On the one year anniversary of the Freedom Convoy, an NDP MP’s private member’s motion before the British Columbia Legislative Assembly calls on lawmakers to condemn the movement and affirm the use of vaccine mandates during the Covid-19 response.
Opposition to the vaccine requirements were at the heart of the protest movement which led to the federal government’s invocation of the Emergencies Act.
“Be it resolved that one year after the anti-vaccine protests in Ottawa and communities including Victoria, South Surrey, Kelowna and Cranbrook, this House denounces the freedom convoy protests and affirms that public health orders, including vaccine requirements, have been an essential tool in B.C.’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” NDP MLA Doug Routley’s motion states.
During debate, Routley referenced since-debunked stories about the Freedom Convoy as a reason to support the motion, including the claim that Freedom Convoy protestors were somehow involved in an arson attempt at an Ottawa apartment building.
“Many of my friends live and work in Ottawa. One of my friends lives in the apartment building in which a fire was set in the lobby. Many of my friends walked through the city and were harassed because they wore masks or they were a different colour,” claimed Routley.
“This protest took on dark undertones from the beginning. There was harassment of health care workers. There were entries into public schools. There were threats made that didn’t sound at all like pots and pans celebrating health care workers.”
Last March, an investigation by the Ottawa Police Service found that there was no connection between the arson attempt and the Freedom Convoy protestors in the nation’s capital at the time.
“A man has been charged in relation to a deliberately set fire in an apartment building on Lisgar Street on February 6, 2022. A second man is still wanted by police,” Ottawa Police wrote.
“There is no information indicating (the suspect) was involved in any way with the Convoy protest which was going on when this arson took place.”
Despite there being no evidence to implicate the Freedom Convoy, several prominent politicians spread the claim including NDP leader Jagmeet Singh.
On Twitter, Independent MLA John Rustad was the only BC politician to denounce the motion.
“Why are the BC NDP so eager to condemn the Freedom Convoy but remained silent about the burning of BC’s Churches?” asked Rustad.
“Let me be crystal clear: 7000 healthcare workers were fired or quit because of mandates and disrespect.”