Take time to remember

Veterans of the Second World War are now in their nineties. Chances to express appreciation and honour their sacrifice in person grow fewer each year.

Many streetlights in this part of Ontario are adorned with banners as part of a Legion program to honour vets. For many sponsors it is a source of pride to participate in remembrance of loved ones. On those banners, often with black and white photos, the resemblance to current teenagers and young adults a few generations down the line are uncanny.

We had to take a second look after walking into a grocery store this past week. A fellow perched next to a poppy box hailed us down by name. For a fleeting moment it looked like Gordon, an old cousin who had served in WWII, but who passed many years ago. A hard-to-mistake voice brought things into focus – it was actually his son Bill.

Despite dealing with cancer in recent months, protected albeit slightly by a mask, he was present. Treatments still ensue, but like many family members entrusted with honouring loved ones he was in fine form intent on his task. After a quick visit he was back to work welcoming patrons and selling poppies. Duty is an obligation not easy to fill at the best of times.

The great hopes of those men and women were set aside to take part in a war thousands of miles away. It would be great to believe if a similar call came today to defend democratic ideals that people would engage, but we won’t hold our breath. 

Canada may not be recognizable to veterans who braved war in hopes of lasting peace. It seems to have become too fat and spoiled to recognize the priceless nature of democratic rule. It all seems so easy until that surprise moment when it isn’t.

On Remembrance Day, please take time to remember.

They don’t have to

There you have it folks – parliamentary freedom.

After a judicial appeal through the courts, Premier Doug Ford and former Solicitor General Sylvia Jones do not have to testify at the Emergencies Act hearings. Call it a free pass.

It has been interesting chatting with people who should know better, but the hearings are not a made-up thing to waste taxpayers’ money. It isn’t just political theatre. The hearings are part of the process required by law any time the Emergencies Act is engaged against Canadians. Thanks to Ford and Jones, Canadians will get a partial story and no definitive answer on whether use of the act was warranted, legitimate or if other options would have been a better choice at the time.

By failing to share knowledge on how such an episode could have been avoided, Canadians could see themselves stumbling into that apparatus another time. From what we have read and understand, other institutions failed to do their part, resulting in a suspension of rights for Canadians.

One would think Premier Ford would not want to see a repeat, but that operative word “think” would appear to be a stumbling block for this premier. Examples mount each day of his failing to think ahead and consider outcomes before announcing actions.

Answering a summons with a “don’t have to” is cowardly leadership in our books.