Editorials - June 9, 2023
Woke and a hard place
How divided has society become when right-wing conservatives are angry at Chick-fil-A for not being conservative enough? Chick-fil-A, long known for its donations to anti-LGBTQ and other hate groups, is receiving backlash from right-wing social media for “going woke”. The company’s big sin is to have hired an executive to oversee its diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) policies. The company stopped the aforementioned controversial donations in 2019 and created the DEI position. Now, a new page on the company’s website outlines its Better at Together policy statement that aims to promote “combining our unique backgrounds with a culture of belonging”, which resides just under their corporate purpose which opens with “To glorify God by being a faithful steward….” Moving forward, but not too quickly or too far.
But the very existence of a DEI executive and any kind of statement that promotes tolerance and inclusivity is progress, and that progress is exactly what those right-wing pundits fear, and they have a huge number of followers that both affirm those fears and echo them.
The social media echo chamber that springs up makes it difficult for companies to make positive steps towards diversity, equity and inclusion for fear of becoming the target of one of these anti-woke campaigns that can result in boycotts, threats and worse. It remains to be seen if these baby steps that Chick-fil-A have taken will become a stand for the company or if the pushback from the right will erode them. – DS
We can never forget
There are few people who can universally raise the nation’s blood pressure in the way that Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka can. News that Bernardo will be moved to a medium-security facility as he serves his sentence for several counts of first-degree murder and aggravated sexual assault has resulted in much head-shaking and hand-wringing.
The Correctional Service of Canada’s decision “shocked” Federal Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino, but he insists his office has no power to overrule it, though the body’s Commissioner Anne Kelly said she would review the decision. Meanwhile, Premier Doug Ford put it a bit more bluntly. “Paul Bernardo should rot in a maximum-security prison for the rest of his miserable existence. Full stop.”
Toronto Star columnist Rosie DiManno said she fears this will be the first step towards Bernardo’s crimes fading from the collective memories of Canadians. “Yet memories dim, outrage wanes, and the correctional system itself is designed not merely to punish and deter but to rehabilitate and reintegrate. The French and Mahaffy families have attended both parole hearings thus far - the next is scheduled for November - giving heart-wrenching victim impact statements. But Doug French, for one, is 92 years old. How long can any of them carry on this mission for their slain daughters? And who will speak for those dead girls when the parents are gone?” Canadians must remember.
There are limits, even for the most left-leaning, bleeding-heart liberal thinkers and, by any measure, Bernardo has exceeded them. He is labelled a dangerous offender, which means he is unlikely to ever get out of jail, but DiManno is right to be concerned. Canadians need to keep the memories of his victims alive and, in doing so, ensure that Bernardo is punished aptly for the heinous crimes he committed. – SL
Tick, Tick... Boom!
The number of Lyme disease cases in Canada is rapidly increasing, and Canadians need to be more vigilant about this growing public health issue. The rise in cases is attributed to the expanding populations of blacklegged ticks - the primary carriers of Lyme disease. Climate change, specifically warmer temperatures, is a significant factor driving the growth of tick populations in previously unsuitable areas.
The growing tick populations are putting more Canadians at risk of Lyme disease. Early detection and treatment of Lyme disease are crucial to prevent severe symptoms. The first sign of infection is usually a circular red rash around the tick bite, followed by symptoms such as headache, fever, fatigue, muscle and joint aches, and swollen lymph nodes. If left untreated, Lyme disease can lead to more severe complications affecting the heart, nervous system, and brain.
Currently, a new vaccine for Lyme disease is being developed and is in early clinical trials in the U.S. A previous vaccine called LYMERix was discontinued in 2002 due to low demand and reports of side effects. Additionally, new blood tests similar to serological tests for COVID-19 are being used in Ontario to improve the detection of Lyme disease.
Despite the growing tick populations and the spread of Lyme disease, awareness among Canadians remains low. Researchers are particularly concerned about tick populations encroaching into highly populated areas that have not previously experienced ticks. They urge the public to adopt daily routines of tick checks, wearing protective clothing, using insect repellent and staying on marked paths when spending time outdoors in wooded or grassy areas. – SBS