Jason Kenney Reacts to the Emergencies Act

“We needed to see it to believe it.”—Ottawa resident talking about police clearing out Ottawa’s downtown core after 22 days of occupation.

Our trust in government was at such an all-time low that when the Federal government invoked the Emergencies Act, many of us didn’t believe the police would enforce it until we actually saw them moving through the streets of Ottawa one slow step at a time.   

Quick recap: Prime minister Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act on Feb 14. That same day the blockade at the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor, Ontario was cleared and the following day the RCMP said goodbye (it was touching) to the protesters blockading the border at Coutts, Alberta. And finally on Feb 19 the police began to disperse the protesters occupying Ottawa.*

Incoherent lawmaking

Notwithstanding this dramatic turn of events, premier Kenney is challenging the Emergencies Act in court. He says it’s unjustified and unnecessary because provincial law enforcement is perfectly capable of clearing illegal blockades.

Except it isn’t.

A week and a half ago, Ric McIver, Kenney’s Transportation Minister, wrote to the Feds pleading for help in dealing with the Coutts blockade. He said the RCMP had exhausted all local and regional options and were unable to get their hands on the heavy equipment needed to remove vehicles, tractors, and trailers blockading the border crossing.   

The Emergencies Act provides exactly the kind of tools McIver would need if another blockade springs up or, heaven forbid, some idiots decide to occupy Edmonton, but Kenney doesn’t want any part of it.

Why not?

Recent comments by two U of C law profs provide a clue.

Crisis of confidence

In an ABlawg post Shaun Fluker says the premier is misconstruing the real reason for the proclamation of a national emergency, it’s more than just the blockades and the occupations; it’s a full blown crisis of confidence in government.**

This crisis arises from way the Kenney government imposed covid public health restrictions over the past 2 years and was exacerbated by the failure to use the new enforcement powers the government created under the Critical Infrastructure Defence Act to remove the Coutts blockade. (Indeed, rather than enforce these new powers members of Kenney’s caucus attempted to negotiate a backchannel deal with the protesters at Coutts).

Public health restrictions

Prof Fluker says the Kenney government handled the covid pandemic with almost no regard for basic democratic processes. Public health restrictions were often incoherent and difficult to understand, sprung on the public at media scrums with no advance notice and provided little or no explanation as to why one behavior was acceptable and another was not.

In addition to the failures in due process, transparency, and accountability described by Prof Fluker, let’s not forget the premier’s attempt to appease the anti-restrictions crowd by constantly reminding them that the restrictions he himself had imposed were extremely damaging and a violation of their Charter rights and freedoms.

Add to that Kenney’s condemnation of Justin Trudeau for the federal truckers’ vaccine mandate, his all-for-show trip to the US to meet with various governors to pressure President Biden to lift the vaccine mandate on the US side of the border, and his penchant for retweeting photos of empty grocery shelves and big trucks doing whatever it is big trucks do, and before you knew it, a gang of Albertans were blockading Coutts, some were conspiring to murder RCMP officers, and others were holed up in Ottawa trying to throw the prime minister out of office.

This volatile situation was inflamed by the protesters’ willingness to believe misinformation and conspiracy theories and their utter lack of understanding of the section 91/section 92 division of powers and the Canadian justice system. (No, we don’t have First Amendment rights, no, the police do not have to read us our Miranda rights and no, it’s not a tenet of international law that waving a white tee shirt or undershorts will make you immune from capture, that only works in cartoons).   

Now here’s the kicker, as my former law prof Nigel Bankes recently tweeted, one of the most important accountability provisions in the Emergencies Act is the requirement for an inquiry into the “circumstances that led to the declaration being issued.” Prof Bankes says such an inquiry would most certainly include an investigation into Kenney’s “complete and utter failure to contain the events at Coutts.”

No Emergencies Act, no inquiry. How about that.

Hypocrisy (again)

Kenney is going to court to argue the Emergencies Act is not justified in these circumstances.   

He’s implied that even Tommy Douglas would agree with him because Tommy Douglas said using the War Measures Act in 1970 was like using a sledgehammer to crack a peanut. Given that the present and past federal NDP leaders, Jagmeet Singh and Thomas Mulcair, support the invocation of the Emergencies Act for many reasons including the fact that the EA, unlike the WMA, is subject to the Charter and the Canadian Bill of Rights, Kenney just might have gotten this one wrong.   

Maybe what’s really bothering Kenney is that his attempt to appease his pro- and anti-public health measures supporters blew up in his face while Trudeau’s decision to invoke the Emergencies Act is supported by 66% of Canadians.

Poor Jason Kenney; outplayed by Justin Trudeau again.

*The Ambassador blockade likely would have cleared in any event. Some Coutts protesters said the Emergencies Act together with the discovery of a cache of firearms caused them to go home.

