In an open house with streaming video coverage, the Smithers Town Counsel would play its cards against the Smithers Pro Life Society where they would publicly tackle some very sensitive issues, a great way to grandstand if your a professional player.
Before I begin I wish to point out that I am not for or against alternative lifestyles, however I am against public displays of sex and imposing sexually explicit lifestyles on children. I am neither for or against abortion as long as it is not being used as a substitution to birth control. Yes your body is yours, I fully agree with that argument, however you should pay the bill, and not expect me or the tax payers to pay it, if the procedure is simply personal preferences and not a medical emergency.
I have no intention of judging anyone for having or not having an abortion, likewise if you choose an alternative lifestyle, keep it in the bedroom where it belongs and enjoy it. I am not here to judge you.
In opening Gladys Atrill did a picture perfect politically correct introduction regarding the request by the Pro-life Society in regards to having a flag and sidewalk representing their group on Smithers Main Street. Having been on the inside of politics for many years I can share this, decisions like this are often discussed and a strategy is drawn up on exactly how to proceed publicly, and I seriously doubt this one was an exception.
Congratulations goes to the Smithers Town Council, it was well played, but then again, I did not buy it, or I would not be writing this.
Atrill proceeds to suggest that the discussion albeit a half truth, was a result of suggestions that if one group could get the flag and sidewalk, so should other groups. This is the old political bait and switch trick, tell a half truth, then appear to take a neutral position, so you can pretend you were being unbiased and neutral.
What she failed to disclose is the group that was given permission, is a tiny fraction of community members in comparison to the massive number or citizens, members of Smithers in good standing and members of the Smithers Pro Life Society. The problem here is that Atrill simply could never as an card carrying NDP member ever allow the Smithers Pro Life Society to be as visible as the the local LGBTQ2 Group is. One the NDP does endorse, the other it condemns.
If your looking at representative membership in our community, it has nothing to do with national debates, that was a political red herring on the part of Atrill the comparison of numbers in Smithers is massively in favor of the Smithers Pro Life Society. In a numbers game we are talking close to 1000 plus members compared to a few dozen if there are that many in the LGBTQ2 group.
Atrill played this debate in a truly polished political fashion, she cited and played the Human Rights Act like a fine tuned violin, in large part it was like reciting the pledge of allegiance to our flag. You can watch the speech in its entirety here, she then proceeds to justify the rainbow flag and sidewalk using the human rights act to justify her comments. In particular she played the “all persons are welcome and will feel safe here” as if they were not welcome or safe without the sidewalk and flag.
We even had members of LGBTQ2 actually say that due to the Smithers Pro Life Society request they feel less safe and secure in Smithers? Seriously? In a world where you can now say anything in social media obviously without consequence or having any requirement to be truthful or honest.
Somewhere someone forgot that the membership of the Smithers Pro Life Society is large enough to win the entire slate of candidates in any future election in Smithers and could overturn some of these highly prejudicial decisions. If you think this is a stretch, look at the numbers, in the last municipal election in Smithers only 45.1% of eligible voters voted. Only 1836 voters out of 4071 eligible voters bothered to vote.
In reality it was not about the safety or welcome, it was about the message being derived by having it there. This was and is all about imposing alternative lifestyles on a public that may, or may not be so receptive to the idea, sort of force feeding peoples level of acceptance.
Don’t get me wrong, I fully support all Canadian laws and upholding the human rights act among others, however we have seen this same town counsel turn a blind eye on illegal activities and even suggesting the actions were somewhat excusable when it came to issues like illegal blockades. We have seen former members of the town counsel even go as far as openly supporting the criminal activities that took place in the name of environmentalism. Take it a step further Gladys Atrill has never publicly stated she is no longer connected to or is a still a member of the SkeenaWild Conservation Trust and their assistance to a small band of radical criminals on the Morice River road. The SkeenaWild Conservation Trust for the record is behind much of the publicity stunts supporting the illegal blockaders.
Its no secret that that Gladys Atrill was a trustee for SkeenaWild Conservation Trust for more than 5 years, is heavily involved and connected with the blockaders on the Morice Logging Road, but we have never seen Gladys Atrill publicly condemn them for their actions. So its a bit rich when I hear her talk about her keen interest in following the Human Rights Act.
In the incident of arson against the RCMP at the Sunshine Inn, the best Atrill could come up with was “Gladys Atrill, Smithers’ mayor, said on social media the incident was “very troubling.” and”I am grateful there were no injuries,” Atrill said. “I have also spoken to the management of the Sunshine Inn and was informed that while staff and guests (are) rattled, all are doing fine.”
