Asked why he supported some protests but was determined to crush the trucker convoy, Justin Trudeau answered without hesitation: He supported – and even participated in – protests he agreed with, but he did not support – and vowed to crush – those with “unacceptable views,” that is, views he disagrees with.
We are now seeing how far his NDP-backed Liberal government is prepared to go to economically disenfranchise those who hold “unacceptable views.” A convoy organizer was jailed and led into court in shackles. Bank accounts were frozen, businesses were destroyed, and many working Canadians will find it impossible to earn a living in their own country.
For Canadians who don’t want to find themselves subject to frozen bank accounts, having their property seized and auctioned off, or cancelled for holding “unacceptable views,” let’s spell out what views are “acceptable” and which are “unacceptable.”
Trudeau and Chrystia Freeland gave some hints about what made the views of the working truckers so unacceptable when they used first the Emergencies Act, then every dirty trick in the book to ruin them. They referred to both the economic damage and the disruption to the daily life of Ottawa residents that the truckers were causing.
And there is no doubt that both the economic damage and the disruption were real.
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But both of those things have happened many times before as a result of legitimate protests, and the federal government has never taken Trudeau’s draconian steps before.
The Wet’suwet’en protests and railway blockade in February 2020, for example, caused more economic damage and severe disruption for many thousands of Canadians than the Freedom Protest. But the federal government didn’t implement the draconian measures they did with the truckers. In fact, Trudeau was quite sympathetic.
And the Black Lives Matter protests in the spring and summer of 2020 were far worse than that. They resulted in the deaths of between 35 and 38 people and caused billions of dollars worth of damage across North America. They also lasted for months and caused disruptions that dwarfed that caused by the truckers in Ottawa.
And yet, Trudeau did not invoke any emergency legislation or take any steps to stop those protests, riots, arson and looting. In fact, while exhorting all Canadians to stay in their homes to prevent virus spread, he actually participated in those protests. He and his Liberal Party even donated money to a BLM organization that believes in Marxism and violence and advocates the destruction of the nuclear family.
So, the “unacceptable” part does not relate to economic damage or disruption alone. Otherwise, the Wet’suwet’en protestors and BLM rioters would have been subjected to the same economic warfare that the Trudeau government inflicted on the truckers.
So, what can you do to protect yourself from being attacked by your own government?
The answer is obvious: Never disagree with the government because, by doing so, you will be expressing “unacceptable views.”
This is precisely how things work in Communist China, fascist Russia, and other authoritarian states. People with views acceptable to the government can live their lives without interference from their political masters. But cross that line, and say something they don’t want you to say, and they will make life unliveable for you.
If it sounds excessive to compare Canada under the Trudeau Liberals to such extremism, remember the truckers who set out to Ottawa a few short weeks ago. They were ordinary working Canadians who thought they had the same right to protest as enjoyed by the Indigenous and BLM protesters. None of them would have considered themselves to be radicals or revolutionaries. Although they all had their own particular grievance with the federal government, their main message was that the vaccine mandate for truckers was unnecessary, unscientific, unneeded, and had to go, which is exactly the view that most of the world is taking. Why the Trudeau government is one of the last in the world to recognize this obvious fact is anyone’s guess.
But that message was an “unacceptable view” the Trudeau government would not tolerate. But surely, when aggrieved Canadians come to Ottawa, they at least deserve to be heard by their government. Rather than going into hiding, all Trudeau needed to do was talk with the truckers to find common ground.
But Trudeau refused this simple, common-sense courtesy. Instead, he proceeded to irreparably damage our country, our reputation, our banking system, and our rapidly unravelling social fabric.
But more seriously, the rule of law has been shattered. Your political beliefs now determine where you stand with the law. “Acceptable views” are shielded from prosecution; “unacceptable views” are prosecuted without mercy.
The truckers are not our enemies. Our enemy is authoritarianism and those who want to inflict it upon us.
Brian Giesbrecht is a retired judge and senior fellow at the Frontier Centre for Public Policy.
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