The inquiry into Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s use of the Emergencies Act is finally underway. Much has come to light since those tumultuous events in February suggesting the Liberal government’s drastic action was unjustified. This is mostly thanks to the non-legacy media – see this, for example. Time will tell whether the Public Order Emergency Commission will reach the same conclusion.
Although the Liberal government is doing all it can to divert attention away from its decisions and whether these were justified, and onto the truckers and their various blemishes and missteps, there is reason for cautious optimism. Commissioner Paul Rouleau, who is heading the inquiry, said in his opening remarks that, “Uncovering the truth is an important goal. When difficult events occur that impact the lives of Canadians, the public has a right to know what happened.”
Rouleau is of course correct. Witnesses at the inquiry, unlike those at parliamentary committees, testify under oath and are required by the Canada Evidence Act to tell “the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.” Still, government and sympathetic witnesses are trying to keep the inquiry’s scope as narrow as possible. Consequently, the public may learn only portions of the whole truth concerning events of which they “have a right to know.”
This dynamic plus the Inquiry’s heavy workload and comparatively tight deadline reduce the likelihood that it will delve into a couple of truths which, while in the public domain, have not yet attracted the attention they deserve. They are important, however, because they were fundamental to creating the conditions that led to the government’s decision to invoke the Emergencies Act, and are indicative of the mindset and character of the people who made it.
At the time Trudeau imposed the cross-border vaccination mandate (effective January 15, 2022) which became the proximate cause of the Freedom Convoy, it had been evident for several weeks that the fully vaccinated were becoming infected at a greater rate than the unvaccinated, as measured by new daily cases per 100,000 of each group. This was crystal-clear from the graphs published at the time on the Government of Ontario’s Covid-19 webpages.
For the Inquiry’s purposes, however, let’s focus on this key fact: these data mean that unvaccinated truckers who reluctantly got vaccinated in response to Trudeau’s mandate became more susceptible to Covid-19 infection as they travelled back and forth between Canada and the U.S. This would increase the likelihood that new cases would be imported into Canada. The truckers’ vaccination mandate therefore was a nonsensical public health measure that not only had nothing to do with keeping Canadians “safe” but cannot be “demonstrably justified” as a “reasonable limitation” of a Charter right, as the Charter requires for infringements of rights.
This is a truth that Canadians need to know. It puts the subsequent Freedom Convoy protests, rallies and partial border blockades in the proper context. Without Trudeau’s unjustifiable mandate, there would very likely have been much less of a response – perhaps none at all – and, consequently, no need even to discuss the Emergencies Act.
This truth also raises questions about the nature of our federal government and the character of some of our politicians, the answers to which are of immense importance for Canadians.
Did Trudeau know this truth at the time and impose the mandate anyway? Did he learn of it subsequently but before invoking the Emergencies Act, failing or refusing to “follow the science” and rescind the mandate? If either of these is true, the implications are highly disturbing, suggesting an autocratic, possibly even malevolent, streak in the Prime Minister’s personality. Certainly, a personality that allows ideology and political agenda to become impervious to disagreeable facts.
If Trudeau did not know this truth, the implications are also deeply unsettling. How could such vital information not come before the leader of a G-7 nation?
One possibility is that federal public health officials, the vast health care bureaucracy and the Prime Minister’s Office (which has significant resources of its own) all failed to come across any of this data or failed to recognize its significance if they did. Such a large blind spot would suggest serious impairment in the federal government’s information-gathering and analysis systems, perhaps outright incompetence. Keeping abreast of all relevant new information would seem foundational to crafting public health policies and measures that “follow the science.” But if they did not know any of this, how many other things of importance did they also not know?
Even more disturbing would be if one or more elements of the government’s apparatus did become aware but failed to brief the Minister of Health. A variant of this possibility is if the Minister herself was properly briefed but chose not to so advise the Prime Minister. These possibilities speak to a seriously dysfunctional and untrustworthy government and/or Minister.
The federal government unequivocally and incessantly assured Canadians that the vaccines were “safe and effective.” Yet, just two days after approving the first Covid-19 vaccine on December 8, 2020, the federal government announced a Vaccine Injury Support Program. Such a program had not been considered necessary throughout the 153 years since Confederation despite numerous traditional vaccines being introduced and administered during that time.
Canadian law is quite clear that before administering any medical treatment, the person or party doing so must obtain informed consent from the patient receiving the treatment. The law is also quite clear that in order for this to be the case, absolutely no coercion can be involved and the person receiving the treatment must be advised of all potential adverse outcomes, no matter how small the probability, especially if the outcome is severe. If this is not done, the party providing the treatment has broken the law.
When Trudeau began imposing vaccine mandates in 2021 he used coercive means – including the threat of job termination and/or the loss of mobility rights – to cause millions of Canadians to undergo a medical treatment (vaccination) which the federal bureaucracy knew and he knew (or ought to have known) posed the potential for serious injury. While he was not, himself, administering the medical procedure, he caused these procedures to commence.
The shambles: Confronted with a peaceful protest that was voicing truths about an avoidable situation, the Trudeau government decided to forcibly clear the “occupation” by imposing the Emergencies Act. (Sources of photos: (top) Bing Wen/Shutterstock; (bottom) Michel Elzo/Shutterstock)
Trudeau’s mandating of vaccination from which serious injury could occur, without itemizing the adverse outcomes, is yet another ethical lapse. His piling an additional vaccine mandate upon cross-border truckers after credible information indicated that the vaccines’ efficacy was collapsing (along with the seriousness of Covid-19 itself) is unconscionable.
As with the previous truth, this raises questions. Knowing of these severe outcomes, why did Trudeau impose mandate after mandate anyway? How could he and other members of his government continue to assert that the vaccines were safe? And knowing all of this, how could they behave with such arrogance, lack of compassion and, ultimately, brutality towards those who were about to lose their livelihoods for no good reason and dared to protest the Liberal government’s actions? As with the previous truth, the implications of the answers to these questions are deeply concerning.
Whether or not the Rouleau Inquiry proves capable of fully unmasking the truths behind the Trudeau government’s behaviour, Canadians should demand answers anyway – even if they don’t much like the truckers.
Jim Mason earned a BSc in engineering physics and a PhD in experimental nuclear physics. His doctoral research and much of his career involved extensive analysis of “noisy” data to extract useful information, which was then further analyzed to identify meaningful relationships indicative of underlying causes. He is retired and living near Lakefield, Ontario.
Source of main image: The Canadian Press/Adrian Wyld.