The Emergencies Act remains in place after last night’s vote in the House of Commons. Those who value civil liberties are saddened, perhaps scared.
Today though, some reflective words from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. In a press conference Monday I was surprised to hear him go beyond his (what I feel are weak) justifications for invoking the Emergencies Act.
In a defense of his invocation of the Emergencies Act, whihc included quite a few half-truths, he veered into the personal (about the seven-minute mark if you watch the video) for the last two minutes before taking qurestions from the media.
In those two minutes, he spoke to the Canadian people, from the heart. I have found him in recent months to display what appeared to me to be an unhelpful mixture of belligerence and self-righteousness. Maybe that wasn’t his intent, but it was the way I (and others) perceived what he was saying.
On Monday though he displayed an understanding of the divisions that have wracked Canada and acted accordingly. His words were meant to heal, rather than divide. At least that was my first impression. I will admit I didn’t watch to th end of the press conference.
I have here regularly opposed the policies of his government. I do feel that he did not have the necessary experience to do his job well, and as a result many government actions seem to create problems rather than fix them. The Prime Minister’s performance in the House of Commons has at times been less than respectful.
Other commentators were less impressed than I was. At the end, he made the Parliamentary vote a matter of confidence and defied the other parties to risk an election. Since I had already said it would be viewed that way, that was no surprise.
It was pointed out though that his call to pick up the phone and talk to those we disagree with rings hollow, given that Trudeau has yet to apologize or call the Jewish MP he accused ot siding with Nazis. Maybe he will yet.
His statement moved me. Take a listen for yourself. I really do hope that he can walk his talk – and that all of us can learn from him.