100 signatures reached
To: Governor General of Canada, Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette
Remove W.Brett Wilson from Order of Canada Advisory Committee
Her Excellency the Right Honourable Governor General,
Canadians value freedom of expression and our ability to engage in political discourse, but with freedom to express our views we are also told come responsibility and accountability for what we say. The Order of Canada is one of the highest honours afforded Canadians for their service to our country. As the Governor General's website states "The Order of Canada is the cornerstone of the Canadian Honours System, and recognizes outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation". As such this suggests that the quality and diversity of representation on the Order of Canada Advisory Council, which reviews and votes on potential recipients, is of the highest standards too. Out of respect for our public institutions and civic orders of merit such as the Order of Canada we now call on you, on behalf of all Canadians, to please remove Brett Wilson from the Order of Canada Advisory Council for his continued un-democratic and un-civil comments inciting violence against Canadians and undermining democratic institutions in our country.
Inciting violence, Brett Wilson has called for Canadians to be "hanged for treason" for their concern about the environmental impacts of proposed pipelines. Then on May 19th Mr. Wilson offered to pay ten thousand dollars, in order to entice others who could afford it, to bribe elected officials to cross the floor of the BC Legislature in order to advance his political and economic interests in the province. Both of these inflammatory statements came via the social media platform Twitter. The latter of which received recent media attention as per the Georgia Straight Article "Former Dragons' Den investor suggests paying a couple of NDP caucus members to cross the floor" by Charlie Smith, May 19th, 2018 accessible at https://www.straight.com/news/1078106/former-dragons-den-investor-suggests-paying-couple-bc-ndp-caucus-members-cross-floor
Whether or not Mr. Wilson's intentions are to follow through with hanging environmentalists or bribing publicly elected officials this behaviour is unbecoming of a post so dignified as the Order of Canada Advisory Council, and out of respect for Canadian Democracy and Canadians themselves who are proud of this order of merit, we ask that Mr. Wilson be held accountable for his actions and removed from the Council.
Why is this important?
Concern has been increasing in North America about the normalization of un-civic and abusive behaviour, in particular from those who hold power and influence. Along with the creeping normalization of abusive behaviour, once thought abhorrent in the public eye, a resurgence of hate speech which seeks to incite violence against any number of different publics has created a climate of fear and conflict in communities, stoked in particular by social media. Mr. Wilson's use of social media is reminiscent of both the trend in un-civic behaviour that seeks to undermine faith in public institutions and weaken our trust in democracy and that of groups who now feel emboldened to speak hatefully and violently in public through such mediums. It cannot and should not be dismissed. If we as a country are to do the work of upholding our democratic institutions we believe this includes holding ourselves to the highest standards too, in particular when occupying positions of power and influence. We cannot let openly inciting violence against any section of the Canadian public or casually suggesting bribes to elected officials to go unchallenged and we therefore ask that Mr. Wilson be held accountable and be removed from the Order of Canada Advisory Council.