Another Win for the Freedom Convoy

The Conservative Party of Canada have a new leader: Pierre Poilievre, Member of Parliament for Carleton, Ontario.

Unlike in the previous two C.P.C. leadership elections, Poilievre's margin of victory wasn't at all close -- he won 70.7 percent of the vote, compared with 11.6 percent for his nearest rival, former Quebec premier and Red Tory net-zero enthusiast, Jean Charest. He dominated in every province and territory -- his worst showing was in Charest's home province of Quebec, and even there Poilievre won 62 percent of available points to Charest's 32 percent. In the Conservative strongholds of Alberta and Saskatchewan, he won close to 80 percent. The Writ's Éric Grenier comments,

It’s an emphatic victory for Poilievre with few signs of regional weaknesses. In 2004, Harper failed to win Quebec and Atlantic Canada. In 2017, Scheer was second in Quebec and Alberta. In 2020, O’Toole was beaten in the Maritimes. But in 2022, Poilievre won everywhere.

Poilievre's rise can be attributed in large part to the same force which brought down Erin O'Toole, namely the Freedom Convoy. As we wrote at the time of his ouster,

[O'Toole's] feeble response to the Freedom Convoy has encapsulated his problems these past several months, at once desperate to hold onto power and terrified of offending the sensibilities of, well, Liberal voters. For the first time since he became leader, there was energy on his side of the ideological spectrum, and Trudeau's Liberals were off balance. But O'Toole was anxious about being too supportive of what you might call the wrong sort of Canadians.

Poilievre, meanwhile, made himself the truckers' most visible supporter, publicly defending them against media attacks and taking part in their protests. Polling being what it was at the time (even if those polls weren't as straightforward as they appeared), that took real courage.

Most importantly for us at The Pipeline, Poilievre has consistently and vocally opposed the Trudeau government's anti-resource sector policies, pledging over and over again that, should he become prime minister, he would end the carbon tax and revive infrastructure projects like the Energy East and Northern Gateway pipelines which were cancelled under Trudeau. Moreover, he's promised to make Canada the “freest country in the world.”

And while we've heard sentiments like this before -- most recently from "True Blue" O'Toole -- the centrality of actual conservatism to Pierre Poilievre's political brand should give Conservative voters some reason for hope.

Will he succeed in any of this? Well, he would have to beat Trudeau first. And as things stand, beating Trudeau isn't a near-term possibility. The "supply and confidence" agreement between the N.D.P. and the Liberal Party will protect Trudeau from facing the voters until 2025. In the meantime Poilievre will set himself to the work of Opposition Leader, with the task of holding the government to account, something he already does quite well. Writing in the National Post before the leadership race was over, Rex Murphy said,

In what field does Poilievre labour? Why, in opposition, of course. In opposition to the Liberal-NDP consortium, that blunt, Commons-allergic, Emergencies Act-stampeding, insanely overspending, Alberta-hating quasi-coalition that now governs our sad country. That engine of the most grievous and rampant wokery, dilettantes on the world stage and social justice/environmentalist crusaders at home. From the Opposition benches, the few days Prime Minister Justin Trudeau opens the House of Commons to air it out and prevent the curtains from fading, one figure stands out, ready to pin the prime minister during question period, and in the most trenchant and incisive manner raise the dire threats of inflation and overspending. For a government that most sorely needs an opposition, Poilievre is the only truly Thermopylae warrior, the chief inquisitor and the one who clearly brings pain and anguish to the feeble front benches of the Trudeau government.

At the moment, that might be just what Canada needs. And if he does the job well, there's a good chance that he will be rewarded with a better one.

The Cattle Raid of Greeney

Last week this writer pointed out Canada's almost hilarious insistence on following the trail blazed— sometimes literally—by Sri Lanka and the Netherlands before it. Well, now another extremely impressionable nation has decided to follow suit: The Financial Times reports that "Ireland’s coalition government has reached a bitterly contested deal to slash climate emissions from the country’s key agriculture sector by 25 percent by 2030." Bitterly contested because the actual farmers whose livelihoods will be effected by the deal were hoping those numbers would be lower, whereas the government—currently a coalition of the traditionally "rival" parties Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael along with the Green Party—wanted 30 percent emission cuts by 2030.

This deal is most likely the brainchild of Green Party leader Eamon Ryan, an environmentalist zealot who owes his outsized and wholly malevolent influence on the Republic of Ireland to his party's being the lynchpin of the unstable coalition, formed two years ago:

Members of the environmental party decided by a 76 percent majority to form an administration with Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil... It signed up to a programme that promises radical action on climate change... Its deputy leader, Catherine Martin, said: “Now we will move forward together, respecting the democratic wishes of the majority of our party at all times, listening to each other … working in unity to protect our country and our planet.” The two larger parties needed the support of the Greens to have a working majority in the Irish parliament, equating to about 80 seats.

