As a former reporter and editor at the Tribune, Diana French carries on sharing her ideas through her weekly column. (Photo submitted)

As a former reporter and editor at the Tribune, Diana French carries on sharing her ideas through her weekly column. (Photo submitted)

FRENCH CONNECTION: Rights versus public safety

Peaceful protests do get attention, but they’re not too good at getting changes made

Along with causing serious health issues, the COVID-19 pandemic is dividing Canadian society.

The Sheeple, who believe the pandemic is real and we must do everything we can to get rid of it, versus the Righters, who believe we can ignore the pandemic because it’s a hoax designed to rob us of our rights. Meantime we have the fourth wave which may be worse than the first three put together.

Last week demonstrators took to the streets to oppose recent regulations intended to encourage people to get vaccinated. B.C., Ontario, and Quebec are mandating “passport cards” citizens can use to prove they’ve been vaccinated so they can participate in some non-essential activities and events. The protesters see this as a slippery slope on the way to loss of freedoms. Our freedoms are precious, no mistake about that, but the passport rule does not mandate jabs — it limits where the non-jabbee can work, play, whatever. Vaccination is the most effective tool there is yet to control COVID. The question is, which comes first, individual rights or public safety? Make your choice.

In some cities last week protesters congregated at hospitals and some behaved badly. That didn’t win them any Brownie points. Hospitals don’t make the rules and don’t need the hassle, especially when they are overwhelmed caring for more patients.

Peaceful protests do get attention, but they’re not too good at getting changes made. Health matters are primarily a provincial matter, but feds have some responsibilities. Having friends in high places gets better results than running around waving banners.

There’s a federal election Sept. 20. Both sides of the COVID argument should find candidates that share their views and vote accordingly.

Diana French is a freelance columnist for the Tribune.

She is a former Tribune editor, retired teacher, historian and book author.


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Letter to the Editor