At Toronto’s Queen’s Park, a China crisis emerges.
First, the good news: the Ontario Legislature cancelled a flag-raising event on the lawns of Queen’s Park in which the flag of the People’s Republic of China would’ve been displayed on September 30 to commemorate China’s National Day on October 1.
It was cancelled at the last minute after numerous people rightfully expressed outrage over this inexplicable gesture.
The bad news: why would any western democracy in 2020 honour the Beijing mandarins, given the egregious damage — both health-wise and economic — that has been inflicted upon the world thanks to the Wuhan virus?
Oh, and memo to the Doug Ford PCs: did you all forget about Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, Canadians who have been illegally incarcerated and tortured in China for more than 660 days? Apparently it was somehow more important to honour the Chinese Communist Party than to denounce these human rights goons.
Thankfully, the flag-raising was cancelled due to public pressure. But get this: in what seems to be an effort to not offend Beijing, ALL flag-raising ceremonies are cancelled until further notice.
Why? Well, this just in: it’s apparently too dangerous to have outdoor gatherings due to that little thingy called the Wuhan virus!
In any event, we interviewed protesters who showed up to denounce the stillborn flag-raising event. We also interviewed PC MPP Paul Calandra who seemed to blame the fiasco on the previous Liberal government (hey, Mr. Calandra: please buy a calendar. It’s 2020).
Former PC, now Independent MPP Randy Hillier also weighed in with some refreshingly honest and heartfelt comments.
As for Premier Doug Ford? He chose to hide behind the skirt of his spokeswoman, Ivana Yelich, who issued this statement:
“The Ontario Legislative Assembly has a flag policy independent of the political parties and the government. It is not the appropriate time to be raising this flag, and neither the Government of Ontario nor the PC caucus will be sending a representative.”
Originally, deputy speaker Rick Nicholls was going to deliver a speech — we’re not making this up. Meanwhile, a mere football field away from the Queen’s Park flagpoles is a statue of Canada's first prime minister, Sir John A. Macdonald.
Macdonald's statue remains entombed in a wooden coffin, lest the mere sight of Sir John triggers Black Lives Matter protestors to vandalize the statue.
So, welcome to Doug Ford’s Ontario: a province that was going to laud the Chinese Communist Party with a flag-raising event; yet the display of our great Dominion’s first prime minister is deemed to be too offensive.
Doug, what the hell happened to you?