By James Bovard
To save Canadian democracy, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau must first destroy it.
Since the start of the pandemic, Trudeau has acted like COVID entitled him to unlimited power in the name of public safety — sort of like Gov. Andrew Cuomo on amphetamines. Now he claims he is entitled to use an iron fist to crush the trucker protest movement against a vaccine mandate.
Many of the protesters believe the risks of the vaccine outweigh the benefit and, more important, that they have the right to control their own bodies. Trudeau responded by vilifying the peaceful protesters: “There is no place in our country for threats, violence or hatred.”
Who’s really the threat?
Except Trudeau seems to be doing most of the threats and hatred. He’s denounced the protesters, baselessly, as “racist” and “misogynistic.” And Monday, he invoked the Emergencies Act, effectively awarding himself martial-law powers to repress resistance. Trudeau said his edict will provide him “the ability to compel” tow-truck companies to remove protesters’ trucks.
He’s even designating protesters as “terrorists” in the name of cutting off their funding. Canada’s Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland announced Tuesday: “We are broadening the scope of Canada’s anti-money-laundering and terrorist-financing rules so that they cover Crowd Funding Platforms and the payment service providers they use.”
Banks are authorized to freeze the personal accounts of anyone suspected of donating to the truckers. No court order will be necessary to strip people of their property.
The Canadian government is also cracking down on the use of cryptocurrency.
The Canadian Civil Liberties Association condemned Trudeau’s declaration, warning that it “threatens our democracy and our civil liberties.”
The trucker protest is exposing the Canadian media elite’s contempt — right down to perverting the English language. A Toronto Globe and Mail article asserted that “freedom” has become a “code for white-identity politics and the far-right’s weapon of choice in the culture wars” and lamented that politicians “have used the call for ‘freedom’ to promote bigoted, racist and anti-democratic ideas.”
CBC Radio posted an article that struggled to explain “Why the word ‘freedom’ is such a useful rallying cry for protesters.” Naturally, the government radio network tapped an “expert” from the Canadian Anti-Hate Network who asserted that the protesters’ “calls for freedom renders the word meaningless.” Canadian cartoonist Michael de Adder, whose work is featured in the Washington Post, portrayed the trucker convoy as “fascism” incarnate.
Of course, Trudeau is not opposed to all protests: He recently boasted of his support for Black Lives Matter. Though he invoked martial law to respond to truckers honking horns, Trudeau had no problem with BLM protests that spun out of control into looting, arson and shootings. In Seattle, rioters allegedly sought to trap cops inside a police building they had set on fire; protesters also set up an “autonomous zone” that became the site of numerous murders. GoFundMe still allows you to donate to that group.
Trudeau claims that his crackdown on truckers is “about restoring confidence in our institutions.” But truckers have already gloriously succeeded in demonstrating the tyrannical nature of Trudeau’s regime. As Canadian columnist Andrew Lawton quipped Tuesday, “If you have to tell people you’re not trampling on their civil liberties, you’re trampling on their civil liberties.”
James Bovard is the author of 10 books and a member of the USA Today Board of Contributors.