Evan Saugstad: Is Canada angrier than ever?


Maybe, maybe not, but if our political leaders don’t start to understand how people feel, then we haven’t seen anything yet.

In late August, some idiot from Grande Prairie accosted Deputy Premier Chrystia Freeland in the lobby of a building, swearing and cursing her for daring to come back to Alberta. The media response was quick and predictable. Quotes from anyone who is anyone, and mandatory condemnation of those who show no common decency for the person behind their political work.

I agree – the person behind the title is not fair game for all weirdos. Every citizen in Canada is entitled to their own space and in this we are all equal, politicians or otherwise, no matter who we are.

But then came criticism of an ‘angry Canada’ and ‘violent right-wing extremists’ and how difficult it is for women to hold political office and put up with the crap some choose to pile on them .

It’s all there, partly true, but as a Toronto Sun columnist so aptly puts it, threats, intimidation and silly behavior by thugs is nothing new, it’s not limited to one race, gender or to part of the political spectrum. , or part of the country.

I couldn’t agree more with the article. And like elsewhere in Canada, it exists here.

Remember the thug who showed up at the Peace River Regional District meeting when the council was considering implementing building permits and inspections for rural areas? Do you remember him bringing a baseball bat into the meeting and placing it prominently in front of his chair in the gallery? And if I remember correctly, the president temporarily adjourned the meeting until the unbalance and his bat were removed, and then continued the meeting.

Yes, no debate about political extremism, no debate about threats against women, just a bunch of exasperated board directors facing some jerk who thought he could teach politicians how to make decisions.

But today, oh yes, the Grande Prairie hulking fits the current narrative of what is wrong with Canada.

Rhetoric aside, what is the real conversation about incidents like this? What about bad behavior?

To be fair to Minister Freeland, I don’t see any response from her to say that it was more than it really was, that thugs are still part of the business and that it might need to be reviewed the safety of politicians given the polarization that our crop of leaders seem to revel in.

Is Canada angrier than ever? Maybe, maybe not, but if our political leaders don’t start to understand how people feel, we haven’t seen anything yet, because it’s going to get worse. Most are still frustrated, still sitting at home screaming at the evening news. But the difference between being frustrated and yelling at an inanimate object to get off the couch and do something can be very short.

Missed your flight and your vacation because there were no security personnel at the airport? Couldn’t travel and lost your reservation because there were no passports available? The ArriveCan app arbitrarily quarantined you? Ten days of work stoppage rather than go to prison… Is anyone happy?

No job because you didn’t want to get vaccinated? Didn’t get your job back because someone in Ottawa says you can’t? You went to Ottawa to protest and your truck was seized, your bank account was frozen, then insulted by our Prime Minister for your troubles? Have you passed it yet? Still a little angry?

Well be glad to know that whenever you fill up on gas Trudeau and Prime Minister Horgan can use your money to give to others to subsidize their vehicle that you don’t have the ability to use .

Or if your gas furnace goes out, be glad to know that Horgan has added another tax if you can’t afford thousands of retrofits to get your home electric.

Or if you can finally afford to buy a used vehicle, be glad to know that you now have to pay another 12% tax so Horgan can give it to someone else to improve their life.

Are you already happy?

Glad Victoria decided you shouldn’t have your moose medal this year, despite the pleas and vindications of local people? Happy to see your weapon obtained legally declared illegal and then confiscated?

You went to the emergency room of a hospital to find it closed and you have to travel 100 kilometers to find one that is still open? Isn’t life a joy without a family doctor?

Going to work on the pipeline, only to be blocked? Or how about logging, blocked by a different set of thugs, many of whom participate in our government’s catch and release program, so they’re free to pursue their obstructionist trades .

How about the idiots who lay down on our roads, streets, bridges and highways to prevent our open and free society from being nearly open and free – only to see on the evening news that they got home before you, a another catch-and-release government program that allows them to enjoy their lives and start all over again the next day.

Are you already happy?

Not likely.

Frustrated, yes, maybe soon angry. Yet, do our leaders care? Who among them would have the courage to stand before you, despite the thugs and idiots, to answer your questions and solve your problems?

Trudeau summed it up nicely. Just declare an emergency, throw people in jail, problems are solved.

Although I hope so, I’m sorry to say that the idiots and rude behavior aren’t going away anytime soon.

God help us all – or maybe there will be hope when the next generation of politicians realize that task number one is to listen to people and make our lives a little better.

Evan Saugstad lives and writes in Fort St. John.

Email your letters to [email protected]

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