Canada has become a place I no longer like nor admire. It’s gotten to the point I don’t even want to know the news anymore and that’s an unlikely outcome for a former journalist like me. I made a personal pledge not to watch any Olympic coverage because I don’t think China should have even been awarded these games. They gave the world Covid, treat minorities such as the Uyghurs as slave labour, and took away freedoms from the residents of Hong Kong, all without a fare-thee-well from the world.
In fact, It turns out to be easy to avoid watching the Olympics on television, because the games have been pushed far down newscasts by that other event I don’t want to watch, the Freedom Convoy in its various forms across the country. Have you ever seen police do so little when there is so much to do? Even the declaration of a state of emergency by Ontario Premier Doug Ford doesn’t seem to have changed anything in Ottawa. A court injunction has aided police at the Ambassador Bridge.
Where does all this obstreperous behaviour come from? I blame Donald Trump who made it OK for people with wacko ideas to do what they want. Still, in the U.S. there has at least been a response. More than 500 people have been charged following the events of January 6 at the Capitol. Some are already in jail for five-year terms. All we can seem to muster in Canada are a few traffic tickets.
Another cause for the wracked world around us is social media which allows like-minded people to gather together in their thousands. People, who in the past wouldn’t even have known how to find each other, can now plot disruptions with impunity in such diverse places as Emerson, Manitoba, and Coutts, Alberta.
The Ottawa police chief, Peter Sloly, has said that his police force wasn’t trained for this. Nor have they responded well. As a result, in Ottawa, all the police seem to do is watch. But what happens when other groups with equal cohesion and more dastardly plans set up shop? Canadians have always been smug about how “peace, order and good government” sets us apart from “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” in the U.S. Where will this will go next? All we know for sure is that Canada has changed for the worse. Perhaps forever.