2005-07-19

Yet another reason why I prefer Russia to Canada

CTV.ca | Federal minister calls for school swim lessons


Swimming lessons should become part of every child's education, says the federal minister of state responsible for public health.

Carolyn Bennett is calling for swim lessons to be part of the school curriculum and for the federal government to help fund the initiative.

"In this country that is covered in swater, it seems like it should be like reading and writing," Bennett said.


Ooookay, so what's next? Will Canadian taxpayers need to pay for all government school students to learn how to skate? (And what's "swater" anyway?)

6 comments:

Metta Spencer said...

You prefer Russia? Odd. I don't.

And yes, optional skating lessons would be a good thing in places where there is a lot of ice. But it's not as important as learning to swim, so you're less likely to drown.
Metta Spencer

Kevin R. Hamm said...

The point that I was trying to make was that there is no end of things some government official may consider "good for us". The problem is, do we need an ever-growing nanny state such as we now have in Canada? Why should the government use my money to pay swimming teachers to train someone else's kids, for example? What about my responsibilities as a parent? Somehow we have got the notion in this country that the government should take care of us. I reject that completely. The government should govern, protect and mete out justice. Let us citizens live and die in peace without have the government trying to safeguard, regulate and correct our every step. This is what I appreciate about Russia (getting back to the title): the citizenry here have little or no expectations as to the government's care in their lives. If government workers dig a hole beneath a broken streetlamp, leave it uncovered and someone falls into it, too bad! You are responsible for where you walk! As harsh as that sounds to Canadians, Russians understand that to survive you have only yourself to rely on. When my grandparents came from Russia to Canada in the 20's, they had no help from the government and didn't expect it! Now we work over half the year paying the government so that they can teach somebody else's children to swim. Ridiculous!

Rdfroese said...

What is the military exemption and educational and cultural autonomy, and LAND that the govt of Canada gave immigrating Mennonites if not some sort of care? We came here because of the offer from the govt. We were not the "ideal" pioneers that settled the land. We got land and everything else and we were grateful to the govt. And the govt. here in CA uses your/our money to teach "someone" else's kids to cook, fix a car, canoe, play badminton, read a map and understand Shakespeare. Why draw the line at swimming? Cause its new and the idea has not been considered against the backdrop of other skills taught in school now? At least knowing how to swim could save your life unlike being taught how to type or make clever web pages.

Kevin R. Hamm said...

My bad for dragging in the grandparents without telling the whole story. Good point, Rob. What I had simply meant was that my grandparents had no expectations about the government raising their children.

I contend that the government in Canada (and most other countries) continually oversteps its mandate by trying to be a nanny to the "commoners".

Give the responsibilty for training and yes, teaching children back to the parents. "Mother government" doesn't know best.

Leave. Us. Alone.

Rdfroese said...

I cannot believe one could prefer Russian over Canada. Maybe some Russian things, particular items or some ideas but overall? But I suppose one gets used to and/or loyal to whatever circumstance one's a part of.
As to govt. and school if I gotta ASK to get back the responsibilty for training and teaching children then I think its gotten backwards and I may have lost the battle already. (Besides swimming lessons are not cheap) That is my government and I will tell it what I expect it will do and what I expect to do and I know that the educational authorities may not listen. I will not wait. My responsibility will not wait. I will teach and train my children and the school will augment my efforts but will not replace it. We have a voice here in Canada; school board (trustees), parent council, parent/teacher meetings, MLA, a free press, etc. All is not lost...entirely.

Kevin R. Hamm said...

I believe what is lost is the ability to return responsibility to the people once it has been entrusted to the government. Yes, there are elections, party membership, boards and the like. But the fact remains that once the government has been given control of something it is next to impossible for the people to get it back. Look at the poor state of our health care system. Can anyone honestly say that some level of privatization would not benefit the citizenry? But the road to that place is going to be difficult.

It is good to remember the warning Samuel gave to the people of Israel when they wanted a king (1 Samuel 8:10-18).