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Police clear out border blockade as Ottawa seeks deal with convoy to start rolling


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Protesters decrying COVID-19 restrictions and the federal government itself were moved from the mouth of a crucial trade route with the United States on Sunday, while confusion reigned over whether a group stationed in Ottawa would reduce their footprint in the capital’s core.

Officers in Windsor, Ont., arrested some two dozen protesters and moved others from the busy Ambassador Bridge spanning the Detroit River, towing five vehicles on Sunday at the site where protesters brought traffic to a halt for nearly a week and barring others from arriving on scene.

Windsor Police Chief Pamela Mizuno said officers are working to reopen roadways, but did not provide a timeline as to when that would occur. The reopening would allow the resumption of hundreds of millions of dollars in daily cross-border trade between Canada and the United States.

But despite the show of force as a line of officers marched on demonstrators who had clogged traffic on the key trade corridor, protesters opposed to COVID-19 restrictions and the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau continued to wave Canadian flags and holler the word “freedom,” with one shouting into a megaphone, “This is a peaceful protest.”

Wearing a Canadian flag around her shoulders, Windsor resident Karen Parrinello said she’s been coming out to demonstrate since Thursday evening and plans to be there for the long haul.

“As long as it takes, I’ll keep coming back. I can’t stay here all day, but I’ll come back here a couple hours a time every day until it’s better, until all the mandates are gone and we have our freedoms back,” she said.

Police in Windsor had negotiated with protesters over the weekend to get them to leave, warning of arrests if they kept bridge traffic at a standstill.

Police said between 25 and 30 people were arrested, many of whom are now facing mischief charges. Mizuno said roughly a dozen vehicles were also seized or towed over the weekend.

“There are steps we need to take in order to open the roadways so that we don’t encounter the same issues,” she said at an afternoon news conference. “Please note we are moving as fast as we can, however, we need to make sure this is a safe and sustainable solution.”

While Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens expressed his thanks to police, he issued a similar statement to residents of his border city who “respected the process needed to find a resolution.”

“Canada is a nation that believes in the right to freedom of speech and expression, but we are also bound by the rule of law,” Dilkens said in a statement.

Hours later, his counterpart in Ottawa, Mayor Jim Watson, released letters he said were between himself and organizers of the so-called Freedom Convoy about a deal to move some of the 400 vehicles encamped downtown to Parliament Hill and away from residential neighbourhoods.

The correspondence between the two sides suggested convoy organizers agreed to start moving trucks to Wellington Street, which runs in front of Parliament Hill, as well as a host of parliamentary buildings including the Prime Minister’s Office. Those moves, according to the letter, will get underway Monday.

If moves happen before the noon deadline Watson set in his letter, Ottawa’s mayor agreed to meet with the protesters who, on Sunday, turned intersections once busy with traffic into dance floors with loudspeakers and draped themselves in the Canadian flag as they wandered downtown streets amid idling vehicles and semis.

In a note to city councillors, Watson’s office said any movement of trucks wouldn’t be “a long-term solution to the occupation,” but a step to reduce the impact on those who live in the area.

On Sunday night, convoy board president Tamara Lich tweeted that plans to relocate trucks would go ahead on Monday, posting the note hours after denying any deal and vowing to stay downtown until federal vaccine mandates are eliminated.

Residents who have become frustrated with a lack of movement on the situation joined with a local city councillor and provincial politician to block a convoy on its way to join up with demonstrators downtown.

Sean Burgess said the spontaneous counter-protest, organized late Saturday evening, should be a clear signal to federal, provincial and local leaders about ending what even Watson has described as an illegal occupation of the capital’s core.

“Ottawa is not the dull city all of Canada thinks, but it’s certainly not a city of people who get out in the street and become activists, particularly spontaneously,” Burgess said by the line of counter-protesters.

“So when you see people in a neighborhood like Old Ottawa South, who would rather complain, and litigate, so to speak, rather than take direct action on the streets, standing in front of trucks saying to the cops, ‘fine, arrest me,’ then you know that something has gone really too far.”

In a statement, Ontario Premier Doug Ford called anew on protesters in Ottawa to leave, while praising the Windsor police, Ontario Provincial Police and RCMP officers who worked to reopen the Ambassador Bridge.

The developments in Ontario came as protests continued around the country in support of the convoys that set up camp in Ottawa.

Police contended with demonstrations at other border crossings, including in British Columbia where four people were arrested near the border crossing in Surrey. That crossing remained open as of Sunday, the Canada Border Services Agency said.

The ongoing protests spurred Trudeau to meet with senior officials and cabinet members. He said in a late night tweet that his “incident response group” covered further actions the federal government can take.

“We’ll keep working urgently on this – to protect jobs, public safety, our neighbourhoods, and our economy,” the tweet said.

Trudeau was also to invite premiers to a meeting Monday about the protests, according to a government source, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the matter.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 13, 2022.

