A common misconception with many in the media is that when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said “sunny ways” it meant he was going to be nice and warm to get things done. Sunny ways is really all about applying heat to force people to do what you want.

From the very beginning, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Prime Minister’s Office flexed muscle to get people in line.

Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, not too long after the Liberals victory, was made an example of for the rest of the federal employees: leak information or documents and full force of law enforcement will come down on you.

What Norman did, sharing information with a rival shipbuilding company when Irving Shipbuilding was trying to move in on its contract, was not an uncommon practice in Ottawa for federal employees dealing with government contacts.

But when Trudeau took power his PMO wanted to put a chill on any information getting out. Since getting the RCMP to investigate Norman, the Trudeau government is attempting to avoid releasing communications on their involvement in going after him. Norman’s lawyer has been given back requested communications from the PMO that were returned completely redacted.

In true despotic fashion, those redacted documents hide the communications between the Trudeau government’s former right-hand man, Michael Wernick, and the prosecution in the Norman case, where he faces one criminal charge of breach of trust. Norman’s defence team is questioning whether the Trudeau government’s political interference in the SNC-Lavalin scandal wasn’t the first time they interfered in a prosecution.

Wernick’s name should ring a bell.

He started early retirement this year because of his involvement as the intermediary for Trudeau. He was in charge of making it clear to former Attorney General and Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould that the PM was in “that kind of mood,” and he was going to get his way one way or another if Wilson-Raybould wouldn’t give corruption-plagued engineering firm SNC-Lavalin a deferred prosecution agreement instead of letting the company defend its actions in court..

After someone leaked the Omar Khadr settlement, the Trudeau government hunted for the leaker, with the Privy Council Office refusing to say whether it called in the RCMP.

Trudeau — in similar style to an autocrat — is perverting the justice system for his and his friends’ interests. Furthermore, he is getting the police to go after those who are inconveniencing his government by revealing some of its shady backroom dealings.  

One other way autocrats keep a tight grip on power is through complete control of information. Sure, it’s hyperbolic to say the Trudeau government is anywhere near having heavy control over the media (e.g. SNC-Lavalin).

Yet the Trudeau government bribing the media with just under $600 million less than a year before an election, pressuring Facebook, Google and Twitter to censor their platforms, hiring organizations to tell Canadians what is and isn’t news, and reporting on social media accounts they don’t like all show a government interested in controlling what Canadians can see and hear as much as possible.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, despots use fear to keep citizenry obedient.

Trudeau and much of his cabinet have begun to test out smearing federal Conservative leader Andrew Scheer and Ontario Premier as being closely aligned with the alt-right.

“Andrew Scheer has proudly spoken at the same rallies as white nationalist,” Trudeau declared last week.

Trudeau’s statement was revisionist history, another dictatorial tendency, but it also likely revealed that the Liberals’ election strategy is to strike fear into Canadians by making them think that Conservatives are by and large right-wing extremists and racists.

On top of all this, Trudeau tried to gag Scheer from calling out Trudeau on his inconsistencies in the past few months when answering on the SNC-Lavalin scandal by starting to sue the Conservative leader.  

Thankfully, we still live in a robust democracy despite Trudeau’s anti-democratic actions.

However, it’s vitally important Canadians continue to use their freedom of speech to call out and condemn the Trudeau government’s dictatorial tendencies before they get any more emboldened in attacking Canada’s democracy.

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