Canadians, And Our Politicians, Need to Step Back from the Brink
In recent weeks, months, and even years, Canadian politics have taken an abusive, violent, and dare I say American, turn.
The verbal attack our Deputy Prime Minister, Chrystia Freeland, experienced during her visit to Alberta in August has, I think, correctly sparked a national dialogue on how we interact with our political leaders.
But that attack, and other instances, such as when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was pelted by gravel during the last federal election cycle or when NDP leader Jagmeet Singh was harassed outside an event last year, should stand out as warnings of what is increasingly clear to many in Canada: Our politics seem to be proceeding down a terrible, dark path.
This isn’t just something I’m now noticing. The Canadian Anti-Hate Network – an independent, nonprofit organization made up of Canada’s leading experts and researchers on hate groups and hate crimes – called last year’s election campaign the worst in recent memory for violence and vandalism.
That fact alone should make all of us alarmed.
As a proud Canadian and an active member of my community here in Ontario, I’m concerned about where our politics are trending. And while I understand that for many, some of the issues being considered and debated ranging from our changing climate to the future of our national healthcare and other social services are of critical importance, as they are to me as well, violence of any kind should never be considered as an alternative to participation in our country’s political discourse.
Unfortunately, we know all too well from our neighbors to the south what continuing down this harrowing path looks like.
So let’s take a step back from the brink. For 155 years now, we’ve managed to better our democracy through peaceful dialogue. Let’s not stop now.