– With files from Justin Tang and Marie Woolf in Ottawa, and Brieanna Charlebois in Vancouver.

Noushin Ziafati and Jordan Press, The Canadian Press

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Jordan Peterson explains why Canadians should pay attention to the National Citizens Inquiry.

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Most Canadians may be unaware that a Citizen-Led Inquiry into Canada’s COVID-19 Response is underway.  The first hearing which took place in Truro, Nova Scotia has already provided the five Inquiry Commissioners with hours of evidence to consider.

Hearings are also scheduled for Toronto, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Red Deer, Vancouver, Quebec City, and finally Ottawa.  The second round of hearings starts Thursday, March 30 in Toronto.  On the eve of this, the National Citizens Inquiry has released a statement from renowned Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson.  Below in his message to the commissioners, Dr. Peterson outlines all the reasons this inquiry is so important.


A Citizen-Led Inquiry Into Canada’s COVID-19 Response

Canada’s federal and provincial governments’ COVID-19 policies were unprecedented. These interventions into Canadians’ lives, our families, businesses, and communities were, and to great extent remain, significant. In particular, these interventions impacted the physical and mental health, civil liberties and fundamental freedoms, jobs and livelihoods, and overall social and economic wellbeing of nearly all Canadians.

These circumstances demand a comprehensive, transparent, and objective national inquiry into the appropriateness and efficacy of these interventions, and to determine what lessons can be learned for the future. Such an inquiry cannot be commissioned or conducted impartially by our governments as it is their responses and actions to the COVID-19 which would be under investigation.

The National Citizen’s Inquiry (NCI) is a citizen-led and citizen-funded initiative that is completely independent from government. In early 2023, the NCI will hear from Canadians and experts and investigate governments’ COVID-19 policies in a fair and impartial manner.

The NCI’s purpose is to listen, to learn, and to recommend. What went right? What went wrong? How can Canadians and our governments better react to national crises in the future in a manner that balances the interests of all members of our society?

Canadian psychologist, Dr. Jordan B. Peterson who is also an author, online educator, and Professor Emeritus at the University of Toronto spoke out about the Canadian response to COVID-19.

Dr. Peterson’s prerecorded testimony was directed to the five Commissioners at the National Citizens Inquiry in Truro, Nova Scotia.


Toronto, Ontario


Start:     March 30 @ 9:00 am
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The National Citizen’s Inquiry Hearings Event in the city of Toronto, Ontario Canada.

This event takes place starting March 30th to April 1st 2023.
Hearings go from 9:00am – 5:00pm Eastern Time.

You can register to attend the event here.

The hearing schedule is here.

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What Happened When the Georgia Governor Tried to Open the State?

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From the Brownstone Institute

BY Jeffrey A. TuckerJEFFREY A. TUCKER  

The journalists have fallen down on the job. To say the least.

Three years ago, all normal rights and liberties of the people were trampled on by governments everywhere. It was all for naught. The virus came and became endemic as it always would in any case. And as societies opened up gradually, we were left with unbearable carnage: economic, cultural, and public health. The damages continue to hammer the world in the form of health and economic losses, and now we face a growing financial and banking crisis.

One might assume that professional journalists would be all over this, digging into every nook and cranny to discover precisely how all this came to be. Alas, there is a weird game of pretend going on in the mainstream press: pretend lockdowns were fine, pretend the shots worked, and pretend that today’s shattered politics and economics have nothing to do with the outrageous actions that were perpetuated on people the world over.

As a result of this tremendously odd conspiracy of silence, the journalistic duty has fallen to people independent of the mainstream, writing for Brownstone, Substack, and a handful of other venues.

And yet, every once in a while, something does leak through in a large venue. That happened this weekend in the Wall Street Journal. The opinion page editor James Taranto took a trip to Georgia to talk with Governor Brian Kemp. The result is “Brian Kemp, Georgia’s Affable Culture Warrior.”

The thesis is that Kemp has been battling woke culture longer than anyone else while rarely getting the credit.

That’s interesting but not the real revelation of the piece. What it really does is dig deeply into the most interesting aspect of the last three years: how it came to be that Georgia was the first state to open following lockdowns and how the White House responded. On this subject, the piece absolutely breaks new ground, so much so that it is worth quoting the relevant passages here.

In April 2020, businesses in Georgia were shuttered by government decree as in most of the rest of the country. Mr. Kemp was hearing from desperate entrepreneurs: “ ‘Look man, we’re losing everything we’ve got. We can’t keep doing this.’ And I really felt like there was a lot of people fixin’ to revolt against the government.”

The Trump administration “had that damn graph or matrix or whatever that you had to fit into to be able to do certain things,” Mr. Kemp recalls. “Your cases had to be going down and whatever. Well, we felt like we met the matrix, and so I decided to move forward and open up.” He alerted Vice President Mike Pence, who headed the White House’s coronavirus task force, before publicly announcing his intentions on April 20.

