As I have just finished listening to episode 108, and there have been some significant changes in the 11 days since I posted the update, I will add some new info here.
As suspected, nothing was said or done about the pipeline protest mentioned in my above post. Actually, as it turns out, the pipelines appear to have been exempted from the emergencies act in this occurrence, but luckily there has been no further acts of vandalism or threats in this regard.
The mainstream media has reported that the convoy failed, and it has indeed been removed from our capital city. However, every province in the country, with the exception of British Columbia, has either dropped mandates and passports, or announced dates for doing so. These dates for dropping mandates are all in terms of a week or two, not this summer or next year type stuff. A couple of the provincial leaders have openly called for the federal government to remove all mandates. There was an issue in the province of Alberta where mayors where imposing mandates in the city to replace the removed provincial mandates, but the province has actually now tabled legislation that would ban the mayors from being able to do so. So, call it what you will, the net effect is exactly what the convoy was requesting.
There were lots of stories that came up about frozen bank accounts. Many of these stories actually got brought up in our parliament. Single mothers, that donated $10 to the convoy, in the beginning days of the convoy were having their bank accounts seized. $10 doesn’t seem like a huge amount. In the beginning days, the convoy had not been labeled a “terrorist act” by our prime minister, yet there they were, not able to feed their children, because they donated to a non illegal cause. Needless to say, that did not go over well in parliament.
The invocation of the emergencies act actually then requires a vote in parliament. There was hope that this vote would fail. The opposition party was against the invocation, as were the other minority opposition parties (we have 5 “major” parties, with our leading party having around 34% of the vote). Heck, even some of the members of governing party (sorry, if I have used the term MP in here, it means member of parliament) that were against this. Well, with the writing on the wall that this might not pass, our prime minister declared the vote was also a “confidence vote”. This means that if the vote failed to pass, parliament would dissolve, and a new election would be required. For anyone that is thinking “problem solved”, this is the exact moment in time when many members of parliament thought back to the moments this year where they called Canadian citizens such things as “racist”, and “misogynist”, and “nazis”, and the sudden realization came to them that they would likely not get re elected. So the vote passed…
In the run up to the vote in parliament, there was a campaign launched to call our local members of parliament. I actually did do this, on the Monday, which the vote would be held that evening. I called my member of parliament, in his office on Ottawa, and after several rings I got a recorded message. The message stated, that since parliament had been suspended, his office was closed, and would not be open again until the 20th of April 2020. No, that isn’t a typo, and I called back a second time to listen to that message again. Im not sure what the deal is with that message, but parliament was only suspended for a couple days, not a couple of months. So, I then phoned his office in town. After several rings I got a recorded message stating that his office was not open on Mondays, and then was only open a couple hours a day for the rest of the week. Well, needless to say, I didn’t get to voice my opinon.
Next up, after the parliament votes yes on the emergencies act, it then needs to be voted on by the senate. And this is where the campaign kicked in to contact our senators. It turns out that our senators where getting the messages from their offices that their phones and emails where over flowing. The senate then began asking questions of the parliament that made the parliament uneasy. Questions like “why is this an emergency?” and “you did not see this coming?”. A couple of senators actually got quite vocal in their questioning. I actually gained a lot of respect for our senate out of this. Questions are always good. The end result here was that our prime minister actually declared an end to the emergencies act before the vote in senate took place.
At this point in time, I think the convoy had been occupying Ottawa for about 3 weeks, and the emergencies act had been invoked for about 1 week. Those are rough numbers.
In the aftermath, we are still seeing calls for smaller and more localized protests and convoys every weekend. I think there is the possibility we could see these continue for the next while. Media and our politicians have started to try put a negative spin on them by referencing Ukraine, and stating that we are having minimal impact on our life when compared to Ukraine, but one should not compare apples to oranges. I spent several months in Donetsk prior to the outbreak of the original fighting, and this is not the place to discuss that. Apples and Oranges are not comparable.
One of the other things to come out of this is that several of the convoy organizers were arrested. The arrested part is not the surprise. The surprise comes from the part where some of them were charged only with “counseling to commit mischief”, but they were then denied bail. For comparison, there was a person that physically drove their vehicle into a crowd that was supporting the protest (arguably vehicular manslaughter), but they are out on bail. It has since come to light that the judge that has denied them bail had previously run to become a member of parliament for our current government, which would actually put them in a potential conflict of interest position. So this part here has not finished playing out here.
And on a final note, America now has their own convoy that has departed the west coast, and is headed to Washington. By shear population scale, I think this promises to set an untouchable record for convoy size. I’m not sure what the plans are down there, but I have heard that they have mobilized the national guard to prepare for them. As they are advocating for peoples rights and freedoms, I wish them well.
I’m sorry about the long post, but I did not want to leave Fab hanging on what the outcome was. The recap is mixed results, with a net positive effect in Canada.