The Pre-Occupied Briefing Bingo

Is it what, Wednesday already, Possums? We’ve lost track, having been somewhat preoccupied ’round these parts (of Ottawa) lately, not to mention having published roughly 10,000 words over the past two weeks. Not even counting Twitter (gotta be another 10k at least). While the initial Ottawa Occupation may indeed be over, there are two truck rodeos not far out of town waiting for the signal to launch #OO2.0. Meanwhile World War Three looms. It’s Rather A Lot, Possums. We are all preoccupied these days, between worry and working.



Yes, it’s really happening!

Yes, Possums, after what? A six month hiatus during which we each day hoped (and that, fervently, Possums, positively fervently) that we’d never need another card because the pandemic was surely over (the end of the pandemic being, apparently, around exactly the same corner as prosperity) after six months, we’re back with a new Bingo card!

But it’s not (Pandemic: over. Prosperity: just around the corner). We’re headed towards WW III, and here we are. We’re in this together.

Strap in and hold on, we’re coming in hot.

And we’re not even talking about our featured image! #BringBackTheBeard

Justin Trudeau looking preoccupied
Justin Trudeau looking preoccupied. And bearded

Our CPAC video is here, with just 380 watching which is what you get for announcing a 4pm press conference at what? 2pm? (Update: 12,000 a respectable number, a couple of hours later:

At a news conference on Parliament Hill, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to provide an update on measures implemented under the federal government’s declaration of a public-order emergency. He is joined by Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland as well as ministers David Lametti (justice), Marco Mendicino (public safety) and Bill Blair (emergency preparedness). The government invoked the Emergencies Act on February 14, 2022, as part of an effort to resolve ongoing blockades and protests in several parts of the country. A motion to confirm the declaration of an emergency was adopted by the House of Commons on February 21. Debate on a similar motion is still underway in the Senate.

And here are our bingo cards, including the new, less-pandemic-y, more-Ukrainian Eleventh Generation bingo card! Are you excited, Possums? I know you are.

Here we go. Mark Mask, Freeland, Blue Suit, and Begins in French. Mark Emergencies Act square, which was predictable. “It’s limited and necessary” is the new “wear a mask and get vaccinated” isn’t it? Trudeau’s reiterating over and over that it was invoked legally and with Parliamentary approval and that it’ll be examined by a committee.

Trudeau says the EA could be in place UP TO 30 days, but they’ll lift it when the situation warrants it.


“And therefore the federal government will be ENDING the use of the Emergencies Act.”

Justin Trudeau
Because it’s February 23, 2022

That’s gonna cut the legs out from under the Conservatives, whose whole strategy is shrieking “Adolf Trudeau!”

Some very informed, very experienced people saw this going completely the other way, with the EA being made permanent. I knew enough about 2022 Ottawa to know that wouldn’t happen, but even I was surprised it was revoked so quickly. Justin Trudeau must be a very confident man, more than I gave him credit for being.

Now he’s saying that the future involves a lot of work figuring out how this happened. A job for MEEEEE!

Dr Please
Pretty Please

Canadians have been through a lot, and we have a lot of challenges ahead of us. Let’s remember that we’re fighting a virus, not each other.

Justin Trudeau

That is your Cheerleader-in-Chief doing his “Who we are as Canadians” bit, which is the bit he does better than pretty much anyone else.

Now on to questions, of which I missed the first one. Mark your Non-Ottawa Police square, for the answer in French. I don’t have a square for “Serious adult speaking” cadence, but maybe in the next card. Mark Gesticulates.

Glen McGregor @glen_mcgregor from CTV news asks about the two encampments outside Ottawa and asks if he’ll invoke the act again if they come back, or in other places like Winnipeg. Trudeau again stresses invoking the EA was “time-limited and Charter-compliant” action but doesn’t say yes or no. He says Canada “has the tools in normal times to deal with the potential threat returning.”

He goes on to say that invoking the Emergencies Act was necessary because the occupation became entrenched (which, duh, is what an occupation does; it occupies, it doesn’t just day trip) and that conventional law enforcement and other tools were insufficient to deal with it once it had become dug in.

I’d paste the tweet from Ottawa’s former police chief about there being no policing solution to this occupation (posted while his own forces posed for selfies with the occupiers) but it seems to have been deleted. Yes, he was inept, but yes, he never had a chance either.

