CBC, Canada’s government-funded news agency, reported Monday that Trudeau planned to invoke the never-before-used Emergencies Act to give him what the news organization called “extra powers” to stop the protests that are clogging Ottawa’s downtown streets and disrupting businesses.
“We cannot and will not allow illegal and dangerous activities to continue,” Trudeau announced Monday in Ottawa, ground zero for the trucker-led protest. “These illegal blockades are hurting Canadians and they need to stop.”
In that same speech, Trudeau also said, “We are not limiting freedom of peaceful assembly. We are not preventing people from exercising their right to protest legally.”
Trudeau’s announcement was met with surprise, since the protester-clogged Ambassador Bridge had been cleared by police on Sunday to end that standoff without using sweeping federal powers to do so.
It was also met with alarm. The language in the Emergencies Act makes it clear it can only be invoked if Canadian law cannot be used to respond to a serious threat facing the nation, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association stated Tuesday.
“Governments regularly deal with difficult situations, and do so using powers granted to them by democratically elected representatives,” the group said in a statement. “Emergency legislation should not be normalized. It threatens our democracy and our civil liberties.”
On Wednesday, the Ottawa Police Service informed Canadian citizens what Trudeau’s “extra powers” means for law enforcement: Because of the Act, anyone traveling to the city to join the demonstration is breaking the law and their automobiles can be seized, a statement posted to the OPS website reads.
According to a CBC story about that Ottawa Police warning, the number of protest vehicles has shrunk from 420 a week ago to about 360 this week in the downtown area. Approximately 150 protesters are staying overnight.
Bauer: Virus 'unmasked' authoritarians
Reacting to Trudeau’s actions this week, Gary Bauer of American Values tells AFN the COVID-19 pandemic ripped away a mask from many faces in politics and the media.
“The virus ended up unmasking,” he says, “how deep the poison of authoritarianism is in the hearts and souls of governmental leaders in free nations.”
That description sounds a lot like the famous warning from conservative author David Horowitz, who grew up immersed in communist ideology from his family. "Inside every progressive," he said, "is a totalitarian screaming to get out."
Trudeau was already outed for his globalist views in 2020 when he told a United Nations forum the pandemic was providing “an opportunity for a reset” in the West.
“This is our chance,” Trudeau, the wealthy son of a former prime minister, said, “to accelerate our pre-pandemic efforts to reimagine economic systems that actually address global challenges like extreme poverty, inequality, and climate change.”
In 1970, Trudeau’s father, Pierre Trudeau, was facing a greater threat than street protesters when he invoked the War Measures Act to end a reign of terror from Quebec separatists engaged in bombings and kidnappings. Despite that string of violence, the former prime minister was criticized at the time for deploying army troops on the streets and arresting hundreds of citizens suspected of belonging to the terrorist group.
Now, a half-century later, Canadians are witnessing a Big Brother-like attack on their rights: Police officers are visiting citizens at home for praising the protests; police are confiscating fuel and food from protesters, and threatening the public with arrest if they bring more; protesters are being warned their children could be taken away by child protection services; a court froze the donated funds going to the Freedom Convoy; and the government-funded media is accusing protesters of being encouraged by “Russian actors” to protest their government.
Despite the threat of arrest, Canadians have also being filmed defying Ottawa police in a parade of people carrying gas cans to protesters.
Media contacting "Freedom Convoy" donors
This week, the 90,000-plus donors to the “Freedom Convoy” have witnessed the GiveSendGo website get hacked and their names released. They are now receiving death threats for donating and intimidating calls from media outlets.
Now that their names are public, news outlets such as The Washington Post are contacting the people on the GiveSendGo list to ask them why they donated. An email posted to Twitter shows a Post reporter contacting someone who gave $40.
The motto at The Washington Post, which it adopted during the Trump presidency, is “Democracy Dies in the Darkness.”
According to the Ottawa Citizen, restaurant owner Tammy Giuliani donated $250 to the truckers but insisted to the newspaper she now regrets doing so after her staff was threatened and the business shut down.
Even though the business owner insisted she now doesn't support the Freedom Convoy, the newspaper story states she donated to it Feb. 5, when police were describing a "dangerous" situation in downtown Ottawa. In other words, the newspaper reporter suggests, Giuliana deserves what she's getting.
According to City News, a Toronto news website, a staff member for Ontario's solicitor general was forced to step down when her name was found among the GiveSendGo donors. That person was identified as Marion Isabeau-Ringuette, who is no longer director of communications because she donated $100.
City News credited Q.P. Briefing, another news website, for tracking her down through an email address and postal code that became public.
AFN has also reported Canadian authorities this week arrested Artur Pawlowski, an outspoken church pastor, because he was scheduled to speak to "Freedom Convoy" protesters.
A YouTube video went viral late last year because it showed the angry pastor chasing police from his church and calling them "Gestapo!" as they fled. He refused to allow them to see if his congregation's size was breaking Alberta's mandate for church gatherings. That rule kept church gathering at 15% capacity.
Pawloski, who grew up under Soviet rule in Poland, has describes Canada's authorities as Soviet-style KGB agents.
At the same time Canadians are being compared to terrorists, and “Freedom Convoy” supporters are being outed and threatened, similar protests have broken out in France, Australia, New Zealand, and Israel.
"We saw the Canadians and said to ourselves, 'It's awesome, what they're doing,'" the French organizer of the "Convoie de Liberte" outside Paris, said. "In eight days, boom, something was sparked."
What our western nations are witnessing, Bauer warns, is authoritarians who are watching their pandemic-created power slip away from them by the Canadian protests.
“This is literally a battle for the survival of what this country was built on from the very beginning,” he says.