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Trudeau’s toxic tantrum tyranny

The enemies of the West revel in her decline

5 March 2022

9:00 AM

5 March 2022

9:00 AM

On 8 August 2019, Reuters reported: ‘Russia freezes bank accounts linked to opposition politician Navalny’. On 15 February, the BBC said: ‘Trudeau vows to freeze anti-mandate protestors’ bank accounts’. Deputy PM Chrystia Freeland said banks would be asked to freeze personal accounts of anyone linked with the protests and with no due process, no appeals process and no court order necessary. GoFundMe had no problem with BLM crowdfunding the cost of bailing far-left activist Quintez Brown charged with trying to kill a Jewish mayoral candidate in Kentucky. Ottawa’s interim police chief Steve Bell warned on 19 February: ‘If you were involved in this protest we will actively look to identify you and follow up with financial sanctions and criminal charges’. Imagine if President Trump had dealt with BLM, Antifa and climate activists as brutally – the mainstream media would have had a meltdown requiring decades-long therapy. On 22 February, Russian lawmakers authorised President Vladimir Putin to use force to back Ukrainian separatists. The West has framed Russia’s actions as a grave threat to democracy and freedom everywhere and responded with swift condemnation and sanctions. The day before, bucking the global trend to ending Covid restrictions, Canada’s Parliament voted 185-151 to approve the declaration of emergency and authorise PM Justin Trudeau to use force against anti-mandate protestors. Western leaders responded unanimously with studied silence. Clearly, the non-Western world has turned increasingly cynical about ‘universal values’ proclaimed loftily by Westerners.

Trudeau’s minority ruling party did this with the support of the New Democratic Party. Trudeau later revoked the emergency act, proving it wasn’t needed in the first place. Every MP who voted for it will forever own that stain of infamy. The last time martial law was imposed in Canada was by Pierre Trudeau in 1970. Even though he faced a genuine terrorist threat then, the NDP as the party of workers and the conscience of the nation opposed the measure in principle. By contrast, Trudeau Jnr. faced a crisis born of his own arrogance, incompetence and intransigence. With no significant difference in Covid transmissibility between vaxxed and unvaccinated and even the triple-jabbed being susceptible to infection in huge numbers, there is zero medical justification for vaccine mandates. In addition, the mandate is also deeply unethical.

In order to keep essential services flowing for the laptop class of privileged folks typified by Trudeau, truckers kept operating in the high-risk months before vaccines were developed. Around 85-90 per cent of them are fully vaccinated. Their work circumstances rarely bring them into contact with other people. No evidence has been offered to show their risk to others. Their protest was peaceful, good humoured, supported by large numbers of Canadians and inspired many other countries to take up the cause. Like Poland’s Solidarity movement forty years ago, Canada’s truckers have become icons of a larger struggle for freedom and liberty against growing state power that transcends Canada and vaccine mandates.

Truckers sought dialogue and asked to speak to Trudeau but he refused and went into hiding. Martial law should have been invoked as the last resort with willingness to listen and talk as the first to defuse the crisis early. This is why civic associations challenged it in court, alleging it didn’t meet the very high threshold of a national emergency. As was the case in Victoria, Liberal party and NDP MPs put careers first, the party second and the country last. Thank goodness Westminster MPs rebelled last year in sufficient numbers that they thwarted Boris Johnson’s instinct to cave in to the doomsayers’ alarmism that has been shown to have been BS.

By coincidence, my first academic article was a critical commentary on the declaration of emergency by PM Indira Gandhi in 1975 when I was a PhD student at Queen’s University in Canada undertaking research in India. I wrote then that liberty is not a privilege to be granted at the government’s whim but an inalienable right held as a claim by citizens against the government. Events around the world in the half century since have firmed that conviction.

Another feature of the crisis of Canadian democracy is Trudeau’s multiple hypocrisies. With BLM and climate protests that actually were violent, forget any criticism, jackboots and freeze on financial transactions. Rather, Trudeau took the knee outside Parliament. He who could find no time to meet the truckers did photo-ops with St Greta. Then there’s his history of wearing blackface. And he is in tune with celebrities who lecture everyone else on the absolute necessity for sacrifices to our way of life but carry on with their own extravagant lifestyle.

India’s Modi government has fine-tuned the defining weapons of populist despotism: smear critics, dissenters and protestors as terrorists, seditionists and insurrectionists in order to deploy the full force of the national security state against them. The targets of Modi’s othering, to be digitally identified and subject to maximum state harassment and excluded from full citizenship, are religiously determined. The targets of the equivalent exercise in Canada are chosen for their vaccination status. Trudeau waded into the domestic Indian controversy on farm reform laws in 2020, declaring, ‘Canada will always be there to defend the right of peaceful protest’. When India protested, Trudeau doubled down and urged ‘de-escalation and dialogue’. Yet he himself activated emergency powers created to combat terrorism. Justice Minister David Lametti boasted, ‘We took measures that had been applied to terrorism and applied them to other illegal activity’. Social justice warriors have weaponised language to control the discourse in the public square and now governments are broadening this across the board to consolidate control and stamp out dissent. For Trudeau, the ultimate insult is to dismiss protestors as ‘Trump supporters’.

In times of crisis, real leaders step up and those who can’t, step down. Trudeau has insulted, stigmatised, wedged and divided Canadians. Rather than defuse the protests, his intolerance and stubbornness inflamed the crisis. Complaints about state overreach and abuse of power were met by still greater abuse of state authority with the power to strip citizens of their money, transport and even children. Interim opposition leader Candice Bergen gave an incisive and eloquent critique of Trudeau’s power grab in the parliamentary debate. Tools of repression like unleashing heavily armed cops on peacefully protesting citizens, once the identifying traits of fascists, communists and tin-pot despots, are becoming uncomfortably familiar on the streets of Western democracies.

Trudeau’s Canada shows how these tactics have become standard operating procedures for Western ‘democracies’ to suppress dissent, punish dissenters and banish them from participation in social life and the economy.

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