It’s up to Canadians

Out-of-town colleagues settled in the boardroom here at work for a quick meeting. After some pleasantries they made a point of marvelling at last week’s paper – the size, the extent of coverage and the appearance of a healthy business community.

Our reply to the compliment was to acknowledge how blessed we are to do business here in Wellington County. There are few places like it in Canada.

Heading in to work on Monday morning after a weekend of “news”, we desperately hoped to tackle a new editorial topic this week. The Windsor blockade was coming to an end, some progress was forthcoming out west and no tragedies were noted yet in Ottawa.

Then news came that Trudeau would be announcing invocation of the Emergencies Act.

The vote in the House of Commons will happen after we have gone to press. The measures requested and the specifics will flow in the next hours and days. The act was introduced back in 1988 by Perrin Beatty, a former MP representing Wellington at that time, to replace the War Measures Act passed in the World War I era.

Alongside readers who have expressed concerns this week, we too have found the last fortnight troubling. Trying to sort out fact from hyperbole is no easy task, let alone in this current environment where factions and opinions are at such extremes.

An old friend who rarely calls to discuss politics had a fairly pointed message last week. In a sense it was a warning that our negative opinion on this trucker convoy and its short-circuiting of democracy was all wrong – in fact in time, opinions expressed here would be viewed as being on the wrong side of history even. Perhaps.

But it was the end of the call that summed up one of the blessings we consider about doing business and living here. He said something to the effect of “my wife and I still luv ya, and you will always be our friend.” It was tongue in cheek, but the point remains the country and people need to move on.

That message of friendship dovetails with a column written by us weeks ago, long before trucks ran into Ottawa and people began blocking commerce at strategic border crossings.

At that time we signed off with a suggestion for residents here:  “While frustrations abound, try to be kind. Consider that a gentle reminder to not allow differences of opinion to get in the way of being good neighbours and friends.”

As recent days confirm with the antics in Ottawa, it will be everyday Canadians who need to break this impasse. Neighbours and friends need to move on.

Politicians can’t seem to pull it together, as they’re perpetually partisan and hung up on playing games rather than serving people. There is a palpable anger in this country, and it is now on full display, driven in large part by electoral wedges. Far too much time has been spent dividing Canadians and no party is blameless on that score.

The media too, need to pull up their socks. We have found much of the coverage very frustrating with regurgitated images and soundbites cycling for days on end. Organizations willing to broadcast or publish opinion as fact; or social media channels with no filter are not helping the cause at all. In fact, the most egregious examples are doing great harm.

It is up to Canadians how this tale ends.