By Jonathon Van Maren
I’m sitting in the Halifax Airport after two days in Cape Breton, where I was working with the staff and students at a little Christian school on how to respond to the spread of digital pornography. The school, incidentally, was twenty minutes down the road from Grand Narrows, the inspiration for Dave’s hometown “Big Narrows” in the late Canadian storyteller Stuart Maclean’s Vinyl Café stories, and an hour away from one of Canada’s most impressive historical sites, the 18nth century Fortress of Louisbourg.
After the school day ended, I managed to drive my rental car out to the fortress, which juts out into the icy Atlantic and looms up in the fog as you drive in. I was technically too late for a tour, but the Cape Bretton native who came over to my car as I apologetically explained why I’d showed up so close to closing time waved my apologies away and told me to hop out of the car, taking me from the cannons pointing out over the sea (where English warships had eventually appeared on the horizon and taken the fortress from the French) to the village where the residents and their slaves had lived. The Atlantic pounded against the shore, slowly pulling the land into the deep—one ancient graveyard had begun to slump into the sea, and the staff at the fortress had been forced to recover four centuries-old bodies just that morning to be reinterred further inland.
The Maritimes is simply one of the most gorgeous areas of Canada. The school put me up in a little bed and breakfast directly across from the frozen harbor that fairly glowed in the moonlight, and of course the seafood was superb. But there’s a dark side to the island, as well. One pastor I met with to discuss and strategize how to deal with the porn problem noted that there was rampant alcoholism and increasing drug use on Cape Breton, and they’re seeing increasing numbers of young people snatched away by their addictions. His church, he said, helps run a center to assist troubled youth—but felt they couldn’t apply for the Canada Summer Jobs funding they depended on for assistance this year because of the Liberal’s insertion of an “abortion attestation” into the application requirements.
During the evening at the B&B I was staying at, I was watching the Conservatives and Liberals debate the Canada Summer Jobs attestation in the House of Commons. Over and over again, the Liberals insisted that everyone could sign, that it was no big deal, and that those who couldn’t sign just didn’t understand, despite the fact that over 80 religious leaders have asked them to rescind the attestation. But in just two days here in the Maritimes, I talked to several religious leaders and educators who either could not check the attestation on the application, or simply did not even apply this year at all due to the attestation. Even with the supplementary information included, many, many Canadians cannot do what the Liberal Party is asking them to do.
As I wrote earlier this week, the Liberals fundamentally do not understand how conscience works. They may believe that the attestation is fine, but when religious leaders tell them they cannot sign and the Liberals retort that obviously these leaders are too stupid to understand or have been duped by the Conservatives, they are achieving the height of arrogance. Right across the country, organizations are either reducing the good work they do or searching for funding elsewhere. I’ve been told that some Liberal MPs are desperately calling groups in their riding and telling them to just apply anyway. Many of them know that this attestation was a mistake. Because at the end of the day, it will be kids like the vulnerable youth on Cape Breton and everywhere else that will be hit the hardest by this move.
I noted, when I was walking inside the Louisbourg Fortress, that the chapel was the biggest and most central room. Faith has been central to Canada for her entire history, even centuries before she became a country. Now, Trudeau and his progressives spit in the face of our heritage and the men and women who built this nation in the first place. Those who hold the same beliefs as those who built Canada are, in the eyes of Trudeau and his ilk, “unCanadian.” And they will pass policies that will hurt any number of Canadians in order to drive that point home.
For anyone interested, my book on The Culture War, which analyzes the journey our culture has taken from the way it was to the way it is and examines the Sexual Revolution, hook-up culture, the rise of the porn plague, abortion, commodity culture, euthanasia, and the gay rights movement, is available for sale here.