Most loved Grammy is a Tory

Lifestyles 55 issues in the news
Dorothy Dobbie
Issues in the news

My dearly beloved grandson gave me a bracelet for Christmas inscribed, “Most loved Grammy”. 

I am a Tory. Tory is another name for Conservative. He has been taught by the media that Conservatives are on the wrong side of everything. So it is hard to understand how he can love me while despising my core values.

I can only think that he doesn’t really know what it is to be a Tory. This, then is for him and for his sister and all the others who think they hate Conservatives because of what they have been taught by politicized teachers and the left-leaning media.

My heroes

Let’s start with my heroes. I have three: two living and one dead. The first is James Favell, the courageous Indigenous man who founded and runs The Bear Clan Patrol. James took it upon himself to do something for his community and just did it! A few short years later over 40 communities across the country have had similar leaders step forward, patrolling the streets for needles and offering practical help and support to those who have lost their way in the world. That is the kind of leadership I admire.

My second hero is Elon Musk, the brilliant billionaire who dreams big dreams and has the courage of his convictions to pursue them – even to Mars and back – in spite of naysayers and doubters. 

My deceased hero is John Diefenbaker, the Tory prime minister who gave Indigenous people on reserves the right to vote, who introduced universal medicare to Canada and who created Canada’s first Bill of Rights, (prompting Trudeau the elder one-up him and later introduce the Charter and other constitutional amendments).

Yes, they are all men, but as a strong woman, I love men. They support me and give me courage and provide another dimension to my impetuous nature. But I support women, too. I am one of the three founders of Equal Voice Manitoba where we mentor women of all political stripes to become involved in politics.

The environment

I am an environmentalist in the sense that I support a green world, despise polluters, believe it is prudent to recycle – not by putting things in a blue bin to be hauled away to a place where most of what we so carefully sorted ends up in a land fill or some other country because it would cost more to repurpose the product than the market will bear. I am for the kind of sensible approach of an earlier generation where people mended their clothes, took their shoes to the shoemaker for repair, expected their appliances to last a lifetime and had repairmen fix them if a part broke down, and had a rag bag of worn out clothing and towels to clean the house and the car. 

I believe we should plant more trees, rake fewer leaves (mulch them to replenish the lawn and garden) and I use very few if any chemicals in the garden. We should use more wood and less plastic (or none) and replant the trees we cut. 

We should invest in new sources of energy. The carbon tax program is ineffective, simply shuffling consumption without net gain. It also punishes the lowest income populations. Universal rebates do not cover the full cost. If you are going to impose a tax, use the money to discover cleaner sources of fuel.


I believe we must help those who are unable to help themselves, for whatever reason, but without removing all their ability to self-sustain, because I know that this is a subtle kind of genocide. Removing another’s ability to help themselves, and more importantly to help others, strips them of their dignity, self-worth and initiative. If you have nothing to do but self-indulge, you might as well die, because what is the point of living? I believe that when you give that help, you cannot be judgmental or dictate how the help is used. The recipient needs to have at least that one bit of autonomy in making decisions. 


I believe that we must discuss all the issues, not just the ones that have the approval of self-appointed moralists. People must be free to speak their minds even when we don’t agree with them. Without that freedom of expression, we live in a kind of fascist society where there is no tolerance for opposing views. Pluralism of thought and opinion is the bedrock or democracy.

I probably chafe against curbs on our freedoms more than most Tories, but “Give me liberty or give me death,” would not be far from my philosophy.

Social issues

I am socially neutral. People should live the way that works best for them as long as they don’t impose their ways on others. Go ahead and practice your religion, wear whatever you want, have sex your way with your consenting adult – just be sure you do no harm to others. Freedom of sexual expression is your right and, in that, I agree with Trudeau senior: the state has no place in the bedrooms of a nation. I also think that is where it should be practiced – in private. No, I don’t like tattoos or thong bikinis or dirty hair, but it’s your body . . . although, if you don’t bathe and your body and hair smell bad, you could be doing harm to others in your vicinity.

When it comes to such things as abortion, I could not personally bring myself to have one, but it’s your choice. I don’t believe the death penalty is a deterrent, so why kill people and double the harm? Neither do I believe we should ban guns because I understand the fundamental right to bear arms is an underpinning of our freedom from state domination, although maybe putting some restrictions on the purchase of ammunition would be a good idea. 


I pay my taxes uncomplainingly because I know there are some things we need to do together as a society, but I believe there is a limit to how much tax burden can be imposed before people start finding ways to avoid paying it at all. I think it would be nice to get the billionaires to chip in much more, but that is impossible in a world of instant communication and mobile money. There is a limit to what the rich will bear in taxes, too, before they move that money to more lenient tax jurisdictions.

I believe in volunteering and I do so unstintingly because I think that when we help each other, we help ourselves. Volunteering and donating is a kind of self-imposed tax that allows each to give according to means.


Immigration is inevitable and built the Canada we all share today. It must be orderly to avoid chaos and resentment so illegal border crossing needs to be discouraged. Immigrants come to Canada for a better way of life, therefore adapting to this society is imperative, yet we should be open to new ways and ideas and be willing to accept those that fit the Canadian ideal.


At the heart of all Tory values is the belief that the individual matters, that without strong individuals, there can be no social order that works, therefore individual enterprise must be encouraged. However, collective action and collaboration are also necessary for the health of the tribe, the key is finding a complementary balance.

I am a good old fashioned Tory with values most Canadians can appreciate. There are plenty to the right of me and plenty to the left, but that too is part of being a Tory – we understand that pluralism, even in politics, is what makes democracies work.