We were hoping it would get better.In Ontario, We seemed to be turning the corner on the COVID-19 pandemic and things were about to get back to “normal” this year. Then came the temper-tantrum truckers who terrorized Ottawa for three weeks because they couldn’t handle the mask or the needle. We had Conservative members of Parliament cheering them on from the bridges of Ottawa. We had to bring in the Emergencies Act to get them out of town because the local police felt helpless to stop the honking diesel fume spewing trucks, and the harassment of local citizens.
They blocked borders, disrupted trade and commerce, sickened a city and forced our democratically elected government to invoke the Emergencies Act for the first time in history. Some of the terrorists got arrested but the rest of them all just went home. The border crossing mask mandate they were protesting still held, and it looks like the legitimate government they were trying to overthrow is sitting pretty until 2025.
The estimated cost to the City of Ottawa, Canada’s capital city, for the so-called “Freedom” Convoy’s selfish stupidity is an estimated $36 million and counting. We thought that we had it bad.
Then Russia invaded Ukraine and all of our troubles faded in comparison. President Vladimir Putin claimed he was defending Russia’s borders. The UN knew otherwise and condemned his actions. The Kremlin was angry that international leaders were calling Putin a “war criminal” but what do you call a man who shells maternity hospitals and cluster bombs residential neighbourhoods? The UN called it a humanitarian crisis as four million people fled Ukraine with more than half of those refugees entering neighbouring Poland. More than 10 million people, a quarter of the population, have been forced to leave their homes and belongings. NATO leaders talked about help but refused to call for a “no fly” zone over Ukraine. So much for diplomacy.
Meanwhile, as I write this, Ukraine continues to be pulverized by the Russian war machine. What’s stopping NATO? The very real fear that Putin may retaliate with nuclear weapons leading to a cataclysmic World War Three. While we delay, Ukraine is paying the price for our cowardly failure to admit them to the European Union and NATO. We have colleagues at the Kyiv Osokorky Elementary School currently under siege and begging for European and western assistance. Sometimes there is only one way to stop a bully.
Meanwhile in Ontario, the “Scientific and Chamber of Commerce Advisory Panel” has lifted the mask mandate and begun to Open Ontario for Business once again. Boss Ford faces a provincial election in June, Asphalt Annie wants to run for Mayor of Caledon in our October municipal election, and the weather, after a brief fling with spring, is turning back to cold and snow again. The least of our worries.
2022 is going to be a very interesting year. The way I see it.
Skid Crease, Caledon