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Letter to the Editor: Emergencies Act prompted by threats - death and government takeover

Written by
Fred Rapson
and
and
February 25, 2022
Letter to the Editor: Emergencies Act prompted by threats - death and government takeover

Now that Fringe Fest is largely over in Ottawa and beyond, it’s time to learn, be pro-active to curtail what we’ve witnessed and move on.

There is a debate over whether ‘fringe’ should be applied to the destructive elements that infiltrated the trucker’s movement. It was clearly an intentional blockade of important trade routes and, in the case of Ottawa, local commerce. There may be authentic concerns by truckers who have no relationship with the ‘right.’ Unfortunately, three weeks of the same narrative persisted, that being the Libertarian notion of freedom as anti-authoritarian. Guests on the February 20 edition of CBC’s Sunday Magazine with host David Common highlighted the fact that extreme polarization against government, institutions and the media dominated the landscape of the Ottawa protests. Social media amplified the message as conspiracy theories built on one another. UOIT professor and guest on Sunday Magazine, Barbara Perry, noted, “the significant need for critical digital literacy to enhance our ability and our willingness… to challenge what it is we’re exposed to in our online spaces in particular.”

The open notion from protestors at the beginning that they wanted to take over Canada's governance in a form of coup (with the Senate and the Gov. General assisting) and eliminate the Prime Minister's role and elected government and opposition parties was far fetched and dangerous with its threat to a valid form of democratic rule.

Political discourse on restrictions and the Emergencies Act is OK. Not OK is the hosting of rallies that provided open space for hateful or dangerous elements such as white supremacists, far-right extremists groups like ‘Diagolon’ who had their name patches on body armour in Alberta when numerous firearms were seized. Holocaust deniers like Pat King, too, who said on video “the only way this (standoff) is going to be solved is with bullets.” It wasn’t. He added: “Trudeau, someone is going to make you catch a bullet one day…..and the rest of this government, someone is going to f – in do ya’s in.” And you wonder why our PM didn’t care to meet the siege organizers in person. You would take the same precautions after Pat King’s February 4th rant and death threats.

British soldier and later Peterborough, Ontario resident Alec G. Marsh authored a book about the hardships he and others endured during the Second World War, barely surviving at every turn while a Prisoner of War for 4 1/2 years mostly in Germany occupied Poland. That, just like the Ukrainian conflict, is a loss of freedom, not what 2022 protestors purport to be freedom lost. Alec and prisoner friend named John were believed to be the first British to witness the horror of Auschwitz, arriving two days after the Russians had liberated the prisoners at Auschwitz on January 27th, 1945. 

Do not insult us or war veterans by carrying a Nazi flag or even the Canadian flag with the upside-down maple leaf or foul anti-Trudeau language. Those were still seen in early March in the Kawartha’s well after protestors had rolled through our city streets. That doesn’t inspire anyone to be sympathetic to the cause, whatever cause that may actually be now. The cause started out as COVID restrictions and all their ramifications, but its message later became lost.  

The rallies at the borders and in Ottawa were a year late as they began when restrictions were already being lifted across Canada.

One cannot hold Canada hostage by costing the taxpayers millions of dollars, including protestors themselves who, ironically, will also pay more for goods after bringing trade to a halt. 21-year-old Ottawa resident Zexi Li was the lead plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit to stop the constant blaring of truck horns after “terrorizing downtown Ottawa residents.” Li told Sunday Magazine radio show: “the people who broke numerous by-laws including the 100+ decibel truck horns claimed the streets as their own. It was domestic terrorism as we were held hostage and under siege.”

To the close to two hundred people who were arrested in Ottawa, there’s a lot more to this than bouncy castles, hot tubs, BBQs and handing out bibles near the Parliament Buildings.

The mandated inquiry through the blunt object that is the Emergencies Act should show interesting revelations, many of which it appears we have witnessed first hand, sorry to say.

Fred Rapson

Trent Alumni ‘76

Peterborough, Ontario

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Arthur News School of Fish
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