Our ‘exceptional’ freedoms
We would like to think or hope teachers all over the nation used Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s specious use of that nation’s Emergency Act to point out the differences between rights as conceived by them (and other Parliamentary nations), and the United States. There is a stark difference, and one that would be discussed in a previous era. Today, however, we think education is more interested in bean-counting various groups, or finding new non-existent pronouns, or talking about white supremacy than the thing that makes this nation difference – a true American Exceptionalism.
To recap: The Freedom Convoy of truckers began on the Canadian west coast in the province of British Columbia and moved east toward Ontario and the capital city of Ottawa. Canada’s Parliament had kept the country under severe restriction for almost two years and did not show signs of letting things go back to normal. A recent edict from Trudeau ordering vaccinations for those crossing the boarder into the United States was the last straw.
Trudeau, a globalist progressive along with his deputy PM Chrystia Freeman (a former journalist here), used restrictions as a cudgel, and, while much of the Canadian populace was OK with the restrictions, particularly those in large cities, those who worked for themselves, like truckers, were being strangled. Freeman, herself, is a globalist, on the board of George Soros’ World Economic Forum.
Trudeau’s government was using opinion polls to determine policy that is not under dispute, but it was a cyclical stratagem: the government would instill fear in the population, ratchet it up with useful apparatchiks in the media, and then poll the voters after they have scared them to death. Dr. Jordan Peterson made that very argument.
So, when he imposed the Emergencies Act after 22 days of the protests in Ottawa many in Canada agreed, but a sizeable number did not. Trudeau lifted the imposition three days after it was approved by the House of Commons, because he was not going to get approval from the Senate.
Why is this important. Columnist Derek Hunter of Townhall.com had the perfect reason such an act could not happen here, and a reason even state mandates were opposed on Constitutional grounds. Our rights are not given by the government.
“Canada is not like the United States. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms grants Canadians various rights that, if you do not think about it, are similar in a lot of ways to the rights we enjoy here. But there is a major difference.
“Our Constitution grants exactly zero rights to anyone, it acknowledges the rights with which we were born and denies the federal government the ability to infringe upon them. The Canadian Charter gives citizens certain rights, explicitly. If a government can grant rights, there is no justification for them not being able to take them away, temporarily or permanently.”
That is what happened. Under the act itself three conditions must be met to infringe on individual rights. The Emergencies Act must be:
~~ is set out in law;
~~ pursues an important goal which can be justified in a free and democratic society;
~~ pursues that goal in a reasonable and proportionate manner.
Were any of these conditions met objectively? We are permitted to doubt it
Those certain “unalienable rights” mentioned in the Declaration of Independence and enshrined in the Constitution do not allow for federal interference.
The next time someone says, as many Progressives do, the Constitution is a document of “negative powers,” meaning the government is restriction. Tell them that is exactly right and is what makes us different, and “exceptional.”
We wonder if that was discussed in any classroom locally – we doubt it, and that is too bad. It would be a great unit in Civics.