Rex Murphy: The showdown at the Barbecue Corral

National Post

Police officers stand outside Adamson Barbecue restaurant, which had opened despite being ordered closed the day before, in the Toronto suburb of Etobicoke on Nov. 25, 2020. PHOTO BY CARLOS OSORIO/REUTERS

It seems, according to the authorities, if a company is large enough, COVID-19 never visits. In a place with one owner and two employees, it is a hazard. On the one hand, a man who knows how to move between ribs and hot flames; on the other, Mayor John Tory’s law boys, ready to take down the takeout kingpin. That said, it was a Toronto fable for all time.

Likewise, according to the news reports, I deduce that there were no serious clashes. Mr. Adam Skelly, the owner of Adamson Barbecue, seems, even in the current furor, to be a pretty cool guy. He made a few plays before he was arrested, but it was all mostly smooth. However, it is necessary to indicate that it was the size and strength of the police presence, on horseback and on foot, that attracted the attention of a hundred iPhones. Smaller forces have invaded Belgium. All these men and women in blue in front of a single barbecue restaurant. Certainly, this was one of the key elements to highlight, the size of the deployment and the seriousness with which Toronto’s civic authorities were taking the matter.

Contradictions that bother

Notably, it was a considerable number of people who went online or spoke to reporters to make it clear that Toronto has witnessed many types of protests, from crowds banging on the doors of the mayor’s condo building to rail blockades and the blocking the main streets. And it’s that crowds gather for one kind of protest or another on the Legislature lawn so often that it could be a hobby.

Now it is necessary to indicate people feel a contradiction here. Some protests get a pass. Some don’t. Some are allowed with a wink. And some scream half a division.

Certainly, many people in Toronto and everywhere have gotten a bit tired of the contradictions in the COVID handling rules, contradictions between what they were told at the beginning and what they were told now; contradictions in which the parties must support these rules and those that do not; contradictions in which activities are granted “essential status” and denied.

There are severe contradictions between who bears the greatest burden by following the rules and who carries the least. And it is always the smallest companies, the most exposed and vulnerable, that bear the heaviest load. The message seems obvious, if a company is big enough, COVID-19 never visits. In a place with one owner and two employees, it is a hazard.

It has been a kind of motto of the leaders, municipal, provincial, and federal, that “We are all in this together”.

Source: Rex Murphy | National Post

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