• 2023
  • Feb
  • 5

A Study in Irony

Sunday February 5, 2023

By Maggie Hope-Braun

The legacy media, along with a handful of business owners and residents of Ottawa have propagated the idea that the Freedom Convoy and protest was a huge violation of the rights of the residents and businesses of Ottawa; and therefore justifies using the Emergency Act to restore these rights. The irony abounds in this now generally espoused argument. As we look at these so-called violations in comparison to the human rights violations the protesters were protesting, it’s not difficult to see a vast difference in the magnitude of people affected and the scale of the human rights violations. Most of the complaints against the Protest are not guaranteed Rights in the Charter. The violations to the Charter that caused the Protest are plain and obvious. Simply put the Governments, Public Health and Organizations at all levels created a two-tiered society and segregated a large minority based on their lack of compliance to experimental medical treatments. They then issued social, economical and mobility sanctions on individuals who did not comply. The Freedom Convoy protest was a result of these sanctions which violated our rights and freedoms.

Mobility Rights

“6.(1) Every citizen of Canada has the right to enter, remain in and leave Canada. (2) Every citizen of Canada and every person who has the status of a permanent resident of Canada has the right (a) to move to and take up residence in any province; and (b) to pursue the gaining of a livelihood in any province.”
~ Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

A commonly heard complaint is that trucks blocked intersections and made downtown Ottawa inaccessible. People watching mainstream media may have the impression that all of Ottawa was under “occupation”. To be clear, the trucks blocked one intersection - Rideau and Sussex. They then parked a few blocks around the Parliament Buildings, leaving one lane open at all times. It was the police that set up barricades beyond the protest footprint, discouraging traffic flow. Admittedly, this was an inconvenience to some residents (mainly federal workers), who lived and worked in this few block radius. However, the presence of the trucks did not amount to mobility rights violations.

What clearly does constitute mobility rights violations were federal travel bans and restrictions which trapped millions of Canadians in the country, preventing us from leaving despite dozens of countries being open to receive us. Further adding to this extreme measure, the Federal Government also banned millions of Canadians from travel within Canada on our public and private travel infrastructure. Some provinces even banned unvaccinated Canadians from crossing provincial borders in private vehicles. In a country the size of Canada, with our interconnected lives, families, businesses and religions, this not only violated our mobility rights, but also our rights to life, liberty, security of person, religion, expression, association and assembly.

The massive scale and magnitude of these violations do not compare to one blocked intersection in Ottawa. Mobility rights are for all Canadians. This is why we were protesting.

Medical Care

“3 It is hereby declared that the primary objective of Canadian health care policy is to protect, promote and restore the physical and mental well-being of residents of Canada and to facilitate reasonable access to health services without financial or other barriers.”
~ Canada Health Act

One resident in Ottawa said they were “unable” to get to an medical appointment and claimed that the convoy denied them their right to medical care. This could have been avoided with planning a detour and leaving earlier but that’s their claim, so let’s compare.

By this time, millions of Canadians had been denied medical care along with appointments, tests, transplants and other treatments. Long term care homes refused visitor access to their aging and dying residents. Hospitals did the same. These people were truly denied medical care and comfort, not simply inconvenienced by a twenty-minute detour around Rideau and Sussex.

If medical care is a right, it is a right for all Canadians; not just for those who live and work around the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa. This is why we were protesting, alongside thousands of medical professionals who had recently been fired without compensation.


“2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms: (a) freedom of conscience and religion; (b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication; (c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and (d) freedom of association.”
~ Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

When the nomadic and peaceful convoy came to Ottawa, they hoped to (and counted on) supporting the local businesses. However, the City of Ottawa threatened these businesses with fines if they opened for the Convoy. Some of the business who were closed during the protest claimed that their “right to employment” was violated by the Convoy. But the protesters did not shut down these businesses - the city did.

That said, many businesses stayed open despite the fines and did very well. These business owners understandably rejoiced at the major influx of patrons after two years of force government shutdowns. Many of them were preparing for their eventual bankruptcy. This reflected the economic reality across the country. At this point, many Canadians had lost their businesses due to lockdowns. Those who resisted were hit with fines and were locked out of their shops. Professionals careers were ended. Employees were fired without compensation. Thousands committed suicide or died from stress and overwork.

