Protesting lockdowns still allowed in Ottawa, unlike Toronto

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It was a case of good news/sad news at the Ottawa anti-lockdown protest on Valentine’s Day.

First, the depressing news: the turnout was not nearly as advertised.

Prior to the February 14 get-together, some boosters were saying they expected tens of thousands of demonstrators — perhaps as many as 100,000 — to make a pilgrimage to Parliament Hill. Alas, only a few hundred showed up to voice their displeasure toward various government officials who continue to lock down the economy, causing a raft of problems in their wake, ranging from massive unemployment and bankruptcies, to mental health issues and drug abuse.

However, the good news was this: to their credit, the various levels of Ottawa law enforcement allowed the protest to go on. People did indeed freely gather at Parliament Hill and they did embrace their freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, and freedom of speech. Even freedom of the press was respected, as Rebel News was allowed to cover the protest without police getting handsy.

All of which shouldn’t be newsworthy, of course. After all, freedom should be expected in a democratic country.

But as we’ve seen for several weeks now in Toronto, this has not been the case. Be it at Yonge-Dundas Square or Queen’s Park, members of the Toronto Police Service now come out in force every Saturday morning and cherry-pick those who they believe to be the ringleaders of the protest, or, in some cases, those who are simply brandishing signs or megaphones.

Apparently, such free expression is verboten in Hogtown these days, ostensibly because of the Wuhan virus protocols… yet, how odd that these same police officers tend to join in with Black Lives Matter protesters, even taking a knee in solidarity with those demonstrators. (Irony alert: given that Black Lives Matter protesters tend to be anti-cop and want police departments to be defunded, the police are, in effect, taking a knee against themselves.)

In any event, while the Parliament Hill protest was small, that was irrelevant in the final analysis. The saving grace was that this demonstration was allowed to take place without impediment and arrests. Hopefully, Toronto Mayor John Tory is taking notes regarding how authorities should act when it comes to respecting the rights and freedoms of the citizenry (although given Tory’s disgraceful track record, we highly doubt it).

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  • By Ezra Levant

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