When Tyranny Came to Canada

A piece of Canada died Monday night. This glorious land, so cold and massive, with people so hardy and freedom-loving, gave away a large part of its democracy that night. On Monday, tyranny came to Canada.

Tyranny came to Canada the way it often does to democracies, incrementally and with a smile (or in this case a blackface) instead of a scowl. It came as a people faced an external issue that radicalized the public and allowed certain venal politicians to consolidate power. Under the guise of protecting the public, they stripped it of some of its most fundamental human rights.

Tyranny came to Canada because politicians prioritized party over country. Justin Trudeau is a minority Prime Minister. He only stays in power because of support he receives from the further left New Democratic Party. The NDP financially is broke. They were terrified that if they refused on Monday night to ratify the Emergencies Act, it would force early elections. Given the NDP’s financial condition, that could mean disaster for them. Given a choice between loyalty to their Party memberships and loyalty to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the loyalty of the NDP’s Members of Parliament was not to the nation.

Tyranny came to Canada from exactly those people so willing to label other people as racists, science-deniers, xenophobes, disseminators of misinformation etc. You know the type. Justin Trudeau often was asked about what exactly the emergency was, given that the streets of Ottawa had been cleared and the borders unblocked.  He refused to answer. Instead he gave vague assurances about the emergency still being present and demonstrators regrouping. Just as with the vaccine mandate, he wouldn’t say when the crisis would end or how to measure it, just that he needed more power.

Was there anything more chilling over the last few days than to hear Justin Trudeau say that the only people who would vote against the extension of the Emergencies Act were those who didn’t trust the government to do the right thing in handling the truckers’ protests? Does Trudeau not understand that it is precisely because the people in democracies don’t trust the government that we enshrine these limitations in our founding charters? Canada has its Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the United States has its written Constitution, Israel has its Basic Laws and England has its Magna Carta for the express reason that the public does not trust the government in these cases and is not to be put in this position. These fundamental documents specify there are places that government cannot go. They are to be abridged only in the most extreme circumstances, and only for the most limited purpose and time.

Already, Liberal Party Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland has confirmed that certain intrusive financial powers will be kept permanently. So much for the assurances that the emergency was “temporary.”

It is likely that in the next 30 days Trudeau will lift most of the Emergencies Act restrictions. Regardless, Canada lost something precious this week. No longer can Canadians feel safe and secure in their democratic institutions and their freedoms. Having gone this far, Trudeau and the Canadian politicians have let it be known that should the appropriate situation arise, they could go further. No powers granted under the Emergencies Act were needed to clear the streets of Ottawa or open the border closings, yet Trudeau pushed it through anyway.

Those of us in the remaining free democracies need to remain on our guard. If it can happen in Canada it can happen anywhere. We will do our descendants a great service if we make sure that the usurpation of power that happened this week in Canada ends in Canada.

About the Author
Daniel B, Markind is an attorney based in Philadelphia specializing in real estate, commercial, energy and aviation law. He is the former Chair of the National Legal Committee of the Jewish National Fund of America as well as being a former member of the National Executive Board and the National Chair of the JNF National Future Leadership. He writes frequently on Middle Eastern and energy issues. Mr. Markind lives in the Philadelphia area with his wife and children.
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