Today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau again addressed the nation on the COVID-19 pandemic, this time bearing gifts of the vague, squeaking demands to the citizens of Canada of “stay at home, or face the consequences.”
While no one can deny the severity of COVID-19 as a vicious, invisible enemy attacking our collective body—Trudeau’s mealy-mouthed speech brought with it a suggestion that only few may have picked up on; one which should concern us all.
Rather than simply stating it outright in plain language all Canadians could understand, Trudeau’s speech inferred that he was dancing around the prospect of invoking the Emergency Measures Act. The Act would enforce a national state of emergency which would give the federal government legislature-free powers.
Shortly after Trudeau’s speech, the Federal Liberals revealed they were ready to table a bill on Tuesday that, if passed, would grant them sweeping power over Canada’s wallet until December 2021. The bill would allow the Liberals to spend and tax at will without the approval of Parliament.
In effect, if this proposed bill passes and the Emergency Measures Act is also invoked—the federal Liberals will have complete and total control over every aspect of Canadian life, their powers casting a dark shadow over that of elected local governments.
As someone who has watched the COVID-19 situation unfold with hawk-eyes, it is leaving me with the question of… Why?
This is not a conspiracy. I am not wrapping tin-foil around my head as I have no desire to make a run to the grocery store for more.
My question is genuinely concerned with what good providing the federal government unlimited power over Canada’s wallet and provincial governments will do when it has proven itself incapable of administering the situations it has been handed up until this point.
Everyone recalls the disasters at our federally-administered airports, where individuals were walking through customs from coronavirus hotbeds with nary a question as to whether they were feeling feverish. It led to some provinces having to deploy their own agents to airports because the federal CATSA was widely regarded as having no instruction on screening issued down the pipeline to follow.
Everyone recalls the lax addresses by Liberal Health Minister Patty Hajdu, who claimed up until just recently that border closures from coronavirus hotbeds were entirely unnecessary and ineffectual. Even Trudeau himself was incapable of deciding whether he wanted to close the illegal border crossing at Roxham road until three days ago.
The examples could continue near-endlessly of Trudeau and the federal government being incapable of managing the situations they had within their control to manage once the coronavirus touched Canadian soil—all of which would demonstrate incompetence.
Trudeau’s morning address was focused on the continued appearance of public congregating. Indeed, it is a concern.
Despite the pandemic, #Covidiots have continued to flock to beaches and parks in British Columbia and Ontario, as demonstrated by tweets and videos across social media.
This has caused such outrage that over the last 24 hours on Twitter I have seen three “trends” calling for Justin Trudeau to invoke the Emergency Measures act and call for a nationwide lockdown. The “trends” were populated by Liberal fans heaping praise onto Dear Leader and begging for the honour of being confined to their home indefinitely under threat of police action.
Even conservative MP Rona Ambrose joined in, demanding for a nationwide lockdown. Using the magical collective “us” and “we,” Ambrose stated that the invocation of the Emergency Measures Act would not be seen as an “assault on our civil liberties.” Speak for yourself, Rona.
Ultimately, the provinces have every ability to act and prevent the gathering of large crowds in public spaces that the federal government would have if they invoked the Emergency Measures Act. In the Atlantic Provinces, public gathering spaces have been effectively shut down for over one week. In Nova Scotia, police have been given the authority to fine those breaking social distancing orders up to $1,000. Similar measures harshly penalizing those breaking quarantine have also been taken in Quebec.
The inaction of some cities in British Columbia and Ontario to enforce park closures and social distancing does not reflect a failure of the power of the provinces and a dire need for the intervention of the federal government—but laziness and incompetence on behalf of those cities that must be addressed by their respective authorities.
Taiwan, Singapore, Japan, and South Korea are some of the most densely populated countries in the world… And yet they were able to manage their outbreaks and flatten their curves with very little government intervention and impacts to their economies and citizens’ ways of life. In South Korea, the border was not even closed.
It’s high time we ask ourselves why we are acting more like Italy—frantic, panicked, and on the trajectory to countless outbreak clusters and deaths—and not like South Korea —cool, collected, and not treating coronavirus like an inevitability, but a war that can be won.