UnCanadian, eh?

Hey neighbours. Yes I spelled that with a u. 

This is for American journalists who tout their superiority and want everyone to believe they are not Fox News, that they tell the truth, they have the facts, and they get it right. Yes, I’m talking to you CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post. In the last three weeks I have seen photos on TV (on CNN) of Windsor, Ontario identified as Ottowa. You misidentified the location and spelled it wrong. Your credibility is failing. Your headlines herald the occupation as “UnCanadian” and “giddy.” What?  

But mostly, this is for my American friends. Do you think you are the only nation that has white supremacists? Do you believe you have the market cornered on racism? Perhaps you think that the orange menace is an American-only product. Think again. We have a population of white supremacist, racists here. We have duly-elected Trump wannabees who have a say in how this nation is run. 

Americans need a better understanding of its neighbours to the North. Kindly stop with the patronizing, stereotypical garbage portraying us as apologetic, nice, milquetoast socialists. Just stop that right now. Unlike most of you, the majority of Canadians do not buy into the company line that the US of A is greatest nation on earth, the land of the free, and accepting of the world’s downtrodden with open arms. Get a grip. You are in as much of a mess as we are. You have domestic terrorists. So do we. You have white supremacists. So do we. You have fringe groups who want to overthrow the government. So do we. We are not any more apologetic than most of you. We are not boring, eh-sayers, just like most of you are not cowboy hat wearing, drawling rednecks. 

What we are is a country in crisis, trying to maintain our place on the world stage. Most of us have received vaccinations against covid. Most of us believe in helping our neighbours, welcoming the world’s refugees with open arms, and doing what’s right. The far right-wing extremists have found their voice and have found ways to express their disgust at our government. These citizens do not believe in helping their neighbour, they resent the government helping the refugees, and their version of doing the right thing is different than most. 

Just like you, we are worried about our democracy. Just like you we are confused with the rise and level of hatred in our countrymen. These hate-filled individuals have found their voice and admire the organizers of the January 6th event; some of us believe that is where they found their “courage.” Emboldened by the actions of a few of our southern neighbours, they started yelling about freedoms and feeling oppressed. But most of all, they started yelling. They yell. And yell. And honk horns. They make noise. They speak over others and feel strong and emboldened because they have witnessed the orange menace from south of the border and his blatant disregard for the rule of law and democracy. And they want a taste of that. 

My city has been under siege for the last three weeks in an unprecedented show of force that was partially financed by our friends south of the border. In an unprecedented alliance of all Canadian political parties, our apologetic, mild-mannered politicians at all levels of government abandoned the residents of downtown Ottawa. Their inaction and uncaring attitudes have been something to behold. Just as you sat, slack-jawed and unbelieving, glued to your television sets on January 6th, we have been flailing and trying to find answers as to why all levels of government have failed us, just like they failed the residents of Washington D.C. on January 6th. The residents of this city who have been under siege, confined to their homes, terrorized, assaulted and harassed, unable to go to work for three weeks and who have been suffering mental anguish deserved better. 

Last week, the Prime Minister found his mojo and enacted The Emergencies Act. Today the police have finally started to take control of our downtown and send the illegal occupiers home. We are seeing action but we have lost our respect for our leaders and our police.

So when it’s finally over, we expect a lot of apologies. The level-headed amongst us will make it right for those who have been wronged. Because it’s the Canadian thing to do. 

In the meantime, to our friends to the south, if you can’t find Ottawa on a map, you are not allowed to comment or write articles under the mantle of journalism. Okay, eh?