Canadians often think they are immune to the craziness of American politics and life. Not so. Lately, we have experienced American style polarization fuelled by hate. In the past it is has led to serious violence in Canada and it might happen again.
In the 2021 Canadian federal election there has been a spike in hate. Most of it has been focused on the Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, who seems to be a lightning rod for hate. Recently in Bolton Ontario he was forced to avoid scheduled stops because the RCMP has said it was unable to guarantee the safety of the people attending his rallies. As the Winnipeg Free Press reported,
“Trudeau has been dogged by protesters throughout the campaign, most of them voicing angry opposition to mandatory vaccinations, masks and lockdowns that have been implemented to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”
Some of these protesters have got down right nasty. According to the Free Press this was caused by
“Conservative campaign workers were spotted among a crowd of raucous protesters who forced the cancellation of a Liberal event featuring Justin Trudeau in Bolton, Ont. At least four volunteers for local Conservative MP Kyle Seeback were photographed among the angry, obscenity spewing crowd, wearing blue “Team Seeback” T-shirts.”
The protesters are tweeting with the hash tag” #hateclub.” I think this tells you all you need to know about them. The last thing Canada needs, yet what is getting, are haters.
Showing their allegiance to right wing nonsense the Free Press reported,
“At least some of the protesters appear to share views with supporters of former U.S. president Donald Trump, seemingly importing many of the conspiracy theories prevalent among his followers that led to last January’s violent assault on the U.S. Capitol.
In a live videostream of the Bolton event, protesters can be heard calling Trudeau a criminal, a communist, a murderer and a pedophile and berating police for being “pedophile protectors.”
In the video, posted on Facebook by a self-identified American woman, a woman can be heard saying that if Trudeau wins the election, it will be because it was “rigged.”
Trudeau responded by saying,
“I think this is something that Canadians, all of us, need to reflect on, because it’s not who we are,” he said, adding that everyone has had a difficult year and that “we need to meet anger with compassion.”
How do comments like that trigger such hate? I am not so sure that Trudeau is right about such conduct being un-Canadian. It seems to be more and more prevalent in Canadian society but he did hit the right tone. The other political leaders were also quick to denounce the antics of the protesters and that was good to see as well.
I am still worried about the rise of hate in Canada. We don’t need vaccine unreason spiced with conspiracy theories and right wing lies. Is Canada ready for the storm? That’s what Qanon calls the return of Trump.