Editorials - Aug. 19, 2021
The arts have never been an easy way to earn an income and coming out on the other side of a global pandemic, the current state of things doesn’t seem like it will favour a “gig economy” any time soon. A single statement by an actor in a video last week may sum up the forecast for many actors, musicians and artists. “Theatre will return. It always has, after every plague since Greek times. My own participation, well, we’ll have to see,” said Randy Hughson, the Stratford-based actor, in a short film Something Behind by Ballinran Entertainment on YouTube.
As the COVID-19 virus closed down all live entertainment venues, countless artists were forced to find other means to support themselves and their families. Now that many of these creative people have found other, perhaps easier or more consistent, streams of income, will they all return to the arts as the theatres, galleries and concert halls reopen?
We have heard of many artists now working in landscaping, carpentry, sales, accounting and video game production. The jobs satisfy the bills and put food on the table, even if they don’t offer the same artistic outlet these people crave. Many of them used to string together roles and gigs, often not knowing where they would be working from one month to the next. Being forced into a different mindset, but with a steady paycheque, might keep some of them from returning.
The pandemic has stolen almost two years from us now, but how much creativity will it take by driving artists into other careers? – DS
Why? Why not?
On Sunday, just before noon, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called a federal election, with Canadians set to go to the polls on Monday, Sept. 20. The 36 days between the dissolution of Parliament and the election is the absolute minimum campaign length allowed by law.
Opposition leaders have argued against calling an early election, rumours of which have been swirling for months, saying that Trudeau is clearly acting out of his own political interests, rather than the well-being of Canadians. As Canada seems to be entering the dreaded fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to many experts, it’s hard to argue with the opposition. It’s even harder to find a reason for this election beyond Trudeau pouncing while other parties are in disarray, seeking the majority government that eluded him in 2019.
Trudeau has been far from perfect in the last two years. His handling of the COVID-19 pandemic has infuriated some, but was the envy of some other nations (especially as our American neighbours descended into chaos in the final months of Donald Trump’s presidency) and he has bungled several decisions and endured some harsh criticism. Now, this decision is sure to rub many Canadians the wrong way and it’s easy to see why. In addition, it fits with the frequent criticism of Trudeau as someone who only looks out for himself, rather than Canadians.
Canadians will go to the polls on Sept. 20. We may have a new Prime Minister the next day, or we may not. But when Canadians file into community centres and school gyms during a pandemic to cast their vote, the question on their minds may not be, “who will best lead our country?” but rather, “why do I have to do this?” – SL
We need to be better
Reporting out of Saskatchewan last week featured a number of entries about Berkeley Trayhorne, a 12-year-old girl who was, for all intents and purposes, kicked out of her local hockey association because her parents felt she was being discriminated against based on her gender.
Trayhorne was “permanently released” by the Dalmeny Minor Hockey Association after an eight-month battle over her ability to enter the dressing room. Last year, despite COVID-19, Trayhorne’s team was able to play, provided she and her teammates followed the rules, which included showing up to the arena fully dressed. She was actually happy about that because, as a female player on a co-ed team, she had been forced to change away from her teammates for years, sometimes in utility rooms or vacant hallways. However, due to the interpretation of the rules by the association’s executive, she was barred from the change room. While other organizations have said it’s because of the COVID-19 rules, in interviews with CBC, association members said it was to “protect both genders from a potentially compromising situation.”
Even the association’s president said that assault may occur due to males and females being in the same room unsupervised.
While no one would want to see that happen, the simple fact is this young player was forced out of the camaraderie that is provided by being part of the team because a bunch of adults decided some 11- and 12-year-old boys and girls couldn’t be trusted to act appropriately behind closed doors. In doing so, the association is sending a message that the only thing preventing that kind of behaviour is separating boys and girls, instead of educating both to be respectful of the other.
The treatment of sexual assault will never be fixed by this closed-minded approach. Instead, we need to teach respect. – JDS