Today, I was in the Federal Court building in Toronto, where I, along with Rebel News, am suing Steven Guilbeault, the former heritage minister who is now Justin Trudeau's environment minister. As a cabinet minister, Guilbeault has dozens of staff running his government Twitter account.
Thing is, that's a public service. It's a way for citizens and taxpayers like me to get information, especially journalists. But he's blocked me, and he's presumably blocked other people on his enemies list for no reason other than we're on his enemies list.
But this isn't his personal account — it's a government account paid for by taxpayers that provides a service. And you might think it's a trivial service, but I think there's a very important point here.
If Steven Guilbeault and the Liberal government can have an enemies list through which they block people they don't like from getting government services, where does it end? What started as me being blocked on Twitter could lead to blocking me from contacting the government for any sort of help, block me from getting, I don't know, the Canada Pension Plan when I retire.
But we've already seen this.
Trudeau implemented a bizarre policy a few years ago where you couldn't get access to summer student job grants unless you swore a statement that you agreed with Trudeau on contentious social issues that had nothing to do with summer jobs grants. We've seen this attempt to weaponize and politicize public service by the way, Trudeau is not the first person to do this.
Two generations ago there was a premier of Quebec named Maurice Duplessis, and he hated the Jehovah's Witnesses. I won't get into his reasons why — that's a long story — he just did. And he was always arresting Jehovah's Witnesses.
But there was this one restaurant owner who kept giving bail money to the Jehovah's Witnesses. His name was Ron Carelli, and Duplessis, he had this restaurant owner so badly. He saw him as foiling his plans.
So to get even with Carelli, the former premier said I'm going to stop him from getting a liquor licence for his restaurant. I'm going to ban this restaurant and basically put it out of business. NOT because he's done anything wrong as a restaurateur, but because I'm the premier and he's on my enemies list.
Well, this went all the way up to the Supreme Court of Canada.
They said no, Canada is not a banana republic. You can't ban people from getting a liquor permit or a driver's licence just because you hate them. You would think Trudeau and Guilbeault, being from Quebec, would know this. But instead of a cautionary tale, they must have thought: no, that's the way to do it.
That's what's at stake in the hearing today. Steven Guilbeault and Justin Trudeau think they should be able to turn off the taps or any government service available to you if they don't like you.
But that's not how it is in a free democracy.
I should tell you that in the courtroom are four grown-up lawyers and three article students, sort of junior lawyers, all on government time. There are literally seven people being paid by the government fighting to uphold this block of me on Twitter. The government loves censorship. This is an incredibly important fight for them.
And what does that tell you? It tells you that it should be an incredibly important fight for us. If you want to learn more about this, if you want to see our lawsuit or if you want to chip in to help our two lawyers fight against their seven, go to TwitterLawsuit.ca.