It is all in the flag you carry.

It was wonderful to hear that Hayley Wickenheiser will be carrying the Canadian flag at the Sochi Winter Games. The four-time medal winner in women’s hockey will be tall and proud with the pride of carrying our flag.

But there seems to be a flag missing in the planning for Sochi that needs to make its presence felt. What would be more perfect than having Canada’s Foreign Minister John Baird following Ms. Wickenheiser with a similar sized gay pride flag? Would that not be a statement that needs to be made?

Mr. Baird should understand that not all pontificating on world affairs need be done in the comfort and luxury of places such as Montreux, Switzerland. He is in that safe haven this week telling the Syrians the way to peace. If you think of all the places in the world conducive to peace and tranquility, it is sure tough to beat Montreux.

It is just that sometimes you have to get to the belly of the beast. President for Life Vladimir Putin of Russia needs to understand that his oppressive treatment of gays in his country is not socially acceptable. It is also quite déclassé to declare a moratorium on gays in Sochi to mollify the Olympics visitors. Good ole Vlad needs to mend his ways.

What better way for Canada to stand up for the oppressed than to put it to Putin when he is basking in the glory of the opening of his personal Olympic Games? While Vlad could quickly remove any other person from the order of march for the athletes, John Baird has diplomatic immunity and Vlad is not about to declare him persona non grata.

Nor would Vlad try to toss all the Canadians out of the Winter Games. Too many of those games are part of Canada’s heritage. It would be a false victory for a team such as the Russian men’s hockey team if they won gold at Sochi because Canada was not there.

So that is the proposition John Baird. You can carry the gay pride flag with pride. Many better men than you have stood up proudly for human rights. It might seem somewhat less than diplomatic to do it but since when have you ever worried about diplomacy?

Canada is waiting for your finest hour.


Copyright 2014 © Peter Lowry

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