Wake up call
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.