Ryan, who serves as the coalition's Environment Minister (of course), suggested that the cuts outlined in this deal are just the beginning, saying that they represented “a significant step in the right direction.”

For the farmers however, even these numbers are a bridge too far:

Tim Cullinan, president of the Irish Farmers’ Association, called the 25 percent cut a “massive, massive ask” that could cost farmers €2bn a year and said the government had outlined no budget to help them achieve it.... Pat McCormack, president of the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association, said the agreement made “whole classes of farms unviable” and would push up prices. He added: “Our livestock industry — both dairy and beef — is the lifeblood of rural Ireland and Minister [of agriculture] McConalogue and the three party leaders of the coalition have struck it at its very heart today.”.... “It’s really impossible to see how we can achieve [these] targets... without reducing herds — and that’s an income issue for us,” said Brian Rushe, a dairy farmer.

Never mind that cattle have formed the basis of the Irish economy for more than two millennia. The most famous Irish epic poem is probably The Cattle Raid of Cooley (Táin bó Cuailnge), featuring the legendary hero Cú Chulainn. But modern Ireland is too smart and sophisticated to care about its heritage, one of the oldest continuous cultures in Europe, and so the cows must be sacrificed on the altar of "climate change."

One particular line in this piece is worth considering -- Tim Cullinan is quoted as saying: "This deal between Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Green party is all about the survival of the government rather than survival of rural Ireland." He is assuredly correct. The priority of these politicians is maintaining power, both by keeping the Green Party on side and by maintaining the good opinion of overseas elites -- rather than defending the interests of their country.

Eamon Ryan: no cow is safe around him.

But, as the uprising in Sri Lanka is showing us, focusing on the former while ignoring the latter is a good way of losing both. While the Irish economy is unlikely to bottom out like Sri Lanka's—Ireland's status as a tax haven for American corporations makes it too important for western governments to allow that to happen—a significant standard of living increase on top of the country's ongoing Covid-instigated recession has the potential to inspire an earthquake in Irish politics. And Sinn Féin, the Socialist/Nationalist party that the coalition government exists to keep out of power will likely be the beneficiary. Judging by their refusal to support agricultural emissions cuts, despite their own environmentalist commitments, they know it.

When the coalition took power after the 2020 election, outgoing prime minister Leo Varadkar famously proclaimed, "today civil war politics ends in our parliament," a reference to the two main parties' beginnings on opposing sides of the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921, which culminated in the country's civil war. Varadkar might have been saying more than he realized — while Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have been taking turns in government since the election of Éamon de Valera in 1932, actions like this might ensure they never win another election.

Then again, the "ranked choice" electoral system, known in Ireland as the "single transferable vote" (coupled, by the way, with the equally questionable "proportional representation"), practically begs for rigged outcomes designed to keep the Tweedledum and Tweedledee parties in power forever. If there's one thing the Irish know how to do it's run a racket (see: Hall, Tammany), and in Ireland, it's not who votes, but who counts the votes, and how they are counted, that matters. Amazingly, it always comes out just the way the racket wants it. Here's a taste of how the system works:

From a voter’s perspective [single transferable vote] is very simple. Just rank the candidates in order of your choice starting with 1. The counting of votes is a different matter and can appear very complicated to the uninitiated. The first thing to understand is that a quota is set for each constituency depending on the number of seats to be filled and the number of people who have voted. The quota is arrived at by dividing the number of valid votes by the number of seats plus one, and then adding one to the resulting total.

For instance if 40,000 votes are cast in a three-seat constituency the quota would be calculated by dividing the number of votes by four and then adding one making it 10,001. The formula means that no more than three people can reach the quota.

After the first count when all the number ones have been counted the first thing to happen is that the surplus votes of a successful candidate who has exceeded the quota will be distributed. This is done by checking the second preferences on all the ballot papers of the candidate and distributing his or her number twos in proportion.

When all the first-count surpluses have been distributed the returning officer will then move on to eliminating the candidate with the lowest number of votes. The number twos will be counted and allocated to the other candidates. The next lowest will be eliminated and so on until there are only three candidates left for the three seats.

As the counts progress a vote that was cast for a candidate eliminated early in the count will move on to the number two. If that candidate is eliminated in turn it will go on to number three and so on. If the candidate getting the number two is already elected or eliminated the vote will move on to the next available candidate still in the race.

There is a complication about distributing the surplus of a candidate elected after the first count with the help of transfers. Instead of counting all of the candidate’s votes to allocate the next available preference, only the last bundles of votes received are counted to see where the next preferences goes.

