By Jamil Jivani, May 27, 2022
When a tragedy occurs in the United States, such as the recent mass shootings in Uvalde, TX and Buffalo, NY, we tend to expect Canadian politicians to comment. But it’s critical that we ask: When does a politician’s words shift from appropriate mourning to shameful politicization?
In my view, a politician descends into exploiting a tragedy when his or her comments fail to acknowledge key differences between the two countries. Without such distinctions, we are merely importing American culture wars without the possibility of arriving at a solution.
Ontario Liberal leader Steven Del Duca has descended in this manner. Responding to the news of twenty-one Uvalde students being killed in a single classroom, Del Duca claimed “the need for gun control has never been clearer.” Expectedly, but nonetheless correctly, Tracey Wilson of the Canadian Coalition for Firearm Rights responded to Del Duca with the accusation that “he is using an American tragedy to call for more gun control in Canada.”