Editorials - July 1, 2021
Setting a poor example
While lawmakers overwhelmingly voted in favour (263 to 63) of a bill to ban conversion therapy, it was not unanimous, with over half of the federal Conservative delegates voting against it. Conversion therapy is a pseudoscientific practice of trying to change an individual’s sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual using psychological, physical or spiritual interventions, which has been deemed by the medical community to be ineffective and potentially harmful.
Huron-Bruce MP Ben Lobb was one of those against banning the therapy. While claiming that he is against conversion therapy, Lobb voted against the bill as he felt that it was important that parents and mentors have the “ability to have the conversation.” By using this as his rationale, he is reinforcing that a conversation even has to be had about turning gay people straight; absolutely a homophobic viewpoint.
With the recent controversy about the pride flag being flown in North Huron, pride support displays in the area being vandalized and now a Member of Parliament defending his vote against banning a practice that is tremendously hurtful and dangerous to gay people, it is hard to imagine the region can be seen as a welcoming home to anyone in the LGBTQQIP2SAA community. Our area has a reputation of being a conservative, white community with racist and homophobic tendencies. While most of us strive to overcome this stereotype, we need elected representation that will set a better example and lead us to be a more tolerant and welcoming community, and not allow outdated and ignorant biases to taint policy, votes and decisions. – DS
With his announcement late last month, Premier Doug Ford named Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. Her agricultural background and strong rural history are sure to be assets as she takes on this new role in the province.
This should also be a boon for the area, as we have another Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs who hails from the riding.
Seeing Thompson as qualified for the position, not just because of her employment background, but because of where she grew up is exactly the case to be argued for a ward system, which is up for debate with North Huron Council right now.
Some councillors were blindsided by a report that will have them voting on an at-large deputy-reeve position, which will then lead to votes on the size of council and potentially abolishing the ward system.
The fear is always that representatives will come from the most populated areas of the municipality. There are more candidates and more voters. In North Huron, that means Wingham residents presiding over a municipality with three very different wards. Now, there’s no guarantee that’s how an election would shake out, but that’s the fear.
Ensuring representation comes from different parts of a community not only brings together geographical knowledge from different parts of the area, it also guarantees those people are being represented at the table. Just as Thompson’s best fit in cabinet is this new position, if a municipal council is going to make decisions for an area, each community should be represented, with councillors bringing forward knowledge about what’s important in their community. – SL
This year is different
Canada Day isn’t about honouring or glorifying the past, but about celebrating the present and looking to the future, making the decision by many communities to cancel their annual celebrations questionable.
Early last week, a number of municipalities and cities decided to cancel their Canada Day celebrations, due to the horrifying reports of nearly 1,000 children found in unmarked graves at two different residential schools. That was followed by more municipalities joining in.
While those deaths and the horrendous situations that led to them need to be recognized and the plight of those children honoured, we can’t forget, as a nation, that Canada Day celebrations, unlike some celebrations held the world over, aren’t tied to specific individuals or violent revolutions. The annual celebration marks the forming of a fledgling country 154 years ago and, depending on who you ask, the celebrations focus more on the present and the future.
Canada Day events this year are bittersweet and should be subdued due to the horrendous truths Canadians have recently discovered, but that doesn’t mean we turn our backs on the promise of what this nation can become, or how this nation has come together, for the most part, through the pandemic.
Despite the claims of groups like Idle No More, Canada Day isn’t about celebrating a “violent history” but about celebrating a nation that was formed without the kind of war that other countries go through. The celebration should be amended to recognize and honour those lost to the residential school system while urging Canadians to move forward with eyes open to the problems that plague the country’s past. – JDS