First Reading: Military Tells Ottawa To Find Someone Else To Evict the Truckers

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First Reading: Military Tells Ottawa To Find Someone Else To Evict the Truckers

By Tristin Hopper

Despite the Ottawa Police briefly raising the possibility of a military intervention to clear a stubborn holdout of Freedom Convoy truckers blockading their downtown, the Canadian Armed Forces have been quick to say they will be doing no such thing. A spokesperson for the Minister of Defence told the Wall Street Journal on Thursday, “The Canadian Armed Forces are not involved in law enforcement in this situation, and there are no plans for such CAF involvement.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also said Thursday that a military response is “not in the cards right now.” “One has to be very, very cautious before deploying military forces in situations engaging Canadians,” he said. (First Reading would also recommend caution before deploying the military against non-Canadians.)

There have only been two prior incidents in modern times of the Canadian military being called in to quell civil unrest. The first, the 1970 October Crisis, actually worked great at stamping out Quebec separatist terrorism. But the sight of armed soldiers detaining even peaceful Quebec nationalists en masse has always been a mark on the legacy of then-prime minister Pierre Trudeau. The second, the 1990 Oka Crisis, had a much more checkered legacy. The military did eventually compel a Mohawk-led protest to stand down their blockade of a disputed golf course expansion, but the whole thing was so messy it’s mostly become a template for what not to do. The experience of Oka is arguably a key reason why Canadian law enforcement is hesitant to bring the hammer down on blockades of any kind – even when they completely seize the country’s rail lines for days on end.

Pictured: A situation the government generally tries to avoid.A situation the government generally tries to avoid.

Anyways, all this military talk started only because Ottawa Police chief Peter Sloly said Wednesday “there may not be a policing solution to this demonstration” and that “we’re looking at every single option, including military aid to civil power.”

MORE TRUCKER CONVOY

Freedom Convoy still refuses to leave until Ottawa meets their not tremendously realistic demand of ending all COVID strictures (even the ones that Ottawa didn’t impose). And thus Downtown Ottawa effectively remains closed, with businesses shuttered (including the 200-store Rideau Centre) and police urging traffic to avoid the core. Thus far, aside from arresting the occasional violent protester, the primary law enforcement response has been the issuing of traffic tickets, which police said would continue daily.

Anyways, all this military talk started only because Ottawa Police chief Peter Sloly said Wednesday “there may not be a policing solution to this demonstration” and that “we’re looking at every single option, including military aid to civil power.”

MORE TRUCKER CONVOY

Freedom Convoy still refuses to leave until Ottawa meets their not tremendously realistic demand of ending all COVID strictures (even the ones that Ottawa didn’t impose). And thus Downtown Ottawa effectively remains closed, with businesses shuttered (including the 200-store Rideau Centre) and police urging traffic to avoid the core. Thus far, aside from arresting the occasional violent protester, the primary law enforcement response has been the issuing of traffic tickets, which police said would continue daily.

Freedom Convoy is technically polling higher than the Liberal Party of Canada right now. A new Abacus Data poll found that 32 per cent of Canadians “have a lot in common with the protesters and how they see things.” That’s not a lot, but the latest Nanos poll had the Liberals polling at just 28.2 per cent if an election were to be held tomorrow. Another interesting takeaway from the Abacus Poll? Of Green Party supporters, 57 per cent are on board with the truckers.

GoFundMe has suspended Freedom Convoy’s official online fundraiser after it hit $10 million. The reason? “We strictly prohibit user content that reflects or promotes behavior in support of violence,” wrote GoFundMe in a statement. If you’re a convoy supporter, this is probably where you’d be mentioning that GoFundMe didn’t feel the need to do anything of the sort in prior Canadian protests that tore down statues or used heavy equipment to strand a bunch of pipeline workers in the middle of nowhere amidst historic flooding.

Candice Bergen is officially the Conservatives’ new interim leader. A Manitoba MP who first got into politics by working on Stephen Harper’s campaign to become Conservative leader, she’s frequently mistaken on social media for the Murphy Brown actress of the same name. Candice Bergen is officially the Conservatives’ new interim leader. A Manitoba MP who first got into politics by working on Stephen Harper’s campaign to become Conservative leader, she’s frequently mistaken on social media for the Murphy Brown actress of the same name.

Arguably a more consequential convoy blockade (at least from an economic standpoint) is the one backing up cross-border trade at the Coutts, Alta. border crossing. On Wednesday the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation weighed in on the blockade, asking authorities to arrest participants as per The Critical Infrastructure Defense Act, an Alberta law passed in 2020 with the intention of barring a recent spate of Indigenous-led blockades of highways and rail lines. “If this blockade was being organized by Indigenous people, we have no doubt that authorities would respond quickly,” they wrote.

This is a Type 26 ship, the basic design of which Canada intends to use for its planned line of Canadian Surface Combatant ships. Australia was also considered building a bunch of Type 26s, until a recent assessment deemed them to be too slow and too likely to trap crew members below-decks in any kind of emergency. This is a Type 26 ship, the basic design of which Canada intends to use for its planned line of Canadian Surface Combatant ships. Australia was also considered building a bunch of Type 26s, until a recent assessment deemed them to be too slow and too likely to trap crew members below-decks in any kind of emergency.

One of the Liberals’ most controversial bills of the last parliament was Bill C-10, a proposed law to combat “online harms” that would have given the feds carte blanche to order the deletion of any social media post published by a Canadian. The Liberals have promised that their rejigged version of the bill removes all the more censorious aspects of the last one. However, University of Ottawa professor Michael Geist took a comb to the new law and is pretty sure it still allows Ottawa to regulate social media posts as “programs,” meaning any YouTuber or TikToker could be subjected to the same level of government regulation as a radio station or TV channel.

 

Jamil Jivani was in these pages just a couple days ago alleging that he got fired from Bell Media for being the wrong kind of black (the conservative kind). In a new op-ed for the National Post, Jivani concludes that O’Toole’s response to Freedom Convoy is a pretty good clue as to what got him kicked out. Rather than attempt to give official voice to a grassroots movement spurred by “government overreach,” Jivani wrote that he chose to entertain “the mainstream media narrative and focus on the handful of negative images being used to define thousands of Canadians as extremists.”

With one conservative leader already hitting the dust this week, Alberta right-wingers are wondering whether they should bag a second one. It’s no secret that Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is one of the more disliked premiers in Canada right now due to his government’s COVID response (basically, left-wingers think he hasn’t done enough, while right-wingers think he’s a Trudeau-esque lockdown tyrant). Challengers within and without Kenney’s United Conservative Party are now looking to have another go at removing him from the top job. “O’Toole’s failure is Kenney’s failure. It’s time for the UCP caucus to do the right thing and finish what the CPC caucus began,” read a statement by Drew Barnes, a former UCP MLA who was kicked out of caucus due to his criticism of the government’s COVID response.

*Note We Deliberately Miss Spell Some Words or Add Capital Letters To Get Around Big Tech Censoring.

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