Other than some nonsensical blather, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took a tepid approach to anti-mandate demonstrations across the massive country’s cities and border crossings the past few weeks.
But as his left flank grew agitated, the 50-year-old invoked insidious emergency powers Monday afternoon to enable his government to clear blockades. While that desperation may resonate with some, Trudeau’s suspension of civil liberties should appall any person of conscience. It could also make the crisis worse.
Trudeau’s policies, whether he realizes it or not, can effectively ruin the lives of anyone involved in current and future demonstrations.
The military can now ban public assembly and curtail travel, while police can seize vehicles and compel truckers to provide services to law-enforcement. Any violation could result in revocation of insurance and frozen bank accounts, all without a court order.
The laws invoked are redolent of emergency measures the prime minister’s late father pushed a half-century ago. But that followed a serious terrorist campaign of kidnappings and violence in Quebec.
A group of truckers singing, eating, and playing hockey are not the Quebec separatist movement.
Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, a former journalist, outdid Trudeau this week by defending draconian actions to halt funding platforms that support protestors.
“This is about following the money,” she claimed. “This is about stopping the financing of these illegal blockades.”
Where is the incipient danger?
The “worst” anyone can find is an Alberta-based group potentially seeking trouble after police arrested 11 people with weapons and body armor; they could have used the items against police if the blockade was disrupted.
"We are not limiting people’s freedom of speech,” Trudeau disingenuously argued. “We are not limiting freedom of peaceful assembly, we are not preventing people from exercising their right to protest legally.”
Evidence and his edicts show otherwise.
If pseudo-intellectuals like Trudeau treat citizens like violent insurrectionists, it does not take a psychology degree to realize that could motivate more people to hit the streets.
None of this push back is necessary, considering more than 90 percent of Canadian truckers are vaccinated.
Their government could easily talk to them and/or drop unnecessary mandates that exist only to punish a paltry 10 percent of the population, which will do little to protect anyone from decreasing coronavirus infections.
Even the Toronto Star — the country's most liberal newspaper — condemned Trudeau’s tyrannical actions this week.
“We will not join the cheering,” a Tuesday staff editorial began, before explaining, “Federal emergency powers may now be necessary as a last resort, but going that route is a shocking admission of failure by governments at all levels. The situation could and should already have been resolved by good intelligence, smart planning, and effective coordination.”
That’s a consistent stance, but with current culture wars obscuring reality, how many western liberals still would agree?
A.J. Kaufmanis a columnist for Alpha News. His work has appeared in RealClearPolitics, the Baltimore Sun, Florida Sun-Sentinel, Indianapolis Star, Orange County Register, St. Cloud Times, Star-Tribune, and across the Internet. He's also a semi-frequent guest on The Ed Morrissey Show, as well as KNSI and KTRH radio. The author of three books, Kaufman previously worked as a school teacher and military historian. This article was written exclusively for Arutz\ Sheva.