When Canadians Came Together by John E. Schwartzentruber

A mighty river is not so at its start. Instead, it grows from a thousand tributaries which merge to form one powerful current. However insignificant they may first appear, when enough streams flow together they have the power to change landscapes.

When COVID was pronounced as an existential threat, the political and civic landscape of Canada became authoritarian, harsh and divided. Spurning decades of scientific data and centuries of Magna Carta-based law, questionable “authorities” became the unelected dictators of the day. These scofflaws contrived to dam the flow of your life: when and where you could wander, stifle your nearness to others, cut off your livelihood…

“Just two weeks to flatten the curve” they said. Most believed them. Then two more weeks – which grew into years. Initially, overreaching governments encountered limited resistance in the explosion of terror created by their calculated waves of apocalyptic propaganda. Based on fictional evidence, expert estimates of pandemic infection and mortality rates were overblown by 300 – 500%, states Dr. Clare Craig in her recently-released book, “Expired”.

Very unhappy Canadians wearied of wading through the slush of conflicting information and inconsistent rules streaming from COVID-obsessed mouthpieces. “Rules for thee but not for me” made it worse.

Then Canadians came together – the Trucker’s Freedom Convoy was born. So began the greatest, organic, civil movement to ever take place on Canadian soil.

They trickled in from the quiet backwaters – west, north, south and east. First a few here and there, then eventually thousands of trucks, tractors and minivans swelled the rolling flood that stretched along the Trans-Canada highway beyond the horizon. Lofting a sea of Canadian flags aflutter, thousands upon thousands of reinvigorated Canadians lined the overpasses and the highways offering meals, money and moral support.

The sight of such solidarity released cheers and tears from the hearts of millions of Canadians ravaged by a dystopian nightmare.

By the time this tidal wave of patriotism crested in Ottawa, tens of thousands of Canadians had united in noisy, peaceful protest against government mandates that had obliterated historical liberty. The atmosphere in the nation’s capital was festive. Entire families arrived, scorning frigid temperatures. The vibrant throng sang, played, danced and prayed together. Ethnic differences dissolved in a spirit of joyous camaraderie, heralding the fall of tyranny.  Albertans and Quebecois joined hands…

However, some saw this astounding unification as a threat. The “authorities” were dismayed, angered at the open disregard for their baseless rules. A frightened Prime Minister scurried off to “an undisclosed location”. Rather than dialogue, he emerged only to disparage the people who put him where he was.

Someone coined the idiom “Coward of the Cottage”.

Undaunted, the protesters stayed in Ottawa for nearly a month, asserting relentless pressure for dropping all mandates and a return to the rule of law. In that time, they fed the homeless and hungry, shoveled snow and cleaned up city sidewalks and streets. Crime, it was said, disappeared.

This display of national unity was too much for an embarrassed, unyielding Prime Minister Trudeau. In an unjustified act of authoritarianism, he invoked legislation that essentially imposed martial law in Canada.

Many of the police didn’t want to be there. On numerous occasions tears streamed down their cheeks when protesters asked frontline cops if they genuinely supported police action. But overnight the atmosphere changed and police switched to “jackboot” tactics.

Who instigated the Children’s Aid’s threats to break up protesters’ families? Or Chyrstia Freeland to freeze protest supporters’ bank accounts? Or RCMP on horses to trample protesters? Who sent paramilitary forces bearing assault rifles to face off against unarmed civilians? Protesters consistently testified that “the only violence at the Convoy was committed by police”.

Although forced out of Ottawa, the Trucker’s Freedom Convoy produced results. Governments began to dismantle mandates while uttering disclaimers that their actions were unrelated to the massive protest.

Inspired by the Freedom Convoy, over the past year Dutch and German farmers staged massive protests against the European Union’s insidious war on agriculture. Spilling over national borders, their colossal convoys, including thousands of tractors and working manure spreaders, have changed government policy.

But perhaps the Convoy’s greatest impact was the healing, psychological and emotional release that it provided for repressed millions in Canada and abroad.

The Trucker’s Convoy is history but some are still paying a price for expressing legitimate dissent. Many know of Tamara Lich and Chris Barber who are still embroiled in legal wrangling.  Is Canada now a country of political intimidation, absurd legalities, or detaining the accused, without bail?

But who knows about the young lady down the road from me who is still fighting legal action stemming from her protest involvement? She’s been pulled over by police, handcuffed and put in the cruiser while citing her rights. She’s petite, scarcely 135 pounds soaking wet, but four cops showed up to suppress this apparent threat to society. Power can be perverted.

Strength takes on different forms. She’s one of thousands who came together to bring change.