Monday August 16, 2021 | NATIONAL [Updated 9:45 am Pacific]
Commentary by Mary P Brooke, Editor | Island Social Trends
Today during a live media session from the streets of downtown Toronto, there was a loud message — coming from two directions.
In now the 44th federal election, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh was holding a press conference in the Danforth area (the late NDP Leader Jack Layton’s riding) under bright skies, but meanwhile during the entire live event there was someone heckling in the background.
While Singh and media-on-the-ground just forged ahead at the corner of Logan and Danforth, it was clearly disruptive. It would seem a natural expectation for someone (community or bylaw enforcement) to attempt to quell the noise after a few minutes, but no such luck.
However, the messaging of the NDP party is making a loud impression in its own right, today again talking about ‘taxing the ultra rich so that they’re paying their fair share’, and keeping forefront and centre the plight of seniors who are presently without Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) if it’s being clawed back related to CERB income.
The hollering from the background in today’s media session (heard live on Zoom) is obviously an expression of civil disobedience (the right to public expression), which Singh took in stride. He said there will be “trolls” along the way during the campaign, and thanked everyone afterward for their patience. But on the first full day of campaigning it’s perhaps a sign of things to come, as in the disruptive nature of change when there is a challenge to the status quo.
As federal NDP candidate Clare Hacksel (Toronto-Danforth) said during the media session today: “If we want something different, we have to vote differently.”
The City of Toronto says that if there is an issue with a public disturbance, that the police would be called, not the City’s bylaw enforcement team.
The NDP media team says that permission to hold an event in a public space is not required. Of course, all public health guidelines are followed.
Canada’s election is on for September 20 (August 15, 2021)
Campaign launch by Trudeau, O’Toole & Singh (August 15, 2021)
NDP releases vision document as election call looms (August 12, 2021)