Over the last week, people all around the world have been exposed to the deep division that exists in Canada. 

A nation generally thought of as ‘polite’ and ‘compliant’ is dealing with a major divide in the country. Does the population want to continue being ruled by emergency orders and decrees, or does it want the semblance of a fully-functioning nation back?

The country has seen the media, federal and local politicians, and now, the Ottawa police push back on the fundamental ideas and notions of a fully-functioning nation – one where the Charter of Rights and Freedoms is respected, as well as the expectation that rules and laws are debated, not enforced by emergency orders and decrees. 

The media, federal and local politicians, and now, the local Ottawa police, have slandered lawful protesters in Ottawa as “unlawful” and “dangerous.”

They have also minimized the protesting, and boiled it down to ‘you’ve been heard, now move on and let us continue with our decrees.’

Recently, Ottawa’s mayor made the remark that the protesters have had their “fifteen minutes” – a term generally used to describe ordinary individuals seeking fame and recognition but who fall short of long-lasting distinction. 

The protesters are not in Ottawa to seek their “fifteen minutes,” but to achieve change – to once again gain a semblance of normalcy other countries all across the world are achieving.

The Ottawa police have labeled the protest as “very volatile and very dangerous” while many videos show groups of people dancing, playing hockey and handing out food.

Journalists are calling trucking companies – the truckers’ employers – and acting like hall monitors in the streets of Ottawa.

Politicians are using increasingly divisive rhetoric to describe the protesters, labeling them “insurrectionists” who are engaging in “treason.”

In democracies, all sides of every argument must communicate openly and debate their ideas. For two years now, a large portion of the Canadian population has abided by the rules of those who caved in to fear and asked for more restrictions. 

But the individuals who were scared of COVID and required government measures to feel safe have never really listened to those who sought freedom and the liberty to use common sense in determining their own personal risk tolerance. 

For two years, the people who are a part of the Freedom Convoy protest played by the rules of the frightened masses. 

After less than two weeks of pushback from those who want their lives to go back to normal, politicians are fully committed to divisive rhetoric, as if the desire for freedom and common sense when it came to COVID controls was a forbidden idea. 

Where Canada goes from here is unknown, but more and more Canadians are deciding to stand up and ask questions critical of their government and of their own colleagues – like Liberal MPs Joel Lightbound and Yves Robillard have both done.

What we do know is that the Freedom Convoy has shown the extent to which the legacy media, politicians and the Ottawa police leadership have lost their minds over the last two years.

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Marie Oakes is an independent commentator and co-host of the No Malarkey Show. She has been covering COVID protests in Canada for over a year. She can be followed on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Telegram, TikTok, and YouTube @TheMarieOakes

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