REX MURPHY: Justin Trudeau has become a punchline on the world stage — for good reason: This is a sad moment — for Canada and its standing within the free world.

It is a brazen thing to go to other countries like some John the Baptist for the democracies, shortly after having trampled all over the rights of those involved in a largely peaceful democratic protest.

Let me make a plain, direct statement: The trucker protest was not an attempted coup. It was not a rebellion. It was not an assault on Canada’s democracy. It was none of those things.

The convoy protest was strong and present, but it was unthreatening and largely non-violent. It was superbly Canadian. It should not be slandered.

And it surely should not be used as some sort of example of anti-democratic forces by the leader of the country in which it took place. Most especially when he goes about the world delivering passionate defences of the idea of democracy itself.

To defend democracy, you should adhere to its principles. Don’t go to Brussels to preach what you skip over in Ottawa. Some examples:

For a start, don’t sic the banks on peaceful protesters. . . .

And yet, three weeks later, after all that, Trudeau went over to Brussels and presumed to tell European parliamentarians that, “The leaders of those convoys were effective in turning citizens with real anxieties against the system best suited to allay those concerns.”

He presumed to lecture them on “leadership” and confronting the threat posed by Russia. Yet, given his record, who is listening? Given his government’s treatment of veterans, who can believe his fealty to the Canadian military? Given his lack of interest in civil liberties, who would not question his commitment to democratic principles? This is indeed a sad moment — for Canada and its standing within the free world.

Indeed. Related: Canadian Media Ignores Scolding of Trudeau as Rest of World Media Reports It:

Despite Canadian legacy media outlets burying the story, the reprimand of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau by European parliamentarians in Brussels has made headlines around the world.

Trudeau was treated to scathing condemnation by several Members of European Parliament (MEP) after giving a speech to the European Union on Wednesday.

Croatian MEP Mislav Kolakusic called out the Canadian prime minister for engaging in a “dictatorship of the worst kind” over his treatment of peaceful Freedom Convoy protestors in February.

At least three other MEPs echoed Kolakusic’s remarks, with Romanian MEP Cristian Terheș entirely boycotting Trudeau’s speech.

Just think of the Canadian media as Liberal Party operatives with bylines, and it all makes sense.