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Live w/Elijah McCaughen
Ontario Provincial Police Officer Who Laid Down His Badge Over Canadian Pandemic Over-reach
Living in Canada since the pandemic is a struggle for everyone in many different and varying ways.
But one of the hardest and less recognized ways is when your job requires you to enforce the insane mandates and restrictions on your fellow citizens.
Elijah McCaughen was an Ontario Provincial Police officer who, very early, found it impossible and unconscionable to perform what his department required from him.
His story has made national news that includes not only civil disobedience, but early retirement and fleeing of the country he formerly called home.
Among the many interesting points of my story and Elijah’s that overlap, we both belong to a relatively small group of Canadians who hold a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt.
Elijah was awarded his just shortly before he fled Canada for Florida… but, we’ll get to that a little further down.
2020 in Ontario
Anyone who remembers the pandemic era, pre-vaccine, will recall it was centrally focused around the ideas of social distancing, isolation and province/state-wide lockdowns.
In Canada, there was almost nowhere who did all of the above with more vigor and enforcement than Ontario did. Most of the jaw dropping and non-sensical images, stories and video clips coming out of Canada in that time making international news were from that province.
Early into the madness, Elijah found himself unwilling to play “covid theatre” as was required of him by his detachment. After they started to implement ridiculous masking policies at the station that required you to wear a mask while walking around but not while seated… it became obvious that this was not something he could personally abide.
While it seemed that no one else was willing to stand up against it, his mental health began to wane. He reached out to a mental health expert and was quickly put onto extended leave.
2021 and public parks
In 2021, Elijah along with one of his family friends decided they’d had enough of the social restraints placed upon them and everyone else.
They and their children decided to make their own version of a public display of civil disobedience by going out to a public park to play in the open during community restrictions that forbid it.
City workers noticed the group assembling and enjoying the outdoors, so they decided it necessary to call the municipal police department who came down to send them all home.
Elijah was courteous to them but was not willing to comply. They, after finding out he and a friend in the group were both officers themselves, left them at the park and moved their complaints up the chain of command to McCaughen’s supervisors.
He would be called into his chief’s office and reprimanded with a “Discreditable Conduct” charge. It was a humiliation that was the final straw to break the camel’s back.
Laying down the shield
Between this absurd wrist slapping and the continual kowtowing of his department and the majority of it’s officers as well as the international spectacle that was the Canadian trucker convoy protest — enough was enough.
After 13 years of dedication to the force, the province and the shield McCaughen ended his career as a police officer.
It was the moral choice that couldn’t be ignored. No matter what personal, vocational and political backlash followed it.
But, this action left him and his family in a limbo that brought with it as many questions as it did hardships.
With all possibilities on the table for what could happen next, Elijah and his wife agreed the time had come to fully uproot their family and attempt to move down south to one of the places that showed a consistent backbone during the pandemic — Florida.
For those of us who’ve tried doing such a thing while unvaccinated, you’ll know better than most that it’s not something easily done.
Even in July of 2022 (when the McCaughen’s would attempt their escape), it took more than one effort between two different border crossing locations where they tried their luck during a time when it’s a restricted thing to cross an international invisible line without taking an experimental gene therapy injection.
But, using a little bit of clever verbal judo on their second attempt, cross they did!
Elijah expressed to me a feeling I know and remember vividly… the euphoric feeling of freedom. Of escape from the open air prison you’ve been trapped in for years, into a land just outside of it’s borders where you have more personal rights than you did in your home country.
Into the sunset
Today, the McCaughen family has fully settled in their new found free land, with the intentions to take up a new chapter.
Elijah is in the early stages of applying for a business visa to start up a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu academy of his own in Florida.
With the turmoil of the pandemic in the rearview mirror for him now, McCaughen’s still raising his voice for the sake of his fellow men and women in blue back in Canada. Asking them to stand up and refuse the orders that didn’t make sense for the past 2.5 years when their government and departments try to demand it of them again this winter.
I can only hope that they will take his plea to heart.
Unified non-compliance is the fastest way to break the wheel being used to grind a once great nation beneath it.
~ Drew Weatherhead
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Listen to the full podcast episode below:
The Social Disorder Podcast: Elijah McCaughen - Laying Down The Shield