Got that? This crazy system was, of course, foisted on Ireland by the vengeful British, who bitterly hated losing their first and most despised colony:

It was imposed on this country as part of the Home Rule Act in 1912 and later incorporated in the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921 with the objective of protecting the unionist minority and ensuring they had representation in an Irish parliament. The system was later included in de Valera's 1937 constitution and two attempts to abolish it, in 1959 and 1966, were rejected by the electorate. The same system is used in Malta, the Australian senate and Northern Ireland Assembly.

Malta, Australia and the rump British province of "Northern Ireland," known in Ireland as the Six Counties, or "Ulster" (well, part of Ulster, anyway)—those paragons of democracy. No wonder the livestock is terrified: against crackpots like Ryan and the Greens, they don't stand a chance. And neither do the people, unless they finally wise up.

Hope Springs Infernal: Pawlowski, Lich, and Canadian 'Justice'

As with Monty Python’s Lancelot and Galahad, there was much rejoicing in the Conservative corner of this “nasty, sad country” over the recent Alberta appeals court victory of pastor Artur Pawlowski and his brother, Dawid. In a court injunction dated May 6, 2021, they were found guilty of disobeying a ban placed on so-called “illegal” protests—which is to say, they were guilty of abiding by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The drama naturally centers on the more famous pastor, who was jailed several times, and even “SWATted,” over the last two years for defying Canada’s blatantly illegal Covid dictatorship by continuing to serve his congregation, providing free meals to the poor, and preaching a message of hope to the Truckers’ movement in its protest against vaccine mandates.

As a result of the Appeals Court judgment, Alberta Health Services (AHS) is compelled to reimburse Pawlowski for all costs and fines levied, a small compensation for the outrageous treatment meted out to him, the harsh conditions of incarceration, house arrest, and restrictions on his Charter right of association.

Of course, the abuse Pawlowski suffered at the hands of Alberta’s Conservative premier Jason Kenney was not a single case. As LifeSite reports, “Under Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, many were fined and others jailed for fighting against his government’s draconian Covid rules, which severely impacted thousands of businesses.” Pawlowski, however, was among the most visible of the country’s dissidents against an out-of-control government and its camarilla of unelected judges and demagogic health authorities.

His victory and restitution are to be celebrated, but, as we will see, it is a modest triumph. It is not easy to parse the gnarled legalese of the Appeals Court document, but it is obvious that Pawloski’s and his brother’s vindication was only partial, the original judgment being “set aside” on a question of equivocal language rather than substance—that is, the initial judgment was reversed on a technicality. The drafting of the earlier proceedings apparently “created an ambiguity and potential confusion when the language identifying who is subject to the order refers to the prohibited conduct without clearly stating that all persons are subject to the injunction” (Article 56).

In other words, because the injunction “referred to other parties ‘acting independently to like effect’, so as to apply to the Pawlowskis,” the finding of contempt was dropped (Article 59)—though, as the panel of judges affirmed, “Without condoning the actions of the Pawlowskis” (Article 48). Exculpation, it seems, does not cancel guilt. 

Thus, deploying the verbose dialect of a privileged and exclusionary class, the panel members essentially practiced the art of weasel words to reverse an unpopular decision in order to maintain the endogenic fiction of juridical dignity. In effect, the court rendered a Pyrrhic judgment and the Pawlowskis evaded sentencing on the strength of a presumed ambiguity. 

 The war against justice, truth and democracy will continue to claim its victims. The federal authority brandished by Justin Trudeau has no intention of relenting in its campaign to silence and harass its targets. Artur Pawlowski has an equally noble, brave and persecuted peer in Tamara Lich, a soft-spoken, gentle and patriotic organizer of the Truckers Freedom Convoy. All of five feet tall, this amiable grandmother of Metis origin towers over the diminutive moral stature of a disreputable prime minister who, through his juridical lackeys, has had her twice imprisoned for her support of the Truckers and her legitimate contestation of tyrannical power. Forced to serve a jail sentence without bail, she was deliberately prevented from receiving in person the George Jonas Freedom Award at a ceremony held in her honor in the Vancouver suburb of Burnaby on July 13 of this year.

The event was addressed by the Honorable Brian Peckford, the last living signatory to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Canadian Constitution, in which he praised Tamara Lich as an honest, hard-working Canadian fighting for our rights and freedoms. “Need I cite that this latest arrest is most egregious in that everyone knew where Tamara was—in her home city of Medicine Hat, and yet a country wide warrant was issued for her arrest as if she was some kind of serial rapist or murderer. The tragic irony of it all makes Greek Tragedy look lame as a Freedom Award Winner is displayed as a practitioner of high treason.” 

Artur Pawlowski is free—for now—and Tamara Lich has just been released—also, for now. The federal court is not likely to experience the same qualms of dispensation as the Alberta court. Lich will be kept under strict surveillance. One false move, the slightest contravention of onerous bail conditions, and she will be quickly remanded. Phrases like “show trial” and “kangaroo court” come immediately to mind.

