by Bev. Cumming
“For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”
― Nelson Mandela
I have heard enough about the confusing arguments of individual rights of Canadians. In fact, I felt obliged to investigate just what these rights are. It is all there in the “An Act for the Recognition and Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms”. I could find nothing that entitles people to gather together with the intent to threaten and impede the lives of others.
Most of us watched, I watched, in disbelief as a small group of radical “truckers” and other malcontents converged on our national capital. This protest has done little to reveal an ideology or plan to rally around other than a supposed cry for “freedom”. Meanwhile, thousands of people in central Ottawa have been held hostage and have had their Freedom taken away. Other demonstrations have occurred in different parts of the country, but this has gone beyond a “peaceful” protest and has become a siege against our Government and the citizens of Ottawa.
The concept of Freedom does not mean we have the right to do what we want no matter what the rest (the majority) see as the right thing to do. There has been much debate about the ideas of Personal Rights vs the Common Good throughout the Pandemic and I know where I stand. The need for a vaccinated population seems to have initiated the protests by a small segment of citizens. However, one suspects there is something more sinister brewing. The appearance of more and more agitators who have their own agenda, ample funding, and encouragement from outside the country are adding to the problems.
When our democracy is threatened, political rhetoric doesn’t work with those who see themselves as disenfranchised. Our government(s) has been unable or reluctant to act quickly and decisively because they are hampered somewhat by the Constitution and the Charter of Rights. The politicians have been caught up in a game of political butt - covering and finger - pointing and we have suffered through a quagmire of leadership inaction. Finally, our Government has now taken a firm stand with significant consequences in order to deescalate the danger and clear out the interlopers.
“Freedom” is the mantra, but it is inconceivable to me how Canada (in the top ten of free countries in the world ) could be defiled in this way. When it all becomes too much and the agony of watching the endless newsfeeds threatens to drive you crazy, there is something you can try. Grab a cushion, put it over your face and scream into it. It might help!