That afternoon Mr. Trump called Mr. Kemp, “and he was furious.” Mr. Kemp recounts the conversation as follows:

“Look, the national media’s all over me about letting you do this,” Mr. Trump said. “And they’re saying you don’t meet whatever.”

Mr. Kemp replied: “Well, Mr. President, we sent your team everything, and they knew what we were doing. You’ve been saying the whole pandemic you trust the governors because we’re closest to the people. Just tell them you may not like what I’m doing, but you’re trusting me because I’m the governor of Georgia and leave it at that. I’ll take the heat.”

“Well, see what you can do,” the president said. “Hair salons aren’t essential and bowling alleys, tattoo parlors aren’t essential.”

“With all due respect, those are our people,” Mr. Kemp said. “They’re the people that elected us. They’re the people that are wondering who’s fighting for them. We’re fixin’ to lose them over this, because they’re about to lose everything. They are not going to sit in their basement and lose everything they got over a virus.”

Mr. Trump publicly attacked Mr. Kemp: “He went on the news at 5 o’clock and just absolutely trashed me. . . . Then the local media’s all over me—it was brutal.” The president was still holding daily press briefings on Covid. “After running over me with the bus on Monday, he backed over me on Tuesday,” Mr. Kemp says. “I could either back down and look weak and lose all respect with the legislators and get hammered in the media, or I could just say, ‘You know what? Screw it, we’re holding the line. We’re going to do what’s right.’ ” He chose the latter course. “Then on Wednesday, him and [Anthony] Fauci did it again, but at that point it didn’t really matter. The damage had already been done there, for me anyway.”

The damage healed quickly once businesses began reopening on Friday, April 24. Mr. Kemp quotes a state lawmaker who said in a phone call: “I went and got my hair cut, and the lady that cuts my hair wanted me to tell you—and she started crying when she told me this story—she said, ‘You tell the governor I appreciate him reopening, to allow me to make a choice, because . . . if I’d have stayed closed, I had a 95% chance of losing everything I’ve ever worked for. But if I open, I only had a 5% chance of getting Covid. And so I decided to open, and the governor gave me that choice.’ ”

At that point, Florida was still shut down. Mr. DeSantis issued his first reopening order on April 29, nine days after Mr. Kemp’s. On April 28, the Florida governor had visited the White House, where, as CNN reported, “he made sure to compliment the President and his handling of the crisis, praise Trump returned in spades.”

Three years later, here’s the thanks Mr. DeSantis gets: This Wednesday Mr. Trump issued a statement excoriating “Ron DeSanctimonious” as “a big Lockdown Governor on the China Virus.” As Mr. Trump now tells the tale, “other Republican Governors did MUCH BETTER than Ron and, because I allowed them this ‘freedom,’ never closed their States. Remember, I left that decision up to the Governors!”

What’s utterly remarkable here is that readers gain an inside look into the difficult spot into which Trump’s White House had placed Republican governors. The whole machinery of DC had been marshaled with Trump’s approval. The order read: “indoor and outdoor venues where people can congregate should be closed.” He issued this order on March 16 and expected full compliance, and then lobbied for trillions in welfare to the states to make sure they stayed locked down.

Only South Dakota with Kristy Noem refused. And for that she was dragged through the mud of media lies for two years because she allowed motorcyclists, for example, to organize and ride in her state. The fake studies coming out about the Sturgis bike rallies set a new low standard for real-time science.

Georgia is important because it was the first state to open. Trump tweeted his opposition to this move both in general and then, two weeks later, in opposition to Kemp’s opening.

Every bit of documentation absolutely contradicts Trump’s claim that he “left that decision up to the Governors” as a matter of his own intention. It was his intention to achieve what he later bragged he had done, which is “turned it off.”

I won’t belabor this anymore because we’ve covered this in more detail here and here.

And yet for weeks now, Trump has been telling visitors to Mar-a-Lago, and his coterie has backed him up, that he never locked down and only people like Kemp and DeSantis did this over his objections. Daily I get calls from people who are stunned that this outright attempt to falsify history is happening. But these days, it is just part of public life, I suppose.

This is why we must be grateful for people like Taranto for digging more deeply into the actual history of what happened in those fateful months from 2020 when life itself was completely upended by dreadful decision-making from the White House. If we had more journalists interested in what actually happened, rather than just pretending that either what happened was perfectly normal or that it didn’t happen at all, we would be far closer to getting to the truth, and making sure that such a calamity never repeats itself.


  • Jeffrey A. Tucker

    Jeffrey A. Tucker is Founder and President of the Brownstone Institute. He is also Senior Economics Columnist for Epoch Times, author of 10 books, including Liberty or Lockdown, and thousands of articles in the scholarly and popular press. He speaks widely on topics of economics, technology, social philosophy, and culture.

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