One thinks of Arthur Koestler’s Darkness at Noon as a premonition of the Sovietization of Canadian justice. Meanwhile, the unvaccinated are still subject to quarantine and crushing fines thanks to Trudeau’s infamous ArriveCAN app wielded against millions of Canadians. Legislation is in the works to cripple internet communication under the guise of preventing “hate speech,” shorthand for anything the government disapproves of. The violation of democratic principles is rapidly becoming synonymous with the law of the land. 

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As Brian Peckford said in his peroration, we are experiencing a dark day in our Constitutional history, “aided and abetted by a failed parliamentary system that obstructed justice [and] ignored the accusation of misogynists and racists levelled by the Prime Minister at some of his own citizens, and rendered the Members of Parliament mere instruments of abuse…making a mockery of the democratic principle of accountability.” Provincial courts in Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, and other jurisdictions were equally complicit in following the federal example. 

There may be rejoicing over the release of Artur Pawlowski and his brother, and now with respect to Tamara Lich, but there is no joy in Mudville as long as Justin Trudeau is in the batter’s box, and, unlike Casey in the famous poem, gives no indication of striking out.

Canada's Freedom Convoy Still Paying Dividends

Some good news out of Canada -- the Trudeau government has announced that it will "suspend" vaccine mandates and testing requirements for domestic and outbound international travel. Mandates will also be suspended for unvaccinated federal workers, all of whom have been stuck on unpaid leave.

Canada, of course, has lagged behind the rest of the Western world on relaxing Covid-19 related mandates, and even these changes are comparatively slight -- unvaccinated Canadians will still be required to isolate for 14 days after returning home, even if asymptomatic, and the word "suspend" suggests an intention to reimpose the mandates when there is a case spike in the Fall. Still, in the Trudeau era, frustrated Canadians will take what they can get.

But why now? After all, Trudeau just struck a deal with the N.D.P. to protect him from facing the electorate until at least 2025. And in the run-up to the suspension, as Tristin Hopper pointed out, "the Trudeau government was mounting an all-out campaign to convince Canadians [that the restrictions] were a critical necessity, and that to claim otherwise was reckless or anti-science." So what gives? Ezra Levant has laid out a theory on Twitter, which you should read in full.

"And then some big bad men scared Daddy..."

Levant goes on to discuss the recent viral video of hockey-player-turned-journalist Ryan Whitney complaining about the madness of Toronto Pearson International airport in the Covid-era, the "worst airport on earth." Notes Levant: "Like all insecure Canadians, Trudeau cares more about what foreigners think than what we think. Especially someone cool like a former pro hockey player, now a viral journalist." And then there's the fact that prime minister has violated his own Covid policies on numerous occasions, including just this week.

But above all, it was the truckers who demonstrated to sane Canadians that they weren't the only ones who opposed the lockdowns and proved to the government that there actually was a breaking point.

God bless those guys.

'A Disgrace for Any Democracy'

It is likely that no one in the world has benefitted more from the war in Ukraine than Justin Trudeau. After all, the Russian invasion began on February 24th, at a time when Trudeau's tyrannical treatment of the peaceful (if rambunctious) Freedom Convoy protestors in Ottawa and their supporters throughout the country was the talk of the western world. Just a day prior, on the 23rd, Trudeau had revoked the Emergencies Act, the legislation which significantly increased his government's power to curtail civil liberties, reportedly because he was concerned that it wouldn't pass review by the Canadian senate.

The whole thing revealed Trudeau's inner tin-pot dictator, and his international standing was at a low ebb. And then Putin made his move and it all got lost in the shuffle. Justin got to go back to playing the smiling defender of "norms" against more butch tyrants like Big Bad Vlad.

But this episode hasn't been entirely forgotten. On Wednesday, Trudeau delivered an banality-filled address to the European Parliament in Brussels. But while enumerating specific threats to democracy, he foolishly mentioned the Freedom Convoy protest in his homeland. That was where he came a cropper. According to Duane Rolheiser:

Croatian M.E.P. Mislav Kolakusic responded by calling out Trudeau for violating the civil rights of Canadians participating in the Freedom Convoy protests. In a blistering speech to fellow EU Parliamentarians, Kolakusic turned to Trudeau and called his actions in crushing the Ottawa protest “dictatorship of the worst kind.” Trudeau sat quietly and listened as the MP from Croatia informed him many Europeans watched as he “trampled women with horses,” and blocked “the bank accounts of single parents.”

And that wasn't all. German M.E.P. Christine Anderson condemned the prime minister's "persecuting and criminalizing his own citizens as terrorists" and insisted that he "should not be allowed to speak in this house at all." She ended by addressing him directly, saying "Mr. Trudeau, you are a disgrace for any democracy. Please spare us your presence."

