Emergencies Act is Overkill
[:en]On Monday afternoon, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, told Canadians he had invoked the federal Emergencies Act to deal with the ongoing anti-vaccine mandate protests in Ottawa and across the country.
This is the first time in Canadian history the Act has been invoked, and the lack of rationale offered by the Liberal Government for doing so is deeply concerning.
The Canadian Civil Liberties Association has stated, “The federal government has not met the threshold necessary to invoke the Emergencies Act. This law creates a high and clear standard for good reason: the Act allows government to bypass ordinary democratic processes. This standard has not been met.”
The fact that the Prime Minister refuses to duly inform parliament as to when he will present this motion for debate—it must be done within seven days—shows his clear contempt for Parliament and parliamentary oversight.
I have been clear from day one: Every Canadian who wants to be vaccinated against COVID-19 should have access, and those who choose not to should not be discriminated against. Nobody should lose their job, business, or opportunities that would otherwise be theirs over what should be a private personal medical decision.
As such, I have been, and remain, supportive of the original stated aims of the trucker convoy—to end federal vaccine mandates. I believe this, like any vaccine mandate, to be an unnecessarily discriminatory policy, and, in this particular case, one that will negatively impact our already, critically, strained supply chains.
That said, while all Canadians have the right to peacefully protest, blockading critical infrastructure is illegal. Those individuals who choose to engage in illegal blockades or defy court orders will need to accept the consequences of their actions. I urge them to show good faith, obey law enforcement and withdraw before things get out of hand.
I urge all parties to show restraint and seek to find a peaceful, equitable, and common-sense solution to this stalemate.
Conservatives want these blockades to end quickly and peacefully. Sadly, this extraordinary action taken by the Prime Minister could very well end up having the opposite effect.
Also on Monday, less than an hour before the Prime Minister invoked the Emergencies Act, Conservatives offered Parliament a reasonable approach that we believe would help lower the temperature across the country and help resolve these protests.
We asked the Liberal Government to commit, publicly, to a specific plan and timeline to end federal mandates and restrictions.
Around the world, countries are re-opening and getting back to normal life. They have learned to live with COVID-19 and, thankfully (finally) many Canadian provinces are following suit.
Sadly, the Liberals and NDP care more about power and the politics of control than they do the wellbeing of Canadians and refused to support our common-sense motion.
Unlike the rest the of the world, this Prime Minister still wants restrictions (and more power for the federal government). He refuses to listen to Canadians, and, despite his tired refrain, he clearly refuses to listen to our public health experts.
Instead, he continues to demonize anyone who dares question his decisions.
The current situation is serious, but it hardly meets the criteria for the Emergencies Act.
Blockades in Coutts, Windsor and Emerson have already come down. Truckers have already acted in good faith by moving out of residential neighborhoods in Ottawa. All of this without the Emergencies Act. Why invoke it now?
This is just the latest episode in Justin Trudeau’s shameful crusade against those Canadians who, in his mind, hold “unacceptable views”.
This isn’t about public safety, it’s about our PM’s ego, arrogance, and obsession with power.
To invoke the Federal Emergencies Act is overkill: A staggering overreaction by a Prime Minister who has lost control, lost the confidence of Canadians, and lost the moral authority to lead.