Jane Stannus

Trudeau’s totalitarian turn

The Canadian PM is desperate for his own 6 January moment


It was the hot tub that did it. Photos of Canadian convoy supporters relaxing in a hot tub on a downtown Ottawa street last weekend were splashed all over the news. Now Justin Trudeau is mad and he’s gone and invoked war measures, known as the Emergencies Act. He wants that hot tub off the streets, pronto, and he needs wartime powers to get it done. Civil liberties remain ‘temporarily’ suspended… just for two weeks, while we flatten the protesters!

On announcing the ‘state of emergency’, (state of emergency piled upon pre-existing state of emergency), Trudeau’s government immediately declared that banks are allowed to freeze personal and business accounts on the mere suspicion of involvement with the protest, without obtaining a court order. They cannot be sued for such actions. Police, intelligence agencies and banks are authorised to share ‘relevant information’. Banks are now required to report financial relationships of persons involved in the protests to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.

The Act also allows the government to force businesses (such as tow trucks) to provide services against their will, to ban public assembly and travel, to forbid the use of a specific property, and to secure specific areas. Its implementation was opposed by four provincial premiers.

Judging by his behaviour, Trudeau has been hoping for some kind of violence ever since the truckers’ movement started. He needed something, anything that could serve as a Canadian 6 January moment so as to arrogate even more dictatorial powers than Canada’s existing state of emergency allowed. But despite constant provocation, truckers gave him nothing to work with. Even the efforts of Canada’s finest state-subsidised creative writers (the mainstream media) couldn’t spin this thing — in all its bouncy-castle, dance-party, hot-tubbified glory — into a believable insurrection.

The message is plain: participation in normal life is a privilege, not a default

Yes, there were and are border blockades — but peaceful ones (the most significant blockade to date, at Ambassador Bridge between Ontario and Michigan, was resolved before Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act).

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