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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Leduc Catlin

True North Strong & Free

Updated: Feb 2, 2022

"My friends, love is better than anger.

Hope is better than fear.

Optimism is better than despair.

So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic.

And we’ll change the world."

Jack Layton

For those outside of Canada who may not know, Jack Layton was the leader of the New Democratic Party.

These words, from his last deathbed letter to Canadians, represent what used to be the ethos of the left that I loved.

This is so far removed from the divisive finger-pointing and fear-mongering of the current NDP leader, Jagmeet Singh, and the Liberal Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau.

In what must either be a complete disconnection with the hearts and minds of Canadians, or a willful defiance in defence of their careers, they are lost in this historical moment.

But we must not be.

I’ve attended every non-partisan World Wide Demonstration in favour of freedom, except the first (which I didn’t know about).

They were not left or right or hateful or even hostile.

They were joyful celebrations of freedom...

But I’ve read, heard, and felt the violent sentiments of our government and media calling for the blood of the unvaccinated.

I’ve had to find my support in open-minded friends from across the political spectrum and in the warm and welcoming crowds of strangers, many of whom have never protested anything in their lives.

Having not been able to earn a living for 2 years because of mandates, I am not able to join my fellow citizens in Ottawa.

But like so many others, I have watched with pride and renewed vitality as I witness the awakening of a sense of national identity I’ve never experienced before.

We don’t have an ancient history like some countries, and we did not fight a war of independence like others.

We are not British or French, though they were our founders.

We are not American, though they are our neighbours.

We are not African, Asian, European, or South American, though they are our ancestors.

Like all growing nations, we are an emerging identity, made up of those who’ve been here for thousands of years and those newly arrived.

At this moment in history, we are taking an evolutionary leap forward in our identity.

Our tendency towards kindness can no longer be confused with complacency or even compliance.

Our proclivity for politeness does not negate our outrage at authoritarianism or our propensity for peaceful protest.

Our silence is over.

The government and legacy media have tried to divide and conquer by turning those who’ve chosen different medical paths against each other.

They’re still trying.

In the face of joyful, intermingling vaccinated and unvaccinated protesters from all ethnic, religious, and political backgrounds, they are attempting to sew seeds of hate.

We cannot and will not let them win.

We are not a nation that hates.

We are a nation that stands.

The left has lost its bearing, neglecting science and liberal values, abandoning its working class base.

The right has lost its courage, forgetting civil liberties and moral imperatives.

Canadians do not discriminate.

Canadians do not put our children in harm’s way.

The time for state-sanctioned narratives and playing politics with our health and other freedoms is over.

Release the data.

Open scientific debate.

Hold a public inquiry into this now endemic virus and lay all the cards on the table.

We need to hold those responsible for the catastrophic handling of SARS-CoV-2 to account.

We need to heal our wounds and false left/right and vaxxed/unvaxxed divisions.

And we need to each take part in creating a new civil discourse based in scientific integrity, humanitarian principles, and Constitutional rights and freedoms.

At this moment, Canada has the world’s attention.

As Canadians, we have found our self-respect.

We can squander it or build on it.

With the latter, we can once again demonstrate our courage and leadership.

For a view from outside our borders, I’ll leave you with another beautiful commentary from Neil Oliver, in support of our truckers and of freedom itself…


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