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Opinion Mar 2, 2022 11:09 PM EST

The freedom convoy isn't an emergency for Canadians, our divisiveness is

Canada is falling apart, and we have a civic duty to choose dialogue over the politics of division.

The freedom convoy isn't an emergency for Canadians, our divisiveness is
Amy Eileen Hamm Montreal, QC

If there's an ongoing national crisis in Canada, it has nothing to do with a looming threat over the return of illegally parked trucks in our capital. It has to do with the fact that we have forgotten how to talk to one another.

Yes, Trudeau did everything he could to divide us—calling citizens racists and misogynists, telling us that some of our neighbours and peers hold "unacceptable views"—but we were primed to be divided. And we fell for it.

For years, our culture has crept towards this polarization. Long before the trucker convoy headed to Ottawa, it was social suicide to openly hold conservative views. Even the Conservative Party of Canada—pitifully—was afraid of being conservative. They started pandering to the "folks" preaching identity politics and voted to pass bills that their MPs knew were not popular with their base. Hence the relatively successful rise of the People's Party of Canada. Maxime Bernier would never—unlike O'Toole—be tripped up in a CBC segment and announce his pronouns are "he or they." Bernier is not afraid of the cultural cachet of the identity-obsessed left.

Canada's New Democratic Party—the party for workers, unions, and families—also fell victim to identity politics. Nothing made this clearer than their votes to extend Justin Trudeau's tyrannical invocation of the Emergencies Act. NDP leader Jagmeet Singh even said that peaceful protestors near our capital "need to be cleared out." He threw the working class to the wolves in order to prove he was on the side of the alleged angels. This is not the NDP we grew up with. Frankly, Singh doesn't have the balls to deviate from the state-sanctioned, government-funded media narrative that the freedom protests were an attempted coup by far right MAGA-funded white supremacists.

If we put aside Trudeau's Official Narrative of the freedom protests—which is hysterical propaganda, as far as I am concerned—then we are left with the discussion we should actually have: a discussion about what type of rights violation warrants Canadian citizens to peacefully (but disruptively) occupy the capital, and for how long.

I'm convinced that every single Canadian has a threshold at which they feel that the type of protest we just saw in Ottawa is acceptable. And if we take it on good faith that this is the reason the trucker convoy descended on Ottawa—that their threshold was met—then we should understand that an appropriate response by the government would be to open a dialogue and work towards a solution. Not to disappear, then name call, then make an unconstitutional invocation of a wartime act, and forcibly remove peaceful protestors—some at gunpoint. This is not normal for a democracy. We have shamed ourselves on the world stage.

Trudeau's invoking and now extending the Emergencies Act is meant to further divide us, and to stick it to the protestors already concerned about their loss of Charter-protected rights. They called him a tyrant, and he showed them in no uncertain terms that he is.

This was never about Nazis and white supremacists. And it isn't simply about vaccine mandates or pandemic restrictions anymore. It's now about our very democracy, and the deep divide in our country. Canada is falling apart, and we have a civic duty to choose dialogue over the politics of division.

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