Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A coming out, of sorts

Today is the anniversary of my arrival in Canada, a country I came to by choice. That was an awfully long time ago, forty-five years to be exact. Startling.

All of my adult life has been spent in this country. I earned my university degree here, I had a sort-of-career (or, at least a long-term job) working in public schools, mostly as a teacher-librarian. My kids grew up and went to school here. I say 'zed' and watch hockey. I've learned to appreciate curling.

I make a mean butter-tart -- and every Christmas make 'em by the dozens. The only passport I've ever had says I'm a Canadian citizen. This is the only country I vote in. I'm even a reasonably well-respected member of Canada's arts community and have works published in books like the one above.

Yet now, the country where I happened to be born (trust me, I had no say in the matter) seems to be coming after me and my kind, claiming we need to file taxes there. Because the fines they're threatening are hefty, it seems I have no choice but to comply. Comply. Hmm. Isn't that the word the Borg used when they sucked away an individual's consciousness?

This makes about as much sense to me as if the Pope were to phone and tell me I have to start going to Mass again and that I better start saying thousands of Hail Mary’s to make up for all those years I missed doing so.

It's hard to imagine that the U.S. would tolerate similar claims being made by Canada on people who went the other way. Can you say "Alex Trebek"?

So here I am feeling disgusted and disheartened. Some way to celebrate an anniversary, eh.

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