Canada really is turning into a police state before our eyes
One of the hallmarks of liberty is a reliable legal system. In totalitarian countries, one of the ways you control people is to keep them perpetually off-balance. The law and its application are utterly unpredictable. People become paralyzed and dare not do anything that might offend the regime, lest they get destroyed. And that's what we're seeing in Canada, where the newly dictatorial government is making no pretense of abiding by the rule of law.
A very specific aspect of the rule of law is that new laws are not applied retroactively. In a free country, one with a safe, reliable legal system, if it was legal for you to buy a croissant on Monday, the fact that the law changed on Tuesday to make croissants illegal does not mean that the police can come and arrest you for that Monday croissant. In a police state, of course, the police can arrest you at any time for anything, including engaging in conduct that was legal when you engaged in it.
With that in mind, I give you a series of tweets from Mark Strahl, a Canadian member of Parliament (so we must assume, for now, that he's telling the truth):
Briane is a single mom from Chilliwack working a minimum wage job. She gave $50 to the convoy when it was 100% legal. She hasn’t participated in any other way. Her bank account has now been frozen. This is who Justin Trudeau is actually targeting with his Emergencies Act orders.— Mark Strahl, MP (@markstrahl) February 20, 2022
To those of you, especially the media, demanding more details on Briane, having seen what has been said about her online today and what has been done to other convoy donors in the last weeks I am not going to help you dox her. I know who she is and I won’t stop fighting for her.— Mark Strahl, MP (@markstrahl) February 21, 2022
Every Canadian should be offended by this serious retroactive punishment. Briane herself went public and posted, whether jokingly or not, that "The Libz are all outside my house." She seems cheerful enough in tone, but that sounds unpleasant.
Tellingly, one person implied that Briane deserved to be punished for conduct that was not criminal at the time she acted because some members of the group she supported intimidated (without physical violence) a reporter from an outlet relentlessly hostile to the truckers:
https://t.co/TrbQXXSG79 —- this is who Briane is supporting with her $50. Be better.— Salmonid (@salmonidae16) February 20, 2022
Think about that: this person believes that, because a random crowd got angry at a reporter who works for an outlet that has been demonizing them, Briane should be financially destroyed. That's neither justice nor the rule of law. That's sheer, tyrannical viciousness.
Image: Angry Canadians. Twitter screen grab.
And keep in mind that this new attitude on the part of the truckers — and attitude that still hasn't turned to violence — began only after Trudeau, who first demonized and "otherized" them, began to use the vast power of the state to destroy them.
David Suissa, writing at the Jewish Journal, made a telling point about the moment when Canada went from a free country, which allowed people to express their views and petition their government, to a totalitarian country. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
On February 24, 2020, a former judge of the Supreme Court of India, Justice Deepak Gupta, delivered a lecture to the Bar arguing that "the right to dissent is the most important right granted by the Constitution."
Gupta took the ancient idea of challenging authority and gave it dignity: "To question, to challenge, to verify, to ask for accountability from the government is the right of every citizen under the constitution," he said. "These rights should never be taken away otherwise we will become an unquestioning moribund society, which will not be able to develop any further."
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau would have done well to study Gupta's address. When he responded to truckers protesting vaccine mandates by saying they had "unacceptable views," he was undermining the fundamental right to dissent. He was saying, in essence: You have no right to think this way.
George Orwell would have recognized Trudeau's statement. According to Justin "Big Brother" Trudeau, the truckers and their supporters had engaged in "crimethink" or "thoughtcrimes." In other words, as Orwell explained, they were thinking about bad things such as liberty and equality. The moment the government defines thoughtcrimes and then uses the power of the state to destroy those who engage in them, you have entered the world of tyranny.