In Canada, Distantly, the Roar of the Lion

David Solway26 Jan, 2024 2 Min Read
Thanks, "green energy"!

In his 2024 address to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Argentinian president Javier Milei affirmed that his duty as head of government was not to guide sheep, but to awaken lions. The state must serve and be responsive to a vibrant and awakened citizenry. In Canada, unfortunately, the sheep—or sheeples—have been herded into the pen and prepared for shearing, others for slaughter. There seems until recently little question of a pride of lions prowling toward parliament, local constituency offices, and voting stations.

Canadians have grown inured to a virtual blizzard of Liberal Party corruption scandals, policy failures, and dramatic violations of moral conduct—gifts, lobbying, business deals, applauding a Nazi veteran in the Commons, etc.—the most severe of which culminating in the invocation of the Emergencies Act (originally the War Measures Act) to quash the legitimate Winter 2022 Truckers’ protest against the disastrous vaccine mandates and restrictions. The truckers were hit with volleys of slander by the prime minister and the vendu press, multiple arrests, invalidation of licenses and frozen bank accounts, the hallmark practice of totalitarian regimes. Most Canadians barely shrugged.

Will this civic lethargy and political lassitude change in the wake of the January 23/2024 declaration by a federal judge that the use of the of the Emergencies Act in response to the Freedom Convoy protest was “unreasonable,” and that related regulations infringed on Canadians’ charter rights. Justice Richard Mosley concluded, in his words, “that there was no national emergency justifying the invocation of the Emergencies Act and the decision to do so was therefore unreasonable and ultra vires (beyond lawful authority).”

It was, in effect, a brutal violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Former first minister and Charter signatory Brian Peckford has pointed out for years that the invoking of the Act was unconstitutional, infringing on Section 1 (Whereas Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law), Section 2(b) enshrining (freedom of thought, expression and belief) Section 7 (Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person), and Section 8 (the right to be secure against unreasonable search and seizure.)

Few people listened to Peckford or were disturbed by the authoritarian actions of an increasingly venal and despotic Liberal/NDP government and the vast majority of judges were almost exclusively favorable to the government’s partisan arguments and positions. Indeed, the Liberals intend to appeal the Court’s decision; the fact that Prime Minister Trudeau has appointed 10 of the 15 Appeals Court judges render Justice Mosley’s landmark findings somewhat problematic.

The court has spoken. Now for the fight.

But following the Mosley judgment and extrapolating from the temper of popular sentiment in various newspapers and online chatrooms, substacks, and reader responses, as well as from anecdotal experience, it seems that Canadians may be gradually shedding their ovine indifference to their own welfare, perhaps rising to the level of caprine willfulness and determination when heading into the next election. It is a consummation much to be desired. Whether they will awaken into the condition of lions is highly unlikely, but billy goats will do.

Tomorrow: Elizabeth Nickson with more on the court's decision. 

David Solway is a Canadian poet and essayist. His most recent volume of poetry, The Herb Garden, appeared in spring 2018. His manifesto, Reflections on Music, Poetry & Politics, was released by Shomron Press in spring 2016. He has produced two CDs of original songs: Blood Guitar and Other Tales and Partial to Cain, on which he was accompanied by his pianist wife Janice Fiamengo. His latest book is Notes from a Derelict Culture.


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