Rex Murphy: Invoking the Emergencies Act a Desperate Attempt to Delegitimize the Truckers
I wonder. If you go to the bank now to make a deposit or, for the few who are not broke after the last two years, take some money out, do you have to phone Chrystia Freeland first? Or will emailing a copy of the transaction to one of her aides do the job?
After this week’s clown show—I refer, of course, to General Trudeau’s introduction of the Emergencies Act—that is no longer a ridiculous question. Among the tide of follies we have been hearing from our 31 percent minority Liberal government is—I’m paraphrasing, but only slightly—that “foreign monies,” particularly American monies, being donated to the Canadian truckers protest is driving a movement for the “overthrow” of the government.
And this was not just some minor concern, but an immediate threat to the stability of our nation and its very rule. So now the banks are under orders, and must be on the watch, for suspicious accounts. After all if $25 shows up from some farmer in Arkansas in support of a peaceful protest by honest, blue-collar workers, that could tip our “peace, order and good government “ into the Rideau, and 154 years of our beautiful Confederation comes to a halt.
Our minister of public safety has been pouring extra sugar on his Snap, Crackle, and Pop. Here’s his stern and feverish declaration on the protest: “[There is a] very small, organized group driven by an ideology to overthrow the government through whatever means they may wish to use.”
Has he even talked with the drivers who came across this wide country in the deep of mid-winter? Does he ever hear what he himself is saying? Better still, did he watch the widely shared video of the protesters in Coutts when they ended their demonstration, with protesters and police hugging each other?
Does that look like a mob of anti-Canadian anarchists, or Leninists, or Trotskyites getting ready to throw our constitutional democracy to the four winds? The police and the truckers are in a file, and they are exchanging hugs, dammit.
Hugs!!! The forces of order, the police, and the protesters, Canadian citizens, are in genuine, physical embrace. They shake hands. There are smiles. Everyone’s singing the national anthem.
Can this in any way whatsoever accord with the hallucinatory, panicky, description by the federal minister of public safety and his wild assertions about a “very small group” about to “overthrow the government by whatever means they may wish to use?” Hugs? Do they intend to “hug” the government out of power? Or will they instead, miscreants all of them, plan to “handshake” their way into power?
The folly which reaches all the way to full idiocy embodied in the statements of our Liberal government’s leadership in their frantic, desperate effort to delegitimize the truckers is, truly and not rhetorically, beyond any I have ever seen.
Thanks to the Ottawa cowards—who had neither the nerve nor the grace to even talk to the truckers, or to even offer them a small show of respect—a situation that could have, in my opinion, been easily defused and reconciliation found has turned into something else altogether.
On one side, and one side only—the Trudeau government’s—it has been supercharged by the introduction of the most extreme legislation that exists: Legislation that might find due cause in an invasion, some vile terrorist attack, or a tragic natural calamity, has been hauled out by a stubborn, prideful government to use its vast powers to silence a civil protest.
If I believed that thought was possible in Ottawa I would ask, “What were they thinking?” Of course they do not think in this government; mainly they poll or spin.
And if the line is that Canada’s government was about to be “overthrown” by a set of long-haul truckers—among the most amiable people you have ever met, and I have met with many of them—then either their polling is fabulous (in its root sense) or their spinning has made them giddy beyond repair.
As a consequence, among many consequences, Canada is now being laughed at around the world. As various mandates and COVID restrictions are tumbling like Humpty Dumpty during an earthquake, our woke leader hauls out the Big Bertha of Canadian law.
There is more than an element of disdain in the folly of this bunch. And more than a touch of “how come these lower class types” think they have a right to come and park near where we grab our lattes, or where we meet in huddles at a favourite high-class steak-house to determine their futures? Most of them are actually, can you imagine it, “not from Ontario?”
Just as the Emergencies Act is the son of the War Measures Act, so is it not consoling that the prime minister who invoked the former is the son of the prime minister who invoked the latter.
For literature students, this is what William Blake meant by “fearful symmetry.” For Canadians in 2022, it’s just “fearful.”