Insurrection by naif?

I feel a little sorry for the truckers besieging our capital and two vital trade routes. They appear to be unsophisticated and poorly educated people who bumbled their way into a no-win confrontation with the Canadian state. It cannot end well for them. Canada cannot bend to their will and expect to remain a country. The poison we are seeing now would seep across our geography and into the national fabric. 

An insurrection by the naïve is still an insurrection.

The prime minister should invoke the Emergencies Act and clear the trade barricades in Windsor, ON and Coutts, AB using all necessary force. Canada manages trade across its borders, not truck drivers. If you can’t or won’t defend your borders then you are not a state. If we need tanks to move those trucks, then so be it.

Perhaps that will concentrate the minds of the Ottawa group enough to negotiate their surrender. On those terms the prime minister could participate without weakening Canada’s position.

To be negotiated:

  • the charges the occupiers will face
  • where they will be tried
  • where federal sentences will be served
  • the care and safety of their children until they are reunited with family

It’s harsh. In some ways the truckers are victims, but they are also the authors of their own misfortune.

When it’s done, Canada needs to urgently address the causes.

How to be a truckin’ terrorist

February 6, 2022

The chair of the Ottawa police board has said the supposed truckers occupying her city are “terrorists” and others acting-out like them across the country are engaged in “insurrection”.

She’s right. Much of the activity that alarms her is actually described in the Criminal Code under  “Terrorism”. In this case it boils down to three issues.

  1. Have these people organized for a political or ideological purpose?

Yes, but perfectly legal.

2. Are they making the public fear for their personal safety or economic wellbeing? Well, in Ottawa we have endless horn honking, defecating on lawns, defacing public monuments, bullying passersby and etc. It’s all good fun for freedom truckers, but some citizens are frightened by it. Why? Because it’s lawless and they don’t know where it will stop.

Further, to be terrorists their objective must be to get something from government. Well, the freedom truckers have been explicit about forcing governments to eliminate vaccination requirements needed to protect public health. (Some protestors have said they want to bring the government down with the collusion of the Senate and the Governor-General. Pro tip to protesters: in your next life, don’t skip your social studies classes.)

So, not legal.

3. Are the protesters causing serious interference with an “essential service, facility or system”?Answer: they are paralyzing twenty square blocks of downtown Ottawa, just for starters.

Yes. So, not legal.

On the face of it, this means the freedom truckers are terrorists. They could spend the rest of their lives in jail.

Except for one thing: they live in a free country.

Because this is Canada, there are still more legal hurdles governments must clear before convicting these people of terrorism. Most relate to their intentions, or err on the side of unfettered public expression. This as it should be. In Canada we don’t jail people just for being loud, obnoxious, anti-social dissidents. That would be un-Canadian and the essence of a totalitarian state.

Sometimes the price of freedom is even doing something you don’t want to do, like getting a vaccination. Or not doing something you want to do, like hauling the freedom truckers out of their cabs and throwing them in a makeshift jail to await court appearances.

Obviously I am not a lawyer, but I have some advice for all you good buddies in Ottawa.

  • It would be very expensive and likely fruitless to prosecute you as terrorist,
  • But if prosecuted, it would be very expensive to defend yourself, even on a trumped up charge,
  • The longer you keep this up, the greater the chance you’ll slip up and say or do something that legally makes you a terrorist,
  • It’s possible your lawyer isn’t as smart as you think,
  • People, such as those who set up a blockade to protest a pipeline near Houston, B.C., have been in held jail for much, much less than what you’re doing.

Now Ottawa has declared a state of emergency which, for me, means at least two things:

  • The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) has finished recording all your names and pictures, so good luck at your next border crossing.
  • You’ve finally overstayed your welcome and there are now people tougher than you prepared to take you away.

You have all this and more coming to you, but there may still be time to go without being charged with any number of criminal offences unrelated to terrorism. Uttering threats and extortion come to mind.

You are not freedom fighters, so go home. Now.