Today’s Letters: On the St. Brigid’s debacle in Ottawa; threats against politicians


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Condemn these people; do not glorify them

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I am appalled by the front page article with photos of one of the occupants of St. Brigid’s. Instead of glorifying those people who do not want to follow the rules and laws of this country, the citizen should condemn them for the negative impact they have on the neighborhoods they occupy. All this publicity only encourages them to continue their outrageous behavior.

I don’t understand why they weren’t forcibly expelled; It seems that our municipal officials have learned nothing from last winter’s occupation. It sends the message to others that Ottawa is an easy target. I hope we are not going to be overwhelmed by more protests like these.

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Joan Dewis, Ottawa

No bravery shouting insults

Subject: Deputy Premier Chrystia Freeland targeted for verbal abuse in Alberta, August 28.

What is happening to social responsibility in Canada? When those who refuse vaccines and mandates are called heroes, we know something is wrong with our value system.

Denying vaccines and warrants isn’t heroic, it’s selfish. True heroes accept the risk of personal sacrifice. One of the main reasons for pandemic warrants and vaccinations is to help and protect your neighbor. The fight for herd immunity protects those who are most at risk. Even if you are healthy and rarely sick, it is your responsibility in a community to work together. When you simply say « I believe in freedom of choice », you are rejecting your neighbor and your community. You are selfish, not brave.

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There is no democracy in which freedom can be unlimited. All societies need rules to manage justice and behavior. In a democracy, these laws and regulations must be determined by a majority. Expert advice, polls, legal protests, and referendums can help elected officials decide, but if you don’t like those decisions, you change governments by voting, and that can then change the rules. The best decisions in a democracy are usually made through compromise and, above all, through empathy for others. There is certainly no bravery in shouting insults at public servants.

Losing touch with social responsibility is a sign of a failing democracy. This is not only regrettable, it is dangerous. Protesting when you don’t like a decision is your right in a democracy. Likewise, following rules you don’t like because it’s better for your community is your duty in a democracy. For the sake of Canadian democracy, please be socially responsible.

Bob Davidson, RCN Vice-Admiral (retired), Ottawa


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