Remembered worldwide as synonymous with quality of life, Canada often appears at the top of the lists of the best countries to live and work, for factors such as freedom, economic and political stability and access to healthcare. In recent times, however, news about the country shows that progressivism may be leaving deep marks on the happy Canadian face.
The authoritarian postures of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have shown that even a traditionally free country like Canada can take paths that are not compatible with democracy. In February, to quell protests by truck drivers against the health passport requirement, the prime minister invoked the Emergencies Law, which allows him to suspend fundamental rights and govern with more powers. The only time this had happened before in the country was in 1970, with Justin Trudeau’s father, Pierre Trudeau.
Freedom to protest characterizes Western democracies, which have never taken a similar measure against their citizens, except in the case of terrorism. Trudeau, however, used the Emergencies Act to deter dissent, ordering banks to stop “providing any financial services to people related to the protests”, including freezing accounts, canceling cards and seizing funds. Among the “suspects” the law places anyone who makes cash donations to support the protests.
The use of emergency powers to take money from political opponents is similar to the credit policy social networks, which can punish dissidents from the regime by depriving them of access to basic services. “Where is this going to end? What will stop influential politicians from violating freedoms using the same pretexts? The answer, of course, is ‘nothing’. And maybe this is the point: from now on, dissent against the leftist view can be criminalized”, asks political commentator Ben Shapiro.
Incentive to the suicide of the poor
As of last year, Canadian law has allowed citizens too poor to live to receive “medical care for dying,” a euphemism for assisted suicide.
Enacted in March 2021, Bill C-7 amended the Penal Code, revoking the requirement that “the natural death of a person is reasonably foreseeable in order for that person to be eligible. for medical assistance to die.” The legislation opens loopholes for cases such as a 29 year old woman, resident of Ontario, who chose to for assisted death after trying public assistance for more than two years to obtain housing free of chemical agents that aggravated her chronic allergy.
Another woman in Vancouver was seeking assisted death because her income, affected by the effects of the pandemic, is no longer enough to afford treatment that kept her chronic pain bearable. By next year, the legislation is expected to expand access to assisted suicide for people with mental illness, through a parliamentary review. There is also talk of making “mature minors” eligible for this type of procedure.
On the day 10 in May, Conservative Senator Donald Neil Plett, leader of the opposition in the Senate, mentioned cases of abuse, questioning the ruling leader, Senator Marc Gold (non-party) , on how the promised “safeguards needed to protect society’s most vulnerable” failed in these situations.
“The stories you told are tragic and our hearts go out to the families who suffered . I still believe that the bill we passed struck a reasonable balance. I am also encouraged by the work of the Special Joint Committee on Medical Assistance in Dying to seek improvements in the law. I am confident that we in the Senate and our colleagues elsewhere will continue to work to ensure that the law continues to strike the right balance,” said Gold.
Researcher Yuan Yi Zhu of the University from Oxford, recalls in an article published by Spectator, that the annual net savings generated by the C-7 law is in the range of US$ 62 millions. The data is from a Canadian Parliamentary Budget report from 2020. While health care for people with chronic illnesses is quite expensive, each assisted suicide costs US$2.327. “Despite the Canadian government’s insistence that assisted suicide is all about individual autonomy, it also has an eye on its tax advantages”, he reinforces.
Basically, concludes Yuan Yi Zhu , “Canadian law, in all its majesty, allows both the rich and the poor to kill themselves if they are too poor to continue living in dignity. In fact, the ever-generous Canadian state will even pay for their deaths. What you won’t do is spend money to allow them to live instead of killing themselves.”
Faced with the signal that the United States Supreme Court is about to overturn the case law of Roe v. Wade, Canada “invited” American women to have abortions on its territory. Canadian Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Karina Gould, said the country can provide “pregnancy termination services” to US citizens. According to her, all women would need to do is pay the cost of the procedure.
The minister also expressed fears that the possible repeal of abortion rights in the US could affect Canada. In this regard, Trudeau stated that the government is considering presenting a bill to guarantee the right to abortion in the country. “”Every woman in Canada has the right to a safe and legal abortion,” said the prime minister. The practice has been allowed since 2006, but there is no law that regulates the topic.
In 2017, the country passed the law C-16, which places gender identity as part of the Code of Human Rights and makes the refusal to use human rights a “hate crime” in the Penal Code. neutral pronouns. The penalty, which ranges from a fine to imprisonment, even includes “anti-prejudice training”, teaching the “right” way to act.
The debate gave clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson notoriety. , which published, in 2006, a series of videos criticizing the legislation. He denounced the government’s control of language, pointing to C-16 as a form of government imposition of an ideology. “The law violates the freedom of expression of citizens and institutes gender ideology”, said, at the time, the professor at the University of Toronto.
Religiosity in decline
The population of Canada is also becoming less religious, as shown in the study “Religiosity in Canada and its evolution from 1970 to 2019”, published by StatCan (a department of the federal government in charge of producing statistics on the Canadian population). Over the decades, both religious affiliation, attendance at activities and the importance given to spiritual beliefs have decreased in the country.
In 2019, although 68% of Canadians have claimed to have a religious affiliation, more than half of the population (53%) reported not having participated in activities related to the topic in the year prior to the survey. Despite this, 54% of respondents said they consider religious or spiritual beliefs to be somewhat or very important for their lives.
The drop in membership in some denominations is so frightening that the Anglican Church of Canada projects that it will have no more members by the year 2040, if the decline of faithful to maintain the current rhythm. The conclusion is from Canadian Reverend Neil Elliot, an Anglican priest and lead author of a study commissioned by the denomination. In the decade of 1970, Canadian Anglicans numbered 1.3 million, a number that dropped to 360 thousand in 2019. The drop is even more significant because the population of Canada has grown significantly over these decades.
Crisis among conservatives
A management of the protests in February took a toll on the prime minister’s waning popularity. In early March, a survey by the company Nanos showed that Trudeau’s approval reached less than a third of the population (29,9%). The interim leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, Candice Bergen, comes in second in popular preference, with 19,2%, while 17,1% said they would like a government led by Jagmeet Singh of the New Democratic Party. Before the Freedom Train, it was 31 4% of Canadians who preferred Trudeau over other leaders.
Between 1867 and 2016 , the Conservatives formed the largest political force in the country and, under their current name, ruled Canada from 2015 to 2015. But now, the Conservative Party itself “is faced with a deep identity crisis”. In parallel with the protests, in February, Erin O’Toole was removed from the party leadership, which she had held since August 2020. He had been criticized for his progressive positions, which include pro-abortion.
For Daily Signal columnist Dennis Prager, the identity crisis – which particularly affects the elites of the Canada – comes from the fact that citizens identify themselves in opposition to North Americans. “Besides that , there are not many other elements of identity among Canadians. And when a nation doesn’t identify with basically nothing, bad things happen – because nothingness is usually filled in or replaced by evil”, he warns.