This week we've seen one of the most dramatic political demonstrations of our lifetimes.
A rag-tag group of Truckers, starting in British Columbia in the West, traveled across the country to the Canadian Capital of Ottawa.
Not since the protest of the Viet Nam War in the US, has North America seen such a large group of people amassed to make their voices heard. By most estimates at the height, the parade of trucks stretched for nearly 50 miles.
This is just the sort of action at the heart of our Western Democracies. Canada is a member of the British Commonwealth. As such, their reliance on human rights goes back ultimately to the Magna Carta. Which was agreed to by King John of England in 1215.
Today these human rights are embodied in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which makes up the first part of Canada's Constitution of 1982.
Among the Freedoms assured by the Canadian constitution are freedom of expression, freedom of peaceful assembly, freedom of association, and interestingly Freedom of Mobility. That is the freedom to move around the country, and in fact, leave the country.
And it is these fundamental rights, that the Canadian Truckers are bringing into clear focus, fully eight centuries after the Magna Carta was first endorsed by King John.
Today a group of technocratic tyrants has replaced "The Charter of Rights and Freedoms," with a new social contract: the "Covid Requirements."
The "Right of Peaceful Assembly" is now the covid requirement of social distancing and limited groups.
"Freedom of Expression" is now the Covid Requirement of hushed speech behind masks. And most of all we must not express thoughts that reflect the “ small fringe minority who are on their way to Ottawa, are holding unacceptable views ..." to quote Justin Trudeau.
Freedom of Association has now been replaced with the Covid Requirement of association only with the fully vaccinated, down to the latest booster.
Plus it's almost impossible to petition the government when the Prime Minister is “self quarantined." And miles away from the capital...
And oh yes, that Freedom of Mobility, it's only for a day or two. As the mayor of Ottawa said, you've made your point. Now go back to your own town.
These are the issues that the Canadian Truckers have brought before the world. Presented more vividly, and more dramatically than a group of constitutional lawyers or political historians could ever do.
These truckers are the men and women who make up the heart and soul of Canada.
My understanding is that they intend to remain in Ottawa “until things change.” And I'm afraid that's liable to be a very long time.
Long enough for everyone to really feel the economic impact of having many of this nation's transportation on the sideline. Vital shipments of food, oil, and essentials will no doubt be delayed. In just a few short days all of Canada will appreciate the importance of this vital link in the supply chain.
And perhaps, it will be then that Canadian's will come face to face with Trucker's basic issue: do they still have the fundamental freedoms, enshrined in the Charter, or have those freedoms been supplanted by these new "Covid Requirements?"