What the world saw this weekend was not my Canada. Those people are not my fellow Canadians. They may hold citizenships that claim otherwise, but they are in no way representative of what I consider to be Canada. I don’t know who these people are or who they think they are or what they were trying to prove, but I wish they hadn’t done what they did. It was embarrassing and shameful and they left a stain on something I hold most dear and am most proud of. My Canadian-ness.
We’re a peaceful people. We’re polite and kind and easy-going and laid back. We don’t run the streets with weapons, breaking windows and lighting police cruisers on fire. We don’t confront police in riot gear. We don’t warrant police in riot gear.
If we are passionate about an issue, we protest peacefully. We lobby and picket and chant. We make signs. We hold sit ins. We write letters to our leaders. We write letters to our leaders’ opposition. We make our cause known. We act with purpose.
We don’t call ourself anarchists. We respect authority and find a way to protest without antagonizing. We don’t have tear gas fired at us. We don’t get billy clubbed. We don’t get shot with rubber bullets.
Those people this weekend who stole the medias attention are not my Canada. They are not my fellow Canadians.
The police have been criticized for allowing the situation to get out of control. To that I say simply that the police cannot act unless a crime has been committed. Once that crime was committed and the police acted, they were criticized for acting too forcefully. Catch yourself on. Get a grip. They acted in an appropriate manner. The police are not the anarchists, hell-bent on disturbing the peace and the peaceful. They were charged with protecting the leaders of the free world, Toronto’s public, and the businesses that the people of our province employ and are employed by. They did their job as best as they knew how.
Remember – this was new to them. This doesn’t happen in our country. This was not Canada. Not theirs, not yours, not mine.
I just hope it doesn’t happen again.