As the Canadian military’s Afghan mission wraps up, the mainstream media daily reminds us of our so-called achievements in Afghanistan. Very little is being said about Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s determination to militarize Canadian society and culture.
This time new Canadians are in the crosshairs.
The Conservative government is dramatically increasing the role and status of the military in citizenship ceremonies. Discover Canada, a new handbook from the Department of Citizenship and Immigration require the military representative in attendance at citizenship ceremonies to:
- sit in the main platform with the citizenship judge
- be official recognized
- be thanked for his or her service and dedication to Canada
- give a speech (sometimes)
- stand in the receiving line to congratulate new Canadians
The power of the Canadian Forces on display here. But Ottawa’s real goal is to awe and indoctrinate new Canadians. In the not-too-distant past, would-be Canadians were required to have three years residency in Canada, speak English or French and understand Canadian history, electoral system and geography.
And yet, we should have seen this coming. In the last four years of Conservative rule, the Canadian military has gradually replaced Canadian values as the core of Canadian citizenship.