No one is taking your freedoms away
I’d like to say to all the protesters: the public health restrictions obviously affect you, but they are not about you. Your freedom is very important. But nobody is actually trying to take it away or to control you.
None of us likes the restrictions, but unfortunately, they are necessary for protection because of the dangers of the pandemic. Their purpose is to save lives, including yours, and those you love. Also, they are there to protect our health care system. The pandemic has been a real threat to all Canadians and to our beloved healthcare system.
Despite the restrictions, COVID has caused more than 30,000 deaths across Canada – similar to wiping out a small city. Millions of Canadians have become sick. Intensive care units, doctors, and nurses have staggered under the massive burden of care.
As a result, patients have received less good care, and hundreds of thousands of medically necessary surgeries and procedures have been cancelled or delayed due to the healthcare system being overloaded with COVID patients.
It would be nice if we didn’t need the vaccinations, masks, and restrictions, but life as we know it has shown that we do. The restrictions are there for our protection, not to hurt you by limiting your freedom.
A family member who was recently working in an Alberta ICU during the fourth wave reported to us about extra ICU beds being created, nurses having to care for more patients than they can handle, clinical staff being burned out, overworked and demoralized, and people dying – the vast majority of them tragically unvaccinated.
I also came down with COVID recently, and six weeks later, I am still feeling unwell with persistent symptoms.
If there were a fire, and firemen were giving instructions to protect people and manage the emergency, we would not protest that they are taking away our freedom by telling us what to do.
The public health physicians guiding the government are like firemen, experts at protecting people and our healthcare system, and managing emergencies. How is your protesting any different than protesting against firemen who are trying to manage a massive fire raging across Canada?
If you really hate the health restrictions, the fastest way to get rid of them is to join the vaccinated and decrease the real threat of COVID.
Unlike what has been said on some social media, science has proven that vaccines are safe and effective. They may not guarantee that you won’t get COVID, but they will do a great job of keeping you from needing hospitalization or dying from it.
Nora Hagen, MD – COCHRANE, ALBERTA.
Trucker speaks out
I am a 20-year gear-jamming, highway-humping truck driver with more than two million miles behind me and I just found out that I belong to a terrorist organization. I am so ashamed to call myself a truck driver. Who in the hell holds cities, provinces and people of their country hostage in the middle of a pandemic? Let me tell you who – terrorists. That’s right. All you gear jammers should be embarrassed. That is not what truckers do. We keep the world turning no matter what.
Without us, the world falls apart in an awful hurry. People go hungry and people go without. You’re an insult to truckers who forged our industry into a career for all, and not just not convicts, the undereducated or just unemployed. That’s the difference between a professional driver and a truck driver. You all don’t deserve your Class 1.
Trevor Lee Hallam – POWELL RIVER, BC
Taking a hardline on rogue convoy protestors
Re #FreedomConvoy shit show rolls on as cops and politicians go MIA (NOW Online, February 7).
Here are some solutions to handle our rogue “truckers” and their extremist allies as taken from the pages of any warlord or communist tyrant; First, Trudeau must dispatch the military and riot police to smash all barricades and arrest all lawbreakers and convoy organizers because of the trauma they’ve inflicted on the residents of Ottawa.
Second, a curfew should be implemented in all cities and border crossings affected by the convoy – and the rapscallions supporting the convoy. Anyone found on the street should go to jail.
Third, no negotiations with seditious people. Four, arrest the fool known as the “Queen of Canada.”
Five, order compensation for victims of harassment and force convoy organizers to pay the fines. Six, CSIS and the RCMP must investigate and punish the extremist groups involved in this sorry spectacle. And seven, have CSIS investigate any American connections and refer the matter to the FBI.
Christopher Mansour – TORONTO
Fiddling while Canada burns
What are the cops waiting for? The truckers are destroying the economy and everyone is talking in circles, helpless, baffled, unable to act.
All levels of government, police and the military are fiddling while Canada burns. A bunch of wimps. It’s time to stop being weak and indecisive. Enough already. This is absolute nonsense.
Chris Reid – TORONTO
Conservative Party embraces U.S. Republicans
Re Erin O’Toole’s ouster signals a return to Reform Party rural rump for Canada’s Conservatives (NOW Online, February 2).
Who are the Conservatives now? The New North Republicans? You have thrown your MAGA hat in with people who are loud and clear that they do not believe in modern medicine or in their responsibility to their fellow citizens. Do you actually share those beliefs? You are going to take up their “fight”? Is that your vision for Canada?
What the hell would have happened to Canadians if your party had been in power these last two years? Would we have seen death rates like we have seen in the U.S.? Is that freedom at full function?
These convoy protestors are costing Canadians misery and millions. Your responsibility as the Opposition is not just to grasp and champion any cause that you think might advance your chance of being back in power. You have a responsibility to Canadians who pay you! Have the common sense and decency to respect our values and intelligence.
Canadians have been watching with amazed horror at the deterioration of the great United States of America. Outrageous, dangerous lies nourished by ignorance and malevolent social media disinformation campaigns have been shamelessly exploited by Republicans.
Now the interim leader of our Official Opposition embraces those behaviours as an acceptable option?
What a sad, sad day for Canada.
Laura Enright – SECHELT, BC
Is Pierre Poilievre the best Conservatives have to offer?
Re Pierre Poilievre’s leadership bid marks a toxic turn for Canada’s Conservatives (NOW Online, February 9).
He’s no Mr. Warmth, which may hurt him. But Pierre Poilievre is by far the most articulate and intelligent politician the Conservatives have. He’s a politician who speaks the truth, not talks in circles when asked a question.
Joe Andely – From NOWTORONTO.COM
This is not what the Toronto dating scene looks like
Re Love, sex, dating and relationships in the time of COVID (NOW February 10-16).
Your collection of gainfully employed upper-middle-class arts community types with mysteriously robust incomes is definitely not an accurate representation of dating in Toronto. What better way to show the challenges of dating during a pandemic than with glossy photos of maskless people in expensive restaurants that were likely locked down during the photoshoot. This is why I continue to read NOW. It covers the real Toronto.
Anyone who can afford their own condo or a house (or chooses to move to England, apparently) gets coverage and the rest of the riffraff are ignored unless someone from the arts community wants to profit off of their living conditions through a film, play, or editorial. That’s what Toronto is all about!
Richard Rory – From NOWTORONTO.COM
The problem with condofication
Re Op-Ed: Condo schools downtown are not the model we should be following (NOW Online, February 3).
Condos go up in Toronto without any thought about the destruction of neighbourhoods, lack of green space and light and access to schools and amenities.
Susan Montgomery – From NOWTORONTO.COM