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Plus, Erin O'Toole gets the axe, a message to the Conservative Party to stop coddling white supremacists and Hands Off Palestine blowback in reader mail
Re #FreedomConvoy2022 and Canada’s descent into Trumpism (NOW Online, January 30).
All that is needed to complete the picture of narcissistic stupidity and selfishness displayed by the so-called “Freedom Convoy” protesters is an attack on Parliament Hill, in the same way that hundreds of ignoramuses did in Washington D.C. last year.
Clearly, they have no qualms about contracting the deadly global plague and possibly spreading it even among their own friends and kin. They are hostage-takers of a different sort, using their rigs to obstruct lives and bully others into submission. The shamelessness of Western separatists and oil moguls looking to expand their influence and bemoaning the slow death of the fossil fuel industry is now a grotesque spectacle, replete with the defacing of hallowed war memorials.
How ironic of Donald Trump to call them “beautiful Canadians” so that he might foster unrest in a foreign capital just as he did inside his own.
Christopher Mansour – TORONTO
After watching the dangerous clown show to our south for four years, it isn’t surprising that it has gone on the road, and come into our country now.
Nothing shouts “freedom” more than being stuck on a congested highway, breathing diesel fumes, in sub-zero temperatures! This “protest” is more of an expression of “cabin fever” (with a COVID twist) than it is about freedom. We are all tired and frustrated. We have all been running a strange marathon for the past two years. As in any marathon, the closer you get to the finish line, the more people drop out and quit.
Unlike a lot of people in Ottawa, those of us left in the race will have the satisfaction that comes with sacrifice, bravery, and perseverance symbolized by our national monuments to those who fought and died for us. If nothing else, this strange trucker’s “protest” has at least given the rest of us a glimpse of what “freedom” is not about.
It is not about demanding the overthrow of a fairly elected democratic government, as we witnessed a year ago to the south. Instead of pointing fingers, laying blame and second-guessing COVID responses and mandates, let’s get to work again, and fix things, and help our friends and neighbours recover, so we can move forward.
When you take a look around at the rest of the world (especially the U.S.) you realize that we’ve done a pretty good job. This pandemic will be in our rearview mirror soon. We must always remember those who gave their lives fighting for freedom, just as we remember the more than 34,000 Canadians who have died so far because of this virus.
We are lucky and blessed to live in one of the best countries in the world. Terry Fox wasn’t able to finish his marathon, but he sure as hell wasn’t a quitter.
Andrew Macdonald – WHITEHORSE, YUKON
Re Erin O’Toole’s ouster signals a return to Reform Party rural rump for Canada’s Conservatives (NOW Online, February 2).
From what I’ve gleaned, O’Toole sounds far more palatable than any of the alternatives in his party. His exit just confirms to me that the party faithful are hardcore right-wingers with no interest in appealing to a wide swathe of the Canadian electorate.
They seem to me to be what I would have hoped to be the last gasp and vestiges of a dying cast of disaffected Bible belters yearning for a return to the morality and politics of the 50s. The problem is that polls regularly show the Conservatives consistently neck and neck with the Liberals at each federal election, so there’s a lot more to the equation than that.
There was a time when there was a progressive conservative movement in this country that had far more credibility and I say that as a left-leaning centrist. How do we reconcile these deep divisions in the Canadian body politic? Are we too polarized to break the log jam? Is party politics even working for Canadians?
Frank Vetere – From NOWTORONTO.COM
A message to Conservative Party Members of Parliament: Stop undermining efforts of public health services in the fight against the pandemic. We have had 33,000 deaths; how many more will die because you oppose the vaccination leadership of our medical scientists? Stop coddling the white supremacist parasites disrupting Ottawa and creating a COVID superspreader.
John Meyers, Barbara Kane – GODERICH
Re In Photos: Hundreds march in Toronto in support of Hands Off Palestine (NOW Online, January 30)
Shame on NOW Magazine for giving an undue platform to the false narrative that Israel is engaging in ethnic cleansing. You have an obligation to your readership to present a reasonably balanced understanding of any sensitive issue and call out rather than promote as you did those who call for Israel’s destruction.
Russell Schachar – From NOWTORONTO.COM
Your article on the Hands Off Palestine protest states that “Israeli forces continue evicting families from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah to make way for more Jewish settlers” and referred to “pro-Palestine activists” marching through Toronto to protest the “recent expropriation of Palestinian land in the West Bank”.
According to a recent court decision, the title of the homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood are registered to Jewish owners going back to before Jordan had control of the area. There’s actually no dispute about this. Jewish owners agreed to allow Palestinians to continue to live there until their parents die, but they refused those terms. A court was forced to rule that the homes have to be returned to the legal owners immediately and Palestinian protests ensued.
“Pro-Palestine activists” were also mentioned here. While that could be true, it was clear in the statements and chants of the “activists” they were advocating the destruction of the state of Israel.
Avi Weiss – TORONTO