What's Necessary Is Your Freedom?
Last night the Saskatchewan Party published a video with Premier Scott Moe talking about how it's time to talk about ending government COVID restrictions - something they've been hinting at wanting to do for the past few weeks. You could say they're being pushed into the conversation by truckers and friends who are protesting in Ottawa, but it's a narrative the Saskatchewan Party has been building for a while now.
A quick aside on naming things:
I think naming your political party after your region (i.e. Saskatchewan Party) is lazy, pandering, and shouldn't be allowed.
Regardless of policy or left / right / etc. leaning, it shows a laziness and lack of creativity, which to me are signs that you’re also going to be a political party that is lazy, lacks creativity, and panders to the lowest common denominator just to maintain control.
Ok, back to the main thread!
What I find disheartening in this is how our Premier and The Saskatchewan Party have adopted the language of the protesters, who in turn adopted it from similar minded groups in the USA - the key word being "freedom".
The truck protesters are on a "freedom convey" to eliminate COVID19 related mandates. And the Saskatchewan Party is using that same focus to get rid of what little restrictions we have left in Saskatchewan.
In his address, posted in two parts on Twitter, Premier Moe rambles through his reasoning for ending restrictions sounding a lot like that patronizing, mansplaining uncle who can't understand why you don't just get it?
He ends the video with this final paragraph:
Travel, go to work, have dinner with your friends, go to the movies, go to your kid's games - most important. You should do all of these things without constantly assessing if your every activity is absolutely necessary. What's necessary is your freedom. What's necessary is getting your life back to normal. And it's time. I want to thank all of you for the sacrifices
I have a few thoughts about how The Saskatchewan Party chose to end this address to Saskatchewan:
"...go to your kids games - most important." permalink
He is very concerned about kids sports - especially minor hockey. I know it's a cliché in Canada, but there is life outside of a hockey rink. Especially when our province is covered with outdoor skating rinks.
"You should do all of these things without constantly assessing if your every activity is absolutely necessary." permalink
All around me where I live in Saskatoon I see the majority of people living their lives like normal. The way the Saskatchewan Party talks it's as if cities and towns are ghost towns with everyone afraid to leave their house. I really doubt the "good people of Saskatchewan" that Premier Moe claims to be hearing from are actually living that much differently than before COVID19, besides having to show a proof of vaccination at a restaurant or liqour store.
"What's necessary is your freedom." permalink
Why is my freedom the most necessary thing in life? In Canada we already have a list of our rights and freedoms, none of which are being stopped by COVID restrictions.
This sentence is the most selfish thing the Saskatchewan Party has uttered this entire pandemic. The idea that my freedom is the most important thing above all else. It flies in the face of one of the ideas I've constantly heard about Saskatchewan my entire life here: that we're a people of volunteers who step up to help when help is needed. We're in this together.
The Saskatchewan Party has on one hand, constantly reminded us of "the good people of Saskatchewan" who chip in to help, while then on the other hand telling us to "do our own research" and "be most concerned about your freedoms."
I live and work in a very privileged situation. My family is relatively healthy. I'm able to work from home. We had COVID19 run through our house at the start of 2022, and it was like a bad cold for the worst of it, aside from one of us losing their sense of taste and smell for a few weeks afterwards. But I can still see past my own situation, and hear that for those less fortunate than me, those with health situations that are very different than mine, and perhaps most important in a pandemic, the doctors and scientests that are overwhelmingly asking for help and to not end restrictions at this time.
To deliberately shape the conversation to be one about our "freedom", instead of around the health and wellness of our communities in Saskatchewan, is disingenuous, and politically evil.
We haven't lost our freedoms. We've been inconvenienced for the sake of others around us. Freedom is what people went to war and died for. We're just being asked to fumble around in our wallet or phone for a vaccination pass and wear a piece of cloth on our face.
Got thoughts or questions? Send me a kind comment on Twitter.