Further, Rolheiser points out that Romanian M.E.P. Cristian Terheș had boycotted the day's proceedings specifically because of Trudeau's presence, but had given him a sound lashing on social media anyway, saying:

You can’t come to teach Putin’s democracy lessons from the European Parliament, when you pass with horse hoofs over your own citizens who demand that their fundamental rights be respected. The difference between democracy and tyranny is not given by the geographical location of political leaders, but by the values that this promotes.... Between the Russian imperialist tyranny, promoted by Putin, and the neo-Marxist tyranny claimed to be progressive promoted also by Trudeau, in which people are deprived of their rights and freedoms, becoming the objects of the state, I do not choose any. I choose, instead, to promote and fight for the same conservative values that brought peace through prosperity in Europe: national sovereignty, individual freedom and respect for human rights, which are a gift I received from [God] because we are created in His image and likeness.

Hear, hear! It is nice to see that Trudeau hasn't successfully memory-holed his treatment of the truckers and their supporters. And, what's more, he spends so much time away from his own parliament these days, it is nice to see him get told off to his face.

Canada Was Just the Beginning

Prior to the Ukraine war much of the “free” world has been focused on the Covid totalitarianism of the Boy Dictator and “representative government” to America's north. but the Covid-19 scare is now winding down both in America and across much of the world. Much of Europe has called it quits, and most American states and cities are done with it, though Covidiots remain with us, as evidenced by the continuing sight of masked drivers, alone in their cars, even in the maskless, free state of Arizona.

We need to be looking ahead and preparing for the next lockdown. And the one after that. If they can control and contain us over a fantasy weather prediction 100 years in the future, we need a similar time horizon. By putting up with this, what are we bequeathing our children and theirs – down to five generations hence: Liberty or totalitarianism?

Our time horizon must be about America and Western civilization, not about ourselves. The West has been increasing human liberty and accomplishment for thousands of years. Are we going to squander it all in just two?

The good old days: will they ever come again?

Ice ages come and go. Sea levels rise and fall. People are displaced from their lands for reasons of weather, war, crop failure, or just a desire to move on. The idea that these common historical occurrences that, in fact, drove the migration of man out of Africa,  are anyone’s "fault" is childish. But we are talking about those sixty-five percenters who demand to be controlled, told what to do, what to wear, what to think and say, where to live, by others.

Is the earth warming? Maybe. After all, we still may be coming out of the last “mini” Ice Age. (And into the next?) Is our planet warming due to man’s activity? No. Can this be proven in a world of government grants to research colleges and think tanks, and careers based on this pernicious hoax? No more than the WuFlu origin will be found by questioning those who created it or those who funded that creation because “the benefits of such experiments and the resulting knowledge outweigh the risks.” The risks with our lives, of which they have taken millions and destroyed millions more.

The constant “adjustment” of global temperature data sets to “prove” their hoax, the many climate scientists still rejecting it, all indicate that "Anthropogenic Global Warming" (AGW) cannot be proven, as does the greenhouse model failure similar to the Covid model failure used to put the West under house arrest.

The greenhouse model on which all of this is based has, itself, been shown to be false (and here, and here). CO2 has been rising for years without the predicted accompanying rise in temperature. If the models used to constrain our liberty, prosperity and behavior, if the most basic prediction driving all else – that increased atmospheric carbon will heat us into oblivion – is false, how can “the science” standing on that foundation not also be false? Global warming has been a hoax since the very start.

Not going to happen for the next few zillion years.

Is this warming, natural or otherwise, “bad” for humankind? Is it something we should wish to control, even if we can? No.

In fact, a warmer planet is what those searching-out an extraterrestrial home for mankind are looking for. Why? Because, contra the Klimate Kult, a warmer planet is safer, greener, more fruitful, and less prone to extreme weather.

The Davoisie already are talking about a “Climate Lockdown.” Are you ready? Shutting down inexpensive energy, the foundation of all progress is occurring across the West. Putting kill switches on our cars will lock us down to where they want us to be, not where we want to be. These will be “for the greater good,” to “reduce our carbon footprint.”

Increasing farmland ownership by the elite and not by farmers, decreasing items on supermarket shelves, and forcing us to eat fake meat and blaming it all on a “need” to farm less land, raise less beef, create less packaging waste, stop fossil-fueled trucks from delivering goods, will destroy nutrition, health, jobs, lives, families and liberty. Liberty is what life – not existence – is all about. Will our rulers reduce their carbon footprint of their private jets? Will they cease to eat real food so they can eat bugs?

The totalitarian rulers in Canada have shown how easy it is to destroy a man or his family with digital financial penalties in our cashless society. Are you ready for a Food Lockdown? How easy would this be? If your credit card won’t work at the supermarket, very easy, indeed. Through what possible rationale could the ruling class execute this? Again, easy: Covid attacked the obese more than anyone else. America is vastly overweight.  Davos Man could put us all on a diet of their choosing. For “the greater good,” doubtless to be echoed by their media stenographers. To ensure a society “more protected from the next pandemic.”

