In justifying his invocation of the Emergencies Act and turning Canada into a police state, Justin Trudeau falsely claimed that the Freedom Convoy was “not a peaceful protest” and asserted that “the blockades are harming our economy and endangering public safety.” Unsurprisingly, however, Trudeau’s outrage was selective: on Thursday, Canada suffered a genuine terror attack that was not a peaceful protest and that undeniably hurt the Canadian economy and endangered public safety, yet Trudeau didn’t say a word. The terrorists in question were Leftists, so they got a pass.
The UK’s Daily Mail reported Thursday that “ax-wielding eco-terrorists attacked a British Columbia gas pipeline Thursday, shooting flare guns at frightened workers and causing millions in damage…About 20 attackers, wearing camouflage and masks, surrounded Costal [sic] Gaslink [sic] workers in the early morning hours of February 17 in what the company called a ‘highly planned and dangerous unprovoked assault.’”
Reportedly, only one person was hurt, but that was sheer serendipity. Coastal GasLink added: “In one of the most concerning acts, an attempt was made to set a vehicle on fire while workers were inside. The attackers also wielded axes, swinging them at vehicles and through a truck’s window. Flare guns were also fired at workers. Workers fled the site for their own safety and remain shaken by this violent incident.”
Photos of the attack showed “smashed windows and overturned heavy earth-moving equipment. Trees were downed to block roads and a gaping hole was hacked into the side of a mobile office trailer.” Even worse, “smoke bombs and torches were thrown at police as they tried to make their way past fires set in the road way.” One police officer was injured.
The pipeline is controversial because it runs through the territory of the Wet’suwet’en people, “who never ceded the land to the Canadian government.” Chief Madeek of the Wet’suwet’en explained: “Our people never ever surrendered or ceded any portion of this territory. We are the rightful titleholders of the territory, we are the caretakers of this land and that’s what we are going to do, take care of this land.”
Despite the fact that doing so could land them in hot water with the woke crowd, Canadian officials were quick to condemn the incident, albeit in decidedly tepid language. Canadian Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne declared: “This is truly disturbing. Violence and illegal acts are not the way forward on any matter.” RCMP Chief Superintendent Warren Brown said: “This was a calculated and organized violent attack that left its victims shaken and a multimillion dollar path of destruction.”
Justin Trudeau, however, said nothing. He did not point out that the attack on the Coastal GasLink workers was “not a peaceful protest.” He did not note that attacking the pipeline hurt the Canadian economy and that the ecoterrorists’ violent actions endangered public safety. He did not invoke the Emergencies Act in connection with this attack or announce that the attackers’ bank accounts would be seized. He did say: “It’s high time that these illegal and dangerous activities stop. They are a threat to our economy and our relationship with trading partners. They are a threat to public safety.” But he was, of course, referring to the Freedom Convoy, not to the Coastal GasLink attack.
The contrast between his response to the Freedom Convoy and the Coastal GasLink attack makes it clear: Justin Trudeau is not acting in the interests of Canadians. He is not trying to end political violence and protect the Canadian economy. Rather, he is acting in the interests of Justin Trudeau and cracking down hard on a peaceful protest in order to stigmatize opposition to his authoritarian policies as terrorism and to silence his effective political opponents accordingly. (His ineffective political opponents, such as the RINOs-to-the-North of the Conservative Party, can carry as ineffectually as usual.)
As David Solway noted, “Canada has been transformed into a federal caricature and gives every indication of remaining so for the indefinite future. Its leaders are unaccountable and depraved and the majority of the population, to quote Aristotle, ‘are not capable of sufficient rational appreciation of political ends.’ The demagogues in power have won the day and most of the electorate approves.” Yes. Trudeau’s government should already have fallen because of his invocation of the Emergencies Act; failing that, it should have fallen over his inconsistency regarding protests by conservatives and protests by Leftists. Instead, he will likely remain in power and consolidate his police state. What happened in Venezuela a few years ago is now happening in our backyard.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of 23 books including many bestsellers, such as The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades), The Truth About Muhammad and The History of Jihad. His latest book is The Critical Qur’an. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.