Mark Touches Face, fiddles with pen as well. Gesticulation is getting more vigorous but is still low energy for a runner who does yoga too. I hope we’re not looking at Long Covid; I had a weak form of that and it was extraordinarily debilitating.

“This was always proportional and time-limited” again. So why did he invoke it? I’d say it was to force the police, just as much as the tow truck companies, to do their fucking jobs.

“DONC” mark my favourite square! And also mark the square for “Freeland’s papers go all the way across her desk.” And zomg! No pearls today!

Now, a really clever cryptographer would be sending secret messages to the government of Ukraine by colour-coding the beads in Freeland’s necklace. Do you think we can troll the chuds into believing that’s happening? That would be awesome.

Obviously mark Convoy and Blockade squares on the brand new Eleventh Generation Bingo Card. Oh, and also Fails To Translate Answer Into Other Official Language, which is really inconvenient for us who are typing while the French answers fly.

David Thurton @cbcdavid on the phone asks if the camps outside Ottawa are a threat. Trudeau says yes, and again mentions the illegality of the protest, but says that previously the occupations were solidly implanted and the police did not have the tools to dislodge them, and that’s what the EA was for.

Thurton asks what specifically the threat was. Trudeau says the threats were directed at public health measures nad other things. People always have the right to free expression, but not to blockade fellow citizens, to put jobs at risk, etc.

Mark Sign Language Interpreters Swapped Out. That one on the left, she LOVES her job. You can see it. She has Many Thoughts about what she’s translating.

Mark “Twinkleface.” We rarely get that these days.

Tonda MacCharles @TondaMacC up next. Asks what do you think needs to change to avoid a similar entrenchment. Specifically what do you want to see change?

Trudeau says it’s a great opportunity for police to reflect on the changes in contemporary society eg misinfo, disinfo, foreign money, foreign influence, social media, etc and respond to them appropriately.

She says “you weren’t facing some kind of militia threat” YES SHE LITERALLY SAID THAT and I’m presuming her face was straight when she said it, which only shows she doesn’t know much about the Proud Boys, Sons of Odin, or Corey Hurren.

During debate over the Emergencies Act in the House, I spoke out against the widely reported presence and association of white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and other extremists at the occupation and blockades. These are some of the responses I’ve received (and not at all the worst):

Antisemitic, with the dual loyalty canard:

Antisemitic, Nazi glorifying:

Misogynistic, dehumanizing:

Hateful, misogynistic:

We have to be open with ourselves that there’s a serious issue of hate in Canada. It existed before the convoy movement, and it’ll exist afterwards. It’s an uncomfortable truth we need to confront & we can’t shy away from. Am I concerned? You bet. Am I intimidated? Not a chance!

Originally tweeted by Ya’ara Saks יערה זקס (@YaaraSaks) on February 24, 2022.

Trudeau goes along with the downplayment because it suits his “we have been very respectful of Charter rights, and “we were very conscious that this EA had never been invoked before and there would be significant scrutiny on our use of it” narrative, and also because as an Ottawa Neoliberal he believes, to the very depth of his soul, that if you don’t pay attention to grubby, vulgar people they cease to exist. What Justin Trudeau perhaps does not realize is that there is an entire industry in Ottawa devoted to making unpleasant people invisible to Justin Trudeau, and it reports to…Justin Trudeau.

Not to mention the armed men at that border crossing whose name escapes me, who apparently wrote down their plans. I mean, the #OttawaOccupation was poorly run. Their whole MO is to wind up gullible people whose sense of privilege is wounded, and just let them go. “Do what thou will shall be the whole of the law” and apparently the whole of the defence in court as well.

That’s how they produced Corey Hurren. That’s how they produced all those chuds in the US running #BLM down with their cars. But to look on them as anything but a militia, ept or inept as may be, is to make a fundamental mistake.

Anyhoodle…opinionification complete. Moving on…

Looks like once the police did act on them, the chuds started branch-shopping. And that worked about as well as I expected it would. And not at ALL as well as they expected it would.

So invoking the act was “proportional, reasonable, and extremely time-limited.” And he’s not wrong that it was necessary to lift it quickly to nullify the charge that it was the first step of the jackboot onto the neck of the nation. Which I may be paraphrasing slightly.

You get three “Les uns pour les autres” in the answer to a single French question which I didn’t really catch, again. Sorry, I’ve had TOO MUCH caffeine today.

And that’s the end of the press conference.

Mark your Important Person Shows Up And Says Not One Single Word square from I think the third generation bingo card.

See you tomorrow? Who knows?


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