Right in the centre - Looking ahead and looking back


By Ken Waddell

Neepawa Banner & Press

The bad news is the Ukraine war may last a long time. Even if Russia “wins”, they will lose and the war will go on for a long time.

In Canada, we can pray, send aid, take in refugees and probably a lot more.

There is one particular thing that we can do to strengthen ourselves and that is be aware that food has and will become both scarce and expensive. But more than being aware, we should all do everything we can to grow, harvest and put away as much food as we can. If you have a garden spot, then fill it up. If you can grow some chickens or pigs or whatever for food, do it. Food can be frozen, dried, put in a root cellar or canned. My wife and I harvest raspberries, rhubarb, plums, apples and tomatoes from our yard. We also pick saskatoons, cranberries and chokecherries. We freeze, can and dry food. Hopefully we are healthy enough to do as much or more this year. If we all do more locally, it leaves more of the commercially provided food for those who can’t grow or gather food for themselves.

The western world has been lulled to sleep over the past three decades. We have fixated on many issues that didn’t make sense. Matthew Syed said in the London Times, “While (Chinas’s) Xi Jinping was resetting the world order through his Belt and Road initiative and Vladimir Putin was recreating the Russian empire by annexing Georgia and Crimea, we were arguing over gender-neutral toilets.”

Here are some excepts from retired Manitoba Judge Brian Giesbrecht’s most recent column.

“Just the week before, when he invoked the Emergencies Act to deal with what was essentially a local police matter, Justin Trudeau was being compared to brutal dictators, like Xi Jinping. But now, after effectively saying, ‘Just fooling’, and revoking the same legislation he said was absolutely necessary to save the country from the perils of the evil working folk, a more apt comparison would be to Bozo the Clown.

After ruining the reputation of Canada abroad, severely damaging trust in Canada’s banking system and confounding civil rights experts with his astounding overreach– going nuclear to storm bouncy castles– Trudeau has decided that now, that the bouncy castle threat has apparently has been vanquished, he doesn’t need that draconian legislation after all.

But, here’s the real side-splitter. In his little speech revoking the Emergencies Act– legislation that was intended for events slightly more worrisome than bouncy castles and free Sikh food – Trudeau said this: ‘We need to constantly work to defend and improve our democracy, both at home and abroad’.

Now, that’s funny! Could it be that the temperamental Trudeau is giving us a sign that he is ready to move on? Remember that Trudeau was a drama teacher before deciding that he wanted to become the leader of every Canadian (and Canadians– for reasons I could never fathom– granted his wish). Could it be that he is announcing through his actions, and absolutely hilarious speech, that he is intent on becoming a stand-up comedian?

If so, I applaud his move. After spending the last two years in an entirely self-imposed COVID-19 prison, Canada is certainly ready for some humour. I am in full support of Trudeau’s career move.

And that new Ottawa police chief– whatever his instantly forgettable name might be– the one who ordered his police officers to brutalize decent Canadians, and tarnish forever the reputation of Canada as a peaceful and decent place– perhaps make him the new ‘Colonel Klink’ on a Canadian version of ‘Stalag 13’?

So, there are definite comedic possibilities here. In fact, maybe a constitutional change: instead of ‘peace, order and good government’ what about ‘tear gas, billy clubs and lots of laughs’.

Anyway, you get my idea. The sad fact is that this was once a great country. And we had very good leaders. Never mind the fact that our greatest leader, John A. Macdonald– no Macdonald, no Canada – is regularly toppled as a statue by dullards who can’t even spell his name– even our modern Prime Ministers were serious men. Mulroney, Chrétien, Martin, Harper, these were all people who were taken seriously on the world stage. Domestically, we all had our issues with them, but they were serious men, and they were taken seriously.”

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this column are the writer’s personal views and are not to be taken as being the view of the Banner & Press staff.