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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Leduc Catlin

Building the Muscle to Stand

Updated: May 15, 2021

“ We must now establish the basic principles, the basic values and beliefs which hold us together as Canadians so that beyond our regional loyalties there is a way of life and a system of values which make us proud of the country that has given us such freedom and such immeasurable joy.”

Pierre Elliott Trudeau

I must confess, until I had lived in various states of lockdown during the past year, I had never read The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

To be really truthful, though I am Canadian, I was more familiar with the US Declaration of Independence - the Americans being far better at self-promotion than their more demure Northern neighbours.

“Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” is well recognized. But in our Charter, we are also guaranteed, “…life, liberty and security of the person.”

And If I’m brutally honest, I would have to say that we, as Canadians and Americans in particular, have gotten soft.

I don’t mean that we don’t work hard, but that we, as inheritors of rights that our ancestors fought for, as inhabitants of lands that have seen no war in our lifetime, have never had to assert our constitutional rights in a way that others who have lived under dictatorships and other totalitarian threats have had to.

Not all of us, of course. African Americans, as one exception, know what it is to continue to fight for their constitutional and basic human rights.

We (and if the shoe doesn’t fit for you, personally, don’t wear it) have taken for granted that we are free to do and say and think what we like, within the law and without harm to others.

Until now.

It has been head-spinning to watch the speed and voracity with which non-conforming scientists, health experts, and even citizens, have been silenced and censored from the media - social and otherwise.

But there are those who cannot stand by, and I am learning from them.

Julius Ruechel is a fellow Canadian I found through a recommendation by Ivor Cummins, the Irish health expert I shared about yesterday.

Here he offers a breakdown of the actions of the Canadian government in contradiction to our Charter of Rights and Freedoms…

Whether or not you’re Canadian, I highly recommend this fascinating and entertaining comparison of our current cultural climate with Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

“…it’s no longer just the compliant public that appears to be suffering from Stockholm Syndrome. It's also become a survival mechanism for many of politicians, health officials, and journalists in order to come to terms with the situation that they find themselves in. It's better to surrender your mind to a popular delusion than to stand alone in defense [sic] of an unpopular truth. Graveyards are full of people who were in the right.”

What I’m learning is that we, with our busy lives and lack of experience in flexing our constitutional and human rights muscles, must start to work out.

We must learn to inspect our information - even, and especially, when the issues are complex.

We must learn to think independently - even, and especially, when our opinions don't conform.

We must learn to embrace our responsibility to uncover the truth - even, and especially, when what we find is uncomfortable.


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This one really resonates strongly for me. Great read.

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