GUEST HOST: David Menzies
Call me a radical, call me outrageous, call me a loose cannon… but I always thought a birthday party should be a celebratory occasion, that it should be, you know, fun and festive.
Last Friday was Canada’s 155th birthday. And I’m certain millions of Canadians found ways to celebrate the occasion with family members and friends, soaking up that first of July weather, punctuated with barbecuing and beer drinking. Ah, the sweet, sweet summertime — it’s always too short a season in Canada, is it not?
But if you happened to show up on Parliament Hill last weekend, which is typically home to Canada’s biggest birthday bash, well, fun and frivolity and festivity were replaced by the hallmarks of a police state.
I do not exaggerate.
Dominion Day weekend was reminiscent of the Rolling Thunder event in late April. That’s when hundreds of bikers planned to ride around the National War Memorial to pay tribute to our veterans. This was not a protest nor a demonstration — it was all about bikers, many of them veterans themselves, showing respect to those individuals that Justin Trudeau says are asking for too much.
But Ottawa went into full shutdown mode in April, reducing Rolling Thunder to a tiny trickle.
Most of the bikers never got into downtown Ottawa with their hogs. In fact, if you were riding a Harley-Davidson that weekend and displaying — shockers! — a Canadian flag, chances are you were profiled by law enforcement and essentially told that undesirables weren’t welcome in Ottawa so kindly get out of Dodge if you know what’s good for you.
Indeed, more than 1,000 additional law enforcement personnel from other police services in Ontario were called into Ottawa to patrol the streets and set up checkpoints and write tickets. There was no way Justin Trudeau was going to allow Freedom Convoy 2.0 to happen — even though that was never the intention of the bikers in the first place.
Everyone knew that to be true, including the prime minister, so the whole exercise was basically law enforcement street theatre. It was the Justin Trudeau Liberals demonstrating to the people of Ottawa that they were going to do everything possible to protect the citizens… even though there was no clear and present danger to begin with. Then again, to paraphrase a Tina Turner song, “What’s truth got to do with it?”
And so it was that Dominion Day weekend in Ottawa was déjà vu all over again in terms of the capital city morphing into a police state.
Those temporary no-stopping signs popped up all over downtown. Hey, you couldn’t even idle your car upon a legal parking spot unless you wanted to have your vehicle hauled away to some impound lot — and many were. The no sopping signage stated that a so-called “special event” was taking place in Ottawa.
Um, “special event”?
Like what — was an outdoor rock concert or a circus or something like that coming to town? Oh, goodness gracious no.
The “special event” is what the Liberals refer to as the suspension of the rights and freedoms and liberties Canadians used to freely embrace and enjoy. Be it freedom of expression or freedom of religion, the members of the Ottawa Police Service and Ottawa Bylaw Enforcement were on constant patrol last weekend, ticket books — and handcuffs — at the ready.
Oh, isn’t that special? No, it was grotesque, actually.
Canadian families were showing up to Parliament Hill to celebrate Canada’s birthday. And they were being demonized as either a basketful of deplorables — thanks, Hillary! — or a bunch of yahoos — thanks Premier Ford! — and gee, whatever happened to you, Doug?
The fireworks display was moved to another area and the traditional flyover by the Snowbirds was cancelled. Even ice cream trucks were told to move along or else get fined. Ottawa was truly a fun-free zone during Canada’s birthday.
And yet, no one was coming to Parliament Hill wearing trouble on their shirtsleeves.
Actually, folks, I’m getting ahead of myself. Getting onto Parliament Hill was no sure thing last weekend.
You see, the Parliamentary Protective Service set up airport-style security at the entrance to the Hill, complete with metal detectors and pat-downs. It was surreal.
And get this: when my cameraman Mauricio and I arrived in Ottawa on June 29, we were actually denied entry to Parliament Hill and even suspended from the Hill for the rest of the day because we would not surrender our devices such as cameras and cellphones.
You see, the gatekeepers wanted to go through our photo and video libraries. They wanted to permanently erase content that they did not approve of. Were we in Canada in 2022… or East Berlin circa 1946?
Needless to say, we did not comply and thus, were promptly suspended. So much for freedom of the press.
But get this: just like the overwhelming presence of law enforcement, the security checkpoints were also about putting on a show as opposed to doing something tangible. You see, with my “suspension” from the Hill over, I returned to Parliament Hill on Sunday, July 3 to see if I would be allowed to stand on the grassy incline. I turned off my recording devices, got in line, got patted down, got scanned, and had my bag thoroughly searched.
And then, once past Checkpoint Charlie, I began to film my report. And that’s when a most amazing thing occurred: the security checkpoint I had just passed through was disassembled and packed away in a van!
So, in other words, had I visited Parliament Hill just five minutes later, I wouldn’t have needed to go through security. I guess criminals and terrorists only attempt to get on the Hill before 5 p.m. as opposed to after 5 p.m.
Does this make any sense to anyone? Of course not: it was completely nonsensical.
What’s more, this too, was so much security street theatre orchestrated by the Trudeau Liberals in order to pretend they were protecting Canadians from a threat… that did not exist! The freedom convoy may be long gone from Ottawa, but the demonization and vilification continues…
It was enough to make one protest all of these indignities… except that Parliament Hill was inexplicably a protest-free zone during Dominion Day weekend.
GUEST: The boss man himself, Ezra Levant (@EzraLevant on Twitter if you're not already following).
FINALLY: Your letters!