KINSELLA: Lametti and Mendocino must resign or be voted out by Canadians ASAP – Toronto Sun

Publishing date:

Nov 26, 2022  •  1 hour ago  •  3 minute read

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Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives with Canada's Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada David Lametti, Canada's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland, and Canada's Minister of Public Safety Marco Mendicino at a news conference in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, on Feb. 23, 2022.
Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives with Canada’s Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada David Lametti, Canada’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland, and Canada’s Minister of Public Safety Marco Mendicino at a news conference in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, on Feb. 23, 2022. Photo by Patrick Doyle /Reuters

REYKJAVIK — Iceland is a bit like Canada. It is.

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Snow, ice, short days in winter. Bustling cities surrounded by rugged countryside. Hardy, stoic people.

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Like Canada, too, something unexpected has happened to its politics: Icelanders have given up on the political center. Like us, their politics now pinballs between Left and Right.

And protests. In Canada, we’ve always had protests, but nothing like what we’ve seen in recent months — Ottawa, B.C., Alberta, Windsor. Protests against vaccinations, protests against public health suggestions, protests against just about every decision governments make, now.

Same thing here. It all started with the economic crisis of 2008-2009. Just like in the United States and Canada, images of bankers being bailed out by governments — while regular folks lost their jobs and their homes — produced an avalanche of outrage here.

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In America, the events of 2008-2009 led to the birth of the Occupy Movement on the Left. On the Right, it created the Tea Party, which took over the Republican Party. Which took over the White House. (Donald Trump, prop.)

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A similar tale unfolded in Iceland, on a much lesser scale, of course. The global financial collapse caused an actual popular uprising here. The protests went on for months, were violent, and ultimately led to Iceland’s first-ever Left-wing government. It didn’t last long. The Right came back, then the Left, and on and on.

As in the U.S., as now in Canada, the Icelandic political center became unpopular. Conciliation and compromise became an emblem of weakness. The center was for losers.

The consequences of that, in Iceland and other democracies, are self-evident. The emboldened Right gave in to its worst instincts — Trump attempting to ban Muslims, permanently separating migrant children from their parents, advocating violence against people with a different view. And far-Right leaders triumphing in Italy, Sweden and other places.

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And the liberal Left? It became illiberal. When granted the privilege of power, it gave in to its darker side, too.

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Evidence of that was seen, this week, with the astonishing text exchanges between Canada’s ministers of justice and public safety — a former law professor and a former Crown Attorney, respectively, incredibly — musing about deploying tanks against Canadian civilians.

Justice Minister David Lametti: “You need to get the police to move. And the CAF if necessary. Too many people are being seriously adversely impacted by what is an occupation.”

Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino: “How many tanks are you asking for?”

Mendicino then said he would ask the Minister of National Defence how many tanks were available.

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Now, this writer favored the application of the Emergencies Act at the precise moment Diagolon white supremacists were detained with a cache of firearms, on their way to an Alberta border crossing to allegedly murder police officers. I also favoured it being used when lunatics blocked border crossings elsewhere in Canada, halting billions in vital trade.

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I opposed the Ottawa occupation, too. On that occasion, they lost me when they defaced the statue of Terry Fox, and urinated on the War Memorial.

I did not, however, ever favour using tanks against civilians in Ottawa. No sane person would. Ever.

The Minister of Justice and the Minister of Public Safety apparently did. So said their aforementioned text messages, disclosed at the federal inquiry into the application of the Emergencies Act.

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The ministers are now claiming that they were “just joking” about using tanks on people. That, of course, is what the leader of the aforementioned Diagolon neo-Nazis said when it emerged that he expressed his desire to rape the wife of the Conservative Party leader: he was “just joking.”

Sorry, but “just joking” doesn’t quite cut it, then or now.

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In times like these — when anger is everywhere, when the political center will not hold — the legal responsibility of people wielding great power is to exercise restraint and judgment. Their duty is to do all that they can to provide what our Constitution describes as peace, order and good government.

This appalling episode is none of those. It is not peace, it is not order, it is decidedly not good government. It is recklessness and madness. Not a joke.

These two ministers must resign. Failing that, they must be fired.

And if none of that happens, as is likely? With their ballots, at the earliest opportunity, they must be removed by the Canadian people.

You know: the people these two men wanted to use tanks against.