It was the worst of times.
Last week, I found myself agreeing with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau [gag me with a spoon, please], and Green party Leader Elizabeth May.
Please, just get the rope out and get it over with!
Actually, both made very fair points and have hundreds of years of history on their side.
Trudeau first told the press gallery about the importance of a free and independent press. Although Trudeau is stating the obvious, it was still nice to hear him say it. I guess after stumbling and bumbling so many times it was bound he had to be right at least once.
Politicians may despise the press. Sometimes they even wish they could hire witch doctors to stick little pins in their favourite editor and/or reporter. Excuse me, I have this nagging pain in my back!
The importance of a free and independent press is obvious. Without someone reporting on what they are doing, governments would be free to issue a steady stream of “feel good” stories while ignoring the problems that are occurring. Let the public be damned!
When was the last time you saw Big Lakes County, the Town of High Prairie, or High Prairie School Division put something evenly remotely negative on their websites unless under the order of higher government? It hasn’t happened and it isn’t likely to happen soon. All is peachy keen in the hallowed halls.
Now, onto May and her recent conviction for contempt of court and subsequent $1,500 fine. Court found May in violation of the law. The presiding judge scolding May like a five-year-old brat. To paraphrase, May is a lawyer, and should know better when thumbing her nose at the law and disregarding a court order. You see, lawyers are supposed to have more respect for the law than the common citizen.
Uh, yeah! And we all really want Prince Charles to be king!
But May also said sometimes you have to take a stand to make progress. Anyone ever hear of Martin Luther King or Mahatma Ghandi?
You may agree or disagree with May on her contempt conviction regarding the Kinder Morgan pipeline – and I certainly disagree – but if she is passionate and non-violent, she should also be free to make a point, but also be willing to suffer the consequences. Whether that is a fine or a few days in the clink is up to a judge.
Sometimes, you simply have to take a stand, whether you are a politician, citizen or reporter. The freedom to gather information, plus the freedom to demonstrate in a peaceful manner, is integral to a healthy society.
Yes, even Trudeau and May know it.
Still, agreeing with them makes me reach for the Pepto Bismal!