Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Poppygate backlash

Lots of outrage in today's Record regarding their recent story about a Kitchener judge who cautioned a constable against wearing a poppy in her courtroom around Remembrance Day.

First we have various Letters to the Editor, including the Letter of the Day - Judges have proudly worn poppies in court.

Even the Record's editorial gives Justice Margaret Woolcott a blast (accompanied with all due respect) - The poppy should be welcome everywhere.

Justice Woolcott never said who might take offence at a police officer wearing a poppy. That's because, in reality, no one probably would take umbrage. However, the best response to someone who objects to the poppy would be a polite but firm, "tough.'' Police who wish to should continue wearing the poppy. As for Justice Woolcott, she should read a good history book.

Well, Stephen Taylor suggested a much more eloquent response should Const. Haines ever find himself in this situation again:

"Your honour, this symbol represents the sacrifice that braver Canadians than you or me made to have a free and fair court. It is a symbol, yes, much like the robes you wear and the gavel you use. It is this symbol which gives the ones you carry any authority, for without the sacrifice represented by those I honour, your symbols bear none."
-- Stephen Taylor

Afterwards, Stephen notes that in Canada we would refer to the judge as "Madam Justice".

Whatever you want to call Justice Woolcott, the message still rings true.


maryT said...

This comment, so soon after the fiasco raised in the HofC, are not showing women in high places have much intelligence. Just think, dion wants 1/3 more of these in power.
Is there anywhere that one can get a list of all stupid comments or decisions made by female judges.
She has offended me, can I take her to a HRC?

Anonymous said...

what a fool this woman is. i too am offended.

Anonymous said...

This judge has lost her mind.

I am an open minded person and I'd say Tough if you're offended.

But now i want to know. Which People are offened by Poppies?? and Why are they offended?

Further more ..Madame Justice please do the right thing and apologise.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

This Record reader would agree with you, Anonymous:

December 12, 2007
Surprised, disappointed and anger are but a few descriptions of my feelings after reading the Dec. 8 article regarding the wearing of a poppy in a local courtroom by one of our regional police officers (Judge Frowns On Poppies In Courtroom).

Surely this should signal to all of us that the pendulum has swung too, too far. Do we as Canadians really care or should we even consider what others think of the wearing of a symbol of remembrance and respect in a court of law? I would say no.

And to have Justice Margaret Woolcott chastise the officer is simply mind- numbing.

I say that Woolcott should retract her comments and apologize to the officer, to Canadians, and most importantly, to all veterans.

Given the fact that Woolcott will not comment on her behaviour, I would suggest that the senior regional justice official investigate her comments and report publicly the findings.

As the son of a veteran who fought in the Second World War, I find Woolcott's comments very troublesome, hurtful and disrespectful to my father and all veterans.

The irony of it all is that the veterans fought to keep Canada free, so that people could maintain their right to free speech, but I would caution Woolcott that free speech used in a cavalier, hurtful way does a disservice to all Canadians.

An apology is desperately called for in this instance.

Bryan Schmidt