Justin Trudeau
© AP / Geert Vanden Wijngaert
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivers a media statement at EU headquarters in Brussels, Wednesday, March 23, 2022.
Croatian MEP Mislav Kolakusic called Canada's treatment of protesters "a dictatorship of the worst kind".

A member of the European Parliament called Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a "dictator" to his face during Trudeau's trip to Belgium this week and accused the Canadian government of violating human rights.

After discussing on the floor of the European Parliament the importance of defending human rights, Croatian MEP Mislav Kolakusic said, "Unfortunately today, there are those among us who trample on these fundamental values."

"Canada, once a symbol of the modern world, has become a symbol of civil rights violations under your quasi-liberal boot in recent months," the MEP said to Trudeau, before referencing Canada's authoritarian treatment of the 'Freedom Convoy' protesters in Ottawa last month.

We watched how you trample women with horses," said Kolakusic. "How you block the bank accounts of single parents so that they can't even pay their children's education and medicine... utilities, mortgages for their homes.

To you, these may be liberal methods. For many citizens of the world, it is a dictatorship of the worst kind."

Kolakusic concluded by warning Trudeau that "the citizens of the world united can stop any regime that wants to destroy the freedom of citizens."

Trudeau - who was in attendance for the speech and delivered his own address about "peace and security" and "defending democracy" - could be seen watching on silently.

Canada received international criticism last month after it took drastic and authoritarian measures to shut down the peaceful 'Freedom Convoy' protests in Ottawa against Covid-19 restrictions and mandates.

One viral video at the time showed mounted police trampling protesters, while others showed officers pepper spraying journalists and beating unarmed demonstrators to the ground. Those associated with the protests also had their bank accounts frozen after Trudeau implemented emergency powers.

The prime minister arrived in Brussels, Belgium on Wednesday to meet with the leaders of the European Union, NATO, and G7 to discuss their "coordinated response" to Russia's offensive in Ukraine. The trip is scheduled to conclude on Friday.