Wake up call

The Compass - - OPINION - Eu­gene Parks Vic­to­ria, BC

Dear Ed­i­tor:

The Braid­wood In­quiry into the taser­ing death of Robert Dziekan­ski is about as se­ri­ous a wake up call as a na­tion can face.

With what looks like com­plete in­dif­fer­ence, po­lice of­fi­cers ap­pear to ca­su­ally taser a man five times, kneel on his neck as he dies, fail to call for med­i­cal as­sis­tance — and then ap­par­ently fol­low it all up with for­mal re­ports that seem to bear no re­sem­blance to the ac­tual events.

And, this sit­u­a­tion is not iso­lated.

In other news, Cana­dian po­lice com­plained dur­ing in­spec­tions of Afghan pris­ons that boots were needed to walk through the pris­on­ers’ blood and fe­ces. Few cared why there was pris­on­ers’ blood on the floor. Clean shoes were the is­sue.

Canada’s med­i­cal can­cer iso­tope pro­grams get can­celled — the gov­ern­ment gets a pass. Our gov­ern­ment is late by more than a month with N1H1 vac­ci­na­tions, and again a pass­ing grade for the gov­ern­ment. A cab­i­net min­is­ter laughs at lis­te­rio­sis deaths, and again a pass. Body bags over pre­ven­ta­tive mea­sures; that’s ap­par­ently okay too.

Cana­di­ans have been aban­doned abroad and tor­tured and there have been no po­lit­i­cal con­se­quences.

Why is Canada okay with cal­lous in­dif­fer­ence to life? Why? Be­cause there is the great sport of char­ac­ter as­sas­si­na­tion to watch. Mil­lions spent by the gov­ern­ing po­lit­i­cal party in the most inane of per­sonal at­tacks that are not just tol­er­ated but ac­tu­ally en­joyed.

But I say, a na­tion that rev­els in per­sonal at­tacks, prac­tices cal­lous in­dif­fer­ence to life, and re­wards the same is a na­tion in crises.

A gov­ern­ment that at­tacks or aban­dons its cit­i­zens is the very def­i­ni­tion of a danger­ous gov­ern­ment; mil­len­nia of his­tor­i­cal ex­am­ples show where such at­ti­tudes take a peo­ple.

Is cal­lous in­dif­fer­ence to life — and baf­foon qual­ity pub­lic dis­course — the new cul­tural norm in Canada? The Braid­wood In­quiry is but one sit­u­a­tion where the ques­tion is be­ing tested.

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