**See also Mr Fluker’s interview with Markham Hislop.

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63 Responses to Jason Kenney Reacts to the Emergencies Act

  1. So very well said, Susan. I can’t help but think that there is a more sinister element to all this anti-mandate business and that is an effort to undermine the rule of law by an aggrieved white nationalist and ultra-conservative segment of our society.

    • Greg, I’ve had the same thought. I suppose one thing that worked in our favour is their so-called organizers didn’t have the brain power to pull it off.

      • Michelle says:

        This is the third iteration of the strategy. The first was the Yellow Vest convoy in 2019, then the Jan 6 in 2021, now this. There’s a steady escalation in fundraising sophistication, tactics, and strategy execution.

        Establishing logistics and command camps is a new development, as is the shift in fundraising from public fundraiser sites towards cryptocurrency.

        IMO, this was a ‘dry run’, and it was far more successful than they had expected it to be.

        *I know Jan 6 was in the US, but if the GiveSendGo data dump tells us anything it’s that there is significant collaboration across the border between these groups.

      • Michelle these are very good points. I just checked Google for an update on the trucker convoy which is supposed to roll into to Washington DC. It hasn’t picked up much steam so far but that’s not to say it won’t. DC is taking it seriously. 700 National Guards have been deployed to the area.
        If nothing else everyone learned some an important lessons from the Cdn experience. These guys have no qualms about breaking the law. There should be no accommodation and no negotiation, just law enforcement.

  2. Dwayne says:

    Susan: Like these trucker protesters, who are directionless, lack any real purpose for what they are doing, the UCP is also lacking direction, are confused, and do not know what they are doing. This really doesn’t make anyone a winner. Furthermore, it was Tommy Douglas, who created public health care in Canada. The UCP wants to dismantle and privatize public healthcare in Alberta, and they want to finish off what Ralph Klein tried to start with that. I’ll be glad when the UCP are gone. The extensive damage the UCP has done will be taking a very long time to fix. I’ll share some more good music, which is in my music collection. This is Heart, doing their composition, Walkin’ Good. It features Nancy Wilson, younger sister and bandmate of Ann Wilson, doing a duet with Canadian music icon, Sarah McLachlan. This is from 2012. I saw Heart 5 times live, and I saw Sarah McLachlan a few times live. Sarah McLachlan is also in my music collection.

    • jerrymacgp says:

      With respect, Dwayne, I disagree that the UCP lacks direction. Their direction is clear: to create within Alberta a deregulated business-libertarian utopia in which any business in any industry may do whatever it likes to wherever and whomever it sees fit, without accountability to anyone — except perhaps their shareholders if they are publicly traded — while at the same time and in the same breath, setting out controls and constraints on human behaviour and interpersonal relationships that would make any Commander in Gilead proud.

      • Guy says:

        jerrymacgp: In my opinion you’ve written a wonderfully concise and accurate description of what the UCP have been doing, or attempting to do, since they gained power. Well said, and thanks.

      • jerrymacgp: I agree with Guy’s comment. Thanks!

      • Dwayne says:

        jerrymacgp: I see where you are coming from, but to clarify I mean that the premier of Alberta, (that title is still in question), is talking out of both sides of his mouth, on different issues. I do know that the UCP wants to do what Ralph Klein intended to do, which is continue with privatization of important services, like healthcare, and other core services, and continue with a neoliberal shift, which won’t help Alberta.

    • Thanks for this Dwayne. Just picking up on your Tommy Douglas comment. I saw an article by former NDP leader, Ed Broadbent. He voted in favour of the EA when it was passed in 1988. He said unlike the War Measures Act, the EA has reduced powers, is subject to significant Parliamentary review, would expire in 30 days and was created (in part) to support and uphold the Charter.
      He noted that the EA gives the authorities the power to follow the money and stop any flow of funds “that could have made the situation much worse.”
      Not that any of this matters to Kenney. He trots out the Tommy Douglas’s quote about the War Measures Act and pretends Douglas’s quote would apply equally to the EA (which it doesn’t) and tries to use it to support his court challenge of the EA.
      He must think we’re all idiots without access to the internet.

      • Dwayne says:

        Susan: The premier of Alberta, (again, that title is in question, and for good reasons), is talking out of both sides of his mouth. He abhors the NDP, yet quotes Tommy Douglas, (the forerunner to the NDP), who was also fiscally responsible, as were the NDP, more than any other government. The premier of Alberta, (who is still being investigated by the Mounties, for how he got into his present position), was at another time talking about the neo-Stalinist “make work” projects of Peter Lougheed and Don Getty, and at another time he was trying to praise Peter Lougheed. I do remember something like this happening. That’s other ways that he is speaking out of both sides of his mouth.

  3. Sharon says:

    The pretend premier shows his ignorance again. Whoever is advising him is not much smarter. The invocation of the EA was a welcome relief and the inquiry will be interesting. Too bad this all won’t be out in the open before the leadership review. Just another nail in the coffin…and didn’t Jason’s mother teach him the importance of working with others? And don’t even get me started on the CCP. I hope that Pierre realizes that all conservatives are not nut jobs like him….

