Kevin Geenen is a former Conservative Party of Canada staffer and third-year student at the University of Ottawa.
After almost three weeks of disruptions, the rail blockade in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs near Belleville, Ontario, was finally dismantled early Monday morning. It seemed that the #ShutDownCanada movement would finally come to an end. Right? Wrong.
The protestors are instead using the arrests to inflame the movement. Monday evening protestors near Hamilton blocked tracks leading to the cancellation of GO Train service to Niagara Falls, St. Catharines, Hamilton, and West Harbour stations impacting thousands of GTA commuters.
Protestors near Caledonia have blocked a section of Highway 6.
In British Columbia, there are new protests popping up yet again on rail tracks, at the Port of Vancouver, and at the BC legislature.
There have been reports of rail blockades in Quebec and Saskatchewan as well.
It seems that the whole country is in political turmoil. And it is Trudeau who has allowed the situation to become so bad. When the blockades first started Trudeau was on a trip pandering to foreign politicians for a seat on the United Nations Security Council even though the United Nations is becoming an increasingly irrelevant entity.
When Trudeau should have been at home dealing with the protestors and directing the RCMP he was abroad shaking hands with the anti-gay Prime Minister of Senegal and bowing to Iranian regime officials who are responsible for the deaths of 57 Canadians on Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752.
Once Trudeau finally spoke about the blockades it was only to inform the Canadian public that there was essentially nothing he could do because “we are not the kind of country where politicians get to tell the police what to do.”
Never mind the fact that the RCMP is actually under the authority of Public Safety Minister Bill Blair whose boss just so happens to be Trudeau.
In the early days of the blockades Trudeau wouldn’t even call them what they are: illegal. Instead, Trudeau used the blockades as an opportunity to talk about freedom of speech and how we must listen to opposing views. Trudeau then quickly forgot his words and shut Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer out of a meeting for daring to suggest that the rule of law must be upheld.
Something else that Trudeau and the radical left has trouble understanding is that the freedom to protest does not give one the right to do whatever one wants. Freedom to protest does not allow one to participate in illegal acts such as shutting down an entire railway corridor.
And yet Trudeau continued to pander to these environmental extremists, insisting that dialogue, not force, was the solution. And so, while CN laid off 450 workers and VIA Rail laid off 1,000 workers and while communities began experiencing propane shortages, Trudeau’s ministers were busy meeting with protestors to attempt “dialogue”.
What was the result of this dialogue? Nothing. Just blockades that continued to stand and Indigenous leaders that continued to issue ultimatums to the federal government. Let’s be honest, these protestors will only ever be happy once they get their way. They want to cancel the Coastal GasLink pipeline, a pipeline that has been approved by all 20 First Nation’s councils along its route, and will stop at nothing until they get what they want.
Trudeau’s weak stance on this issue has simply shown protestors that it is okay to block rail lines, highways and bridges. Trudeau is a juggler. He pretends to be on everyone’s side. He pretends to care about reconciliation by emphasizing dialogue between the government and First Nations. And he pretends to care about the economy and public safety by finally calling on the blockades to come down after nearly three weeks of unsuccessful “dialogue”.
Trudeau’s hesitation is also to blame for the cancellation of Teck Resources Frontier oil sands mine. The project was cancelled due to the uncertainty of the political climate perpetuated by the #ShutDownCanada blockades and Trudeau’s decision to let the project’s proposal sit on his desk since July without making a decision on the matter.
The only thing that Trudeau has succeeded in doing is making everybody angry at him. The thousands of people, including First Nation’s people, who won’t have jobs because of the Teck Frontier cancellation are not happy. The small business owners losing money because of the rail blockades are not happy. And the #ShutDownCanada protestors certainly aren’t happy with Trudeau (and probably won’t be until every energy project in the country is shut down).
In seeking to please everyone, Trudeau once again has pleased no one. And it leaves one wondering what he’s actually prepared to take a stand on.