Reporter Candace Wu’s recent front-page article about Qualicum Beach’s Liam Chambers serving as a sentry at the National War Memorial got me pondering what constitutes honouring those who suffered/died or are suffering and dying in the name of our freedoms and democracy.
Are parades, memorials and a sentry program enough? I don’t think so.
We also need to be on constant guard while stopping those who wilfully abuse our freedoms and democracy. This includes those who say they honour Canadian values while trampling all over them.
To me, Prime Minister Stephen Harper et al, using the tragic shooting of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo by the mentally ill Zehaf-Bibeau to bring in Bill C-51, is not honouring the supreme sacrifices made by so many.
We are now learning much of the confusion on that day was caused by the police themselves.
Even with that, it was less than seven minutes between the shooting of Cirillo and Zehaf-Bibeau lying dead.
We do not need 17 federal agencies having excessive powers. We do need good credible information.
It is vital to a functioning democracy and a free society where people have the means of making critically informed decisions about what is in their own enlightened self-interest and that of their society.
Yet Harper et al have not only muzzled our public scientists. According to Chris Turner’s 2013 The War on Science, he is destroying their capacity to do research. These scientists were taxpayer funded to provide us and our policy makers with good non-partisan research. Gone.
How is that honouring democracy and those who died in its name?
Canada’s system of publicly-funded research, set up largely by the Conservatives under Prime Minister Borden, made us world leaders in many fields which had positive economic spin-offs. This included protecting the environment upon which we all depend for life.
As for honouring Canadian values, I encourage people to read Harper’s 1997 speech to the Council for National Policy.
His actions exploiting our system since becoming prime minister indicates his low opinion of us, our values and our parliamentary democracy have not changed.
Yvonne ZarownyQualicum Beach