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“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

ON THE OTHER HAND ... In recent years the silent majority are more and more being made to feel what they think, and believe, is morally wrong and reprehensible

Here’s my take on the Don Cherry poppy debacle ... please take a moment to can read the comments ofLaila Yuile as well.

The late Canadian Prime Minister John Diefenbaker once said, “I am a Canadian, a free Canadian, free to speak without fear” ... but I ask, how true are those words these days.  We have become people who are easily offended, who look for hidden meaning in words, who forget and dismiss our past, and who look through rose coloured glasses at those who came before us.

I ask this in light of the silent majority who in recent years are more and more being made to feel that what they think, and believe, is morally wrong and reprehensible.

Regrettably Don Cherry has never been the most eloquent in his usage of the English language. I believe what he said on Saturday night was spoken in a sincere belief that ALL Canadians, new and old, had a debt of gratitude for those who had served our country. I do not believe it was intended as a racist commentary -- in any way shape or form.

I'm very disappointed in the 'moral' outrage expressed by so many who have likely never accomplished, or done, even 1% of what he achieved.  An individual who loved Canada ... and ‘yes’ who loved Canadian hockey. Over many years Don Cherry also lent his considerable persona to numerous charitable causes, most significantly, organ donation awareness.

I posted much of the above, on both my personal ‘non-political’ Facebook page, as well as my ‘political’ Facebook page.  I never thought it would elicit much comment on the personal page, however I was wrong. Quite a number of people – men and women – young and old – gave a thumbs up and expressed disappointment, or concern, that he was fired for what he had to say.

Not all however, as one individual expressed that, “In Canada anyone can exercise their free speech, but that comes with some responsibility, and sometimes if you live by the sword, you die by it as well”.

One individual also commented, “It WAS a conversation starter ... may we continue to hold in our minds the thought they fought to let Mr. Cherry speak and ... let all speak for ourselves ... be the words wise or dumb”.

Someone who agreed with Cherry stated, “I believe Don Cherry is deserving of respect rather than condemnation! I've not always agreed with everything he has said over the years, but I believe in his right to say it”.

That’s the side I come down on.  Whether we agree with someone or not, we should respect an individuals right to free speech.

Therefore, it was disappointing for me to see what happened yesterday -- something that is becoming less and less of a right for all -- 'free speech'.  Instead we are seeing ‘free speech’ become replaced by ‘approved speech’.


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