Editorials - March 4, 2021
It seems everything in life has been adversely affected by the pandemic. Even the butter sitting on our counter is more difficult to spread because of the effect COVID-19 has had on our consumer habits.
We were buying more butter for all that baking we’ve taken up with the excess time on our hands at home. This, in turn, has increased the palm oil supplements that dairy herds are being fed to bump up the butterfat content in their milk.
While this is perfectly legal and common practice in many parts of the world, Canadians have noticed that, especially in the last year, our butter is harder to spread at room temperature and is making it difficult to determine whether our butter needs to be straight out of the fridge, room temperature or microwaved first for our pastry.
Still, the controversy persists around health issues and environmental concerns that have caused deforestation within the Indonesian palm fields, which is causing the Dairy Farmers of Canada to create a working group to address the situation and get ahead of a public relations fiasco.
Without the pandemic to focus our attention on the spreadability of our butter and give us time to become indignant about it, we probably would have scarcely noticed our toast ripping. – DS
The cost of the soapbox
Some meaningful discussions need to take place regarding measures that both the federal and provincial governments have taken to contain the spread of COVID-19. While lockdowns have coincided with drops in cases and have done their job in keeping people safe, they have been devastating for small businesses that, for one reason or another, have not been permitted to open, while grocery giants, open for their essential purpose of selling food and supplies to the masses, have capitalized. A Walmart, for example, can remain open to sell food and other essential items, while also offering clothes, video games, toys, books, etc.
So, while there are fine, educated cases to be made for a system that supports small businesses, rather than large corporations, the frustration of it all has caused some business owners to act out, grandstand and seize the opportunity to be a hero to many as they stick it to the man. Sticking it to the man, however, has consequences, as evidenced by the bill Adam Skelly was handed last week. The owner of Adamson Barbecue, who made headlines by openly defying lockdown orders by opening his eatery during a lockdown, was given a bill from the City of Toronto for nearly $190,000 for services rendered during his protest/publicity stunt.
And while civil liberties lawyers have raised red flags over the bill and a citizen’s right to protest, Skelly’s company is leaning into its rebel status, selling shirts with images from the fracas emblazoned with “Risk it for the Brisket”. His restaurant has also become a beacon for the anti-mask, anti-vaccination and anti-government crowd that continues to hold Canada back in its fight against the deadly virus.
The pandemic and the government response are both hurting small businesses and many may not recover, but there’s a right way to fight for yourself that doesn’t result in six-figure bills for police services. – SL
Three fingers pointing back
It seems even women are getting in on the action of denigrating another woman for what she wears, if the actions of a female teacher at a high school in Kamloops, B.C. last week are to be taken at face value.
A 17-year-old student, Karis Wilson, was sent home because a teacher suggested the dress Wilson wore to school may have made her male student teacher and her female classroom teacher feel awkward “since it reminded her of a lingerie outfit”, according to Wilson’s father, Chris.
The dress and accompanying shirt weren’t transparent and covered her from knee to neck, taking away every attempted excuse that could be made. Chris believes the problem may have more to do with the fact that the dress has lace incorporated into it. While fellow students lined up to support Karis, the district board for the school hadn’t responded to the issue yet, saying it was aware of it. The most damning indictment of the incident came from Karis herself who said her teacher shouldn’t even be looking at students in a manner like that, and she’s right.
To look at the outfit, which includes a long-sleeve turtle-neck, and have it elicit any kind of reaction akin to those of the teacher and student teacher indicates more of a problem with the educators than the student.
However, we have to remember that, while the teacher and the student teacher initiated the entire situation, the power rests with the school’s administration and the school board to make this right. After all, they either allowed the situation to go ahead as it did, in the case of the administration, or created the situation that allowed the teacher in question to push her ideologies and hang-ups on a 17-year-old girl.
When the apologies are made, they should come from all levels with changes to remove the unilateral decision-making process that led to this girl being singled out by one educator’s personal ideologies. – JDS