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Does Justin Trudeau’s new tone on the Canadian blockades, which have embarrassingly paralyzed our nation’s economy for two weeks, sound familiar to you? It should.
Trudeau’s new approach on the matter is that every attempt has been made at reaching an agreement to peacefully end the blockades. But what Trudeau seemingly failed to realize is that the people hijacking Canada’s economy do not want peace. They aren’t ones for reasonable discourse. They want the complete shutdown of Canada’s natural resource industry, and it’s something that Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer correctly called them out for from the get-go.
Trudeau’s response this time around is the correct one, somewhat. There’s still nothing concrete in place, and he is more so acting on faith based on the false pretense that Trudeau’s word will clear the railways on their own.
In reality, he’s implying the police should finally do their jobs, something the leader of any nation should do immediately when a group of citizens decide to start breaking the law–threatening thousands of jobs and the entire country’s economy.
But this still is too little, much too late. With every comment that Trudeau gave on the matter, up until this point, were all the same copy-and-paste that we’d expect from a politician cautious to give any concrete answer.
Each answer touched on Canada being a rule of law, yet when asked by reporters or by Bloc Quebecois Party Leader in the House of Commons when this issue would be resolved. Each time, Trudeau insisted that he was meeting with opposing voices to find a solution.
It was always clear that Trudeau needed to take from Andrew Scheer’s approach—one that Trudeau himself called a “willful misrepresentation” of reconciliation.
What action did Trudeau call for today that Andrew Scheer was not calling for nearly four days ago? Scheer correctly identified the opposing voices as a small group of radical activists with little to no connection to First Nations communities—restless radicals who want nothing but to see Canada’s oil and gas industry shut down.
“Canadians have been patient. Our government has been patient. The barricades must come done now,” said Trudeau of the matter. “The injunctions must be obeyed. The law must be upheld.” A fine sentiment, but when dealing with reconciliation, how much should we be willing to sacrifice?
VIA Rail has temporarily laid off roughly 1,000 employees amidst the illegal blockades, and CN Rail has laid off an additional 450. On top of this, last week’s predictions had that over 83,000 travellers had been inconvenienced by train cancellations, including myself and two of my colleagues, who have had to book last-minute rideshares or planes to get to Toronto from Montreal—a typically painless endeavour.
This is something that Scheer himself understands. While addressing media shortly after Trudeau’s response, Scheer correctly called out Trudeau for allowing this entire mess to happen in the first place.
“Justin Trudeau has caused this problem. He elevated these protests to the same level as efforts for reconciliation as recently as this Tuesday, and now, he’s finally realized that there are two different things at play here,” said Scheer, before once again calling out the eco-radicals stunting our country. “Justin Trudeau has already taken force off the table. He has refused to use the authority that he has, and is relying on the goodwill of protestors to take down the barricades. This is not leadership. This is nothing but phony resolve.”
The ball is, was, and always has been in Justin Trudeau’s court, and he has failed Canadians at every turn once again. Let’s hope that for the good of our economy and our communities that Trudeau doesn’t continue to fail when finally getting major Canadian infrastructure up and running again.