Fascism is characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition, bigotry against a demonized "other," and strong regimentation of society and the economy towards a goal established by government. Fascism is hostile to classical liberalism and its individual freedoms of expression, conscience, association and peaceful assembly. Fascism creates a divide between "us" and "them," to deny equality to members of the "bad" minority.
Which of the foregoing features of fascism are exhibited by the Trudeau regime now in power in Canada?
Consider the elderly aboriginal woman, trampled by a policeman's horse mere seconds after proclaiming and practicing peace. Consider the declaration of a "national emergency" used to inflict police brutality on unarmed peaceful protesters in downtown Ottawa, after three border blockades had already ended without violence. Consider Prime Minister Trudeau's vilification of Canadians not getting the Covid shots as "extremists," "anti-science," "racists" and "misogynists" who should not be tolerated.
Consider Mr. Trudeau's repeated descriptions of peaceful truckers as dangerous, violent, racist and criminal. Consider the government's claims when declaring a national emergency: that peaceful protesters in downtown Ottawa "seriously threatened the ability of the Government of Canada to preserve the sovereignty, security and territorial integrity of Canada," and that the Freedom Convoy truckers did so in a way that could not be dealt with effectively by existing federal and provincial laws. Consider the freezing of Canadians' bank accounts, based purely on politicians' empty declarations that those who donated to Freedom Convoy were supporting "criminal" activity.
Consider how, in the past 23 months, Parliament has been largely replaced by ministerial decrees and by news conferences held at Rideau Cottage. Consider how, since March of 2020, laws have been imposed on Canadians by unelected and unaccountable medical doctors, rather than laws being debated and voted on in Parliament and in the provincial Legislatures as required by our Constitution. Consider the fanatical fixation on one single enemy, and how "public health" has been reduced to nothing beyond "Covid avoidance," as the government has determined what the people's goal should be. Consider how Canadians have been forced to behave as though Covid is as bad as the Spanish Flu of 1918, even after it has become abundantly clear that this fearmongering has no basis in fact. Consider the second-class citizenship imposed on Canadians not taking the new Covid vaccines, who are fired from their jobs, expelled from universities, and denied their Charter rights to move and travel freely.
In his 2018 book How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them, Yale University professor Jason Stanley, whose parents fled Nazi Germany, describes how fascist regimes normalize the intolerable: "What normalization does is transform the morally extraordinary into the ordinary. It makes us able to tolerate what was once intolerable by making it seem as if this is the way things have always been." Prior to March of 2020, when governments and media started proclaiming that Covid would kill tens of millions like the Spanish Flu of 1918, Canadians would have objected to their Charter rights and freedoms being wantonly violated. In 2019, Canadians would never have imagined that it would soon become illegal for families to gather for Christmas dinner, and for children and adults to participate in sports; that Canadian pastors would be jailed for leading normal, ordinary church services; that a minority of Canadians would be vilified, demonized, ostracized and suffer legal discrimination based on a personal choice not to try a new and popular medical treatment. But daily large-scale fearmongering by government-funded media over the course of 23 months, combined with politicians promising "safety," will cloud the judgment even of reasonable people. The intolerable violations of our Charter rights and freedoms have been normalized by health fascism during the past 23 months of our "two weeks to flatten the curve."
On a superficial level, Mr. Trudeau's woke policies differs vastly from the racism and ultranationalism of Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini. Yet there are disturbing commonalities, such as Mr. Trudeau's hostility towards Canadians exercising their freedoms of expression, association, conscience, peaceful assembly, and bodily autonomy. Under the Emergencies Act, Mr. Trudeau is exercising dictatorial power, forcibly suppressing opposition, and continuing to create a divide between "us" (those who got the Covid shots) and "them" (those who did not get the Covid shots), to deny equality to members of the "bad" minority.
Lest I be accused of partisanship, I would add that Mr. Trudeau is not alone in his enthusiasm for violating the Charter freedoms to move, travel, associate, assemble, worship and control one's own body. Since March of 2020, every provincial premier has also violated these rights and freedoms.
However, hundreds of innocent, peaceful and courageous protesters have taken a stand for the return of civil liberties to Canada. They suffered the brunt of Ottawa police brutality, and in doing so have drawn a stark distinction between the increasingly violent and aggressive tyranny of the political elite in Ottawa, and the peaceful but firm dissent of Canadians. Peaceful protesters deserve our thanks and gratitude.
John Carpay is president of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (jccf.ca) which has taken the federal government and several provinces to court to challenge lockdowns and mandatory vaccination policies.
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