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Canada, Your Paperwork Is Done…and So Are You
The moment of death and the “time of death” are not the same. Anyone who has had personal involvement in the death of, say, a relative has noted that they may have observed or been told of the death before the time of the official pronouncement on the Death Certificate. This is because, from an official standpoint, someone isn’t dead until the authorized person pronounces the obvious and it is reflected, correctly, in the required paperwork.
Canada has something called the Emergencies Act that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau used to take extraordinary measures to break up the trucker’s protest of Covid restrictions in Canada. Basically under the Emergencies Act civil liberties were suspended for anyone the government desired to have suspended. In America, it would have been as if there were no Bill of Rights and no limits on federal power and no separation of powers.
When the Emergencies Act was adopted in 1988, Canadians took comfort that the law itself required a Commission to review the legality of the actions taken by government, once the emergency was over. Yesterday, they found out how hollow that provision is. The report was issued and said, “Yes, the government got it right.” Sound familiar? The Report of the Public Inquiry into the 2022 Public Order Emergency is the Canadian equivalent of the Final Report of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol. A “People Bad, Government Good” conclusion with selective evidence and convenient framing of events.
From the Canadian Report:
Many have called the events of January and February 2022 exceptional. I think that is an apt description. There was much about that period that was, if not wholly unprecedented, then at the very least extraordinary. One exceptional event, and the focus of this Inquiry, was the use of the Emergencies Act for the first time in its 35-year history.
It is unsurprising that the Emergencies Act had never been used until now. It is exceptional legislation, meant for exceptional times. It can only be invoked when a multi-layered series of preconditions are satisfied. Its invocation triggers a series of review, oversight, and accountability mechanisms that serve as a check against governments using the Act when they should not, and as a means to restrain overreach. The cumulative effect of these preconditions and mechanisms is that resort to the Emergencies Act will be rare.
I have concluded that in this case, the very high threshold for invocation was met. I have done so with reluctance. The state should generally be able to respond to circumstances of urgency without the use of emergency powers. It is only in rare instances, when the state cannot otherwise fulfill its fundamental obligation to ensure the safety and security of people and property, that resort to emergency measures will be found to be appropriate. As for the measures Cabinet put in place in response to the emergency, I conclude that while most of the measures were appropriate and effective, others fell short.
It is regrettable that such a situation arose here, because in my view, it could have been avoided. As I have explained in this Report, the response to the Freedom Convoy involved a series of policing failures. Some of the missteps may have been small, but others were significant, and taken together, they contributed to a situation that spun out of control. Lawful protest descended into lawlessness, culminating in a national emergency.
The failures were not only in policing. The events of January and February 2022 can also be seen as a failure of federalism. In Canada, our federal system of government enriches democracy by striving to maintain national unity while supporting regional diversity. But fulfilling these promises depends on co-operation and collaboration. Responding to situations of threat and urgency in a federal system requires governments at all levels, and those who lead them, to rise above politics and collaborate for the common good. Unfortunately, in January and February 2022, this did not always happen.
The Freedom Convoy was a singular moment in history, in which simmering social, political, and economic grievances were exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, shaped by a complex online landscape rife with misinformation and disinformation, and unleashed in a torrent of political protest and social unrest. Though extraordinary, it was not entirely unpredictable. Historically, it is common for pandemics to be accompanied by a decline in social cohesion and a surge in civil unrest. This one has been no exception.
It was the failure to anticipate such a moment and to properly manage the legitimate protests that emerged, especially the protest in Ottawa, that resulted in the 2022 Public Order Emergency. Had various police forces and levels of government prepared for and anticipated events of this type and acted differently in response to the situation, the emergency that Canada ultimately faced could likely have been avoided. Unfortunately, it was not.
Fortunately, the Parliament that passed the Emergencies Act had the wisdom to create a statute with both the powers needed to protect Canadians in times of crisis, and the safeguards needed to ensure restraint and accountability.
