Vancouver East NDP MP Jenny Kwan delivers devastating rebuke to those who claim the Ottawa protest was peaceful

The veteran politician plans to vote in favour of the Emergencies Act, but she promises that the NDP is not giving a "blank cheque" to the ruling Liberals

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      The NDP MP for Vancouver East has accused Conservative MPs of cheering on the Ottawa protesters while the Liberals "sat on their hands".

      In the debate over the imposition of the Emergencies Act, Jenny Kwan also ripped into the leaders of the Truckers Convoy 2022, dismissing their claims that it was peaceful.

      Moreover, Kwan said that until Friday (February 19), police were reluctant to tow vehicles in Ottawa "out of fear of confrontation" with those occupying the national capital. 

      "Indigenous, Black, and other people of colour from coast to coast to coast looked at this situation and rightfully asked how heavy-handed those same police forces would have cracked down on them if they attempted a fraction of what they were witnessing," Kwan said on February 20.

      Kwan accused the prime minister of adopting a "do-nothing approach" in response to the disruptive downtown Ottawa occupation and of using vaccination as a wedge issue in the election.

      But she was equally harsh on Conservatives. She said that they used a dog whistle on conspiracy theorists and chose to be interviewed in front of images of swastikas.

      In addition, Kwan said that the Conservatives have said nothing about 4,800 complaints by truckers over the last three years about lost wages—suggesting that the Official Opposition doesn't really care about these workers.

      Video: Watch Vancouver East NDP MP Jenny Kwan's speech to Parliament about the introduction of the Emergencies Act.

      Some of Kwan's most searing language was saved for the protest leaders and their most avid followers. She accused them of having "entirely upended" the lives of downtown Ottawa residents, making some feel too intimidated to leave their homes.

      "Retail workers have been assaulted," Kwan said. "A building had an attempted arson where the doors were taped shut."

      She also pointed out that a large amount of firearms was confiscated at a border protest in Coutts, Alberta.

      "Yet the main organizers of this illegal occupation—with a long history of posting white-supremacy rants about 'Anglo-Saxon replacement theory'—like to call it a peaceful protest," Kwan said.

      "Let's be clear: hurling racist insults, harassing outreach workers to take food meant for the homeless, entering businesses and refusing to follow public-health guidelines and intimidating workers, brandishing symbols of hate like the Confederate flag and swastikas, yelling at schoolchildren, assaulting journalists, deputizing themselves with unlawful authority to detain people, using international money—or cryptocurrency—to help fund this illegal occupation, issuing a pseudolegal document to overthrow a democratically elected government, and to install in a governing coalition with this group with the governor general and Senate is not peaceful protest," Kwan said.

      Kwan intends to vote in favour of bringing in the Emergencies Act. But she also said that the NDP will not "give a blank cheque to the Liberals", noting the need for "a series of thorough examinations on how every level government" played a role in this protest lasting as long as it did.