Charles Hays Secondary School musical “9 to 5” was a fitting choice for this year’s play and joining the ongoing MeToo movement dialogue. (Northern View photo)

In Our Opinion: Times, they are a-changin’

Legal weed, legalized doctor assisted dying and the MeToo movement have shifted the social paradigm

Legal pot, doctor assisted dying and pulling an Oscar-winning Christmas song from some radio stations. These are all subjects in this week’s paper, and what do they all have in common?

People are waking up and joining the conversations that were once muffled.

Since the #MeToo movement, certain lines in a song, or actions in a play, seem cringe-worthy and awkward, when before they were simply funny or cute. You may not agree with “Baby it’s cold outside” being pulled from certain stations — then reinstated — and you may think things are going too far, but it’s worth re-evaluating within our new social paradigm.

We live in a world where catcalling is no longer cool, despite what you may think, women are done with it.

We live in a world where it’s legal to smoke a joint or talk about it openly with your friends and family.

We live in a world where people can chose to die with dignity when their health fails them.

Three years after medical assistance in dying was made legal across the country there have been 1,644 medically assisted deaths in B.C., 62 in the Northern Health region. Based on these numbers, few share this very personal experience openly.

The story of Chelsea Keays’ father and his choice to take part in physician assisted dying in Lund, was like opening a window to watch a man on his death bed, and then being invited in to find out exactly what it’s like to have a physician take a life legally at a patient’s request.

No longer is the only choice to watch your grandfather starve to death in a hospital room while the entire family waits and watches the worst imaginable happen.

From a heavy, heartfelt subject, let’s move to a real puff piece.

On Monday night, city council passed the bylaw to permit cannabis shops in Prince Rupert. Now, it’s a wait-and-see how many shops have the capital to pay for the $5,000 application fee, among other fees and requirements. In the meantime, Canada Post has been busy delivering packages door-to-door.

Now let’s consider our front page photo. Dolly Parton’s film 9 to 5 first came out in 1980 — a story that deals with the least subtle examples of sexual harassment, sexism, the gender wage gap and gun violence. Watching teen actors in the high school musical production of 9 to 5 last week cast a light on all those subjects. There was laughter, but most of that laughter was at the outrageousness of it all. Since the MeToo movement you can’t help but watch that film with a clearer lens, and a guard against the old-school mentality.

To steal a word from our Premier, it’s time to get “woke”. Times they are a-chang’ fast these days, and as Bob Dylan sang, “You better start swimmin’ or you’ll sink like a stone.”



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