Oh, Canada!

In 1965 Canadian conservative George Grant published his famous Lament for a Nation, a dirge in which Grant deplored the shedding of Canadian national identity and its descent into a poor clone of its behemoth neighbor to the south. According to Grant, Canada was losing both its English Protestant and French Catholic heritage and turning into a mere appendage of American political and cultural life. It might be the compensation for this descent that our mainstream media and various neoconservative commentators refer to Canada as our closest ally and a country with which we share the same “democratic values.” Canada has been given credit for being an integral part of the “free world,” and as proof of this commitment, its government and media are now standing with the Ukrainian resistance against the antidemocrat Vladimir Putin, who invaded that country.

Long ago, I observed that the high grades for constitutionally guaranteed liberty the neoconservative think tank Freedom House hands out to its favorite countries typically go to woke experimental laboratories like Germany and Canada, while it gives more traditional pre-woke republics like Hungary and Poland significantly lower grades. Obviously, hate speech laws, which prevail in Canada and Germany, and which are designed to close down opposition from the right, are no big problem for those who award prizes to our showcase “democracies.”

The fact that Canada now has laws allowing the state to take away children from parents who refuse to transition their children sexually is obviously far less offensive to these selective moralists than hearing Viktor Orbán refer to himself as a “Christian Democrat” or listening to the Hungarian premier reject gay instruction in public schools. Apparently Canada admires democracy so deeply that its government now censors the content of what is transmitted on the Canadian internet. Lest I omit this slap on the wrist, Freedom House does ding Canada for abridging the rights of indigenous people. The Canadian government just doesn’t seem to be doing quite enough for its aboriginals, despite the enormous budget allotted for that purpose.

Allow me to admit that I always enjoy watching Canada’s wokester premier Justin Trudeau make a fool of himself. And he’s really quite good at it, even if not enough of his countryman appreciate the extent to which he has perfected this art. Trudeau was especially ridiculous as well as brutal in how he went after truck drivers who protested the COVID lockdowns in the capital city of Ottawa. He had the demonstrators arrested, their vehicles seized, and their bank accounts frozen. Trudeau even investigated their social media contacts as threats to Canadian democracy and possibly “the free world.” In any case, the American and Canadian mainstream media  were on hand to justify Trudeau’s actions by calling attention to the neo-Nazis who, supposedly, were behind the demonstrations.

Last week this paradigmatic democratic premier descended into a new level of laughable ineptitude when he welcomed to the Canadian federal Parliament, and ensured a thunderous welcome to, a supposed Ukrainian freedom fighter. As it turned out the person whom Trudeau and his Liberal Party decided to fete, the 98-year-old Yaroslav Hunka, was a former member of the Nazi Waffen-SS, who had served in a Ukrainian unit fighting alongside Hitler’s Third Reich. Trudeau and Anthony Rota, the speaker of the Canadian Parliament, were effusive in their praise of this visitor, whom it was assumed represented woke, universalist principles. When the truth suddenly leaked out, both Trudeau and Rota made long-winded apologies, although it is hard to see how even in a largely controlled society like Canada such a colossal blunder would not cost Trudeau at least some support. 

Never one to avoid sinking even deeper into his own mess, Trudeau has taken time away off from declaring war on gender language and apologizing for honoring ex-Nazis, to insult the Indian government. Last week the premier accused it of murdering a Sikh separatist residing in Canada who was assassinated near a Sikh cultural center in Vancouver. There is nothing even approaching solid evidence thus far presented to show Indian leaders ordered this “extrajudicial” killing, although Trudeau keeps mumbling about “intelligence sources” without being more specific. The predictable response from the Indian head of state, Narendra Modi, has been to take grave offense at Trudeau’s emotionally charged accusation. By now we may wonder what more would be needed to drive this champion of the “free world” from office. Although the mainstream media continues to cover for Justin’s enormities, there must be a point at which even lethargic Canadian voters will have had enough of their head of state.   

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