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Use Of Emergencies Act Approved By House Of Commons, Canadian Civil Liberties Association Condemns The Move

KAWARTHA LAKES-The Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA)says there is no justification for continuing to use the Emergencies Act.(EA)

“Let’s be clear: there is no legal justification for using the emergencies act. The broad powers the government has granted to police curtail Charter rights across the country. This risk of abuse is high. The emergency declaration should be immediately revoked.” said Abby Deshman, Director of Criminal Justice for the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.

The EA was invoked on February 14th and Members of Parliament voted this evening to approve it’s continued use.

CCLA says every Canadian is currently subject to the emergency orders and with the orders the federal does not control how and when these laws are used.

“The orders limit peaceful assembly across the country and require financial institutions to freeze bank accounts without judicial oversight. The federal government does not control how and when these laws are used. These legal powers have been placed in the hands of police officers across the country. As with all broad grants of power, the risk of abuse is significant.”

Members of Parliament voted to ratify the governments use of the Emergencies Act this evening. The vote was 185 to 151. The vote mainly went along party lines with the liberals and NDP voting in favour. The conservatives and Bloc voted against it.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the EA was needed to clear people protesting vaccine mandates and restrictions from the capital and border crossings across Canada.

“We didn’t want to use the Emergencies Act. It is never something to turn to without serious consideration,” he said.

The border crossings were cleared without the need for powers under the EA. The Ambassador Bridge protest was cleared on February 13th. The protestors at the Coutts Alberta border crossing left of their own volition on February 15th.

The CCLA says Trudeau had threatened a confidence vote if the vote did not go his way.

“We are deeply disappointed the government chose to make tonight’s vote a matter of confidence. This morning, we asked the government to hold revoke the emergency declaration and barring that, to at minimum commit to a free vote in Parliament.

Instead, the government made it a confidence matter and we have seen numerous government MPs express both publicly and in confidence to us that they would vote against the emergency declaration if given a chance.” said Deshman.

The issue will now move to the Senate for a vote.


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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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