You people who come here… to read a blog listen up. I have something to say.

I don’t watch hockey. I’m not sure whether that qualifies or disqualifies me from making a statement on the latest imbroglio by someone of the right wing persuasion. So I guess taking a page from the Grapes book and speaking my mind all the same is fitting. If I’ve got half a mind to share with others, that’s all it takes.

Much has been made about the fact that Don Cherry had his freedom of speech trampled upon. Yet more hay has been made over the fact that this very concept of “freedom of speech” is uniquely American and that we only have “freedom of expression” in our Charter of Rights and Freedoms. And I say that to the average mind, that sounds pretty much the same with the few words “expressing” it with the slightest of variation in order to occupy the most unengaged California lawyer around. In other words, it’s the same thing!

Let’s look at the actual wording though and see what it says. Section 2(b) of the charter actually states: “freedom of thought, belief, opinion AND EXPRESSION…”. I like that. It opens up the scope of all of our freedoms. It seems to give license for saying what’s on my mind. I have gone outside the law at times in my life and done things without license (cue the memory of driving to town in my father’s farm truck at the ripe old age of 13 with no adult supervision) but the proper authority is always nice. I don’t think thats where the weight of the document is. Let’s go back to section 1, the opening line of the Charter.

“The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limts prescribed by law as can be demonstratobly justified in a free and democratic society.”

This opening line makes me think that it’s not exactly what we say, but what we say as judged by the ruling mindset of the particular day we say it on. Why else would Don Cherry be able to say nearly the exact same thing in 1997 and get away with it? Let’s face it; some things change, like the times we live in, but some people (maybe not you people) don’t. For me, and maybe yourself, you’ve realized that it really is a matter of what you are willing to say out loud in public… and stand by it. If you speak “your truth”, it had better be THE truth and be worth every consequence associated with standing by what you’ve said. Where the charter of rights shrinks to the background, courage of conviction has to step forward. Maybe this is just me talking, but I for one am willing to make bold truth statements in public and stand by them. You can show me where I may be wrong, but you won’t be able to tell me that what I’ve said offends you. It just doesn’t work that way for me.

Now wear a poppy and honor our troops.