If you don't see the peril here, well, all I can say is enjoy Prime Minister Pierre and all of the inevitable drama that the coming populist wave will entail.
Great opinion piece, Jen. It is somewhat unfortunate that at the same time this protest occurs, public health officials and valid scientific research is showing that for kids mask mandates may not be needed, and that through vaccines (3 doses) and new oral treatments COVID-19 can be managed. It is a fact that restrictions are bound to slowly but surely be rolled back across Canada.
The other disappointment is that while some in the protest do have extremely racist and problematic views (and they should be denounced and prosecuted), the Prime Minister should be the leader of all Canadians, regardless of vaccine status or views on the pandemic or who they voted for or anything else. How hard it is to say "I will meet with you if you agree to leave peacefully after we meet and establish an acceptable communication channel moving forward".? Am I totally wrong here? Probably.
BTW - You, Matt and confreres are doing a great job in The Line. Keep up the good work including the civilized discourse in your writing; unfortunately that can’t be guaranteed in the comments section 🧐
I enjoyed reading this article. Hopefully, more Liberal MP's will join Joel Lightboun. Jen made an excellent point that the Liberals feel that they can govern the country with 31% of the popular vote because it is so efficient that it gives them close to 160 seats in Parliament. It's not a good long term strategy because if there is a recession in the next few years, the Liberals could end up losing the next election if their popular vote drops by 3-5%.
Carney today in the G&M "In our capital city, many people have been terrorized for more than a week. Women fleeing abuse have been harassed. Many elderly have been too afraid to venture outside their homes for groceries. Families have been deprived of sleep for days on end by the constant barrage of 100 decibel noise. Control over the city’s downtown core, which includes the Parliamentary Precinct, was ceded by the police and taken over by what the chair of the Police Services Board describes as an “insurrection.”
Canadians can be forgiven if they thought this would never happen in Ottawa."
The sky is falling, the sky is falling, the sky is falling! Maybe the protestors should camp out in the areas paid for by the hundreds of millions in tax dollars to the NCC that Ottawans enjoy.
It seems to me that the division is between the "elites" and the rest of us. Sure those in the private sector who can work from home on their computers and those in the public service and academia have trouble understanding why the people who had to work through the pandemic are fed up. The call of the elites: "Just deliver my groceries and get vaxxed."
I have 3 doses so the unvaccinated don't send me into hiding. I wouldn't care if they sat at the next table in the restaurant. I would let them drive trucks with stuff I need. If they are taking up more than their fair share of ICU beds, ask your government how many new ICU beds were opened in the two years of this pandemic.
If Trudeau says he is following the science once more I think I'll puke. If it is true why don't we see the science? Why does the science change with the polls?
I simply can’t see that Prime Minister Pierre would be worse than what we have now. I’ve seem many, many governments come and go, including Trudeau senior’s, and I can honestly say that the current one is the most inept and damaging one yet. The lack of talent is breathtaking.
The crucial differences are that the BLM march was over in a day, the rail blockades only inconvenienced money, not people (the same reason Ottawa is getting 4X the air-time as the border blockades), and the Occupations didn't have air-horns going 7x24.
A word on "critical" infrastructure: if there's any other way to move the same cargo, it isn't, it's merely a *large* financial inconvenience to take the alternative. BC was cut off from the rest of the country for weeks by Mom Nature; nobody died, so it wasn't "vital" infrastructure. It was "critical" to some businesses, but not society itself, not over a mere week.
The air-horns are the thing. I've never forgotten a great point in Maclean's story on the Incel Truck Mass Murderer, and how proud I was of Constable Ken Lam, who declined to give him a suicide-by-cop; after the guy had made several false draws of a nonexistent gun, Lam reached into his cop car, and turned off the siren. Maclean's noted "with the effect of a crying baby falling silent in a room full of family tension". Lam talked him down. Air-horns, 7x24, would make absolutely anybody start grumbling ugly talk about calling in the Army. I'd be calling in air-strikes by day 3, myself.
