Justin Trudeau has once again dodged accountability. As expected, the judge in charge of examining his use of the Emergencies Act against peaceful protesters has ruled in favour of the government, following six weeks of evidence. This law has never been used before, not even during the 9/11 attacks, wildfires, ice storms, hurricanes, or when a terrorist cell was operating in Toronto in the early 2000s. The Emergencies Act was only used against peaceful protesters, who were exercising their right to free speech.
Last February, after two years of crushing Covid restrictions, Justin Trudeau sought to bring Canada's cross-border truckers under his thumb by imposing a vaccine mandate. Despite the government's claim that only 10 percent of truckers would be affected, its own data, submitted to the Public Order Emergency Commission (POEC), headed by Justice Paul Rouleau, suggested the number was closer to 50 percent.
The truckers and their supporters started a movement of convoys and peaceful protests, which eventually landed in the nation's capital. In every single city and town, the police were vastly outnumbered by the country's working class, who never reacted with violence, even in the face of extreme police violence.
The POEC heard six weeks of testimony from law enforcement officials, who stated that they did not need extraordinary powers to contain the protests, which did not pose a national security threat. Even Justice Rouleau acknowledged that Canadian citizens have the right to peaceful protest and that the government's failure necessitated giving extraordinary powers to the police.
The Emergencies Act is about to become easier to invoke if the government adopts Rouleau's recommendations, which is concerning. Justin Trudeau has never been held accountable for his bad behaviour, ethics violations, and mistreatment of Canadians who may share a different worldview than him. The concerns are not about the past, but the future.
GUEST: Barry Cooper and Marco Navarro Genie on their new book Canada's COVID: The Story of a Pandemic Moral Panic.