Skip to content

Red Deer-Mountain View MP defends blockades

Red Deer-Mountain View MP Earl Dreeshen says invoking the Emergencies Act to clear the blockades was "overreach" while speaking at an town council meeting in Olds, Alberta.
MVT Earl Dreeshen Olds council 2022
Red Deer-Mountain View MP Earl Dreeshen spoke to Olds municipal council during a recent meeting. Doug Collie/MVP Staff

OLDS, ALTA — Red Deer-Mountain View Member of Parliament Earl Dreeshen says the federal government over-reacted to the so-called freedom blockades in Ottawa and across the country last month. 

Dreeshen made that point during an appearance during an Olds town council meeting March 14. 

The convoy and its supporters jammed downtown Ottawa from late January until about Feb. 19, protesting COVID-fighting measures like masks and vaccines. Others blockaded border crossings near Coutts and Windsor/Detroit. 

"A lot of the folks that were there, you know, they had already had their vaccines and everything else. It was simply a case of saying the time has come for freedom," Dreeshen said.  

He said the confederate and Nazi flags that were flown by some protesters during the blockades “were only shown on that first day.” 

“They had the pictures of confederate flags and swastikas and somebody putting a freedom sign on the Terry Fox monument and then somebody acting inappropriate around the memorial, the war memorial, that was taken care of by the folks that were there,” Dreeshen said. 

“You didn’t see that after the first day or two. But that was always what was referred to and that was always what inflamed the rhetoric all the way through. 

“And so when you get to that stage and so with those arguments and that sort of thing taking place there, it also inflamed -- on border crossings, and everybody else got bad-mouthed.  

“These things were dealt with. You know, there were no border crossing issues. In Windsor there was some slowdowns and so on, but there were no border crossing issues – when they decided to invoke the Emergencies Act. That had been done,” he added. 

“And you may be aware of the situation where the prime minister had indicated to one of our Jewish MPs as she was standing with the Swastika, you know, it became part of their narrative and they never wavered from it.”  

Dreeshen said the decision to invoke the Emergencies Act to clear the streets was “overreach.”  

“The fact that that they could go into peoples’ bank accounts and be able to potentially freeze accounts, you know, this is sort of what we’ve been talking about with the Russian oligarchs,” he said. 

Instead, police should have dealt with the situation properly, Dreeshen said. 

“It could have been dealt with with the police, had there been the proper will to make it happen at that stage.” 

Some protesters said they wanted the Senate and Governor General Mary Simon to replace the federal government.  

“Some of the people should have spent a little bit more time with the Grade 6 civics class so that they’d understand how it is that changes can be made in government,” Dreeshen said. “So that would have been the first thing they should have looked at.” 

Given the uproar the blockades caused in Ottawa, Coutts and the anti-COVID restriction demonstrations currently underway weekly in Calgary, Coun. Darren Wilson asked how one could balance the call for freedom with “respect for the law and minimizing disruption to residents and business owners.” 

"Well, we have always stated that you have to have respect the law and that was a key component to all of this,” Dreeshen said. 

“And that doesn’t mean you don’t talk to people. That doesn’t mean that you hype. You know, that’s what the freedom of speech aspect is all about.”