If the shoes fits...

The Canadian truckers started a good thing: The People pushing back on the rulers hired and paid to represent them. Unquestionably, our rulers have forgotten their place as our servants.  Will we be able to continue what the Canadian truckers started? Having tasted tyranny, the fascist Left of course loved it and will now find more ways in which to exercise it.

The media-driven hoax of the CCP virus is just as false as the media-driven hoax of AGW, that “we’re all gonna die” in twelve years. Both have one goal: To destroy the liberty of the middle class and indeed the middle class itself right along with it. Their policies are not "mistakes," or the result of "incompetence." They know exactly what they are doing; their destruction is intentional.

They must be resisted, starting with the complete rejection of any politician and all media supporting either of these unscientific hoaxes destructive of our liberty, and that of all future generations. What are we waiting for?

Canada: Fascist or Communist?

The lifting of the Emergencies Act is an enormous relief to all liberty-loving Canadians, but the fact that it could have been invoked on demonstrably flimsy grounds—for a peaceful protest in which no violence or property damage occurred—demonstrates the lawless lengths the Justin Trudeau government will go to secure total power. Perhaps the Act was a test to gauge the reaction of Canadians, many of whom accepted it supinely. Perhaps it was withdrawn because it appeared set to be revoked by the Senate. According to No More Lockdowns Canada, the reason may have had something to do with “an abrupt loss of institutional confidence in the banking system.”

Whatever the case, the willingness to suspend peaceful citizens’ liberties so harshly demonstrates the autocratic impulses of the ruling party. In innumerable articles, blogs and podcasts I’ve consulted over the last few turbulent weeks, the government has been variously described as fascist or communist. The terms are used interchangeably. An acquaintance recently asked which would be the proper designation.

The red queen.

As Mussolini wrote in The Doctrine of Fascism, “The Fascist State lays claim to rule in the economic field no less than in others; it makes its action felt throughout the length and breadth of the country by means of its corporate, social, and educational institutions.” Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland’s recent directives under the Emergencies Act were wholly fascist in nature, to wit: 

First: we are broadening the scope of Canada’s anti-money laundering and terrorist financing rules so that they cover crowdfunding platforms and the payment service providers they use. These changes cover all forms of transactions, including digital assets such as cryptocurrencies. Second: the government is issuing an order with immediate effect, under the Emergencies Act, authorizing Canadian financial institutions to temporarily cease providing financial services where the institution suspects that an account is being used to further the illegal blockades and occupations.

Obviously, the freezing of bank accounts would proceed without a court order. The corporations and financial and social institutions seem eager to comply. The definition of “illegal,” of course, is moot, a tyrannical expedient.

Canada has also adopted the top-down, social credit and contact tracing system practiced by Communist China, a country it is rapidly coming to resemble. Justin Trudeau made no secret of his admiration for the Chinese “basic dictatorship”: “There’s a level of admiration I actually have for China. Their basic dictatorship is actually allowing them to turn their economy around on a dime.” Indeed, Trudeau invited the Chinese military to train in Canada. (The site chosen for cold-weather maneuvers was Petawawa, Ontario.) Fascist Venezuela and communist Cuba are also major influences and templates. 

Which is it, then, fascist or communist? The answer is both, for the distinction is fundamentally irrelevant. Both are totalitarian entities, defined as systems of government that are centralized and autocratic and that demand total subservience to the state—hence “totalitarian.” Jonah Goldberg made the point eloquently in his Liberal Fascism. There is no paradox. As Paul Gottfried writes in Fascism: The Career of a Concept, “Totalitarianism is defined as a twentieth-century problem that is illustrated most dramatically by Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia…Hitler and Stalin were not ideological opposites but similar dangers to human freedom.”

Besties.

If there is a difference between the two totalitarian ideologies, it pertains to the relation between state and corporation: the communist system is a sealed unit in which state and corporation are one and the same; the fascist system uses the corporation as a semi-independent institution to be manipulated and controlled. Between one and the other falls the shadow of not much.

The issue of whether Canada in its current manifestation is fascist or communist is therefore immaterial. It is both, owing to the habitual governing practice of the Trudeaus. Invoking the War Measures Act to deal with national emergencies that are not national emergencies seems to run in the Trudeau family. During the 1970 “October Crisis,” Trudeau père applied the measure to disable, as Nationalist Passions puts it, “an informal group, organized in small, autonomous cells [that] had no more than thirty-five members.” In 2022, Trudeau fils invoked the successor Emergencies Act to crush a peaceful trucker convoy protest and shut down banking privileges of both protestors and those who contributed to the trucker fund, retroactively made illegal. 

