When I visit Toronto’s Yonge-Dundas Square or Queen’s Park these days, I can only think of nature films. You know, those videos that document a pride of lions on the African Serengeti, stalking a massive herd of wildebeest. But even for the king of the jungle, a wildebeest makes for a formidable opponent, and so it is that these big cats patiently observe the herd, looking for the old, the young, the sick and the injured. Easy pickings.
And that’s kind of what we’re seeing in Hogtown these days when it comes to anti-lockdown protests, with the demonstrators playing the role of the prey, and the rank and file of the Toronto Police Service in the role of the predators. Except the cops aren’t looking for the sick and the weak — they are cherry-picking those who have big mouths — you know, people carrying signs or barking into megaphones. Those are the demonstrators who tend to get arrested and tossed in paddy wagons, because apparently, being a “big mouth” is strictly verboten in Tyrant Tory’s Toronto, even though it is a Charter right to be vocal.
And so it was that we returned to the snow-covered lawns of Queen’s Park to see which members of the herd would get arrested by those predators wearing police badges. And true to form, those with flags or signs, or who were simply voicing their opinions, were the ones the police descended upon and ticketed and arrested and tossed in paddy wagons.
It was, in a word, disgraceful. Especially considering these very same police officers took part in Black Lives Matter demonstrations last summer by bending the knee in solidarity with the demonstrators. Same place, same virus, same police. But apparently if one espouses a different political mindset, the ‘new normal’ rules when it comes to the Wuhan virus safety protocols do not apply.
Thus, welcome to the hypocritical double standard that now thrives in John Tory’s Toronto in 2021. But please, folks, never forget: “We’re all in this together.”