top of page

Justin Trudeau's Political Prisoners | Opinion(Newsweek)

Updated: Jan 23

Published by Newsweek: July 13th, 2023 Written by: Gord Magill



It's been 18 months since Canada's Freedom Convoy rocked the world, when truckers from all corners of Canada descended on Ottawa to protest Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's vindictive and punishing vaccine mandates. The three-week long protest was a joyous expression of human solidarity in the face of two years of ginned up moral panic and psychological warfare perpetrated against Canadians by their own government, and the shockwaves were felt throughout the world—both from the power of the protest and the vicious response to it by Trudeau.


While the Convoy was still hundreds of kilometers from Ottawa, Trudeau's Public Safety Minister, Marco Mendocino, was planning a media campaign deploying "a similar message to the one used in response to the Jan. 6 attacks in Washington, D.C." which would emphasize the "more extreme elements" of the protestors. Trudeau memed himself into believing that a January 6 type insurrection was about to storm Parliament Hill, and promptly vacated the city to hide at a chalet in rural Quebec, where he remained for several days.


The Freedom Convoy did not deliver on any of these manufactured concerns. In the three weeks of the protest, not a single violent act was committed. The protesters cleaned the streets of Ottawa and fed the homeless, and the weekends were raucous and joyful, with techno dance parties in the streets lasting into the wee hours.


Against such revelry, Trudeau invoked The Emergencies Act, which allows the Canadian government to suspend civil liberties in the face of a so-called state of emergency. The invocation brought an end to the protests and launched a Kafkaesque nightmare for many who were involved. Bank accounts were seized and funds confiscated. Tamara Lich was arrested, and still faces charges of "counseling mischief" for her role organizing the protest. And four others—Chris Lysak, Chris Carbert, Anthony (Tony) Olienick, and Jerry Morin—have been held without a trial and without bail for charges related to "conspiracy to commit murder" against Canadian police officers at the Coutts, Alberta border crossing.


These are serious charges, which should imply serious evidence presented at an expeditious trial; yet at time of writing, it has been 515 days since these men were arrested, and no trial has yet taken place.


Worse, the evidence on offer is vague and ambiguous: text messages, testimony from two undercover RCMP officers working the crowd at the Coutts protest site, and a widely circulated photo of allegedly confiscated weapons that provided the main justification for the invocation of The Emergencies Act.


Whatever the charges against them, the denial of bail is an egregious departure from the norm, and has been given no explanation. As Donald Best, a former detective and 15 year veteran of the Toronto Police Services, pointed out, everybody gets bail in Canada, including a suspect accused of the first degree murder of a Toronto Police Officer and, somewhat ironically, a member of Antifa who drove his jeep into a Freedom Convoy protest site in Winnipeg, Manitoba, injuring four people.


Yet there's no bail set for the Coutts Four, whose most recent pre-trial hearing was on June 29th, and another isn't scheduled until July 25th, where it is believed that the actual trial date will be set for some time in 2024.


These are political prisoners, pure and simple. They are being denied basic rights due to even the most violent of criminals because they are on the wrong side of the Trudeau government. They are being used as a fig leaf, the last shred of Trudeau's legitimacy for invoking The Emergencies Act and for the massive overreach of freezing bank accounts and seizing assets that it incurred.


It seems that Trudeau is determined not only to smear the Convoy as a Jan. 6 Canadian redo, but to treat the Coutts Four in a similar way, depriving them of their civil rights as the United States did to many protesters arrested in the days and weeks following that fateful day in D.C. Hundreds spent over a year in Guantanamo Bay-like conditions in D.C. prisons, denied bail and treated worse than convicted rapists and serial killers. As American Greatness reporter Julie Kelly chronicled at length, much of this treatment was utterly political in nature. But few in Canada are willing to expose our version of these abuses.


Margaret "Granny" Mackay of Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta is one of them. Mackay is the creator and administrator of the Alberta Political Prisoners Facebook page and is in regular contact with the accused and their legal team. Mackay has highlighted the subpar treatment the men have received in remand, including being held in segregation, a polite term for the torture known as solitary confinement; having necessary medical treatment delayed; being denied supplements for treating specific health issues; and being granted extremely limited visitation time from family.

Did they commit crimes worthy of such treatment? We just don't know. As Mackay has maintained through all of this, "I'm after the truth. The truth is locked in a remand center right now, and it's not being allowed out."


As Jason Lavigne, an independent journalist in western Alberta, put it, "There is an inverted house of cards Trudeau, Mendocino, Rouleau, all of these people have built, and at the bottom are the Coutts 4." If these men are exonerated, Canadians will start demanding answers about a whole lot of other things.


Using protesters and captives as examples is nothing new in the long history of government, but in places like Canada and the United States, leaders like Justin Trudeau and President Joe Biden love to invoke freedom and transparency ad nauseum and publicly hector the leaders of other countries over their treatment of dissidents. So it's disappointing to say the least to see such disregard for civil rights on these shores—rounding up regular working class people and accusing them of the most heinous crimes, then denying them speedy trials and treating them as if convicted terrorists before any evidence has been adjudicated.


These old school civil rights abuses cropping up in Biden's America and Trudeau's Canada are the latest technique that the globalist technocrats have used to quell the worldwide resurgence of populism, from Donald Trump to Brexit to the Yellow Vests to the Dutch Farmers to the Freedom Convoy.


The Coutts Four are the last of Trudeau's political enemies whom he can punish with impunity; they have no power and the full weight of the state against them. If his government can allow murderers and terrorists out on bail, they should extend the same to the men from Coutts and get on with the trial. Canada ought not be a nation where the works of Kafka and Camus play out in reality.


We don't yet know if these men are innocent or guilty of the charges against them, but it flies in the face of justice that they have not yet faced trial and have been denied bail. Locking people up for extended periods like this without trial is the stuff of banana republics.


Gord Magill is a trucker, writer, and commentator, and can be found at www.autonomoustruckers.substack.com.

The views expressed in this article are the writer's own.

Comments


bottom of page