Treated like sec­ond-class Cana­di­ans

The Compass - - OPINION - — Nadine Martin writes from Par­adise

Dear Edi­tor,

As a New­found­lan­der, I have mixed emo­tions about Canada Day. I have been a Cana­dian all my life, ed­u­cated my­self, served in the mil­i­tary as a re­servist, had an hon­ourable pro­fes­sion from which I re­tired, raised three fine chil­dren, kept up on the po­lit­i­cal par­ties and al­ways voted.

I have been proud to say I am Cana­dian when I have trav­elled out of my coun­try. I live in the best coun­try in the world! But lately I have been feel­ing some­thing of a sec­ond-class cit­i­zen.

In the past year I had to book pas­sage by Marine At­lantic for a fam­ily mem­ber, and this year I looked into book­ing pas­sage for my hus­band and me to North Syd­ney to see his sis­ter. My hus­band and I also spent a month in Lloy­d­min­ster, Alta.

I re­al­ized sev­eral things. First, to travel out of my prov­ince, ei­ther by air or ferry, is ex­pen­sive. A boat trip to North Syd­ney from Ar­gen­tia in­clud­ing two meals, a cabin and a small car will cost us more than $1,000 re­turn.

Se­condly, I will need to pro­duce a credit card and a piece of govern­ment iden­ti­fi­ca­tion. When we were in Al­berta one evening, we de­cided to go to Saskatchewan for sup­per. We trav­elled along the TCH at no cost other than gas and at no time were we re­quired to have a credit card or iden­ti­fi­ca­tion.

I re­al­ized that other Cana­di­ans can do this of­ten. They travel from prov­ince to prov­ince with very lit­tle ex­pense and at no time do they have to pro­vide proof of means or of res­i­dence un­less they break a law. It is a freedom that I, as a New­found­lan­der, do not have and even though I un­der­stand the rea­sons, I do find it be­lit­tling.

So please for­give me if on Canada Day I at­tended the July 1st Me­mo­rial Day ser­vices and at the fol­low­ing Canada Day cel­e­bra­tions I sighed deeply, with some re­gret, even as I cheered on my coun­try.

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