The American Spectator: "Trudeau Is Now an Authoritarian"
With his declaration of the Emergency Powers Act, "The liberties guaranteed by the Canadian Constitution are now subject to his veto."
Most folks reading this will be aware that, for several weeks, Canadians – led by truckers, but including farmers, cowboys, and other primarily working-class, ordinary people, of all ages and ethnicities, including black, Asian, and First Nations people (the more accurate term Canadians use for the indigenous peoples we here in the U.S. call either Indians or, with more political correctness, Native Americans) – have been engaged in incredibly peaceful protests in the capital city of Ottawa, Ontario, and elsewhere throughout Canada against covid mandates (vaccines, in particular, and masking)… a struggle which has expanded to including a more generalized, if not always precisely articulated, desire for freedom from government overreach.
So how has the government of Canada, led by Justin Trudeau… excuse me, Trudeau, the entitled scion of a Canadian political family and poster-boy for Leftists and globalists worldwide, responded? By invoking the Canadian Emergencies Act. As explained on the website of the Department of Justice Canada,
The Emergencies Act, which became law in 1988, is a federal law that can be used by the federal government in the event of a national emergency.
The Act contains a specific definition of “national emergency” that makes clear how serious a situation needs to be before the Act can be relied upon. A national emergency is an urgent, temporary and critical situation that seriously endangers the health and safety of Canadians or that seriously threatens the ability of the Government of Canada to preserve the sovereignty, security and territorial integrity of Canada. It must be a situation that cannot be effectively dealt with by the provinces and territories, or by any other law of Canada.
Many, many people, both in and outside Canada, including legal experts and members of the Canadian Parliament, have publicly stated that the protests in Ottawa and elsewhere have in no way risen to the standard necessary to warrant the imposition of the Act, which has never before been used (granted that it’s only a little over 30 years old). That includes Alberta premier Jason Kenney, who has described the Emergencies Act as an “unnecessary and disproportionate measure that can violate civil liberties, invades provincial jurisdiction, and creates a very dangerous precedent for the future.”
And even people like Joe Oliver, former minister of finance and minister of natural resources in the government of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper – a man who doesn’t sound particularly supportive of the protesters themselves – writing in The Epoch Times, both points out the disproportionate nature of Trudeau’s action, and further notes that
Suspending civil liberties can create a precedent, especially when the bar is set so low. If an emergency can be invoked for a peaceful protest that turned into a peaceful occupation but could have been dealt with through normal police action, it risks putting a chill on assembly and free speech.
That this seems to be a matter of blissful unconcern to Trudeau and his administration should be a rude wake-up call not only to Canadians, but to people living in “liberal democracies” everywhere, both as to the hypocrisy and duplicity of Leftist claims to be for “the people,” and also of the narrow thread upon which our rights and freedoms hang. Ronald Reagan said it best, perhaps. In his iconic “Freedom Speech” (also known as “A Time for Choosing”), delivered on October 27th of 1964 – long before he became President, and almost a year before I was born – he stated,
“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”
And the same, of course, could be said for Canada, and the rest of what was once non-ironically known as “the Free World.” Canada’s path to freedom was different from ours, of course. Founded by United Empire Loyalists and grounded in the concept, not of being “endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights,” but in the more pragmatic concerns of “peace, order, and good government,” they have always sat a bit more lightly to freedom and independence than have we here to the South.
And although I am “the Anglophilic Anglican,” and although I love Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, with a passion, and respect many other members of the Royal Family, the fact is that I am glad, and feel blessed, to be living in the United States, and for the system of government – grounded in personal freedom – our Founders and the Framers of our Constitution gave us. And seeing so many Commonwealth Realms, like Canada and Australia, slipping in an autocratic direction makes me even gladder. As well as all the more angry and frustrated that so many of our own people have spent so many years trying to chip away at those rights and freedoms!
In the last week in Canada, we have seen peaceful Canadian citizens engaged in peaceful protests and peaceful acts of civil disobedience tear-gassed, shot with “rubber” bullets, hit with batons, and – in some ways, even more chillingly – seen their bank accounts frozen, even, reportedly, insurance cancelled. There have been threats made that their pets and even their children might be taken from them. And the Prime Minister of Canada has accused ordinary working-class Canadian people of being “very often misogynistic, racist, women-haters, science-deniers, the fringe” – and even Nazis. It is, frankly, disgusting and appalling.
Overreaching governments often respond by claiming that their unique knowledge and capabilities are sufficient justification for their actions. They seek not only ratification of their actions from those whose powers they have taken, but to establish a precedent — the constitution will no longer bind them from any exercise of power it deems appropriate and necessary.
The result of this is clear. The liberties guaranteed by a constitution are now subject to the government’s veto. Effectively, the subjects (no longer citizens) now have only such rights as the government chooses to allow them. This means that government is no longer by the consent of the governed. To the contrary: individual rights are by the consent of a government answerable only to its own conception of its power.
This unquestionably describes Trudeau and what he has done in Canada, and it also describes what far too many Democrats and their fellow-travelers on the Left would like to see happen here. But as this essay concludes, “There are a lot of Canadians who will now have their say. A fresh wind is blowing from the north and it is reminding people all over the world of just how precious liberty is. The people will have their say and it can’t come too soon.”
And that is the encouraging part of all of this.
“A fresh wind is blowing from the north... The people will have their say and it can’t come too soon.” Amen to that!