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On January 13th 2017, at a town hall that Justin Trudeau held in Peterborough Ontario, I had the opportunity to share my story, and speak of the hardships myself and a great number of Ontarians were going through, brought on by the green energy policies of the Ontario Liberal government of Kathleen Wynne. 

I admit, it was one of the scariest yet most empowering moments of my life, when I stood up to ask our Prime Minister a question.

I was one of the hundreds of thousands of Ontarians that were in the position of “heat or eat”, and my question was about “how would the carbon tax make life more affordable?”  I told him I was putting my faith in him and God to make our country a place where we could prosper again. A place where we don’t wake up in the morning and worry if we can survive; but a place where we can thrive. 

Sadly, I was to find out, my plea fell on deaf ears. I don’t regret letting him know that everyday Canadian’s are hurting and struggling; that he has it in his power to make all of our lives affordable. where we can actually enjoy life and not feel guilty for simply being born in Canada, or feeling let down, forgotten and pushed aside. I had been feeling as though my spirit was broken, but that afternoon, I spoke from my heart with everything I had in me. I knew I had everything to lose by staying silent. I was already losing my home because of the exorbitant electricity bills. 

I am a simple country girl; a single mom of four adult children, blessed with three precious grandchildren.  I earn my way as a PSW. I am the epitome of the Canadian middle class. 

In the days following the town hall, I was facing death threats, stalked in my workplace, and eventually sold the home that I loved in fear of eventually losing it, as the simple act of walking to my mailbox brought me fear and anxiety. Even through all of this, I never lost my faith. I received hundreds of messages of support from people all across Canada thanking me for sharing my story and for being a voice for all Canadians who felt forgotten and left behind by our government in the previous two years.

In February of 2019 I was  humbled, as an Ontarian to be asked to sing our National Anthem at the United We Roll rally in our nation’s capital. This rally was organized so Canadians from coast to coast could come together, to show our love and support for the over a hundred thousand Canadians in Western Canada  who have lost everything due to our federal government’s war on oil and gas. 

I rode the last leg of the convoy from Amprior to Ottawa. It was an experience I will never forget, as I witnessed the support from Ontarians, cheering us on, standing with Canadian flags along the roadsides, on overpasses and waiting for us at truck stops.  It was true united Canadian love.

There were so many Canadian’s coming together from coast to coast showing their support for our western neighbors, it made my heart swell with pride.. I met fellow Canadians from Newfoundland, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec. It did not matter which province we hailed from, we were united; the west was not alone and when they hurt we all hurt. 

On the day we arrived on Parliament Hill, the temperature was -23 Celcius, before the wind chill. It felt like -40. As hearty Canadians, we were dressed nice and warm as we prepared to stand on the steps of Parliament to hold our peaceful rally in unity for our country. We wanted Justin Trudeau to hear our voices, unfortunately, he shunned us. 

What our Prime Minister did that cold February day to the hundreds of law abiding Canadian’s was disrespectful to not only those who supported, and made that journey, it was disrespectful to all. 

Seeing grown men who had lost everything, standing there crying after their journey that brought them to Parliament Hill, touched my heart like no other. 

The organizers of United We Roll applied for, and were granted permits to rally on Parliament Hill.  Everyone who was in attendance respected the law, the place we were at and each other. It was a peaceful rally to get our Prime Minister to hear us. 

We were in total disbelief when we found out that the Prime Minister had ordered the stage and speakers we had a permit for, removed from the steps of Parliament, where we were to rally. He ordered fences to be erected around a deep snowy area to the left of the walkway that lead to the Parliament steps which were shoveled, and the steps sat empty.  We were herded like cattle into the snow filled, fenced pen.

I will never forget walking by the flame on the sidewalk that leads towards the entrance and being stopped by a police officer. He told me had orders not to allow any of us to use the sidewalk. If we wanted to get close to the building, we had to walk into the fenced area, through the deep snow.

I told the officer I had a disability. One of my legs is encased in plastic up past my knee. I told him there was no way I could walk 2 yards let alone 200 yards in this snow.  I was recovering from a brain Aneurysm/stroke 10 months earlier. Even after pleading with the officer, telling him how I needed to get to the staged area, that was no more, because I was to sing O’Canada  for the United We Roll convoy, he still said, “No” He told me, “I am sorry Ma’am, but if you have any plans of making it to that area, you will have to do it by walking through the snow. I have strict orders not to let anyone of your group have access to the sidewalk.”

I was determined to get where I needed to be. Two of my fellow Canadians, came to my rescue. We went arm and arm trudging through snow and deep holes. 

As a disabled Canadian, It was a humiliating experience. It was embarrassing and heartbreaking at the same time to be denied safe passage, so I could sing O’Canada at the very place where laws are made, where everyone is equal, that all are to be treated with dignity and respect, because for me to get there, it meant doing so with the help of two others, the three of us almost falling on our faces several times. 

Even more humiliating was watching another disabled woman in a wheelchair who had to have her chair lifted up by four men and carried through the snow banks.No safe passageway for her either.

When we asked those guarding the snow free walkway for snow shovels so we could shovel a path, and an area that we could use as a ‘stage’, we were denied.  The reason being, someone could use the shovels as a weapon. So several men with large snow boots tamped down the snow for our ‘stage’ with their feet. 

We stood like cattle in the snow, waiting to be sent off to the deep freeze for several hours but we weren’t giving up because it was apparent, that’s what our Prime Minister wanted us to do: freeze and walk away.

When it came time for me to sing our National Anthem, I was in pain, and numb from the cold. My right leg, which is encased in plastic from above my knee was full of snow from my kneecap down to my ankle. That’s how deep the snow was. My face, hands and toes were numb from the cold, like everyone who was standing in the crowd that day.

As I started to sing O’Canada, my heart swelled and tears escaped from my eyes, running down my face to my lips. I was crying because as I looked upon the hundreds of Canadians and reporters standing proudly and patriotically in the cold, I could not help but feel the love we share for our country. I also thought, ‘what kind of evil selfish person could be so heartless and inconsiderate to hundreds of Canadian’s? Many who travelled for four days, leaving behind their families, some who needed to be crowdfunded, because that’s how bad their situation is, and risking it all to be here, to get some hope for their tomorrow?’

I still ask myself, about the mean-spiritedness that is in this person’s heart, that would allow him to treat Canadians in this manner, all because these Canadians don’t fall in-line with his ‘vision’ of our country, Canada. 

I found it difficult to sing, watching so many people patriotically holding their Canadian flags, while trying to balance themselves in the deep snow, huddled together to have their voices heard.

It simply hurt too much to see everyone treated so horribly by our Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

He is the only person who could have made a big difference for our country that day. He could have brought hope to struggling Canadian’s and our future as a country..

He ended up being the person who tore each and everyone down, with his betrayal and his attempt to silence those who disagree with his harmful, anti-Canadian policies.

We didn’t hear one word from him, he was nowhere to be seen. This heartless leader of our country, PM Justin Trudeau treated patriotic citizens as worthless! The tears were frozen to our faces, and we still stood proud.

We will not lose our faith and there is nothing he can say or do that will  take away the beautiful friendships that were formed by Canadian’s who were united from coast to coast on that blistery, cold February winter day on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.

Stand proud fellow patriots. We did show him we were not giving up on our country, or the future of our children and grandchildren. We love our families and we love our beloved Canada. It should never hurt to be Canadian.

I lost my faith in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau over 2 years ago, but I will never lose my faith in GOD, or my country. I know that this next season of “Trudeau” will pass and we will all stand proud again.

Buckhorn Grandma, Kathy Katula

 

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