Saturday, 27 February 2010

A visit to the Ontario Legislature

On February 24th, I participated in a lobby day at the Ontario Legislature as part of a delegation from Camping in Ontario. We had arranged to meet a with several MPPs (Members of the Provincial Parliament) to make them aware of issues that impact campgrounds. My colleagues frequently used the naturist aspect of Bare Oaks as a conversation starter when we met with an MPP.

In the afternoon, some of us had some spare time between appointments so we decided to observe the legislature in action from the visitors' gallery. While we were there, the following exchange occurred:

Mr. John O'Toole (Durham): Mr. Speaker, with your indulgence, I'd also like to recognize guests in the gallery from the RV industry, as well as Camping in Ontario. One of the camp operators advises me that he operates a campground that has a dress code. I thought that was interesting information. 

(By the many smiles in the assembly, it was clear that most people, including the Speaker of the House, were clearly aware what he meant by 'dress code'. Bare Oaks had obviously been a topic of conversation that day.)

I have a petition, as well... (He proceeds to present the petition. That text is not shown here.)

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): I thank the honourable member for the petition and I trust that he's a regular visitor to that camp he spoke of.

Mrs. Joyce Savoline (Burlington): What goes to camp stays at camp.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): The member from Sarnia-Lambton.

Mr. Robert Bailey(Sarnia--Lambton): I'm not going to touch that. Anyway, Mr. Speaker, with your indulgence, a petition to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario...

(and then the business of the legislature continued normally)

While the exchange does not necessarily reflect the true character of naturism, I think it bodes well that everyone was comfortable discussing it that day. Nobody showed any disdain at the idea. And the fact that it was even referenced in the legislature (albeit in a euphemistic manner) demonstrates that we have progressed far with acceptance and understanding.

People in the textile-obsessed world are generally uncomfortable with nudity. As discussed in the December episode of the Naturist Living Show, this discomfort fits incredibly well in the definition of a phobia. When people are uncomfortable with something, the often deal with it using humour. We should never take offense at that. The fact that they are able to discuss it demonstrates acceptance. Humour is just a tool that is used to cope with gymnophobia.

Text from the Hansard Transcript of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, Wednesday 24 February 2010

Photo of the Ontario Legislature Building by jimmywayne