Entrepreneur Elon Musk mocked Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Sunday for dismissing the “Freedom Convoy” of truckers against vaccine mandates as a “fringe minority.”
The convoy rolled into Ottawa for a protest attended by tens of thousands of people on Saturday. Demonstrators mocked Trudeau, called for him to step down, and demanded and end to Canadian COVID-19 vaccine mandates. Videos online of the protest showed thousands of people marching through Ottawa in support of the truckers.
“It would appear that the so-called ‘fringe minority’ is actually the government,” Musk tweeted on Sunday, reacting to video of the protest. “Protesting in a Canadian winter shows real commitment!”
Protesting in a Canadian winter shows real commitment!
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 30, 2022
On Friday, Trudeau dismissed the trucker convoy, which reportedly grew to roughly 45 miles long on its way to the Canadian capital, as a “small, fringe minority” of anti-science protesters.
“We know the way through this pandemic is by getting everyone vaccinated and the overwhelming majority, close to 90% of Canadians, have done exactly that,” Trudeau said. “The small, fringe minority of people who 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, stepping up to protect each other is the best way to continue to ensure our freedoms, our rights, our values as a country.”
So yesterday Prime Minister Justin Trudeau referenced the truck convoy heading to Ottawa as a "small fringe minority" with "unacceptable views." pic.twitter.com/n6B9D7OYgE
— crabcrawler (@crabcrawler1) January 27, 2022
While Trudeau meant to dismiss the protest, his words have been used frequently by “Freedom Convoy” supporters to inspire their own side. Rebel News publisher Ezra Levant, an outspoken Trudeau critic, brought the prime minister’s words up in a speech Levant delivered to protesters on Saturday.
“I want to tell you what excites me the most about this crowd,” Levant said. “I see a lot of cameras, a lot of independent journalists. Because when people say what do we do about the media, I say, you become the media, that’s what you do. … The news media acts like a party: the media party. It’s a subsidiary of the Liberal party. So, you’ve got to tell the story yourselves. Everyone who is here, everyone who is along the road, has to bear witness and testify to what they saw, because there’s two different, competing narratives.”
“I’ve never seen a more diverse group of Canadians,” he continued. “And far from violence, people want to not be violated anymore. Justin Trudeau says you’re extreme, but he’s the one who has violated our civil rights. He thinks we’re a ‘fringe,’ but that’s a pretty bloody big fringe.”
“Let me close by saying this,” he said. “Someone asked me this morning, ‘What’s the point? What’s gonna happen? Why did we all gather in Ottawa? Is he [Trudeau] gonna listen? Is he gonna resign? Is the Governor-General gonna ask him to step down?’”
“No, he’ll hold onto power as hard as he can,” Levant stated. “Let me tell you what I think the point is: The point is the convoy itself. To show that you’re not alone. To show that you’re not the crazy one; they are.”