Several members of the European Parliament used Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s visit to Brussels as a chance to harshly criticize his handling of the trucker convoy protests in Ottawa.
In a speech to Parliament, which has 705 members, Croatian MEP Mislav Kolakusic spoke out against the Trudeau government’s decision to invoke the Emergencies Act. “Canada, once a symbol of the modern world, has become a symbol of civil rights violations,” Mr. Kolakusic said.
Mr. Kolakusic, who is an Independent, also attacked Mr. Trudeau for freezing the bank accounts of those associated with the protests.
In the past, the Croatian politician has compared vaccine mandates to capital punishment and said that tens of thousands of Europeans have died as a result of COVID-19 vaccines, a claim that has been disproven by the European Union’s drug regulator.
German MEP Christine Anderson, who is a member of the far-right populist Alternative for Germany party, called Mr. Trudeau a “disgrace for any democracy.”
“A prime minister who openly admires the Chinese basic dictatorship, who tramples on fundamental rights by persecuting and criminalizing his own citizens as terrorists, just because they dared to stand up to his perverted concept of democracy, should not be allowed to speak in this house at all,” Ms. Anderson said.
In another impassioned speech, German MEP Bernhard Zimniok, who is also a member of Alternative for Germany, said he tried to prevent Mr. Trudeau from speaking in Parliament.
“The invitation to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is an invitation to someone who has been trampling democratic rights, who has been cracking down on people who have been protesting against disproportionate coronavirus measures,” Mr. Zimniok said. “Let us not give someone like this any speaking time in this house of democracy.”
Videos of the speeches have been viewed millions of times on social media.
On Feb. 14, the Trudeau government invoked the Emergencies Act to deal with the protests against pandemic restrictions in Ottawa. The measures allowed the government to ban gatherings around legislative buildings and critical infrastructure, and expanded the powers of Canada’s banks to monitor and stem the flow of funds to protesters. On Feb. 23, Mr. Trudeau revoked the emergency measures.
Mr. Trudeau is in Brussels for an emergency summit with world leaders to discuss plans to strengthen NATO’s presence along Europe’s eastern flank and to establish contingencies in case Russia uses nuclear or chemical weapons in Ukraine.
In his address on Wednesday, the Prime Minister said European and global leaders must unite with a “deliberate, mindful effort” to safeguard democracy, and that Russia’s unprovoked war on Ukraine must come with “ruinous costs” for Moscow.
The Canadian Press
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