In the News
Prime Minister Invokes Emergency Measures
Beware of Secret Deals and Use of Police Powers Against the Peoples’ Struggles!
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has informed that he is invoking the 1988 Emergencies Act, “which allows the federal government to override the provinces and authorize special temporary measures to ensure security during national emergencies,” CBC informs. The Emergencies Act replaced the War Measures Act in 1988 and is more limited in what it can do, including requiring parliamentary oversight, the National Post writes. All measures put in place under the Emergencies Act must also comply with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, it says. The Act also allows the government to send in the military but the CBC cited Trudeau as saying he had no plans to do so. Cameron Ahmad, Trudeau’s communications director, declined to comment on the report.
The Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) categorically opposes the invocation of the 1988 Emergencies Act. The so-called freedom convoy is a trial of strength over control of federal decision-making powers in Canada. All kinds of things are taking place in the name of freedom but nobody says what this freedom they advocate is or what is its purpose. For some time, the Trudeau government, along with governments at the provincial and municipal levels and at the level of the local police have been incapable of ending the standoff despite having all kinds of law and order measures at their disposal.
No solution will be found except through the mass mobilization of Canadians for a democracy which serves them. The crises are caused by the vicious neo-liberal anti-social offensive and the fight within the ruling circles to have pay-the-rich schemes which favour their particular interests. The call for the use of law and order measures and the deployment of the military to restore order hopes to mobilize the people behind the Trudeau faction against the so-called freedom convoy. It will not sort out the problems facing the people.
By invoking the Emergencies Act what problem does the Trudeau government hope to solve? Will it unite the contending factions? What kinds of deals will the Trudeau government have to strike behind the peoples’ backs to achieve that? How long will such “unity” which is rooted in blackmail and appeasing blackmail, last? Will the instruments of law and order manage to end the blockades and the occupation of Ottawa by the so-called freedom convoy? The more the police and governments demand injunctions to end the protests, the more the precedent is set by the ruling class that this is a legitimate method of ending protests, no matter what their content is. The courts are one of the instruments of coercion. Is maintaining law and order an abstraction or a matter of whose class interests are served?
The real question facing Canadians is what do you do when both sides are wrong? Taking sides between the contending factions in the struggle over control of the decision-making power, i.e. the state, will not help the working people to establish their own vantage point. The working people need their own vantage point so that they can intervene in a manner which helps their cause for a society which puts human beings, and the claims they are entitled to make on it, at the centre of its concerns.
The Trudeau Liberals are not a progressive force, any more than the Conservatives are. Calling one side the “left” and the other the “right” denies that both sides rely on executive powers to enforce the interests they serve. What is happening in Canada is a spillover of the civil war raging in the United States because Canada’s economy and governing institutions, police and military have been integrated into those of the U.S. The Canadian people are not in control of the decision-making power any more than the people of the U.S. are in control of the decision-making power south of the border. Time and time again, the United States tries to unify the bureaucracy and military forces by launching aggression abroad. It hopes that the civil war at home will recede if people see a national emergency. Is this what they intend to do at this time as well as they arm Ukraine to the hilt and engage in a fierce propaganda war to isolate Russia and blame it for the havoc they themselves are imposing on Europe?
To date, no spokesperson of the ruling circles or any media or academic pundits have been capable of providing an explanation or analysis of what is taking place, who the people are behind the so-called freedom convoy, what they seek to achieve with their demands against mandates, masks and for Trudeau to resign. They already achieved the ouster of Conservative party leader Erin O’Toole. Will this current phase of the standoff now achieve the ouster of Trudeau through a deal reached behind the backs of the people?
Some media weakly admonish the protestors, saying the Trudeau government was brought back into office a mere six months ago, it has a mandate from the people and is the legitimate government they should obey. Of course, it begs the question: what use is it to quote elections which clearly no longer serve to sort out the problems between contending factions of the ruling class or to give credence to the fraud that governments have a mandate from the people?
What is the freedom both sides are defending? Are the vicious neo-liberal interests Trudeau is defending better than the vicious neo-liberal interests the so-called freedom convoy cabal are defending?
The historical conditions are demanding the renewal of the democratic institutions and processes so that they empower the people. They are indicating that only on the basis of the mass democratic mobilization of the people to set the course for the country in all fields can the unity of the people in action be achieved. To think that the blackmail of the so-called freedom convoy or the convocation of emergency powers which condone all kinds of secret activities and deals will sort out the problem is not rational.
Clearly, the situation is very serious. The standoff is very real. The anarchy and violence are very real. The damages to the country and blackmail are very real. It is crucial that Canadians reject both sides and find solutions by persisting in putting forward their demands, speaking with their own voices and fighting for arrangements which humanize the natural and social environment by vesting decision-making in themselves and opening a path to progress on that basis.
The invocation of emergency powers further raises anarchy to authority. What compromise will be brokered? Can either side muster enough force to win this standoff? What will that look like for Canadians? Will unfolding events provide satisfactory answers for these and other questions?
Canadians must themselves work out what to do when both sides are wrong. They must beware of the secret deals which are being hatched behind their backs. Based on the seizure of police powers by the federal executive, even provincial and municipal authorities are left out of the deal-making, as are the legislatures and cartel parties, let alone the people of Canada. Beware of the use of the police powers against the peoples’ struggles! Beware of Secret Deals!
Our Security Lies in the Fight for the Rights of All!
All Out to Defend the Rights of All Workers, Women, Youth,
Seniors, Minorities and Indigenous Peoples!
(Renewal Update, posted February 14, 2022)