Protesters are lingering in Ottawa and tensions are rising, with the nation’s capital declaring a state of emergency and downtown residents starting a class-action lawsuit, as police attempt to cut off the protesters’ fuel supply. 

The demonstration — or occupation, as some have labelled it — has certainly fuelled opinions this week, though there were plenty of other topics that got people fired up at their keyboards as well.
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Guest columnist Jo-Ann Roberts says the protests in Ottawa and other Canadian cities have less to do with vaccine mandates and more to do with alienation. “The Freedom Convoy is a glaring example of what happens when people don’t feel they are being heard,” she writes. “When there is a growing gap between the haves and the have-nots.” 

Guest columnist Mary Jane Hampton rolls up her sleeves and gets right to the point. Anyone who chooses not to be vaccinated against COVID-19, she says, is opting out of their right to COVID medical coverage. “When an unvaccinated patient does require services because they become ill with COVID, provide them the care — and send them the bill,” she writes. 

Guest columnist Martyn Williams says taking a walk shouldn't be a life-or-death proposition, and yet on the streets of Halifax, if often feels that way. He’s got some suggestions for making things safer, including “fixing the unacceptable — for example, walk request buttons that cannot be reached by people using a mobility scooter or wheelchair.”

In Newfoundland, when Michelle Thorne’s teenage son was killed in a car crash, her family found it in their hearts to reach out to the person charged with dangerous driving. We explored their story in an editorial that poses the question, would you have done the same?

Columnist Gail Lethbridge looks back at Erin O’Toole’s stint as leader of the Conservative Party of Canada and says she doesn’t envy whoever takes the helm next, as they try to balance conflicting expectations. “How will a new leader navigate this boiling stew? I’m not sure that God himself could do that job right now,” she says.

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Using animals to grow organs for transplants in humans raises all sort of ethical questions. Guest columnist Peter Trnka, a philosophy professor, ponders the xenotransplantation example of David Bennett, the American who recently was given the heart of a pig, and muses about how long it will be before the rest of us are relying on organs from other species. 

Newfoundland and Labrador’s privacy commissioner, Michael Harvey, weighs in on the use of body cameras in policing. Don’t be too quick to start strapping them on, he says, without examining all the privacy considerations. “There needs to be clear guidelines about when the cameras are turned on and off, to ensure public confidence that officers are not manipulating the record to show them in a positive light and hiding things that they might not want people to see,” he writes.

You’ll never put columnist Bob Wakeham down as undecided. He’s taking on former Newfoundland and Labrador premier Brian Peckford, who is leading the charge on a legal challenge of Canada’s travel ban for the unvaccinated. Peckford, Wakeham writes, “is among the unvaccinated in Canada, a proud member of the ‘stunned as me arse’ crowd…”

It’s addictive, challenging and takes just a few minutes a day. Yes, I’ve been bitten by the Wordle bug. Somehow, amid the isolation of the pandemic, it’s comforting to know that you’re out there Wordling too. 

If you’re a fan of thought-provoking commentary, you’ll find plenty of it in our Opinions section at And if you’ve got an opinion of your own to share, get in touch. See you next week. 
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