Get our priorities straight

The furor over the right and freedom to display a banner in Nelson is again under attack in Canada.

The furor over the right and freedom to display a banner in Nelson to support your group and organizations’ focus, or to march, write, and express opinions or beliefs, is again under attack in Canada. True pro life is the consistent policy and behaviour to stand up for the rights of weaker, vulnerable or persecuted sectors of society. Whenever one dominant and/or stronger group, tribe, political party, race, gender or individual can exterminate, eradicate, humiliate or terminate the life, dignity, equality and human rights of another, we must consistently stand up for the rights of the weaker, voiceless or oppressed. We have a human responsibility to do it, even if we don’t fully understand or condone their behaviour and activities.

Support for and love of other fellow human beings comes from compassion, which should also extend to respect for the earth and all living things. It includes those known to us as family and neighbours, or people unknown, or on the other side of the world. If we are so lucky as to be in some advantaged group, we have been blessed with the opportunity and responsibility to help others less fortunate.

Often, in 20/20 hindsight, we acknowledge the holocaust of the Jews, yet miss the current oppression of Palestinians, who are refugees in their own homeland for 50 years, with homes bulldozed, civilians killed, Israeli settlements encroaching on their territory, in a David and Goliath role reversal.

We can see and deplore historical war crimes against humanity: Rwandan, Serbian or other ethnic cleansing, yet condone or ignore present genocides, suicides (especially when suicide and drunk driving are the leading killers of youth in North America), and gendersides. Millions of female fetuses are aborted in India, infanticide in other countries, and women are perceived as lesser people and possessions, and are often murdered or raped, with impunity.

Capital punishment in Canada was banned, and many wrongful committals saw people incarcerated for years exonerated by new DNA evidence. Yet, there are new calls to reinstate death sentences, build more jails, versus programs and opportunities to rehabilitate what are already traditionally disadvantaged groups who are incarcerated. (Aboriginals, blacks, abused victims who become abusers, drug and alcohol addicted, mentally ill, etc., which are from those oppressed groups who are overrepresented in jails.)

Then there is not only the massacre of Montreal female engineering students, commemorated last week, but also domestic and sexual assault that we turn a blind eye to; or bar brawls that we’d rather watch or participate in; bullying, racial or sexual slurs and jokes; or violent movies and video games that we gift the young and impressionable with for Christmas.

Our foreign battlegrounds are usually chosen in oil or resource rich areas, often economically strategic to our corporations, like Iraq or Afghanistan.

The US has the military and defence eating up 60 per cent of their budget, while gutting and cutting social programs and health care; subsidizing corporations, yet allowing personal home foreclosures.

Anyways, the advent of the Christmas season is a wake-up call with crises globally, environmentally, and personally, which we all have skills, talents and abilities, enabling us to work on our priorities. We must follow the dictates of our own consciences and beliefs. So our challenge is to do something positive for change in the world, not to criticize those who have joined groups, marched in protests, signed petitions, do “Write for Rights,” donate to charities, etc. Why not join us? Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, etc.

Marion Bergevin



Just Posted

Seven Nelson rec projects granted Columbia Basin Trust funding

Nelson’s baseball and tennis clubs were the big winners

UPDATE: Two-car accident closes Highway 3A at Thrums

Road expected to open for single-lane alternating traffic at 2 p.m.

1919: Hudson’s Bay Company gets an addition, council votes to exclude ‘undesirable enemy aliens’

Greg Scott brings us five Nelson Daily News stories from a century ago

Call a foul on cancer with the Pink Whistle Campaign

Local basketball referees are raising money for cancer research

Man found dead identified as Andreas Pittinger

Pittinger was known locally for hosting a radio show

VIDEO: Canada’s flag turns 54 today

The maple leaf design by George Stanley made its first appearance Feb. 15, 1965

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Plecas won’t run in next election if B.C. legislature oversight reforms pass

B.C. Speaker and Abbotsford South MLA says he feels ‘great sympathy’ for Jody Wilson-Raybould

Workshop with ‘accent reduction’ training cancelled at UBC

The workshop was cancelled the same day as an email was sent out to international students

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

Judge rules Abbotsford home must be sold after son tries to evict mom

Mom to get back down payment and initial expenses

Trump officially declares national emergency to build border wall

President plans to siphon billions from federal military construction and counterdrug efforts

Snow turns to slush, rain as it warms up across B.C.’s south coast

Some areas are already covered by more than half a metre of snow following three separate storms

Father to be charged with first-degree murder in Amber Alert case

11-year-old Riya Rajkumar was found dead in her father’s home in Brampton, Ontario

Most Read