Far-left Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is facing mounting frustration in his side of the political aisle for failing to act in the face of growing “Freedom Convoy” protests against coronavirus-related mandates – frustration he tried to stem by making a last-minute appearance in Parliament on Monday night.
Trudeau announced that he had tested positive for Chinese coronavirus on January 31 and that he would be recovering in an undisclosed location. The announcement immediately preceded the arrival of a “Freedom Convoy” of trucks into Ottawa, where they have been parked since, honking in protest and demanding an end to vaccine mandates, mask mandates, and all restrictions on civil rights imposed by the Trudeau government in the name of the Chinese coronavirus pandemic.
The Ottawa protest has been, according to police, largely peaceful, attracting families and creating a party atmosphere in the city’s downtown. The prime minister emerged once during his quarantine to broadcast remarks from his undisclosed hideout dismissing the protesters as deranged, racist conspiracy theorists.
“The concerns expressed by a few people gathered in Ottawa, right now, are not new, not surprising, are heard, but are a continuation of what we’ve unfortunately seen in disinformation and misinformation, online conspiracy theorists, about microchips, about God knows what else that go with tinfoil hats,” Trudeau rambled early on in his isolation period.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his family have reportedly fled their home in Ottawa for “a secret location,” as thousands of truckers traveling in a “freedom convoy” to protest vaccine mandates made their way to its capital city. https://t.co/ZMKF6EEw8z
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) January 30, 2022
Trudeau made few comments and announced no policy to deal with the protests – which have spread beyond Ottawa to Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, and several points along Canada’s southern border – prior to his last-minute appearance in Parliament on Monday. The Toronto Star observed that Trudeau offered the Canadian people “nearly four full days of silence” before resurfacing in Ottawa.
Trudeau used the opportunity on Monday to repeatedly associate the entirety of the anti-mandate protests with “swastikas” and demand that the protest movement “has to stop.” He again refused to discuss meeting with protesters or addressing any of their concerns.
The prime minister’s stance on the protests have naturally irked conservatives, but his appearance Monday did little to stem growing complaints on the left that he has no plan to end what leftists consider a “crisis” in the government’s relationship with the Canadian people. Among those concerned is communist leader of the New Democratic Party Jagmeet Singh, who called Monday night’s Parliament meeting and lamented that Trudeau has simply “not been visible” during the affair.
In his letter to Parliament House of Commons Speaker Anthony Rota, Singh described the peaceful protests as putting Ottawa “under siege” and, while not mentioning Trudeau, wrote, “in times of crisis, it is important for federal leaders to show leadership, to urge deescalation, and to work together to find solutions.”
Canada’s CTV broadcaster also noted that Trudeau is facing growing complaints from both sides that he is “being M.I.A. amid crisis.” Columnists at some of Canada’s largest papers, who clearly expressed no sympathy with the protest movement, published similar complaints.
“Where is the Prime Minister? Has he got nothing? What is he doing about this?” columnist Campbell Clark asked in the pages of the Globe and Mail on Tuesday. Clark suggested that Trudeau’s Parliament appearance must have been the product of Trudeau himself becoming aware of the growing frustration with his “leadership void.”
How DARE blackface enthusiast Justin Trudeau call ANYONE "racist." https://t.co/y8PcwfHl8i
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) February 2, 2022
“After Ottawa’s mayor asked for a huge surge of police, Mr. Trudeau promised the feds would make available the resources the city needs to end the protests. He said Transport Minister Omar Alghabra would work with provincial authorities to ensure protesters face consequences,” Clark wrote. “But this was a belated effort 11 days into an episode that has seen authorities of all levels and politicians of all stripes fall short of actual leadership.”
“Mr. Trudeau’s surprise evening appearance was a belated attempt to throw something into the void of leadership – one that Ottawa residents have now seen at every level, and from every stripe,” he concluded.
At the Toronto Star, columnist Heather Scoffield applauded Trudeau for once being at “the forefront of efforts to keep aggressive populism at bay,” and wondered where the Trudeau of the past had gone.
“The demonstrators are not the face of law-abiding, mostly vaccinated Canadians, but of a fed-up public that is fraying in the face of repeated pandemic constraints and fears for the future,” Scoffield alleged. “Trudeau has made that case with clarity. … But there’s no case for his near-silence to the broader Canadian public about the crisis that has overrun Parliament Hill.”Robert Kraychik / Breitbart News
Scoffield acknowledged Trudeau’s coronavirus diagnosis.
“Of course, Trudeau has been confined to isolation after he and two of his children tested positive for [Chinese coronavirus]. But officials say he is feeling fine,” she wrote. “And Trudeau, more than anyone, knows how to reach out to the public from the confines of his home office. Indeed, he has made several virtual appearances over the past 10 days.”