It is astounding to see protests in the name of freedom occupying our nation’s capital. These protests are not about a person’s right to choose and the freedom to travel. These protests are illegal. The fact that these individuals are able to occupy and disrupt lives in our nation’s capital makes a mockery of Canada’s justice system.
Sadly, it hurts to see the actions of this so-called Freedom Convoy diminish the tremendous work of public health and the life saving efforts of the thousands upon thousands of Canada’s health care workers because someone believes one gives up a right when voluntarily choosing to be vaccinated. Freedom of an individual to stand against regulations restricting freedom to roam between borders is not freedom we can take for granted. Canadians have endured heartache navigating a health crisis. Restricting travel has nothing to do with freedom. It is about saving lives. The virus only moves when people move it.
These protesters in Ottawa and in other parts of this great nation do not truly represent the vast overwhelming majority of Canadians who are vaccinated. These individuals have chosen to be blind to reality. We live in a world beset with anxiety, hurt and tragedy resulting from the global COVID pandemic. Those crying about their rights must be on the verge of utter insanity with their heads in the sand, ignoring the millions whose lives have been disrupted and the thousands upon thousands that have died and those that will continue to die before this pandemic ends. If they think that occupying a nation’s capital will correct their perceived perverted sense of some sort of injustice these individuals are blind to reality. The health measures introduced to save lives have to supersede individual rights. The health care measures were introduced to protect lives, not limit freedoms. The restrictions have worked.
Scenes out of Ottawa following the labeled “peaceful invasion/occupation” by thousands under the umbrella of seeking the freedom represent more darkness in an otherwise difficult pandemic. Reported incidents of Nazi swastikas, racist American flags, urinating on the National War Memorial, dancing on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, desecration of Terry Fox’s statue, threatening volunteers assisting the homeless, demanding food from soup kitchens, occupation of a shopping plaza, mocking individuals for mask wearing, harassing health care workers, harassing citizens of Ottawa who want to go to work, bringing children along to participate in a volatile dangerous stand off, etc. have nothing to do about freedom. It has everything to with harassment, bullying, intimation and breaking the law. This group organized on principle of freedom to protest are in reality demonizing the very pillars of a free democratic society.
Amidst all the calamity and disruption of public lives, an open letter penned by Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe appeared. Premier Moe, supporting the Freedom Convoy travelling across the country wrote, “The current federal border policy for truckers makes no sense. An unvaccinated trucker does not pose any greater risk of transmission than a vaccinated trucker.” (CBC Jan 29/22).
What a bobble head abrupt turn in opinion! Premier Moe just last year spoke of impatience with those who were unvaccinated and is now supporting the unvaccinated. His new stand is a contradiction of his own current provincial health directive. Flip-flop politicians such as Moe are not alone.
Not sure how it can be any clearer, Premier Moe. Being vaccinated will reduce the risk of transmission and in the likelihood that one gets COVID, vaccines will reduce the risk of serious illness, hospitalization and death. What part of the message is missing?”
The City of Ottawa, our nation’s capital, has declared a state of emergency. This was followed by an emergency debate of parliament where Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke of Canadians being “shocked and frankly disgusted” by some protesters’ behaviour.
Yes, Mr. Prime Minister, that statement certainly raises eyebrows. But what is the government going to do about it? Factor in the ‘fear and anxiety’ of families held hostage, trapped in their homes by protesters, those trying to get to work and children off to school. This all adds up to a sad reality, lives being turned upside down by illegal, dangerous, intimidating activities of a minority of which very little is known other than they have vehicles blocking the streets of Ottawa.
Sorry, Mr. Prime Minister, but as Canadians we are beyond that. Canadians need leadership. Someone needs to step up to the plate and end this nonsense. If these individuals want to protest they may do so, but do it from their own front porch. Leave Ottawa to the people of Ottawa. No one is questioning the right of free speech. That pillar of democracy has not changed. It can be done in a way that does not shake the very foundation of common decency, safety and the Rule of Law.
Port aux Basques, NL