    • Sharon, you raise an interesting point in your very last sentence. if Kenney and Pierre Poilievre continue to swing farther and farther to the right, where will the moderate conservatives go? At least those of us on the centre-left can choose between the Liberals and the NDP.
      Everything I’ve read about Canadians as a whole says we’re becoming more and more progressive. If that’s the case the federal conservatives will lose what’s left of their base pretty soon.
      Interesting times ahead!

  4. Jim says:

    I’m also looking forward to the inquiry’s consideration of the response – or lack thereof – on the part of the Ford government, and whether prompt and effective action by Ontario, in support of the City of Ottawa, could have resolved the crisis early. Or whether – as some on Twitter have suggested – their interest was more aligned with helping the convoy.

    • Jim, no doubt you’ve seen all the clips that appeared on social media showing members of the police either turning a blind eye to infractions or blantantly telling the occupiers they supported them. I was just listening some interviews with Ottawa residents who said they felt abandoned by the police force (to say nothing of local, provincial and federal politicians). It’s critical that the inquiry uncover how this happened in the first place and why it dragged on so long.

  5. Dwayne says:

    Susan: I’ll share something else, that features 3 former Yardbirds lead guitarists, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page. They are doing a live instrumental version of Stairway To Heaven, at The Cow Palace, in San Francisco, in 1983. This was a benefit concert that was to help their friend, the British musician, Ronnie Lane, from The Small Faces, and The Faces, get the medical treatment he needed for his battle with MS. Many British musicians took part in this, as did some American musicians. Jimmy Page was among the last musicians to be given the chance to take part. The other musicians here are Chris Stainton on keyboards, Simon Phillips on drums, and Fernando Saunders on bass. I saw Eric Clapton once live, and I also saw Jeff Beck twice live. Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page are also in my music collection. Until we can see live music, we have things like this.

  6. lungta mtn says:

    A stark realisation by the Coutts blockade organizers over rode
    the tacit approval of the smug blueslime midget
    “We were …..we were a magnet for people with ulterior motives”
    And this reaction of his nibs has nothing to do with the EA really
    Like the Coutts disbandment had zero UPC effort beyond “tsk,tsk”
    It is kenneys crass political maneuvering and manipulation of the narrative
    for the down in the dirt ignorant , willing to be deceived.
    The mental perception of UCP voters is highly over-rated
    but how ever wrong they have the appearance of a fighter in the ring

    • lungta mtn, Kenney’s signaled his position vis-a-vis the Coutts blockaders throughout the entire ordeal. He has yet to censure Grant Hunter (one of his MLAs) for joining the Coutts protesters and posting pictures of himself on Facebook “defending” freedom. I suppose Kenney is afraid to open his mouth for fear that Hunter will mobilize a bunch of UCP members to vote against him in the Apr 9 leadership review. Either that or Kenney really did support the blockaders all along.
      And now Kenney is launching a court challenge to the EA in another sad attempt to prove his bona fides to his base. This man is not fit to be our premier.

  7. ronmac says:

    While JT and his army of fervent supporters have convinced themselves they are valiantly fighting against a rebellion led by white supremacists and fascists who are anti-science (horror of horrors!), the rest of the world is starting to wonder what’s going on in Justin’s head.

    In particular, Justin’s tendency to snap back at anyone questioning him and calling them a Nazi has caught the ire of a group of Israeli doctors who sent him a letter telling him to stop calling convoy protestors Nazis.

    • jerrymacgp says:

      One is judged by the company one keeps. Granted, not all of the convoyers were Nazis — many were white supremacists of another ilk, many religious dominionists seeking to overturn Man’s law in favour of God’s, & many were there solely for the stated reason that they were protesting a public health measure that had already been place for most border crossers but had been held in abeyance for long-haul truckers until January, and which was also being applied by the Excited States.

      But when the first swastika flags, banners & posters, Confederate battle flags, yellow Star of David patches, and similar symbols of hate appeared, every convoyer who failed to immediately fold up their tent or pack up their big rig and leave, gave tacit approval to those views, and so will be judged alongside those who displayed those hateful symbols.

      • Ronmac I agree with jerrymacgp and Carlos on this.
        jerrymacgp and Carlos, on a related topic, I am interested in how the occupiers will react after the police have impounded their trucks and slapped them with fines.
        I was reading about a guy who’d just paid off his $155,000 truck and was protesting so his grandchildren would be free. He didn’t leave the protest because he believed the organizers who said the cops couldn’t take his truck if he put a “no trespassing, private property” notice on the windshield.
        Who’s he going to blame when his truck is impounded?
        If he blames the organizers he’ll have to admit to himself he was duped by the organizers who promised he’d be reimbursed if he kept his receipts (nope, the organizers’ bank accounts are frozen), the cops couldn’t touch him or his truck (nope, the Emergencies Act is real and is being enforced), and his First Amendment rights trumped the Emergencies Act (nope, wrong jurisdiction).
        I think he’ll say it’s all that tyrant Trudeau’s fault.

