Invitation 3

Is #metoo a threat to civilized society?

While I don’t do this very often I find myself doing it again this month. I am inviting you to join a ZOOM conversation on Tuesday morning (June 1st) at 8:55 a.m. PDT [which is 9:55 a.m. MDT, 11:55 a.m. EDT & 12:55 ADT]. This week our modest gaggle of thoughtful folk have another special guest: Jeannine Ritchot, a bright, rising star in public service. I’ve asked her to join us because I respect her thinking, I appreciate her insights, and she is a super fan of the CFL who always brings a lot of laughs to the Grey Cup every autumn (the latter is not however germane to the issue, I don’t think).

I know I am not alone in my concern for what happened to Dany Fortin, the senior military officer in charge of the vaccine roll-out, who recently had to step down because of a complaint that goes back to his college days. There are no pictures on the public record that I know of, and the event seems to be that he exposed himself, where I also don’t know. It could have been in the young lady’s apartment for all we know. Now I don’t want to suggest that people should be encouraged to go around showing off their privates, but we have a member of parliament who has done this on a couple of occasions and he is still an MP and this is in 2021. The event involving Mr. Fortin appears to have happened in the 1980’s. Doesn’t it strike you that the complainant has taken a great length of time to come to some realization that she is a victim of sexual harassment? And in finally deciding the anguish is too much to carry anymore, she has destroyed the reputation of a person who at time of the revelation was doing yeoman service on behalf of all of us. How does he defend himself? Already it is a she said, he said debate and being as the event was a college days event, can he even remember it should the event have occurred? I apparently have been at a few college parties in my day that I still don’t recall, even when an old colleague tries to remind me.

Is this what the #metoo movement has come to? What is the next salvo? Someone saying that Erin O’Toole looked leeringly at them when he was in high school and the person has been unable to vote conservative ever since? This is why I have asked Ms. Ritchot to join the conversation – she and I have had some vigorous debates about diversity, equality and respect in hiring practices, placing people in a government’s cabinet, developing an inclusive learning environment in the academy, and so on. I believe she might help us better understand the Fortin incident in particular, and the implications for the larger picture. And in so doing, may assist us in determining just how to navigate this impactful world.

So, here’s the thing…if interested send an e-mail to and I will confirm that you will get an invite on Tuesday morning before the actual session starts at 8:55 a.m. PDT. The rules will be simple, the core group will lead off the conversation with some questions. After she has given her initial thoughts, we will then move forward depending on how she wishes to participate, to include all who wish to throw some ideas, questions or concerns into the conversation… it could be an interesting moment OR it might not. If the latter appears to be happening, as moderator, trust me I will spare the agony and will conclude the session!!

As always,