Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau defended his use of the Emergencies Act on Freedom Convoy protestors and restrictions on the unvaccinated, saying unvaccinated Canadians accepted the consequences of not taking the vaccine.
Prime Minister Trudeau spoke about unvaccinated Canadians during an interview this week saying, “It was their choice and nobody ever was going to force anyone into doing something they don’t want to do.”
“But there are consequences when you don’t. You cannot choose to put at risk your co-workers. You cannot choose to put at risk the people sitting beside you on an aeroplane,” Trudeau told broadcaster CBC.
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Trudeau has previously linked unvaccinated people to racism and misogyny while a guest on a French-speaking Quebec television programme last year.
“We all know people who are deciding whether or not they are willing to get vaccinated, and we will do our very best to try to convince them. However, there is still a part of the population (that) is fiercely against it,” Trudeau said and added, “They don’t believe in science/progress and are very often misogynistic and racist. It’s a very small group of people, but that doesn’t shy away from the fact that they take up some space.”
“This leads us, as a leader and as a country, to make a choice: Do we tolerate these people? ” he added.
Trudeau later referred to anti-vaccine mandate protestors in the trucker Freedom Convoy as a “small fringe minority” with “unacceptable views” before eventually invoking the Emergencies Act for the first time in Canadian history to dislodge the protestors from Ottawa.
In his interview with CBC, Trudeau defended the use of the Emergencies Act saying it did not violate free speech or peaceful assembly, claiming the Ottawa protest was an illegal occupation.
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However, in recent weeks an inquiry into the use of the Emergencies Act has revealed that Safety Minister Marco Mendicino may have lied to parliament when he claimed law enforcement has requested the use of the Emergencies Act as law enforcement officials later stated they had not requested it.
Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland later testified that no law enforcement agency had requested the act.
When confronted on the issue, Prime Minister Trudeau said, “We had a range of advice from Justice. From Public Safety. From various areas.”
“But if you think about the specific tools, one of the concrete complaints was tow truck drivers weren’t willing to send in their rigs at the cost of being outed or harassed by these protesters,” he said and added the need to get tow truck drivers to remove trucks from around the Canadian parliament building required the use of the Emergencies Act.