Conservative Opposition Leader Candice Bergen to Trudeau: Do You Regret Disrespecting Canadians?

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a Covid-19 pandemic briefing from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on November 20, 2020. (Photo by Lars Hagberg / AFP) (Photo by LARS HAGBERG/AFP via Getty Images)
LARS HAGBERG/AFP via Getty Images

Conservative Party leader Candice Bergen confronted leftist Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday about his repeated use of insults and epithets against individuals who choose not to receive a coronavirus vaccination product, asking if he regretted the role he played in dividing the country.

Trudeau made a last-minute appearance in Parliament for Monday’s emergency session, called by communist New Democratic Party leader Jagmeet Singh, after retreating to an undisclosed location at the start of the protests now known as the “Freedom Convoy,” which have taken over much of the country. Trudeau announced at the beginning of his retreat that he had tested positive for Chinese coronavirus, necessitating isolation. The largest Freedom Convoy protest is in Ottawa, the nation’s capital, where truckers have flooded the streets and protested government civil rights abuses in the name of public health largely through honking.

Trucks parked in downtown Ottawa continue to protest Covid-19 vaccine mandates and restrictions, on February 4, 2022 in Ottawa, Canada. - Hundreds of truckers drove their giant rigs into the Canadian capital on January 29, 2022, as part of a self-titled "Freedom Convoy" to protest vaccine mandates required to cross the US border. (Photo by Dave Chan / AFP) (Photo by DAVE CHAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Trucks parked in downtown Ottawa continue to protest Covid-19 vaccine mandates and restrictions, on February 4, 2022 in Ottawa, Canada. (DAVE CHAN/AFP via Getty Images)

An Ottawa court issued a ban on car horn honking for ten days on Monday in response to the protest.

Supporters gather at Parliament Hill for the Freedom Truck Convoy in Ottawa, Canada, on January 29, 2022. (LARS HAGBERG/AFP via Getty Images)

Elsewhere in the country, “Freedom Convoy” protests have occurred in multiple places along the U.S.-Canada border and major cities such as Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal.

Protesters assert that they oppose business lockdowns, mask mandates, vaccine mandates, bans on religious gatherings, school restrictions, and any other government civil rights abuses meant to stop the spread of Chinese coronavirus. The protests have been largely peaceful, but leftist politicians, including Trudeau, have repeatedly accused opponents of the restrictions and supporters of the protests generally of unrelated inappropriate views, such as racism.

During his remarks on Monday, Trudeau equated the thousands of “Freedom Convoy” protesters with Nazis, implying falsely that swastikas are common sights at the protests.

“I look at our country Mr. Speaker, and I’ve never seen it as divided as it is now under this prime minister,” Bergen, who became interim Conservative leader after the ouster of Ed O’Toole in the aftermath of the protests this month, told Trudeau. “Whether its regional lines, whether its ethnic lines, whether it’s people’s health care choices – this country is more divided than ever.”

Bergen then asked Trudeau if he took responsibility for his part in creating such a scenario.

“Does he regret calling people names who didn’t take the vaccine?” Bergen asked of Trudeau. “Does he regret calling people misogynist and racist and just, escalating and poking sticks at them and being so divisive to individual Canadians that he might not disagree with, that he might have thought were wrong?”

“Does he regret that,” she concluded, “and will he agree to meet with the leaders here, the other opposition leaders and myself, so that we can talk about a solution in a way that he’s described?”

Bergen asserted that the current wave of protests and general political situation was “uncharted territory” for the country.

Trudeau did not answer either question, instead insisting that the protests did not represent a significant enough population of Canadians that it merited a response from him.

“A few people shouting and waving swastikas does not define who Canadians are,” Trudeau said, comparing the alleged swastika-wavers to Canadians “being able to pull a car out of a snowbank for a perfect stranger.”

Trudeau has rejected all calls for him to address the protesters or their concerns. In remarks from his undisclosed location, Trudeau dismissed all people disgruntled with his government’s handling of the pandemic as 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 claimed.

Trudeau has in the past used the terms “racist” and “misogynist” to refer to people who do not receive Chinese coronavirus vaccine product doses.

Bergen has, since becoming Conservative leader, attacked Trudeau multiple times for accusing mandate protesters of being racists, noting that Trudeau himself has a long history of wearing blackface – a reality that surfaced in the 2019 election cycle but caused no significant political damage to Trudeau. The prime minister told reporters at the time that he could not guarantee that the multiple photos that had surfaced of him wearing blackface were the only ones, because he had worn blackface on various occasions.

Trudeau’s absence during much of the Freedom Convoy protests has outraged the protesters and prompted significant criticism from the protests’ opponents.

“I didn’t serve this country to be bullied by a prime minister that ran away like a chicken,” Darryl, a retired corporal from the Canadian Army who served in Afghanistan, told Breitbart News from downtown Ottawa on Saturday. “Who runs away from their people? It’s insane. If I was in the army right now, I’d be contemplating leaving just because our leadership, our military, our country, will have no credibility because of him [Trudeau].”

Media commenters who have written in columns of their opposition to the convoy also blamed Trudeau in various articles this week for the protests’ prolonged existence, as he has done nothing to address them.

Follow Frances Martel on Facebook and Twitter.

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