Letter: Canada gets soft on outrage

Canadians rallied to quash Premier-led yoga session, but largely ignored international issues that matter

Recent events verify the public’s propensity for the facile, the media’s ability to provide it, and Mark Twain’s observation that “truth is stranger than fiction because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities.”

Last week saw a French court acquit the former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn of “aggravated pimping”. Who knew such a charge exists – or should that be: Who, other than lawyers and the guilty, could ever know there is such an offence?

Such a notable as Strauss-Kahn could, theoretically, be guilty. It is, however, reassuring to learn that such an acknowledged world leader, who, despite an earlier (and eventually dismissed) rape charge in New York, has been found not guilty of such “aggravated” behavior.

Let’s move to Malaysia. Again last week, four westerners – of which two were Canadian – were, after earlier taking photos of themselves’ naked on Mount Kinabalu, declared to have shown “disrespect to the sacred mountain”. The result of such wanton acts were twofold: An earthquake which tragically killed 18 climbers was offset by the farce of four days detention for the irresponsible westerners whose nudity allegedly caused the disaster.

Still with last week, and not to be outdone by the French or Malaysians, BC Vancouverites, abetted by Premier Clark, verified a collective ability to create a tempest in a teapot.

To support international Yoga day – with free-thinkers exercising on mats – the plans to close the Burrard Street Bridge thoroughfare for seven hours on June 21 for a Yoga exhibition caused considerable angst. With probable expenditures of $150,000 it was unsurprising to learn that both Premier Clark and commercial sponsors withdrew support because of the high cost, potential conflict with National Aboriginal Day and broad-based public displeasure with the proposed bridge closure.

We should all remember it was contact sports like hockey that made this country great. A pastime in which the only contact is with a yoga mat will never create the aggressive citizens Canada needs.

Ron JohnsonSaanich


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