There are important systemic lessons to be learned for both police and governments from the events in January and February 2022. I have recommended legislative amendments that I hope will result in improvements to the Emergencies Act. I have also suggested best practices that I hope will better prepare governments and police to respond to situations that risk becoming public order emergencies.
I also hope that through the work of this Commission and this Report, I have provided the public with the transparency and accountability that Parliament intended from this Inquiry. [emphasis added]
Note the two bolded statements: I have concluded that in this case, the very high threshold for invocation was met. and The events of January and February 2022 can also be seen as a failure of federalism. The response to the first is: well, isn’t that convenient? We have a high threshold, but happily (if reluctantly), I can see that the government met it. The Commissioner who reached this conclusion “reluctantly” was appointed by the man whose conduct he was reviewing. The Honorable Paul S. Rouleau is a long-time Liberal Party operator.
The response to the second statement is: Where do you go from here? The federal system failed. Do you repair the federal system or do you centralize power in Ottawa? Note the similarity to the American January 6: a failure of federalism led to a protest. Do we repair our federal system — make it a more robust check on central power — or do we cede more power to the Administrative State?
Viva Frei is the internet identity of a podcaster/Twitter broadcaster for an ex-pat lawyer from Canada, now living in Florida. He has two YouTube videos discussing the Commission report: The Death of Canada and an interview with Keith Wilson, an attorney for some of the truckers in the protest convoy. If a conservative reformation occurs in America, it looks like there will be a welcoming society in Canada to which progressives can flee. If no such reformation occurs, it looks like precious few places are remaining where liberty is ascendant.Published in GeneralThis post was promoted to the Main Feed by a Ricochet Editor at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.
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I was surprised when I got to this sentence since it says precisely what I was thinking at that point. Something in the Jan6 aftermath makes one wonder if an entity like the District of Columbia government should even exist. They haven’t a clue how to do it and should be ceded back to their original states or state, I think it might all be Maryland.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t the convoy form in protest against the government’s mandate that they receive the vaccine? Wasn’t that a major overstep by the government? Couldn’t the whole thing have been avoided if Trudeau hadn’t made himself G-d? No mandate, no convoy? If I’ve misremembered, please correct me.
Just as what happened on Jan6 would not have happened if Speaker Pelosi had done her job and carried out her responsibilities as assigned by law for security of the Capitol. Then she constituted the Jan6 Commission improperly to deliver a false verdict.
I agree, Bob. I’m saying, however, that the report writer was trying to blame the lack of preparation for this type of event, instead of pointing out that if they hadn’t enacted the mandate in the first place, there would have been no need to call an emergency.
Worse, if you listen to the Viva Frei videos, the convoy was already breaking up under court injunctions. In other words the Emergency powers were used to effectively shoot certain actors in the back. The convoy participants were constantly warned by the “organizers” not to provoke government beyond peaceful protest because they knew the government was looking for a reason to employ the Emergencies Act. In the end they didn’t get the reason but went ahead anyway. This is the naked fist.
Then the report is a travesty.
OK, I only read the “executive summary,” but that executive summary is a horrifying litany of self-justification: Government failed to deal effectively with legitimate protests (because government had no plan or will to do so), which failure set up a situation that was “perceived” (presumably by government officials – convenient use of passive language to obscure who makes decisions) to require Draconian government action. How convenient that government failure justifies government tyranny based solely on the perception of the government.
Apparently, from videos and transcripts release due to a court case, there is evidence that police were both used and abused in creating and manipulating the J6 rebellion or whatever it was.
There is even the suggestion from these videos that police officers (following Ashli Babbitt) knew that someone was going to be shot, and laughed at it. Maybe this is an exaggerated or manipulated impression or is suggested only from hindsight, but it is reasonable.
No wonder so many police present at the J6 rally have committed suicide.
I read that as “We should have clamped down and arrested those malcontents before they had a chance to organize.”
What sort of silly government commission uses the first person singular?
