Ottawa state of emergency over trucker protest shows Canada’s Trumpists are growing

Ottawa state of emergency over trucker protest shows Canada’s Trumpists are growing

By Shachi Kurl, President

True to type, Canadians such as myself are humble enough to know that when the rest of the world thinks of us — which, admittedly, is almost never — it is as a kinder, gentler and less ideological version of our raucous American neighbors to the south. O Canada! We put the real in realpolitik.

When you belong to a country mercifully untroubled by civil war, catastrophic political upheaval or alarming geopolitics, you are used to being looked upon as a shining beacon of all that is good. Whether that’s entirely accurate, it is usually where the narrative ends.

This may explain why Canada’s been receiving some international side-eye lately. A nation that has spent the pandemic widely supportive of protective measures, such as travel restrictions, vaccine passports, occasional curfews and business closures, is making headlines at home and around the world as its capital city, Ottawa, is flooded with protesters pushing back.

The Freedom Convoy, a demonstration against the requirement that Canadian truckers crossing the U.S. border be inoculated against Covid-19, has resulted in blocked streets around Parliament Hill as protesters demand an end to pandemic-related restrictions or for the prime minister to resign, or both. There are worries more protesters will arrive this weekend, and the people of Ottawa are fed up.

Never mind what the rest of the world thinks; the situation has jarred and jangled millions of Canadians. But those who were caught off guard by the intensity, passion and adamance of the protesters have clearly not been paying attention to the creeping extremism in this country’s political discourse, fertilized in recent years by American political rhetoric, misinformation online and a sense of alienation among a significant segment of the population.

For the rest of this piece, please view it on NBC News’s site where it was initially published.