Letter to the Editor of the Islands Grapevine
Ottawa used to be my hometown, so I have taken a keen interest in news about the trucker convoy which has occupied Canada’s capital for the last two weeks. Of course, protests on Parliament Hill have always been a regular feature of life in Ottawa. And I agree with so many observers who have acknowledged that peaceful protest is an important right for Canadian citizens.
What is happening in Ottawa is not peaceful protest. It is a blatant denial of the rights of fellow citizens to enjoy safety and security and choice in their own home. Friends in Ottawa have written to tell me of truly aggressive behaviour by convoy participants—for example, ripping masks off people who have made their own choice to respect public health guidelines, urinating and defecting (sic) on private property, honking their vehicle horns at all hours of the day and night, interfering with health care workers going to their work, intimidating senior citizens wanting to get some fresh air, and so on.
Then there is the total disruption of normal life and business for thousands of people who live in the central part of Ottawa, as well as convoy participants flying Trump flags, Swastikas, Confederate flags, and disrespecting national monuments. Need I go on?
And now we have a small number of people from our own two islands proudly supporting this type of irresponsible behaviour by taking their vehicles to Victoria to cause a similar disruption to life in the provincial capital.
As for the Islands Grapevine, each issue seems to be more and more filled with letters from conspiracy theorists, and supposedly intelligent people who display total, or wilful ignorance of science. Even your resident poet seems to be obsessed with writing odes with ludicrous references to conspiracies and Nuremberg trials. It used to be enjoyable to read your weekly publication. Now it frequently induces only high blood pressure and a desire to breathe some clean air instead of the vitriolic abuse spouted by many of your letter writers.
Let’s get a grip on things, folks, and behave like sane and responsible human beings. And truckers, and all your fellow travellers, please go home, get vaccinated and help everyone recover from this pandemic.