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A banana republic without the warm weather
It’s never been more important to have independent journalists in Canada and elsewhere. I am on the ground in Ottawa right now covering the Freedom Convoy for True North. You can support our efforts here. I would also ask that you subscribe to this newsletter, and if you really want to show your support, consider taking out a paid subscription.
I’ve been fortunate enough in my life to never have to live through the carnage that’s been unleashed on the streets of Ottawa in the past three weeks.
A child tripped in a Minion bouncy castle. A French Canadian chap burnt his tongue on his hot chocolate. There was even a report of a back flare-up from one of the late-night dance parties.
Even so, it’s a difficult image to square with the one presented by Justin Trudeau and his cabinet members of a lawless war zone steps from Parliament Hill.
The Liberals have warned that democracy is under threat outside of Parliament. The real assault on democracy is taking place inside.
Or at least it was until today, when the House of Commons cancelled a sitting due to the anticipated “police operation” against the Freedom Convoy demonstrators.
Suspending the democratic process is cause for alarm at the best of times, but even more so when the subject to be debated was Trudeau’s invocation of the Emergencies Act.
Trudeau insists the powers he’s granting himself are subject to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and to democratic oversight, though this is not a particularly convincing argument when the Liberal speaker of the House cuts debate short for a non-existent security threat.
Trudeau’s father infamously said “just watch me” when asked how far he’d go under the predecessor War Measures Act. I find that less menacing than Justin Trudeau’s implied catchphrase, “just trust me.”
The Ottawa protest remains peaceful. The excuse given for cancelling Parliament – “police action” – refers to conduct from the state, not the people.
It’s a rather apt metaphor for what’s been happening in the last few days, as the government does what it’s been accusing protesters of doing – disrupting society and trampling on freedoms.
Ottawa under the Emergencies Act is quite a different place from even a few days prior.
Yesterday, police set up a “secure area” and vowed to block anyone without a “lawful” reason from entering. Participating in the protest peacefully, to the Ottawa Police Service, is apparently unlawful.
Moreover, they say it’s incumbent on those they detain and question to offer evidence that they are allowed to be there – to prove their innocence, in other words.
This morning, Ottawa police threatened to arrest journalists who don’t “keep a distance” from their crackdowns on protesters.
This is in addition to the ongoing freezing of bank accounts without due process or legal recourse, and threats of removing protesters’ children and pets.
Mobility rights, freedom of the press, freedom of peaceful assembly, the right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure. These rights were edited out of Trudeau’s version of the Charter the moment he invoked the Emergencies Act, his gaslighting notwithstanding.
“We will not be suspending fundamental rights,” Trudeau said, somehow with a straight face.
Despite his claim that the Emergencies Act is a “last resort,” he nonetheless managed to wind up there without so much as sending a part-time intern for an assistant to the deputy minister of transportation out to speak with any of the people protesting first.
While Justin Trudeau hasn’t called in the military just yet, his phony declaration of an emergency puts the government on a war footing against its own citizens.
If the government has to tell you there’s an emergency, there isn’t one.
If your government has to tell you your rights aren’t being violated, they are.
And, as the old saying goes, truth is the first casualty of war.
Marco Mendicino, Canada’s public safety minister, spoke this week about the four Albertans involved with the Coutts blockade who have charged with conspiracy to murder RCMP officers. He made the clear and unequivocal claim that they have “strong ties to a far-right, extreme organization with leaders who are in Ottawa.”
When asked to identify the organization, he told one reporter to ask law enforcement instead. When asked again, he pivoted to an observation about similar “rhetoric.” Pressed further, he conceded he’d made up the connection between the Coutts conspiracy and Ottawa convoy leadership, and suggested Canadians looking at “social media” will draw the same conclusion.
Mendicino’s sole piece of evidence supporting a public safety threat in Ottawa crumbled in just a few minutes – and by his own hand. He’s either the most poorly briefed minister of public safety amid a security threat, or the threat simply doesn’t exist. My money is on the latter.
While I don’t put much stock into what tinpot dictators and their useful idiots have to say, it’s been amusing to see the condemnation of Trudeau’s actions by former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Chinese politburo.
I don’t blame them for spiking the ball, as they have all heard Trudeau sanctimoniously position Canada and himself as the moral authorities on human rights, which is a tough reputation to uphold when you’re arresting peaceful protesters and the journalists covering them.
As I remarked to a friend this morning, if I wanted to live in a banana republic I’d have picked one with nicer weather.
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