These owners and workers came to Ottawa to protest legitimate losses to their rights to life, liberty and security of person. If employment is a right, it’s a right for all Canadians - not just the the Canadians that work around the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa. This is why we were protesting.

Security of the Person

“1 It is hereby recognized and declared that in Canada there have existed and shall continue to exist without discrimination by reason of race, national origin, colour, religion or sex, the following human rights and fundamental freedoms, namely,
(a) the right of the individual to life, liberty, security of the person and enjoyment of property, and the right not to be deprived thereof except by due process of law.”
~ Canadian Bill of Rights

Some trucks parked in residential areas because the police would not allow let them move up to the empty spots closer to Parliament. Some residents complained that they felt uncomfortable with the diesel fumes and claimed their right to a clean environment was denied them by the convoy. I sympathize, I wouldn’t want to breath toxic fumes into my lungs either. That said, any trucker in Canada would know that these trucks are now equipped with better filters and do not produce toxic fumes.

On the other hand, millions of Canadians clearly felt quite uncomfortable injecting multiple experimental drugs with unknown ingredients and side effects into their bodies. These were experimental pharmaceuticals with potentially long-term side effects and no long-term safety studies. Canadians were denied the right to choose these injections without coercion. These violations break the Nuremberg Code established after WW2 and fall into the category of our rights to life, liberty and security of person, as well as religion and conscience. If a “security of the person” is a right, it is also a right for all Canadians. This is why we were protesting.

The Horns

“It is my conclusion that the purpose of the right to vote enshrined in s. 3 of the Charter is not equality of voting power per se, but the right to ‘effective representation’. Ours is a representative democracy. Each citizen is entitled to be represented in government. Representation comprehends the idea of having a voice in the deliberations of government as well as the idea of the right to bring one’s grievances and concerns to the attention of one’s government representative”.
~ Supreme Court Judgment, 2 SCR 158

The last but most commonly cited complaint from those opposed to the peaceful protests in Ottawa was the HORNS. The horns caused a noise disturbance over a few block radius around the parliament buildings. After just a few days the honking became scheduled out of respect for the residents.

In correlation, we have a right to representation. Many Canadians had already spent over two years being ignored by the government. They called, emailed, wrote letters and protested locally, week after week; only to be met with silencing, mischaracterized attacks from the government-funded media and more and more restrictions and government overreach.

Even in Ottawa the federal and provincial government made no attempt to communicate with the protesters’ representatives. The representatives were organized and available, and consisted of politicians, lawyers, scientists, doctors, nurses, ex-police, ex-military, mothers and yes, the bold yet humble truckers. In any other protest (let alone the largest in Canadian history) a delegation would have be sent in to dialogue.

This really comes down to noise bylaw violations versus our right to representation in a democratic society, for human rights violations on a colossal scale. There is no comparison. At this point, honking was our only means of being heard. It represented our frustration with being ignored and dehumanized. We did not riot (unlike recent left-wing protest groups). We didn’t damage property. We honked, hugged, helped each other, fed the homeless, cleaned up after ourselves and connected on the deepest of human levels. For this, can anyone rightfully conceive the Emergency Act was justified? Our right to representation is a fundamental right for all Canadians. This is why we were protesting.

Filmed by Viva Frei on February 5, 2022. Click here to see more…

The passive majority has been silent and complacent for over two years, as the media and political elites have bombarded them with censored and one-sided information. Silent they were, while governments at every level, organizations, boards, and businesses enforced social, economical and mobility sanctions against millions of their fellow Canadians. Against their family, friends, members, employees and neighbours. Anyone who intelligibly and genuinely cared about human rights joined and supported the Freedom Movement.

I for one see clearly the writing on the wall and know where I stand, as weighty as that knowledge is.

Maggie Hope-Braun attended the Freedom Convoy 2022 and was arrested on February 19. She testified about her experience at the Public Order Emergency Commission.

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