‘Threatens Our Democracy’: Canadian Civil Liberties Association Condemns Trudeau Invoking ‘Emergencies Act’

(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
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The Canadian Civil Liberties Association publicly opposed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s invocation of the Emergencies Act to quell the “Freedom Convoy” on Monday.

Trudeau is the first prime minister to issue the Emergencies Act, which is a national emergency used in “an urgent and critical situation of a temporary nature that (a) seriously endangers the lives, health and safety of Canadians and is of such proportions or nature as to exceed the capacity or authority of a province to deal with it and (b) seriously threatens the ability of Canada to preserve the sovereignty, security and territorial integrity of Canada.”

The civil liberties organization condemned the invocation, calling it a “threat” to the nation’s democracy and civil liberties. The organization argued the protests are not a justifiable reason to issue the act. (REPORT: Trudeau Plans To Deploy ‘Emergencies Act’ To Quell Protests)

“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 association said.

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 law of Canada.”

“Governments regularly deal with difficult situations, and do so using powers granted to them by democratically elected representatives,” they continued. “Emergency legislation should not be normalized. It threatens our democracy and our civil liberties.”

The Emergencies Act allows the federal government to prevent people from gathering in certain locations and allows for authorities to use private tow trucks to remove the protesters’ blockade. The act also grants financial institutions the ability to prohibit the use of property to fund or support blockades.

The invocation of the act will give police more resources to issue fines or imprisonment on those who defy local orders. The government will also secure border crossings, airports, and other public facilities.

Canada’s deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland said the government broaden their “terrorist financing” rules to cover crowdfunding platforms and cryptocurrencies to the protesters.

Trudeau stated that the convoy is “not a peaceful protest” as they allegedly are harming Canada’s “economy and endangering public safety.” He said law enforcement has not had the ability to put an end to the protest and regulate order, despite their best efforts.

“Despite [local police’s] best efforts, it is now clear there are serious challenges to law enforcement abilities to effectively enforce the law,” Trudeau said Monday. “I want to be very clear, the scope of these measures will be time limited, geographically targeted and reasonable and proportional to the threats they are meant to address. This is about keeping Canadians safe.”