OTTAWA – NEWS – The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms announced its opposition to any rumoured declaration of a national emergency under the federal Emergencies Act, which defines “national emergency” as follows:
For the purposes of this Act, a national emergency is an urgent and critical situation of a temporary nature that
- (a) seriously endangers the lives, health or safety of Canadians and is of such proportions or nature as to exceed the capacity or authority of a province to deal with it, or
- (b) seriously threatens the ability of the Government of Canada to preserve the sovereignty, security and territorial integrity of Canada
and that cannot be effectively dealt with under any other law of Canada.
The Justice Centre states in a press release issued on Monday, February 14th, “If a national emergency is declared over peacefully protesting truckers in Ottawa, it will immediately file a court application seeking to overturn such a declaration”.
“Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau used the War Measures Act in 1970 to deal with violence, kidnapping and murder committed by terrorists in Quebec. Today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is considering using the Emergencies Act to deal with bouncy castles and ball hockey,” says lawyer Jay Cameron, Litigation Director at the Justice Centre.
As of Saturday, Ottawa Police reported 26 arrests and over 140 active criminal investigations underway.
The cost to Ottawa taxpayers is reported to be over $700,000 a day in added costs for policing.
Prime Minister Trudeau, on evoking the Emergencies Act says, “The ongoing blockades and occupations are presenting serious challenges to law enforcement’s ability to effectively enforce the law. Because of that, the federal government is invoking the Emergencies Act to supplement provincial and territorial capacity.
“The scope of these measures will be time-limited, geographically-targeted, and proportionate to the threats they are meant to address. The Act will be used to strengthen and support law enforcement agencies, at all levels, wherever needed across the country.
“To be clear: This is about keeping Canadians safe and protecting people’s jobs. We cannot, and will not, allow illegal and dangerous activities to continue”.
“Peaceful protesters who feed the homeless, shovel snow, pick up garbage, dance in the streets, play street hockey, wave Canadian flags, sing the national anthem and set up bouncy castles for children do not ‘seriously endanger the lives, health or safety of Canadians,’ nor are these peaceful activities ‘of such proportions or nature as to exceed the capacity or authority of a province to deal with it’,” states Mr. Cameron.
The homeless shelter in Ottawa reported harassment the first weekend of the protests, and since has received massive public support in over $750,000 in donations.
Sworn affidavits about the situation in Ottawa, filed with the courts, indicate that the truckers are ‘friendly, courteous, humble, considerate and peaceful.’
People in Ottawa took to the streets this weekend in counter protest to tell the trucker’s to “go home”.
“Truckers in Ottawa sitting in hot tubs by their trucks do not ‘seriously threaten the ability of the Government of Canada to preserve the sovereignty, security and territorial integrity of Canada.’ The only reason the truckers are still in Ottawa is because the arrogant political elite refuse to discuss the truckers’ concerns over the loss of their civil liberties, and authoritarian vaccination mandates”, states Cameron.
If the Emergencies Act is invoked, the federal government will have to demonstrate to a court how existing powers, both municipal and provincial laws, such as bylaws, are insufficient to deal with any issues.”