“Getting rid of troublemakers en masse,” Gottlieb writes, “would help to advance the common project imposed by the leader,” consisting of control over the economy and public life, “a monopoly over all forms of communication” (Cf. Bill C-10), and the crushing of political dissent and fractious minorities. Sound familiar? What we are witnessing is a dynasty on the make and a country on the skids.

Père Pierre?

The Emergencies Act may have ben revoked, but the federal Covid mandates and restrictions, which the Freedom Convoy originally protested, are still on the books. Moreover, the truckers have lost their licences and operating insurance and many have lost their rigs. Their livelihoods have been destroyed. Some continue to languish in jail without bail. These are the wages of a peaceful protest that broke no laws, despite the misinformation and disinformation that is Justin Trudeau’s stock-in-trade.

We should not, then, be distracted by irrelevant distinctions and scholarly niceties. Whether the government is fascist or communist is moot. Under the current administration, a working coalition between two far-left parties, the Liberals and the enclitic NDP, Canada bears all the hallmarks of a repressive, oligopolist state that is laboring to permanently entrench itself. The Trudeaus have seen to that. Canadians have elected them on multiple occasions and, with the exception of those whose minds have not dimmed—a minority, be it said—Canadians have reaped the country they deserve. Mutatis mutandis, we now live under the boot of a communofascist regime and, barring some unforeseen change, we will all suffer for it.

Justin Trudeau Revokes Emergencies Act

Breaking news: Justin Trudeau announced this afternoon that he is revoking the Emergencies Act, just two days after getting it passed in the House of Commons. From The National Post:

Trudeau credited the end of the downtown Ottawa protests with cabinet’s decision to revoke the measures, a move he said was needed to end the illegal occupation and clear streets from dozens of parked vehicles and big rigs. “We are confident that existing laws and bylaws are now sufficient to keep people safe,” Trudeau said during the press conference, adding Ottawa will continue supporting local police and authorities

This is good news, of course, but it is also worth noting that his justification for this move makes exactly zero sense. "Existing laws and bylaws" were always sufficient to keep people safe while handling the protestors in Ottawa just as they were sufficient to deal with the border blockades some truckers set up for a time earlier in the protest. And the protests in Ottawa had already ended when Trudeau put the Emergencies Act up for a vote in parliament which was, let me reiterate, only two days ago.

So what has changed? Well, I think it is safe to assume that there were three pressure points which made Trudeau and the Liberals crack.

First, polling. Much was made as the protestors were being cleared out this past weekend of the polling which found that two-thirds of Canadians supported Trudeau's use of the Emergencies Act. But public polling since that time has been more divided. Very likely the images coming out of Ottawa of baton-wielding cops in riot gear getting rough with peaceful protestors and mounted officers trampling them made people more conflicted.

But even the initial poll requires a deeper reading. It also found the same percentage of people who supported Trudeau's measures saying they “fear for the future of Canada,” and nearly as many said, “they have lost faith in the ability of the country to keep peace, order and good government in place.” For a majority of Canadians, the protests had become an emblem of their country in chaos. Now that the protests are over, they are likely to turn on the man responsible. My guess is that that's exactly what Trudeau's internal polling is telling him.

Second, international opinion. Canadians are extremely proud of their standing in the international community. The smallest G7 country by a wide margin, Canada has long been known as a country that "punches above its weight." But the international reaction to Trudeau's handling of the protests has been brutal. The English speaking world has been treated to a long train of headlines slamming Trudeau and wondering how Canada could go so far down this path. "Trudeau’s Destructive ‘Emergency,’" "Justin Trudeau Has Disgraced His Office," "Police forces in Canada scrutinized for excessive violence with peaceful Freedom Convoy protesters,""Justin Trudeau's Ceauşescu Moment" (referring to Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu), and on and on. It was relentless. The CBC can cover for the prime minister all it wants. Sooner or later what the rest of the world is saying is going to bleed through.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly there is the upcoming Emergencies Act vote in the Canadian Senate. The senators had their first debate on the Act yesterday and many of them sounded reluctant to give the government a win:

Many wanted to know on what basis the government decided to invoke the Emergencies Act in the first place. That information has not been made available to Parliament, most notably ongoing investigations and intelligence information. Senator Dennis Glen Patterson said: “there is a certain amount of ‘trust us’ in the government’s justification of these extreme measures.”

“This is a serious step that we’re contemplating here today,” said Conservative Senator Elizabeth Marshall. “What exactly happened that the government decided to invoke the act? Because it seemed like for three or four weeks, there was nothing, they were just tolerating it.” She continued to ask why the government appeared “to be so late in assessing this monumental threat that they’re talking about.”

