Plus, the problem with Derek Sloan, why Doug Ford's COVID dance is bad for business and what the world needs now is more compassion in reader mail this week
President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Vice-President Kamala Harris’s inauguration was a long-yearned-for moment for millions of Americans and much of the world.
It was a colossal relief after four years of unscrupulous, science-denying leadership.
Mother Nature, keenly aware that the new U.S. president will not turn away from climate change’s intensifying repercussions, worked magic with a few initial snowflakes, clearing the skies for the sunny afternoon with steady wind gusts for the stars and strips to soar as Lady Gaga sang the Star-Spangled Banner.
Signing back onto the Paris Agreement was a revisiting of Obama-era policy by a new president who declared that “he hears the cry for survival from the planet.”
Jennifer Lopez’s singing of America, which would wow Lee Greenwood, and then country music legend Garth Brook’s exodus after performing Amazing Grace – he darted over and gave a quick hug to former presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton – enthralled onlookers and exuded a united American spirit.
The re-emergence of Michelle and Barack Obama, Laura and George W. Bush, and Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton after the inauguration at The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery with Biden and Harris was heartwarming indeed.
The Celebrating America tribute with Tom Hanks and Justin Timberlake, and other Hollywood heavyweights, marked a wonderful close to the day. Lady Liberty is smiling again!
David Searle – Toronto
I have no problem with Derek Sloan being dismissed from the Conservative caucus (NOW Online, January 19) and being banned from running as a Conservative candidate in any election where Erin O’Toole is the leader.
However, there is a problem if a sitting member can be dismissed for accepting a relatively small donation out of about 13,000, especially if they return it as soon as they become aware of the donor’s identity.
Perhaps in a future election, a Communist or Marxist should donate a small amount to a Conservative candidate in the hopes that they will be banned from the caucus. I suggest $19.17.
Bruce Couchman – Ottawa
Listening to the news about Julie Payette (NOW Online, January 23), two things occur to me.
First, when vetting candidates for the job of Governor General – or any job – the vetters should not only talk to their past employers but their past employees.
Also, how did Payette conduct herself in space? If her staff fled to the washroom on the plane because there was no place to go to escape her, what did her fellow astronauts do? Or maybe she was OK when she wasn’t the boss.
Elizabeth Block – Toronto
While the world is at war with a deadly, infectious strain of SARS-CoV-2, a more overt, insidious virus has gone largely unaddressed by the world community. That virus is anti-Semitism.
It is with great dismay and utter horror as I, a Jewish woman in a so-called progressive, multicultural Canada, witness the vandalizing and attempted arson of the Shaa’r Shamayim Congregation in Montreal. A 28-year old liberal arts student defaced the largest synagogue in the city with swastikas while carrying a can of gasoline in his hand.
This 3,000-year-old parasite has been surging globally, infesting millions, and manifesting petrifying symptoms of raging fear and loathing. Symptomatic individuals were spotted at Washington’s Capitol some days back, sporting T-shirts with slogans such as “6MWE” (“6 million wasn’t enough”) and waving swastika flags. They were seen in Vancouver Island, striking a Jewish man while hollering anti-Semitic comments. They were seen in Kentucky, where a Jewish student was run over by a driver at a menorah-lighting.
It is time to speak up. The virus is mutating and infecting at a rapid rate, but the first step to control its spread is by acknowledging that it exists, it kills, it prevails, but it will not stay.
Danielle Ben-Shoshan – Ottawa
I am a Canadian living in Denmark. I am beyond horrified that former Premier of Ontario, Mike Harris, is slated to be honoured with the Order of Ontario.
Amongst other great offences to Canadian decency and civility, Harris oversaw the standoff at Ipperwash in the 90’s, in which Dudley George was shot and Killed.
I want to say rest in peace, but how could he? The background of the story may not be well-known, but it is well documented. The Chippewa Nation had their land expropriated in 1942 under the Wartime Measures Act, in order to expand the Ipperwash military base.
The Chippewa Nation was told their land would be returned following the war. In 1995, 53 years later, it still hadn’t been returned. When the nation determined to protest the land theft, the OPP was called in. The situation was inflamed by the premier’s office, who wanted to flex his muscles. He ordered the protesters removed. The OPP sent in snipers. And three protestors were shot, including George.
The killer was reprimanded in court for fabricating information of a rifle in George’s possession to try and hide the fact that he had shot and killed an unarmed man.
Mike Burns – From nowtoronto.com
Re Doug Ford’s Deadly Dance With The Coronavirus (NOW Online, January 11) Excellent article! Doug Ford’s middle-of-the-road approach is failing in both directions.
His first priority as premier should be the health and safety of Ontarians. But he keeps trying to negotiate with the virus thinking that he is helping the economy, when in fact an out-of-control pandemic is actually bad for business. Thank you for calling him out on his mismanagement of this crisis. Keep up the good work.
Martin Utrosa – From nowtoronto.com
Re Shame And Blame Will Not Save You From the Virus (NOW Online, January 16). Thank you for the COVID-19 articles. This was especially good.
I, unfortunately, would fall into the category of the finger-waggers and those who think that people who have been diagnosed with COVID are not taking this pandemic seriously!
I appreciate this article for encouraging me to be more compassionate. The world can definitely use more compassion. Thank you. Take care and be safe.
Ashley Keyes – From nowtoronto.com