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Throughout this crisis, we have repeatedly been told that politicians are making decisions by "following the science."
Yet, we continue to see exceptions, loopholes, and behaviour that show many politicians are instead following the power of privilege, rather than science.
Yesterday, we learned that Immigration Canada granted Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou’s family an exemption from COVID-19 travel rules.
According to the government, “Ms. Meng’s family was authorized by IRCC officials to travel to Canada.”
Now, from a human perspective, it’s understandable that Meng would want her family to be with her.
However, many Canadians want their families to be with them as well, and have been denied that.
Those Canadians were not granted exemptions.
Instead, they were told to stay home.
In some cases, people have been arrested for gathering with their families.
So, for people to see that Meng Wanzhou’s family was granted an exemption will be taken as a real insult. And really, it’s more than an insult, it’s a confirmation of what we’ve been seeing for some time:
There are rules for most of us, and then there are rules for those at the top, and those rules aren’t the same.
For example, we have also seen exemptions for well-connected big business insiders from the United States.
And, we are now seeing exemptions for NHL players and teams, who are able to get around the rules being applied to the rest of us.
Politicians may want to say they are being "flexible," but we can see how this "flexibility" only seems to go in one direction: Exemptions for those who have connections and power.
Also, it’s essential to realize that if our "rights" are only subject to how a politician feels at a particular moment, then those aren’t really rights at all, they are simply "gifts" being granted by those in power.
This is why we need to speak out against the hypocritical exemptions we are seeing over and over again.
We have been told by our leaders that "a Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian," but that can only really mean something if all of our rights are protected, and if the rules apply to everyone equally.
The more exceptions and exemptions that we see, the more people will continue losing faith in the idea that "we are all in this together."