Editorials - Sept. 24, 2020
As the number of new COVID-19 cases began to creep up, Premier Doug Ford announced new limits on gatherings in hotspots in the province. Ottawa, Toronto and Peel Region were the first areas where gatherings were reduced to groups of 10 people indoors and 25 outdoors. By the weekend, those restrictions were expanded to include the entire province. So far, the restrictions are not being imposed on schools or businesses such as restaurants, movie theatres, gyms or convention centres, as they are already operating with strict protocols in place. However, with schools returning to full attendance and cooler weather forcing social bubbles indoors, it is possible that we will see the phased openings begin to reverse if the caseload in the province grows.
While the restrictions and lockdowns are not fun, we can’t let the pandemic become politicized as has happened with our neighbours to the south. Keeping the virus far enough at bay to allow our healthcare system to keep up must remain the common goal.
It will take political stamina for Ford and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to make decisions and policy based on facts and science. For the rest of us, we need to find the willpower to get through this winter staying ahead of the coronavirus. If we all do our part, keeping to our bubbles, wearing masks, sanitizing and washing our hands, hopefully we can avoid further lockdowns. – DS
David vs. David
For generations, parents have been warning their children of the pitfalls of dealing with the school yard bully. Boisterous, arrogant and brash, he often seems like an unbeatable foe until, like one of those magic eye paintings, you see things a bit differently, only to realize the bully is often a coward who overcompensates for his own shortcomings.
Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland has been an expert negotiator in the face of an unprecedented level of not playing nice with U.S. President Donald Trump and his “America first” agenda. She has been the warrior we’ve needed in this fight and she’s dumped the author of The Art of the Deal on his bottom on more than one occasion.
The most recent victory for Canada under Freeland’s guidance was Trump abandoning his plans for a 10 per cent tariff on Canadian aluminum just hours before Canada was to announce retaliatory tariffs on the U.S. Freeland and Canada called Trump’s bluff and he folded like so many loud-mouthed bullies before him. Freeland essentially said, in teasing the retaliatory tariffs, that Trump needed to know that two could play the punitive tariff game. She was right and continues to be right.
Canada has been lucky to have so many smart, brave people in positions of power during this time of great challenges. Strong women like Freeland and Dr. Theresa Tam have taken on leadership roles as Canada has traversed a hostile neighbouring government and an unprecedented pandemic, coming out looking better than most other countries and keeping us safe compared to our neighbours to the south.
As the pandemic rages on and this fall’s U.S. election looks like it could be a turning point for American democracy, Canadians can be proud to have dogged representatives working on their behalf. - SL
Selfie Savant vs. Meme Maestro
Canada deserves a leader who can speak to all of their constituents, including young voters, respectfully and knowledgeably. However, what we have now, from our two largest federal parties, are little more than social media pretenders hoping to capture the hearts and minds of teens and twenty-somethings at the polls.
Between Mr. Selfie himself, Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who can be justifiably criticized for his interest in getting the right photo over sending the right message, to federal Conservative leader Erin O’Toole, who has, for years, abused the idea of memes, I feel bad for the rest of the millennials who are being courted by our current leaders.
O’Toole’s history with memes goes back to superimposing himself and his name over a Top Gun image, drawing ire from actual fighter pilots. Now, he tries to boil important issues down to single quotes, at best glossing over significant concerns and at worst, misleading people, possibly intentionally.
Most of the people Trudeau and O’Toole are targetting with these methods are wise to their antics and won’t be swayed by infographics, memes or selfies because they’re all far more media literate than either of the men (and, from the looks of it, the people they have running their campaigns and social media).
Say what you will about millennials, but they aren’t going to have their vote swayed just because of something or someone they see on their Instagram feeds.
Canada’s leaders need to do better and communicate with young voters, not just on the platforms used by them, but on the issues and same level of those young voters. – JDS