Editorials - Oct. 1, 2020
A tipping point
With the untimely passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg just weeks before the U.S. presidential election, our neighbours to the south have reached a fork in the road.
Ginsburg was a reliable liberal vote presenting a strong voice in favour of workers’ rights, gender equality, reproductive rights and the separation of church and state. With Trump’s next nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, the country will begin to slide even further to the right if she is approved.
One of the most important roles of the supreme court is to protect civil rights and liberties by striking down laws that violate the constitution. The confirmation of Barrett would shift the court from one side of the ideological spectrum to the other, with six conservative justices and only three with liberal leanings. These justices serve for life and decide the most divisive issues that the nation faces, from abortion rights to gun rights to racial justice. With scales tipping to conservativism, the laws of the nation are bound to follow.
The U.S. already has citizens protesting in the streets over the differences in treatment of Blacks by police. What will happen if decisions like Roe v. Wade are overturned, or equal rights of the LGBTQ community are eroded? A balance between right and left has never been so important. – DS
Alright. Now what?
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government appears to have skirted a non-confidence vote thanks to a deal with the NDP after last week’s throne speech from Ottawa. In a nutshell, Trudeau has promised to continue spending taxpayers’ dollars and there seems to be no end in sight. Everyone is in need and everyone has a hand out. Whether it’s emergency individual or family benefits, aid for industries in crisis or a plan to stimulate the economy as the world continues to reel from the COVID-19 pandemic, as NBC’s Don Ohlmeyer once said, “the answer to all your questions is money.”
Trudeau assured Canadians that their government will be there for them as they get back on their feet. However, in a rare post-throne speech address, Trudeau urged Canadians to stay the course on COVID-19, and confirmed what many had feared: we are in the second wave.
Though it’s unlikely he would have had anything positive to say about anything Trudeau could have done, Conservative leader Erin O’Toole, who is at home with COVID-19, said Trudeau missed a large swath of Canadians in his speech, thus, turning his back on them. Western Canada also feels largely ignored by Trudeau’s speech, but again, it’s unlikely he could have done anything to win those hearts and minds right now.
A throne speech, just like a state of the union address in the United States, is just words on a piece of paper until the initiatives contained within are implemented. There is still a long road ahead to return to a pre-coronavirus world and there are plenty of bills that need to be paid. Hopefully the government can put past scandals behind it and work on behalf of Canadians in what will be a crucial period in our history. – SL
Finally, some respect
The Canadian Broadcasting Company’s run-away comedy Schitt’s Creek ended this year and what an ending it was, as the show became the first comedy series to win nine Primetime Emmys.
Aside from setting a new record, the very Canadian comedy saw a sweep of the awards recognizing comedic actors and actresses with father-and-son duo Eugene and Daniel Levy picking up Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor awards, respectively, while their on-screen family members, Catherine O’Hara and Annie Murphy picked up Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress honours. Among the other Emmys were Outstanding Comedy Series, Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series, Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series, Outstanding Casting for a Comedy Series and Outstanding Contemporary Costumes.
The show proves that Canadians still have what it takes to make great comedy as each of those actors and actresses are proudly Canadian. The awards mean that the rest of the world might start looking at Canadian talent a little differently and start taking in the shows that many of us have found to be true comedic gold like SCTV, The Kids in the Hall, The Red Green Show, Trailer Park Boys, The Royal Canadian Air Farce, Corner Gas, Letterkenny and countless others.
We also can’t ignore the fact that Schitt’s Creek featured a plethora of other Canadian actors besides O’Hara, Murphy and the Levys, including Noah Reid, who played Daniel Levy’s on-screen partner on the show. Reid may be remembered locally from Big Box and Innocence Lost: A Play about Steven Truscott on the Blyth Festival stage.
So thank you, Schitt’s Creek, for reminding both the world and the rest of the country that Canadians know comedy. – JDS