Growing up in Alberta as the youngest son of two immigrants, I never felt special or coddled because I was a minority. I never felt the white people around me were privileged or needed grant me any special treatment because of the color of my skin or ancestry of my parents.
Even as an adult, when I discovered that the founders of Canada used my ancestors practically as slave labour to build their national railroad, I never felt offended or entitled to any special kind of treatment.
I never felt out of place as a minority in Alberta because my parents placed integration into our community above preservation of their foreign culture.
Both my parents immigrated with practically nothing. They both were poorer than the poorest Canadians. My Mom spoke English, my Dad did not.
My Dad, however, was incredibly intelligent and hard working. To better fit in, he took on an English name over his Chinese name. He stayed up late and woke up early to practice learning English.
While upgrading his high school diploma and studying Mechanical Engineering at the University of Alberta, he worked hard at entry level, minimum wage jobs (jobs that won’t exist today with a $15/hour minimum wage).
While learning a new language and paying his way own way through university, he still made the Dean’s list and graduated at the top of his class. He was hired immediately by one of the largest oil and gas companies in the country.
Two years later my Dad was married and my older brother was born. Two years after that, I was born.
Around that time, Pierre Elliot Trudeau eviscerated the Alberta economy through the NEP.
My Dad was forced into foreclosure on his house. He never was bitter about it, but growing up he occasionally would share the story with us.
My brother and I would have been about the same age as my children today. I can not imagine how my Dad endured through that experience. Who knows, I might get to experience it too.
Like being Prime Minister, in Canada, every man should experience what his father does, unless you father was a Conservative, in which case being a Prime Minister’s son grants you access to being an entertainment talk show host.
Nevertheless, despite the foreclosure, my father was not laid off from his job. He once told me he actually regularly got raises and promotions at work. The reason: he worked hard, fit in, and delivered results.
He told me a critical reason for his early success was that he had adopted Western Canadian culture. He never taught my brother and I Cantonese (he tried briefly) because he knew being in Canada, it was more important to speak English and be like the Canadians.
My father taught me my whole life that if you were honest, worked hard, fit in, and performed well, you would be successful.
He was well positioned to do so. He embodied those ethos to his core and it was a formula that worked for him.
Just under 40 years ago, my Dad was some Chinese teenage immigrant who could barely read, write, or speak a word of English while stumbling around Edmonton.
Through hard work, a commitment to excellence, and the highest degree of personal integrity he rose up the ranks to become the Vice President of one of Canada’s largest Oil and Gas companies and a spokesperson for the entire industry.
With the exception of a 2 year stint in the corporate headquarters in Toronto, my Dad had raised my family in Alberta. I grew up in Calgary, Swan Hills, Grand Prairie, and Cold Lake. My own 3 children were born in Calgary.
Alberta is my home. In so far as national identity is concerned, I will always be an Albertan first.
In my Dad’s time not everyone could accomplish what he did and to have done so would have rightly garnered respect and admiration.
Today in Canada, men of my Dad’s status are viewed as greedy members of the wealthy 1%, hell bent on destroying the planet while robbing the poor and middle class.
Never mind the fact that my Dad started out poor and had to claw his way through obstacles and adversities few natural born Canadians (myself included) could ever imagine.
My Dad is an example of what makes Alberta great.
The Alberta I grew up in was a meritocracy where a poor immigrant could become an executive of a billion dollar corporation, if he possessed the talent and drive to make it happen.
The Alberta I see today is a Canadian province with the intrinsic Canadian sense of nepotism and entitlement that breads complacency and and self depreciating defeatism.
Ability, merit and competency takes the backseat to frivolous politics, vanity and interpersonal drama.
It pains me to know that being a Canadian, the core ethos and values that made my father successful will likely be a recipe for failure or at best, mediocrity, for my children.
In Canada, children are taught that they are special, precious little snow-flakes, and like all the Provinces in our wretched confederation, they must all be made “equal.”
Paradoxically white people, men, and fathers are the enemy and must be punished for transgressions no one alive today had any personal involvement in.
Immigrants are actively encouraged and subsidized by the government NOT to integrate, but who can blame them?
Canadian culture today is a cesspool of incompatible and irrational progressive multiculturalism and selective politically correct censorship.
The best a Canadian child today can look forward to, is to be trapped under the yoke of Canada’s nonsense, learning to game the system to become perpetual recipients of state-welfare.
If they are lucky, maybe they can one day move to the US and become a comedian, pop signer, or a US Senator and Republican Presidential Candidate.
I want the Alberta of my childhood back.
Independence from Canada is the only way that will happen.