When will we learn?

Published March 1, 2012

On November 23, Occupy Toronto was removed from its St. James Park encampment just as Ontario government ministers met with Ontario Economic Summit delegates at the Royal York Hotel.  At 6 a.m., radio news reported on police cruisers closing access roads to the park.I was warm and fed, at the Royal York with the 21st-century incarnation of the Family Compact, some 150 years after the struggles of Baldwin and LaFontaine with Bishop Strachan, who presided at St. James’ Cathedral in pre-Confederation Canada.I was not the only delegate who was uneasy with privilege and purview. It was not a majority view, to be sure-however, the discourse and questions of business and government leaders [indicated they] were curious and concerned to acknowledge the unrest in nearby streets, to recognize that socio-economic disparity worked for no one’s betterment, and to seem ready to take some uncharted paths to find a solution.Canada was born out of the pre-Confederation conditions we now see again-shifts in geopolitics, transitions in economic drivers, waves of immigration, socio-economic disparity and the call for social justice in tension with established  governance. Dialogue and prayerful consideration and action are required, even if we are uncomfortable, as was Bishop Strachan, with embracing the change a leap of faith requires. Does history not teach us lessons? Let us not repeat the mistakes.


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