To the Editor:

January 29, 2022, a day to mark in history: Where were you when the country woke up?

From St. John’s Newfoundland to Victoria BC, people came out to join each other and say “enough.” We have had it with the modelling and fear mongering and all that ‘hate your neighbor because of what she/he does not do’ rhetoric. Not protests, but victory celebrations.

Mr. Trudeau, who, as a sidebar, has no qualms about instigating armed conflict against Russia, decided to head for parts unknown as the country came alive. That is curious. One would think that a leader would have seized the moment. But no. He who will stand before Russian force, hides. In all the celebrations in all the towns and cities I find no mention of violent acts, yet he hides. From his own people. Where would he be if the plans for war give fruit and foreign tanks take the place of truckers?

Mr. Trudeau has also taken the stance that Canadians’ rights, expressed and embedded in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, do not hold. These should be interpreted as privileges with conditions; that this is a preferable, and an acceptable manner of governing. What is stated in that document as Rights and Freedoms are not inalienable but subject to individual behavior.

Mr. Brian Peckford, ex Premier of Newfoundland and last surviving framer of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, has taken umbrage with Mr. Trudeau’s interpretation. As one who was there and participated in the thought processes which preceded and were placed into words with meanings, he is totally opposed to what is and has been taking place in Canada. And he is planning to have his position heard in front of the Supreme Court.

A Newfoundland saying is, “no matter how far you have gone down the wrong road, turn around”. We have been led down the wrong road and perhaps now we can turn around. Freedom will not return when modelling says so. Nor will safety appear with more restrictions. Freedom is inborn and safety a choice. Both come with responsibility and part of that is to protect the right of freedom and choice.

If the thought that a fellow Canadian, by law, is not ‘allowed’ to enter a store to buy socks or bed sheets unless she/he meets approved status brings peace of mind, questions arise on what other miseries can and should be inflicted? (I speak of Quebec’s big-box store law). Also the question as to how we ever arrived at such a low place.

Perhaps this past weekend will point us in the right direction, to trust and open friendship. It certainly has shown the timorousness of he who would lead Canadians to the gates of war.

Gordon Fraser, Champlain