      • ronmac says:

        If anything, the leaked donor list of 92,000 names has shown there is widespread public support for an end to pandemic restrictions for which the truck convoy protestors have become a rallying cry. Dwelling on a few wackos carrying swastikas who attend any protest is a universal tactic to de-legitimize that protest and a sign of an inability to understand the grievances being ignored.

        The left leaning Canadaland podcast interviewed three of these donors. One was a lifelong NDP supporter and another was a former Liberal Party fundraiser.


      • ronmac there may be widespread support for the lifting of covid restrictions (I don’t know I haven’t seen the most recent polls), but that’s not the same thing as widespread support for the occupations and blockades. Angus Reid did a poll based on party affiliation. Members of all parties supported the convoy to some degree but conservatives supported the convoy in greater numbers than the liberals and NDP. https://angusreid.org/trudeau-convoy-trucker-protest-vaccine-mandates-covid-19/

      • GoinFawr says:

        “I would just point out that from the very outset of the illegal blockade, that a number of organizers and leaders of the so-called Freedom Convoy made a number of profoundly concerning and extremist statements calling for the overthrow of the government through violence,” – Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino

        “We don’t have anything in laws that prevent people from coming to protests and we can’t turn them away. So for us, operationally, it was all about reducing that footprint in Ottawa and the only way to do that was to stop people from coming in or incentivizing them to leave,” – RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki.

        Those two seem like experienced, qualified individuals with high level access to me ronmac, so you will have to forgive me if it offends your sense of rugged individuality that I will accept their assessment of the situation over yours.

    • Carlos says:

      I am the rest of the world and I am way more concerned about what is going on in the heads of people like you that somehow created this idea that you are superior to everyone else maybe guarded by this evangelical belief that they are the chosen ones.

      Justin Trudeau is not a perfect human being like you but at least he believes in reality.

      I would suggest to you that parading around Ottawa with Canadian flags with swastikas and using the US first amendment as a protection of your rights is not really the best way to show your love for your country.

      I think that you are constantly in need of attention and I am fine with that as well but just so you know we are not really the Facebook crowd that believe in fairy tales.

  8. Windsor Tom says:

    To say the Ambassador Bridge protest would have dissipated on its own is among the dumbest remarks anyone can make. I grew up in the shadow of the bridge and believe me, those protesters weren’t going anywhere voluntarily. Only the actions of police from Windsor, London and Ontario Provincial Police ended the week long blockade of an international crossing that carries millions of dollars of business each day. To be polite, Mr. Kenney knows not of which he speaks.

    • Windsor Tom: fair comment. I’d read that more than $400 million/day in trade crossed that border and that the police had to call upon American tow truck companies to clear away the vehicles. What an awful mess that would have been. This business about the tow truck companies refusing to come out because it would be bad for business makes no sense. The towing companies are hired by the city, not by the semi-trailer trucking companies. Either the drivers sympathized with the truckers or they realized it would be unsafe to be out there in the midst of the protesters without police protection and they didn’t think they could count on the police. This was no longer an issue once Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act.

  9. jerrymacgp says:

    Many have said that the Emergencies Act was unnecessary, and that the competent law enforcement authorities in the City of Ottawa and Province of Ontario had the necessary tools to bring an end to this occupation. Perhaps that’s true, but even if it were, before the proclamation of the Act, THEY HAD BEEN REFUSING TO USE THEM.

    One of the effects of the Emergencies Act was to grant to the Government of Canada those powers and authorities it would, or have had without it. For example, while the RCMP and Parliamentary Protection Service have authority on the grounds of Parliament per se, have no such authority on Wellington Street, which is after all nothing more than a city street in the City of Ottawa, within the Province of Ontario — Canada, unlike the US or Australia, not having its national capital situated within a distinct jurisdiction such as the District of Columbia or the Australian Capital Territory. (Let’s not forget, the RCMP acted at the Coutts blockade as the provincial police force in Alberta under its contract policing model, not as the national police force). The Act’s proclamation gave RCMP jurisdiction on city streets in Ottawa.

    Then there is the matter of the financial measures, which would not have been able to be taken in a timely fashion without this legislation.

    Finally, for those making false comparisons to the 1914 War Measures Act, I’m old enough to remember the October Crisis: I was a child of 11 when all that went down, and living in the national capital region on the Québec side of the river at the time, and let me tell you, as minority Anglophones in a restive francophone-majority Québec, we felt very insecure about all of it. There were armed troops on the front steps of my English-language elementary school for a time then. What schools in Canada have armed troops on their front steps this week? People need to get over themselves.

