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Under tight security on Canada Day, Trudeau shows the flag

“Canada has never been perfect, and it’s not perfect now,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau mentioned at Ottawa’s first in-person Canada Day since 2019.

Speaking to hundreds from a competition stage at LeBreton Flats Park close to Parliament Hill, the prime minister acknowledged the rigidity in the air not directly by focusing on the Canadian flag and its adoption by far-right groups as a logo of anti-government rage.

“Let’s remember the values that it stands for: Compassion, hope and responsibility, justice, openness and hard work,” Trudeau mentioned.

The household programming at LeBreton Flats attracted a pleasant crowd. But the environment modified between the park and Parliament Hill.

Heading east on Wellington Street towards the prime minister’s workplace — the similar streets overtaken by convoyers this winter — protesters joined the crowd, turning one intersection into an anti-Trudeau meet-up.

Hundreds of convoy supporters and anti-government protesters gathered by Trudeau’s workplace carrying their “Truck Yeah” shirts. They waved their “F— Trudeau” flags and offered “Freedom Convoy 2022” merchandise to broadcast their dissent.

Melees between protesters and police have sparked new investigations after the vacation weekend inspired the return of huge crowds.

It’s been greater than 4 months since Ottawa invoked unprecedented emergency measures to dislodge anti-government protesters after their three-week occupation of streets round Parliament Hill.

The chaos rocked downtown residents’ lives. Disruptive truck horns blared in any respect hours. While the House continued to take a seat via the chaos, some companies closed quickly to guard employees from agitators who had latched on to the protest.

The spectacle dragged out partly as a result of a disorganized police response that allowed protesters to entrench themselves on the Hill. Delayed police motion is now the topic of a number of inquiries.

The obvious success of the occupation mobilized anti-government and far-right groups worldwide and at key border crossings, pushing the federal authorities to take “last-resort” emergency measures to finish the trucker protest.

The heavy-handed response emboldened the resolve of anti-Trudeau and anti-government protesters, sparking a brand new whorl of controversy for the Liberals — and alternative for opposition Conservatives.

Parliament has risen for the summer season, however an unbiased inquiry continues its work probing Trudeau’s choice to invoke the Emergencies Act to reply to convoy protesters.

Running parallel to the inquiry this summer season is the federal Conservative management race.

Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre is the presumptive frontrunner, main candidates Jean Charest, Patrick Brown, Leslyn Lewis, Roman Baber and Scott Aitchison in the variety of members signed as much as vote in the social gathering’s Sept. 10 election.

Poilievre’s populist marketing campaign has attracted massive crowds at stops throughout the nation, borrowing U.S. political ways like modeling mistrust and disdain in opposition to the mainstream media to promising to take on Canada’s elites and fireplace “the gatekeepers.” His willingness to flirt with far-right leaders and teams to shore help has alarmed some social gathering stalwarts.

On the eve of Canada Day, the Conservative firebrand actually marched with the insurgent forces, strolling alongside James Topp, a veteran who has earned notoriety for his far-right extremist links.

Topp walked from Vancouver to Ottawa to protest Covid-19 mandates, which have largely been lifted for now.

Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos instructed reporters Thursday that whereas loosened restrictions ought to permit Canadians to get pleasure from a well-deserved summer season, he mentioned he and his provincial and territorial counterparts are readying for a fall vaccination marketing campaign to move off one other anticipated wave of infections.

By September, a brand new Conservative chief will probably be put in — the social gathering’s sixth in seven years since former Prime Minister Stephen Harper misplaced the 2015 election to Trudeau’s Liberals.

Canada’s federal Conservatives have their eyes on a low-hanging political alternative. A string of controversies and two successive minority governments have weakened Trudeau, fueling curiosity amongst the citizens for one thing totally different.

Conservatives introduced Thursday that 675,000 members are eligible to vote on this yr’s management race, together with roughly 613,000 new signal ups since February.

The preliminary checklist of eligible members smokes the social gathering’s earlier report of 270,000 eligible voting members from its 2020 management election.

“This is a tidal wave of memberships,” mentioned Ian Brodie, chair of the social gathering’s management elections organizing committee.

While the record-setting members checklist energizes the social gathering, some old-guard Conservatives are cautious of the place that help is coming from and the place it would take the social gathering.

Retired Conservative senator Marjory LeBreton wrote an op-ed in Policy magazine this week noting that the social gathering has an “existential choice” to make about its path.

She warned in opposition to adopting “divisive and excessive rhetoric,” cautioning that “fanning the flames of vitriol, grievance and anger solves nothing, making it even more difficult to work through some very serious issues facing our country.”

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