Tuesday, May 28, 2024
During February 2022, the Trudeau government literally trampled protesters in Ottawa. In 2024, courts deemed use of the Emergencies Act unlawful and unjustified. Photo: Twitter
Democracy & GovernmentOpinion/ColumnTrucking

The “hideous irony” of Canada’s first official Kindness Week

Government rhetoric vs real life

by Donna Laframboise

Today wraps up Kindness Week here in Canada. The third week of February has been so designated by our national government. A law was passed to that effect.

The legislation was the brainchild of Jim Munson, who has since retired from the Canadian Senate. Prior to being a Senator, Mr Munson was Prime Minister Jean Chretien’s communications director. Prior to that, he spent 22 years as a CTV reporter and foreign correspondent.

In March of 2021, Mr Munson argued vigorously on behalf of passing a law recognizing Kindness Week. His speech in the Senate began with an aboriginal land acknowledgment. It talked about the scourge of bullying in our schools, and the importance of empathy. In his words, “the City of Ottawa has celebrated Kindness Week since 2007…So why not create opportunities to learn and practise kindness during the shortest, but arguably the coldest and snowiest month of the year, at least here in Ottawa?

…In the long run, it will result in happier communities, healthier people and better relationships. Kindness is the Canadian way. Collectively, it’s our best quality, and I would love for Canada to be the first country in the world with a national kindness week. [bold added]”

This Senate equivalent of a private member’s bill became law on June 3rd, 2021. Guess what happened eight months later, when the first official Kindness Week rolled around?

The government unlawfully, unconstitutionally, and unnecessarily invoked the Emergencies Act. Against peaceful protesters. Rather than talk to them. Rather than dial back the vaccine mandates that were throwing cross-border truckers and others out of work.

How’s that for irony? How’s that for hypocrisy?

Governments use all sorts of nice words. Those words are often empty, meaningless. The important thing is how governments act. The violence and contempt Canadians experienced during our nation’s first official Kindness Week will forever be a stain on our history.

Ontario business consultant Tom Pace drew my attention to this legislation on X/Twitter. He stumbled across it “while doing a deep dive” into Canadian law.

In his words, “the preamble to the Kindness Week Act is beautiful, in my humble opinion, kinda like a Canadian Valentine’s day week that is just hope-oriented.”

What happened during that first Kindness Week, he says, is a “hideous irony.”

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Donna Laframboise writes a daily blog at ThankYouTruckers.substack.com. It is a first draft of her upcoming book that focuses on interviews with Freedom Convoy truckers. She is a former National Post and Toronto Star columnist, and a former Vice President of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.