Stripped of the air-horn-driven emotions, Canadians would mostly shrug at this. Let 'em yap, and give them nothing, is how it goes for everybody else. The BLM marchers got zero police reform; Occupy got no financial reforms; the Wet'suwet'en got nothing.
I have no idea why Jen would think Canadians, of all the peoples of the Earth, would be striving towards conflict, focusing on the 30% that would support air-strikes, rather than the 60% that voted for parties supporting mandates, just a few months ago. Trudeau will of course pursue the 60%, not the 30%; he will find the most-moderate solution to this mess that he can find, not the most dramatic, chest-puffing, self-aggrandizing, I-am-a-war-leader-who-alone-can-fix-it solution he could find, as Trump would. Yes, JT is a bullshitter and performative politician, but he's a Canadian one. He wants to be loved as the Good Guy, not feared as the Tough Guy.
I would point out that Tam has been wrong consistently throughout the pandemic so its not someone I would quote. However the failure of leadership at the federal level is mind bogging and the consequence is the mess in Ottawa.
Certainly it would be a disaster to send in the army, think of the countries that have used the military against their own unarmed citizens - Marcos in the Philippines, China in Tiannamen Square cpme to mind. This event requires policing on the streets, forensic accounting & investigation of the organizers. Regina & Toronto, after seeing Ottawa, have so far nipped these protests in the bud with effective policing. We need to see more of that in Coutts, AB & in Ottawa.
As for the ambitious Joel Lightbound, I think he's miffed that he did not get significant appointments in government & is setting up to cross the floor. He could be a heavy hitter in the CPC in Quebec if he joins them.
As for Trudeau causing the US to implement border vaccine requirements, this is laughable. Have those putting this about heard of Keystone XL? Do they really think Trudeau or Canada has that kind of power? This whole blame Trudeau becomes more & more ridiculous.
Thanks for the thoughtful analysis.
Good read. I think PP would make a far better PM than JT, though. Seriously, could anyone be worse than the current buffoon?
What’s this about cracking heads? I haven’t seen or heard lefties, or the media, demanding that. Cries to enforce the law in Ottawa have focussed on enforcing existing bylaws respecting noise, harassment, vandalism, and other eruptions of boorishness. Ottawa police have been so timid they will have a credibility problem for a long time to come. The convoy cowboys have done such a masterful job of enraging the public they would be doing themselves a favour by going home. And the “higher orders of government?” What of them? When the going gets tough, they demonstrate once again how crappy they really are at tackling anything that doesn’t lend itself to being turned over to a committee, or better still an expensive consultant. When all else fails, claim lack of jurisdiction. How about pursuing the Deep Throat dictum: you know, Follow the Money to its reputedly foreign sources. Meanwhile I suspect that heads will remain uncracked, as they should. But some political heads belong on pikes. Figuratively speaking, of course.
Nice try with the two-handed analysis, Jen - now come to Ottawa and see if you still find this while thing "peaceful." Or even just read and digest what partner Matt has seen. It's a very Trumpified shit show here. As for the PM meeting with the Convoy leaders. Really? an elected leader meets with people demanding the overthrow of the Government (as per MOU of "Canadian Unity" organizers. Have you read that thing, Jen?)
Canada doesn't do overt class battles, unlike what you see in the UK or Spanish speaking world. We have class cringe, paternalism, class signalling and weird class conscious health care laws (like the Canada Health Act). This all is just another battle in that war. It's a working class revolt and the upper middle class media as not going to give up an inch.
