We Must Continue To Uphold Our Rights & Freedoms, Especially In A Crisis
By Spencer Fernando, Exclusive to the National Citizens Coalition
This has been a very difficult year.
Thousands of Canadians have died.
Our lives have been overturned.
Many of us have been held back from seeing our families and friends.
Tens of thousands of businesses have collapsed, with hundreds of thousands more at risk of being lost.
Our nursing homes have been ravaged, and even with many months to prepare when the virus cases dipped, governments proved unable to protect the most vulnerable.
And now, with government failures piling up, they are now pushing for more small business lockdowns, and even curfews.
Talk of curfews is increasingly happening, particularly at the provincial level.
And a recent survey shows broad support for curfews.
According to a Leger survey, 67% of Canadians say they would support a 10:00 pm to 5:00 am curfew.
Now, it is understandable why people are concerned.
We all understandably want this to be over.
We made sacrifices early in the year, and many are exasperated that the virus is still spreading, and even getting worse in terms of overall numbers – though deaths as a percentage of overall cases have declined dramatically, and our ICU rates remain low and manageable.
There can be a sense that all we have done hasn’t worked, so why not take more drastic measures?
However, we are reaching the point where we must ask how these measures can possibly be considered compatible with Canada being a free society.
Freedom is the true founding value of our nation.
It is the reason our country has been successful in the past, and it is the reason so many people from across the world seek to make Canada their home.
We have explicitly decided to be a nation where individual rights and freedoms are paramount, where we do not give the power to take the same types of actions that totalitarian states like China have taken.
It is true that it is much easier to fight a pandemic in a ruthless totalitarian state where individual rights don’t exist.
Yet, that is not the kind of society we want to live in.
The solution is to recognize that we must fight a pandemic in a way that remains compatible with our values, rather than moving against those values.
Our governments have repeatedly failed to take the targeted, focused measures that could have made a difference. Personal care homes were left vulnerable. Measures to increase health, like distributing vitamin D and warning about the link between obesity and virus outcomes, have not been undertaken.
Instead, the ideas offered by the government have continually trended towards the more draconian end of things, with restrictions imposed on everyone.
We must ask ourselves how we can be considered a free society when the government has the power to issue curfews and impose large-scale fines on people for visiting their family members.
Further, many of those with the power to enforce those rules have themselves broken those rules, and exempted well-connected elites, while threatening to punish the rest of us.
That’s why, even though it may be unpopular to say now, it is more essential than ever that we uphold our rights and freedoms.
We must reject new lockdowns and reject government-mandated curfews.
This is now up to the individual choices of all Canadians.
Each of us, in our own life, must make our decision on the level of risk we are willing to take, and the actions we can take to help others.
Personally, I think people should do all they can to limit their contacts, wear masks when appropriate, and be as careful as possible.
Yet, that doesn’t mean curfews, and it doesn’t mean lockdowns.
We cannot continue to destroy businesses that people worked their whole lives to create.
We cannot use draconian government power to limit the rights of Canadians.
And we cannot substitute government power for individual initiative and individual responsibility.
We are supposed to be a free nation, of free individuals, free families, and free communities.
We must uphold that freedom, no matter how hard it may seem. The soul of our nation cannot be sacrificed at the altar of expediency and fear.
Spencer Fernando is one of the most popular and prolific political voices in Canada. He is a Campaign Fellow for the National Citizens Coalition. For more from Spencer, visit his website, and follow him on Facebook and Twitter.
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