There have been no posts on here for a while for a number of reasons, none of which should have been enough to have held me back from the keyboard this long. Let’s just say that I don’t know that I would be able to maintain any flow of thought or subject matter. Enough about our world has changed that I’m sure none of you feel like you are where we were at since last anything showed up here anyhow. That being what it is, please allow me to begin again and share some thoughts from the mind of just another sojourner trying to make sense of a world turned upside down. Hopefully some that were with me are still here. Let’s begin again, shall we?
It wasn’t so long ago that we were chanting about a fight for our right, and the funny thing is although we chanted for that right, I am sure that we never actually lost that right at the time or at any time since. There is evidence of that all over the place. It seemed like the entire society we lived in was more concerned with going ahead and doing what they were chanting to maintain than they were a about losing their right to do it.
I’m talking of course about fighting for our right to party. The Beastie Boys catchy tune was a way for all of us to cut loose and have fun, but I am very doubtful that any of us were actually concerned that we were losing that right. Fast forward out of 1987 and take a rocket ride to 2022. The world we face is not the same kind of world at all. The reason they could chant and sing about so frivolous a right to fight for back then was because it seemed to all of us that we had progressed into an era where our society had instantiated our personal rights and freedoms so firmly that no one could lose them. Here in Canada, just 5 years prior to the brash and screaming music of the Beastie Boys, if you could call it music, we had all breathed a sigh of relief as our personal rights and freedoms as citizens of a free nation were folded neatly into the Canadian constitution as a part of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Now, it was thought, no government either Provincial or Federal could change them at a whim. It would take real effort and significant time and convincing to do away with any one of those rights. Those rights were what Canadians valued most about living in a free and democratic society where each human was seen as equal and deserving of equal treatment. It would be a shock to the system of any good Beastie Boy fan to find out that in 2022, fighting for rights has taken on significantly more gravitas!
With the continuation in the year 2022 of what has been called a global pandemic, a fact that some have come to question due to limited supporting data, the politicians in some countries seem determined to strip citizens of their lawful and hard earned rights and freedoms for the sake of some ill conceived end. For those like myself who were more than familiar with those rights it is almost beyond belief that we would be seeing this absurdity play out as it has. Why am I as familiar with those rights and freedoms as I claim to be? For many of the recent years of my life I have been teaching adults with disabilities about their rights. With a capacity and concern different than most Canadians, part of my duty as a support worker was to on a regular basis pick a right, any right, from among all of the fundamental rights every citizen has, and teach it to the individual I was working with at the time. There was no exception to who was entitled to these rights. However it knocked the wind out of me to experience the swiftness and callousness that were connected to the stripping of my own personal rights as a citizen as I chose to carefully consider whether or not I wanted to get vaccinated with the experimental MRNA gene therapies that were being administered to citizens in order to fight the virus that is going around. To be sure, the virus is real, and it has a significant and sometimes deadly effect on those that contract this strange new illness, but at a contraction lethality rate of less than 1% that of small pox, to say the least it is difficult to understand why so disproportionate a response has been unleashed upon it. Let’s return to the issue of personal rights and freedoms.
If you are unaware that rights and freedoms are being stripped from citizens, maybe it is appropriate to revisit what the rights and freedoms are that have been taken away during these insane times. Maybe it is time to actually revisit the Charter of Rights and Freedoms so that you are aware of what has up until now been considered something that was yours and was not to be taken from you.
Both you and I have a right to the following freedoms at all times as a citizen of this country.
1 The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.
Marginal note:Fundamental freedoms
2 Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:
- (a) freedom of conscience and religion;
- (b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
- (c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and
- (d) freedom of association.
In addition to the above fundamental freedoms, the following also applies in this case.
Marginal note:Mobility of citizens
- 6 (1) Every citizen of Canada has the right to enter, remain in and leave Canada.
- Rights to move and gain livelihood
(2) Every citizen of Canada and every person who has the status of a permanent resident of Canada has the right
- (a) to move to and take up residence in any province; and
- (b) to pursue the gaining of a livelihood in any province.
If you care to actually read the whole Charter, it is free and readily available online and there are wall hanging posters that you can buy if you are into that kind of thing. For the purpose of this conversation I believe that the difference lies not in what the charter affords us as rights and freedoms, but whether or not the situation we find ourselves in merits the denial of these rights and freedoms. When it really comes down to the meat of the matter, the primary discussion could have and should have been around the very first emboldened and underlined statement. If this situation were truly about a global pandemic and our government was truly looking out for the best interest of the citizens of this country, why wouldn’t they have had immediate, open and rigorous debate in the houses of parliament both federally and provincially? In order to be subject to the reasonable limits contained in the law there could and should have been open and fulsome debate and discussion for all to see what was going on in where those who had a particular reason for denying those rights and freedoms could DEMONSTRABLY JUSTIFY what they were deeming necessary and they would have put reasonable limits on the suspension from the very beginning. This is what we expected of our constitution and charter from the beginning. There are mechanisms in place to have fast tracked this to judicial review almost immediately. Why then were none of these things actually protected by their original intent and why too was there no process to make sure that we honored our law and our freedoms? It leaves those who have been pushing these agendas right from the beginning wide open to the charges of conspiracy theorists and those who would enact civil disobedience. These are no small matters of minutia to dispute. These issues are the fundamental core of our societal values. That statement alone leaves me to wonder why the Prime Minister of our country would have recently uttered the words that there are no Canadian values. I hope all of us realize that we are well within our rights and in fact charged with the duty of questioning the validity of all that is going on. It looks like our government is working quickly and diligently to make sure we are unable to do that.
I for one as a citizen would be willing and able to be satisfied with the measures that were decided upon by effective leadership if and only if the fundamental laws and procedural mechanisms that had been put in place to protect us were being followed. But they are not! Where does this leave us? We are dividing and putting more space between tribal groups of citizens and are quickly seeing the fabric of our nation being torn asunder. We are pitting neighbor against neighbor, friend against friend, family member against family member. And the media and pollsters gladly feed that because it gets more clicks and attention than when neighbors, friends and family simply ignore the media and defy the insanity to come together as community as we once did. Why are you afraid of a 99.5% survival rate? Why are you afraid of community and civility? Why do some seem to want to repeat the horrible bits of history that generated all the work of making laws and charters and societies that valued the individual?
This is all able to come to a screeching halt right now. All we have to do is say NO. Say no and move on. Ignore the news, the polls, the negative things that are dividing us. The only thing that we should not ignore is the fact that our government is not assisting with building society in any constructive way. The government is not assisting with the greater good by providing directives that help more people live healthy and productive lives as citizens of our once great nation. Ignoring that would be to our further detriment. We need to rise up in force and number and say a resounding NO! If you’re willing to join me, let me know. I’d be happy to provide encouragement and resources.
This is Darcy the Campfire Philosopher.