It’s about the mandate that Trudeau put in at the border on January 15th for the truckers. They had to have their vaccine passport to get across the border with their loads. If they were unvaccinated they had to quarantine for two weeks, both sides as he lobbied Biden to put one in which went into effect January 22.That would mean they would have to get someone to come and get their load to transport it where it was suppose to end up at due to quarantine. Trudeau Put this in regardless that we are in the middle of a supply crunch, it’s January and this is when we import the most produce due to our winters. Fresh produce can not sit or it rots. Trudeau put it in even though there was a shortage of drivers as well. they can drive with in Canada unvaccinated and go from Province to Province but can not enter the US. This hogtied the unvaccinated and they can no longer haul to the US to which is where the food is. If they sit for two weeks their load is no good and they end up paying for the loss. So while other countries are lifting their restrictions and passports Trudeau is putting them on truckers who through out the pandemic went regardless they had no vaccine and through out the pandemic. I will not bore you with the details of the digital facial recognition passports Trudeau is initiating and he is melding the vaccine passport with your Canada Passport. The border guard knows everything about you before your even close to him.. Many truckers have quit due to the higher costs of gas with Trudeau’s carbon rtaxes aNd the rising prices and this put the nail in the coffin for others. These are men that never leave their cab and are completely safe. So that is what started the rally and as they went along people cheered them as many had lost their jobs, did not want their children vaccinated and they were at every roadside waving and cheering. So that is when they made it about segregating those who did not want the vaccine, them being fired from their jobs, and the vaccine passports at this date when everything should be lifted. These are truckers from all across this country. The people donated 10 million and met them everywhere cheering them to stop the vaccine mandates. They are standing up for every Canadians freedom and the end to all restriction. The virus is an endemic yet Trudeau put those vaccine passports in regardless. One would think it was to anger them as there is no logical reason to do what he did at this time.
So why did JT put in the vaccine mandate at the border for truckers in the middle of a supply chain crisis, nearing the end of the pandemic, in January when Canada most needed cross border trade to feed Canadian's in the dead of winter? Why would he lobby the Biden Government to implement a mandate as well to create a cooperative border state to get those abdicating, anti- vaxing, truckers forced into injecting their vaccine. Why with out a thought of the damage to the already precarious supply chain and the near end to the pandemic? They must have done it to anger the truckers. At least that is the best or most plausible explanation for putting in such a ridiculous policy..
The trucking industry had indicated they were really short of drivers and that 80% of those remaining were already vaccinated but Trudeau implemented his mandate anyway. Those who dare to disagree with his purposeful lunacy were labelled fearmongers. The mainstream media was immediately on the scene to ensure that Canadian's knew Trudeau was protecting them from the big bad virus and those nasty fearmongering, white supremist, racists, misogynists', and the fringe minority. The deplorables.
There would be another "insurrection". Emergency powers would be needed to control these deplorables. So lets us turn off the cameras along the main streets where the deplorables all are, so as to not witness the uprising. Yes and the mainstream media was there to partake and picture those two flags, the Nazi and confederate flag. Canadians must see how racist and hateful these people truly are. The media was sure to get those pictures of those desecrating a statue with a flag and a sign, imagine that! They must be truly evil people. Alas the statue was not toppled and laying headless on the ground like in other more peaceful protests with social justice warriors. Yes these truckers were of great danger to democracy! We must denounce them for using their rights and freedoms, we cant have that! The mayor and police chief must decry these inhumane people and we must invoke emergency powers to stop them from destroying our democracy!
Yes Canada, its the Trudeau Liberal, mainstream media, drama of the Year. It should win an award at the next Oscars for their performance. I am sure Justin Trudeau will be up for best actor in starring role and they shall win picture of the year. Good god Canada, it is almost hilarious, if it was not so low and pitiful. The mainstream media will never recover from their part in this production. Never.
Trudeau is/was a populist as well. He was elected in "The Great Populist Tide" that also elected Donald Trump and Xi Jiiaping and now Canada, just like the US, is suffering because of the divisive leadership both used to inflate their own egos.
Exactly what makes Pierre Poilievre a populist? The man clearly has broad appeal and the charisma to win elections. But does that make him a populist?