    • jerrymacgp your point (in CAPS) is very well taken. Two days after the Emergencies Act was invoked Chief Sloly resigned, he was replaced by Steve Bell who worked with municipal, provincial and federal law enforcement and used the additional powers granted by the EA to clear out Ottawa over one weekend.
      Three weeks of nothing, then two days of policing and the residents of Ottawa are breathing a little easier again. As Shaun Fluker said, the EA was necessary because we were suffering a crisis of leadership. The inquiry after this is all over will show us how this happened and what we can do to avoid it in the future so we don’t have to invoke the EA again.
      With respect to the false comparisons to the 1914 War Measures Act; it’s one thing when people like Tamara Lich are confused about their nonexistent First Amendment rights, and her husband asks the bail judge whether the EA is legal or whether it goes “against everything that is good and holy.” It’s quite another thing when people who should know better (like Jason Kenney) pretend the EA is the modern day equivalent of the War Measures Act and try to drag the rest of us down the rabbit hole of how bad the WMA is.

  10. Irene says:

    In Jason Kenney’s bizarre rationale, what would have to happen before the Emergencies Act was invoked? Storming of Parliament? MP’s being hung from the rafters? Canadians across the country were shaken by the fact our nation’s capital could be under siege in this way, and for so long! Those poor people in Ottawa. What does it mean for the rest of us if this can happen there? And, the blockading of trade routes? How is that acceptable for Jason Kenney’s UCP, who are constantly harping about “the economy”? I was relieved when Trudeau brought in the Emergencies Act and order was restored. With no casualties. I held my breath through that process, I’ll tell you. I like to think the composure and discipline of the horses helped with that! For Jason Kenney to attack Trudeau after asking for federal help to deal with the Coutts blockade? Even his most convoluted pretzel logic has failed him and makes him look like an ass. But even worse, our whole country looks like a nation of ignorant and pliable hoosiers now, because of a few misguided misfits and the Conservative parties that manipulate them for their own ends.

    • Irene, I agree with everything you’ve said. Interestingly Ric McIver is backtracking on his letter to the feds where he asked for help at Coutts. He tweeted that the feds didn’t “grant Alberta’s request for federal assistance.” I’m not sure what that means, did the feds say get lost or did the Alberta RCMP find additional personal from BC and didn’t need any more help from the feds?
      McIver also said “The extraordinary measures under the Emergencies Act were neither asked for, nor needed to resolve the Coutts border blockade.” And yet protesters at Coutts said when the feds invoked the EA they decided it was time to go home. I’m suspect the discovery of the cache of weapons and the conspiracy to murder RCMP officers played into their decision as well.

  11. Paul Pearlman says:

    Jason Jason Jason what will be next !!! This week it’s suing the Federal Government for using harsh methods for getting the economy rolling again ask the auto workers in Ontario. Giving in to the protesters at Coutts seems to be just one more Political move to save your job that you are failing at miserably.The Pandemic shows that you never have the people of Alberta in mind when you make all of your inept decisions and then of course ask the Federal Government for everything they are providing to try to end the Pandemic. I know you think you are doing what Albertans want but it is a growing smaller by the day group.If you really want to do something right for the first time in the last 2 years resign and maybe the rest of Canada would stop laughing at you and our Province that you have no idea how to govern!!!!

    • Paul, I join you in your “Jason, Jason, Jason” lament. Funny how the big moves to help Alberta came from Trudeau, not Kenney. Trudeau bought Trans Mountain (a boon to the oil sector), Trudeau forked over 80% of Alberta’s covid relief, and the mere fact Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act directly or indirectly caused the Coutts protesters to go home.
      Meanwhile Kenney stumbles around like a bull in a china shop, blowing $1.3 billion on KXL, impairing the province’s ability to provide public services by cutting corporate taxes, driving doctors and nurses out of the province, weakening public healthcare and undermining public education, the list goes on.
      There will be one hell of a lot of work to do when Rachel gets back in power in 2023.

  12. Linda says:

    Kenney once again demonstrates his total inability to lead. Minister McIver didn’t send his missive to Ottawa pleading for assistance without Kenney knowing about it. I’d add that a ‘review’ of why the EA was put into play will likely note that at least two UCP MLA’s participated in the illegal blockade(s)/occupation. Wouldn’t it be interesting if those MLA’s were fined, arrested or had their financial assets frozen pending a review? Is this latest waste of taxpayer dollars on Kenney’s part an attempt to shield the actions of those MLA’s from scrutiny? Bottom line is, Trudeau did what had to be done to protect the rights & freedoms of literally thousands of Canadian citizens to 1) sleep peacefully in their own beds; 2) earn a living; 3) have access to & be able to travel on roads/streets their tax dollars paid for. Kenney meanwhile is as per one news article ‘having to focus his efforts on retaining leadership’. The next election can’t come soon enough.

