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Some critics name for Justin Trudeau to channel his father and be extra forceful.

His three-word response to a violent uprising turned among the many most well-known ever uttered within the historical past of Canadian legislation enforcement: “Just watch me.”

It was October 1970 when Pierre Elliot Trudeau — Justin Trudeau’s father — took this stand. Requested outdoors Parliament how far he would go to cease The Entrance de Libération du Québec, an extremist group agitating for Quebec’s independence from Canada, he was defiant. The group had kidnapped a Quebec cupboard minister, Pierre Laporte, who was subsequently assassinated. There had been a reign of terror of lots of of bombs and robberies in Montreal. A British commerce commissioner had additionally been kidnapped.

Mr. Trudeau efficiently quashed the extremists by invoking the Conflict Measures Act — the one time in Canadian historical past it was utilized in peacetime. He despatched 1000’s of troops to Montreal and abrogated some civil liberties. Uniformed troopers raided properties, looking for terrorists. Some 400 folks had been arrested and detained with out expenses.

Now, some in Canada are calling for Justin Trudeau to have his “Simply watch me” second.

“‘Simply watch me’ is burned into the reminiscence of all of us who had been alive to listen to then prime minister Pierre Trudeau converse it, all these years in the past,” learn a letter revealed Monday within the Toronto Star, Canada’s largest circulation newspaper. “It’s time for his son, Justin, to do the identical with the protesters in Ottawa.”

“Justin Trudeau wants his personal ‘simply watch me’ second,” added an opinion piece within the Nationwide Observer, an internet publication. “Canada is beneath assault,” it mentioned. “It’s time for Trudeau to push again.”

Because the anti-vaccine protests in Ottawa persist for a second week, Mr. Trudeau has, at instances, appeared to channel the resolute voice of his late father, steadfastly refusing to barter with the protesters. However he has additionally been adamant that he received’t name within the military. With Ottawa residents complaining that unruly protesters are terrorizing their day by day lives, he has turned to phrases fairly than troopers to try to tame protesters, a few of whom have mocked him as a “rooster.”

The protesters are “attempting to blockade the financial system, our democracy and our fellow residents’ day by day lives,” he informed the Home of Commons on Monday night time. “It has to cease.” “This pandemic has sucked for all Canadians,” he added.

Earlier he railed towards the protesters for desecrating warfare memorials, criticized them for flying “racist flags,” spreading disinformation and even stealing from the homeless.

Mr. Trudeau’s defenders say that requires him to ship within the military are ill-advised in a rustic that values free speech whereas noting that evaluating the occasions of the Seventies — generally known as the October disaster — to a trucker convoy protest wrongly equates offended anti-vaxxers with terrorists.

Throughout the disaster, Mr. Trudeau has saved a comparatively low profile. He has been moved to his official nation residence, alongside along with his household, to assist guarantee his security. He was additionally self-isolating after testing constructive for Covid-19 final week.

Mr. Trudeau, who has lengthy common himself as a champion of human rights, is probably going conscious of the teachings of the October Disaster. Whereas the army reined within the F.L.Q., critics on the time accused his father of trampling civil liberties by empowering legislation enforcement to arrest folks with out cost.

The then New Democratic Social gathering chief Tommy Douglas likened Pierre Elliot Trudeau’s actions to wielding “a sledgehammer to crack a peanut.” Nonetheless, a majority of Canadians supported the prime minister’s father for restoring public order.

The elder Mr. Trudeau, for his half, was unrepentant after sending troopers to Ottawa to guard officers. “There are loads of bleeding hearts round who simply don’t prefer to see folks with helmets and weapons,” he mentioned. “All I can say is, go on and bleed.”

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