During a SECU Committee meeting, Richard Fadden, the former Deputy Minister of National Defence and Security Advisor, said that Trudeau went too far with his rhetoric when he called Freedom Convoy supporters a “fringe minority” with “unacceptable views” and that it was “not helpful.”
“I don’t think that attacking views is helpful by anybody. Not by you, not by me, not by the Prime Minister. You can disagree with them… but I think the Prime Minister went a little bit beyond that, and I don’t think it’s helpful. And it’s the sort of thing that reinforces the sense that they’re not being listened to,” Fadden said.
“I actually disagree with most of the views that were being expressed in that general context, but that’s neither here nor there. We need to find some means of dialoguing… My argument is we cannot start a priori by arguing that they’re wrong. You can argue they must not engage in violence. That’s an entirely different issue, and I want to separate that very carefully. You pass that line, you become engaged in violence, and you gotta do something about it. We need to find some way of talking to them.”
Fadden also said that ostracizing people via the vaccine mandate is “not helpful” and can lead to extremism — though, he says this remains true in many contexts, not just the mandate, and that people should obey the rule of law regarding mandates and penalties.
Regarding Trudeau’s rhetoric, less than a month before the Convoy began its journey to Ottawa, Trudeau maligned those refusing the vaccine, calling them “racists” and “misogynists,” and suggesting the unvaccinated are to blame for people dying due to their personal medical decisions.
He continued this line of hatred after the Convoy took off, denouncing truckers and infamously stated, “The small, fringe minority of people that are on their way to Ottawa, who are holding unacceptable views that they’re expressing, do not represent the views of Canadians who have been there for each other, who know that following the science, and stepping up to protect each other is the best way to continue to ensure our freedoms, our rights, our values, as a country.”
Of course, these comments only emboldened Canadians who’d become used to the discrimination mandated by the federal and provincial governments, and the Convoy continued undeterred.