The Globe and Mail has printed plenty of hot takes on the Freedom Convoy protests in Ottawa: the paper turned to “activists and academics” to make the case that the protests weren’t “peaceful” because that ignored the “non-violent danger” they posed to citizens. The CBC hasn’t been any better, running a piece with “experts” explaining that the word “freedom” had been co-opted by far-right groups.

The CBC piece is the perfect lead-in to this opinion piece in the Globe and Mail by former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada Beverley McLachlin, arguing that the protests exposed “the ugly side of freedom.”

McLachlin writes:

Who sets the limits on our freedoms?

In the first instance, it is our governments – our duly elected representatives in Parliament, and the executive branch that has the responsibility to maintain “peace, order and good government,” to quote the Constitution, for the good of all. Our governments must draw the difficult lines that mark the limits of freedom in a particular situation. When you must wear a mask. Whether you can cross a border without a vaccine certificate. How many people can attend a party and who gets to go to school.

The heady notion of freedom, defined as the unconstrained right to do what you want free of government limits, serves as a cloak for actions that harm women, men and children who are simply going about their business and trying to do the right thing. Freedom without limits slides imperceptibly into freedom to say and do what you want about people who don’t look like you or talk like you. Sadly, the Ottawa truckers’ convoy has revealed this ugly side of freedom.

McLachlin’s argument, essentially, is that people should accept the limits on freedom that the government sets until they can vote out the government and gain new representation.

Well said.

Your freedom to protest is dependent on what you’re protesting … that’s what this is saying without saying it.

* * *


The Globe and Mail just won’t quit:

“The extreme harassment of TV reporters is a form of psychological warfare.”


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