Editorials - Sept. 15, 2023
Disagreeing on disagreement
Most people would agree that there seems to be more polarization between different groups, especially generations and political sides. Hot-button issues ranging from gender and identity to race to Indigenous issues and colonization to climate change and how to combat it have become flashpoints in what is now being labeled as “culture wars”.
A recent Angus Reid poll found that three top words that Canadians use to describe the so-called culture wars are “exhausting” (60 per cent), “divisive” (59 per cent) and “unnecessary” (40 per cent), but just behind those entries you will find positive descriptors “important” (34 per cent) and “informative (29 per cent). We can’t even agree on how we feel about disagreeing.
No matter where you lie on the political spectrum, social issues or gender identity, the one thing that we should be able to agree on is improving communications between all sides. Positive change only comes from listening to all sides and opinions and finding a way forward. Sitting in silos and social media echo chambers may make you feel like you are on the right side of an issue, but actually asking someone else on why they are taking a position could change your mind, or at least bring empathy and understanding to the other side. – DS
Make it worthwhile
On Monday, Sept. 25, North Huron is hosting an important meeting in Belgrave that will serve as both a feedback session for its proposed strategic plan and annual town hall public meeting. With so many hot-button issues and ongoing developments, it’s sure to be well attended.
Or is it? Historically, many residents tend to skip these meetings, choosing to instead ignore the municipal level of government altogether or only take an active interest when an ongoing issue directly affects them. It’s telling that North Huron Council, earlier this year, was considering doing away with its annual town hall meeting. Cynical residents might suggest this was a move towards limiting transparency, but people who have attended such meetings before will know that they often attract the angry, the bitter, the impossible to please and those with clearly defined agendas. In turn, an opportunity for meaningful dialogue about day-to-day issues that affect most residents is often lost as the meeting devolves into shouting matches fit to be refereed, rather than residents speaking to their elected officials.
From 4:30-7 p.m., the strategic plan for 2024-2027 will be the star, as it has yet to be formalized and council and staff are actively seeking public input on the township’s direction for the next four years. From 7-8:30 p.m., residents can ask councillors questions about anything.
Consider making the time to swing by and reclaim these meetings from the fanatics. Ask your councillor about your local arena, a new housing development that’s being proposed, terms like “inclusive” and “progressive” and if they warrant a place in the new strategic plan or about those high taxes. The more productive and useful a meeting like this is, the more likely they are to continue. Plus, who knows? You may just learn something about your community and its council. – SL
Ain’t no party like a Con. Party
The Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) threw itself a big do in Quebec City last week as Tory partisans, political organizers and conservative groupies gathered for a good, old-fashioned convention. The “government-in-waiting” demonstrated it is clearly focused on the pressing issues that matter to most Canadians, as long as those Canadians are focused mostly on the genitalia of children and preserving the sanctity of the place where those born with vaginas relieve themselves of their natural waste.
Once these fundamental (or is it fundamentalist?) issues are dealt with, the dual-crises of affordability and climate catastrophe will probably solve themselves. After all, one can assume that gender-reassignment surgery is a carbon-intensive process and the economy will obviously start booming with the creation of hundreds of Female Body Inspector (F.B.I.) jobs posted at toilets from coast-to-coast-to-coast.
The star of the show was, undoubtedly, CPC leader, saviour and golden-boy Pierre Poilievre, surprisingly not clad in an F.B.I. shirt. Poilievre’s party is riding high in the polls, partially because of his Clark Kent-ian transformation into a Superman-esque (or is it Übermensch-ly?) leader by removing his glasses; and partially because of the rising tide of voter fatigue (or is it obsessive hatred?) with the governing Liberals and their beleaguered leader Justin Trudeau.
While the Cons were whooping it up in “la belle province”, Trudeau was stuck in India with a broken down plane (or is it a metaphor that’s a little bit too on the nose?) after an awkward G20 summit. While Trudeau’s delayed return to Canada might have served as his “walk in the snow” moment, the Prime Minister seems committed to facing off against the ascendant Poilievre in the next election, even if it destroys the Liberal Party in the process. – SBS