Justin Trudeau invoked Canada’s Emergency Powers Act in a bid to crush the “Freedom Convoy” protests.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked the Emergency Powers Act for the first time in Canadian history. The Emergency Powers Act grants Canadian Prime Ministers immense powers to restore public order from “threats to the security of Canada.”
- Considered by Canadian legal experts to be “the most powerful federal law” and “a measure of last resort,” Trudeau said he will use the law to forcibly remove people from downtown Ottawa, coerce tow truck companies into removing big rigs, levy fines and jail protestors.
- Calling his measures “reasonable and proportionate,” Trudeau announced he would order banks to freeze the personal bank accounts of any Canadians linked to the protests under “terrorist financing” rules.
- Crowdfunding website GiveSendGo, which hosted a fundraiser for the protestors, was hacked and the donors’ personal information was leaked online Monday.
- A police raid early Monday morning cleared the Ambassador Bridge linking Detroit, Michigan and Windsor, Ontario, resulting in 12 arrests. Industry association leaders estimated the week-long blockage cost the auto-parts industry $780 million.
- The Emergency Powers Act can only be used during an “urgent and critical situation” that “seriously endangers the lives, health or safety of Canadians.”
- It should be noted Trudeau supported a protest that blocked major highways in India for a year in 2021 and has admitted his “level of admiration for China because their basic dictatorship is allowing them to actually turn their economy around on a dime…”
- National Post appeared to pin the blame for the GiveSendGo hack on the website itself in its piece investigating the donors who gave money to support the protestors.
- Politico covered the “political firestorm” Trudeau’s actions unleashed. Notably, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association called his actions “an overreach” and said the government “hasn’t met the necessary threshold to enact emergency legislation” calling Trudeau’s moves a threat to “our democracy and our civil liberties.”
- The New York Times asks if the chaos in Canada challenges the stereotype of polite, rule-following Canadians, or if that’s just a myth. Perhaps its somewhere in the middle – even the most polite, rule-following people can only be pushed so far before they finally hit their breaking point.
- Rebel News covered the statements of Bloc Québécois (BQ) leader Yves-François Blanchet and the premiers (governors) of Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Quebec opposing Trudeau’s power grab. The nationalist BQ is the third-largest party in Parliament.
- Fox News covered truly embarrassing comments from Canadian state-run broadcaster CBC. A CBC writer called “freedom” a “far-right” term and claimed conservatives often used “freedom” to mean “somebody who refuses to…treat all people equally.” Seriously. Your correspondent uncovered a rare image of that writer preparing to publish that hot take.
- National Review wrote about the disturbing trend of Canadian state-run media attacking “freedom” and using “opinion laundering” to attack core democratic values like liberty.
In summer 2020, the United States had Black Lives Matter protests in nearly every city from coast-to-coast. Like the Freedom Convoy, these were largely peaceful but some protestors used road blockage tactics. Unlike the Freedom Convoy, the BLM protests were at times marred by violent rioting and looting, and at least twenty-five people were killed. Justin Trudeau supported the Black Lives Matter protests to the hilt, while calls to “send in the troops” to restore order was described in many quarters as literally “putting black New York Times staff in danger.”
At the beginning of this year, Canadian academic Thomas Homer-Dixon published an op-ed in The Globe and Mail warning of the possible collapse of the “American polity” and urging Canada to prepare for a “possible civil war.” Homer-Dixon believes America could be under a right-wing dictatorship by 2030.
However, Homer-Dixon had competition in his quest to embody George Orwell’s famous statement, “some ideas are so stupid that only intellectuals believe them.” Another Canadian outlet declared “the United States is no democracy at all.” Not to be outdone, National Post published its own take on “how Canada can improve security if American democracy collapses.” Of course, CNN jumped on the bandwagon, describing Homer-Dixon’s drivel as “powerful” and “unnerving” and “a sobering reminder.”
Well, well, well. How the turntables. Three weeks of protests have rocked Canada. In response, Justin Trudeau has abandoned his previous support for the right to peacefully protest. Instead, Trudeau has granted himself draconian powers to jail his political opponents, freeze their bank accounts and compel private individuals and companies to commandeer their fellow citizens’ property to fulfill the political desires of the state.
Trudeau the ex-television actor can’t seem to resist a 1970s remake. Trudeau’s father Pierre activated the since-repealed War Powers Act during the 1970 October Crisis that saw the kidnappings of two officials by a terrorist group. The elder Trudeau declared martial law and sent troops into Quebec to end the crisis, and when asked how far he’d go to restrict civil liberties, he famously declared, “just watch me.”
Justin Trudeau won 32 percent of the vote in 2021 and believes this allows him to use unprecedented emergency powers for the first time in Canadian history to crush his opposition. Hey Canadian intellectuals – this is what a democracy in free fall looks like.
© Dominic Moore, 2022