    • Linda, I couldn’t help but smile at your reference to the news article that said Kenney was focusing his efforts on retaining leadership. I would say he’s done nothing but focus on retaining his leadership throughout the last 2 years. This is why his covid response was so haphazard and why he didn’t do more to discipline members of his caucus who violated his covid restrictions left, right, and centre.
      And then came the most egregious violation of all. His Transportation Minister sent a letter to the federal government pleading for help with the Coutts blockade while another one of his MLAs was all over FaceBook celebrating with the illegal blockade as a fight for freedom.
      That’is one messed up caucus he’s got there. And you know what they say, the tone of an organization is set at the top. I’d say the “tone” we’re seeing here is a complete and utter lack of leadership.

  13. Dwayne says:

    Susan: This is the only way I can respond to another one of your comments. If you own a motor vehicle, you cannot park it anywhere you feel like. For example, if someone had a truck, and they parked it in the middle of Centre Street, in downtown Calgary, it would be illegal to do that. The police would tell them they are obstructing traffic, and also preventing emergency responders from getting to people who need their services. If they didn’t comply, they would get a ticket, and their truck would be towed.

    • Dwayne, this is very true. And yet the police didn’t seem to be keen on enforcing these simple laws. They could have nipped the occupation of Ottawa in the bud before it started (it’s not like they didn’t see the convoy coming, literally, for days), and they could have enforced the laws (like the ones you’ve referred to) at Coutts and the Ambassador bridge. I will be very interested in seeing the results of the inquiry into this mess. I suspect there are a few police chiefs and perhaps even a few premiers who are a little worried about we will discover.

  14. Al&Miggy says:

    Good account Susan, It is interesting to note that Canada is probably the only place these protests and attempted insurrection could have occured. Imagine this happening in the US. The National guard would have been called out in hours.
    I think Canada was targeted by far right groups in the US to promote their dangerous ideologies.

    • Carlos says:


      it did happen in the US on January 6 – 2021 and they were supported by their own president. They did not do better than us. Interestingly enough they they were way more critical of our response but that is not surprising.
      Far right groups are doing this all over the democratic world and in my opinion this all started with Trump empowering them.

      • Carlos, you’ve highlighted a very important difference between the Jan 6 protest and the truckers convoy, namely that Trump encouraged the Jan 6 protesters every step of the way whereas Trudeau condemned the convoy participants in clear, unequivocal language and told them to go home.
        Some people condemned Trudeau for his comments, pointing to the time he said that some anti-vaxxers are often racists and misogynists. They argued this was divisive language. However Trudeau was talking about SOME anti-vaxxers, not all the occupiers. Furthermore it is true that some anti-vaxxers are indeed racists and misogynists. We saw examples of that in Ottawa when some anti-vaxxers verbally, if not physicially, abused people of colour and women.

    • Al&Miggy I just read an opinion piece in the Ottawa Citizen which said given the large number of police that had to be brought in and the determination of the occupiers it’s a wonder there were no deaths or serious injury. Maybe this is a uniquely Canadian thing, either that or after three weeks of being handled with kid gloves the occupiers convinced themselves they could get away with anything.
      I think Michelle made a good point when she said this was the third attempt by the extremists to pull this off. Thank god it didn’t turn into the Canadian version of Jan 6.
      Here’s the link: https://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/egan-a-blockade-miracle-metal-seas-parted-disaster-avoided

  15. Guy says:

    The lawsuit over the invocation of the Emergencies Act is simply the most recent example of Jason Kenney’s potlicking. Or do I mean politicking? I’m not sure anymore since the two words are apparently interchangeable in Jason Kenney’s world. Once again Kenney is clearly placing his own political future ahead of the needs of Albertans by appealing to his base in an attempt to survive his upcoming leadership review under the pretense of ‘standing up for Alberta’. As if he’s ever actually honestly represented Albertans even once since he was elected.

    I happened to catch an interview that Kenney did with Rosemary Barton of CBC, recorded last Friday and broadcast Sunday morning, in which they discussed the invocation of the Emergencies Act as well as the Alberta government’s response to COVID and a couple of other topics. As often happens, at least to my ears, Kenney sounded like a petulant child who is unhappy with one of his parents for denying him something that he wants and now he is determined to get even with that parent. It reinforced in me just how sick and tired I am of the constant gaslighting and projection that we in Alberta have been subjected to under the UCP and how desperately this province is in need of actual political leadership. If Kenney’s own party doesn’t kick him to the curb in April then I can only hope that enough Albertans vote to do so in 2023. Enough is is enough.

    • Amen to that Guy. Trudeau revoked the Emergencies Act today, 10 days after it went into effect. An inquiry into its deployment will commence within 60 days. It’s extremely unlikely that we’ll get the results of that inquiry before Kenney’s leadership review, however the inquiry’s report will be available well before the next election.
      I am particularly interested in the inquiry’s findings with respect to Kenney insisting everything was under control at Coutts while at the same time his Transportation Minister had written to the feds pleading for help.
      And while we’re on the subject, why did Kenney keep this plea for help under wraps. Was he concerned that he couldn’t say the situation in Coutts was out of control when his own MLA was on site cheering on the blockaders?

