My morning routine includes a few hours in my favourite chair with my laptop computer. I zip around the world on the Internet. Yesterday morning my first stop was Vancouver, and that was pretty much as far as I got as I watched the story of the Vancouver Riot be told. Initially I was dismayed by the wildly speculative and inaccurate reporting about such a tragic event. As the story unfolded and a few actual details emerged, the finger pointing started. It was the police’s fault, it was the fault of the organizers, it was the game of hockey’s fault, it was the fans fault. Then, anticipating the response from the rest of the world, many entirely innocent Vancouver people said they were embarrassed and ashamed to be from Vancouver. Some were ashamed to be Canadians. Some were ashamed because they had once lived in Vancouver…
Blame? The only people to blame are the ones who took part in the riot. Many of these apparently arrived with the materials to light a car on fire, so I’m guessing they came to the hockey game with the plan to start a riot, and downtown Vancouver was just a handy venue full of easily manipulated participants.
Shame? The only people who should be ashamed are the ones who, yes, took part in the riot. Why should anyone else be ashamed of the city of Vancouver, or the country of Canada for that matter? Sure it is easy to be a patriotic Canadian when the going is good and Vancouver is hosting a great Olympics. But the true test of being a patriotic Canadian is to stand up for our country when the chips are down and someone is trying to destroy our name.
I’m a patriotic Canadian, so I would like to Welcome all visitors to Canada, and assure you that Vancouver is as perfectly safe a place to visit as any other normally safe place in Canada.
‘Chuck’, a Rainy Day Bear chainsaw carving by David Westberg, raises a paw of Welcome to say it is safe to enter our Country.
And he puts up a warning paw and utters a growly “Go Away” to anyone who… well, at our house he growls at door to door salesmen.
Maybe you would like to Welcome friends or discourage rioters too. If so, you can order your own bear, or any of David’s other carvings from his website!