Rex Murphy: Claiming the Trucker Protest Was an Attempted Government Coup Is Beyond Ridiculous

By Rex Murphy
Rex Murphy
Rex Murphy
Rex Murphy is an author and columnist, and a former CBC Television and CBC Radio host.
March 15, 2022Updated: March 15, 2022


The world is richer than it has ever been in examples of lunacy and triviality, and that part of the world we call the West is richer in the same than anywhere else.

Our comfort, security, and wealth, with all the deep benefits that triad has brought us, has also bought committed shallowness, deep narcissism, self-absorption, and actual ignorance. It has also made us morally insensitive on many matters, if not numb. We take seriously and give our energies and attention to matters that those less secure, less comfortable, and less wealthy look on in wonder and horror. We have campaigns against plastic shopping bags—and feel morally elevated in doing so—while millions upon millions have never seen one, on the irrefutable premise they have never seen shops.

Kardashians and Hollywood empty-heads glut our media, micro-aggressions consume super-fragile college students, we have battles over toilet use, and yet here on the same globe people fight famine, face exacting and real poverty, or, as in the current moment, see their country invaded and bombed.

Just last week I read of the most expensive private school in England (it’s American) charging close to $50,000 per student, which was introducing its Richie Riches to the idea of 64 genders. 64! And when the gullible parents who were paying their Everest fees to have their children’s mind turned into swamps of idiocy objected, the school authorities professed to be horrified at such “backward” attitudes.

You may write it down: People who do not have enough to eat are satisfied with two genders, and people under armed invasion would take the idea of a micro-aggression as a personal insult.

We had a legitimate protest here in Canada very recently. As opposed to nearly every other (and usually hard-left, semi-professional) protest, it was peaceful. No one was shot, police were not stoned, no Molotov cocktails were thrown; miraculously the windows of downtown stores were as unbroken at the end of it as they were at its beginning. There was no arson, no looting, no armed “occupiers” (as in Seattle’s famous “free zone” of the summer of 2020). There were sing-a-longs, barbeques, and even a monstrously threatening bouncy castle.

All of Canada and most of the world—such was the publicity given to the Freedom Convoy of truckers which constituted the protest—know that this polite, civil, and innocuous exercise was shut down, without benefit of ANY negotiation or meeting with federal politicians or the prime minister, with the unheralded invocation of the Emergencies Act. This was legislation put in place to guard against, well, emergencies such as invasion, acts of terrorism, or great national calamities.

It was not even contemplated to deal with a number of parked trucks on downtown Ottawa streets and their drivers worried about losing their livelihoods over drastic COVID regulations. There’s a line in Shakespeare (there always is) to cover this. “It is excellent to have a giant’s strength, but it is tyrannous to use it like a giant.” I do not think of Justin Trudeau as a giant, but through the exercise of this wildly excessive legislation, he might easily apprentice as a tyrant. He also unleashed the banks to go into the accounts of supporters and donors and leaders. Tamara Lich, a lead organizer, was jailed without bail. The response was brutal, imperious, anti-democratic, and repulsive.

The key of this entire episode: Mr. Trudeau would neither meet nor talk with the truckers, nor delegate any of his ministers to do so. He called them racists, misogynists, said they should not be tolerated, and hurled the always convenient “Nazis.” They were a “fringe.”

A week or so after the use of the brutal measure we had a declaration from Mr. Trudeau’s national security adviser. It wasn’t 64 genders. It wasn’t micro-aggression. But it was in the same ludicrous and trivial territory. Read and shed tears.

“The occupation of Ottawa was dug in. They had supply chains, they had organization, they had funding coming in from across Canada but also other countries,” Jody Thomas said. “The people who organized that protest—and there were several factions there, there’s no doubt—came to overthrow the government.”

Oh, horror of horrors. The Great 18-Wheeler, Slow-Motion, Cross-Country, Bouncy-Castle, Hot-Tub, Mid-Winter Revolution of 2022. It will go into the history books alongside the War of 1812 and the Battle of the Plains of Abraham.

Is there a single Canadian citizen, of the age and use of reason, Liberal, Tory, or otherwise, who really thinks that at any moment the long-haul truckers from West and East had the wish, the thought, the means, or even a dream of overthrowing the Canadian government? That they were, in the words of this same overwrought security adviser, planning a coup of the Canadian government?

For if they were, what an odd coup d’état. For three whole weeks they slowly drove across the country. They brought no munitions. They stopped frequently. They were on television every day in some town or city. Once in Ottawa they didn’t move on the TV and press headquarters. They held social nights. Numerous accounts tell of their hospitality. They had more Canadian flags on display than any other time but Canada Day. I presume they intended to overthrow the government and keep the flag.

I’ve seen more menace and threat to a government at a Newfoundland outport Bingo night. The charge is, was, utterly vacant and ridiculous. It was thrown in after the quick use of the Emergencies Act and its even quicker revocation before full Parliament had a chance to vote on it and hear of these excessive powers given to the government and the banks, to pretend to justify it.

I say pretend, because even those making this hollow and outrageous claim must know it was pure air, pure hollow empty assertion. An attempt, which has failed drastically, to put some legitimacy on an arbitrary, mean and, I repeat, totally excessive response to a classic exercise of the basic civil right of protest.

There was no coup. There was no attempted coup. No one was intending or designing the overthrow of the Canadian government.

And to think a week later Mr. Trudeau was over in Europe, using his soft, slow, I’m-really-serious-this-time voice to speak of how it is necessary in the democracies to “listen to people we disagree with.” Dear Lord, there is no shame, and absolutely no self-consciousness.

And to end on my theme… all this on the eve of a true military invasion in another country, one with tanks and missiles and soldiers and, alas, deaths and injuries. In comparison with Ukraine, this attempt to “overthrow the government” was a Lego game.

We in the West make the trivial great, and the really great and serious things, we walk by.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.