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Canadian conservative members of Parliament are outraged that their government extended the unprecedented Emergencies Act, with one MP describing it as further splitting the country into “two Canadas.”
“I believe history will judge this government and this Prime Minister very harshly. I think that he, instead of engaging in dialogue and showing leadership, he brought the hammer down on peaceful protesters who came here sincere of heart to protest his government’s actions, not the government,” Conservative Member of Parliament Kerry-Lynne Findlay, who serves British Columbia, told Fox News Digital in a phone interview Tuesday.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act last week, giving power to the government to prohibit public assembly, restrict travel and require businesses – such as tow companies – to act on the government’s demands.
On Monday night, the Canadian House of Commons voted 185 to 151 in favor of extending the emergency powers, which sparked quick backlash from Conservative leaders who point out that protesters have already been cleared from Ottawa and various border crossings to the U.S.
“Today, after the Prime Minister reported that Ottawa’s streets are cleared, that the trucks are gone and the borders are opened, the Liberals and the NDP voted to extend the Emergencies Act. This allows the government to use vast new powers and keep the state of emergency going,” Conservative leader Candice Bergen said in a statement.
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Findlay said that coronavirus lockdowns in the country have been “a terrible strain on our economy and on our people.”
Trudeau has argued that the protesters have caused further damage to the country’s economy by shutting down key trade corridors, but Findlay argued that a bridge being “barricaded for a few days” is no justification for the emergency order.
“It doesn’t meet the threshold. This is an extraordinary piece of legislation, which should only be used in the most extraordinary circumstances. That’s why it hasn’t been used before,” she said.
To Findlay, Canada is now split, with Trudeau’s government and its supporters on one side, and “working people” who she said “see Canada as united and proud” on the other.
“They sacrifice. They’ve done without. They suffered economically, physically, and in their mental health condition with lockdowns and restrictions. But they’re still firmly patriotic and want to have a brighter future,” she said of the working people who protested.
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Trudeau has slammed the protesters as allegedly spewing “hateful rhetoric” and using “Nazi symbolism, racist imagery,” but has not allowed for open dialogue on the coronavirus restrictions and vaccine mandates that the people are protesting against.
“Our prime minister, instead of saying, as you would expect of any good leader – ‘Well, let’s have a dialogue on this. Let’s talk about this. Let’s discuss it.’ He called them misogynists and racist and said that they held unacceptable views. And they basically questioned: How long should we tolerate these people?” Findlay said.
Trudeau, however, has previously supported other protests, including Black Lives Matter in 2020 and knelt in support of the movement. Findlay said he didn’t invoke the unprecedented emergency order for those protests due to his political ideology.
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But for the current protesters, “he has gone to the most extreme measures to alienate them first of all, and then shut them down. And the mainstream media continues his narrative.”
She argued that Trudeau’s government sees the people supporting the protests as the “other” category of Canadians, and added the government now equates people “being anti this government with being anti-government.”
Findlay said this is the first time she has felt “uncomfortable” in her own country, explaining that she has to show her ID in order to leave her apartment to get to her office amid police in riot gear patrolling Ottawa.
“This government has so much to answer for. People don’t trust it. It’s that simple. And that’s only going to become more so the more heavy-handed they are, the more that they continue these lockdowns,” she said.
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When asked what the coming months will look like, Findlay said “punitive.” She pointed to the Ottawa police chief “vowing to continue to hunt people down and punish them financially and lay more charges,” and the “hack” of the donor list for the Freedom Convoy that has exposed “ordinary people” as spelling trouble for the coming weeks and months.
Following the vote Monday to extend the Emergencies Act, Conservative leader Bergen filed a motion to revoke the measure. Twenty members of Parliament signed the motion, which will be taken up for debate next week.