Conservative Senator Leo Housakos accused Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of stoking the “flames of division” in refusing to speak to the protesters who occupied the streets of Ottawa and calling them names such as “marchers with swastikas” and “defenders of Nazism.”

The potential humiliation of losing this historic vote in the senate was likely enough to convince Trudeau to revoke his use of the act. Senator Denise Batters, in particular, tore him apart in a wide-ranging speech on the senate floor which deserves to be watched in full.

Of course, this whole episode has been a humiliation for Trudeau and for Canada as well. It will dog him for the rest of his career, one that is hopefully cut short by the voters, who are sick and tired of being ruled by a tin-pot dictator.

Cowards in the Canadian Parliament

To no one's surprise, Canada's New Democratic Party (NDP) ended up siding with Justin Trudeau's Liberal minority government in last night's vote on the Emergencies Act, leading to the Act passing 185-151. The two parties'  justification for going ahead with the vote even after the protestors had been cleared out of Ottawa and the border blockades opened was that there might still be truckers hiding under rocks somewhere close by:

Speaking to reporters on Monday before the vote, Trudeau made it clear that there are still protesters and truckers awaiting an opportunity to come back to Ottawa, some of which are in the towns of Arnprior and Embrun, respectively 70 and 45 kilometres away from Ottawa.... NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh echoed these concerns in a subsequent press conference. He said some protesters waiting in the surrounding areas of Ottawa “need to be cleared out” and alleged that some supporters of the occupation are “still hiding in Ottawa itself.”

One odd factor in this vote was the uncertainty about whether it counted as a confidence motion, the loss of which would topple the government and trigger an election. Members of both parties voiced concerns about the wisdom and necessity of using the Emergencies Act in this way, but said that they were hesitant  to bring down the government. Liberal MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith said he is “not convinced” that the Emergencies Act should remain in force, and said he would “vote accordingly” if this vote was not a confidence vote. Singh himself said earlier in the day, "We understood absolutely that we do not want to trigger an election. That would be the worst thing to do in this crisis." But, of course, Singh would say that.

In fact, it wasn't at all clear that it was a confidence vote. Justin Trudeau hinted that it was in a press conference Monday, saying "I can’t imagine anyone voting against this bill as expressing anything other than a deep mistrust in the government’s ability to keep Canadians safe at an extraordinarily important time." But the hapless Conservatives were unable to get a definitive answer on this point. When Conservative house leader John Brassard asked directly if it should be interpreted as a vote of confidence in the government, Government house leader Mark Holland replied simply, “it’s time to vote.”

Now, to echo the prime minister's words, Canadians have good reason to feel "deep mistrust in the government’s ability to keep" them safe at this time. But it seems inappropriate to use a possible election as a stick to frighten MPs off of voting their consciences, or for the will of their constituents, on such an important constitutional question. At the same time, it is worse for members of parliament to knowingly vote for legislation with which they disagree, and with the constitution hanging in the balance. If ever there was a time to put principle over consequence, this was it. Instead they chose the coward's way out, voting as they were told to vote but broadcasting to the media they didn't like it in case it comes back to bite them one day.

In any event, the Emergencies Act now goes off to the Senate, the house of "sober second thought," as the country's first prime minister, Sir John A. MacDonald, famously described it. The Senate will likely approve it, but they could theoretically either reject it or neglect to hold a vote on it until it expires. We shall see what they decide. The fate of Canada is in their hands.

Tyranny for Thee, Not for Me

In his statement pledging support for the Trudeau government's invocation of the Emergencies Act, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh stated that while he was happy for these extraordinary powers to be used against the truckers protesting in Ottawa, they must never be used against “Indigenous land defenders, climate change activists, workers fighting for fairness.”

Does the 'N' in NDP stand for "Naïve" instead of "New"? Because, as Brian Lilley recently argued in the Toronto Sun, in a piece directed at members of the NDP, there is no logical limiting factor to the use of the "emergency" legislation. Once the cat is out of the bag, it doesn't go back in. Here's Lilley:

New Democrat MPs have a decision to make. Do they want to be the ones who allow Canada’s Emergencies Act to be politicized to go after enemies of the government and for the banking system to be weaponized to settle political scores. That is what Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Liberal government are asking them to do... Are New Democrat MPs willing to see every political cause subjected to the same scrutiny? The NDP are generally opposed to Canada’s oil and gas industry. Would they support these measures being used against pipeline protesters and those who carried out the attack in Houston, B.C., last week?... The group in Houston was organized, well-funded and carried out a politically-motivated attack on a critical infrastructure project vital to Canada’s economy. It has cost the Canadian economy millions. Using the same arguments the Liberals have used for the Emergencies Act, what happened in Houston would qualify.

Because Trudeau has a minority government, NDP support is essential for his winning the Emergencies Act vote. That vote is scheduled to take place tonight. Hopefully Singh figures out how power actually works sometime before then.