Canadian Freedom protesters take to the streets in Ottawa to slam Trudeau’s 23% carbon tax hike

Apr 2, 2024 | Political News

Easter Monday’s carbon tax protest in Ottawa was not dominated by federal, provincial or municipal politicians. Instead, it was led by the same people who had come out over two years earlier to join the Freedom Convoy protest in Canada's capital. These were farmers, truck drivers, electricians, and plumbers.

The Ottawa event was part of a cross-Canada demonstration against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s carbon tax that not only increases the price of gas and home heating fuel but the cost of purchasing a multitude of goods and services that are affected in any way by the higher prices for energy, like transporting food to the grocery stores.

On Apr. 1, Trudeau hiked the carbon tax by a further 23 percent, despite seven out of 10 premiers and almost 70 percent of the population telling him that they want this to end. 

This is the third installment of the carbon tax. In British Columbia gas has surged beyond $2/litre.

Conservative Party of Canada leader Pierre Poilievre had recently stopped in Ottawa with one of his “Axe the Tax” rallies and repeatedly brought the audience to its feet with his call to “spike the hike” on Apr. 1. As that call went unheeded, Ottawa’s “Wellington Street Irregulars” led by Chris Dacey and Johnny Rowe, brought hundreds of protesters to the centennial flame in front of Parliament Hill to reiterate that demand.

Larry Reid, a local dairy farmer told The Post Millennial that he’s not only dealing with higher propane costs, but a local increase in property taxes. It’s the government's attitude of bombarding farmers with taxes that angers him. He said “they’re going to keep taxing until there’s nobody left; all the little guys are going to go.”

He wondered what the point is, since the carbon tax “is not going to help in any way with the fricking pollution … It’s going to be a killer.” 

“Anyways, all I’ve got to say is: if you want to cripple the farmers, it’s working.”

Many of the protesters don’t believe the carbon tax has done anything to arrest climate change or affect Canada’s output of greenhouse gas emissions. The country only produces 1.5 percent of the global carbon footprint. 

Some of those here are reluctant to provide their surnames because they said they remembered how Trudeau reacted when people joined the Freedom Convoy in 2022 to oppose his Covid mandates. He froze their bank accounts and invoked the brutal Emergencies Act. A woman standing with the aid of a walker was trampled by a police horse. 

Clyde, who is in clownface, said his presence at the protest was simple: “I’m here to protest this ridiculous increase in our carbon tax, which we shouldn't have in the first place. We don't produce enough carbon to worry about.”

“Carbon is a tiny little fraction of the greenhouse gasses. It's nothing. It amounts to absolutely nothing. In fact, it's so low right now, that if it went lower, then plants would cease to exist, and we need plants that consume carbon dioxide, that's what they eat. So we need carbon. This idea that we're going to pay money to get rid of carbon is ridiculous,” he said.

“Carbon is not pollution. We need carbon.”

Agriculture advocate Janet Krayden also spoke, focusing on the warning signs of potential economic collapse in Canada. 

She quoted a recent article that claimed 51 percent of Canadians “are $200 or less away from not being able to pay their bills.” 

“Most people do not have any money left at the end of the month … in 2023, 123,000 Canadian consumers filed for insolvency. Personal insolvencies in January 2024 were 23 percent higher than in 2023. Business bankruptcies increased by 129 percent. 

“The carbon tax is being charged to the farmer, to everything the farmer has to buy. To the trucker, everything he has to buy. To the grocery store, everything they need to buy to run the store – at every step of the food supply chain.”

“We are paying tax on tax on tax. We are being taxed for the very air we breathe out.”

On Easter Sunday, Canadian Environment and Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault did not express any regret that consumers would be hit with another extra cost of living the following day.

He went on X to post: 

“It wasn't that long ago that good climate policy wasn't dominated by cynical partisan games and which team jersey you wore.”  

“Conservative leaders could once admit publicly that Canada Carbon Rebates made the carbon price a good deal both for their wallets and the environment.”

Unfortunately, these talking points are not confirmed by the facts. 

Neither would these words satisfy the mounting anger and anxiety that some expressed in Monday’s demonstration.

One of the speakers was Matt Vemme, who attacked not just the carbon tax but Canada’s Liberal government which has become increasingly unwilling to tolerate public dissent in the past two years. 

“Our system is corrupt,” he told the crowd. “We all know this. We need a direct democracy: from us, by us, for the next generation of ours. Until we address this way, we will not survive, we will be slaves and we will be told what to do, when to do and how to do it.”

He urged the crowd to demonstrate “unity” because “in the end, we are not different. We all bleed the same blood.”

After listening to the speeches, the crowd, growing as the day wore on, proceeded to cross the Alexandra Bridge from Ottawa to Gatineau, QC. The protesters then proceeded to come back to Ottawa on the Portage Bridge and marched on Wellington St. in front of Parliament Hill.