Citizenship – the duties and responsibilities that come with being a member of a community
After the Second World War, citizens realized how fragile our democratic society can be and took full responsibility to realize what needed to be done constructively to preserve long lasting peace and prosperity in our land.
Over the past decades many that have earned citizenship through their birthright have neglected their true responsibilities of their duties in their communities. This also applies to the new citizens who perhaps are not familiar with living in and being part of a democratic society. Unlike the pioneers and founders of our country who understood the value of citizenship and worked hard to keep the peace and develop our country the way we have it today.
The question is, why is the value of our citizenship being so undermined and it seems that the only purpose for our citizenship is to perhaps boast a travel document that allows us to travel to anywhere in the world? There is such a distinct lack of interest in being active in community or federal service. We need to pay more attention to our interest in our community and know our rightful responsibilities to ourselves and our future generations. If we don’t become active in our duties and keep the flame alive of our forefathers then we are not doing a service to ourselves, our future generations and the world.
We have seen dire setbacks in other parts of the world where citizenship is not taken seriously and we don’t want to have the same situation in Canada. We need to have all Canadian citizens exercise their rights and duties. Observing the minds of today’s Canadian citizen we only seem to have the mindset of receiving but not giving back constructively; thus robbing our future generations of social, cultural and economical richness. We must remind ourselves of the duties of our citizenship.
Furthermore, this is a wake up call to our esteemed Provincial and Federal Government bodies. It is extremely humanitarian and noble of Canada to open its doors to the multitudes that emigrate from their impoverished birth countries and be given the opportunity to come and have a better life in Canada. However, this humanitarian behavior is not displayed beyond the initial stages of the new immigrant’s arrival in their new place of hope and refuge.
Employment is often a struggle to find, language barriers are usually a set-back, immigrants are often mistreated in the work place and offered menial minimum wage part-time jobs and have to work for 2 or 3 companies at a time and most professional immigrant’s don’t qualify under Canadian law and practices to work as the professional person they were in their own birth country.
Canada’s daily cost of living and inflation is far higher than the countries they have come from where for example they could’ve lived on $1 a day they now need to have $100 day to make ends meet.
So in all honesty are we really helping immigrants gain a better lifestyle? Perhaps more opportunity to be progressive and more freedom of speech but certainly not a richer life as it may have been portrayed in the beginning or their trek to a better future but rather a life that that is filled with stress, worry and concern of how they will ever be progressive.
So what is the solution perhaps that can be offered to new immigrants to help them integrate into the Canadian culture and economy?
One could almost say wouldn’t it be better if Canada could first adopt these future citizens in their own countries by sending Canadian Ambassadors to establish contacts and build communities in countries of interest to assist those who qualify for immigration to Canada. Workshops can be held to set the pace for what life is like in Canada and how they will need to function. Educate them on their home soil before taking them out of poverty only to bring them into poverty again in much richer surroundings.
Alternatively, we could say that perhaps we should consider incorporating a 2 year integration program for new immigrants. The program to include English language training, collaborate with Corporations to include an integration job opportunity program for new immigrants to help them ease into the economy and lastly integrate them into society by having international fairs and festivals to promote Canada’s Multicultural Mosaic.
In conclusion what is the plan for the next fifty years for this country? How ready are we to contribute more and to truly make a difference to benefit the generations of the next fifty years and beyond and see the landscape of this new global world become truly richer and fulfilled?
The future is in all of our hands and it can only be done by us as we take our individual responsibilities passionately.
By Honoré Gbedze, The Afro News, Vancouver, BC