A young Conservative on Andrew Scheer, and ‘finishing the sentence’
The Tories have stopped selling a vision of Canada, writes Natalie Pon. With Andrew Scheer as leader, here’s where it can go now
The first of my ancestors came to Canada in 1913. This detail is important, because it shapes why I am a conservative.
My great-great-grandfather paid a $500 head tax in 1913 to come to Canada. Not much is known about his life in the Toisan region in China, except that Canada was seen as a place where, if he worked hard, he could achieve economic prosperity and send money to his family back home. In Canada, he worked in and operated restaurants in small villages and towns for several decades throughout Saskatchewan and Alberta before opening up his own cafe in Medicine Hat. The postwar boom meant the restaurant business was good. This entrepreneurial spirit allowed him to establish a middle-class life in Canada while purchasing land and property in China for his family. He couldn’t vote until 1947, and experienced occasional racism, but his sacrifice paid off. Canada became his home. This is just one of many entrepreneurial stories in my family’s history in Canada.
In my culture, we speak of something called “filial piety”—respect for one’s parents, elders, and ancestors. To me, this means being grateful for every sacrifice that my elders and ancestors made for me. This has crossed over into my immense sense of patriotism for Canada. I am Canadian—full stop
This country gave my family every opportunity to succeed. I want this legacy of Canada to continue for future generations who see Canada as a place of endless opportunity, and for me, the best way for me to honour the sacrifices my family made for me is to help build a Canada with endless opportunities for success. This is why I am a conservative.
I am a conservative because I believe this is the movement that embodies what it means to be Canadian. Canada was built on a foundation of sacrifice and hard work—values which conservatives cherish and champion. These are values that I have recognized throughout my family’s history.