Spare a thought and a prayer, if you will, for the convoy types. Because they are sad and lonely, these days.
Their suitor and champion has abandoned them, you see. Pierre Poilievre has ghosted the convoy folk.
It’s no small thing. Poilievre won his Conservative Party’s leadership in a landslide – not despite the convoy folk, but partly because of them. During happier times, Poilievre marched with the convoy enthusiasts, he sang their praises, he brought them coffee and posed for selfies.
And then, the Tory leader became invisible during the convoy cabal’s time of need. Poof! He was gone. Poilievre dumped them, much like Brad Pitt dumped Jennifer Aniston for Angelina Jolie, except with much more skill and a lot less drama.
The inquiry into the use of the Emergencies Act was a lot like a criminal prosecution, even if it will make no finding of criminal culpability. But it had all the trappings of one: a judge, a witness stand, court reporters, and an army of lawyers, stacked up like cordwood.
The Public Order Emergency Commission, as it was more formally known, conducted court-like hearings at the federal Library and Archives on Wellington Street. No media reports can be found to describe what would happen when the doors would open there.
Did the convoy leaders turn around in their seats, like in Hollywood movies, expecting Pierre Poilievre to stride in, and take over the conduct of the defence? Did they expect him to arrive like Perry Mason, and free them all from the chains of Trudeau-stan oppression?
Well, he didn’t. In fact, he said nothing as the hearings got going. He did not utter a word – not one, single solitary word – about his relationship with the convoy gang.
And, in so doing, he revealed – to this writer, at least – that he’s a lot smarter than we thought he was.
Consider the evidence, because there was a lot of it. For six weeks, more than 70 witnesses appeared at the inquiry. Hundreds of thousands of documents were submitted. Videos were played. Examinations and cross-examinations took place.
The evidence, for the convoy types – those who occupied Ottawa for weeks, those who blocked border crossings from B.C.’s Pacific Highway to Windsor’s Ambassador Bridge – was very, very bad. Vandalizing the statue of Terry Fox. Desecrating the War Memorial. Defecating and urinating in public. Yelling abuse at masked Ottawa residents, many of whom had not slept in weeks because of truckers leaning on their horns – which is 115 decibels, several times over.
Oh, and the waving of swastika flags. Ironically, it was the convoy folks’ top-notch lawyer who repeatedly tried to make that into an issue. No one else.
And through it all, with the convoy types getting hammered for day after day, where was Pierre Poilievre? Gone, baby, gone. Oh, sure, on an early November B.C. trip, he said he’d have something to say when all the evidence was in – except, the evidence is all in, and he still hasn’t said anything to defend the convoy-ers.
The Conservative leader did say one thing that was interesting, however, when touring the Left Coast. Poilievre said he “condemned” anyone who “broke laws, behaved badly, or blockaded critical infrastructure.”
“Behaved badly.” Which, of course, was pretty much all of them. You don’t hold a major city hostage for weeks in the name of “freedom” and then get a gold star, boys and girls. Ditto crippling border trade, or any of the other clearly-bad behaviour.
So, why was Pierre Poilievre smart to abandon Tamara Lich and her bridesmaids – Chris Barber, Pat King, James Bauder and Benjamin Dichter – at the altar? Well, Nanos has the answer.
The pollster did a poll, released this week, and found that nearly 70 per cent of Canadians fully supported the Trudeau government’s use of the Emergencies Act. Fifty per cent said the inquiry left them with an even worse impression of the convoy participants.
And the Poilievre Conservatives’ lead in the polls? Gone. Evaporated. Disappeared. As Nanos top guy, Nik Nanos put it, in an understatement for the ages: “If there continues to be a focus on the convoy…it could be a potential risk for Pierre Poilievre.”
No kidding. And you know who knows that most of all? Pierre Poilievre does.
Which is why he’s ghosted the convoy folks. Which is why he’s kept quiet. Which is why he’s not dumb.
And which is why the convoy types are feeling sad and lonely, these days.