Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau turned himself into a tyrant last week when he invoked Canada’s Emergencies Act to forcibly end the weeks-long Canadian truckers’ protests. The truckers were protesting the Canadian government’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate and other government policies they considered overly restrictive of their freedoms. Their protests have been overwhelmingly peaceful.
After first maligning the protesters as a far-right “fringe” group and otherwise trying to ignore them, Trudeau finally decided that he had enough. He could not tolerate the television and internet spectacles of dissatisfied Canadian citizens peacefully seeking the end of their government’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate. So, on the pretext of declaring the protests a threat to the national public order, Trudeau arrogated to himself dictatorial powers by resorting to Canada’s Emergencies Act. No other Canadian leader had ever invoked the Emergencies Act since its passage in 1988. Trudeau has followed in the footsteps of the Chinese Communist regime and Fidel Castro, for whom he has expressed admiration in the past.
Just in the last few days, Canadian police officers, wearing riot gear and backed up by armored vehicles, were dispatched to force the protesters assembled peacefully in front of the Parliament building in Canada’s capital city of Ottawa to disperse and leave the area. The police have reportedly succeeded in accomplishing this mission with the use of overly aggressive tactics and are intent on snuffing out any remnants of the protests altogether.
Emergency Measures Regulations were registered on February 15th to implement Trudeau’s decision to invoke the Emergencies Act. The regulations prohibit persons from participating “in a public assembly that may reasonably be expected to lead to a breach of the peace,” among other extreme measures.
“A foreign national must not enter Canada with the intent to participate in or facilitate such an assembly,” the regulations stipulate, with a couple of exceptions that include immigrants seeking refugee status. In other words, would-be refugees from other lands are given more rights to assemble under Trudeau’s Emergency Measures Regulations than are Canadian citizens.
Rampant acts of violence and harassment against Canadian Jews last May inflicted by pro-Palestinian mobs didn’t concern Trudeau enough to invoke the Emergencies Act. It took overwhelmingly peaceful truckers’ protests against Trudeau himself to spur him to take such an extreme step.
Over this past weekend, the police have arrested well over 100 people, including an independent journalist who was trying to film the police action. The police seized trucks, smashed truck windows, drew guns on drivers in some vehicles, and threatened to take protesters’ children away from them. Some people were knocked over or trampled upon, including an elderly lady with a walker, as police on horseback charged forward toward the demonstrators.
“It’s horrific. A dark moment in Canadian history,” said Dagny Pawlak, a spokeswoman for the truckers, on February 19th. “Never in my life would I have believed anyone if they told me that our own P.M. would refuse dialogue and choose violence against peaceful protesters instead.”
Far from being a member of the alt-right – Trudeau’s favorite bogeyman – Dagny Pawlak was once a field organizer for Canada’s Liberal Party and also worked in the Obama campaign.
The Canadian police have even been going to the homes of people who dared to post on Facebook in support of the truckers’ Freedom Convoy. Under Trudeau’s martial law, his regime is blatantly violating the fundamental rights of its citizens to express their opinions without government interference.
Trudeau’s regime has also ordered private banks to freeze the accounts of protesting Canadian citizens without any court order. Trudeau has thrown the fundamental principle of due process that characterizes a free society out the window.
Trudeau further disgraced himself when he accused a Jewish Conservative Party MP, who had complained about his decision to invoke the Emergencies Act, of being a member of a political party that “can stand with people who wave swastikas…” The legislator who was the target of Trudeau’s wrath is a descendant of Holocaust survivors. Trudeau was reprimanded by the House Speaker for using “inflammatory” language during a debate in Parliament.
And yet Justin Trudeau likes to lecture other countries about the importance of fundamental human rights that he is blatantly infringing upon when it comes to Canadian citizens fed up with his policies.
