The March 16 letter of Paul O’Brien, “Freedom is the driving force behind truckers’ protest,” raises as many issues as it claims to answer.
The letter claims the mainstream media distorts the actions of truckers whose movement – as seen by any who witnessed their mayhem on TV – included those displaying anti-semitic Nazi, racist Confederate, and neo-fascist Trump flags on Canadian soil, protesters dancing and urinating on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and placing an upside-down Canadian flag on the Terry Fox statue. These acts were not invented by the media – they were merely reported.
Mr. O’Brien claims that he and his colleagues “are by far the most well-informed people on the COVID issue” and I had thought – mistakenly apparently – that world-class scientists like Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s chief public health officer, and other public health and virology experts should guide our actions across our nation.
Does the “freedom” of the truck convoy organizers include sedition as found on the Go Fund Me website that raised over $10 million – with over half coming from the U.S. and other foreign sources – in a memorandum calling for the replacement of Canada’s democratically elected federal government with a body composed of the unelected Senate, the unelected Governor-General, and the unelected truckers?
Should a small group of truckers have the “freedom” to occupy much of downtown Ottawa and constantly blare truck horns, intimidate local citizens who wore masks, and ignore police orders for the public good or to cost taxpayers billions of dollars by blocking trade at international border crossings?
A vast majority of hard-working Canadians and truckers have been vaccinated and have – as citizens in a democracy – assumed their responsibilities of caring for the health of themselves and their families and especially the most vulnerable among us: the elderly, and others with weakened immune systems. A democracy can only be sustained if we balance our personal freedom with our civic responsibilities to one another with loving kindness and compassion – not self-centred license.