Trudeau is supposed to be the Prime Minister of all Canadians, which means he represents those who oppose the verdict in the Colten Boushie case, and those who support the verdict.
Considering the amount of attention and discussion the Gerald Stanley verdict received, it was right for Justin Trudeau to meet with the family of Colten Boushie.
Because the PM (regardless of party), plays an important role as a symbol for the country, it makes sense that he would sit down with Colten Boushie’s family, hear their pain, listen to their concerns, and offer them his sympathy for their loss.
However, by the very same thinking, Justin Trudeau should also meet with Gerald Stanley’s family.
While Gerald Stanley’s family did not lose a family member, their lives have been changed, and they have been through a very difficult two years.
In fact, that’s what Liberal MP Robert Falcon-Ouellette said, as reported by the National Post:
‘“I know most people don’t want to hear that right now,” he told the newspaper. “(But) the Stanley family and many farmers in Saskatchewan have the feeling that their property is not respected and people come on to their farms and steal their stuff. “I feel sorry for them. They’ve essentially lost two years of their lives. They’ve faced legal bills and great difficulty.”’
Falcon-Ouellette makes an important point here.
After all, Gerald Stanley’s family didn’t ask to be put in this situation, and they face a reality in which help is always very far away and where people have to take their own security upon themselves.
Farmers keep our country fed and make the entire rest of our economy possible, and they are rarely acknowledged by our leaders, and the realities of living in rural Canada are often ignored by those in power.
Yet, as pointed out in the National Post article, many farmers feel that it easily could have been them in Gerald Stanley’s shoes:
“Mark Pashovitz believes he and other Saskatchewan farmers are easy targets. They live in rural, isolated areas where it often takes police longer to respond to crimes. And their farm vehicles and equipment are tempting for thieves. That’s why he said he recently donated $1,000 to an online fundraiser to help pay the legal bills of Gerald Stanley, a white farmer acquitted last week of murder in the 2016 shooting death of a 22-year-old Cree man.”
Just as the family of Colten Boushie are Canadian citizens and deserve to be heard, Gerald Stanley’s family are also Canadian citizens, and also deserve to be heard.
If Trudeau were to meet with the Stanley family, he would send an important message of striving to listen to all voices and moving our country closer to true national unity, even in the midst of division and anger.
Unfortunately, Trudeau and the Liberal government have so far shown themselves more concerned with scoring political points and dividing the nation for their own advantage, instead of bringing us all together as Canadians.
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