Monday, July 15, 2024
Guest ContributionsOpinion/ColumnTrucking

When the Most Cynical Amongst Us Are Proved Right

POEC Justice Paul Rouleau releases his report February 17. Photo: CPAC

The Canadian government hand-picked its own judge

by Donna Laframboise

“Enjoy the report.” Those were the last words Commissioner Paul Rouleau uttered before rising and leaving the room yesterday. The room in which he cheerfully announced that the Canadian government was justified when it invoked the Emergencies Act against festive, peaceful, working class protesters a year ago.

Which part did he imagine we’d enjoy? The knowledge that there’s absolutely no accountability in our political system? The knowledge that a vast network of supposed checks and balances (funded year in and year out by the sweat of working Canadians) offers us no protection from tyrannical, rogue politicians?

Three months ago I wrote: Let us fervently hope Commissioner Rouleau is a man of integrity. One who understands that this is his moment. History will judge him by what he does here.

Given the opportunity to help resuscitate the limp, battered carcass of public trust, this gentleman instead extended every benefit of the doubt to the government, to the establishment, to police goons who crossed lines that should never, ever be crossed.

This is very bad news. Because, as Martin Luther King Jr observed 60 years ago, when peaceful protests get shut down some individuals “will seek expression through violence; this is not a threat but a fact of history.”

Many Canadians predicted this result. They had few expectations. They said Commissioner Rouleau was hopelessly compromised by long association with the Liberal Party of Canada. They said that, because the Liberal government had sole discretion to select its own judge, real accountability was never on the table.

The cynics were correct.

*****

Donna Laframboise writes a daily blog at  ThankYouTruckers.substack.com. It is a first draft of her upcoming book that focuses on interviews with Freedom Convoy truckers. She is a former National Post and Toronto Star columnist, and a former Vice President of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.