Scott Thompson: What’s needed on both sides of the political extreme? Love

Click to play video: 'Hamilton police investigating potential assaults at Bernier event including ‘senior with a walker’ incident'
Hamilton police investigating potential assaults at Bernier event including ‘senior with a walker’ incident
WATCH: Investigators say they will be 'reviewing video and speaking to witnesses' to determine if any criminal charges should be laid after protesters gathered out front of a speaking engagement with Maxime Bernier at Mohawk College. – Sep 30, 2019

You may remember the fuss that was raised when People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier was scheduled to speak at Mohawk College in Hamilton last month.

There was even an organized attempt to have the federal leader banned from speaking at the college.

Personally, I’m not a Bernier supporter, but I will defend his right to address those who are. Isn’t that the Canadian way?

The event went on as planned, but not without some active demonstration outside. The demonstration was reported as related to the Bernier event, but very little information was provided about those behind it or what their tactics were.

READ MORE: John Tory visits reopened Toronto Syrian restaurant after owners received death threats

It was a full 24 hours later that video emerged on social media, showing what really seemed to happen.

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The group of protesters, who tried to stop the event from being held, were trying to prevent — or at the very least, disrupt — citizens from trying to get into Mohawk College.

That included an elderly woman with a walker named Dorothy Marston, who said she was just trying to hear all the candidates’ positions, as her father taught her.

Marston and her husband Brian were on their way into Mohawk when they were physically blocked while crossing a roadway by three masked hooligans who stood toe-to-toe while screaming obscenities at them, including referring to them as Nazis — the very regime Marston’s relatives fought against during the Second World War.

In tears, the senior said she couldn’t believe she was in Canada.

The video above appears to confirm her story. Police are investigating.

READ MORE: Hamilton police investigating potential assaults at Bernier event including ‘senior with a walker’ incident

Fast-forward to this week and everyone, including the mayor, local business and citizens, are supporting the reopening of a Syrian restaurant in Toronto that announced it had to close because of unwanted hate messages and threats.

The neighbourhood, the media and eventually the city rallied around this immigrant family that was just trying to make a living for themselves. And why wouldn’t they? They provided enough support to get the restaurant back up and running again to cheers all around.

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What we did not hear, way back when the story broke, was the hate messages and threats to the restaurant were directly related to that initial protest at Bernier’s appearance at Mohawk.

READ MORE: Toronto Syrian restaurant says it was forced to close after receiving death threats

One of the protesters blocking the senior with a walker from getting by was the masked son of the family that owns the restaurant. There is a solid line between peaceful demonstration and what these folk were up to. Check out the video at the top (and be warned that it contains explicit language.)

The son has since apologized for his actions and the family extended an invitation for Marston and her husband to join them at their Toronto restaurant.

Dorothy’s son, David Turkoski, took them up on their offer.

On Saturday morning, a photo was posted to Twitter by Turkoski, featuring himself and the family.

“What a wonderful privilege and honour it was to meet Mr. and Mrs. Soufi. They are an amazing addition to my Canadian family,” Turkowski wrote.

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“Reason and tolerance without screaming and fear is what we need. Fears have to be addressed or they grow.”​Great advice that needs to be heeded by both sides — not just the one that appears to be politically correct.Scott Thompson is the host of The Scott Thompson Show on Global News Radio 900 CHML.​​​​

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