BJ Dichter is one of the organizers of the Canadian Truckers for Freedom Convoy and its media spokesman. I had an opportunity to speak with him earlier this week about the situation in Ottawa, the convoy’s strategy and about some of the political elements that are at play as this extremely fluid situation makes headlines and continues to inspire people all over the world.
I joked with Mr. Dichter that my first question is actually how on earth did I not know about him or hear about before now? I often joke about myself that I’m a “redneck Jew”, but it’s a pretty lonely club in Canada. I guess there’s at least two of us now…
BJ, thanks so much for making the time to talk to me, I really appreciate it. Let me preface my first question by saying that I saw you do a podcast interview recently with Professor Gad Saad of Montreal, in which you described your brilliant media strategy. For those who haven’t seen that interview, or know about it, essentially your strategy is that you are not speaking to any mainstream media-only independent media. You further explained that as a result of this policy, the public needs to be aware that anything said about you in the mainstream media, or anything said by a politician about you is complete conjecture and fabrication because they have no direct line or access to you. They are unable to quote you directly. Zero access.
That’s correct, and that is the main reason why this has all been so frustrating for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Up until now, Justin Trudeau has never lost a battle and he never had any challenges to his will. And that is because everything about him was filtered through the mainstream media. He had uninterrupted deference from them. That’s gone now. Now, many people are mad at him, not a “fringe minority”, and his government now and for once, he has to answer to them. He isn’t going to have a choice about that and calling us a “fringe minority” will ultimately force a complete about face. The mainstream media is unable to run interference for him now.
An “about face”? Tell me a little bit of what that might look like. What do you predict?
I believe it is inevitable that all political parties will be looking for a scalp, and also a way out. In order to save face, they will probably claim victory over the coronavirus, say something about Omicron, how well the vaccines and their policies protected us, they’ll tell us that we should just thank them and they’ll say ‘you’re welcome’ and then they will immediately move onto their next policy disaster, probably back to climate change.
Do you get the sense that there are any adults in the room in the federal government or within the municipal government of Ottawa? What are you hearing?
I understand from several very well-placed sources that the Liberal caucus is at odds with the Prime Minister and that several Members of Parliament are very embarrassed by the situation. Not a lot, but there are some. And there are obviously others who do not want this mess to be their legacy, so it’s a matter of ego for some. But this will be their legacy if they keep doubling down and they certainly do not want that.
Have any members of the Progressive Conservative party met with you? Or are they also just “standing in front of trucks” and saying nice things about you? Shouldn’t they be doing more? I mean, this is political gold. They didn’t take the knives out when Justin Trudeau’s blackface photographs surfaced. When are the knives coming out? Ever?
Never underestimate the PC party’s ability to score on their own net.
That certainly seems to be the case. You also mentioned in the Saad interview that the problem in Canadian politics isn’t that Canadians “want” Liberals or Trudeau in power, but that we don’t actually have a functioning, actually Conservative opposition. That is an excellent point, and I agree completely. Can you please elaborate on that?
From a marketing perspective, the PC’s are complete morons. They are so controlled in their messaging that all they get out to the public are these over-worked, over-thought out milquetoast messages that nobody cares about. That is the problem. They only think in terms of mainstream media. They need to do a regular, comprehensive and thoughtful sweep of alternative media and understand alternative media platforms. When I explain this to them, they say ‘oh but that’s American, we’re Canadian’. Then I try to explain that we live in a globalized world, and urge them to at least try to understand what is happening in the global media landscape or basically that they will die (as a political force). The other problem is that the federal “Conservative” party is controlled by three lobbyists and their lobbying firm Crestview Strategy. Of the three founders of that company, two are Conservative (Mark Spriro and Rob Smith) and one who recently resigned is a Liberal, Rob Silver. That’s a real problem.
(Note: Rob Silver is married to Katie Telford, the current Chief of Staff of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office. Rob Silver, founded the firm but resigned after his wife became Chief of Staff.)
Without giving away any plans, what do you think is going to happen next? The Mayor of Ottawa is calling for a mediator to step in, and provincial governments seem to be moving toward declaring an end to mandates and Covid restrictions. What do you see playing out?
Well, we’ll see what happens, but it all depends on how stubborn the federal government remains. I thought we were actually a week away from the signs we are seeing today, such as the ones you mentioned. I know that some very influential individuals have been reaching out to highly placed members of the federal government and telling them to calm things down. Calls are coming into the federal government from all over, saying the same thing.
What are we to make of the confiscation of fuel and food for the truckers and for making honking illegal for the next few days in Ottawa? It must be illegal to confiscate food and fuel-never mind immoral.
It is certainly not legal to confiscate those things. It is illegal and they are just trying to hide illegality behind the Emergency Order. None of those actions will stand up in a court of law. They will never be able to justify those actions in front of a judge. These are pressure tactics.
How does it feel to be inspiring Canadians and inspiring similar freedom movements and protests all over the world?
Yes, it is a nice feeling. It is great to inspire people, but sometimes it’s also hard when I get emails and calls from people telling me about what these mandates have done to them, the damage, and what it has done to the people they love over the past two years. That’s really hard. But it has been so busy that I don’t have a lot of time to think about it or talk about it.
Can you give us an idea of what’s next?
Obviously, I can’t get into details, but I can assure you that we are very well prepared. We have very comprehensive plans for accelerating our campaign and the Trudeau government will be politically challenged if it continues on its current path. This will continue to be a public relations disaster for the government.
Thank you so much for speaking with me today. When the videos of the convoy started coming up, I felt the first signs of hope in almost two years of this tyranny and I know I’m not alone. So many of them have made me cry with gratitude, relief and resolve. Please convey to the truckers and all the supporters on the ground how grateful I am personally, and on behalf of all the Canadians from coast to coast standing with you to reclaim our freedoms and liberty.
N.B: At press time, Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe has announced an end to vaccine mandates and passports, Alberta’s Premier Jason Kenney is expected to make an announcement about mandates toward the end of the business day and a Liberal Member of Parliament from the Trudeau’s government has broken ranks and gone public for a road map to ending mandates and full disclosure from government on the scientific data behind maintaining restrictions.