Politico – Canada
With the world watching Putin, Trump targets Trudeau
“The tyranny we have witnessed in Canada in recent weeks should shock and dismay people all over the world,” Trump said Saturday night.
By Andy Blatchford – February 27, 2022
OTTAWA — Donald Trump fired up the Conservative Political Action Conference crowd Saturday night with a barrage of accusations directed at what would have been an unthinkable target just weeks ago: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
“The radical left is trying to replace American democracy with woke tyranny,” the former U.S. president told his audience in Orlando, Fla., drawing a shower of boos in agreement. “They want to do the same thing to America that Trudeau has been doing to Canada — and much, much worse.”
His focus on Trudeau comes as Russian President Vladimir Putin wages war on Ukraine.
But Trump and MAGA boosters see a way to score points by hammering away at Trudeau over Canada’s Covid measures and the response to trucker convoy protests.
Convoy organizers, whose campaign blocked Canada-U.S. border crossings and swallowed downtown Ottawa for three weeks, billed their movement as pushback against Covid restrictions and Trudeau’s vaccine mandate for truckers.
Trudeau helped extinguish the protests about a week ago by granting authorities extraordinary emergency powers. Security experts and Trudeau government officials warned that a group within the movement had plans to overthrow the government.
In the days that followed his invocation of the Emergencies Act, hundreds of police officers flooded Ottawa to quell what had become an occupation. The act also enabled banks to freeze the accounts of some protesters and supporters.
The Canadian convoys drew enthusiastic support, financial injections and widespread attention in the U.S. Right-leaning Americans sent millions of dollars to help fund the campaign.
Trump’s attacks Saturday on Trudeau, which brought the audience to its feet, focused on the Canadian government’s response to the truckers’ “Freedom Convoy.”
The former president told one of the Republican Party’s most high-profile events of the year that if Democrats want to fight for democracy abroad, “they should start with the democracy that is under threat right next door, a place called Canada.”
“The tyranny we have witnessed in Canada in recent weeks should shock and dismay people all over the world,” Trump said. “A line has been crossed — you’re either with the peaceful truckers or you are with the left-wing fascists.”