While every opportunity was there to condemn radicals for breaking the law, it appears as though she was maintaining her theme of making everyone feel safe and welcome here, criminals and environmental extremists included. So for Atrill to claim in this instance that they will retain the “exclusive privilege” for the one group and oppose anyone else in the future, embedding a grandfather clause, is about as blatantly socialist as it was to do the same for permanently embedding a tent city in Veterans Park.
Likewise there is a very public connection between the local LGBTQ2 and the radicals fighting Coastal Gaslink. These radicals work hand in hand with these extremists, and the town counsel plays dummy to the well known local local trouble makers. The blockaders publicly supported the LGBTQ2, and the local LGBTQ2 groups publicly supported the gangsters illegally blocking the Coastal Gaslink project.
Atrill then proceeds to say that abortion in Canada is legal, can you already sense where this is going? She said it’s regulated under the Canada health act, no argument from me here, but I can see where this is going, can you? The entire flag flap is really a continuation of I will scratch your back if you scratch mine.
OK here it comes, Atrill then says she is opposed to symbols that relate to medical procedures (so now abortion is simply a medical procedure) and not the death of a human being. It’s a bit hard to stomach when she followed up that statement with her saying she has a deep respect for those who feel abortion is wrong. Wowser, I wonder if I did a poll of the membership of the Smithers Pro Life Society, I would love to ask them if they can feel the love?
I do agree with Atrill in her comments about respecting each other in our community, unless it’s used as a weapon to approve the status quo of the existing flag and sidewalk. OK WAIT a minute, when was the last time the political socialists (NDP) ever showed respect towards those who do not tow the NDP perspective and or their party line? Respect seems to get the cancels button when politics kicks in, even for Atrill.
Then she suggested that the pro life have the opportunity to debate this at a national level. Can you feel the love? An NDP dream come true, only this happens to be Smithers, not the rest of Canada. Then Atrill goes on about being a loving caring society. “But only as long as we can keep the flag and sidewalk” after that we can say we treat everyone equal.
This all reminds me so much of what Sun Tzu said. “To fight and conquer in all our battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.”
OK on with the show, from other members of our town counsel.
Keep in mind we (the people of Smithers) mostly by not voting at all, elected these people into office.
Next comes some mind blowing comments from Raven, the rainbow sidewalk is a symbol, a symbol of inclusion and of people living in our community and whereas the prolife society is more divisive and more of a cause.
Seriously? The LGBTQ2 is not a divisive topic? Seriously? You cannot get a more pungent one sided (not to mention narrow minded) argument against our own community members than that. She goes on to suggest that supporting the LGBTQ2 (a small fledgling community) and supports this group, but she is hesitant to support prolife because it’s a divisive cause.
I don’t care what side of the debate you are on but the above statement is clearly full blown support for one group in our community, and a slap in the face for a much larger portion of our community. There are literally hundreds of members, and I would guesstimate that it has over 1000 supporters many long-time residents and contributing members of our community.
Now is the perfect time to remind people that neither Gladys Atrill or Sam Raven are residents of Smithers, yet both are making decisions that all residents of Smithers must live with.
I am going to try remain neutral, but have to say the following, choosing to be LGBTQ2 and or choosing to have, or not to have an abortion, are both personal choices.
One is not more justified than the other, neither should be repressed by flags and sidewalks, both are imposing highly contentious views on others.
I also fully disagree with Frank Wray in suggesting the rainbow sidewalk and flag become permanently permissible while denying anyone else a flag. Lets debate the facts, the fact is you said yes to one side and no to the other, stop finding excuses to justify it. Its all or nothing, no in between, no grandfather excuses, not sexual orientation excuses, cut the blarney, you are taking sides no matter how you excuse yourself.
There are many flags that could be considered, for example Terry Fox, cancer, and every other illness we as a society wish to defeat, but we need to do is allow all, not just the ones that fit a political agenda,or non, no grandfather clause. Do not suggest we keep one that should not have been allowed in the first place and set a permanent denial on other flags or crosswalks. Remove it or allow other groups to also represent our community. The decision is blatantly unfair and unjust.
The township of Norwich, Ont., has voted to exclude Pride flags and all other non-civic flags from being flown on its property. Instead, the municipality has moved to only fly flags representing municipal, provincial and federal governments. That is what we need to do here, or you end up shifting the fight to under the table warfare.
Not taking sides does not mean keeping one side flying and denying the others, it means no flags other than municipal, provincial and federal flags shall be flown in our community, it means treating all parties equally, not preferentially as Smithers town council has done.
There is a solution, we need a few good men or women to step forward, get elected and clean up this mess. Many of us hate politics, so much so we are handing it to others on a platter to control our lives, we need new blood to step forward and embrace change.