ArriveCan was the wrong name for such a miserable app. It should have been called “ArriveCan’t” seeing as how it never encouraged travel, but discouraged it. ArriveCan didn’t make it easier to arrive in the country, it only made it more difficult to leave, and scarier to return.
“People vote with their feet,” said an old and famous economist. Socialist ideals are condemned on the grounds that no one ever clamoured to escape into a socialist nation. Americans never swam across the gulf to retreat into Cuba. Western men never hurdled the iron wall to enjoy East Berlin.
Of course, we can only vote with our feet if we’re freely allowed to move. We are free to stay only if we’re free to leave. We are free, only if we are free to fly.
ArriveCan and Justin Trudeau’s other restrictions destroyed that freedom. ArriveCan meant we weren’t allowed to vote with our feet because our feet were stapled to Canadian soil. We lost our ability to cast a vote because the vote was cast for us. Indeed, our Parliament thought itself so democratic that it didn’t allow us to choose anyone else to be ruled by.
Indeed, I doubt the importance of the right to vote with one’s feet can be sufficiently overstated. I daresay the right to vote with one’s feet is more important, and more sacred, than the right to vote with the pen. If a man is free to vote with the pen, but not with his feet, he will find his vote with the pen won’t matter very long. If he is free to vote with his feet, his vote with the pen will matter forever.
In fact, the ability to vote with one’s feet proves that we individuals are not property of the government, for property has no right to vote, either with its feet or pen. The canvas has no vote about what shall be painted on its surface, and it cannot run away from a decoration of artwork, even if it’s dreadful. Even a child has no vote about where he’s allowed to be at 11 pm, and he cannot escape (not without punishment, anyway) if he disagrees with his parents’ command.
The child is not free to leave as he pleases because he is his parents’ property. They created him and are responsible for his actions, so he has no right to wander outside his home while he is young. In the same way, if we aren’t free to leave Canada, nay, if we aren’t allowed to travel in Canada as we please—without tracking—we might as well say government owns us and we are property of the state. One only needs to look at history (or even the present day) to see which nations restricted their people from leaving and whether they were desirable nations to live in.
I have no doubt that government will continue to justify its old imposition of ArriveCan on the grounds that they were “following the science.” That’s quite true; they were following the science. The problem is that they were (and still are) following political science. It’s not that I want ArriveCan destroyed because I don’t like it, even though I honestly despise it with all my soul. I want ArriveCan destroyed because its principle is evil. It was bred from Hell.
Hearing that the app is now “optional”* is not satisfactory. ArriveCan being optional is not enough because we cannot give government the option to own a Canadian any more than a kidnapper can be given the option to own someone else’s child. If either party is ever permitted to do so, vicious and fearful abuse will follow.
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