There may be a fine line between deciding whether an issue is a news story or a quirky sideshow.
But the line separating honest questions about government policy and blatant xenophobia is as broad and visible as a comet shooting across the sky.
Last week, a press release announced a series of rallies across Canada, organized by opponents of the Global Compact on Migration. The compact is a non-binding agreement, signed by Canada and 163 other countries and facilitated by the United Nations.
Essentially, the document is an agreement between those nations to find a way to deal with migration in a safe and orderly manner.
According to the UN, there are about 260-million migrants in the world today, people living outside their home countries for various reasons.
Opponents of the agreement claim it removes Canada’s sovereignty and gives the UN the power to tell Ottawa how to deal with migrants wishing to enter the country.
The agreement does no such thing.
What it proposes to do is find a way for the signatory countries to better place migrants and, in doing so, finding a way to improve the lives of these displaced people.
Yes, the agreement should be questioned (article 17, which calls for a commitment to eliminate discrimination towards migrants, should be debated as it seems to rub dangerously close to infringing on freedom of speech and the free press), but that questioning should not include thinly veiled racist language, as was the case after KTW published a story about a handful of protesters staging a small rally just east of the city.
The comments from some participants, and from some who posted their thoughts online, were weighted more toward xenophobia than toward rational debate.
Opposing any government policy is a right afforded under democracy. Spewing hatred and false information, however, does nothing to bolster one’s argument.