For example, back in December of 2020, thousands of Indian farmers protested at the borders of Delhi against three farm laws they regarded as anti-farmer. The protesting farmers were allegedly met with “repressive measures” by the Indian government. Trudeau was the first foreign government leader claiming to stand up for the Indian farmer protesters. “Let me remind you, Canada will always be there to defend the right of peaceful protest,” Trudeau said sanctimoniously back then. “We believe in the importance of dialogue and that’s why we’ve reached out through multiple means directly to the Indian authorities to highlight our concerns.”
Needless to say, the Indian authorities were not happy. India’s external affairs ministry summoned Canada’s envoy Nadir Patel to express their displeasure with Trudeau’s comments, which the ministry considered an “unacceptable interference in our internal affairs.”
Trudeau’s boast back in the days of the Indian farmers’ protest that Canada “will always be there to defend the right of peaceful protest” is laughable considering what he is doing today to Canadian citizens. Under the Emergencies Act that Trudeau invoked against the trucker protesters, Canadian citizens could face up to five years in prison for exercising that very same right.
Trudeau expressed his support for the Black Lives Matter protests that occurred across the United States in 2020. On June 5, 2020, Trudeau took a knee in front of Canada’s Parliament in solidarity with the protesters. “Far too many Canadians feel fear and anxiety at the sight of law enforcement officers,” he said earlier that day. What a cruel irony it is that Trudeau himself is now giving Canadians a real reason to feel fear and anxiety at the sight of their own law enforcement officers.
Trudeau has continued to voice support for the Black Lives Matter protests in the United States despite the widespread violence and destruction to which they gave rise. That’s because in the case of the Black Lives Matter movement Trudeau, in his own words, “supported the people expressing their concerns and their issues.” But he is cracking down on the Canadian truckers who oppose his policies. Instead of meeting with the protesters to discuss their grievances in good faith, he falsely accused them of expressing “hateful rhetoric, violence towards fellow citizens, and a disrespect, not just of science.”
In other words, a violence-prone movement in the United States earns Trudeau’s support because he agrees with its demands. But Trudeau is repressing an overwhelmingly non-violent movement in his own country because the hypocritical autocrat rejects their demands, which he equates with “hateful rhetoric, violence towards fellow citizens, and a disrespect, not just of science.”
The progressive Left has been silent in the face of Trudeau’s crackdown. The Biden State Department, which regularly speaks out about violations of human rights, has also been silent in this case. President Biden reportedly had egged Trudeau on to take stronger actions against the truckers, leading to Trudeau’s invoking of the Emergencies Act. Many in the mainstream media, who supported the Black Lives Matter protests, have sharply criticized the Canadian trucker protests and have praised Trudeau for going after the protesters.
The United Nations bureaucracy is essentially looking the other way. Instead of applying the same critical standard against any government trying to repress peaceful protesters and infringing on their human rights, we are seeing a double standard play out.
The UN Secretary General spokesman’s office is tip toeing around Trudeau’s autocratic conduct. There has been radio silence from the UN’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
In December of 2020, Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for the UN Secretary General, was asked about the farmers’ protest in India that had precipitated Trudeau’s self-righteous expression of support for those protesters at the time.
“As to the question of India, what I would say to you is what I’ve said to others when raising these issues is that people have a right to demonstrate peacefully,” Mr. Dujarric said, “and authorities need to let them do so.” He added, “We want to see people have a voice in their lives.”
However, the Secretary General’s spokesman sang a different tune when I asked him on February 16th for comment regarding Trudeau’s crackdown on the Canadian trucker protesters. “I have no particular comment,” he replied. “I say that it’s also every Government’s responsibility to ensure the safety of their citizens through accepted legal framework. And that people also have a right to demonstrate peacefully.” Mr. Dujarric did not add, as he had done with regard to the Indian farmer protesters in December 2020, that government authorities need to let people exercise the right to demonstrate peacefully.
Prime Minister Trudeau is taking Canada down a very dangerous path. His unprecedented invoking of emergency powers to quell the truckers’ overwhelmingly peaceful protests is clearly destroying what is supposed to be a viable democracy. The leftist totalitarians in the United States are taking notice.