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MP Viersen: Canadian Freedoms Under Siege

While Canada has long been regarded as a beacon of freedom to those oppressed in other countries, the reign of Justin Trudeau has shown that our democracy and freedoms are under threat from within.

When former Prime Minister, the Right Honourable John G. Diefenbaker, introduced Canada's original Bill of Rights in 1960, he made this statement in the House of Commons to communicate the freedoms he hoped to protect:

"I am Canadian, a free Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship God in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, free to choose those who govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind."

As you consider this powerful proclamation of freedom and rights, I want to highlight these three rights of Canadians referenced by Mr. Diefenbaker:

  • Free to speak without fear

  • Free to stand for what I think right

  • Free to oppose what I believe wrong

Tragically, as we have witnessed over the past two months with the Freedom Convoy, Prime Minister Trudeau and the Liberals now believe that you only possess these rights as long as your views align with theirs.

When the Prime Minister invoked the Emergencies Act, he made it clear that dissent would now be met with demonization and criminalization. No less alarming, Canadians who donated to a cause supporting the end of Trudeau's vaccine mandates could have their financial assets frozen - and many did.

The Emergencies Act compelled the banks to freeze bank accounts of Canadians who donated to the Freedom Convoy. The Act gave the banks the power to do this without obtaining a court order. The Liberals also didn't tell Canadians that their frozen accounts will be flagged for life. Canadians should not face lifelong consequences for holding different political views than Trudeau.

The Emergencies Act also required financial institutions to proactively identify accounts of Canadians who might have donated. At a recent Committee hearing on this, Angelina Mason, general counsel for the Bankers Association, testified, “We primarily relied upon the names provided by the RCMP but there were obligations under the order separate that required banks to make their own determinations.” In fact, she admitted some accounts that were frozen were not even on the list of names provided by the RCMP.

Similar concerns were raised about steps that Farm Credit Canada began implementing. Farm Credit Canada has since confirmed with me that the proactive processes they were developing, under compulsion by the Liberals, did not end up being used due to the revocation of the Emergencies Act. But imagine if the Emergencies Act was left in place for a few more weeks. How many farm families would have had permanent flags on their accounts for disagreeing with Trudeau's policies?

The freedom of being Canadian is that people can bring their message to the public square regardless of what the government has to say about it. This is a heritage that I pledge to uphold for all Canadians.

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