If the ongoing story of the Canadian truckers’ protest was a Victorian novel, we would be at “Chapter Three — Young Lord Poncebottom Uses His Riding Crop to Chastise the Impudent Stable Hands.” But it’s no such thing. Instead, it’s the reality of Canada in 2022 where Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his elitest political supporters are desperately trying to beat the rebellious working class into submission.
Canadian truckers have peacefully protested Covid vaccine mandates by blockading and impeding traffic flow at crossing points on the U.S. border and parking their trucks on the streets around Parliament in Ottawa.
In reprisal, Trudeau invoked Canada’s Emergencies Act to criminally charge and detain the protesters and financially destroy them. Under the Act, the Canadian government — without resort to judicial process — suspended the protesters’ rights to free movement and assembly, arrested and detained them, suspended their bank accounts and their vehicle insurance.
In addition, those who donated to support the protesters faced seizure of their bank accounts.
Canada’s Minister of Finance, the Harvard-educated Chrystia Freeland, announced that financial institutions had been authorized to suspend or freeze personal or corporate accounts that they believed were being used to fund illegal protests. She warned non-demonstrating truck owners that, if their vehicles were used in a protest, their accounts could also be frozen.
She required crowd-funding sites and online payment providers to register with the government and to report any “suspicious” donations.
“We are making these changes because we know that these platforms are being used to support illegal blockades and illegal activity which is damaging the Canadian economy,” she said.
Simultaneously, in declaring the national emergency, Trudeau said during a news conference in Ottawa, “This is about keeping Canadians safe, protecting peoples’ jobs and restoring faith in our institutions.”
But the Emergencies Act defines a “national emergency” as an “urgent and critical situation of a temporary nature that cannot be effectively dealt with under any other law of Canada.” And, in that regard, before Trudeau’s declaration of emergency and invocation of the Act, the police already had peacefully resolved the blockades at the border. Only the peaceful, party-like Ottawa encampment — complete with trucks, inflatable bouncy castles, mobile saunas, tents and charcoal grills — remained.
Did the Ottawa occupation constitute an “urgent and critical situation” that could not be “effectively dealt with under any other law of Canada”?
Moreover, once the police arrested the Ottawa demonstrators and the trucks, bouncy castles, and saunas were removed, was Canada still facing a crisis?
Parliament seemed to think so. By majority vote it endorsed Trudeau’s continuing use of the Act to crush the protesters and their supporters.
The protesting truckers dramatically exposed a critical chokepoint in the Canadian economy and, for that matter, the economies of developed nations around the world. They did so by acting on the threat made by the late Jimmy Hoffa in a convention speech to the International Brotherhood of Teamsters in which he explained the facts of life to America and specifically to his nemesis, Attorney General Robert Kennedy. Quoth Hoffa:
If you’ve got it, a truck brought it. If you’ve got your food, your clothing, your medicine, fuel for your homes, fuel for your industries, a truck brought it. The day our trucks stop, America stops!
This speech confirmed Kennedy’s belief that Hoffa was the most dangerous man in America.
But, even if Hoffa was a corrupt thug, he was absolutely right about the critical economic role played by truckers. And, further to that point, the peacefully protesting Canadians forcefully demonstrated the truth of Hoffa’s words.
Those who participated in the demonstrations were a relatively small portion of the total number of Canadian drivers. Nevertheless, they brought significant segments of the Canadian and U.S. economies to a grinding halt by merely parking their rigs at inconvenient locations.
In so doing, they undoubtedly alarmed Trudeau and his elitist supporters as to the potential disaster posed by future and quite possibly larger and more aggressive trucker protests.
And what if the truckers’ rebellious spirit spread to other trades?
If the preening, self-regarding managerial elites went on strike, latte and canape sales might suffer. But what if those reviled non-elite underlings who make things, harvest crops, do actual physical work, and transport goods decided to withhold their labor? What then?
Although the Emergencies Act purports to empower the government to compel citizens to provide services in return for “reasonable compensation,” how — short of calling out the military to force compliance — would that work in the face of widespread resistance? And would Parliament continue to back Trudeau under those circumstances?
For now, that question will remain unanswered. After massive criticism of his actions, Trudeau has suddenly undeclared the alleged national emergency and revoked his invocation of the Emergencies Act. He is now confident that other laws are sufficient to maintain order.
But before changing course, Trudeau used the Act to make clear that he has the power and willingness to destroy anyone who opposes his regime. Disaffected Canadians should take heed, shut their mouths and do as they are told.
Trudeau’s jihad against the truckers and their supporters appears to be driven by fear of the economic disruptions that would be caused by future protests and is calculated to eradicate the possibility of further resistance.
Will Trudeau’s tyranny cow Canada’s working class? Or will it backfire and result in larger and more aggressive labor troubles?
To a great extent, the truckers have already won. As the protests were underway, a number of Canada’s provinces abruptly rescinded their previously sacrosanct Covid restrictions.
But, beyond those victories, the Canadians are being emulated around the world. In the U.S., the Peoples Convoy of trucks has called on the federal government to end the so-called National Emergency enacted at the beginning of the pandemic. The convoy reportedly consists of more than two dozen 18 wheelers, 50 pick up trucks and recreational vehicles, and will be joined by approximately 25 similar convoys all of which are under way and converging on Washington.
The Fort Pelosi barricades have been re-erected around the Capitol. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has approved the Capitol Police and District of Columbia government’s request for the National Guard.
Mayor Muriel Bowser has put 500 police officers on standby for riot duty.
In short, Washington is in full panic mode and bracing for an invasion.
But leaders of some of the convoys have stated that, instead of entering Washington, they will be blocking the Capital Beltway and roads in and out of the city. The chaos and disruption that would cause is incalculable.
“The fact is we have a government that tries to push us around,” one trucker told the Los Angeles Times. “At this moment, we are living without our Constitution. Our Constitution means nothing right now.”
The fuse has been lit, and the deplorables in their trucks are on their way to the Seat of Government. January 6, 2021 may turn out to have been a mere warm up for the massive governmental disruption that is about to unfold.
And for that we owe our thanks to the humble and peaceful Canadian truckers.
George Parry is a former federal and state prosecutor. He blogs at knowledgeisgood.net and may be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.