When people ask me what political party I support, the best answer I can give is, it’s complicated. My views and beliefs are constantly changing and evolving and don’t all fit into one nice and neat political party. I like to listen to a wide variety of opinions before developing my own, so nobody should draw any inference from the fact I follow any particular journalist, author, blogger or media source. I regularly read or follow the Toronto Sun, Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, National Post, Huffington Post, New York Times, CNN, CBC, Macleans, and so many more. So you get the idea – I listen to everyone, mull things over in my head, align what I hear to my own beliefs and values, and come up with my opinions.
I came of age in Toronto reading this new cool little newspaper called The Sun. It was a tabloid format and easier to read on the subway. Many of the journalists came from the defunct Telegram and the newspaper provided a flip side to the news reported by the Toronto Star. When Sun News Network was launched, I have to admit I never watched it. I don’t watch much television to begin with and this network reminded me of Fox News in the US; high on drama and conspiracy and low on actual facts.
I admit to initially not knowing The Rebel Media and Ezra Levant were from the ashes of that network, and when I found out, it didn’t really matter. I was just listening so I subscribed to their newsletter. It didn’t take long for me to realize that there was absolutely nothing I could learn from these kooks. Besides the constant emails asking for donations, it quickly became clear that they were not about advocating for responsible government or anything like that. At one point I actually started thinking they were a shill for Stephen Harper’s conservative government, with overtones of xenophobia, Islamophobia, and sometimes antisemitic. Long after I unsubscribed I heard stories of them inciting fear about Romanian immigrants, supporting neo-nazi groups – sorry, I believe they now call themselves white nationalists – and publishing antisemitic videos.
So it wasn’t a huge surprise that The Rebel (and Ezra Levant) are now imploding. And it isn’t a surprise to learn that Joe Oliver – former finance minister with Harper’s government – is listed as one of their contributors. What is a surprise is learning that Andrew Scheer – newly elected head of the Federal Conservative party – and his campaign manager are tightly involved with this circus. Hamish Marshall, Scheer’s campaign manager, even served on the board of The Rebel Media – well, until it became politically inconvenient for him to do so last week.
After the incident in Charlottesville, VA, groups like this are no longer kooky fringe groups. If allowed to exist and thrive, they are dangerous – dangerous enough to drive their cars into crowds of innocent people. If we can condemn terrorism from Islamic forces, why is domestic terrorism any different?
I despise this brand of politics. It’s the politics of hate and fear. I will always choose hope over fear. I will always feel that every culture and race is as important as mine. I will always vote for inclusion and equality. For those who want to even joke about ethnic cleansing, you have no place in MY Canada. It’s a vile way to think and it sickens me – my father and father in law fought against the Nazis in WWII and it seems there’s a new generation that has grown up without that shadow that now want to espouse Hitler’s values.
We’ll have another election soon enough but be aware of the type of people you’re voting for when you vote for Conservatives. Trump politics in Canada? It can happen if we don’t pay attention.
Pay attention and start listening.
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