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“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

DAN ALBAS -- We have yet to see any sort of plan for our path forward from this Trudeau Liberal government

 


It was two weeks ago that CBC reported that Canada’s Chief Public Officer, Dr. Theresa Tam stated: “all existing public health policies, including provincial vaccine passports, need to be "re-examined" — because it's clear now that Canada and the rest of the world will be grappling with COVID-19 for months or years to come.”

Unfortunately, we have yet to see any sort of plan for our path forward from this Trudeau Liberal government.

As a result, earlier this week the official Conservative opposition tabled the following motion:

That, given that provinces are lifting COVID-19 restrictions and that Dr. Theresa Tam has said that all existing public health measures need to be "re-evaluated" so that we can "get back to some normalcy", the House call on the government to table a plan for the lifting of all federal mandates and restrictions, and to table that plan by February 28, 2022.”

This motion by design did not dictate what that plan should look like only that we should have a plan. It was a motion that Global News Chief Political Correspondent described as a “very reasonable proposition to the Government”.

Sadly, this Government is not, in my view, in a reasonable mood and opposed this motion. Fortunately, the BLOC was in support of this motion leaving the NDP to be the decider. I regret to inform you that once again the NDP has sided with the Liberals and opposed this motion.

With no plan in place the illegal protests have continued and the tension in Ottawa has increased significantly.

As you may now be aware, Prime Minister Trudeau announced he was invoking the Emergencies Act, which is the replacement for the former War Measures Act. The War Measures Act was only used once outside of wartime by Pierre Elliott Trudeau at the request of the Quebec Government in 1970.

The replacement Emergencies Act has also never been used until PM Justin Trudeau decided to invoke it this week, despite opposition from many provincial Premiers most notably Quebec.

However, the Premiers of BC and Ontario do support the Emergencies Act being used.

What is the Emergencies Act? As the Canadian Civil Liberties Association describes it:

The Emergencies Act can only be invoked when a situation "seriously threatens the ability of the Government of Canada to preserve the sovereignty, security and territorial integrity of Canada" & when the situation "cannot be effectively dealt with under any other law of Canada."

The last reference is of particular importance: that “cannot be effectively dealt with under any other law of Canada.”

As all Canadians will know prior to the Emergency Act being invoked police were able to peacefully clear the Freedom protest that was occurring on the Ambassador Bridge under existing Canadian laws. In British Columbia we have witnessed the RCMP clearing anti-pipeline and old growth logging protests over the past six months also under existing Canadian laws.

In summary, much as the Canadian Civil Liberties Association has also concluded, PM Trudeau has “not met the threshold necessary to invoke the Emergencies Act”. So how does Prime Minister Trudeau get away with invoking this if the threshold is not met?

The Emergencies Act will need to be confirmed in the House of Commons where it is expected once again the NDP will prop up and support PM Trudeau and his minority Government.

My thoughts?

Aside from the fact that it is well established that existing Canadian Laws can deal with protests, in reality this is largely an Ottawa problem where the Ottawa police for whatever reason have either been unable or unwilling to deal with.

Now many Canadians will be subject to the Emergencies Act for what we hope will be a short period of time largely to solve an Ottawa problem.

My question this week:
Do you agree with the decision by PM Justin Trudeau to invoke the Emergencies Act?

I can be reached at Dan.Albas@parl.gc.ca or call toll free 1-800-665-8711.

Comments

  1. Why is this not being challenged in court? -- "Cabinet’s exercise of its extraordinary powers under the ‘Emergencies Act’ would be subject to limited judicial oversight... Even after the proclamation and any orders or regulations have survived parliamentary scrutiny, they may be challenged in court. Broadly speaking, there would be two potential bases for judicial review of a proclamation, order, or regulation made under the Emergencies Act:
    (1) inconsistency with the Act, on administrative law grounds; and
    (2) inconsistency with the Constitution...

    “The Federal Court could, in theory, quash an emergency proclamation, order, or regulation pursuant to s. 18.1(3)(b) of the Federal Courts Act because:
    (1) Cabinet erroneously concluded that a “public welfare emergency” was taking place;
    (2a) Cabinet made an order or regulation that does not fit into one of the “matters” specified in s. 8 of the Act; or
    (2b) Cabinet did not have “reasonable grounds” to believe that an order or regulation was “necessary for dealing with the emergency”...

    “It follows that an order or regulation made under the Act in response to a “public welfare emergency” could be challenged as inconsistent with the Charter... If an order or regulation made under the ‘Emergencies Act’ were challenged on constitutional grounds, and if the court concluded that the order or regulation limited a Charter right, then the government would have to satisfy the court that the limit on the Charter right effected by the order or regulation was (or is) “reasonable”, “prescribed by law”, and “demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society” under s. 1 of the Charter. Whether the government would succeed in this would depend on the facts...

    “The Act itself, or an order or regulation made under it, could also be challenged as exceeding Parliament’s constitutional jurisdiction. Section 92 of the Constitution Act, 1867 gives the provinces exclusive jurisdiction in respect of certain “heads of power”. It is not difficult to imagine how federal action under the ‘Emergencies Act’ might encroach on these areas of provincial jurisdiction...”

    --‘COVID-19: Can they do that? Part II: The Emergencies Act’,
    MARCH 18, 2020
    https://www.mccarthy.ca/en/insights/articles/covid-19-can-they-do-part-ii-emergencies-act

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