  16. Carlos says:

    Well as usual I was not able to reply to Sharon and so I will post this as a separate post but this is a reply to SHARON

    Thank you Sharon

    I respect Susan’s warning but to be honest I think in life one has to protect some basic principles that to me are sacred. The crowds we saw in Ottawa do not respect anything at all and those that protect them obviously have the same intent. I do not think we can respect these people the same way we do decent people.

    It is a mistake to believe these people will respect us the same way we seem to try to respect them. The results of trying to be fair to this kind of situation is obvious and dangerous and they know it and take full advantage of it.

    I respect Susan and her amazing work in this blog but I think that we cannot be naïve and allow liars and opportunists to sink us as a society. The results can be catastrophic. Not everyone deserves our good intentions and our true democratic principles.

    I do not need to lighten up and I know very well where ronmac is trying to take this. Their strategies are now very well known to most of us.

    Sending me to the room is Susan’s right to do and I will very kindly leave this blog anytime she asks me to but I can assure you it is a big mistake in the long run because there are very few people that are willing to defend our democratic values and our great Canadian principles. We need to stay strong together and not divided because believe me the extreme right is not going to quit their attacks until they have what they want. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

    • Carlos, thank you for this.
      I agree with you that we have to call out those who do not respect the rule of law and we certainly saw that in spades during the occupation and blockades, both of which were bizarre and dangerous (and made even more so by the lack of law enforcement).
      Judith Taylor, a sociologist specializing in social movements, said people who organize know they’re putting their bodies on the line in front of governance. They expect they may experience physical harm. But she’d never seen a social movement treated with such kid gloves. She said the business of taking public space and filling it with bathtubs, barbecues and bouncy castles was more of a celebration than an airing of grievances. She said “you didn’t get the sense that they really felt that their lives sort of depended on this action, because when you feel like your life depends on an action, you don’t get into a bathtub.”
      I’m not sure exactly who these people were and who was behind them, but we see them now and we’ll be much better prepared the next time.

  17. Carlos says:

    Here is an article that I think it is important to read for those that, like me. believe we need democratic renewal and not just have free elections. Democracy is way more than that and with the system we have of full competition between two parties is no longer enough. Our world is too complex for democracy to flourish on its own. We claim to be a democracy but we do nothing to support it. Politicians are comfortable with what we have now because it is convenient to their objectives but that is not democracy.
    Please read this, it is a good start.


  18. Dave says:

    I think Kenney’s campaign against the Emergencies Act is basically just an opportunistic play to the Conservative base. They might not be united on COVID, or the protests, but the one thing that seems to rally Conservative partisans is attacks against the Liberals and Trudeau.

    It is very hypocritical to ask the Feds for help on one hand in dealing with a blockade and then on the other hand attack the Feds once the Federal action has mitigated the problem. Of course, I doubt the Federal government expects much of Kenney or cares that much about his latest rant. On a national scale, he is now fairly politically irrelevant, just the annoying guy nattering away in the background. The Emergencies Act was put into effect mostly in response to the situation in Ontario and with the support of the Ontario PC, yes Conservative, government.

    However, despite UCP assertions, It also did have the effect of quickly resolving the blockade in southern Alberta. Its announcement neatly coincided with the end of this blockade and it is far from certain this blockade would have ended without out it.

    It seems to be one of Kenney’s go to strategies to attack the Federal government when he gets into trouble or can’t adequately deal with a situation. However, this is a waste of Alberta taxpayer dollars and the Kenney’s excessively partisan overly theatrical approach is getting a bit tiresome. In the end, it will probably accomplish nothing.

  19. GoinFawr says:

    Nationally, any support the ‘protesters’ in Ottawa were getting from the general population has waned since hackers leaked the donor list, and the RCMP uncovered at Coutts’ border crossing what appears to be a nation-wide fascist plot, along with the will and an arsenal to see it through.

    Naturally, the weeks long attempt to Coal Roll and honk the country into submission has been deeply unpopular with Ottawa residents from day 1, regardless of the party scenes streamed by the ‘protesters’. ie It was not a peaceful occupation, or popular.

    But it certainly was well funded.

    As more and more evidence comes to light of just how serious this attack on Canadian political institutions was/is, I am sure it is very heartening for Canadians (and ron’) to see their closest ally stepping up:

    Congressional Democrats in the US have sent a letter “demanding details from Facebook about how many fake online accounts created by foreign actors helped promote Canada’s convoy protests”


    ” According to recent reporting, a Missouri woman’s Facebook account was hacked and stolen as far back as October 2021, and hackers then used the account to create of some of the largest Facebook groups organizing the blockade in Ottawa, Canada. Between January 26 and January 28, 2022, the account launched several Facebook groups that grew to include more than 340,000 combined members and has attracted online support from far-right groups. These Facebook groups were used to raise millions of dollars in funds.”


    Compare that to the DDoS data leak that suggests just 36,000 Canadians, or about 0.1% of the population were involved with funding the Coaly Rollers
    Yeah, the support was ‘widespread’ all right, ron’: a thin smear across this wide nation.

