As many of our readers know, the Ryerson Free Press is monitoring certain aspects of the election that are not always on the mainstream media’s radar, such as post-secondary education and the war in Afghanistan. These issues are nevertheless critical to Canadians.
Most recently is the news of Ken Dryden, Liberal candidate for York Centre, who caught the attention of some when he called for the collective punishment of Palestinian people in Gaza. At an address on September 24 at Beth Emeth synagogue, Dryden was reported to state the following: "Stop all aid that flows into Gaza. While that may seem a harsh measure that will hurt Palestinian civilians… it is the right thing to do at this time."
The Liberals have gotten off pretty easy during this election campaign for their history of supporting Canada's war effort. During this election they have painted themselves as a peace-loving party, exemplified by their support for American war resistors and commitment to end Canada’s role in Afghanistan by 2011.
However, the Liberals are just as culpable for Omar Khadr's arrest and seven-year detention at Guantanamo Bay as are the Conservatives. They could have toppled the Conservative government on any number of votes, including the budget where billions of dollars was earmarked for military expansion, but instead they let it quietly pass.
Sins of omission are often worse than sins of commission. But that's not the case for Dryden. His words about cutting aid to Gaza were loud and clear.
With the exception of a short piece from John Turley-Ewart, Associate Editor of the Financial Post, most of the major media outlets seemed to miss the comments made by Ken Dryden. As Turley-Ewart points out, there appears to be a vast gulf between the media’s treatment of those who promote intolerance and those who promote Islamophobia.
Dion has already fired one candidate for her volatile comments pertaining to the Jewish community. The question now is will he follow his own example and consult with the Arab community about this latest infraction committed by another one of his candidates?