The head of Canada’s far-left New Democratic Party, lawmaker Jagmeet Singh, published a video on Thursday railing against leftist Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for his “completely inexcusable” inaction in the face of the growing “Freedom Convoy” anti-mandate protests nationwide.
Trudeau is the leader of the Liberal Party, the establishment left-wing party. The NDP is significantly to the left of the Liberal Party, though both Singh and Trudeau have revealed sympathy for communism through affectionate homages to murderous Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.
The prime minister is facing aggressive condemnation from the right for his dismissal of the “Freedom Convoy” protests, which call for an end to all coronavirus-related civil rights violations by Trudeau’s government, as a “fringe” full of “tinfoil hats” and Nazis. Leftist leaders and commentators have also accused Trudeau of being too dismissive of the protests but have argued that the largely peaceful protests are violent insurrections that Trudeau has not done enough to crush. Singh has claimed, without evidence, that a conspiracy involving former President Donald Trump, Fox News, the “alt-right,” and a variety of nefarious American actors are the true leaders behind the “Freedom Convoy,” pressuring Trudeau to urge Biden to stop the protests.
OTTAWA, ON – FEBRUARY 05: A “Where’s Trudeau?” sign is seen near Parliament Hill on February 5, 2022, in Ottawa, Canada. Truckers continue their rally over the weekend near Parliament Hill in hopes of pressuring the government to roll back COVID-19 public health regulations and mandates (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images).
The “Freedom Convoy” is a trucker-led protest movement using trucks to flood major cities and international crossings. It initially began as an opposition movement to Trudeau’s order that all truckers needed to be vaccinated to cross into the United States. The largest iteration of the protests is in Ottawa, the nation’s capital, where thousands of people have crowded into the downtown core for peaceful assemblies calling for an end to mandates. Growing concern has also arisen in the largest crossing between Canada and America – Ambassador Bridge, which links Windsor, Ontario, to Detroit, Michigan. That crossing has been blocked for much of this week.
Joining the long list of impatient actors waiting for Trudeau to do something on Thursday was, reportedly, President Joe Biden. According to the Associated Press, the White House sent Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to pressure Trudeau to act to unblock Ambassador Bridge; it is unclear at press time if Trudeau responded with any actual plan.
Freedom Convoy protesters block the roadway at the Ambassador Bridge border crossing with the U.S., in Windsor, Ontario, on February 9, 2022 (Photo by Geoff Robins/AFP via Getty Images).
“It is completely inexcusable,” Singh said in a video published to social media on Thursday, referring to Trudeau’s performance generally in response to the convoy. “I have no idea how the prime minister of this country can sit back and let this happen. The prime minister of a G7 nation can’t solve this?”
“The prime minister of one of the wealthiest countries in the world can’t make sure people are safe in the nation’s capital? Can’t make sure people don’t feel abandoned? Can’t make sure that our borders are open?” Singh asked. “And there are disputes by the prime minister and the Liberal government federally about who is responsible for the border. Pretty sure the border of a country falls squarely in the responsibility of the federal government.”
“And, either way, in a crisis, people don’t want to hear the excuse of jurisdiction,” he continued. “People are fed up and we need to immediately seek leadership to fix this, to solve this, to protect people.”
Singh concluded falsely accusing the protesters of “harassing and intimidating people.”
I’ve been asked how I think PM Trudeau has handled the occupations of our borders and the nation’s capital.
This is my answer. pic.twitter.com/QgxYLVWYIc
— Jagmeet Singh (@theJagmeetSingh) February 10, 2022
Singh published the video before Trudeau called an emergency meeting of major party leaders to discuss the convoy protests. The meeting first appeared to indicate that Trudeau would announce a plan to address the issue, but reports indicate that he offered no solution or action on the part of his government, instead berating leaders such as Singh and interim Conservative Party leader Candice Bergen to solve the problem.
Singh issued another irritated statement after the meeting.
“Canadians have been missing national leadership during this crisis,” the NDP leader said, according to Global News. “They’re tired of jurisdictional excuses, they just want this to stop.”
Bergen was more conciliatory, thanking Trudeau for the meeting, which she had been requesting for much of the week without an answer.
Trudeau held the meeting privately after not appearing in Parliament on Thursday. He made his return to the lawmaking body on Monday after disappearing to an undisclosed location for about a week after announcing that he had tested positive for the Chinese coronavirus. His appearances at parliamentary sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday were, at best, contentious, as lawmakers drowned out much of his rhetoric with jeers and mockery. On Tuesday, Speaker of the House Anthony Rota had to interrupt Trudeau to silence the hecklers, one of whom yelled, “Let him answer, he’s not good at it!”
Trudeau’s statements to Parliament were repetitive declarations that Canadians supported his government and trusted Chinese coronavirus vaccination products, abstaining from answering many of both Bergen’s and Singh’s questions.
“Canada has never been so strong and together as we are now,” Trudeau alleged on Wednesday.