To submit a letter to the editor, e-mail editor@nanaimobulletin.com. Include your first and last name or initials and a last name, and your city of residence. Letters will be edited.

Picturing a civilized society with the Canadian flag

Dear editor,

In response to E. Grand’s response (People waving the Canadian flag are representing the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, March 10) to my letter to the editor, please be assured that no one wants to restrict your right to carry the Canadian flag. Nobody has the right to make such a demand. My letter was simply a request that you have the courtesy to create and display your own symbols to promote your personal beliefs, and save the Canadian flag for occasions and events we share in common.

You write that my protests have been of a “secular nature” while your support of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is … sacred? I am also a supporter of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms which is a secular legal document drawn up by secular Canadians as an expression of how we should behave in a civilized society.

It’s my understanding that the demonstrators in Ottawa were mostly protesting against government mandates to control the spread of the coronavirus. They were justifiably exercising their legal Charter rights of freedom of expression and belief. But the Charter doesn’t grant them the right to break laws enacted by a democratically elected government. Of course, history is full of ill-advised and unjust laws that were corrected after popular opposition which is why the right to protest is so important.

There are valid arguments for and against the COVID mandates. Each of us weighs the pros and cons, and comes down on one side or the other of the issue. I’ve decided to support the mandates. You may have chosen to oppose the mandates. Does that make either of us more or less Canadian? And which of us should be waving the flag?

I have spoken with people who have taken down Canadian flags at their homes and been reluctant to fly a flag in support of our Paralympians because they don’t want to appear to be supporting an anti-mandate movement.

I would like to think that you and I could happily wave our flags at the same Canada Day parade, cheer on the Canadian team at a soccer or hockey game, and attend the same Remembrance Day ceremony even though we have diverse opinions and beliefs.

That’s my picture of a civilized society.

Erik Taynen,

Courtenay

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