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LETTER: View from the fence shows right and wrong on both sides of ‘freedom convoy’

Nobody on either side of the situation in Ottawa is completely at fault, writes Maureen Kerr


It is quite possible that 72 years ago, I was born sitting on a fence. I have always been able to credit both sides of an argument. Well, maybe not always. Blinding, powerful emotions sometimes pushed me off that fence with equal gnashing and thrashing to one side or the other on the same issue until I could hop back up there, all rational and reasonable again.

It has been no different with the Freedom 2022 Convoy. One minute, I’m thinking,“what the hell is wrong with them?” and the next minute I am sympathetic to their cause. It makes it hard to figure out who to get angry at.

Justin Trudeau has made some stupid mistakes over the years, and continues to do so, but I support his position on the convoy. He cannot give in to bully-boy tactics. It would set a dangerous precedent. But he could have the leadership and maturity to admit that he is a pot calling the kettle black.

By repeatedly shaming the unvaccinated and using words like ‘racists’ and ‘misogynists’ when referring to their more extreme faction, it was he who put a match to the flame. How did he not foresee that those words could be twisted by anyone with an agenda into a blanket attack and branding of all anti-vaxxers?

If I’ve learned nothing else from my own fence-falling, it is that strong emotions can cause misperception, misinterpretation, and vulnerability to manipulation. Many anti-vaxxer postings on Facebook have been all three. No matter how often I prove the inaccuracies and exaggerations, it carries no weight.

A victim perspective will do anything to keep itself alive.

Anti-vaxxers are understandably angry. They have been denigrated by Trudeau and others for not jumping on the majority bandwagon. Their feelings need to be respected. But for them to hold a city hostage is to violate the freedom they claim to be defending, and they no longer have my support.

The hypocrisy does not end there. If Justin Trudeau had a sign plastered to his forehead, it would read: “Bullies Will Not Be Tolerated.”

How sad for him, and for Canadians, that he cannot see the bully in the mirror.

I am back on the fence again. There is right and wrong on both sides. I just want everybody to grow the hell up.

Maureen Kerr, Surrey