Duck Paterson. (File photo)

Duck Paterson. (File photo)

Paterson’s Perspective: Maybe we’re not so different from the Americans

Columnist Duck Paterson shares his views on civil discourse in Canada and America

I’ve always felt that we Canadians have never celebrated this amazing country we call home. I’ve felt that the U.S. population went over the top in their flag-waving, drum beating and jumping up and down about their country. Canadians, unfortunately, are seen as too quiet, too polite and way too often too apathetic about where they live.

Watching the unbelievable scenes coming from the American capitol it’s making me re-think those feelings. The supposedly most democratic country in the world being disgraced by its own citizens that don’t want to follow the laws of the country as laid out by their own elected officials. Well, us being the quiet, soft spoken neighbours to the north would never imagine anything like this happening in our country…. Right?

Wrong!

No, we haven’t stormed the capitol, as those folks did a few days ago, we haven’t burnt our flag, we even haven’t burnt effigies of Trudeau. But in a way we have followed what a few Americans have been doing to their country — flaunting our own personal opinions in the face of laws as laid out by duly elected government or courts of the land.

Just go back a couple of weeks ago when a few people, pushing their own agendas, halted local industry in Ladysmith. A few years ago the leader of the federal Green Party as well as another member of Canada’s parliament were arrested for disobeying a court injunction. Last year individuals and groups decided that their opinions and goals over-rode those of the court’s injunction and they shut-down many businesses in northern BC as well as cost the taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars and then others decided to interrupt the opening of our provincial government and delayed the work of duly elected government. These are just examples of some of the actions that a few people felt were appropriate because they want things their own way.

Even though the events in the US seem to be huge in comparison to ours, (and they are), the bottom line is that we are becoming like the states. When we don’t like a situation some members of society feel that it is their right to disrupt the processes or actions. They feel that their rights override the rights of others.

When, for the greater public good and safety, professional officials dictate certain protocols and safety precautions, and small numbers of society feel that it’s against their rights, and flout them are we different than our neighbours? When we have duly elected members of our government, at any level, knowingly go against court orders or injunctions then is our society any different than our neighbours?

Are we as British Columbians and Canadians, or just plain democratic loving citizens, going to sit back and was our country go the way of our neighbours? Or are we going to defend and abide by the democratic principles that this country was founded on?

Duck Paterson is a long-time Ladysmith resident and town councillor. Paterson’s Perspective is a new bi-weekly column where Paterson will take on issues relevant to the community, the province, and the country.

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