What is happening to Canada? A once kind and compassionate nation is quickly being transformed into an “us vs. them” dystopian nightmare.
Once chummy neighbours are being pitted against one another based on personal medical choices.
Political leaders across the country promised and reassured us that vaccines were voluntary and would never be forced. Vaccine passports were deemed unthinkable, unnecessary and a hoax created by far right wingers.
Fast forward to now, as many of us watch in horror as people’s jobs and livelihoods are threatened and provinces scramble to implement vaccine passports which were once labeled a conspiracy. We thought that the Charter would protect us, that there was no way this could ever be allowed to happen here in Canada. The government would never allow the creation of two classes of citizens. It would be downright un-Canadian!
Yet here we are. And the number of people willingly handing over their rights and freedoms, cheering on segregation and the removal of bodily autonomy is staggering.
If you have a medical condition which prevents you from being vaccinated, you are automatically assigned to second class as there are NO medical exemptions. Read that again. There are NO medical exemptions in B.C. You must vaccinate to participate in society, even if it might kill you. Is this the Canada we want?
These discriminatory measures will also unfairly target Black and racialized populations such as First Nations and low income communities where vaccination rates are the lowest. This includes a large number of immigrants who sought refuge here fleeing corrupt governments. Will forcing vulnerable populations into a modern day segregation help these groups believe that the Canadian government cares for them and is different than governments of the past or the governments they escaped?
Democratic societies should never welcome government authority to track, approve and reject everyday movement of its citizens. These invasive practices have primarily been observed in governments described as communist, totalitarian, authoritarian and fascist regimes.
If history has taught us anything, it’s that the creation of a police state never works in the favour of its citizens. Once rights and freedoms have been handed over to the government, rarely does the government give them back.
So before we label people who are up in arms over their rights and freedoms as “anti-vaxxers” or political extremists – know that most are ordinary citizens just like you. You may even believe that the government is justified in these measures to protect you and keep you safe. But what happens when the government crosses a line that you are opposed to, when they go too far? What will be left to protect you? Who will speak out for you? It’s these very rights that protect us from tyrannical government rule.
Those protesting are not just fighting for their rights and freedoms, but yours as well. As Canadians, we should not only be cheering them on, but we must join the fight alongside them. If they don’t win the war, the consequences could disintegrate the very principles of freedom in which our great nation was founded.
We are watching our country forge the most fundamental political battle of our time: are Canadians truly free? Informed consent free of threats, coercion and segregation is the only option for a free and democratic society.
(Photo credit: North American Human Rights Center)