I was prepared to be mad at this video, however it turns out he’s making several valid points:
The very model of a modern major general, they understand that in the English language today, They is a first person singular for them… So I has switched roles for them. They have kept pace with them and you can use I now for them.
In a country where a government can be panicked into declaring an emergency by a protest that includes BBQs, bouncy castles and hot tubs, the very notion of a constitutionally limited government is a joke… and civil rights are an illusion to keep the sheep from panicking on the way to the slaughter house….
Thank you for bringing this forward.
There was another piece of the puzzle regarding the “commission” that supposedly oversaw the initial reasons & multiple submissions of content regarding the Trucker’s Convoy prior to the commission deciding to abrogate the freedom of the Convoy by employing this 1988 Emergencies Act.
And that had to do with how little time, effort or consideration this commission was involved with prior to their speedy agreement with Trudeau to use the full force of The Emergency Act to crush the truckers’ movement.
We all must remember that The Truckers’ Convoy protest was triggered by Trudeau’s vax mandate. In Jan 2022 this mandate caused 1000s of truckers and their supporters to drive across Canada. They began to picket Parliament Hill as well as educate the public as to why they were concerned about jamming up their bodies with an untested/quite risky vaccine for a virus with a 99.024% survival rate for anyone under the age of 50.
The response by Trudeau was predictable. He accused them of being radical extremists bent on the overthrow of the government. In response, he demanded the invocation of emergency powers previously reserved only for dealing with war or terrorism.
According to RT.com, “Paul Rouleau, the fed judge who led the Public Order Emergency Commission, conceded that the “Freedom Convoy” was made up mostly of peaceful protesters who “shared certain social, economic and political grievances.” Even though the evidence presented showed no actual threat of violence or terrorism, Rouleau sided with the government’s justification for assuming emergency powers.
“’The very high threshold required for the invocation of the Act was met,” he said, adding how Trudeau “had reasonable grounds to believe that there existed a national emergency arising from threats to the security of Canada.’”
“Rouleau did call Trudeau’s invocation of the act “regrettable,” saying the entire situation could have been avoided but that a “series of policing failures” resulted in protests spinning out of control. So although he excused the measures such as freezing the bank accounts of protesters and their family members, Rouleau said suspending the truckers’ insurance was inappropriate & counterproductive. He noted the government offered no way for people to get their property restored once the protest ended.”
One accurate take on the government officials and Parliament members who welcomed the seizure of truckers’ bank accounts, go fund me and other crowd sourcing accounts was this one:
Today we are on an ever narrowing precipice, with footwork by our government officials in coordinated efforts with members of DAVOS, The WHO, & other orgs like the WEF, to shove us out of currency, and put us all under the boot of the CBDC.
Didn’t Justin Trudeau say that some grievances are unacceptable?
Whatever happened to the trucker revolt leaders we saw n TV?
The Globe and Mail piece is written as government viewpoint (because the Canadian government funds media). But the quoted parts about two participants is telling. Read the whole thing.
Freezing credit. GoFundMe initially just confiscated donations to fund the convoy then agreed under pressure to refund contributions. GoSendGo was created as an alternative for conservative causes. Canada has sent the message and too many Canadians are good with that.
Technically, the Emergencies Act does not state that the required public inquiry is entrusted with ruling definitively on the legality of the act’s invocation.
Here’s what it actually says:
The legality of the act’s invocation will be decided by the Supreme Court of Canada … eventually … after the cases get through the lower court appeals process.
Not that I hold out much hope that a majority of the Supremes will rule against the Trudeaupians, but nevertheless this story isn’t quite over yet.
(FYI: “Governor in Council” means the Governor-General as advised by the Prime Minister, so really it means the Prime Minister.)
It wasn’t a government commission. It was an independent Public Inquiry, led by a single judge who is the sole official author of the final report.
(To clarify: The word “government” means something subtly different in the Westminster system. It’s more-or-less akin to the American “executive branch”. Judges are not a part of “the government”, and neither are Parliamentarians unless they are also cabinet ministers.)