It’s the start of a new week in the Nations Capital and some things finally seem to be happening to alleviate the stresses and dangers the people of Ottawa have been facing. The police have finally started to enforce laws and by-laws, ticketing trucks, laying charges and forcing the removal of dangerous fuels stored in Confederation Park. There still is a lot that needs to happen, but I have to admit seeing sights like these brought a smile to my face:
I must admit the schadenfreude of the hotel on the site of the “staging area” for the occupation of Ottawa being filled by police was just a chef’s kiss to top it all off. Of course, it would make complete sense that would be the case though, as the RCMP has a major station directly across the street. But clearly no one in this group of alleged “protesters” thought about that. Anywho, it appears that things are taking a step or two forward. Or at least that was until this morning, when this piece of news came across my social media and left me shaking my head:
Leave it to Jim Watson, the guy who hasn’t even been keeping the councilors in the wards directly affected by all this crap in the loop as to what’s happening, to make one of the worst possible “suggestions” ever. In a normal situation, bringing in a mediator would be a logical idea and one that could work, but this clearly is no such situation. You’d think after 10 days of this crap, you might think that Watson would get that but clearly not. That lack of comprehension come glaringly clear when he was quoted live on national TV saying that “someone of great stature in our community and the country who can actually open doors” should be brought in to “mediate” here. If we were dealing with rational actors who respected such things as “stature in the community and country”, that might work. But this gang clearly don’t. They are calling the media “enemies of the state”, calling elected politicians’ “traitors”, are demanding the dissolution of our representative democracy and people in their group are threatening to execute people in all of those groups, including healthcare workers. To give you a taste, here is what Watson wants the Feds to try to “mediate” a solution with:
Seriously folks, how in the Hell do you mediate with that? You can’t, I’m sorry but you can’t. Yet Watson is in pure “cover my ass” mode, trying to pass off the cities failures on other jurisdictions and pass the blame to them. Sadly Watson is not alone in that, as we’re seeing Ontario try to do the same while the Federal government has gone totally silent. It’s far from our best moment and has forced residents to use the civil law to try to force an end to all of this. But I have to admit that Watson suggestion is one that particularly irks me. I’m someone who normally is predisposed to trying to find a negotiation solution whenever possible. But clearly this is different, not only because of what we’re seeing on the ground in Ottawa but an additional worrying layer coming from our neighbours to the South:
Ottawa Police Chief Sloly pointed out last week that we are seeing foreign influences, funding and organization getting involved in what is happening, which is part of what moved GoFundMe to cancel the groups page raising money with them. As a result, we’re now seeing Republican wackos openly supporting an attempt to overthrow the duly elected government of their G7 neighbour and biggest trading partner, all in an attempt to ride a way and get some political clout with their base. This is coming from prominent members of a party that just voted to declare the attempted violent overthrow of their elected government “‘Legitimate Political Discourse’”, which only drives home how far down their insane rabbit hole they’ve gone.
We’ve looked from across our border in horror at the crap that has been spewed in the United States, yet now these same forces are trying to inject lethal amounts of that same toxin into our body politic here, all of their own benefit. That is something that no Canadian should be supporting, let along legitimizing, at any point. But let’s be clear; the second the Federal government appoints a “moderator” to this situation, that is an act that gives this group the legitimacy that they so deserve. There is no way that any group demanding the overthrow of our elected government and the end of our democratic government should ever be given any legitimacy, ever, period.
That may seem like a harsh position to take, but there are limits to how far any government can and should go to deal with any situation. There are red lines that any government can never cross without doing permanent damage to our democracy, and this is clearly far beyond any such red line. If the Federal government were to acquiesce to Watson’s request, not only would there not be a solution that would satisfy this group that clearly respects no one, it would only give them rhetorical fuel and legitimacy that they should not get. Look at the Hell the people of Ottawa have had to endure for the past 10 days, between the noise, the threats, the assaults and the desecrations. Hell over the weekend we saw reports of an attempted arson in a residential apartment building, where those caught on video trying to do this even taped the doors to the building shut. They tried to burn that building to the ground, and trap the residents inside of it. And after that, Watson suggests that the Federal government gives this group legitimacy.
No, Hell no, a million times no. If they did that, it would just ensure that the lesson this group and others would take from this would be that occupying and taking a city hostage will get you results. It would open the door to others to take similar, extreme actions, putting more Canadians in danger and severely damaging the health of our democracy. That simply isn’t acceptable, even if doing so would help Jim Watson get off the hook before he walks away from the Mayor’s office. Let’s be clear, the solution here is for police to continue what they started to do last night; remove the fuel, remove the buildings, remove the trucks and if need be, remove the individuals. They have the resources and legal structures to do that and that is the path forward. Capitulating to the hostage taking of our Nations Capital and giving the hostage takers any legitimacy would be the worst move yet, and would only do more damage. That’s not acceptable and Watson’s suggestion just proves that it’s a good thing he’s not running again to stay at City Hall.
UPDATE: Monday February 7, 2022 @ 3:55 PM: As if to prove my point about how you cannot mediate with this group, the same organizer of the “protests” clipped above posted the following online just a short bit ago after an Ontario judge put an injunction in place against the blowing of horns downtown. Turns out this guy not only finds it so hilarious that people in Ottawa haven’t been able to get proper sleep for 10 days, he actually has the nerve to say that this approach of theirs is working. Keep that in mind Mayor Watson.