    Incidentally, that data leak also indicated that an even larger number of US citizens donated, and in some cases to which groups they belonged. Those folk would do well to bear in mind that Canada has had an extradition treaty with the US since 1976.

  20. GoinFawr says:

    This goes out to ron’, since, according to them, anyone who has ever danced or smiled cannot be anything but pure innocence, regardless of anything else they have ever planned on doing, tried to do, or flat out done.


  21. GoinFawr says:

    Truck Driver fired for incident involving cyclist:

    Be on notice Coaly Rollers, there will be NO ‘Jericho March’ ing of any Canadian cities, EVER.

    For what it is worth, here is the biblical reference that is so popular with the Coutts crowd:

    Joshua 6, 9-11
    “All this time the trumpets were sounding. But Joshua had commanded the army, “Do not give a war cry, do not raise your voices, do not say a word until the day I tell you to shout. Then shout!”

    When the trumpets sounded, the army shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the men gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so everyone charged straight in, and they took the city. 21 They devoted the city to the Lord and destroyed with the sword every living thing in it—men and women, young and old, cattle, sheep and donkeys.”

    These folk are not funny crazy, they’re scary crazy.

    • Carlos says:

      GoinFawr this is priceless – what a good laugh I had even though I was alone.

      Jericho March should, from now on, be how we identify these protests 🙂 🙂 🙂

      As for the scary story well that is the love of God of course that is why wars cannot end we have to keep dedicating cities to the Lord and wipe them out – if I am not mistaken that what has happened in Bagdad recently. The God at that time was called George Bush I think.

  22. James says:

    Hi Susan, so in response to your question about moderate conservative voters, I’m planning to vote for Rachel in the provincial elections. She’s shown herself to be a pragmatist similar to Romanov in Saskatchewan. Also I’ve always had a soft spot for her father, Grant, who also was a pragmatist. Federally, I don’t know. I don’t hate Trudeau but inflation is clearly on him and Freeland, they went overboard on stimulus and deficit spending and put all my retirement savings at risk. Can’t vote conservative because of the right wing extremists, So we’ll see who gets elected leader; I’m not optimistic.

  23. Carlos says:

    To everyone interested
    I thought this article to be of extreme importance to us Canadians.
    The way Canada is portrayed by a major ally is of importance to our education of politics today.
    Basically the only newspaper I had some trust in the US seems to have gone the way of social media. One less source of information not to worry about anymore – at least for myself.
    The US has a much bigger extreme right wing problem than I ever suspected. Time to be on guard for thee.


    If you have friends that care about news like this send this to them. Mainstream media is definitely in the hands of big money as well, even in Canada.

    • GoinFawr says:

      The beaverton did a decent spoof on the times’ twisted coverage.

      I mean really, when we compare what happened in Ottawa to how many actual peaceful anti-war protesters were arrested across Russia yesterday and today. After ONE day of NOT blockading borders or Coal Rolling Moscow. Hunh

      This should give the Coaly Rollers some perspective, though it’s best not to hold your breath while waiting for things like verifiable facts to sink in with that lot. They probably still think Putin’s the bomb, because that is what they’ve been conditioned to think by RT. The reality is that the lunatic HAS the bomb.

      • Carlos says:

        ‘The reality is that the lunatic HAS the bomb.’


        There is no doubt he is HITLER with the bomb – so here is the question – how do you reply to this catastrophe? HMMM interesting question

  24. GoinFawr says:

    In light of recent events I would like to add the this link for the following reasons

    One, because recent events in Ukraine are highlighting just how duped, small minded and petty Canada’s Coaly Rollers’ whines, whinges, and whimpers really are.

    Two, because that horrific scene illustrates how heavy equipment is weaponized, and provides a clear moral connection between people who could roll over a civilian car with a tank, and people who, like in my other linked video, would roll a semi on a cyclist blocking their way.

    Three, because, to my knowledge, the poor individual in the car was somehow still alive and rescued, by Ukrainian civilians.

    Bear in mind: in both cases, those were absolutely the nicest videos I could find, the rest are either too full of expletives, or worse.

    • Carlos says:

      This is absolutely amazing. The easiness a human being just turns into a maniac and decides to run someone with a war vehicle. This is what war does to all of us. The trauma Ukranians will have to carry with them for many years never mind their children is overwhelming and many people never recover and live a life of permanent nostalgia of better times.
      I happened to watch the video by accident and I did see another man helping the fellow that was in the car and he seemed to be alright. There was no sign of blood at all so I am assuming he was ok. I cannot remember where I saw it.

      Anytime someone is attacked by a bear in our parks, invariably the bear is hunted down and in many instances killed supposedly because the bear is too aggressive towards humans. I wished we would look at ourselves in the mirror a lot more and just realize that we are way more terrifying than a bear can ever be.
      I wished we would be a bit braver and do the same to Putin and stop him from attacking us.

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