LETTER: Protesters too self-absorbed to recognize freedoms

The Ottawa Protest came across to me as a farce. It was carried out by people who had very little in common with each other and it had nothing to do with the majority of Canadians. Some wanted to protest vaccines, some were white supremacists and flew the Nazi and Confederate flags, others were there because they hated Trudeau and they wanted to form their own government, but most were there simply because they wanted to bitch about everything and anything. Considering their bouncy castle, hot tubs and saunas, their protest lacked credibility.

As I said earlier, the Ottawa Protest came across as a farce because this small group really had nothing to complain about. They exaggerated their complaints by driving big trucks to be noticed. They complained about the things the rest of us have learned to live with over the past two years – nothing different, nothing new and nothing worse.

During the COVID period, these truckers have been employed with good wages, when many Canadians could only wish for what they had. The requirement (with advanced notice) to get a vaccine to cross the border, like the rest of us, seemed too much for them. Their protest amounted to a temper tantrum. During their protest, I did try to understand what they were concerned about? They were not standing up for the poor, nor for racial equality, nor for aboriginal rights, not for women’s rights, not for improved minimum wages, not for affordable housing, not for the environment and not for world peace. These protesters stood for nothing!

The Ottawa protesters came across (to me) as whining anti-vaxxers, white supremacists and very anti-government. They were too self-absorbed to realize they were enjoying the benefits of living in a very free country – a privilege provided to them by soldiers who died for freedom and by past protesters who marched over many years to make Canada better. The protesters’ call for “Freedom” rang hollow – it was a phony gimmick to gain support. It concerned me to see some politicians pose for photos with those who wanted “to give our Prime Minister a bullet!”

Then there was Conservative Senator Michael MacDonald who had to apologize to the Senate for his hateful comments about Ottawa residents, when declaring his support for the protesters. He apparently didn’t know that he made these comments to a reporter while on video. On this same video he also criticized his wife for not supporting the truckers – I wonder if he has apologized to her yet? What this protest did show us is that our system is not working like it should be – the Ottawa Police Department and the Ottawa City Council have a lot of explaining to do.

The Province of Ontario took two weeks before declaring a “State of Emergency” in response to the takeover of an Ontario city by an illegal protest – it took another week until the Emergency Measures were invoked to see action. There were times when I had no idea of who was in charge and what level of government was responsible for it. It took far too long for any level of government to act – not good enough!

The intrusion of foreign influences and money is another concern we need to address. I believe a full public inquiry is needed to investigate why this happened and how we need to address it. As Canadians, we can feel proud that after three weeks of chaos and confrontation, no was killed and the police eventually conducted themselves properly. The citizens of Ottawa were the true victims and heroes in all of this – they deserved better from all levels of government and from their police force.

Now that the dust has settled, I look back at the Ottawa Protest and ask – what was it all about?

Damned if I know!

Dennis Fox