Skip to content

Letter: Freedom Convoy memories warm my heart

‘Freedom was the battle cry of the protesters, and rightfully so’
typewriter pexels-caryn-938165 (From Pexels by Caryn)

As I look back on 2022, the memory of the Freedom Convoy and its participants brings a warm glow to my heart and a real pride in being Canadian. 

Tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of proud Canadians gathered in the nation’s capitol to express peacefully and legally their opposition to Justin Trudeau's potentially illegal and completely unjustified vaccine mandates. 

It was truly uplifting to watch the live feeds online of the day-to-day happenings on the ground. Bouncy castles were set up for the kids along with play areas, food was abundant and meals were provided to the homeless; crime in the downtown core of Ottawa was almost nonexistent; sidewalks were cleared of snow and garbage was collected and placed in an area where city workers could easily remove it. 

Our prime minister had labeled these people as racist, misogynists and holding "unacceptable views." He said he would not meet with them because their protest is not one he can support — hmmm, let’s see what type of protest he supports. Apparently he supports protests where riots take place in the streets of Montreal along with looting and vandalism, protests where rail lines are blocked and damaged, protests where churches are burned (he didn't approve of the method but understood the anger), protests where statues are vandalized and then torn down. Not a peep from the PM, but if you protest something he is doing, that is completely unacceptable. 

Now for the hypocrisy that just makes me shake my head. At the end of November, just after the conclusion of the Emergencies Act hearing, Trudeau made a statement in support of the Chinese protestors who are protesting China's covid restrictions. Are you kidding me? He says that everyone in China should have the right to protest the government and restrictions on their freedom. 

Now Trudeau is well aware China is a communist country, he does admire their "basic dictatorship" after all, and that individuals have virtually no rights and are subject to extreme punishment for speaking out against the government. I'm sure we all remember Tiananmen Square. 

The protest in Ottawa was completely peaceful and full of joy, until the Emergencies Act was introduced and the police used clubs, rifle butts, tear gas, horses, knees and fists — the police who participated in this attack should be ashamed of themselves.

Freedom was the battle cry of the protesters, and rightfully so. My uncle died in the Second World War fighting for our freedom, which includes a democracy. I'm sure if it was possible to see from the beyond that he would be rolling in his grave seeing the actions of the Trudeau government against its own citizens for peacefully protesting in the nation’s capitol. 

I'm also sure he would be proud of those people flying the Canadian flag and showing such pride in a country, despite the government trying to beat them down and tarnish their cause through lies and media slander. 

Freedom is not a dream; it is a right within our country and that includes the right to protest the government when it needs to be held to account for its actions. Freedom includes the right to bodily autonomy whether it's abortion or choosing not to take a drug. 

Freedom means that the government will not threaten your livelihood or business, impede travel for noncompliance or impose vaccine mandates.

Laws are, of course, needed in any civilized society, but laws that limit free speech (not hate speech) and try to bury any opinion that isn't part of the "narrative" are wrong and dangerous for the future of our country, Bill C-11 being a prime example. 

All proud Canadians regardless of their views should be flying the Canadian flag as it is a symbol of our country and not a symbol of any particular viewpoint.

A free country allows its citizens to pursue their dreams. For some, that will produce great riches and for others, not so much. Either way, it's not the government’s job in a free society to "redistribute wealth" from the rich to the poor, all that does is stop the ambitious from trying to get ahead or to simply pack up and leave for a country that allows them to succeed and prosper. 

In a country where equity of outcome takes precedence over striving for success and getting ahead is sure to fail, every socialist and communist country in the world has proven this fact. 

The government should not stand in the way of progress and should support those who are providing opportunities for others to prosper, not punish them for getting ahead. 

As my father said, life is not fair and you will only get what you work for and if you don't put in the effort, you will get what you deserve. A democratic government is there to provide services to the people and be accountable to the people; the people are not there to serve the government and be accountable to them. 

Canada doesn't need a new government system; it just needs a government that allows Canadians to get ahead and not get in the way with policies that stifle freedom and ambition. What we need is a lot less government bureaucracy and interference.

It is indeed time for all of us to get political, take a long hard look at what we have as a government and compare that to what you think we should have as a government. If you are satisfied, fine, do nothing, but if you aren't, then get off your butt and do something about it, join a political party that represents the majority of your views and support that party with financial donations or help in the office, or canvas for votes during a campaign. 

Don't just sit there and whine about the results if you don't participate in the process. 

Al Lockhart