7. Question from Jamie Sale
(Olympic figure skating champion)
Question today comes from Jamie:
Greetings Commissioners and Mr. Buckley. Thank you so much for everything you have done for Canadians as honest truth-seekers in this inquiry, and thank you for allowing me to ask a question today. Like millions of Canadians, I was tremendously impacted by the trucker convoy. In fact, this convoy gave me the courage to start speaking out publicly, and for those who knew what this meant for Canadians, it was a true act of bravery. To me, it was heroic, and I'm forever grateful to all of them.
With what you know and have experienced through the NCI testimonies, what do we need to do now as a collective to continue the act of bravery like we saw with the truckers? How can we help rebuild our country? Thank you.
Thank you, Jamie. I'm going to reiterate that Canadians should not be expecting a white knight to come running down the road. They should not expect their corrupt government to suddenly do what's right. All of a sudden, and whose fault is that? If you leave a child unsupervised in a candy shop, is it the child's fault if they succumb after a couple of hours and take a candy? That's what we've done with our political process. We've been hoodwinked for decades, hoodwinked by party politics. It's like the cup and pea game, hoodwinked by how they work in secrecy.
You know, Jamie, we had another election, a School Board trustee election, here in Manitoba two weeks ago, in a city called Brandon, Manitoba. Thirty-five thousand eligible voters, 3,000 people voted. 3,000 out of 35,000. So when the government starts to do criminal acts, in my opinion, and when they start to represent special interest groups and start to ignore their citizenry, who have we really got to blame? And if we can courageously admit the part that we all played in this and then grasp the idea that we can do something about it, you know, could talk for hours on this subject, as you may likely know, but I won't. Everybody will get mad at me.
But, you know, this is up to Canadians, and, in my opinion, this is kind of a fork in the road with the NCI, where a piece of the NCI needs to continue in the educational process as to what happened and what's in this report.
But another piece, and maybe it's a different organization, needs to start educating Canadians as to how the process works and what they can do as individuals. I'm not talking about, and I don't want to take away from those people who talk about constitutions and they talk about corporations and all this stuff. But what does the average Canadian do with that information?
You know, if Canada is a corporation and da da da da, what can I do about it? Not a lot. But what I can do is I can talk to my neighbor, and they can talk to their neighbor, and we maybe have a meeting and talk about how we're going to vote or if we're going to vote at all. So part of this is we've now exposed, in my opinion, what the crimes have been, and the crimes have gone from fraud to murder, in my opinion, and we've presented solutions.
But we also have to now start educating Canadians that don't be overwhelmed.
This is what you can do, and we all have a part to play. It's not just the person who can stand up and speak on a stage or the person who knows how to write things. Everybody in Canada has a role to play. I tell a story about, you know, it's kind of like the story of the fishes and the loaves, and you have to ask yourself the question: Who packed that lunch? We don't talk about that person. And it's like this for us Canadians. Maybe you can't do a speech, maybe you haven't got a whole lot of money, but you might be able to call a meeting, and darn it, you might bake the best cinnamon buns in town, and it's those cinnamon buns that attract hundreds of people into this meeting, and we start to educate Canadians again. So I maybe drift a little bit, Jamie, my apologies. I am passionate about this, and if I could ask Janice to add to that.
Well, first, I'm going to say you should not apologize, Jamie, for being emotional about trying to save our country. When I wrote the first draft of my script, I read it to my husband just so that I could kind of give him an idea of where I was going, and one of the things that happened about halfway through is I couldn't read anymore, and I think there's a lot of Canadians who feel that way. But I think going forward, we need to have a conversation with our neighbors, our friends, our family. We need to reestablish relationships that we've lost throughout this COVID era. We need to say no to government. Those people who are still in their houses that have never come out because they've been publicly shamed, we need to go knock on their door and bring the cookies. We need to have a cup of coffee with everybody that we can within our circles and have them do the same with their circles. And one by one, we will change this country, and it won't be overnight, for sure, but even just reestablishing the relationships that we had pre-COVID would be a good start. Look at all those Christmas cards we used to send out, look at those names and pick up the phone and start talking to people. And then, from the NCI perspective, let's just continue the conversation because together we will win. Thank you.
Yes. So I really echo what both Ken and Janice have said. Accountability, obviously, critically important. It's what a lot of our recommendations are focused on—accountability for the actions of others. But also, we need to look at our own actions and take accountability for the part that each of us has played. And in that process, I think we also can't lose sight of kindness—being kind to each other, being kind to ourselves—and really going back to our core principles of connection, family, love. And I think that's really the only way that we can go forward and heal as a country. Thank you.
Yeah, I mean, what you all said was very moving. I think we have to foster as strongly as we can the power of love because this is where it all starts. We have to love ourselves; we have to forgive ourselves for our mistakes. We have to hold ourselves accountable, and that's fine. This is how we grow.
At the same time, we have to give ourselves a chance to be wrong once in a while and say that's okay. You know, that's pretty basic community building, and it starts with your family and your neighbors and everybody everywhere where you work in any organization. You have to foster this kind of interaction based on benevolence, and I would say being open that we live together, and together we can actually make things much better or much worse depending on how we entertain our ideas or thought.
Being toxic, negative—why can't we switch to see the best in everybody around us? And guess what? When you look at people with loving eyes and call from them the best they can give, well, that's what happens.
So, that is the final question that we're going to allow today, just simply because we have to take a break. And for those watching us, we're repeating the commission being reconvened in the French language for those Canadians who are French-speaking.
For those who participated today, I think you'll agree with me that once again, when we participate in the National Citizens Inquiry, we have a somewhat unique experience as we come together and feel like we're part of something bigger because we are part of something bigger.
My experience today has been that the Commissioners have shared not just wisdom but compassion with us, and the questions that were brought forward by the press and the members of the public to show some profound insight. There were all good questions, and the dialogue is something that I think all Canadians should watch.
So, I'll encourage all of you to share the links that will come out for this because I think this would be another healing experience for us to share with our neighbors going forward.
On behalf of the National Citizens Inquiry Commissioners, thank you for your continued service. For those of the press and the public that came to ask questions, on behalf of the National Citizens Inquiry, we thank you. And for those of us that have participated by watching, thank you.