Did he give me the gift of voice so some could silence me?
– When God Made Me, Neil Young
With Canada Day on the horizon it’s time to reflect and count the many ways we’re fortunate to live in a country like Canada.
Sure, there are problems with our health care system, social services, expensive jets, and a government intent on dismantling any semblance of protection for the environment and a lack of respect for scientists, the parliamentary system and no sense of what is important to Canadians.
But it could be worse. Just take a look around the world: Egypt, Syria, Greece, Spain, any number of countries in Africa. Japan isn’t going to be the same for a long time.
In many countries it’s difficult to celebrate a national day or to voice allegiance to a party, or to a cause. But in Canada, despite everything else, we have freedom of speech.
Speech without hatred is a precious part of the Canadian charter.
Sharing ideas is what leads to consensus and the development of policy.
Freedom of speech is what allows us to better understand those with opposing views and why their views are different.
Freedom of speech is what allows me to take pokes at Prime Minister Stephen Harper, although I doubt he actually feels the pokes.
Freedom of speech allows Canadians to write letters to the editor without fear of retribution from the government, or the newspaper for that matter—and by the way The Interior News appreciates all of the letters we receive.
Unfortunately, some people in the community still believe voices carrying a message different than their personal views shouldn’t be heard.
Case in point: the recent vandalism of anti-abortion signs in New Hazelton and Telkwa.
Regardless of your stand regarding abortion, those opposing abortion have the very same rights to voice their opinion as those who support a woman’s choice to have an abortion.
Vandalism is an assault on free speech.
Even worse, doing it under the cover of darkness is cowardly.
Say what you mean, mean what you say, say it politely and put your face to it.
Meanwhile, let them speak.
– Percy N. Hébert/Interior News