We Cannot Surrender to a Convoy of Conspiracy 

February 14, 2022

 

 

The PCs in Manitoba have completely abandoned any responsibility for enforcing law and order in Winnipeg and across the province.

Currently, Canada has been laid siege by a protest that has occupied cities, surrounded legislatures, and blocked highways, giving federal and provincial governments an ultimatum: to remove every single public health measure, while we are in a pandemic in which people are still getting sick and dying, every day.

We freely acknowledge that people have suffered, and are suffering, because the pandemic has turned our lives upside down, in ways that are uncomfortable, and sometimes painful.

However - we should be very clear that much of that suffering is the direct result of the incompetence and blundering of provincial conservative governments who are responsible for health care.

We will start by saying, that in Manitoba, the convoy created their own "code of conduct" that they are violating. They promised "family friendly signage" but have had signs filled with expletives. They promised to listen to police.

If that is true, the police should just tell them to go home, and if they are true to their word, they will.

If the province is going to say the RCMP and the City of Winnipeg police are in charge, then the RCMP and the City of Winnipeg need to explain why police officers in Manitoba are nor enforcing the law.

We need to be very clear about what is happening, This is not an "organic" grassroots protest.

This is an attempted coup that has been months in the making, seeks to use threats, extortion and illegal protests that are putting Manitobans and Canadians at risk, in order to overthrow a democratically elected federal government, and remove public health orders that are in place to save lives.

It was created by people with associations with the Maverick Party, which is run by Jay Hill, a former Conservative MP. It has been supported by Rebel News, a far-right propaganda shop run by another former Conservative MP, and networks that have spread disinformation both on the internet and in mainstream media.

And we need to be clear, not just about the protestors' demands, but why they are making these demands.

The protestors believe they are justified because they have been convinced of a series of lies, peddled by discredited so-called experts on science, medicine and the law who have been rightly dismissed for using their credentials to peddle junk science and lies.

The conspiracies they believe are that Covid is not as serious as anyone says, therefore emergency measures and public health orders cannot be justified. They further believe that masks make you sick, and that the vaccine, and public health measures are "worse than the cure." In particular, they believe that vaccine is experimental, and that it could cause disability, and quite specifically, that it will cause infertility. Because they believe that, they have compared being required to have a life-protecting vaccine with Nuremberg laws, where Jewish prisoners of war were tortured with medical experiments in concentration camps. They have been further lied to and told that all of this violates their charter rights.

And what this means is that the people in Ottawa and at the border, think they are justified in blocking roads and endangering people's lives, because they have been told that a vaccine that could save their life is dangerous, and that the doctors, and nurses, and politicians who are really, just trying to keep them from getting sick or from infecting someone else, are out to get them.

And by saying we need to listen to, and understand this convoy conspiracy, conservatives are validating all of those toxic lies, because they think it will help them win, even if it means fostering hate, and lies and threats, and holding the civilians in our National capital hostage.

Because conservatives are siding with people who have been conned into believing that legal and constitutional measures taken to by democratically elected governments to save lives in a crisis are somehow totalitarian. They are not.

It is absolutely clear that Conservatives, including Premier Stefanson are taking the line that Interim Leader Candice Bergen did - this has turned, and they want to make it the Prime Ministers' problem.

It's dishonest, it's dishonourable and it is dangerous.

Covid is real and dangerous, and justifies a state of emergency. Public health orders are legal and constitutional, because democratically elected governments and authorities have the right, and an obligation in a state of emergency, to find ways to keep people from hurting themselves or others.

The courts have supported these measures. It's not about religion, because covid doesn't know whether it is in a long-term care facility, or a church, or a synagogue, or a mosque, or a temple, or a casino, or a child care centre.

This is an assault on democracy, and the rule of law, and reason. And conservatives are validating that assault by demonizing the very people who are trying to save lives and keep people safe.

In a crisis, the truth matters. And so does accountability and the rule of law.

 


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