Josh Anderson

Information Architect

Letter to the Public Order Emergency Commission

Public Order Emergency Commission

Last year, in 2022, the Public Order Emergency Commission, established by the Government of Canada to inquire into the declaration of the Emergencies Act, solicited written submissions from the public.

People who know me closely know how intensely bothered I was by the declaration of the Emergencies Act. I wrote letters to each Ontario Senator in February 2022 laying out the case for why the Act was nowhere close to justified. But when I first learned of this call-for-submissions, I hesitated. I legitimately wondered whether the Canadian government might harass me over my lawful protests to its abuses. After all, it shut down the bank accounts of some law-abiding dissenters without accusing nor convicting them of any crimes – a move normally reserved for authoritarian nations with little regard for the rule of law (and often equally scant economic investment, for hopefully obvious reasons). Ultimately, I decided that it was important for me to tell my story, especially given the outright lies told by a shamefully large number of Canadian politicians and pundits about the Freedom Convoy and the nature of its participants.

While I am proud of my thorough submission to the Public Order Emergency Commission, I had up until now kept it to myself and shared it only with a few trusted friends. It seemed to me that there was no reason to be any more public than that; no reason to needlessly put a target on my back.

But in the past couple of days, I have come to a realization after much mental anguish: I need to be more true to myself. Right now, to me that means being more public and outspoken about my dissent to the increasingly authoritarian nature of the dominant cultural and political climate, both in the United States and especially in Canada. If I risk personal or professional harms because of speaking out, so be it. This is who I am, and this is what I believe is worth fighting for.




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