PM's old comments wrong

I feel obliged to comment on remarks made on French-language television (last September during the election campaign and which recently resurfaced the English media) by our prime minister, Justin Trudeau.

He implied that "those" people who remain unvaccinated are racist and misogynistic.

Trudeau stated “They are extremists who don’t believe in science, they’re often misogynists, also often racists."

I find this rhetoric absolutely appalling and quite hypocritical, considering it comes from a man who cannot recount how many times he has dressed up in blackface.

He went on to say, "It’s a small group that muscles in” adding they take up some space. He summed up his hateful rhetoric by stating, "This leads us, as a leader and as a country, to make a choice: Do we tolerate these people?"

I must point out that Trudeau is somebody who condescendingly preaches tolerance and diversity. This statement was far from tolerant.

So I must ask: What are you implying here, Mr. Prime Minister? (In) what direction do you plan on steering our society from here? Are we going to start rounding up these unwashed masses? Should they eventually be sent to internment camps for daring to question public health recommendations, even while the vaccinated continue to contract and spread the virus (too)? Is that your solution?

Personally, I chose to get vaccinated. However, I, like many others, have questions surrounding the lack of logic and ineffectiveness of many of the public health measures that have been enacted over the last two years.

I also have friends in the community who remain unvaccinated for their own reasons. I can state with the utmost confidence that these people are neither racists nor misogynists. To suggest they are, based solely on a medical decision, is utterly ridiculous.

The pandemic is undoubtedly a complex problem. That said, simple solutions like "othering" a group of people and generating hateful rhetoric towards them is not very helpful during this difficult time. History demonstrates repeatedly that this approach doesn’t typically end well.

Someone once told me if you give a three-year-old a hammer, everything becomes a nail. How true is this analogy, especially during this critical time, as we watch our prime minister flailing around on public television?

It is true that dividing Canadians works well politically for Trudeau—but at what cost?

In closing, it is certainly fair to acknowledge that mature and responsible leadership is required to navigate through uncertain times ahead. Sadly, mature and responsible leadership is something that has been in short supply in this country for some time.

Stephen Rutter

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