We all know that the overwhelming majority of Canadians are awesome people, which is something we’re all very proud of. Unfortunately, as the old saying goes, there’s a few bad apples on every tree.
Ottawa resident Hailey De Jong had the displeasure of meeting one back in May. She had just boarded an OC Transpo bus and almost immediately, someone took issue with the fact that she was wearing a niqab.
“As soon as I sat down, I heard a man making comments like ‘she could be a bank robber’ and then he just resorted to yelling like ‘terrorist’, ‘freak’ — at one point he yelled for me to assimilate,” she said.
Other passengers defended De Jong, telling the man to stop. But when the bigoted commentary continued, the bus driver himself hit the brakes on the hatred.
“If you have a problem with her, you have a problem with me,” OC Transpo bus driver Alain Charette said.
Charette gave the man two options: get off the bus or wait for security to arrive. Not surprisingly, the man opted to take off.
De Jong was so grateful for Charette’s actions, that she thanked him when she got off at her stop and even asked if he would pose for a selfie with her. Naturally, he obliged.
“If you allow something like that to carry on, by not saying anything you become part of it,” Charette said.
Now that’s a Canadian. But we have to give a special shout-out to the bus drivers in Ottawa, because this isn’t the first time they’ve gone above and beyond.
During a massive winter storm in January, OC Transpo driver Carlo DiFelice exited his bus at every stop without a jacket to help passengers get over large snowbanks that were in the way. Then, in April, OC Transpo driver Dan Stoddard stopped his vehicle to help a woman who had been physically abused.
We’re not sure who’s doing the hiring at OC Transpo, but job well done.
You can see the selfie De Jong took in the video above.