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Letter: Ottawa occupiers don’t represent my Canada

Reflecting on 2022, reader says he is still angry and upset by the actions of the so-called ‘Freedom Convoy’ who occupied the nation’s capital last winter
typewriter pexels-cottonbro-3945337 (From Pexels by Cottonbro)

As I look back on 2022, the occupation of the streets of Ottawa by Freedom Convoy supporters still disturbs me too the core. 

That kind of behavior in Canada is so foreign to us it is still hard to believe it really happened. But it did. As a society, we need to look hard for the root causes of how we ever got to the point where anger, rage and violence become the way we express ourselves. 

The organizers of the protest made ‘freedom’ their battle cry. I would challenge these people, to point out one country in the world where people are free to do whatever they want; show me a society with no rules. 

I say there is no country in the world that is free. Society needs rules, regulations, law and order to function. My father fought in the Second World War and was seriously injured. He did not fight for freedom; he fought for democracy, as did all the other men and women who volunteered to fight and, in many cases, gave their lives for the cause.

There is no question in my mind the pandemic has woken up millions of people, not just in Canada but around the world, and they don’t like what they see. Societies are in crisis. People woke up to a society driven by greed and gross injustice, and they gravitated to the only group of people who showed any kind of opposition to how we are governed. 

That group were the Convoy supporters who were heading to Ottawa. The gap between the richest to the poorest has become so wide people can no longer tolerate it, nor in my opinion should they tolerate it. Something needs to be done to redistribute the wealth so every human can have the necessities on life. 

That something cannot be chaos; it needs to be done in a democratic way. For that to happen, we need a new breed of politician to step up, people who are honest and willing to lead, not rule, their constituents. 

We don’t have a political party in Canada that wants to serve. They all just want power. We need a party that will always put people ahead of their own greed.

The other thing that bothers me is these Convoy supporters are trying to steal our flag. I don’t know about you, but when I see a vehicle with a flag on it, I wonder: Is that someone who loves and supports our country? I think every Canadian who loves this country should put a flag on their vehicle along with a stick-on heart for the back window to clearly indicate we fly this flag because we love our country. 

Let the Convoy supporters get their own flag.

My father never fully recovered from his war injuries. I watched him quietly suffer for the rest of his life. I remember running my fingers along the deep scars in his back where the bomb hit. Millions of men and women died or suffered to protect democracy. Please do not turn your back on these people. 

Remember their commitment to democracy and get political. It may be time for a new political party. One with a social conscience, one who will focus on fixing our country before fixing the world. Please stand up and be heard, don’t give up on democracy.

Chaos solves nothing.

Ron Vaillancourt