MP Matthew Green sought a unanimous motion to condemn Carlson’s comments but a chorus of ‘nays’ — mostly from Conservatives — killed the proposal
An NDP MP has failed in his bid to convince the House of Commons to drop what they’re doing in order to condemn the “invade Canada” bombasts of a Fox News host.
Last week, during an interview with Montreal-born academic David Azerrad, conservative TV host Tucker Carlson called for a U.S.-backed “Bay of Pigs” operation to overthrow the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
“I’ve always loved Canada, because of its natural beauty, why should we let it become Cuba? Why don’t we liberate it?” he said.
On Wednesday, Matthew Green — the NDP representative for Hamilton Centre — sought a unanimous House of Commons motion to “condemn recent comments by Fox New personality Tucker Carlson in which he suggests U.S. armed forces ‘liberate’ Canada from the current prime minister.”
Green also inferred Carlson’s statement was indicative of a strain of “far-right violent extremism.”
A chorus of “nays” — mostly from the Conservative benches — immediately killed the proposal.
“I’m afraid we don’t have unanimous consent,” said speaker Anthony Rota.
Green wasn’t the only one to seek some kind of official satisfaction over the Carlson broadcast. In a Monday tweet, former U.S. Ambassador to Canada Bruce A. Heyman also called on Fox News to issue a “formal apology.”
Although Carlson bookended the “invade Canada” statement with “and I mean it,” it wouldn’t be the first time he’s pitched a far-fetched concept that may not have been intended as an entirely serious proposal.
The same week as he was advising a military takeover of Canada, for instance, Carlson was delivering an extended rant against an “unsexy” redesign of the M&Ms mascots that dressed one of the female candies in block heels rather than stilettos.
“M&Ms will not be satisfied until every last cartoon character is deeply unappealing … until the moment you wouldn’t want to have a drink with any one of them,” he said.
From a military standpoint, meanwhile, such an invasion would almost certainly be an immediate success for the United States.
Although two prior U.S. invasions of Canadian soil have failed (in 1812 and 1775), the strategic situation in 2023 is overwhelmingly to U.S. advantage.
Not only does the U.S. control history’s most powerful military, but they’d be invading at a time of acute weakness within the Canadian Armed Forces.
Of course, any “liberation” of Canada would almost immediately yield a cascade of negative side-effects for the United States.
As the first instance of open conflict between NATO allies, it would demolish the alliance just as it prepared to welcome Sweden and Finland as members.
What’s more, a U.S. inflation rate of 6.5 per cent would almost certainly be exacerbated by the breakout of war on the country’s northern border. Canada is one of the United States’ most critical suppliers of oil, natural gas and hydroelectricity — all three of which would easily be disrupted in any kind of violent regime change.
Fortunately, the vast majority of the U.S. populace does not desire armed conflict with their northern neighbour, whatever their opinions of the current prime minister.
A 2020 YouGov poll found that Canada was virtually tied with Australia as the favourite foreign country for U.S. citizens. Although Democratic voters were more likely to be fans of Canada, even among Republicans Canada enjoyed a respectable 65 per cent favourability rate.
Last February, the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau earned outsized criticism among U.S. conservative voices such as Carlson for his invocation of the Emergencies Act in order to crush an anti-mandate blockade of Ottawa.
In a 2022 video that has garnered nearly five million views, Carlson praised Freedom Convoy for their efforts to topple the “creepy little government” of Trudeau. “Canada’s working class has finally rebelled after years of relentless abuse,” said Carlson.
However, the incident only appears to have strengthened U.S. love for Canada, with many conservatives discovering a heretofore unknown kinship with their Canadian equivalents.
In the immediate aftermath of Freedom Convoy, a Gallup poll found that Americans’ pro-Canada sentiments were stronger than ever. Canada easily ranked as the United States’ favourite foreign country, with 87 per cent of respondents (including 80 per cent of Republicans) reporting warm feelings for the place.
At the same time, Canadians remain largely unified in their desire to not be Americans. A recent Ipsos survey found that more than 80 per cent of Canadians rejected the sentiment “my province would be better off becoming an American state.” Even in Alberta — the heartland of pro-American leanings — just 21 per cent wished for U.S. statehood.