profit and greed, stewardship and irresponsibility.
Policies and procedures always flow from values. Values find their strength and clarity in belief systems. Beliefs are either rooted into a fear of the Lord – righteousness, or they are built upon humanism – self-righteousness. What matters most about Canada right now is the state of its heart.
From my perspective, the real issues facing our nation right now are moral, not economic or social. The leadership Canada needs must come from a moral center. If we elect a government that is morally weak, our nation will ultimately create policies and programs that will diminish our citizenry and jeopardize our future. If we elect a government that is morally strong, the nation will be blessed and the people will be strengthened.
Parliament had some critical decisions to make. Bill C-26 cracked down on drug dealing with mandatory sentences. Bill C-214 was an act that tried to prevent the use of the Internet to distribute pornographic material involving children. Bill C-338 had to do with making abortion illegal after 20 weeks. Bill C-562 attempts to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide.
The Senate was no different. Canada has been targeted by the international community as a “source, transit and destination country” for human trafficking. S-218 was a bill designed to stop the global slave trade and help victims who were brought here for prostitution, forced labor, or removal of organs. S-209 tries to affect changes to the Criminal Code making spanking or restraining a child forcibly a criminal offense.
These leadership issues require the clear conscience of moral men and women. What training have these men and women got when it comes to making moral decisions? This is the real stuff and substance of political life. Bills passed on either of these floors will affect people and the destiny of generations forever.
God said, “Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance, and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs – or issues – of life” (Proverbs 4:23). If we are standing guard over Canada right now, our first and foremost concern ought to be to guard over its heart – its moral center.