As senators were debating the merits of implementing the Emergencies Act on Wednesday, we tried to deliver a petition of more than 80,000 names to the Senate of Canada. The goal was to urge the senators not to give royal assent to the new and not-so-improved War Measures Act.
Although this is a moot point now – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau realized the Senate was not going to rubberstamp his quest for temporary totalitarianism and did a stunning about-face re: the need for the Emergencies Act – we still wanted to make sure senators would be aware that many Canadians were upset and downright disgusted that the PM was requesting a fix for a problem that did not exist in the first place.
But a not-so-funny thing happened while en route to the senate: law enforcement prevented us from delivering the 900-plus pages of signatures. To be fair, one police officer initially waved us past the checkpoint. But his superior officer immediately trumped that approval, saying the Senate – which is part of the cradle of our democracy – is essentially a no-go zone these days.
He contacted his superior, and he, too, told us we were persona non grata.
But why? We weren’t demonstrators looking to disrupt anything but rather journalists attempting to make a delivery.
What’s more, as we surveyed the uber-quiet streets of Ottawa, we asked the RCMP officer denying us access to the senate where, pray tell, the “emergency” existed given that all the big rigs and the demonstrators were long gone? Alas, no comment was the response.
Say, whatever happened to “sunny ways”?