The pandemic has worn people down, and taken so much from all of us. The cost of living is skyrocketing. There is so much uncertainty about the future, and understandably, folks are feeling frustrated and let down by their governments.
It is only natural that people will start looking for solutions, or at least a way to vent their frustration. A few years back, Donald Trump tapped into widespread anger, frustration, and sense of abandonment. He channelled it, along with the racism and misogyny and intolerance and hate that became his calling card, and he turned it into a political movement that won the highest office in the world.
Many of us wanted to believe the Trump spectacle was something that could only happen south of the border. But the so-called Freedom Convoy protests this year have shown us we were wrong.
The same frustrations exist here in Canada, and right-wing frauds and cynics like Conservative leadership candidate Pierre Poilievre are trying to exploit them.
They want to manipulate working people who are tired, and angry, and fed up, and convince them that the solution is to fear and loathe our neighbours and people who are different from us. They stoke racism, misogyny and intolerance. They lash out at “the elites” and say they speak for the Canadian people – even when so much of their money and support comes from millionaires in the United States.
It is a clear shift in the way right-wing movements in Canada are organizing and positioning themselves. But despite the change in tactics, their objectives haven’t changed at all. They still seek to increase corporate power, and make our country a less tolerant, less generous, and less compassionate place.
As always, my friends, it’s our job to make sure that doesn’t happen. It’s our job to help turn that frustration into action for a better world. It’s our job to help turn that sense of neglect and despair into hope. It’s our job to mobilize working people toward a better future for everyone.
The right-wing in this country, led by folks like Pierre Poilievre, Jason Kenney, Doug Ford, Blaine Higgs, know they have nothing to offer. Their power is built on stoking fear, anger, and frustration.
Our movement is built by lifting people who have been let down by the system. It is built by strengthening our social safety net to ensure no one is left behind, and facing our collective challenges with a sense of empathy and shared struggle.
This has always been a critical part of who we are and what we do.
But in today’s world, this work is more important than ever.