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Canadian Civil Liberties Association Says Federal Government Has Not Met The Test For Invoking Emergencies Act

KAWARTHA LAKES-The Canadian Civil Liberties Association says the Federal government has not met the threshold necessary to invoke the Emergencies Act.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced this afternoon he was invoking the Emergency Act to “bring the situation (with the protests) fully under control”.

Protestors have installed hot tubs, bouncy castles and music on Parliament Hill. Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson described it as “some kind of fun carnival”.

“We cannot and will not allow illegal, dangerous activities to continue.” said Trudeau.

Trudeau went on to announce that police will be given more tools to restore order in places where public assemblies can “constitute illegal and dangerous activities such as blockades and occupations as seen in Ottawa, the Ambassador Bridge and elsewhere.”

Police in Windsor cleared the Ambassador Bridge Sunday without the use of the Emergency Act and without violence. On Monday morning the RCMP arrested 13 protesters described as being part of a “criminal organization” at a protest at the Coutts border crossing in Alberta after finding they allegedly had access to guns, armour and ammunition. This was also done without the need for the Emergencies Act.

The Emergencies Act was not invoked for 9/11 or in the 2014 terrorist attack on Parliament.

The Civil Liberties Association says the Emergency Act creates a high and clear standard for good reason: the Act allows government to bypass ordinary democratic processes.

“This standard has not been met,” said Noa Mendelsohn Aviv, Executive Director of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. “The Emergencies Act can only be invoked, according to its own terms, when a situation “seriously threatens the ability of the Government of Canada to preserve the sovereignty, security and territorial integrity of Canada” and when the situation “cannot be effectively dealt with under any other law of Canada.”

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland announced that banks will be allowed to freeze personal and business accounts suspected of being used to further the protests without obtaining a court order. She also said banks will be required to share “relevant information” that includes reporting financial relationships of customers involved in the protests with the RCMP or the Canadian Security Intelligence Service. Protestors trucks could be seized and insurance cancelled according to Freeland.

Freeland has a history of activism much like what she is trying to quell today. According to an article in the Globe and Mail when she was a student in Ukraine the KGB accused her of being an agitator, “Freeland was more than just an agitator for, as Col. Stroi derisively put it, “the liberation of Ukraine” who coerced Soviet citizens into staging marches and rallies to attract Western support. She delivered cash, video- and audio-recording equipment, and even a personal computer to her contacts in Ukraine.” stated the article.

The Emergencies Act is there to address extreme threats to Canada and Aviv says what is happening right now in Canada does not meet the threshold.

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


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Pamela Vanmeerhttps://www.kawartha411.ca/
Pamela VanMeer is a two time winner of the prestigious Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) Award. Her investigative reports on abuse in Long Term Care Homes garnered international attention for the issue and won the Ron Laidlaw Award. She is a former reporter and anchor at CHEX News, now Global Peterborough and helped launch the New CHEX Daily, a daily half hour talk show. While at CHCH News in Hamilton she covered some of the biggest news stories of the day.

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