We've become a timid society
By Liz Dadson


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It was the day after Family Day and the school buses had been cancelled again, so the schools were basically closed for the day, except for students and staff who could arrive there safely.

This time, the culprit was slushy roads with icy sections. And better yet, the possibility of snow and high wind later in the day.

Seriously? We're basing bus cancellations and school closures on the "chance" that it will snow? Whatever happened to basing them on the inclement weather happening at the time?

We've become a timid society. We're afraid of our own shadow - even Wiarton Willie is afraid of his.

We want to err on the side of caution, even if that means not venturing out because the weather might turn bad, even if it means overwrought risk management and supercilious suffocation.

The fact of the matter is we don't want to be blamed for anything. It's not our fault. We did everything we could. See, safety first, and all that.

Because if you're to blame, you could face litigation and in this day and age, everyone wants to make a million dollars by suing someone else.

It's crazy! Nobody wants to accept responsibility for doing stupid things. You slip on the ice and hurt yourself - okay, who can you sue for not keeping the sidewalks safe? You spill hot coffee on yourself and get burned - okay, who can you sue for not warning you the coffee was hot?

Seriously, folks, it's to the point where even a drunk driver has a loophole by using the ridiculous defence that he didn't know what he was doing so he could not be held accountable for his actions.

It's a sad, sad state of affairs. Everyone seems to know what his Constitutional rights are, but nobody wants to pair that up with the responsibilities that come along with those rights. You are responsible to take care of yourself, to treat others with respect, to watch where you're walking, and to have a reasonable understanding of the outcome and consequences of certain events.

But we want everything for nothing. The world owes us a living. Why should I work so hard if I have a bad back and can get a doctor to write a note saying I need to go on disability? Why not sue the company and get a pay-off?


Because those companies, governments and individuals you want to sue, are already paying extensive costs for liability insurance, caused by a litigious society.

Ask any service club what the highest cost is to hold an event - liability insurance. Many non-profit groups and organizations request to be covered by a municipality's policy because they simply can't afford liability insurance.

It's a twisted society that believes it can have everything, at the expense of its neighbour who is minding his own business and trying to get to work, but must find alternate care for his young children because the school bus has been cancelled again.

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Thursday, February 21, 2013